Last post on Oct 11, 2008 at 5:31 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#1 of 72 Turbo or No Turbo?
Aug 11, 2008 (6:04 pm)
I'm selling my 2000 Jeep Wrangler and going with a more practical car.....the Subaru Forrester.
We are trying to decide between the Turbo or not. Wondering if any of you have some thoughts on the pros/cons of the two.
Our decision has come down to the turbo...which would be the XT or getting the X Limited with Navigation. I'd love the navigation....but can't afford it if we go turbo.
So...it's turbo or navigation. Is the turbo going to be that much better than the regular engine? I am used to driving the wrangler, which has a pretty powerful engine, so I'm a bit worried to go non-turbo.
Is it true that the navigation can only come with the limited's?
Thanks for all your advice!
#2 of 72 Re: Turbo or No Turbo? [windowsill]
Aug 11, 2008 (6:23 pm)
If you test drive both, back to back, you will likely find the XT a no-brainer over the X Limited. The 4EAT auto tranny mates quite nicely to the turbo, but feels gutless with the 2.5i NA.
I test drove both, back-to-back, last weekend, as did my wife. Both of us agreed the XT/Turbo performed and felt much better than the NA engine. We bought one, that day, (DGM), and we pick it up on Wednesday, this week!!
#3 of 72 Re: Turbo or No Turbo? [windowsill]
Aug 12, 2008 (7:46 am)
There's no doubt the turbo performs a lot better, especially at high altitudes, but I think the base engine is at least adequate.
It's incredible that we think 170hp is not enough nowadays, remember when the original Suzuki Sidekick Sport (with the upgraded engine) had just 120hp? Base engines in there had 96hp, IIRC.
0-60 falls in the 9-10 second range for the non-turbo, and about 6 seconds for the turbo (C&D quotes 6.2 seconds). So it's not that the base engine is slow, it's that the turbo engine is ridiculously fast.
You mention you can't afford a turbo with the NAV, so you should also consider fuel costs. The turbo prefers premium fuel, and more of it. It is geared taller, so the difference is not as big as it used to be, but still, it'll cost $303 per year more for gas per the EPA estimates.
Here is what I would suggest:
Option A: turbo, but get a Garmin Nuvi 200W portable GPS, mine was just $199 delivered.
Option B: X Limited, but get a PZEV model. For $200 or so extra, you get a cleaner PZEV vehicle that makes 5 extra HP to boot, for 175hp total.
Even with option B, I would conside the portable GPS alternative, which will save you a bunch. Subaru's GPS is not the best out there, and Garmins are easier to use, IMO.
Either way I think you will like the Forester, we love ours (Limited PZEV).
#4 of 72 Re: Turbo or No Turbo? [ateixeira]
Aug 12, 2008 (1:26 pm)
Sure, 170 (or PZEV 175) is "adequate", but if you're going to drop 30-40k for a car, I would hope it would be a bit more than "adequate".
Since he's posting on here, he has the internet, so he has mapquest to find directions. Navigation's not so important.
For just a bit more, the turbo mates so much better to the 4EAT. At least in Canada, the XT also comes standard with the rear spoiler and cargo mat, which we would have added on as options on the X, making the price difference even smaller.
If you never drive the turbo, you might feel fine not knowing the difference, but if you drive an X first, then an XT immediately afterwards, I think you will notice a significant difference well worth 5% more total cost of ownership.
#5 of 72 Re: Turbo or No Turbo? [windowsill]
Aug 12, 2008 (1:54 pm)
I also test drove both and the turbo is like a completely different car. I agonized over the decision to go turbo or non-turbo. Crunched the numbers and decided that the $300-400 per year for premium fuel and the 2 MPG less for the turbo was worth getting the superior vehicle. I figured the awesome deal I got on the XT (non-limited) at Heuberger Motors ($24,300) will somewhat make up the difference ...and I've given up Starbuck's lattes! But the fun of the XT is well worth it. Plus, for mountain driving in Colorado, the turbo comes in really handy (the non-turbo labors getting up the inclines).
#6 of 72 Re: Turbo or No Turbo? [windowsill]
Aug 12, 2008 (2:50 pm)
a. The XT has more than enough power for any situation and will put a grin on your face every time you mash the accelerator.
b. The XT will still get better mpg than your Wrangler
a. Frequently mashing the accelerator isn't going to do anything for your mpg
b. The X Limited will get even better mpg than your Wrangler
c. If you're the type that paying 20-30 cents extra per gallon for premium is going to bug you, then the XT is a bad choice.
Here's my recommendation, take a test drive in the X Limited first. As Juice pointed out, 170-175 hp really is adequate for almost any situation. If you're satisfied with its acceleration, go ahead and get the X and feel good about owning a vehicle that is so fuel efficient and practical at the same time.
For many people, once they've driven the XT, the adequate acceleration of the X suddenly seems a lot less "adequate"
#7 of 72 Extra Power, or Extra Luxury?
Aug 13, 2008 (6:42 am)
In the US my 2.5 X Limited was only 25k, far below the average new vehicle price per NADA, and it's loaded. Our GPS is aftermarket but that's it. We have the world's biggest moonroof above us and heated and perforated leather seats below. Heaven.
If you never drive the turbo, the X doesn't feel slow, at least for its 4 cylinder class. It gets the job done and never complains, and we've seen 34mpg during steady highway cruise.
It's not just the $300 extra per year, but also the range you give up, so you'll also fill up more frequently. I kept my last Forester for 9 years, so that adds up to a few thousand dollars over that time.
If you haul heavy loads frequently, or live at high altitudes, or just want a fast car, by all means go for the XT. You will enjoy the extra power SOME of the time, when you can go fast. That's not very often around here with all the speed cams.
For normal use, which is all most people need anyway, ours doesn't feel lacking in any way, and the luxury options pamper you ALL the time.
The secret is this - just don't sample the XT!
#8 of 72 Reviews on the leather
Aug 13, 2008 (6:51 am)
LA Times wrote:
"The leather in our upscale test vehicle could have come out of an Italian cobbler's shop."
I can't find the other review I'm looking for, but they basically said that Subaru stole a batch of leather intended for Rolls Royce for the Forester Limited.
We didn't like the cloth on the lesser models, though I'm not sure if the XT gets better fabric (it probably does).
#9 of 72 Re: Reviews on the leather [ateixeira]
Aug 13, 2008 (6:20 pm)
Nope, I have the XT cloth, it's the same as the X cloth, I didn't like it either, but I like automatic climate control even less so I chose to put up with the cloth to control my own temp.
#10 of 72 Re: Reviews on the leather [tinycadon]
Aug 14, 2008 (7:02 am)
Yeah, I have to agree. Last night I set the temp at around 75 degrees, and for some strange reason it alternated blowing cold and hot air. It seems to function better at extreme temp settings, i.e. very cold or very hot.
Having said that, what I like to do is set the temp low and then use the heated seats.
We took a long trip and my wife drove up, while I drove back. We had a friendly mileage competition.
She got 30.0mpg on her leg, but I only managed 27.0mpg coming back on the same route. Oddly enough I had less traffic, but I think my average speeds were higher, so that's why she beat me.
Not bad, though. Even with my less efficient driving, we could go more than 450 miles on a full tank of gas.