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iron
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iron
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PostSun Jan 28, 2024 9:48 pm 
Debating purchasing a new mountain car. Live in the Canadian Rockies now, so all the roads are sh##. We have a 2012 Outback we bought used, but the mileage is too high and I don't feel comfortable taking the family on some of these roads and the fear of a mechanical problem. I haven't ventured too far down the rabbit hole on vehicles yet. While a truck is the best total access choice to these mountains, we're only going to be getting in the sketchier roads for 4-5 months/year and might be lucky to break 6000 miles of travel annually unless we take the vehicle for a longer road trip where our EV (which doesn't charge terribly fast) is not well suited. I have some friends with Rav4's and they both like them. I feel like Subaru is a better performer on truly sketchy terrain, but could be mistaken. Even with our high mileage OB, we were able to successfully drive up what can only be described as a steep riverbed road. (these guys did it in far worse conditions, but you can get a sense of the road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=UEYjbPGGlow). I read one reddit thread that said that the Rav4 has independent axles, whereas the OB does not. Not sure how this plays into handling steep/loose conditions with many swales and gullies to pass over. Anyway, not sure if anyone here has had to go through this exercise recently and could share insight. I know from firsthand experience that WA FSR's are nothing like the Kootenays.

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Now I Fly
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 10:05 am 
We have a 2007 RAV4 that we bought new. It's been a great vehicle, and we've no issues, surprises, or major expenses with it. It is notably loud, when it comes to road noise, and does not handle with any sense of elegance. A straightforward dependable form of transportation. I've driven it in nearly 10 inches of untracked (fresh/dry) snow with ease. The V-6 is oversized (my opinion), so the engine is seldom over worked. You should research the RAV4's Downhill Assist Control System (DAC). I only used it a few times, on steep downhill gravel. Didn't like it at all. May have been user error, but I stopped using it long ago, so maybe don't expect using it will save your brake system. Also, on our model, there's no "dropping into low" of enough significant to assist the breaks. Anyway, that my two cents worth. Great vehicle, capable of a long life. Cheers, B!

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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 12:09 pm 
BMW X3

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Prosit
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 12:14 pm 
I think there are several vehicles in this category that do fine on truly rugged roads, but not all drivers push their vehicles to the same degree, so the comparison tales you'll get also depend upon that. I have an Outback that goes pretty much everywhere. The only thing that stops it is clearance. This is my second Outback, the first one I drove to 200,000 miles before trading it in. Good cars in my experience, YMMV. For me, the key thing for this type of vehicle is having good tires. Traction is important in steep uneven terrain, and getting a flat when your spare is a donut isn't great if you're at the end of a four wheel drive road. Most of the well traveled FS roads in Washington aren't a real test, as you noted, but there are also some challenging roads that many avoid.

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neek
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 12:47 pm 
Subaru came out with the Wilderness Edition a couple years ago. It's beefier than the regular Outback and has additional offroad features but of course gets worse mileage. Been seeing a lot of them around here lately.

Opus, fourteen410
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 3:40 pm 
I have read a lot of good things about the Toyota Highlander at least as far as great reliability, not sure how it performs off road. I am also considering another vehicle that can navigate rough roads, I am kinda stuck between a Toyota Tundra or a Chevy Tahoe. You might consider a second generation Tundra with a crew cab since you have a family, 07-21, there is one model, don't recall which one, that has no front center console, so can seat 6. I am looking in the range of 07-13. One of my hiking partner has a 2021 Subaru Cross Trek and we have taken it on some gnarly roads with no issues and has also been very reliable for him. It has some kind of gearing feature to use for off road, not sure what it's called, but it seems to work really well.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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zimmertr
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 4:13 pm 
There hasn't been a single place I've gone in Washington where I couldn't get my stock Forester to the end, with the exception of the Pete Lake trailhead with heavy snow. If the roads are really so bad in BC, what about ebikes or dirt bikes?

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iron
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iron
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 7:28 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
If the roads are really so bad in BC, what about ebikes or dirt bikes?
doesn't work the greatest for a 5 year old...

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zimmertr
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zimmertr
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 8:40 pm 
That's fair. Although when I was five I used to ride on the back of my Dad's Honda CR250.

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iron
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iron
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 10:25 pm 
watched some interesting test comparison videos (2x speed for sure with a lot of skips) here the subaru does relatively poorly in the first test; okay in the second test. the rav4 did better in both. stock tires.
here the subaru crushed the rav4 in snow. and most concerning, the rav4 AWD system overheated, which i could see happening on some of the roads we could encounter here.
here was probably the most challenging test on slick mud and rocks and the subaru did fine enough; no rav4 comparison:
note that these are the wilderness and TRD versions of the vehicles.

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Tom
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PostMon Jan 29, 2024 11:31 pm 
I wouldn't get too hung up on vehicle or brand. I suspect most SUVs these days are comparable. Back in 2018 we bought a new 4WD Jeep Cherokee and have no regrets, it's been a great purchase, plenty of clearance, excellent gas mileage, and didn't break the bank. It was fully loaded with everything but tow package for $27K or so. I was shopping for a vehicle for my mother in law, and it was such a good deal we bought one as well. I didn't want to shell out a small fortune for a SUV. After getting it my 1997 4 Runner just gathered dust in the garage. Sure, the 4 Runner with low range 4WD was a great vehicle for gnarly roads, but the comfort and gas mileage of the Jeep was just so much better. Not saying you should get a Jeep, just that if you find a significantly better deal on another brand, I would let that dominate your decision.

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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Jan 30, 2024 1:19 am 
Get a 4-Runner.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Jan 30, 2024 11:13 am 
Our 2004 4 runner has been a reliable trailhead car for 20 years now once you know its weaknesses. Brakes are undersized drums on the back mostly. Just had an unusual problem this summer check engine light and vs. lights came on on Pratt Lake road. I disconnected battery and lights went out when reconnected. Did my research and saw thatís what always happens with these. Put a scanner on it and it said an O2 sensor was bad. Replaced the sensor and check engine light went out but VSC lights remained on. Turns out newer scanners trigger this lights for 2003-2005 models only. Had to do a zero point calibration (amusing process involving two paper clips and exact timing). And now everything is copasetic. I like buroos but engine is problemic.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Opus
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PostTue Jan 30, 2024 12:51 pm 
I've had a '22 Forester Wilderness for the past two years and I've been very happy with it. It's handled every condition very well. Deep snow and ice in the Methow Valley last year. The road to Tyee Lookout which is probably the worst road I've ever driven. Long drive to Wyoming plus a 20 mile dirt road. A lot of this is probably due to the Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires but the X-Mode function does have a very noticeable effect. The Driving Sports TV YouTube channel also has a good video comparing the Forester Wilderness vs Rav4 and a few others. Common theme seems to be that the all-wheel-drive system on Subaru is much less likely to overheat compared with Jeep and Toyota. It also has a softer suspension than the others which makes it great for driving on long washboarded gravel roads.

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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Jan 30, 2024 11:26 pm 
Personally I've always believed in really pushing a vehicle

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