i am trying to decide between the 2.5i Limited or the 2.0XT Limited and heavily leaning towards the XT but the cost of ownership and reliability concerns are scaring me away.
help ease my fears?
Nothing wrong with reaching out for some feedback before purchasing, and this is a good place.
Reliability of the FA20DIT:
The reality is that this engine has only been around a few years, but so far I'm not aware of anything that would make me question the reliability. I have about 50k on mine, and love this engine (I had a modded EJ as well, btw). I sometimes wish it was mated to a notchy 6-speed, but that's another topic independent of the engine.
Cost of ownership:
1. Synthetic oil:
I use synthetic in all our cars, so this has no impact on us.
2. Oil change interval:
I go 3k on turbos, and 5k for NA's, but I drive them hard. So yes, there is technically a slightly higher cost of ownership for me there. Not much though.
3. Premium Gas:
This represents a slight increase in cost of ownership if you choose to use it, but worth it to me for the performance. I would not buy an XT and regularly put 87 octane in it to save money, but as someone above pointed out, you can.
4. Fuel efficiency:
Besides impact of premium gas, you'll also get a little less efficiency in terms of mpg. Again, I want the power, not a Prius (not that there's anything wrong with buying a fuel efficient "car"), and that little extra cost doesn't bother me.
5. Turbo replacement:
When you get to 150k+ miles, this may become more of a factor. I'm sure one mated to the FA20DIT has failed somewhere, but I haven't read about it yet. Trading 150k+ miles of turbo performance for maybe
not having to replace a turbo at some point later is not worth it for me; not even close. Most, not all, but most of the turbo failures I've read about on the previous engine (EJ) had more to do with oil starvation than its relationship with the engine.
If everything above offsets the enjoyment you get when the XT spools up, get the 2.5i, which is still a great vehicle.
Otherwise, get the XT.
Either way, get what you want and don't look back.