Last post on Feb 07, 2011 at 9:23 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Transmission, Wagon
#15 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [aatherton]
Apr 04, 2010 (2:01 pm)
The first two faults are only with the naturally-aspirated 170 HP engine
Oh, I thought we debating the merits of the XT's 4-speed Still, those situations don't sound confidence inspiring. They do however point out one of the manual's advantages... the ability to row your own gears and select the optimal gearing for a given situation, without having to step thru intermediate gears.
Juice, have you noticed the same issues with your non-turbo Forester?
#16 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [aatherton]
Apr 05, 2010 (7:12 am)
Not really, but I tend to roll in to the throttle gradually rather than flooring it. That tends to commend a shift from 4->3, which is fine for every situation I've encountered. Plus we have kids in the car so it's not like we're racing.
The Mid Atlantic isn't hilly, but I've never had it shift to 2nd while using cruise control. In fact I'd say even a shift to 3rd is uncommon. That may differ in the Rockies with a trailer in tow, of course.
#3 puzzles me a bit, because I sense that hesitation in the Toyota's transmission, but not the Subaru's.
The Sienna is in 4th, you let off the gas for a speed bump, and it goes in to fuel miser mode, but doesn't shift. So after the speed bump you hit the gas and it's in the wrong gear. It shifts from 4 to 3, then from 3 to 2, and 10 minutes later you accelerate past the speed bump.
The Forester doesn't hesitate like that at all.
And that's something I encounter every single day because we have 5 speed bumps on our street!
The Sienna has more ratios (5), but our Forester is much better at choosing ratios and shifting without delay.
These are adaptive transmissions so it's possible we'd have different experiences. I'm quite happy with the trans. I'll take more ratios but I would not trade the one in my Subaru for the one in my Toyota, not by a long shot.
#17 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [ateixeira]
Apr 06, 2010 (5:06 am)
"... I tend to roll in to the throttle gradually rather than flooring it. That tends to commend a shift from 4->3, which is fine for every situation I've encountered... it's not like we're racing... I've never had it shift to 2nd while using cruise control. In fact I'd say even a shift to 3rd is uncommon. That may differ in the Rockies with a trailer in tow, of course..."
Like you, I am a very gentle driver. And at 67, I am not a racer, either. But when a traffic opening or a turn into traffic demands quick acceleration after a rolling stop, the 4EAT is caught napping between gears. And when passing a car on a rural 2-lane road with a short sightline, the tendency is to floor it to ask for max power and the least exposure in the passing lane.
I have towed a utility trailer locally, but never been to the Rockies. The dramatic downshifts on CC occurred in the Appalachians.
#18 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [aatherton]
Apr 06, 2010 (8:16 am)
caught napping between gears
Honestly that's never happened with ours.
With the Sienna, absolutely, so I know what that's like.
This is in suburban driving. We take the van on long trips, and in the city and busy urban areas I drive my Miata.
#19 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [aatherton]
Apr 06, 2010 (10:27 am)
My '96 would make the 4-2 jump regularly when performing passing maneuvers, but it did so quickly and reliably. I appreciated that and passed with confidence even in relatively tight situations. On the other hand, the car would also sometimes do this with the cruise set when climbing a steep hill, and that was annoying to me as it seemed like overkill, but the solution was to dump the cruise to offer a bit more leniency with the car's speed.
Granted, I have never driven an XT (manual or auto), so my relatively fond opinion of the 4EAT with the NA 2.5L might change with the added perspective of driving the turbo.
#20 of 24 Re: Forester 2010 XT manual vs automatic transmission [xwesx]
Apr 06, 2010 (12:41 pm)
My complaint with the 4-2 jump is not so much the delay in shifting, but the distracting commotion and cumulative time lost in the downshift, into a gear that is almost immediately redlined beyond usefulness, followed by an upshift. If starting the pass at 60 mph, I have been advised to plan ahead, and manually slip the shifter into 3rd before accelerating hard.
I, too, now turn off cruise control on long hills that begin to load the engine, and I take manual control to either allow the car to slow to avoid the unpleasant downshift, or to make it downshift when I want to.
I have driven an XT automatic for a short distance, and read accounts by owners. The high torque allows them to stay in gear under acceleration, with less need of downshifting to raise the RPMs. So the turbo engine is a better match for the 4 speed automatic than the naturally aspirated engine.
#21 of 24 4 speed AT is a dinosaur
Aug 30, 2010 (12:57 pm)
I just returned from my first road trip in a Forester with the non-turbo and 4 speed AT. All I can say is, Subaru, get your act together and get rid of the 4 speed! Going up long hill climbs (I-15 in San Bernardino Co, CA) with the tranny constantly dropping to 2nd and revving the engine every 10 seconds to maintain speed is really annoying and harkens back to the 70's. It's time to dump that dog and put in a 5 (good) or 6 (better) speed AT. I like the Forester in almost all other ways, but that 4 speed leaves me regretting my purchase.
#22 of 24 Re: 4 speed AT is a dinosaur [medic481]
Aug 31, 2010 (8:11 am)
The CVT from the Outback is more likely. That simulates 6 ratios, I think, and comes with paddle shifters.
#23 of 24 Re: 4 speed AT is a dinosaur [ateixeira]
Feb 05, 2011 (1:15 pm)
Like all auto journalists, Car and Driver admonished Subaru for using a 4 speed Auto in the '09+ Forester XT. Yet, they also said there were no log book complaints about the transmission, which worked quite well with the turbo's additional power.
My '09 XT experience mirrors theirs, with two exceptions:
1. The 4 spd AT can downshift roughly at times. This seems to happen with quick motions of the accelerator pedal. One service tech claimed it was the transmissions "adaptivity".
2. The lack of a 5th gear's not so bad in Oregon with its low maximum speed limit of 65 MPH, but would be a problem in California where 80 - 85 mph cruising on the interstates is commonplace.
Btw, Subaru does offer the 5 speed AT and WRX engine in the Forester S, but alas, it's yet another Subaru not sold in the USA.
#24 of 24 Re: 4 speed AT is a dinosaur [kurtamaxxxguy]
Feb 07, 2011 (9:23 am)
It's more of a problem on paper, but let's face it - when Kia makes a 6 speed standard, Subaru needs to do something, if only to appease their critics.
Ironically I like the 4 speed in our Forester more than the 5 speed auto in my Sienna, which hesitates more.
They have to stop holding back - Hyundai and Kia aren't!