How Off-Road capable is the STi?
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This is a discussion on How Off-Road capable is the STi? within the STi Technical Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I have a stock 2013 STi and it's such a monster on the tarmac. I have a few short ...

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    How Off-Road capable is the STi?

    So I have a stock 2013 STi and it's such a monster on the tarmac. I have a few short strips of road that I can really rough it up on and it performs beautifully. I know there are some folks that take WRX's off road. My question to you is: How off-road capable are these cars? I wouldn't have dreamed of taking my old Infiniti on grass let alone a muddy trail.

    Is the STi all show or is it really as beefy as it looks and how much of the WRC DNA made it into the production version?

    My car is entirely too clean.
    2013 STi Wagon.

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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    It will take gravel, snow, mud, dirt roads just fine. Obviously use common sense and don't rock climb or drive through deep water or deep soft mud. It should be obvious what u can and can't do when u get out there. Its stil car, not a jeep or rover.

    That being said its very capable of going way too fast on a dirt or gravel road. Off road driving is fun, not many people dislike it. Just use your sense and start yourself out slow and build some skill/comfort. And be aware of scraping the bottom lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckingball man View Post
    It will take gravel, snow, mud, dirt roads just fine. Obviously use common sense and don't rock climb or drive through deep water or deep soft mud. It should be obvious what u can and can't do when u get out there. Its stil car, not a jeep or rover.

    That being said its very capable of going way too fast on a dirt or gravel road. Off road driving is fun, not many people dislike it. Just use your sense and start yourself out slow and build some skill/comfort.
    Cool, I appreciate that. Yeah, I took my old 05 off road and climbed a mountain in Utah with it. Had a blast. I just don't want to assume it's a tank but also don't want to assume it's dainty.
    2013 STi Wagon.

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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    It's pretty capable off road and in the snow. I would recommend mud flaps if you do a lot of off roading. It has a good all wheel drive system.

    That being said, it is not a rally car. It is also not an "off roading vehicle" as it does not have a lot of ground clearance. If you plan on doing a ton of off roading, the stock summers won't have too much grip in mud. Stay out of deep water too.

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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    I'd just go easy and feel it out first lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexamus View Post
    Is the STi as it really as beefy as it looks?
    For a consumer-level street car, sure. Subaru's unibody frames are extremely rigid, and are part of why Subaru scores so high in crash testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vexamus View Post
    how much of the WRC DNA made it into the production version?
    The color.

    You need to understand that Subaru's rally team start with a stock STI, then literally tear it apart to the bare chassis and start over. While the unibody is left largely intact, it is braced like crazy all over, plus a full roll cage is added. The suspension is custom-designed by the team and tailored to the driver's specifications. The engine platform is a base STI engine, fully rebuilt from scratch, and most rally engines require full rebuilds after just a couple races. They are built to go 10/10ths for the duration of the race, not comfortably power a passenger car on the street for the next 200k miles.

    The transmission is replaced with a close-ratio dog box for clutchless shifts, and a competition ECU is used to manage the DCCD system. While DCCD functions more or less the same in the production and rally cars, the aftermarket ECU gives the rally team more control over the DCCD algorithms.


    Your owners manual outlines what the car is designed for. The AWD system is designed to maintain traction on paved roads in inclement weather, not for offroad rallying. That said, I was able to drive my car in many unpaved areas, but I did so at a slow pace and was very careful not to high center on anything as the ride height (especially in the newer cars) is quite low. With a proper set of snow tires, I passed Jeeps stuck in the snow on Forest Service roads (driving slowly and defensively). Their only advantage was a taller ride height when the snow drifts got too deep for me to continue.
    Last edited by Rambo; 10-16-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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    Registered User A265's Avatar
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    What Isaac said. A bit shorter description $35k sti != $500k+ rally car.

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    If the car is over-abused, you will bend trailing arms, lateral links, etc.

    It's a street car, not a tank.
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    Went thru a ton of mud/ dirt roads with mine when I first got it. It handled it great and didn't have any problems but as long as you live...YOU WILL NEVER GET ALL OF THE MUD OUT FROM UNDER/INSIDE OF THESE CARS!!!

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    Cool, thanks for the feedback everyone!
    2013 STi Wagon.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Rambo nailed it.
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    My salesman took me on an off road excursion in his WRX. We drove over rock, sand, wood, mud, all kinds of crap. He said as long as it clears the frame you'll be good to go and I'll be damned if he wasn't right. He even drove it off the curb with all 3 of us in the car without a car. Yeah it scraped but he didn't care and this was his personal car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
    My salesman took me on an off road excursion in his WRX. We drove over rock, sand, wood, mud, all kinds of crap. He said as long as it clears the frame you'll be good to go and I'll be damned if he wasn't right. He even drove it off the curb with all 3 of us in the car without a car. Yeah it scraped but he didn't care and this was his personal car.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
    Driving off a curb? Really? That's just asinine.

    I'm going to gaze into my crystal ball and say that sales guy trades in his cars for a new one every 6 months, and that beat up WRX will be sitting on the lot with a $24k price tag and "GREAT CONDITION" sign soon. Remind me never to use that dealer.
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    ^ +1

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    What an idiot. Driving off a curb and scraping can do some damage. That would make me NOT buy a car from him.
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