dansome1

2020 Subaru Outback on a beach with deep soft sand?

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Anyone drove or saw someone drive their 2020-2021 Subaru Outback on the southern LI beaches with soft sand?  Any issues?  It's a relatively light car with 8.7in of ground clearance.  I was told that airing down to 15-20psi, turning on X-mode, switching to manual mode and using 1st or 2nd gear, turning off traction control, taking element ramps or similar and a small shovel, and a sprinkle of common sense should be fine?  Thanks

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Never drove the LI beaches, but I had an ex with an Outback we’d take to Hatteras Island. Not the best place to beach drive with an AWD. However, that car did amazingly well. Couldn’t get to some some spots (I remember having to back off the ramp in Hatteras Village) with the relatively low ground clearance, but we never got stuck. I remember passing a Jeep Cherokee what was framed, and we got out to help shovel him out. Great car, built really well. You should be fine if you follow the guidelines you stated. Bring a tow strap, a shovel a and a board just in case. Floor mats under the wheels can help in a pinch, too. Enjoy. 

Edited by Rougesun

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So many dispute their abilities and specs, ground clearance is better than most larger SUV's. Also, their 4WD system is far superior to most of the others being made today, equal to Audi. For some reason, the fishing buggy crowd won't acknowledge them as an alternative and are critical of their existence.

 

I owned 2 Foresters and never had an issue on Jersey beaches which can be sugary and deep. I'd air down to 15 as 20 puts too much strain on the vehicle, that boxer engine runs hot and burns oil anyway, no need to put extra pressure on the moving parts. I don't see a problem with running the beaches with it, its nice to be getting 30mpg and still be able to drive on the sand. Nice choice on the Outback too.

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4 hours ago, Highlander1 said:

So many dispute their abilities and specs, ground clearance is better than most larger SUV's. Also, their 4WD system is far superior to most of the others being made today, equal to Audi. For some reason, the fishing buggy crowd won't acknowledge them as an alternative and are critical of their existence.

 

I owned 2 Foresters and never had an issue on Jersey beaches which can be sugary and deep. I'd air down to 15 as 20 puts too much strain on the vehicle, that boxer engine runs hot and burns oil anyway, no need to put extra pressure on the moving parts. I don't see a problem with running the beaches with it, its nice to be getting 30mpg and still be able to drive on the sand. Nice choice on the Outback too.

You can totally do it with AWD, until you can't.

just prepare to get stuck.  There are a few subbies you can lock the center diff and effectively get 4wd, but those are mostly road cars.  

 

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18 hours ago, Captain Planet said:

You can totally do it with AWD, until you can't.

just prepare to get stuck.  There are a few subbies you can lock the center diff and effectively get 4wd, but those are mostly road cars.  

 

Agreed, locking center differential is what you really want, not many SUV's have that feature available, most rely on wheel slippage being the trigger to power a different wheel, thats not  even AWD, thats a joke. I only defend the Subaru because I owned 2, drove extensively (more than 100 days a year) on the beach in NJ in soft sand and never got stuck. I'm not a tranny expert but the Subarus 4wd system actually offers a 55/45 split between front and rear wheels. Clearance isn't bad either.

 

I'm not saying its an ideal buggy, and I don't claim to know LI Beaches, but I do know the Subarus will eat up many of todays "beach buggy's")

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks again

Edited by dansome1
We don’t discuss what you found on other sites here - feel free to ask questions here, but please don’t tell us about your experience on other websites - thanks.

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And try to stay away from going uphill as much as possible, sometimes its not avoidable but in thi case pointed up gets you in more trouble than pointed down. Wheels straight instead of turned are also a positive. Acceleration is not important and tread on tires is your enemy not your friend, bald is best. 

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CVT .....  no thanks.  Also do your own research and not that of some car brand (cult) forums. Research quality, reliability and recalls. The latest on Subaru's newer FB/FA series boxer engine has them leaking oil and pooling on the heads after time, 6-7 years. Cam carrier, timing chain cover, oil pan do not have a gasket seal and use Fuji Three Bond (caulking) as a gasket. $3300 to pull the engine and reseal all.

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I've had our 2012 Outback oversand a handful of times on Cape Cod and been fine. It obviously doesn't compare to something purpose built or tailored for the sand but is more than capable. Has a good AWD system and good stock ground clearance. And there are reasonable lift kits / tons of mods you can research up on overlander sites if you want to bolster its capabilities. 

In all the years I've been driving oversand, I find so much comes down to the person behind the wheel. So many are clueless, careless or both.

Good luck!

 

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Absolutely, if you air down they just float over sand. There is even a guy who I see on the south shore beaches with a crosstrek...zips right along. I’ve also seen plenty of Jeeps and pick ups stuck, a lot of it comes to the driver.

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I took the Outback to Long Island Gilgo and Robert Moses beaches. Stock tires, deflated to 16psi, disabled traction control.  No issues.  Thank you for your feedback.
 

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