we just purchased a 2010 subaru forester. Our current dodge minivan has seen its front PLASTIC bumper dinged, cracked and shmashed by ice, trees and parking lots. We are considering a “bull Bar” for the subaru and would appreciate any advice
For what you’re describing one of those LeBra things would probable suffice (combined with not pulling all the way forward!). A bull bar would be overkill, and on a smaller car like your Subie the weight of one might affect handling and fuel mileage.
That said, I do see plenty of Subarus driving around here with all manner of ferocious front-end armor. The issue here is deer-- there’s some roads where if you have to drive them enough the chance of hitting a deer (or heaven forbid elk or moose!) becomes a near certainty. Having a bull bar can be the difference between a totalled vehicle and just an awful mess.
As a more intermediate step, my next door neighbor just welded a custom front bumper together for his 90-something Legacy that’s perhaps more along the lines of an old-fashioned metal bumper (he did a great job on it and it almost looks like a factory item). Perhaps talking to your friendly local off-road shop or welder would be the best option.