How to Increase Ground Clearance for a Subaru Forester for Improved Off-Road Capability?

March 31, 2024

When it comes to off-roading, the Subaru Forester is a vehicle with notable potential. Its unique combination of ample ground clearance, robust suspension, and all-wheel drive system has earned it a reputation as a capable off-road machine. However, there might be instances where you wish your Forester had a bit more clearance to tackle more challenging terrains, or you simply prefer its looks with a bit more lift. What can you do then? How can you increase the ground clearance of your Subaru Forester and improve its off-roading capability? Here’s how.

Installing a Lift Kit

A lift kit is one of the most effective ways to increase your Forester’s ground clearance. When installed, a lift kit will elevate the car’s body and create more distance between the ground and your vehicle’s undercarriage. It allows for larger tyres to be fitted, which can improve your vehicle’s off-roading performance.

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Lift kits come in various forms and sizes, typically ranging from 1 to 3 inches. Selecting the right lift kit for your Subaru Forester will depend on your specific needs and the type of off-road terrains you plan to conquer. Remember, the higher your vehicle is lifted, the more unstable it may become at higher speeds due to a higher centre of gravity.

Choosing the Right Tyres

Your tires play a crucial role in your Subaru Forester’s ground clearance and off-roading capabilities. Larger tyres can increase your vehicle’s ground clearance and drastically alter its off-road performance.

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When selecting tyres, remember that your Subaru Forester’s wheel wells can accommodate a certain size. Oversized tyres may rub against the vehicle’s body or suspension components, which could lead to damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the right size of tyres that will fit in your car after lifting it.

Moreover, aside from size, the type of tyre you choose should also be appropriate for the terrain you plan to tackle. Off-road tyres have more aggressive tread patterns, which provide better traction on loose or muddy surfaces.

Adjusting the Suspension

Another way to increase your Subaru Forester’s ground clearance is by adjusting its suspension. Suspension spacers, also known as strut spacers, can be used to lift the vehicle by pushing down the suspension, thus increasing the distance between the chassis and the ground.

However, altering the suspension can change the vehicle’s driving dynamics. It may cause the car to handle differently, and it might also alter the wear pattern on your tyres. As such, it’s essential to ensure that the suspension adjustment is done by a professional or under expert guidance.

The Front and Rear Lift

When you lift your Subaru Forester, it’s essential to maintain balance. You don’t want to have a higher front and a lower rear, or vice versa, as it can affect your vehicle’s balance and handling. When deciding on a lift kit or adjusting the suspension, ensure that it allows for an equal lift on both the front and rear.

Markedly, having an equal front and rear lift helps maintain your Subaru Forester’s stability, especially when driving at higher speeds. It will also prevent any undue stress on the vehicle’s drivetrain.

Compatibility with Other Subaru Models

One last thing to consider is the compatibility of parts from other Subaru models. Some Subaru Crosstrek parts, for example, can be used to lift a Subaru Forester. This is an affordable and ingenious way to increase your ground clearance, given that the parts are compatible and are installed correctly.

However, do note that not all parts from different Subaru models will fit or work well with your Forester. Before attempting to interchange parts, always consult with a Subaru expert or a professional mechanic to avoid causing any potential damage to your vehicle.

There you have it. Increasing the ground clearance of your Subaru Forester for improved off-road capability is not an overly complicated process. With the right lift kit, suitable tyres, and a correctly adjusted suspension, your Subaru Forester will be ready to tackle those challenging off-road terrains. Remember, while it’s possible to do these modifications yourself, professional installation is always recommended to ensure safety and the best performance of your vehicle. Happy off-roading!

The Cost and Accessibility of Lift Kits

The price of a lift kit is a key factor to consider when planning to increase the ground clearance of your Subaru Forester. Budget constraints can limit your options, but fortunately, there’s a range of kits available at different price points. The average price for a typical lift kit ranges from $200 to $1000, depending on the brand, quality, and the amount of lift provided.

From renowned brands like Crawford Performance to more budget-friendly options, you have a wide array of choices. It’s important to note that the unit price doesn’t always reflect the total cost. Take into consideration the cost of additional parts that might be needed, the labor fees if you’re not installing it yourself, and any potential long-term maintenance costs.

Make sure to check multiple sources for your lift kit. Some popular online platforms have the price unavailable, but you can usually find the same kit elsewhere. For instance, if the price unavailable Crawford performance kit is your dream choice, don’t be discouraged. Look for other sellers, or consider similar kits that might offer comparable performance.

Remember, the goal is to improve your Forester’s off-road capability without compromising safety or spending beyond your means.

Enhancing Performance with Additional Modifications

Once you’ve increased your Subaru Forester’s ground clearance, there are additional modifications you can make to further enhance its off-road capabilities.

For instance, using a sway bar can improve your vehicle’s stability by reducing body roll during fast cornering or over rough terrain. Another worthwhile addition is a skid plate. This protective plate covers the underbody of the car, protecting it from damage when encountering obstacles on the off-road trail.

Consider upgrading to a four-wheel drive system if your Forester doesn’t already have one. This will provide better traction in challenging conditions and enhance overall performance.

Moreover, for those seeking ultimate off-road prowess, you might want to look at the new Subaru Forester Wilderness. It comes with an increased ride height, rugged all-terrain tires, and a tougher suspension. It’s a model designed specifically for off-road enthusiasts.

Also, consider the Subaru Crosstrek parts. Some Crosstrek parts are compatible and can be used to lift your Forester. This can be an affordable way of customizing your vehicle, but remember to consult a Subaru expert or professional mechanic to ensure compatibility.


No doubt, increasing the ground clearance of your Subaru Forester can significantly enhance its off-road prowess. Whether it’s through installing a lift kit, adjusting the suspension, or choosing the right tires, these modifications can make your vehicle better suited to traverse challenging terrains.

However, remember that these changes should be done responsibly and with a clear understanding of how they affect your vehicle’s stability and handling. Always consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

With the right modifications and careful execution, your Subaru Forester can become an even more formidable off-road machine. So, go ahead and prepare your vehicle for the adventures that lie ahead, and enjoy the thrill of exploring with increased confidence and capability.