Forester: Why get a turbo? What about the back seat?

Discussion in 'Subaru Forester' started by Andrew Webber, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. I just took an 05 Forester for a test drive. Actually we took an X
    and an XT. The X isn't really on my list, I went out to look at the
    XS and XT, but the X was ready to go so we drove that and just sat in
    the XS in the showroom.

    I really like it, I liked it when I sat in it a couple of weeks ago,
    but the back seat is so small when I'm driving that I considered it a
    3-seater at best. Now I'm thinking that might be okay. We had a
    short adult sit in the back and he was squished. Do most people
    consider this a 2-3 seater?

    And I rather like the turbo, as I knew I would. But its gas
    consumption is higher than the XS, and its gas cost is higher still
    (due to 91 octane). The XS had pretty peppy acceleration, though the
    XT was even better (took it on city streets and also got on the

    What justification is there for getting the turbo? IOW, in what
    circumstances am I likely to benefit from the extra power and torque?
    (Yes I'm looking for reasons to buy it ;).

    Thanks in advance!


    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 22, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Andrew Webber

    Marky Guest

    It'll put a bigger smile on your face when the turbo kicks in?
    Emergency manoeuvring.....more power can get you out of (and into) trouble
    Marky, Sep 22, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Andrew Webber

    Ross Guest

    Sounds better! ??

    Ross, Sep 23, 2004
  4. Andrew Webber

    ZZ Guest

    Also depends on your planned uses. I have heard that the normally
    aspirated models have power problems at higher altitudes. Whether or
    not that's true, I don't know. I take my XT to hiking trailheads
    between 7500 ft and 8000 ft every weekend (home is at about 2100 ft)
    during the summer, and once and a yea to 10000 ft.
    It performs incredibly.
    ZZ, Sep 23, 2004
  5. Okay, good with that. I think the rear spoiler is ugly though.

    What about alloy wheels? I've always understood they were better than
    steel because they're lighter for the same strength, which is probably
    not a huge saving. But one salesman told me they also cool the brakes
    better because they allow more air in. Certainly my current steel
    wheels have a larger surface area than the alloys did, and I can see a
    difference between models in the showroom.

    Is this a significant benefit? Or merely a good justification to
    cover up for "looks better"? ;)

    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 23, 2004
  6. That's a good point, and a quick bit of research backs it up. I don't
    do that though. Nor do I plan to take 5 people on long highway trips
    (will be lucky to get 3 in when I've got the driver's seat back).
    Maybe I'm stuck with looks and fun only. And the rear spoiler puts me
    off a bit.

    Thanks for your reply!


    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 23, 2004
  7. Andrew Webber

    Edward Hayes Guest

    The standard XS Forester has Aluminum wheels as does the XT. The base model
    X has steel wheels. Unless the offered steel wheels are unattractive I
    prefer steel because: If you do get them slightly bent you often straighten
    a steely. I you really smack them on a curb the replacement cost is about
    1/3d. The spare tire on a 2000 Forester matches the steel wheels on the
    ground, whereas if you get Aluminum you still get a steel spare. I drive an
    S which has Aluminum with a steel spare which I don't care for. ed
    Edward Hayes, Sep 23, 2004
  8. Andrew Webber

    Mr. A Guest

    I really like it, I liked it when I sat in it a couple of weeks ago,

    I'm 6'2" and with the driver's seat back all of the way I don't fit in the
    back seat comfortably myself. I normally don't carry back seat passengers,
    though, so this isn't an issue for me, and I find the front seat driving
    position very comfortable. If it is for you, you might want to look at the
    new Legacy/Outbacks as they're built on a longer platform.
    I purchased an '04 XS after test-driving both the XS and the XT. Although I
    appreciate a bit more power in my cars, IMO the difference between the two
    is not enough to justify the upcost of premium fuel and poor gas mileage.
    I've read reports of an average of 18 mpg on the XT and to date I've been
    getting a consistant 25 mpg on my XS with a lead foot.

    Another thing that steered me away from the XT was the aluminum hood. I
    understand it dents terribly easily.
    Mr. A, Sep 23, 2004
  9. Andrew Webber

    David Guest

    Turbos *are* stronger at altitude, but my XS goes to 9000 feet every now and then,
    and does fine. It's able to pass at 9000 feet. Dunno how it does at higher elevation,
    since we haven't been there.
    David, Sep 23, 2004
  10. Andrew Webber

    Xtranet Guest

    All the Forester model levels have the aluminum (aluminium) hood.
    Xtranet, Sep 24, 2004
  11. THat was my idea too, but I asked a salesman and we checked a 2005
    Forester X. The spare's steel wheel seems to be different from the
    other four. I was thinking if I went with snow tires, I could take
    the opportunity each spring to put a different tire on the spare
    wheel. And that I'd have to do that whether I had steel wheels or
    alloy, if the spare is indeed different.


    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 24, 2004
  12. Well most of the time I drive alone, sometimes with a passenger. But
    I'd hate to be unable to give three people a ride. I'm also 6'2" and
    like the driving position. I'm thinking if I had to have a tallish
    person behind me, I could move the driver's seat forward for a short

    The Outback was nice, but I didn't find it nearly as comfortable as
    the Forester.

    I'm thinking I'll stick with the regular engine. It's hard to judge
    compared to my old Explorer, even the Matrix I rented seemed more
    powerful (it's 130hp vs. 155hp in my Explorer).

    Thanks for your comments.

    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 24, 2004
  13. Andrew Webber

    Ken Gilbert Guest

    big reason:

    with a 1-2 thousand in upgrades, you can have a 350hp grocery
    getter... ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing.


    Ken Gilbert, Sep 24, 2004
  14. Well that's a good reason (although it's only 210hp). And the couple
    of extra thousand (actually C$3800 at list prices) isn't that big a
    deal. But my concern is about the extra for 91 octane and the extra
    for increased fuel consumption.

    Using Canadian figures (including the bigger galling), the NA engine
    is rated for city/highway at 10.4/7.6 L/100km (27.2/37.2 mpg) and the
    turbo at 11.7/9.3 L/100km (24.2/30.4 mpg).

    I'm not a high-mileage driver, my 91 Explorer (took delivery of it new
    on Christmas Eve 1990 :) has only 174K km. But one of my benchmarks
    in comparing replacement vehicles is driving to Montreal and back.
    Door-to-door, Mapquest says it's 187km each way, so I've figured 400km
    at highway consumption to allow for a little city driving and to make
    the calculation easier. At that rate (and at 80c/L for 87 and 90c/L
    for 91 octane), the consumption and cost are:

    XS: 30.4L (C$24.32)
    XT: 37.2L (C$33.48)

    If I do the Ottawa-Montreal trip 25 times in a year (probably about
    right), that's maybe C$250 difference. But all my other driving will
    be 33% more expensive too.

    Hmm, let me think about that. The Natural Resources Canada site
    includes results based on an arbitrary 20K km/yr (much more than I've
    put on the Explorer in 14 years, but it doesn't do the highway run to
    Montreal any more), split 55% city/45% highway, and using my cost of
    80c/L (90c/L for XT). The results are:

    XS: C$1528 (1910L, 4508kg of CO2)
    XT: C$1991 (2212L, 5220kg of CO2)

    Hmm, C$500 extra a year for the XT, plus (say) C$3000 on the purchase

    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 24, 2004
  15. Andrew Webber

    David Guest

    From their 1/4 mile timeslips (and I think G-Tek too) people are estimating
    actual power is higher. I've seen estimates of 240hp at the flywheel. Don't
    recall what the dyno-measured WHP is.

    Anyway with a 5-speed these appear to be 13 second cars (high 13s),
    bone stock. Much slower drag times with an auto, I guess because
    the turbo doesn't spool up before the launch. Probably actual driving
    performance (except from a dead stop), isn't much worse for auto.
    David, Sep 24, 2004
  16. Andrew Webber

    Rat Guest

    Dyno measures by companies making upgrades to the ECU have put a stock
    XT at 235 - 240hp.

    Get the turbo - you won't be dissapointed. It is more fun than you can
    imagine when you dust a pony car in a grocery getter and it should have
    better resale value. The auto drag times really are't that much slower
    than the 5 speed and the 4eat will handle more hp than the 5spd when the
    time comes for power upgrades.
    The 'ugly' spoiler is an option - I assume you are talking about the
    rear spoiler and not the hoodscoop- if having it is holding you back
    then don't get it.

    Our xt easily beats both svx's (230hp). It is amazing how fast the ugly
    little suv is. Highway driving is outstanding. It doesn't need to even
    downshift to accelerate up steep grades.
    Rat, Sep 25, 2004
  17. :)

    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 25, 2004
  18. Yes, I meant the rear spoiler, thanks for clarifying. In fact I like
    the little hoodscoop, even if it does look strange on a station wagon.
    The rear spoiler isn't an option in 05, at least not according to That is, it's optional on the X and XS, standard on
    the XT. I said to the salesman, "guess I can't take the spoiler off?"
    and he said no. Maybe if I bought it to order they could make one
    without, but if it's already on then they've drilled holes etc. Guess
    I could live with it, at least I wouldn't see it while driving. :)

    You guys are going to convince me to get the turbo yet! :)

    "It is amazing how fast the ugly little suv is." I love this line!


    andrew []
    Andrew Webber, Sep 25, 2004
  19. Andrew Webber

    Cam Penner Guest

    Something to think about. Some vehicles use that rear
    spoiler to smooth out the airflow behind the car. This
    often results in less dirt "clinging" to the rear window
    and hatch. I know of several wagons/SUVs that were much
    dirtier without a spoiler than ones driven in the same
    areas with one. Whether or not it applies to the Forester,
    I don't know. But it is something you can use to justify
    it in your head at least.
    Cam Penner, Sep 25, 2004
  20. Andrew Webber

    Henry Paul Guest

    I had an '85 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that had a spoiler just for that reason. I
    didn't realize what it was for until I took it off to do some painting work
    and the rear window got really dirty.
    Henry Paul, Sep 25, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.