4WD vs AWD

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by Scbe, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. Scbe

    Scbe Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2011
    I'm looking at a Subaru Forester AWD and want to drive on the beach (MD/VA) but have heard that 4WD is much better. True? How will a Forester do on local sand? Thanks!
  2. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    I used to have a Nissan Murano AWD but you could lock in the 4WD. From what I was told, the AWD transfers the power as needed, the 4WD locks in 100%. I never took it on the beach, but snow was no problem. I have seen people with Muranos on the beach, I would be slightly scared because the vehicle ground height was less of a normal $WD SUV/truck. Anyway, I don't know if this help in any way. Good luck


    CBSCREWBY Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    The problem might be with clearance. I have 4WD. I'm new to the beach driving scene. I might have over kill with a 5 inch lift, thirty five inch tires and a 3 inch body lift kit... lol
  4. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    That might be too low! Bwhahahaha
  5. sbx

    sbx Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    They do make lift kits for Foresters.
  6. Scbe

    Scbe Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2011
    I'll check out that lift kit. The Forester advertises 8" clearance. Thanks.

    Has anyone taken a Subaru or other AWD onto AINS sand?
  7. sbx

    sbx Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    AWD can mean a number of different things--I think manual and automatic Subarus even have different systems. If nobody here has direct experience with Foresters off road, I bet there are Forester owner forums that will have answers for you.
  8. kidrock

    kidrock Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Ground clearance will be an issue. Also, stock tires don't work nearly as well as larger truck tires with some air taken out.

    Subaru's work great on our local beaches because the sand is very packed and the beach accesses are solid. From what I've seen out on the EC (OBX), I don't believe that a Subie will get you through that soft thick sand very well. Bring a shovel.
  9. Scbe

    Scbe Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2011
    Yes the tires do look small and hard for loose sand. I always get a standard trany.
  10. ooglyboogly

    ooglyboogly Member

    Mar 2, 2014
    Im actually going to chime in on this one....i rarely do, if ever comment, but I feel I could be of great assistance.
    I have an 02 subaru 3.0 litre 6 cyl. I gotta say, if you air down the tires this thing handles very well in deep sand (I drive on Long Island beaches). the only time I've gotten slightly stuck was when I didnt air down and it was up a small hill, BUT I quickly got unstuck when I aired down right there and dug for 30 seconds. and dont kill your trans by running the rpm's high. the issue I've had is that yes, you do sit kind of low so sand will/can get in the calipers on loose, higher sitting sand. packed, no prob at all.
    now, when it comes to buying a Subaru (so far my favorite car I've owned), keep this in mind: 1. they have THEE best AWD system in the world 2. they are known to have head gasket issues/blown head gaskets, a big BUT, that's exactly why I bought the 3.0 6cyl.....the bigger engine can handle the car. more power means less work and overheating and ****. these versions are NOT known to have the head gasket issue, which is a very costly fix or not even worth fixing.....PLUS you have the added bonus of having a TIMING CHAIN, so you never have have to replace a timing belt. if you don't want an SUV and want pretty good gas mileage and great reliability, go Subaru, but try and get the 3.0 6cyl in a used model.
  11. brewengineer

    brewengineer Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011

    They can both be good or bad in sand. My subaru WRX STI was amazing in sand, because it had limited slip front and rear diffs, and a lockable center diff. Some 4WD systems are coupled with fairly open diffs, which make them less effective. Subarus are generally better AWD systems than you will find in most SUVs/vehicles.
  12. swell5

    swell5 Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    none of those suv's lock in 100percent most pickups don't lock in 100 percent.. very few trucks have a front locker... the jeep rubicons and the dodge powerwagon do... really have to take a close look at the transfer cases.. most 4x4's now a days are tailored to the home depot truck drivers
  13. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Hold on now....I do believe you guys were all spouting concern about "global warming", "save the whales", and...and...."hug a tree"........."we hate oil companies"...etc, etc.
    And now you want to run on the beach with a 4WD??!!??
    Where is your concern for the poor "pipping plover" and "sandpipers"....??
  14. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    o barry

    I care bout dem birds.
  15. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    truth. A 4x4 with lockers is the way to go. Ground clearance, especially with a lift, and true 4x4
  16. mucker

    mucker Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    You're right. I have a 5 speed manual Crosstrek XV and when I was buying I asked why the manual got slightly less MPG than the automatic. The sales person said it had to do with the way power is distributed front to rear. Autos had something like an 80/20 front to rear split while the manual would only go 60/40. I think it depends on speed and the traction control features.

    My car has a 8.7 inch ground clearance and I've had it out in the snow before plows have gotten to the road and it has been great. The last two winters have really made me appreciate this car. It's the first car that I tell people that I love and love to drive.
  17. 252surfer

    252surfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    ive got a ford escape with the intelligent 4wd. anybody know if this is similar to AWD or more closer to a 4WD? i want to take it in the sand but not sure. also, it does have some clearance
  18. Shred Ripper

    Shred Ripper Member

    Nov 12, 2012
    I have a Subaru Legacy Wagon. I just went onto the entrance ramp for the beach and almost got stuck. The wheels spun on the loose sand. Granted mine is not the higher clearance outback and the tires are high performance but it's not just about awd. I've seen Outbacks and foresters on the beach though but they're more rugged than my drifter. This is Long Island.
  19. sbx

    sbx Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    The Parks department here has Escapes, I've seen them on the beach a few times. What's the worst that could happen? You get stuck bad, it's embarassing, you decide not to do it anymore. Just don't get stuck below the high tide line...
  20. SurfJdog

    SurfJdog Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    In NC they won't sell you a pass if you have a AWD. You must have 4X4.