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Turn Your Subaru Crosstrek Into A Serious Off-Road Machine

Subaru Crosstrek is becoming a go-to small SUV for off-road enthusiasts. See what you need to turn your Crosstrek into a serious off-road vehicle.


When the Subaru Crosstrek launched in 2012, it was the third vehicle in the Japanese automaker’s stable with the ground clearance and attitude needed for off-road pursuits. Subaru Corp took the Impreza hatch and gave it the Subaru all-wheel-drive, all-terrain DNA and it became an instant success.

Crosstrek is used by active individuals who take it on back-country adventures to go hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, kayaking, and camping. For more fun in the dirt and extreme off-road situations, Subaru’s X-Mode traction assist system is standard on all 2019 Subaru Crosstrek trims. But there a number of adventure enthusiasts who want to get further off the beaten path with their vehicles.

Active consumers in North America who want more attitude for their new second-generation 2019 Subaru Crosstrek have a number of aftermarket options. One option comes from LP Adventure in Quebec, Canada. They produce lift kits, bumper guards, skid plates, and performance mufflers for the new Crosstrek Small SUV that will give it a more aggressive stance for more extreme off-road pursuits.

You can improve the look and ground clearance of your 2019 Crosstrek with the lift kit seen in the picture above, and won’t need to worry about traveling through scrub brush, a river or a rocky trail. But for extreme off-road use, you’ll want a skid plate to protect your oil pan, engine, and transmission.

skid plateProtect your Crosstrek with a skid plate

When headed out on the trail for an extended amount of time, it’s crucial that a vehicle’s undercarriage is protected. From the factory, the Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance. A skid plate can offer additional protection to the radiator, oil pan and other components that are exposed to rocks and uneven terrain. One popular option for extreme off-road use is the LP Adventure Skid Plate. These bolt-on skid plates are made of lightweight 3/16-inch aluminum plate. They attach to the subframe using rubber mounts to minimize noise and vibration. They also offer a rear differential skid plate, bumper guards and performance muffler for the new Crosstrek Small SUV.

Checklist for extreme off-road adventures

Here’s a list of items from Drive Performance Magazine you will want to take on extreme adventures. Having the right All-Terrain tires is critical. You’ll also need an air compressor, air-line, inflation chuck, tire gauge, and tire sealant.

If you get stuck in the backcountry you will need a few essentials so you can recover your vehicle. You will need a tow strap, towing eyes or recovery points (One is included in your Subaru emergency kit, but it’s a good idea to have one pre-installed at the front and rear before you head out on the trail, in case the vehicle is buried in deep sand, mud or water, which would make installing the point a challenge.) Portable recovery tracks/ramps.

You can need a variety of tools once you are far away from civilization, from a basic set of hand tools to every possible wrench and socket that could disassemble your Subaru. Here are a few things that you should never leave home without: Duct Tape, multitool, baling wire, two-part epoxy cold-weld bonding compound, and zip ties. Fluids: oil, brake, 50/50 premixed coolant, transmission (for automatic), and spray lubricant.

You will need an emergency kit with a fully charged booster pack, jumper cables,
emergency lights/reflectors (flares are not recommended, especially in dry, fire-prone parts of the country), emergency air horn/whistle, flashlight, gas can and a funnel. Also have CB radio, and a Personal Locator Beacon.

Now your 2019 Subaru Crosstrek or older model is ready for serious off-road adventures. The last thing you’ll want to do before you leave is tell someone where you are headed and when you’re coming back.

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Photo credit: LP Adventures


Tyson (not verified)    December 3, 2018 - 1:28PM

"Subaru Corp took the Impreza hatch and gave it the Subaru all-wheel-drive" - Are you saying that the Impreza doesn't come with All-Wheel Drive?

Ernest (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 5:55PM

So a skid plate, lift and a few miscellaneous items is all I need to go extreme off roading? How about the right tires, skip the CB radio because it has no range and pick up a GMRS capable radio (they can be used in emergencies without a license and can hit a repeater giving it an effective range). Yea bring all the fluids necessary to top off your vehicle on the trail, your stupid if you didn't do that before hitting the trail and if you have a major failure I highly doubt having extra fluids is gonna help. Much smarter to bring water because you cant drink oil when you are stuck in the woods. What am I gonna do with a tow strap if I am alone? What about a shovel to complement recovery ramps. Or perhaps a rear mounted hitch winch? Much better options than a tow strap with no one to pull me out! How about a high lift jack? Those also work wonders for getting unstuck. Why do I need jumper cables if I have a jump pack? WHAT RESEARCH DID YOU DO BEFORE WRITING THIS ARTICLE? LOL.

Drew (not verified)    October 28, 2020 - 1:46AM

In reply to by Ernest (not verified)

well the article doesnt specify that your gonna be tackling MOAB in your crosstrek, but will be fine when off the beaten path. Alot of the time the most equipped Jeeps will get stuck and break stuff on "Extreme Offroading". No one is taking their little crosstrek to go rock crawling with sold axle wranglers with 10 inch lifts and 43" tires. So just take a dep breath and relax.