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I'm considering buying a WRX. I do a lot of hiking, camping and skiing that often involves driving on rough fire roads or heavy snow conditions (picture for example a field of potholes and speed bumps). I was hoping to get something faster and funner than an SUV thats also a manual transmission. I have seen plenty of rally videos of WRXs going off road and thought it might fit the bill. My question is, does that require so much modification from the stock version I buy at the dealership that it would be very costly? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

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With quality tires, you shouldn't have an issue getting anywhere that doesn't require SUV-type clearance in the winter time. I have had to pull over on the side of the road until I had a chance to plow out the "lip" on my driveway the town plows left.

I do quite a bit of unpaved driving, and have never run into an issue during non-winter months.
 

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yeah my wrx does great in snow with winter tires.
 

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The WRX is totally capable of off-roading with 1 rule:
There has to be enough ground clearance.

It sounds like a no-brainer but the AWD grips like a champ on loose rocks and hard packed so lower ground clearance is probably the only concern.... OH! and get skid plates!

My WRX did quite well in icy conditions.
 

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I'm also interested in this. How many of you have had actually experience in off road conditions with your WRX?

There are some cool dirt road trails around me that would be fun to drive on but I'm a bit concerned about damage from ruts, pot holes and general roughness of the roads.

Any comments?
 

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shulikrw said:
I'm also interested in this. How many of you have had actually experience in off road conditions with your WRX?

There are some cool dirt road trails around me that would be fun to drive on but I'm a bit concerned about damage from ruts, pot holes and general roughness of the roads.

Any comments?
Drive the road slow at first to make sure there's nothing that'll surprise you. Then, have fun...
 

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not gonna lie im too nervous to take my car off road, im afraid of hurting something on it. But thats why i have a jeep :p
 

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I'm also interested in this. How many of you have had actually experience in off road conditions with your WRX?

There are some cool dirt road trails around me that would be fun to drive on but I'm a bit concerned about damage from ruts, pot holes and general roughness of the roads.

Any comments?
Sunday morning temptation:
Maple Springs Trail
http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/4007/000sq.jpg
http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/9121/001uij.jpg
Trabuco Canyon:
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/415/damnjeep.jpg
Road bumpier than the camera shows, and I forgot to mention to the OP. You can be faster off-road, but it will be bumpy as hell =/
Take it slow and enjoy the scenery.
 

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I had this same thought when I bought my first WRX. Not so much the off-road stuff, but definitely the SUV vs WRX trade-off. The WRX gas mileage isn't great - some of the newer SUVs get better mileage.

Just a thought - Have you considered a used car? If you went with an older Outback, you can get the XT model which is essentially a WRX on the legay platform. They have much better ground clearance. The Forresters have even higher clearance, and if you get an 07 or earlier, you can get the XT model which is really a WRX. Both came with manual transmissions.

For real off-road, nothing beats the Jeep.
 
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