Last post on Oct 14, 2008 at 3:34 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#10 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [bigfrank3]
Aug 18, 2008 (3:04 am)
I live in Minnesota where the Subaru dealers do not sell PZEV vehicles. I am considering purchasing an 09 Forester in the next few months. Do you think it's worth ordering a Forester with PZEV and waiting for the order to come in instead of getting one off the lot? In your opinion, does PZEV make a big enough difference in the performance of the vehicle to do a special order?
#11 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [kotterman]
Aug 18, 2008 (7:03 am)
That is a hard question to answer because it is mostly a personal decision, but I think there are other things to consider too. Since you don't plan to buy for a few months you could figure out just when you want it and order it ahead of time so there would be no real wait for you. In addition, you can usually get a better deal on an ordered vehicle since the dealer doesn't have to pay floor-planning charges to store it until it is sold. You might save the additional $200, or more, and get the PZEV for free.
When you get ready to buy you may find out that what is on the lots is not exactly what you want anyway, so you might have something on a vehicle that could also cost $200 extra but not be the engine. When one has the luxury of being able to wait it is always nice to get exactly what you want via ordering one.
Also, "greener" is always a good thing so in a small way you would be helping the environment. Don't forget that the PZEV has a longer emission warranty too, 15 years or 150K miles. I don't know if Minnesota has any emission testing, but if so it can't hurt to have the buffer of a cleaner vehicle.
Here in MA we have no choice since we have used the CA emission policy for a lot of years. My wife and I have had 5 Foresters and have never had any complaints on how they run. My current one is an 06 with the 173HP and it is definitely noticeable over the older 165 HP ones, including my wife's 05 Bean.
#12 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [bigfrank3]
Aug 18, 2008 (1:37 pm)
Thank you, bigfrank3, for all your responses! I appreciate it!
#13 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [kotterman]
Aug 18, 2008 (4:37 pm)
I have about 7,400 miles on my 2009 PZEV and have had no problems or regrets with vehicle performance. I purchased my Forester in Massachusetts and had no choice but to purchase a PZEV if I wanted a new Forester. After the sale, I researched the PZEV designation and found little solid information. Seems that PZEV is largely a bureaucratic designation and MAY indicate that the vehicle has a larger catalytic converter, a more effective evaporative canister and more robust fuel lines. The lengthy emission warranty is also government mandated for PZEV certified vehicles. In the case of Subaru, the extended warranty will only be honored if the PZEV vehicle was purchased in a Cali-emission state. Still, I'd rather have a PZEV than not due to possibly more durable emissions components.
#14 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [bigfrank3]
Aug 27, 2008 (9:50 am)
Juice has a PZEV and it is not broken in yet, but he is already getting great mileage... although his wife does better
I may never live that down.
Actually, we have passed 1000 miles, so we're officially broken in now.
The other day we took a highway trip about half hour each way, and round trip I managed to get 31.2mpg.
The average is always divisible by 0.3mpg, so it goes from 30.0mpg to 30.3, then 30.6, 30.9, 31.2, etc.
The EPA numbers are the same, PZEV compared to non-PZEV. Some people with non-PZEV models and manual transmissions have been besting our numbers routinely, so I don't think the PZEV is any more efficient.
I'll take the 5 extra HP, though.
As for should you or should you not, think of it this way - if you order one you'll know nobody ever test drove it. You can pick a color and customize your options, to get exactly what you want, untouched, untested, just for you.
Worth it IMHO.
#15 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [camrytimes2]
Sep 17, 2008 (1:22 pm)
The NPR Car Talk guys had a column recently where they discussed the difference between the various emission designators. Their conclusion was that PZEV was essentially ULEV with a longer emissions warranty and that a PZEV engine didn't burn noticeably cleaner. Of course that was a general observation and some manufacturers may make more substantive changes to their PZEV vehicles.
#16 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [p0926]
Sep 18, 2008 (7:34 am)
I certainly don't claim to know more than Click & Clack, but we have noticed a few differences in idle speeds and in throttle response with the PZEV models.
2 examples: warm up RPMs seem to be higher, and when you let off the throttle abruptly the RPMs don't drop as quickly as they seem to with non-PZEV models.
I'm sure at least the throttle mapping is different.
Plus, I doubt Subaru could claim a 5hp gain with no changes. These are SAE horses.
#17 of 29 PZEV Forester 2.5X after 3 Weeks
Sep 19, 2008 (5:35 am)
I have had a 2009 Forester with the PZEV for 3 weeks now. Non-turbo, automatic 4-speed.
1. I hear brief engine pinging when accelerating while moving at lower speeds, especially going up hill or an incline. The pinging doesn't last long, I think the knock sensor kicks in. This occurs at lower RPMs. If you downshift using the accelerator the pinging doesn't occur. The dealer will check this next week when I bring it in to install an optional trim thing.
2. The A/C compressor cycles more frequently than I have experienced with other vehicles. This depends on the outside air temperature. I can measure (and feel) the outlet air temperature rising and falling. The dealer checked the cooling system and said the system was OK.
#18 of 29 Re: PZEV Forester 2.5X after 3 Weeks [rich505]
Sep 19, 2008 (8:10 am)
I have the same vehicle - no problems. Are you using 87 octane fuel?
#19 of 29 Re: Why does PZEV increase hp and mpg? [ateixeira]
Sep 19, 2008 (10:47 am)
Here's a link to the Car Talk Column
I'd forgotten that the column was in response to a Subaru Drive reader's question about the meaning of PZEV