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Subaru Forester, Engine, Wagon
#176 of 476 1999 Forester GT
May 27, 2003 (5:37 am)
I am from Somerset, Pennsylvania, but I have lived in Alice Springs, Australia for the last 8 years. I absolutely love driving my 1999 Subaru Forester GT. It is a 2 litre, turbo and intercooled model. It is speed restricted to 185 kilometers per hour. Too bad, it is just hitting the front edge of its power band (at around 4000 rpm) when it bumps the limiter at 185 kph in 5th gear. When the waste gate opens, it feels like someone threw out a boat anchor... oh yeah, sorry fellas, once you are outside of town, there is no speed limit. No tickets on me.
Not that I am looking forward to selling my Subaru and moving back to the USA, but all good things must come to an end. Fortunately, it looks like a new Forester Turbo could be waiting on me. Happy Trails, Steve.
May 27, 2003 (5:47 am)
the previews suggest a stouter, smoother automatic and some posts even suggest the auto will hold up better with the additional torque from the turbo. plus, my wife wants the moonroof and the leather. (this is the same wife who vetoed a WRX wagon for the greater room in the forrester for the 2 kids and the dog). on the other hand ,i live in the mountains of NC and the manual makes those twisty , climbing roads so much more enjoyable, and multiple test drives in the WRX really got my pulse up. admittedly, i spend 3 hours on the interstate for every 1 hour on the 2 lane, and its rare that there isnt traffic interfering with my driving enjoyment. plus, the stability and performance of a forester in the curves just isnt going to be the same as a WRX. What do you think, other "family-car" shoppers? can there be happiness in compromise? or do the words " subaru ",turbo" and "compromise" never belong in the same sentence?
May 27, 2003 (7:50 am)
If you sit in a lot of traffic, go for the auto. The 2.5T should be well suited to an automatic, given the torque peaks at just 3600rpm.
#179 of 476 Which tranny
May 27, 2003 (9:20 am)
I'm kind of in a similar camp with respect to which tranny for the Forester XT. Like juice wrote, the XT delivers more low-end torque so it should be better matched for the 4EAT. Also the 4EAT is able to handle higher levels of torque more so than the 5MT.
I've read mentions of the 5MT being "improved" to handle the extra power of the XT engine, but I still have yet to see any official proof.
The Forester will lean through turns more, but I've also read that the recent 03 XS model was only a tad slower than a WRX in the slalom.
#180 of 476 You were right Juice...
May 27, 2003 (4:13 pm)
Thanks. I stopped by a Subaru dealer today and put the wheel all the way up and the seat all the way down. With the seat back (not nearly all the way) I was able to finally comfortably get in and out of the Forester.
I think my mother's '98 Forester is a little different. I don't think her's has the up/down function on the seat. Same goes for the Baja - try to get in and out of that thing. Quite uncomfortable to say the least.
How are Subaru's as far as rattles & squeaks go? I know they're reliable as hell, but they don't seem to have that "solid" feel like when I close the door on my Passat.
May 27, 2003 (4:48 pm)
it is a little unsettling trying to make sense and choices regarding a vehicle that dealers are already taking orders for, but nobody, not even the car mags, has even test drove. you would think that the gushing over the forester and the WRX would lead somebody in subaru usa marketing to the logical conclusion: let the car mags drive it and sell our car for us ! that would give us interested/potential buyers some real seat-of-the-pants feedback to operate from. almost makes me anxious that they are having production problems with the turbo 2.5. any rumblings/ grumblings from new STI WRX buyers?
as for noises , my wife drives a audi A6 quattro with all the bells and whistles...it is remarkably easy to get into trouble on the interstate driving a car thats made for the autobahn....give me a little audible feedback from my tires and engine, please! i think it is a big help in gauging your car's response to road conditions, etc., when you're getting ready to pull out around a 70 foot tractor trailer rig on a 2 lane road .
May 28, 2003 (5:34 am)
"G'day, Steve, and thanks for the information that an Aussie-spec GT is able to hit 185 kph on the highway - I didn't imagine a Subie could go that fast."
185 kph is only about 113 mph. If not for the governors on non-WRX American Subarus, most of them would be able to reach that speed.
May 28, 2003 (10:31 am)
Yeah, I have a '98 myself, they allow you to adjust the front and rear angles, not so much the height itself.
Passat is built on an Audi platform and is in a totally different price territory (4Motions are over $30 grand). The Jetta is closer in price, really. Still, look at crash tests, every Subie tested is a best pick. They're pretty solid.
A half-open window will rattle if you slam the door, but that's not necessarily an indication of how solid the structure is. For instance, the Forester got 5 stars in side impact tests, front and rear.