If you’ve been a frequent explorer of the off-road trails around Moab, then you have the scene of this recent trip framed in your mind. Epic landscapes, challenging obstacles and a host of built-up off-road vehicles like Jeeps and trucks. In fact, that’s part of today’s video, where we bring in our long-term Jeep Gladiator after building it out (more on that to come).
What you don’t expect to see is a 42-year-old, bone-stock Subaru wagon taking on obstacles like Fins ‘n’ Things. In this video, that’s exactly what Tommy’s going to do, as we see just how capable this classic Subaru is even 40+ years on. Can it actually keep up with our brand new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon? Let’s find out!
What you’re looking at here is the first vehicle that broke the pattern limiting four-wheel drive to off-road vehicles. Instead, this Subaru DL — whose coupe version is known as the “Leone” — offered four-wheel drive to the masses, and set a standard that the brand has largely followed (with a few notable exceptions) over since. This station wagon first came along in 1974, and seized on four-wheel drive as its notable advantage in places like Colorado and the western United States. While this car does have selectable four-wheel drive, it does not have a low-speed transfer case. It does just weigh 1,900 pounds, which does held its case a bit.
The video above shows just how well the Subaru DL (and Tommy’s skill) make it through Moab. It’s definitely impressive, considering its age and the fact that it’s carbureted 1.6-liter boxer engine made just 67 horsepower when it was new. Even on points like One Tree Hill, it managed much better than you might think.