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Lifted Subaru Vs. Truck

“Why should I lift my Subaru when I could just buy a truck or SUV?” It is a valid question. There are already lots of stock-ready options available for people wanting a rugged, off-road vehicle. So, why bother with lifting when there are Rams, Jeeps, Tacomas, 4Runners and others that are ready for the trails straight off the lot?  Despite the competition, there is indeed still reason for a lifted Subaru. Presented below are the Three Persuasive P’s for lifting your Subaru.

3 Reasons to Lift Your Subaru Instead of Buying a Truck or SUV:

  • Preference and Reliability
  • Price/Performance
  • Pleasure


1. Preference and Reliability

The first reason to consider passing on the truck and lift the Subie is because, like most Subaru owners, it is simply what you prefer to drive. Subaru has developed a reputation for manufacturing cars of superior reliability and practicality that people just love. Many owners have enjoyed over 300,000 miles from their Subaru. From the morning commute to driving up to the mountain, Subarus are ideal for it all. With their well-balanced range of utility and dependability, it’s no wonder why Subaru is the preference for so many loyal motorists.

Many Subaru owners, like us, have grown accustomed to the way that the motors operate. We’ve learned how they work and already own a few specialty tools that we use on them. Jumping into a new platform can seem daunting and can be one of the big reasons for not wanting to change brands.

We also really like the fact that the Subaru platform lends itself to serious comfort. The independent suspension leaves something to be desired on some off-road terrain, but makes up for that in ease of ride. Potholes and other road imperfections are much more manageable in a Subaru than in a truck. If you get the chance, ride in a Tacoma or Jeep on a forest road and then try to drive the same road in a Subaru. You will be surprised by the difference in ride quality.

You can certainly get a rugged and capable off-road Jeep or Tacoma but there’s one nagging problem: it’s just not a Subaru. So, if it’s just a bit more ride height that’s needed for your beloved Subaru, you don’t have to give it up yet! Keep your favorite vehicle and simply improve upon it with a lift. 

(Check out this former Tacoma owner’s Crosstrek build and see why he likes it so much)

Another factor in reliability is FUEL ECONOMY! Our old lifted Forester on 29″ mud terrains consistently gets about 26 miles per gallon even on trail days loaded with a small tool kit, portable compressor, 5gal fuel can, and hiking gear! They are extremely efficient and can last all day out in the woods without worrying about needing to fill the tank. Fuel range is a huge factor when selecting a car to use in the backcountry. Newer, bigger Subaru models get even better mileage than our old Forester does.

2. Price/Performance

The next case to make for lifting a Subaru is their price-over-performance factor. In other words, how much bang for your buck you get. The reality is, most off-road-ready vehicles come with a pretty hefty price tag. A fifteen-year-old 4×4 Toyota Tacoma will easily sell for around $10,000 here in Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile, an Outback or Forester of the same year and condition can be had for around $4,000. It begs the question: is $6,000 worth the few extra inches of ride height? When you can lift a Subaru reliably for under $1,000 and achieve respectable performance on the trails, there’s even less of a reason to go out and buy a dedicated off road rig.

Now don’t get us wrong. There’s a reason why 4×4’s are more expensive. They have heavy duty suspension and drivetrain components that will help you overcome serious obstacles. The low-range transmissions on my trucks and 4X4’s can help you effectively use your power to climb steep terrain. But for some of us, a lifted Subaru is just fine for getting around to most places in the forest. It depends on your wants/needs. Just understand that a Subaru will never be a capable rock crawler without serious fabrication work (at which point a truck is a much better option.)

3. Pleasure

The final P of the Three Persuasive P’s of lifting a Subaru is pleasure. For those of us who like to be a little different in the car scene and enjoy automotive projects, you will certainly feel pleased to ride in your own lifted Subaru. All off-road vehicles are amazing machines but seeing a little Subaru come to life with bigger tires and a bit of lift is just on a different level. It’s like watching the underdog finally make it to the gold. Anyone can go and buy a truck but it takes someone with determination and elbow grease to lift a Subaru. Setting yourself apart and working on a unique project that you can be proud of is indeed reason enough to go with the lifted Subaru. The looks you get while out on the street and on the trails is priceless!

The Subaru community is unlike most others in car culture. While there is some negativity, we have met some of the most amazing human beings through our mutual love for Subarus! If you decide to lift a Subaru, you’ll undoubtedly find help and camaraderie throughout the process.

In the end, while a lifted Subaru is a great option for an off road machine, it really does depend on what you want out of a vehicle. Sure, you can buy the truck and drive straight from the dealership to the trails. No extra work under the car and no hours spent researching on how to lift. That might be exactly what some people are looking for and that’s totally fine. However, there are some of us who are more interested in the challenge and reward of making something for ourselves. With a lifted Subaru, you can keep your preferred brand, get the most bang for your buck and enjoy the pleasure of a unique off road ride. So go on and own your Subaru! Make it into what you want it to be. With some patience and perseverance, you can enjoy your Subaru however you want to enjoy it, on the pavement or off.

Thinking about lifting your Subaru? Here are some posts that might help you find the right stuff!

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