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Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You should have asked the Subaru Crew community here on Edmunds about your issue - we could have given you the right part numbers to help your (clueless) dealer.

    Having said that, I wouldn't drive around with an unresolved whirring noise.

    Do you have a source for the gender percentages?

    I ask because the whole segment is mostly female. The best seller (CR-V) is actually marketed as a "Toddler Mom" vehicle by Honda, and quite successfully.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Turbochargers put con rod under tremendous stress from the reciprocating load represented by the piston, while load is increased to the 3rd power with increased speed. Failure of a connecting rod, usually called "throwing a rod" is one of the most common causes of catastrophic and expensive engine failure in cars. When building a high performance engine, great attention should be paid to the con rods, since the rod could to fail under stress.

    Subaru did not provide an engine appropriate to function with high performance turbocharger. They simply attached turbocharger to a stock "boxer" engine. Irresponsible and cheap approach


    Did a little research and found that the Forester XT actually does use the upgraded connnecting rods from the STi. Part number is 12100AA180 for both.

    What failed was the con rod bearings, not the upgraded con rods. They didn't throw a rod.

    Note also that the turbo engines were affected but the normally aspirated Foresters were not, because they use a different Rod Assembly.

    That is why no normally aspirated models were affected by this issue.

    Just setting the record straight.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Block set 11008930
    Cylinder Head L 11063AB330
    Cylinder Head R 11039AB910
    Piston Set 12006AC390
    Piston Ring Set 12033AB340
    Rod Assembly 12100AA180
    Crankshaft 12200AA330
    Exhaust Valve 13202AA570
    Intake Valve 13201AA371


    Block set 11008930
    Cylinder Head L 11063AB250
    Cylinder Head R 11039AB820
    Piston Set 12006AD210
    Piston Ring Set 12033AB340
    Rod Assembly 12100AA180
    Crankshaft 12200AA330
    Exhaust Valve 13202AA570
    Intake Valve 13201AA371

    So STI parts include the block set, piston ring set, connecting rod assembly, the crankshaft itself, and intake valves and exhaust valves. That's a lot of upgrades, if you ask me.

    The heads are different, as are the pistons.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    All of this is only part of the reason (aside from premium fuel) why I prefer bigger displacement unstressed engine to putting a mouse motor on steroids to get about the same HP for a CUV. If I wanted the boy racer WRX, then fine, but for a daily haulin' machine the NA 3.0L I feel is more appropriate choice. (at least today's turbo's are a bit better on low end response, but still I think the old school edict "there ain't no replacement for displacement" is more in line for this type of vehicle. Something has to be said for the KISS principle too.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Remember, Mitsubishi now recommends premium fuel for the new 230hp version of the V6, just like the F-XT. The compression ratio is higher, so it's more stressed than your 220hp motor, and on 87 octane probably doesn't make any more power.

    If we apply the KISS theory, perhaps the 220hp version of the engine (which I believe you have) makes more sense. Low compression, and designed to run on 87 octane.

    Subaru's EZ30 engine (Outback, Tribeca) ran on recommended premium, but they squeezed 250hp out of it (a little less SAE hp). Thankfully the 3.6l V6 is now tuned for regular fuel, but you've gotta shop Outback to get it. That's still in the Outlander GT's price range, FWIW.

    We didn't get the turbo, but keep in mind 224hp is a lot less than what an STi makes, so it's not high strung at all. Test drive one, the turbo is actually pretty mellow, it's geared taller and makes less exhaust noise (thanks to, yes, that Mitsu TD04 that's in the way of the exhaust path) than the normally aspirated engine.

    I think if the F-XT had been available with a manual transmission, I would have pushed for it. A true manual with a clutch is more in character with a sporty model. Subaru just wasn't selling any of them, so they dropped it. :cry:

    If you get the chance, go test drive an 04 F-XT manual. C&D hit 60mph in 5.4 seconds. It is just absurdly fast. I had to test drive it twice because I could not believe it.

    I wonder if they will produce a Forester Sport XT, XTi, or STi. Part of me would like to see one, but the practical side of me knows it won't sell well. The STi is already a 5 door, and that's what most enthusiasts would pick anyway. Or a plain WRX.

    We also own a high-strung boy-racer type vehicle (Miata) and a big V6 (Sienna) and each has its pros and cons. The Miata is what I want to drive, while the Sienna is what I have to drive.

    Both get the job done.

  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    If we apply the KISS theory, perhaps the 220hp version of the engine (which I believe you have) makes more sense. Low compression, and designed to run on 87 octane.

    Exactly! Power to tow and an easy vehicle to drive and good economy for the size. (almost as much power as our old Durango, but about twice the hwy mpgs) A great overall compromise in today's times with gas prices. I have no desire to spend the money for the Outlander GT and wouldn't have bought one in 2007 (if available) as I chose a LS vs the XLS back then (much less $ and had all I really needed.)

    We also own a high-strung boy-racer type vehicle (Miata) and a big V6 (Sienna) and each has its pros and cons. The Miata is what I want to drive, while the Sienna is what I have to drive

    Believe it or not, I also own an older Lotus Esprit. Weighs about 2200 lbs. Its motor is fine for the light weight, but wouldn't want to power a CUV that way. (Lotus' philosophy of small displacement motors works fine in very light cars yielding great power to weight and mpgs too, but not for 2 ton vehicles) I also appreciate not rowing the gears in the Outlander (can't beat the 6 speed auto for that purpose) The Esprit is something you must maintain and is an entirely different kind of beast and purpose (it's all about handling and is best appreciated on windy roads or at track days on road courses, not in daily stop and go traffic). The Outlander is a nice comfy 4WD "appliance" (not sports car) that I hope to keep with little maintenance past the generous warranty (historically I keep vehicles 7-10 years and the Esprit is the exception at over 22 yrs, but annual driven miles are very low.).
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Not in my circle here in Texas....def NOT a chick "vehicle"....
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If I wanted the boy racer WRX, then fine,

    Maybe it's time that you drive a WRX. The powerband is fine, and the car is as good a "daily driver" as any other Subaru offers.

    I'm on my second WRX, the most recent being an '09 model. ...Oh, a "boy racer"? I'm going to be 65 in two months. :)

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    See who drives them...90% chicks. However, the Forester is a great vehicle that is reliable

    So you're saying that "chicks" are more practical car owners than guys and place more stock in reliability than a macho appearance? Hey I can live with that ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lotus? Sweet. Rare sight these days. I'm a bit jealous, to be honest. :shades:

    For what it's worth, contrary to what's been said about the Forester XT's engine in this thread, besides the displacement and layout the turbo engine has virtually nothing in common with the normally aspirated engine.

    I have the non-turbo, and I sure wish it had these, even if they would be totally overkill:

    * semi-closed deck block
    * sodium filled valves
    * forged connecting rods

    So the turbo engine is reinforced in an appropriate manner. And the 2.5T has very useable low-end torque, better in that regard than the 2.0l turbos offered overseas. Plus the Forester is one of the lighter crossovers in its class, making the application more appropriate.

    For reference, my Miata makes 140 lb-ft at 5000rpm, and the 2GR V6 in my Sienna makes 245 lb-ft at a fairly high 4700rpm. The F-XT produces 226 lb-ft at just 2800rpm.

    Makes my minivan's V6 seem downright peaky! :D

    The only engine I can think of in this class that peaks sooner is the Tiguan, with 207 lb-ft at a claimed 1700-5000 rpm, and the Forester XT is easily quicker.

    Edit: for reference, the 2010 V6 in the Outlander makes 215 lb-ft of peak torque at 3750 rpm, while the 07-09 made 204 lb-ft at 4000rpm.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    Maybe it's time that you drive a WRX. The powerband is fine, and the car is as good a "daily driver" as any other Subaru offers.

    I'm on my second WRX, the most recent being an '09 model. ...Oh, a "boy racer"? I'm going to be 65 in two months.

    Not knocking the WRX at all. The engine is appropriate for the sporty nature and would be a fun vehicle if I was looking for something like that. My point is for a heavier CUV I think the 3.0 engine is more in line with that kind of vehicle
    (non-stick 4WD towing/cargo/people hauler weighing several hundred lbs more. )
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wouldn't want a turbo-4 in my minivan, so I'll actually agree.

    For the big family duties, I opted for the 149 cubic feet of cargo acreage you just don't get outside the minivan segment. That's more than double the space. Plus you can lay a sheet of plywood inside and still close the hatch! :surprise:

    It's getting too warm and fuzzy in here, quick, let's disagree on something. Paper or plastic? :D
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    If you get the chance, go test drive an 04 F-XT manual. C&D hit 60mph in 5.4 seconds

    Actually they managed a 5.3 sec 0-60 for the F-XT. Which was faster than that of the Nissan 350Z :shades:


    Edit: Here's what Car & Driver said in their August 2003 review:

    The force-fed flat-four's combination of torque, gearing, and weight will get you a blazing 0-to-60 time of 5.3 seconds and a quarter-mile of 13.8 seconds at 97 mph, just 0.3 second slower than an $89,665 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

    The current generation F-XT isn't as fast but has a broader powerband.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Happy to admit I was wrong. ;)
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    Remember, Mitsubishi now recommends premium fuel for the new 230hp version of the V6, just like the F-XT.
    Subaru requires premium; Mitsubishi recommends it.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    Subaru requires premium; Mitsubishi recommends it.
    And Hyundai's 3.3L V6 242 hp with 10.4/1 compression only says unleaded regular
  • >> But MMNA is being punished for their poor performance, too. No twin clutch transmission, even though they said it was coming a couple of years ago. The GT concept had sweet looking Brembo brakes, an important omission since it's not a light vehicle. No roof rails on the GT, too.

    * Roof rails could be optional, 95% don't need them: they increase noise level. Or they should make them retractable :)
    * The current 6-speed transmission is excellent. Very smooth. Twin clutch transmission would be nice. I've read they plan it for the next year Outlie model in some European market.
    * Brembo brakes would be nice, but along with Twin clutch it would push price into upscale territory. But why not? None of those MDXs, X3 or GLKs have Brembos and Twin clutch.
    * How about 19" sport tires (btw available as catalog option)
    * We gotta have some gadgets: it's Mitsubishi. 4G based navigation with Internet access and in-car Wi-Fi hotspot,


    * Or How about V6 turbo?
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    And Hyundai's 3.3L V6 242 hp with 10.4/1 compression only says unleaded regular

    The Hyundai is out of scope for this thread, but I'll bite.
    Outlander 230HP 3L V6: 76.7 HP/L (assume max HP w/Premium)
    Outlander 220HP 3L V6: 73.3 HP/L (assume 10 HP drop w/Regular)
    Hyundai 242HP 3.3L V6: 73.3 HP/L on Regular
    Forester 224HP 2.5L H4 Turbo: 89.6 HP/L on Premium

    None of us know that the Outlander loses 10HP if Regular is used instead of Premium, but assuming it does (4-6HP seems more realistic to me but I'll accept 10 for the purpose of this discussion) it makes the exact same power/liter that the Hyundai does on Regular and beats it with Premium. As expected, a turbocharged engine beats both.

    EPA economy estimates:
    Outlander V6 AWD: 18/24
    Forester I4 Turbo AWD: 19/24
    Santa Fe V6 AWD: 17/24

    So smaller engine = better city MPG but they're all the same on the highway. An extra gear or two in the Forester's AT and it could really shine here.

    Manufacturer powertrain, bumper-to-bumper warranty:
    Mitsubishi: 10 yr/100K miles, 5/60
    Hyundai: 10 yr/100K miles, 5/60
    Subaru: 5 yr/60K miles, 3/36

    All three include roadside assistance during the b-b warranty period. However, based on past experience I really prefer the 100K powertrain (I had a Mazda that blew it's trans at 76K; my ex-wife had a Camry that blew it's trans at 62K). It's insurance, really, and the longer the policy the better.

    - If you care about straight-line performance, get the Forester.
    - If you want the best slalom performance, get the Outlander and replace the OEM tires.
    - If you want that possible extra city MPG get the Forester. Or really, consider FWD or another kind of vehicle .. the same 3.3L in the Sonata gets 249 HP and 19/29 economy.
    - If you want the best all-around visibility get the Forester.
    - If you need 3rd row seats skip the Forester.
    - If you want a rear-backup camera get the Outlander. If the other two have it their web sites aren't mentioning it.
    - If you care about warranty go for the Mitsu or Hyundai.
    - If you don't want a 4 cyl get the Mitsu or Hyundai.
    - If you want capable-but-boring get the Santa Fe.
    - If you want a modern interior and more state-of-the-art electronics like rain-sensing wipers, get the Mitsu.
    - If you want your accessories like BlueTooth to be integrated, avoid the Hyundai.
    - If you want a premium audio system get the Mitsu.
    - If you frequently haul long items like lumber, get the Outlander since it has a split-hatch.
    - If you want a 1-person bed get the Outlander. Slide the passenger front seat forward & passenger rear seat back, remove the front seat headrest, and fully recline the front seat. The top of the front seat goes flush with the rear seat cushion.
    - Etc.
    None are bad vehicles; drive them all if you want and pick the one you like the best.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    Whoa relax there fushigi !!! :cry:

    My only comment was somehow Hyundai is getting a 10.4/1 compression engine to run just on regular. It wasn't a sales pitch for the Santa Fe (bringing on all the other comparisons you made), rather wondering out loud what changed in the Outlander that already has variable valve timing in the 220 hp version of the Mivec. In the old days that kind of CR would have mandated Premium.

    So what extra is Mitsubishi doing and how does that compare to the technology of what Hyundai is doing? (engine only please if you happen to know). This isn't me stating Hyundai is better, but wanting to understand the different approaches. If by chance you have seen some of my older posts in the past you know I'm no fan of premium fuel (and in the case of CUVs I'm no fan of turbocharging) :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, but keep something in mind - the EPA's fuel mileage tests are conducted with the recommended fuel, so the numbers being quoted here for the 2010 V6 in the Outlander are with premium.

    So you'll lose a few horses (probably not quite 10hp, I agree about that). But you also may not be getting quite as good mileage, too.

    Car & Driver had a good article about that. Their conclusion was you may as well use what's recommended.

    Having said that, I bet the mpg drop is small.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hyundai has made HUGE strides with their engines. Their 2005 V6 Sonata made 170hp. Today their entry-level 4 banger makes more than that.

    Hyundai deserves the "Most Improved Player" award.

    Ford did wonders with EcoBoost, too. Twin turbos, impressive power, and you can run regular fuel.

    Who else? On paper, GM's Equinox is amazing - direct injection on both engines (i4 and V6), class leading power, class leading fuel economy. Sadly in real-world tests it hasn't been fast, and hasn't been particularly efficient, either. Still, give their engineers credit for aces on the EPA tests, at least.

    GM got 264hp out of that 3.0l V6 with direct injection, so there's a benchmark if we're looking for one. And that is on Regular octane.

    *** getting back to Forester and Outlander...

    Both Mitsu and Subaru have their work cut out for them. What was near the head of the class a couple of years ago is merely so-so now.

    Subaru ought to get the 265hp version of this engine from the WRX in the Forester XT. That would put it up with the RAV4 and Equinox near the head of the class. Torque is already there, but even though torque gets the job done, it's horsepower that sells cars. Bring back the manual trans, even if few are sold it makes for great headlines. If not at least give it the OB's auto.

    The non-turbo is actually OK, the PZEV makes 175hp and that's close to the head of the class (I say drop the non-PZEV, it's not as clean and less powerful). It could use the CVT transmission from the Legacy, and if you disagree take a peek at the EPA numbers for that vehicle: 23/31. :surprise:

    What about the Outie? The base 4 banger makes 168hp, so it's time to give that engine a boost. Wasn't Mitsubishi a pioneer in Direct Injection? If GM can get 180hp out of theirs, Mitsu can, too. Honda and Toyota both boosted the output of their base engines.

    Same for the V6. Direct Injection would boost HP and MPG at the same time. Plus DI has a cooling effect, which likely means they may be able to drop the premium fuel recommendation. It's win-win-win.

    Incremental improvements are OK, but let's be honest, competitors are improving by leaps and bounds. The old Equinox V6 made just 185hp!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On the subject of backup cams...

    Toyota made it standard on the Highlander Sport. The 2011 Sienna LE also gets it. They have the right idea - and it's not bundled in expensive packages. Not sure when/if the RAV4 gets it.

    I hear Nissan is coming out with a Navi for $400 that will be offered across the board, and you can add a backup cam to (aftermarket is $99, let's see what they charge). Now you're talking: gation-system-for-cars/index.html

    Nav systems are cash cows for the manufacturers so I'm sure Mitsubishi will keep pushing the envelope to stay ahead of these more affordable systems, especially to justify the cost.

    Not sure how the market will respond. I'm sure there will be demand for both - audiophiles who want the $2000+ system that do everything, and practical folks who want the highlights only at a lower price.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On the subject of hauling lumber...

    (sorry, it was a long post that covered several subjects, so I'm responding to one topic at a time, so each subject is threaded)

    If you wanna haul lumber get an AWD Sienna, because you can fit a sheet of plywood inside and still close the hatch. You can get drywall home even on a rainy day. Even a Suburban can't do that. A pickup could but it would be wet.

    I guess you could load it on the roof of a any compact crossover, but as mentioned earlier the GT doesn't have roof rails, so you'll need to add accessories to do that. IMHO that makes it far from the ideal vehicle to haul lumber. An XLS V6 would be better suited.

    The seat folding flat feature is nice, my Sienna has that, too. Careful not to scuff up the interior.

    I can't live without a roof rack. Before I got my van I did this:

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    CarSpace is having trouble showing the image, so here's a link:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you want a 1-person bed

    Actually my Forester does this too (both my 1998 and 2009 models).

    Reclining rear seats are indeed quite nice. :shades:
  • >> I still don't have the issue you're talking about. The latest issue I have is January 2010. The Feb issue won't arrive for a week or more. You must be looking on-line or somewhere else?

    That was s picture taken recently in bookstore by iPhone from the actual printed CR magazine.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What was on the cover? What month, I mean? I honestly didn't see that chart. I looked again at the January 2010 issue and saw something about Owner Satisfaction (Escape and Mariner Hybrids win the category).

    Maybe you saw a special edition/buyer's guide? :confuse:

    I do have that, the "Buying Guide 2010" book and on page 172 they rate the 07 Outlander "Much Better than Average" but the 08 is merely "Average". On page 142 they split the difference, and the forecast is "Better than Average".

    They don't list the Forester turbo seperately in that book.

    Any how, I'm not disputing the drop in score on the 2009 turbos, but that only affected a few VINs as I listed above. The 2010s will score higher, but that will only be reflected a year from now.

    Looking back at the Buying Guide 2008, the wheel bearings hurt the detailed score in that category on 2001 models (half black dot = below average), but by 2004 Subaru earned the red dot in that category (Much Better than Average). That's because they changed the design to a sealed type wheel bearing for model year 2003.

    It's not uncommon to have a big gain (or drop) in reliability from one year to the next. It simply means they applied a fix, and it worked.

    I'm sure Mitsubishi does the same thing. I see a few black dots that turned red.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    On hauling lumber: Not as nice as a pickup or enclosed van but the fold down tailgate
    extends the deck area on the Outlander. One reason I passed on the RAV4. ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The clam shell is a neat feature, I mentioned that in my review after a test drive.

    I think I'd still rather have the plywood on the roof, though. You may have scratched up the plastics on the inside of your D-pillar.

    Edit: I was wondering why the RAV4 could not do that, and then I realized - the swing out door, of course! You'd need about 20 feet (*) of clearance behind you.

    * - hyperbole
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Can any of you folks help this guy out? The question has been on the right margin for several days, and noone has answered him yet: -start-Can-Mitsubishi-Outlander-80986.aspx
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    It didn't scratch it, but next time I'd put a blanket or towels over it to be safe.

    The problem with the roof loading the lumber is you are lifting weight up high vs sliding the stuff in on a low tailgate.(I loaded it by myself direct off the Home Depot dolly)

    If you come to an abrupt stop you better have the load very securely tied down for things on the roof!! (I had straps over the rear, but the folded seats stop any forward movement) Not having cross rails installed yet also made this the only option anyway.
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