Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I am seriously thinking about getting a FXT; first time I read that C/D road test, it went straight to the top of the short list. Of course, that test was with a manual tranny.

I live in the city (literally downtown Seattle), so the AT is really nice for traffic, of which we have a lot. How much am I missing out on by having the automatic? Can anyone tell me if it feels considerably slower? Has anyone driven both? I drive a BMW with an auto now and find that 6-cyl torque matches the AT pretty well, and it seems like the FXT may be similar.

Also, I have been out of the Subaru game for awhile; I am still traumatized over the SVX tranny debacles. Is the tranny for the XT solid? Has it been strengthened for the turbo engine? Do they have tranny coolers now?

Thanks for plowing through the questions!
 

·
scarred from battle
Joined
·
730 Posts
Tranny is a non-issue at stock power levels. The SVX issues pretty much dissappeared with the SVX. (FWIW, they seemed to have corrected those issues with the legacy/outbacks with the new H6 engine and the 5-sp auto as well)

As for the auto vs. manual - you'll hear a lot from both sides of the fence. The manual is quicker, end of story... does it really matter? I don't think so, but then i'm pretty happy with the boring power levels of the N/A forester with an auto.
 

·
German tech
MY16 Audi S3 Sedan DSG 6 speed
Joined
·
3,563 Posts
The auto is slower off the lights but when I test drove them there wasn't much difference when moving. We are lucky here in Aussie to get the Sportshift and that gives me the best of both worlds in my opinion.

If you are after out and out speed off the mark then get the manual.

The auto is better offroad and in the city.

The manual is of course faster off the mark and is more "involving"

Also, potentially less expensive to repair if something goes wrong.

The auto is only a 4 speed and I feel it. It would have been better with a 5 or 6 speed auto.

The tranny choice is a very personal one for your needs

Good luck - can't go wrong either way.
 

·
scarred from battle
Joined
·
730 Posts
Typo fixed. Thanks. :)

And I think you pretty much summed it up. Ditto on the comment about the sportshift. I drove a friend's '05 outback 3.0 VDC for a few hours a while back... the extra gear and the control from the sportshift would really help with the forster.

Oh, and pushing the VDC in a snowstorm is a blast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I am a lifelong MT person and doubt I will ever buy an auto - but I really liked the FXT auto that I had for a day, the ample low down torque suits an auto well and it's still mighty quick. The pre-06 WRX (2.0L Turbo) with auto is a terrible match. The 3.0 H6 I drove with 5EAT was lacking in low end grunt and needed to rev, it was not nearly as satisfying as the 4EAT XT.

Take your pick, they're both awesome.

JP

04 FXT MT
 
G

·
I own a 4eat FXT and I love it...with my FP green turbo...I have no turbo lag between shifts...but you have treat her like lady...beat on her hard sometimes but also show some TLC...LOL...If you're not going to mod the hell out of it then you will have no problems.
 

·
Registered
2005 Forester XT 5MT
Joined
·
34 Posts
Alright, I have a little seat time in both. My wife has an '05 4EAT FXT and I have an '05 5MT FXT! (Built within a month of each other, bought 3 months apart! She got hers first.)
I like the auto and considered it. Performance seems quite good stock in the 4EAT. While it seems to be a good shifting auto I still find it hunting a bit at the wrong moment in my mind. (rarely though if driven right) If I were going to buy an auto, this would be the one. It has plenty of zip, and wants to run. Always brings a smile to my face!
I do think the MT might be faster, but I also think it might require superior driving skills to outrun the auto. Auto considerably slower, no, I don't think so.(Purely opinion here.) I'll let you know after I get mine broken in! I do think mating the turbo to the manual provides the most easily driven MT from Subaru. I find the shifts just seem to happen smoothly in this car. Much smoother than the N/A 5MT forester I had a couple of years ago and light years ahead of the pre 2.5 WRX for my driving style.
The autos have a different AWD system that personally I don't care for. Once again, that is a preference, not good or bad. You may want to spend a little time looking at that as well when chosing a transmission.
FWIW (not that much!) I've come to the conclusion that these days it is about preference. Mileage is about the same. Performance is not that far off. Which would you prefer to drive day to day. That is the key...day to day. If you get in this thing every day, which one would you rather be driving on that cold snowy morning? Either brings a smile to my face!
{editted to add even more words!}
 

·
Registered
2005 FXT PP 4EAT
Joined
·
2,772 Posts
1100beagle said:
... Which would you prefer to drive day to day. That is the key...day to day. If you get in this thing every day, which one would you rather be driving on that cold snowy morning? ...
Or: Which would you prefer to be driving in daily traffic?

We love our 4EAT! That's all I can say.
 

·
Registered
2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
I've a 04 FXT 4EAT.
0-200 foot time is slower than 5MT.
After that, little difference, performance wise.
Better gas mileage with the 4EAT (believe it or not!)
Gas the 4EAT and keep it there, front end will not lower until well into third gear (then you're dealing with downforce from windspeed).
5MT requires focus to launch fast from dead start...on/off easy, gradual application of throttle difficult.
-Quick
 

·
Premium Member
2012 camry se 6AT
Joined
·
2,809 Posts
First off, welcome! :)

It's good to see another Seattlite on board. Living in Seattle, I know first hand an AT vehicle is a must if you commute a lot. Especially in those long congested morning or afternoon commute. I work downtown and occasionally drive to work and those hills downtown aren't fun with an MT vehicle.

If you are still indecisive, just take a demo home for the night and try it out. Carter Subaru up in Aurora or Chaplin Subaru in Bellevue can accomodate with the overnight test drive. Living in Seattle, how fast can you really go. Top speed during morning commute is what - 30 MPH at most? :lol: Good luck and have fun with purchasing your new Subie.
 

·
Registered
2004 XT AT
Joined
·
1,101 Posts
Tifighter said:
How much am I missing out on by having the automatic? Can anyone tell me if it feels considerably slower?
If you care about 0-60 or standing quarters then yes it does feel slower. The stall speed seems a tad low and so moving off from rest is not its strongest suit. But from a rolling start it feels very very fast. Floor it at 10 or 15mph and it really flies.

I probably would have got the manual if it hadn't had the heaviest clutch I've encountered since my 1979 Triumph. I suffer from occasional bouts of sciatica and I reckoned the clutch would bring that on. Drive them both and decide what you think.

-- Steve
 

·
Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
·
4,128 Posts
I commute with my MT in L.A. traffic and don't find the manual a burden at all. The clutch is like a toy and to me is very light. The engine has more than enough torque for the AT though. I've turned mine into a street only car so the MT was a must as I find it much more engaging in the canyons.

The tranny seems to be strong enough to hold up to mild modding but definitely feels like hard shifts will destroy it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
pleiad7 said:

Thanks for the link.

Finding an automatic is not too hard, it's finding the stick to compare it to that is a bit tougher. I'm not interested in 0-60 as a common real-world scenario. Its the 30-50 and 50-70 stuff that's more relevant in daily driving, and you don't hear a lot about those numbers in the reviews out there, right? As for C/D, they do have the 5-60 test, and it is interesting how many cars will add a full second to that 0-60 time...

I will drive them both and report the findings. Not that many here actually need them;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
some of us crazies prefer MT over AT for traffic driving.

i dont mind either way, my brother hates AT in traffic. for me, the aggrivations isnt having to clutch all day when its bumper to bumper but the visions of laying down sweet shifts in a winding road make me insane when i'm trapped. i really dont feel that creeping along in traffic is more of a pain with MT than AT.
 

·
Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
·
4,128 Posts
My sentiments exactly. Nothing like a perfect heel and toe 4-3 or 3-2 shift while hard on the brakes! If you don't take satisfaction in that than the A/T is probably the way to go.
 

·
German tech
MY16 Audi S3 Sedan DSG 6 speed
Joined
·
3,563 Posts
lizardspeed said:
some of us crazies prefer MT over AT for traffic driving.

i for me, the aggrivations isnt having to clutch all day when its bumper to bumper but the visions of laying down sweet shifts in a winding road make me insane when i'm trapped..
That's why I have Sportshift :)

Just love it. Flicking it through the gears and using it to hold gears is just a treat.

I find it becoming more responsive with every km I do.

:Banane36:
 

·
Registered
2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Without knowing if you're in a rural or urban setting, we're kind of shooting blind...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
This comes from a eurotrash hell bent MT fanatic, but do consider the manual ESPECIALLY if you have traffic to worry about. I have driven 500hp autos that I didn't like. If you want to get very involved with driving, the manual is key.

I would especially take the manual in heavy traffic for its short gears and quick reflexes because you can proceed to work/overtake half asleep american traffic much more efficiently than you could with an auto. I can say this even compared to a 500hp SL-55 that I drove. It's a defect inherent in all autos, turbo or not they lag when you floor it and keep rolling when you lift off the gas. Even with many hundreds of HP, you just can't overcome the fact that there is fluid sitting between what should be two solid friction plates and the car loses that lightning reflex. That holds true even for underpowered small 4cyls. There is that unquantifiable something of having a direct connection between gearbox and motor that makes throttle modulation so much more rewarding.

All else being equal, the MT should get better mileage, but I don't think that is possible in a million years. There is something about MT equipped performance cars that hypnotises you into a psychotic trance where you will want to downshift and pass everything in sight. It's very unbecoming of a civilised american, people will take you for a Greek or an Italian! If you keep the auto in D, it will keep the revs at a much more reasonable level. It's a bit more numb and insulated, which can be good as the AT just encourages a much more relaxed driving experience.

I think either choice is fine, but give the manual a good consideration; it's that good!
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top