Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Forester - How Good In Snow

megan7megan7 Member Posts: 1
edited August 2014 in Subaru
How good in the snow is the Forester? We're thinking about trading in the 4WD Truck and getting a AWD Forester. The ground clearance with the truck & Forester are similar. We live in New England with driveway snowdrifts after a snowey day at work.


  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,789
    How good is it? I'd say it depends on how good your tires are, but it'll plow through 12-14" of fresh snow without any problems using the stock tires.

    I drove mine through 18"-20" of old snow pack (crusty surface, heavily granulated/icy underneath) last spring in mine. I have excellent snow/ice tires on my car, and it had to work pretty hard (I was going up a fairly steep, uneven slope), but it made it.

    If you are driving it regularly in serious winter conditions, I highly recommend quality tires.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The Forester is excellent in the snow. It's not by chance that they have 14 times as much market share in Vermont vs. their market share in Florida.

    Tires are indeed a big factor. I actually put snows on my Forester for a winter or two, and it was virtually unstoppable. Even without them, though it was very good.

    I have a FWD Sienna with all seasons and it struggles to get up my driveway, while the Forester doesn't even notice the same amount of snow. So when it snows I park my Miata (RWD + summer tires = useless) and the Sienna and I take my wife's Forester.

    Ground clearance on the new ones is quite good, too.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    edited October 2010
    I think you will find Subaru's AWD is superior to 4WD in ways that can't be measured by clearance or traction. Subaru's AWD is always there, and intelligently works to prevent slippage. Whether flooring the accelerator uphill from a dead stop in several inches of snow, to cruising at 40 mph with good control in the same snow, the Subaru is amazing.
    The Subaru may not have the clearance or the sheer pulling power of a truck in 4WD, but what the Subaru has has is more useful and safer.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,789
    I agree. The control offered by Subaru's AWD, especially if you, as the driver, know what you're doing, is nothing short of amazing.

    During the long Fairbanks winter, I will often find myself sneaking out of the house to take a drive in my wife's Forester just for the enjoyment of it - especially during the most inclement of weather. :shades:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Member Posts: 426
    We live in NE also, Massachusetts actually. We are near the coast so the total snowfalls tend to be tempered because of the dense wet snow we get most of the time. With the light fluffy stuff no issues at all. The only time I ever got stuck with a Forester was when I was showing off in 14" of very wet dense snow. The snow got packed under the vehicle so I got high-centered, with the front wheels not making much contact with the roadway. Shovel time. That was in the days when the Forester had the under-shield for the engine, I suspect it would be better today. If we get another storm like that I will go show off again and see what happens.

    Our driveway is about 130' long and rises to the street. We have had 7 Foresters, currently 2 2010s, and since our first we have had no issues "getting out". I used to have to show-blow the driveway before we could leave for work, no more. I retired but my wife still works. She just drives right through whatever is there... and enjoys it. I clear the driveway when I get around to it now, not because I have to.

    What we appreciate most about the Forester and its AWD is the fact that the road conditions are not consistent. Some bare, some snow, some slush, some ice, etc. The Forester just takes it all in stride, adjusting itself as needed. No white-knuckle drives.

    I also have a 4WD Toyota Tundra and I almost never use it during winter because the Forester is better suited to what we have to deal with. I have been driving NE winters for 45 years and have never had a more capable vehicle than any of the Foresters we have owned. Good luck with your decision!
This discussion has been closed.