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Registered
2003 Ford F150
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, all!

I joined the forum yesterday explaining my intent to purchase a new (2010) Forester to be used in the Boise, ID, area for daily driving and also for dirt road fishing trip jaunts and winter trips to higher elevations for skiing. What I'd like to know is if the performance of a Turbo would would justify it's higher cost at Boise's elevation (~2800') and the surrounding mountain driving elevations?

I'm retired, so I don't have a daily driving routine in the city. I enjoy cars with some "spirit" but I'm not an aggressive driver.

Thanks in advance for any insights, info or opinions you can share!
 

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Registered
05 FXT Broken 5-speed
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239 Posts
I am in Denver, CO, and a turbo is pretty much a 'must' to get into the mountains. It helps to get over the 10,000ft+ passes. You would be getting less gas mileage on a turbo model, but not by much. Plus, w/ a naturally-aspriated car, you will b beating the poor thing to death to get anywhere up hill.
I look my wife's n/a 03 Forester XS to Montana, couple summers ago. The whole time I was wishing it had alittle more power. I consider it a safety feature. The ability to get out of the way, if needed. Some times brakes aren't needed, it's sheer acceleration!
2800ft , in my mind, isn't that high, and you will have great turbo performance. I think you will feel the benefits when you have the car packed up, and you can drive it comfortably.
Just my .02 cents. BTW, we got rid of that 03 Forester XS, now have a slightly modified 05 Forester XT. Plus an 09 Dodge Grand Caravan, which is worse than our old n/a Forester.
I think the stock tune on the '10 Forester XT, will give you just enough power to be rated as 'spirited'.
Good luck!
Absubtle
CO
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
Turbo is a must.
I play in the Rockies and can't imagine trying to get my loaded FXT ( wife, 2 kids , 2 dogs and gear) up a mountain without a turbo.
Sure people will tell you it can be done without a turbo but I don't think so. Plus the extra ground clearance is nice with the XT.
As I always say, you can use the turbo when needed but you can't add a turbo later if you need it.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5x Tour
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100 Posts
I've got an NA MY'10 and I can honestly say if I wasn't SO frugal, I'd be kicking myself for not getting the turbo. I find that I'm holding the RPMs higher than I REALLY want to (although the Boxer just sings, even at 4500-5000) when hill climbing, both in the mountains and in the hills around Vancouver, BC.

Do you need it? No. Would you regret not having it if you bought an NA? Probably. As long as you can justify the extra cost for premium fuel and higher consumption, I'd go for it. The other reason I went NA was because I wanted a manual transmission. If my vehicle was ever written off, I'd seriously consider biting the bullet and driving an auto JUST to get the turbo.

Hope this helps.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5x Tour
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100 Posts
PS. Where I REALLY notice the NA lacking is bottom end torque. Coming from a Jeep Cherokee 4.0HO, I noticed the lack of torque immediately.
 

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Registered
2003 Ford F150
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Thanks to all for your advice... I believe I'm convinced that an XT is the prudent choice!
 

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2009 Forester
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35 Posts
I live in Colorado at 5700 feet and my X is fine with just me around town, but at altitudes above 10,000 feet with a load the thing is a DOG. The pedal is to the metal when climbing and it is very pokey. During those times I'd love to have a turbo. If you can justify the extra cost and the cost of premium fuel, buy it.
 

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2017 Forester Premium CVT
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22 Posts
I'm here in Boise. I just bought a normally aspirated(correction) 2010 Forester about 10 days ago. Seems to run great going up to Bogus Basin Ski Area (our local ski spot where my wife works). This road has around 220 curves. Handles great and seems to have enough power for me. Although I have not yet taken it on a long straight uphill, I don't anticipate a lack of power. I will report back again when I can pry it away from my wife and seek out a local hill.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback Wagon
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67 Posts
Hmmmmm. 2101 Forester? Say, what's that like? Come to think of it, what's everything else like, too?
 

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Registered
2017 Forester Premium CVT
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22 Posts
Here an update: I finally took it up a long uphill. At ~4000-5,000 feet running highway speeds, my NA engine rpm needs to run above 3,000rpm to keep from bogging down on a steeper grade. So, on my manual, I need to downshift from 5th to 4th to keep ~3500rpm at ~60mph.
The Forester is smooth enough at that rpm. My caveat is that I've been so used to cruising a 6 cylinder diesel in my truck at 2,100rpm up the same hill. Comparing the Forester to my truck, the Forester needs to be shifted much less often at slower speeds and more often at higher speeds. The forester is much more fun to drive and I can still hear after I'm done driving.
 
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