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2004 X 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings everyone. This will be my first post here.
I'm consider buying a '14 Forester. Originallly I was very excited about XT, but after driving one, CVT left me a little cold. So, I thought I'd try N/A 6MT -I like manuals. I test drove a couple of cars at 2 different dealeships. First time, I drove it all by myself, no extra wegihht in the car. It felt quick enough, good acceleration from the stop, decent on-ramp performance, (although I had to keep the revs up). Nice engine sound. Another time I had a saleseperson in the passanger seat (probably ~200 pounds dude). And this time the car left much to be desired - very irresponsive both on the highway and on he street. In fact it felt slower than my '04 X 4EAT with a passanger or two. Acording to the reviews, I'd expect 6MT to be pretty dynamic (0-60 in 7.5 sec). I'm curious if folks who own '14 6MTs are happy with the performance, especially when car has 2-3 people in it? How about going over mountain passes (elevation not a big factor here, as all the passes are under 5000'). Overall, I'm OK with the performance of my 04 Foz 4EAT, except for long uphills, when it seem to have trouble finding the right gear ratio. Also, how concerned shoud I be about oil consumption problem with FB 2.5 engine? Looking at other threads, the problem still seem to exist in '14 Foresters.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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2014 2.5i Premium CVT
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105 Posts
Welcome!

At issue is the engine, which at 170 HP definitely feels additional load. A vehicle of this size and weight should ideally have 200+ for more consistent performance.

Grades and passes haven't generally been a problem. My only real struggle was a 7% upgrade with three adult passengers and their luggage, on which the Forester labored to maintain 55 MPH in 4th gear. Happily the bulk of my driving is solo with only light equipment, for which the engine and transmission are otherwise wholly adequate.

As for oil, I used a quart of 0W-20 in the first OCI (3,750 miles) under largely "severe" conditions -- short trips, urban traffic, summer heat, etc. Other owners are having different results, so I suspect consumption varies per conditions/routines of use.
 

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2014 Forester & STI 6 Speed Manual
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116 Posts
I agree...at times it does feel nimble. However it is not the HP that is the factor it is the lack of torque. To really get going I need to downshift quite often...sometimes from 6th to third to really get the rpms climb. It is what I expected from a small 4 cyl SUV. Besides......my 500whp Sti puts a smile on my face when I want. I did not buy this car for its power.
 

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2004 X 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for replies folks!
It looks like again it comes down to a tough choice between 2.5 6MT (Premium) and FXT Premium (it looks like that's the choice a few other people on the forum are trying to make).
For me 6MT Premium has the following pros:
- All weather package
- Manual
- Reasonably fast with light load
- Simpler mechanical AWD system
Cons are:
- Likely oil consumption issue FB engines seem to still be prone to (sounds like it's a lottery).
- Anemic when loaded
- I'm looking for a car with dark interior, the choice of exterior colors with dark interior is limited (for example blue is not available with dark interior).

XT Pros:
- Power/acceleration. Definitely fun to drive car, even with CVT
- All colors come with dark interior
Cons:
- CVT requires some getting used to
- Completely new powertrain with unknown long term reliability
- No heated seats / all weather package
- Clutch-based computer-controlled AWD system sounds complex (more parts that can break)
- Potentially higher maintenance costs (?)
- ~$4000 price difference (which I can afford, but I'd rather spend money on gear and travel :) )

I'm curious if there are any XT owners here, who think they could have lived with 2.5 or 2.5 manual owners who aren't happy with their choice? (both are equally unlikely, I know!)
Thanks again!
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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14 Posts
Try test driving the XT in sport (S) mode, then in sport sharp (S#) mode. Big difference from intelligent (I) mode. "I" mode seem to suppress acceleration by retarding your gas pedal inputs. I always keep mine in "S" mode, unless I forget to switch it from "I" which is the default mode every time you start the car.
 

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2014 Forester & STI 6 Speed Manual
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116 Posts
I go back and forth w the decision all the time. I'm just hoping at one point there will be an opportunity to throw on a turbo kit to the 2.5i 6mt :)
 

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2004 X 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@stilambo07 - I'm wondering what conditions make you wish 2.5 6MT would perform better? Is that highway driving/passing, hauling passangers/load, long uphills, city driving? I found it pretty adequate on the highway and in the city, when it's not loaded. I didn't have a chance to drive it in the mountains or hilly terrain though. I also feel like it should be somwhat more reliable in the long term, as it's drivetrain seem to be much simpler.
 

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2014 Forester & STI 6 Speed Manual
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116 Posts
Foz overall I believe I made the right choice. I cannot stand slush boxes period. I need a manual. I took the car into the mountains of west Virginia w a full load and u almost have to downshift three gears to get it moving. I agree totally though that w empty load and highway and city pulling it does great...and fun believe it or not.
 

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2014 Forester X 6spd
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323 Posts
I am happy with mine. Runs good and gets great gas mileage so far. I'd prefer a turbo but, just can't justify the extra expense just to run the speed limit. IMO
I don't have a lot of expectations for any NA vehicle at altitude.
 

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2004 X 4EAT
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for your feedback!
I think I'm going to order Premium 6MT (no dark interior cars around). I'm pretty sure I'll question my choice every now and then, and will miss the engine of FXT. But the fact of having the manual, cold weather package standard and the price point look like a winning combination to me.
 

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2014 Forester 6MT
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25 Posts
If it's any consolation, I ordered one for my wife and she thought the performance was adequate coming from a 2004 wrx wagon 5MT.
 

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2015 XT premium The one without the fun pedal
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831 Posts
When I bought my 13 5 speed last year I was like you, wondering if I would regret not getting the turbo. I went as far as driving the XT twice and I just couldn't see a huge difference in power (accelerating from a dead stop/passing on the freeway) than my 5 speed. No offense to the auto owners as I know they're built pretty tough, but I couldn't sacrifice the fun pedal for the turbo/auto only option. One other tidbit on the new NA 6 speed, according to Car and Driver it's only a second behind the new XT in it's 0-60 time (yes I know Car and Driver abuse their test cars). Enjoy your new ride.
 

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2014 Forester Auto box
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124 Posts
Thanks for replies folks!
It looks like again it comes down to a tough choice between 2.5 6MT (Premium) and FXT Premium (it looks like that's the choice a few other people on the forum are trying to make).
For me 6MT Premium has the following pros:
- All weather package
- Manual
- Reasonably fast with light load
- Simpler mechanical AWD system
Cons are:
- Likely oil consumption issue FB engines seem to still be prone to (sounds like it's a lottery).
- Anemic when loaded
- I'm looking for a car with dark interior, the choice of exterior colors with dark interior is limited (for example blue is not available with dark interior).

XT Pros:
- Power/acceleration. Definitely fun to drive car, even with CVT
- All colors come with dark interior
Cons:
- CVT requires some getting used to
- Completely new powertrain with unknown long term reliability
- No heated seats / all weather package
- Clutch-based computer-controlled AWD system sounds complex (more parts that can break)
- Potentially higher maintenance costs (?)
- ~$4000 price difference (which I can afford, but I'd rather spend money on gear and travel :) )

I'm curious if there are any XT owners here, who think they could have lived with 2.5 or 2.5 manual owners who aren't happy with their choice? (both are equally unlikely, I know!)
Thanks again!
Hi Foz,
A good analysis. I would have loved to have rented a new 2.5 litre Forester while in Canada. None available from Alamo. One thing I have noticed now I'm back driving my XT, is just how much better the CVT is compared to the 6 speed auto boxes on the rentals (Titanium spec Escape and North spec Patriot). Possibly more due to Suub's detailed attention to matching engine and CVT (high torque version). This setup is also likely a step-up from the standard Forester CVT and way ahead of the renters. Having covered near 10,000Km's in all 3 cars in the last 3 months (phew!), I really glad I bought the new XT.

I did take me a few weeks to learn the XT's CVT, but once mastered, you'll not want to go back to fixed cogs.

Mark
 

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2014 Forester 6 MT
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7 Posts
Thanks everyone for your feedback!
I think I'm going to order Premium 6MT (no dark interior cars around). I'm pretty sure I'll question my choice every now and then, and will miss the engine of FXT. But the fact of having the manual, cold weather package standard and the price point look like a winning combination to me.
I recently got a Premium 6MT...like you I wanted the dark interior. I have had faster cars in the past (including a WRX), but I have to say, I find the speed to be more than adequate, especially for a CUV. I personally have no regrets not getting the turbo. I feel the 6MT provides much more entertainment than a turbo tied to a CVT. Not that the turbo CVT is bad in any way; there is just something more fun about the manual to me though.
 

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2014 Forester X 6spd
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323 Posts
I have 1,100 miles on mine now and still love the 6spd. Here in the mountains there is no substitute for a manual. I can pull up both sides of Eisenhower Tunnel in 5th gear. It's a dam shame they haven't put a 6spd with the XT! I'd still opt for the NA just because I'm stingy like that.
I did buy the base in Ice Silver with black interior. The black interior makes it feel a lot more sporty. I just spent this evening blacking out the rims. For $20,000 there is absolutely nothing on the market that can compete with the versatility of a Forester.
 

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14 Forester XT CVT
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339 Posts
Love the XT. I wasn't sure about the CVT at first, but have come to appreciate it. It holds the power band throughout acceleration, offers good mileage and the ability to shift when wanted.
That said, this isn't like a normal auto with paddle shifters, it offers simulated gears, but it's a cvt through and through.
I love my manual and paired with a 2.5 na it is fun to drive, offers some pickup when not loaded, handles well but it is not anywhere near as fast as the xt. Both can bring smiles in different scenarios, but the xt brings more IMHO.

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