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Forester Turbo in 1 year



  • jason_elsjason_els Posts: 57
    Yes! Autocrosses at local speedways are a lot of fun and you can finally see the payoff for all your hard work. On a track, 107mph isn't all that fast.

    Second, it's my car. I'll decide how fast I want it to be able to travel.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Subearu asks:"Serious safety issues aside, why would you want to remove/disable the speed governor? Do you intend of racing on a racetrack or dragstrip with it? If not, I can't think of any logical reason to change it. -Brian

    Are you willing to pay full price for a 60" TV and have the outer 12" perimeter blocked off? Would you buy a 200-watt stereo amplifier with one or two channels disabled by some government bureaucrat? Would you happily pay full price for a six-shot .357 magnum revolver with 2 of its 6 chambers welded shut?

    You're certainly free to waste your money; I don't choose to do so.

    Most car buyers outside America get all of the performance their cars are capable of delivering. It is insulting that American buyers are forced to pay full prices and get what amounts to disabled vehicles. I haven't had a traffic citation or accident in more than 30 years, and it is unlikely that I will ever actually drive at 135mph, but I want my XT to be capable of delivering its full spectrum of performance. The only way I'll accept an arbitrary, governed maximum speed is if the government picks up the tab for a third of the car's cost representing potential performance that I am unable to access.

    My question remains: Are Subaru owners who don't want shackled cars able to eliminate speed limiters on their vehicles?
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483

    I can't speak with certainty in this case, but usually disabling the speed governor requires an ECU flash/reprogramming. Many places that sell performance chips can do that.

    I am usually a safety freak, but I can sympathize with you on this one. As long as it is not government-mandated, it feels ridiculous that the manufacturer would so disable a car. Of course, the politics of this is simply reversed: if just some don’t follow suit, it will become government-regulated. If/when that happens, the supreme court will decide that there has to be some mechanism to disable the limiter, because you have the right to buy whatever you want for a private track. What we don’t know is whether that mechanism will be cheaper and more easily available than the ECU reflash.

    - D
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I thought it was drag that kept it from going over 107, but I guess that's not the case. I've gotten close, but never past 107 myself. ;-p

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    About his naturally-aspirated Forester, Ken wrote:
    "I thought it was drag that kept it from going over 107, but I guess that's not the case. I've gotten close, but never past 107 myself."

    Ken, I've done a ton of online research lately about Foresters (I've never owned one before, but intend to buy an XT). The European ungoverned 2-liter nonturbo Foresters typically max out at 112-114mph. The only reason the MORE powerful U.S. 2.5 liter NA Forester will only reach 107 is the governor that Subaru puts on most American-market cars. Several of the U.S. magazine tests have indicated "governor limited" instead of "drag limited" when reporting the 107mph top speed of Foresters.

    Obviously there is no such governor on the American-market WRX, so it is my hope that Subaru will also leave it off the XT. The speedo in the Chicago show car reads to 140, and based on the 125mph actual top speed of European 2-liter turbo XTs, I project that the U.S. XT should be capable of 133-135.

    BTW - my area has six Subaru dealers. I'me getting quotes running all the way from straight MSRP to a low of $200 over invoice in writing(through one dealer's Internet sales rep), and I think I can get that last one down to $100 over. He says the exact car I want (silver 5-speed XT) will be in his first allocation next month. It has my name written all over it!!! All I have to do now is decide what port-installed extras I want and convince my wife that it's OK for ONE of our two cars to have a MT. She was driving a MT Subaru sedan in the 1970s when I met her, but she's become spoiled by automatics since then.

    - Jack
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Forester XTs ought to begin arriving at dealerships within the next two weeks. Carmakers nearly always give auto magazines (C&D, R&T, M/T, etc) early opportunities to drive forthcoming new models. I'm a bit surprised that there haven't yet been even one "first look" or "driving impressions" let alone a full road test of the XT yet...
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Comments invited from all who have late-model Foresters (in particular, '03 2nd generation):
    I will likely proceed with my plan to buy an XT in the next few weeks, but I just finished a 4-hour test drive of a brand-new '03 5-speed X, and I'm left with mixed feelings. Steering was almost too light, but the cornering, steering response, braking, and general nimbleness were all at or better than expectation, and even its acceleration was reasonably good in all gears except 5th, which is much taller than 4th. The XT's turbo will fix that. So far, so good.

    The ride quality was definitely on the firm side over road irregularities. This is OK with me, but my wife has a chronic bad back and might complain a bit.

    But by far the least appealing aspect was the interior noise level. I'd heard that wind noise was an issue, but I noticed very little. On the other hand, tire (road) noise and engine noise were much higher than I expected. Conversation (or listening to the radio) at 65-75mph will not be pleasant or relaxing. I certainly wasn't expecting anywhere near Lexus-like interior silence, and I'm no fanatic about silence, but this '03 Forester was far from quiet. It was at least as loud inside as my wife's old '91 Dodge AWD Grand Caravan, which I've always considered at the high end of acceptability.

    I'll probably still buy an XT for its versatility and high performance-per-dollar quotient, but the unexpected interior sound level is definitely going to diminish my satisfaction with the vehicle. I'd say that Subaru has a LOT of catching up to do in the areas of sound isolation and insulation - particularly with their recently-announced intent to move up-market. Comments?
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The tires might have been inflated above the recommended psi settings from the factory. They typically do this to prevent the tires from flat spotting from sitting on trucks/dealer-lots for extended periods of time. It also could contribute to some of that lightness you experienced in the steering.

    You could try testing another Forester and adjust the pressures to within spec. I'd also suggest testing an XS as it is more closer to what the XT is (at least interior content-wise).

  • forestergumpforestergump Posts: 119
    Subaru of America has announced new pricing on their 2004 Foresters at

    Do your own search. I posted the actual announcement, but it was deleted due to copyright issues. I offer my apologies if I offended anyone by doing so.

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Subearu relied:"The tires might have been inflated above the recommended psi settings from the factory. They typically do this to prevent the tires from flat spotting from sitting on trucks/dealer-lots for extended periods of time. It also could contribute to some of that lightness you experienced in the steering."

    Thinking back on my test drive, I think you just might be right. Overinflation would explain several observations - including that I had to push extremely hard on curves to get any squeal from the tires at all, and then hardly any...rather unusual with OEM all-season tires. I wish I'd thought to check the pressures. I wouldn't be surprised if they were above 40psi. You've diminished my concern just a bit. Thanks.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    It's quite common that dealers forget to set the tires at proper inflation levels during PDI. It's a shame they allow test drives with incorrect pressures.

  • brady222brady222 Posts: 10
    I'm 6'1" and find it difficult to get in and out of any Subaru. I'd love to get the new Forester XT but keep getting my legs stuck under the steering wheel everytime I attempt to get in or out of the car.

    Am I the only one out there with this problem? It seems the tilt wheel doesn't go up high enough, unless I'm doing something completely wrong...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We'll see, C&D always tests for top speed.

    I have a '98 and it seems quiet, but it depends on what you're used to. My friend Mike has an Impreza RS, MY2000, and called it a quiet as a limo. It's also a Lexus compared to my Miata.

    Look at C&D noise levels - it was the quietest in two different comparisons of small SUVs. So for its class, it's quiet.

    After getting out of a luxury car, it might not seem so, but look at the price. You can always add insulation those stereo places sell, you'll have huge piles of cash left over if you cross shop luxury SUVs like the FX45, which should offer roughly equal performance.

    brady: was the seat ratcheted all the way up? The new ones work like VW seats. Lower them, then tilt the wheel all the way up, and try again. I'm about 6' and do not have any problems.

  • steves_gtsteves_gt Posts: 2
    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.
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 401
    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?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    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.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    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.

  • brady222brady222 Posts: 10
    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.

    Thanks again.
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 401
    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 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 .
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    "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.
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