What are the Best Off-Road Subaru Models?

When it’s time for off-road exploration, you need a vehicle that’s up to the task. Thanks to their rugged design, standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and impressive suite of adventure-friendly features, several Subaru models stand out as ideal off-roading companions. Built to tackle diverse terrains and weather conditions with ease while keeping drivers and passengers safe and comfortable, Subaru SUVs are capable and versatile. They perform as well on the daily commute around town as they do when you leave the road behind and embark on a thrilling journey. 

So, what’s the best Subaru for your off-road excursions? With the most rugged off-roading features available across our full lineup of SUVs and crossovers, you can choose the model that best suits you and trust that it’s ready to take you on adventure after exhilarating adventure.

What Makes a Vehicle Off-Road Capable?

When it comes to gearing up for adventure, Subaru vehicles are packed with standard features that enable and enhance the experience of off-road driving. Even more options are available as upgrades or in certain trims. 

Here are some of the features found in Subaru SUVs that make them compatible for off-road travels:

  • Standard Symmetrical AWD: When driving off-road, you may frequently encounter uneven terrain, wet or muddy pathways, or other situations that can hinder your vehicle’s handling. The Subaru Symmetrical AWD system directly and variably delivers power to all wheels when you need it most, helping you stay in control in off-road scenarios.
  • Subaru X-MODE®: When activated, X-MODE delivers extra power and traction to help you drive up steep inclines, across icy stretches of road, and through muddy trails. This feature allows for better handling and stability, no matter what nature puts in your path. 
  • High ground clearance: When driving off the beaten path, a higher ground clearance can help you easily navigate common obstacles like rocks, fallen branches, steep hills, and bodies of water. The best Subaru vehicles for off-roading have between 8.3 inches to 9.5 inches of ground clearance, depending on the model.
  • Robust suspension system: Off-road driving requires a reliable, durable suspension system that can absorb shock and impact without damaging the vehicle or disturbing passengers. Subaru uses a 4-wheel independent suspension system that delivers a smooth ride and responsive handling, no matter the terrain.
  • All-terrain tires: The right tires can make all the difference when driving off-road, offering enhanced grip and traction. All-terrain tires can be installed on any Subaru SUV or crossover and come standard on certain trims, like the Wilderness family of vehicles.

Best Subaru for Off-Roading

Subaru SUVs are made for adventure beyond the constraints of the paved road. Consider some of our favorite options for off-road exploration below.


The Subaru Outback offers a variety of features that make it a great off-roading option. X-MODE®, a system that provides enhanced traction and stability beyond Symmetrical AWD, comes standard on all trims and features Hill Descent Control to allow you to easily and safely travel steep slopes. A roomy interior and spacious cargo area make the Outback ideal for hauling camping gear and transporting your friends on an exciting off-road trip.

Explore the Outback.


Popular and reliable, off-road enthusiasts will love the style and comfort that the Subaru Forester brings to any excursion. With its spacious interior, eye-catching design, and extra-wide rear gate opening for easy loading and unloading, the Forester helps you experience the beauty of the great outdoors from the comfort of the cabin, making it a perfect vehicle for off-road excursions. 

Explore the Forester.


The compact and capable Subaru Crosstrek appeals to off-roaders looking for an efficient, sporty option to take on adventures. The Crosstrek excels on narrower pathways and trails thanks to its smaller frame. This Subaru offering also delivers outstanding fuel efficiency – allowing you to travel longer distances more affordably. 

Explore the Crosstrek.


The Ascent is undeniably the ideal Subaru for families or groups on an off-road adventure. While it is larger in size and has 3 rows of seating that can comfortably accommodate up to 8 passengers, the Ascent moves nimbly and performs just as responsively as its smaller siblings. X-MODE comes standard on all trims, making muddy, uneven terrain and steep hills no match for the Ascent. 

Explore the Ascent.


The Solterra is the all-electric Subaru vehicle that gives off-roading enthusiasts an option to explore rugged terrain while minimizing their carbon footprint. Equipped with dual-function X-MODE, the Solterra is ready to take you off-the-beaten path, with Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud settings to help you trek through nearly any environment. Our Symmetrical AWD makes the Solterra even more stable and designed to offer outstanding traction on any adventure. 

Explore the Solterra.

Wilderness Vehicles

For the most avid of off-roaders, the Subaru Wilderness family of vehicles – including the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek – offer an impressive array of features made with exploration in mind. This suite of upgrades geared specifically toward outdoor, off-road excursions makes our Wilderness vehicles the nexus of luxury and adventure. Common features include: 

  • At least 9 inches of ground clearance
  • Enhanced dual-function X-MODE with designated settings for Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud
  • Revised gear ratios to for better low-speed climbing capability
  • A retuned suspension to withstand even the toughest trails
  • Alloy wheels equipped with all-terrain tires
  • Tough, functional exterior design enhancements, such as exterior cladding and an Anti-Glare Hood Decal for optimal ruggedness and visibility
  • Upgraded roof rails equipped to carry more cargo
  • Ultra-durable, breathable, and water-resistant StarTex® upholstery
  • Increased maximum towing capacity 

Explore the Subaru Wilderness family of vehicles.

Explore Subaru Vehicles for Your Off-Road Adventures

When adventure calls, let Subaru take you to new frontiers on your next off-road excursion.

Build your new Subaru today.