It depends on what your load is. An M35 duece at 300 mile range on 50 gal of fuel carrying 2.5tons of "stuff" and ain't going to fail is better in some instances than a sub compact with 350 mile range and maybe, MAYBE 300 lbs of "stuff" in it.In a bug-out scenario is it more important to go rugged or more gas efficient? How could you make a regular car be able to stand up to driving on gravel better?
Subaru owners tell me the AWD system is sensitive to tire diameter mismatch. A new tire on one wheel with significantly used tires on the other wheels has led to damage. Double-check with Subaru... it may simply mean you need to rotate your spare(s) regularly.I don't know if you could go better than a Subaru all-wheel-drive for fuel-efficient and rugged travel..........
I agree with that, I have never really understood the fascination with raised trucks. Raised to accommodate taller tires is ok but to raise so high that it becomes a liability when off roading is puzzling.Sometimes other factors play some role. For me at least I would choose fuel effieciency . Why ? Because I have tested myself in some rough terratin and couldn't pass. Not courageous enough to do any 4x4 driving stunts. And the higher the truck the more reluctant ( soft word for terrified LOL ) I was to take it up or down a slope for example. Whenever the truck tilted about 20 degrees sideways, I stopped and was too scared to proceed!! In such a case, ruggedness would not help.
So, test yourself and skills OFF-ROAD. It is not the same as driving on 4-lane highway. That test may help you answer your question.
When the modifications are done right, there is no greater chance of rolling over in a highly modified vehicle than in a stock vehicle. My YJ is lifted about 13" - purely suspension - running 38" tires (that is 10" taller tire than stock). I have an inclinometer on the dash of my Jeep that has shown me at 35° over sideways - and I still felt comfortable driving it. I have not rolled my Jeep - even after 10 years of off-roading it.I agree with that, I have never really understood the fascination with raised trucks. Raised to accommodate taller tires is ok but to raise so high that it becomes a liability when off roading is puzzling.