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Subaru Forester

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have noticed a less-linear throttle reponse, ever since the Phase II engines came out, in 1999-2000. But they went to throttle-by-wire since then so it may have changed yet again.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    Juice,

    Are you sure? Who sources the diesels in FHI heavy equipment? I would be astounded if the big garbage trucks didn't have Fuji diesels in them.

    John
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,676
    Diesel fuel is now cheaper than gas where I live.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They may have really big and really small diesels, but where's the 2.0-3.0l ones that would be able to sell here? It'll end up being a clean-sheet design I bet.

    -juice
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Diesel or not, the rest of 'em need bigger fuel tanks, especially the XT. The range is absurd.

    Doug
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The redesign should address that.

    For its class, the tank is actually not the smallest, not by a long shot.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    yep, on the same page now. But I submit that they DO have experience with diesel engine engineering and fabrication.

    But I also bet they bring in some current diesel engine gurus to make something quite modern and efficient. It won't be a cast iron boxer engine.

    John
  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    John, I've read that the new diesels will be boxers, likely aluminum blocks with iron sleeves. Not sure about the heads, though. Obviously any engine configuration other than a boxer would be difficult to integrate into existing Subaru platforms.
    Owen
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Where did you read that? I'm interested in diesels myself and with the intro of low sulphur fuel, it would be more of an enticement. What model year are we talking here?
    And how about the extra cost of the diesel engine?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Diesels have high compression so I hope they bring in a gasket specialist. I'd hate to see that problems creep up again.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    well if they can keep the gas turbos inside their gasket then they have a good start on the diesels :)

    Owen, the diesel boxer train of thought probably goes back to one of Bob's blogs which start us talking about the engine configuration. I can't imagine a non-boxer ever working in a Subaru, but on the other hand that is just a partially educated speculative guess (a SWAG in other words).

    John
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    Here's one of the last things I recall reading about the Subie diesel-

    Linky

    I know I have read a more in depth article, I just have to find it...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    John,
    The info I read was actually a from a Subaru press release, I believe. There's quite an extensive thread over on 'Nasty-oc' about Subaru's diesel plans. Check the News and Rumors forum. It sounds like they're shooting for a 2008 release in Europe, but have no confirmed plans for a North American debut. So it's not vaporware, there's actually prototypes running around, apparently they're trying to iron out manufacturing processes. Hopefully we'll see turbo boxer diesels in North America within a few years. Can you spell 'torque'? I'm definitely intrigued. ;)
    Regards,
    Owen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see it...I can't wait to drive it. Some of the newer diesels really Wow the press.

    -juice
  • fwiw, my MP3 player with the built in FM transmitter came in a couple days ago. This thing (Lexar LDP-600) works great in everyway. Little tricky to navigate but no glitches or lockups so far. I did do the firmware upgrade right off the bat. Quick and easy way to get MP3 playback into a Forester or any vehicle with FM radio but no audio in jack. Sound quality over FM is down a notch from broadcast quality, but just fine for 50 year old ears. Just Google it for reviews, $60-$100 at on line vendors, many at Ebay.
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    From what I've read, one has to drive a diesel car about 40k to 50k a year to make up for the cost difference between a gasoline and a diesel engine. I hope that Subaru is also working on a hybrid design because a 2 cylinder boxer engine is all that a plug-in hybrid would need.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Doesn't the same type of logic apply to a hybrid? Lexus 330 vs 400h? $10,000 difference is a lot of gasoline. And at the end of the day an ecological nightmare to dispose of the battery, and much more maintenance involved with the electronic componentry.

    Diesel is a better overall short term solution.
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    >

    Not sure of the difficulty in recycling the batteries from dead hybrids or their long-term maintenance issues. But you make a good point that both diesels and hybrids cost more than a regular gasoline engine car.

    One good aspect of plug-in hybrids is that they can get a lot of their energy from coal-fired power plants, thereby reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and they use a lot less gasoline. Diesels have bio-diesel fuel going in their favor.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Per year, or miles overall to make up that difference?

    I believe a diesel usually costs a grand or two more than a similar gas model.

    In Mercedes' case, the E class diesel is only $1000 more, doen to $900 if we look at invoice prices. 27/37 mpg is impressive, too.

    The break-even point obviously varies a lot as gas prices fluctuate, and of course diesel varies less, so around here it costs more or less depending upon the location. It's really hard to get a precise break-even point, but you don't need 40/50k miles per year to reach it.

    -juice
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Just relying on what a car salesman told me 10 years ago. I guess the price difference back then was a lot higher, (and the dollar worth more). If Subaru can sell a Forester with a diesel engine for $900 more than a gasoline one, then a lot of people will be going diesel.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a long time, I think the biggest change is that diesel fuel itself used to cost more than even regular gas.

    Now it's about the same. And diesel actually costs less than premium fuel now, even in my region where diesel is relatively expensive.

    For that Benz, you spend less to fill up, then travel nearly twice as many miles on that same tank. So the fuel bill is cut in half. I'm sure you can break even in a year or so, depending on how many miles you drive.

    Now, for Subaru, it's going to be tougher. The Forester is efficient to begin with, 23/28 mpg. Plus the $900 extra represents about a 5% increase in the cost, much more than for the Benz (closer to 2%), and it's in a segment that is more cost conscious.

    -juice
  • drohrerdrohrer Posts: 37
    Does Subaru go through design changes on a pretty regular cycle?

    I'm wondering when the Forester got or will get it's next update.

    We really love the Subaru technology, but are having a hard time fitting in their vehicles.

    My wife and I are both over 6ft tall and my daughter is fast approaching it. The current version of the Forester is just too small. Driver's space is tight for us and the rear seat doesn't work.

    So is there a redesign/update in the works?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,676
    Usually 5-year cycles. Expect a new Forester for 2008.

    Bob
  • dirtbagdirtbag Posts: 57
    quote: "My wife and I are both over 6ft tall and my daughter is fast approaching it. The current version of the Forester is just too small. Driver's space is tight for us and the rear seat doesn't work."

    So, Subaru should ruin the Forester just to fit you? No offense, but get a Yukon. Some of us like small vehicles and are tired of automotive manufacturers thinking bigger is always better. The Forester is one of the last reasonable sized SUVs, that is affordable with good fuel economy.
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Your response is a bit harsh, dirtbag; I didn't get the impression that drohrer was trying to "ruin the Forester" for his own personal needs.

    Personally I'm a fan of smaller vehicles, the Forester included - but admittedly the Forester is among the smallest in its class. Better handling and safety are a sure benefit of this. But lately there has been quite a bit of interest in making the next model a bit roomier, perhaps with separate SWB and LWB versions (dreamers will dream), so he is not alone. Also, growing a little wouldn't necessarily put it in Yukon territory.

    Considering drohrer's appreciation of Subaru technology, the Tribeca might've been a better suggestion for them. It offers more room and would keep them in the family. Suggesting a Yukon in a Subaru forum is just plain rude. ;)

    Doug
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I don't own a Forester, but when I pass one on the street I find myself thinking of possible design changes. Having driven one recently, I again thought of the possibilities (practical and aesthetic). Maybe a couple inches wider, a half foot longer, a tad less boxy? And Subaru could certainly make them snazzier. That said, I would like to see the next generation Forester up-sized. Toyota has with the new Rav, and Honda will be sure to follow with their Crv. Still relatively compact, and bound to do well.
    I think that Subaru could make a great car greater.
  • dirtbagdirtbag Posts: 57
    Perhaps my response was a bit harsh and written in haste. My point, lost in the haste, was that there are lots and lots of medium and large SUVs to choose from and very few small ones. In my hunt for an economical SUV, I found five or six. That narrows to about three if you don't like the spare tire hanging on the back end.

    Toyota upsized the RAV4 recently and I was disappointed. They apparently improved fuel economy at the same time. Just think what they could have done with fuel economy if the car was still smaller.

    Not everyone is over six feet tall. (I'm six feet even.) Some of us fit just fine in the Forester and think it's nearly perfect. I agree that there could be a couple more inches of leg room in the back seat. That could probably be done by simply moving the rear seat back. Frankly, it's not an issue for me because I rarely carry anyone in my back seat. I'd also agree that Forester styling could be improved a bit but I think the '06 is a pretty nice looking car.

    For several reasons, I hate the American auto industry trend toward upsizing vehicles. It's wrong from a fuel standpoint. It makes cars less nimble on the road. It makes them more costly to buy and maintain. It makes Americans look bad in the eyes of the world.

    If Subaru wants to enter the market with a new larger SUV, so be it. I just hope they leave the Forester at its current size and work on making it even better and more fuel efficient.
  • au1994au1994 Posts: 784
    I'll sit firmly on the fence on this issue. There is absolutely a market for small SUV's that the Forester fills nicely and that is why I'm considering one to replace my larger (4Runner) SUV. This day and time, I'd gladly sacrifice a little cargo room for better MPG. If I feel I can't do without the extra cargo room, I'll pick up a cheap utility trailer.

    However, a slight, slight, increase in size might improve sales, and allow Subaru to bring more content to the market at an even more competitive price advantage. There are trade offs to increasing in size: price and MPG.

    What I do not want to see is the small SUV (CRV, Forester et al) go the way of the compact pick up truck. There is nothing compact about the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma anymore. Nothing, and that includes the price. Many times now depending on the incentives available, one can get an F-150 for cheaper than a Tacoma. Now, if you are in the market for a truly compact pick up, your options are the Ranger and Mazda clone B Series which have not seen a real update since the first Bush administration.

    I hope that this does not happen to the small SUV market. Seems to me that this is a growth market and manufacturers would be working harder to exploit that rather than thinking how they can add inches and pounds to the vehicle.

    Just my .02.

    2013 335i Sport Line Alpine White over Coral Red w/Black Trim

    2005 330cic ZHP Monaco Blue over Natural Brown w/Black Trim

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,866
    People everywhere are getting bigger, and not just their weight. The height demographics are, er, rising too. Blame it on cheap subsidized feed corn I guess.

    Subaru may be thinking it's going to have to follow that market or lose sales to the Yukons.

    Great point about compact pickups; some of us also bemoan the loss of short wheel base minivans.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,676
    Now that every manufacturer is "upsizing" their pickups, Subaru drops the Baja, rather than upgrading it and fixing some of its shortcomings... With all the trucks getting larger, and gas prices skyrocketing, I'm convinced there is—now more than ever—a market for a truly compact truck, even a car-based one.

    Oh well, here's another example of a lost opportunity. :(

    Bob
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