Subaru Outback vs. Jeep Wrangler – Finding the better sand machine.

Feature Articles Jeep Subaru

By Kurt Gensheimer

I stepped up to the rental desk at Norfolk International and asked for a Jeep. Any Jeep, so long as it had four wheel drive. The cheerful rental company representative, who looked like Edie McClurg in Planes, Trains and Automobiles presented me with a choice of three Jeeps: a Compass, a Grand Cherokee or a Wrangler. Now since the business, tax-writeoff justification end of my vacation was to pit a Jeep against my brother’s new Subaru Outback and run them ragged along the endless driveable beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, I needed the most capable Jeep available to really put the Outback through its paces. I slapped my finger down on the miniature picture of the Wrangler.

The representative smiled, handed me the keys and the paperwork. I signed a few documents and was just about on my way when she pulled out a huge red stamp and slammed it down on the rental agreement.

“Oh, you’ll need to sign this too, honey.” I looked at the stamp and all I could think about at that moment was Edie’s famous two word response to Steve Martin’s F-bomb tirade, “You’re f**ked.”

(story continued on page 2)

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  • David M. says:

    We took our 2006 Outback 2.5i out onto that very same beach and the one just before “S-turns”. It did just fine getting us where we wanted to go but it is definitely not designed to play in the sand much, at least not OBX sand which is notoriously deep. It’s a great car for all environments but it isn’t great at any in particular aside from snow and ice. We never let any air out of the tires and we had to avoid deep ruts but aside from that she was sure footed. The Outback fits the offroading a majority of vehicle owners will do and for the rest there are the alternatives that fair much better and they are almost all body on frame with a low range transfer case. No one gave us a beer for our efforts either….

  • Kurt G. says:

    Actually, it should read “Subie Pulled From Sand by Tundra”

    Kurt G.

  • Solid says:

    The section The Subie Earns Props should be renamed Subie Pulled From sand by Wrangler.

  • BOb says:

    Be careful about renting cars with E-Zpass, there is a company called E Tolls/HTA
    this is in bed with your state’s toll authority and out there to make an illegitimate profit.

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