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2021 Forester Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have my forester for a few months now and I'm wondering if anyone has thought bout putting a turbo in? If u have help me out with links nd locations where u guys feel confident they'll do a good job on the install. I'm in LA county
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,227 Posts
I'm sure that many have thought about it, but doubt anybody has done it...

Why? For the most part, it's not needed. Sure, everybody that had (has) the turbo SJ and prior generation XT models laments that there is no turbo option on the SK generation - at least in the US/North American market. Subaru discontinued the turbo option on the Forester for a reason (lack of sales). Subaru has found that for the USDM, there is almost no demand for a turbo option - at this time and possibly for the foreseeable future.

Another why? It will very possibly void your warranty. And as a California resident - I'm guessing your "in LA county" refers to Los Angeles county and not some other LA county in the US. As such, probably any turbo conversion would not be viable for testing with CARB (California Air Resources Board) that governs the state's requirements for smog and air quality and most specifically for automobiles. The costs of certification for CARB alone would make it a deal-breaker for most. Sure, if it meets CARB requirements, it would probably meet any other state's requirements, and could be sold in all of the other 49 states, but who knows? There are a lot of upgrades that you can make to your vehicle that will often carry the admonition - not legal for sale in California or for off-road use only or similar. All because the mod has not/can not/will not meet CARB requirements.

Yes, other manufacturers offer turbo charged small/medium SUVs that compete with Forester (like the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, the Mazda C30 and CX5, Hyundai and Kia models, others) but for the most part, most of those manufacturers are utilizing smaller engines for better MPG and adding a turbo (which really hurts MPG) to get a power output similar to the larger normally aspirated motor the turbo replaced. With the exception of Mazda and Hyundai/Kia offerings, the turbo motors for those other brands have shrunk from a 2.4 or larger NA motor to a 1.4 to 1.6 liter motor. And the real world results are actually not as good as they'd hoped because the smaller turbo motors have to work much harder (even with comparable power/torque ratings) than the larger NA motors to keep up the same pace.

The Outback XT replaced the larger 3.6 liter flat 6 with the 2.4 turbo from the Ascent.

One other thing - the current CVT MAY NOT BE strong enough to handle the higher power/torque ratings from the turbo on the 2.5 motor. The previous generation used a different CVT for the XT models with the turbo 2-liter than the NA 2.5 liter. This same CVT is still in play in the Ascent, the Outback XT and the WRX models.

It may be that your best bet is to go back to your local Subaru dealer and trade your Forester for the larger Ascent or similar size Outback and deal with the pro-con issues of either of them; which honestly you should have done when buying your 2021 Forester.

I'm not trying to be snarky or argumentative in this response - just pointing out the realities of your question.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester premium
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244 Posts
Yup, just no market for them unfortunately(XT Forester) id actually just get the XT Outback instead if I thought I needed the turbo. OR id look for a XT in the last year they made XT's and look for the best minty example of that I could get. I just drove a 2012 Forester XT with 25,000 miles on it owned by a older couple was really awesome car they kept it like new off the showroom floor too. So they are out there. I also drove what I believe(if i get the name right they have so many goofy names now days) was the 2021 Outback XT "onyx" or something like that,,,awesome car..id take it over my forester any day..same clearance, same off road ability just looked awesome and had the turbo engine...and yes you could tell the difference in 2 ways and noticably VS the normally aspirated model..the 2 ways were power you can 100% tell the difference as I A/B them we traded a car I drove down to them a 2021 Outback Touring for the XT Onyx....you knew the Onyx was more powerful..and the other thing was MPG....the XT got noticeably worse MPG also drove the regular Outback down gas needle hardly moved...about a hour 60 mile drive.....drove the XT back the exact same way...and the needle was considerably more thirsty and noticeable movement compared to the "regular" model.
 

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2021 Forester Sport
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@CBennett69,
Wow ya I'm a single guy but wanted something bigger than a coupe I do like the outback xt they're super nice well maybe next time I'll trade in my forester for the outback hahahahha I'm barley going on 4 months with my forester nd I can't complain
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,227 Posts
There are 3 different Outback XT models - the Onyx, the Limited and the Touring.

In Forester terms, the Onyx is more like a Forester Sport - black trim, sportier looking. The Limited and Touring would match equipment and "look" to the Forester Limited or Touring.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,942 Posts
I have an '18 XT (well its the wife's) You never, never see one.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,227 Posts
Those copper/gold bits are just details - nothing functional really. I think that those are over the tow hook mounting spots. I think they're also on the rear fascia/bumper.
 

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2012 Forester 4 speed auto
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1,152 Posts
You just cannot bolt a turbo charger on an engine. The compression ratio on your Normal aspiration engine is 10:1. If you increase the intake air pressure with a turbo charger, you will need 100 plus octane fuel to keep it from self destruction. It's called detonation or pinging. The best you can hope for is a supercharger with about 7 PSI of boast.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester premium
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244 Posts
@Easy Fixer,
This is why I didnt even answer just tossing on a turbo..there are a LOT of other things that need changed and regulated when you do this that cars normally have engineered in(thats why they cost more..they need more stuff and tuning or specialized mapping and throttle body fuel delivery stuff sometimes different pistons and heads or exhaust just depends/// I can not talk to what subaru specifically does to their turbo vs non turbo engines but its much more costly and complicated than simply bolting in a turbo or supercharger...everything else including the computers and programming needs to also jive.
 

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2021 Forester Base Automatic
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273 Posts
Id recommend getting an Outback Turbo or a Porsche/Audi/Mercedes with a factory turbo, it will be much better in the end and requires nothing other than some more money.
 

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Future 2022 Forester Wilderness Owner
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320 Posts
Aren't there rumours that the 2022 Forester Wilderness will bring back the turbo?
Define rumors? Is there made up crap and garbage click-bate articles? Yes, but there are no reliable leaks. The only reliable information is a slide from a dealer conference showing the planned release schedule (Forester Wilderness is happening) and some spy shots. Neither indicate any engine changes. The spy shots vehicle only had a single exhaust.

That said, I still think there is a good chance they do something to improve power and that is because of the wilderness trim. A major part of the Outback wilderness is the increased power associated with the Ascent gearing and the 2.4L Turbo engine. Without more torque at lower RPM it feels like the a Forester Wilderness would mostly be an appearance package which kinda defeats the point.

However, I could very easily be wrong. Regardless, it shouldn't be long before we find out. End of August at the latest IMHO.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5 CVT
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41 Posts
As for adding a turbo, IMHO, don't do it. I've had quite a few sport cars and nothing compares to a factory spec'ed hi output engine. Believe me, they've done the design, testing, etc....and that gives you peace of mind as to reliability and performance. My previous 2002 WRX was "slightly" modded yet more reliable than my intents to increase HP on my other (non Subaru) cars. I also had an 2005 Forester XT and still regret selling it. What will add to fun to your Forester is suspension. A rear sway bar, better struts, tires and bracing will shock your buddies. No one thinks that tall boxy wagon can move like it does, and thats without lowering it!

To me the perfect Forester has a 260hp engine and a traditional standard 6 speed tranny, or a traditional 6 or 8 speed auto. (I really dislike the CVT). Enjoy your subie and good luck with the mods!
 

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Future 2022 Forester Wilderness Owner
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320 Posts
@TXFXT THIS!!! If you goal is for a high performance vehicle, that is not the forester right now. It might have options for it again in the future, but there are a lot better options out there (including with Subaru). Heck, they just announced yesterday the new WRX would be debuted at the NY Auto Show on August 19th. That will likely be one hell of a vehicle.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,639 Posts
Want the boost without the booster - Nitrous injection. Similar HP addition, less cost, and totally illegal in California to use it, just like adding a turbo would be.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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3,116 Posts
Yup, just no market for them unfortunately(XT Forester) id actually just get the XT Outback instead if I thought I needed the turbo. OR id look for a XT in the last year they made XT's and look for the best minty example of that I could get. I just drove a 2012 Forester XT with 25,000 miles on it owned by a older couple was really awesome car they kept it like new off the showroom floor too. So they are out there. I also drove what I believe(if i get the name right they have so many goofy names now days) was the 2021 Outback XT "onyx" or something like that,,,awesome car..id take it over my forester any day..same clearance, same off road ability just looked awesome and had the turbo engine...and yes you could tell the difference in 2 ways and noticably VS the normally aspirated model..the 2 ways were power you can 100% tell the difference as I A/B them we traded a car I drove down to them a 2021 Outback Touring for the XT Onyx....you knew the Onyx was more powerful..and the other thing was MPG....the XT got noticeably worse MPG also drove the regular Outback down gas needle hardly moved...about a hour 60 mile drive.....drove the XT back the exact same way...and the needle was considerably more thirsty and noticeable movement compared to the "regular" model.
My Forester 9'18XT) is way more limber than the Outback. With the new 2022 WRX right around the corner, I'd look at that instead (if they have a hatchback option).
 
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