Should You Take the 2010 Subaru Forester Off-Road?

The 2010 Subaru Forester is more than just clever branding—the Forester has functional off-road features that are capable of handling some rugged terrains.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
With a name like the
Subaru Forester
, there’s some inherent pressure to live up to the adventurous branding. Luckily, the 2010 model was able to fulfill expectations with the help of some useful off-road features, like standard AWD, efficient towing capacity, and more!
Considering how crowded the compact crossover segment was during the early 2010s, automotive brands had to rely heavily on their competitive advantages to stand out. And for the Subaru Forester, that was its iconic off-road character.
For further elaboration, the experts at
super app
that saves drivers money on
car insurance
and more—are here to take you on a deep dive into the off-road capabilities of the 2010 Subaru Forester. We’ll cover its functional specifications, how it compares to the competition, and what score the 2010 Forester receives on Jerry’s DIRT off-road rating system.

Can the 2010 Subaru Forester go off-road?

Yes, the 2010 Subaru Forester is appropriately equipped to handle off-road terrain. In fact, it’s the perfect camping cruiser—many Subaru enthusiasts are sure to agree.
The third-generation Foresters (2009-2013) marked the transition from a station wagon to a compact crossover. And let us tell you, the transition went swimmingly! 
The 2010 Forester maintained the valuable cargo space of a wagon, all while acquiring the off-road utility of an SUV, making this a popular automobile for weekend warriors and camping connoisseurs.
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

Ground clearance

The 2010 Subaru Forester has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, which is right at the intense off-roading threshold of 8.8 inches to 10.8 inches. You can trust this clearance to be sufficient in most casual off-road terrains.
Ground clearance is a valuable specification for any vehicle you intend to take off the pavement. It represents the distance between the lowermost portion of your car and the ground. So, if you’re driving over obstructions or scaling inclines/declines, it’s an important spec to remain aware of to avoid bottoming out.


The best off-road vehicles have high amounts of low-end torque, which means the car can access more engine power in lower gears. So while the 2010 Froester’s 170 lb-ft of torque @ 4400 rpm doesn’t necessarily jump off the specification sheet, it can still put out
This model can tow upwards of 2,400 pounds. That is roughly 500 and 1,000 more pounds than the 2011
Toyota RAV4
and the 2011
Honda CR-V
, respectively. So, towing your camper behind your 2010 Subaru Forester should be no problem!


Even though the 2010 model of the Forester increased in size across almost all dimensions from previous iterations, its low center of gravity helps maintain balance on uneven terrains.
With this increase in body size, you also get increased cargo space! With a maximum capacity of 68.3 cubic feet, you’re sure to have plenty of room for all your camping gear!


All 2010 Subaru Foresters come standard with AWD, which is useful for scaling uneven terrain or handling poor weather conditions. The AWD system has the unique ability of automatically sending traction to the tire(s) that needs it most. This is extremely beneficial when dealing with the unpredictable nature of off-roading.


Off-roading is all about angles: specifically, the approach angle and departure angle: 
  • Approach angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
The 2010 Subaru Forester can handle some fairly rugged terrains with equal approach and departure angles of 25 degrees.

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

We’ve rated the 2010 Subaru Forester using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The 2010 Subaru Forester earns an R “Rough and Ready” Rating. The adequate off-road features of the Forester are often slightly overexaggerated due to Subaru’s cult following, but it’s nonetheless a sufficient vehicle to take off the beaten path and to the remote campsite.

The best off-road alternatives to the 2010 Subaru Forester

Subaru fans are undoubtedly passionate and usually willing to pay a premium for the brand association—even at the expense of performance and off-road features.
So, if you’re not in a committed relationship with Subaru, here are some other crossover compact SUVs worth considering:
Est. Used Price
Best reliable alternative
2011 Honda CR-V
$9,500 to $11,500
Save money at the mechanic by opting for the undeniable reliability of a Honda.
Best off-road alternative
2011 Toyota RAV4
$10,500 to $12,500
More low-end torque helps the RAV4 scale more intense terrains.
Best affordable alternative
2010 Nissan Rogue
$5,500 to $7,500
Without sacrificing too much utility, you can save a couple thousand dollars.
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

When off-roading, you put your vehicle at risk of sustaining excess damage. Insurance companies don’t look fondly on the outdoor adventurer and upcharge them for coverage.
But what if we told you that this doesn’t have to be the case! Well, we’re happy to introduce you to the
app, your all-in-one insurance broker for life. Our innovative quote comparison technology will quickly pair you with the most affordable quote available—no matter what road (or lack thereof) you take your adventure mobile on!
After going through our app’s super simple process, the average Jerry user will find over $800 worth of annual insurance savings!
“I felt like I was paying too much for my insurance policy, so I downloaded
. I literally only typed in 3 pieces of info and Jerry found my current insurance. In a few minutes, they pulled up 2 Progressive policies that showed $900 in savings over 6 months!” —Maeve J.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings