Regarding your idea about doing a "Crossover of the Year" test, I think that would be awesome! It's a growing segment of the automotive world. If the other magazines saw that this type of testing was going on and did similar tests, auto manufacturers might be more likely to build crossovers that are more off-road-capable. It would also be a great opportunity to show that the "Trail Rated" badge is being thrown around too loosely on Jeep vehicles. I've been confident for years that the redesigned Ford Escape, or the redesigned Subaru Forester can outwheel a Patriot.
For testing, I'm thinking something along the lines of Four Wheeler of the Year, only a bit scaled down. A mild hillclimb and rugged dirt trails (rather than rocks) as well as the usual on-road sections would make for a very complete test, as well as an interesting read. And as for the idea of seeing a Subaru on the cover-I like that idea! My family is made up of hard-core Subaru people. You'd be amazed at how many people actually buy or make lift kits for their Legacys, Outbacks, and Bajas and take them wheeling. Take a look at www.subaruoutback.org to see some dedicated Subaru people.
Hey, we've got a pretty lively Subaru enthusiast board at our own Web site, so we know you guys are out there. We haven't driven an Escape lately, but we've wheeled both a Patriot and a Forester in recent months, and we gotta tell ya-all things being equal, we'll take the Jeep. And thanks for the kind words-we can't guarantee you'll see a Subaru on the cover, but if you come across one that's rollin' on 44s, we'll give it a good look, promise.
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