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2020 Forester Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Any news if Subaru will bring back a turbo Forester anytime soon?

The one now is pretty gutless driving in the mountains
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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Can concur. I had a 2007 XS (non turbo) and we do a road trip from Vancouver to Calgary a couple times a year. The non turbo (5MT) was absolutely horrible in the mountains. I now have a 2018 XT (CVT) and it kicks donkey in the mountains. It doesn't even know it's on a mountain. It just goes like stink. NIGHT AND DAY!
 

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For the first part - who knows? It may all depend on how the sales of the Outback Onyx XT sells... But if it doesn't make up a significant percentage of Outback sales, don't expect the turbo to come over to the Forester.

Remember that one of the reasons for the demise of the XT turbo in the change from SJ to SK was a deep lack of sales. When you have between 5 and 10% of the model sales going to the XT, there's not a lot of reason to bring it back to the line up.

Blame it on product planning (really - only a black interior option is available?) or dealer ordering (as how many they have on their lots directly impacts how many they can sell) or just a lack of difference between the "regular" Forester and and the Turbo XT Foresters... Truly, the only difference outside was the front fascia and the wheels. And yet even the wheels were not always unique to the XT - the same could be had on the Touring models in some years. The interior? No change at all - besides maybe the cloth seat fabric design and stitching? Oh and the steering wheel buttons and the paddles. But there wasn't really much different visually from the regular n/a Forester.

Sure the engine is more powerful. But it's less economical. So for some, it will never be a choice. And yes, now that the Forester is on the same global platform that pins the Outback and the Ascent and the rest, there's more of a chance for the 2.4 turbo to find a home in the Forester. But it depends on how well it would sell.

For part number two - about being gutless in the mountains - I'd have to disagree... I've regularly taken my Foz up towards Idylwild and Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead in the mountains surrounding the desert floor I live on in Southern California. My Foz has no problems on those mountain roads and keeping up (and sometimes leading) traffic. Are there faster conveyances? Sure. But I've never had any issues. I can easily travel at the posted limits (and above) without any issues. Do I have to keep my foot on the pedal? Sure, but you have to do the same thing in the XT also.

If you want to take a gander at the mountain roads I'm talking about, google search for California highway 18 or 330 near San Bernardino or highway 74 or 62 near Palm Springs and Yucca Valley.... Or look at I-15 up and over the Cajon Pass leading from the greater LA area in to the desert flat lands of Victorville and Apple Valley. I-15 or highway 215 going south from near Riverside down towards San Diego, or I-8 between San Diego and the deserts south of Salton Sea.

I've driven all of these and never had any feeling of "wow, how gutless!" when on those roads or any of them.
 

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Gutless is a relative term. It's more than sufficient to do anything that's asked of it. Whether it does it within your parameters is really a personal matter. Like @FozzieBalou said, I wouldn't have bought the XT even if it were available. Most buyers aren't getting a crossover for acceleration. Most wouldn't pay a few extra grand to get worse gas millage. My other car is a ~350hp hatchback and I find the Forester perfectly sufficient for my needs.
 

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Any news if Subaru will bring back a turbo Forester anytime soon?

The one now is pretty gutless driving in the mountains
Is it really that gutless? I test drove it last year and it wasn't horrible. Yes it def needs more power, but its more than adequate for most people.

Most people don't buy these foresters for acceleration or sportiness. It's a small SUV after all.

And in regards to them bringing the turbo back, it depends on how well the XT lines for the Outback, Legacy, etc sell. if it does, then i could them making a case to bring it back.

Don't expect it until the mid-cycle refresh if at all. So most likely either the 2023/2024 model year SK forester.
 

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I looked at some of those mountain roads you listed, on Google Maps and Street View, but can't really tell a lot about them without "driving along" in Street View for a long time. But the default points Google Maps brings me to when I type those names in are near or in the city, which suggests a lot of traffic, or stop lights, and there were a lot of curves too. You may not be talking about these areas -- that's just where Google Maps defaults to.

When there are curves, stop lights, and traffic, you're not really on the highway. That's kind of like driving in the city. When I talk about "mountain roads" (and I think the OP means the same thing I do) I'm talking about highways, driving often in a straight line, possibly with some uphill to it, at elevation, for hours at a time, at highway speeds. Acceleration doesn't come into play at all -- you're accelerating only a few times an hour. In my 2007 nonturbo 5MT Forester (I think it had 172 hp), I was like a pylon on the highway. I'd be in 3rd gear at 4,000+ RPM, and huge loaded 18 wheelers and loaded dump trucks would be passing me. It would be difficult to accelerate and difficult to hear the stereo over the engine noise. In contrast, when I drive my 2018 XT (CVT), it just feels like I'm driving in the city. The car accelerates as normal, and is not stressed in the least.

We do this trip to see the inlaws. Sometimes we fly but I much prefer driving. When driving, you can bring whatever you want, you can stop anywhere and eat what you want (pre pandemic), look at whatever you want, and it's just more fun. Flying is a hassle. After a few years, with the nonturbo, I was starting to not bring as much cargo, in an attempt to keep the car lighter. It didn't help. And it's a big black mark on the car's suitability as an SUV. With the turbo now, I'm back to enjoying the trip, just throwing things into the car even if I don't need them. Hey, my coffee maker is better than the hotel one. Throw it in the car!

I'm not an aggressive driver at all. My 2018 has a gauge on the dash that tells me the percentage of throttle I'm using (pedal position). I rarely if ever go over 30%. The throttle percentage is even more significant when you consider that the 2018 has an electronic throttle, and 30% actually means approx 30% of the available engine power. On the 2007 I had the physical cable turning the pulley, and there was very little effect when the pedal position changed at higher throttle. If I remember correctly, the pulley was circular on the 2007, and you can change the throttle effect by changing the shape of the pulley, so that you'd get a bigger change in the valve position with a smaller change in the pedal position at high throttle, but if I remember correctly, it was circular on the 2007. So on the 2007, I was using the higher percentages of available engine power.

(Review of electronic throttle vs mechanical throttle:
)

Maybe you can tell that I'm not an aggressive driver or drag-race aficionado. For mountain highway driving, it doesn't matter that the XT has more power than the nonturbo (although I do appreciate the availability of the power). When we talk about driving on the mountain roads, the problem has to do with the engine's difficulty in sucking in the air it needs. In the city, the nonturbo was fine. The acceleration was fine. In the mountains at low speeds, everything was fine. But at elevation, at higher throttle, the engine had a lot of trouble breathing. I think there's a post somewhere that has numbers in it, and it was about 20% less engine power available in the thinner air. The turbo really helps the engine breathe, even if you are not using a lot of power. Honestly though, it seemed like 50% less power when I was driving. I didn't reference that post just now, so my numbers may be way off (but the 50% is close, subjectively).

I don't think anyone said the nonturbo is gutless in general (although it's not powerful). But on mountain highways, it is. You and others may have driven on mountain highways in the nonturbo. But I've driven it in the nonturbo and the turbo, for years, and we make the trip often. It's 15 hours one way, more than 90% highway, so I've had time to observe the differences.

Would I appreciate the better fuel economy of the nonturbo? Sure. But obviously if fuel economy were one of the top priorities, I wouldn't have purchased an SUV. My old Civic blows away all the cars I've ever had, in the economy dept. (The Civic had something like 90 hp nonturbo and wasn't fun on the mountain highways either.) Would I appreciate being able to use regular gas instead of higher-octane gas? Sure. But again, the increased performance of the engine takes care of the increased cost of fuel. I could probably use the nonturbo and a heavier foot to get more performance, but that would take more fuel and cost, and maybe wear out the engine more.

What do I think of all of the cosmetic differences you mentioned? Badging and wheels etc? I don't care about cosmetic things, and would actually prefer that my XT looks exactly like the most nondescript Forester. I don't want the car to draw attention, because I have to drive it around and use it, and park it where there are people. Extra attention draws vandalism and similar problems. I would much rather passersby be interested in a car on the other side of the parking lot.

If 10% of the volume of cars sold are XT, would that be enough reason for Subaru to continue making them? It would depend on the cost of making them vs the income gained by making them, and the opportunity cost vs making more of the nonturbos, and the available manufacturing capability. I don't know for sure why they no longer make the XT, but it has been discussed in a lot of threads on this site. If I ever have to buy another Forester, would I buy a nonturbo? Probably not. I've had both the nonturbo and the turbo. I had the nonturbo for 11 years, and my plan was to suck it up (tolerate the lack of power) until the car was at its end of life, and then upgrade to the turbo. I think I made those plans after having the nonturbo for only about 5 years. But then I learned that the turbo was going away after 2018, and so I had to suck it up again and make an unscheduled car purchase -- either that or never have the turbo. I don't regret buying the XT at all, and I'm glad I did. I'm not glad I got the XT because I want a sports car or drag racer. There are sportier cars and cars that accelerate more quickly. I wanted a Forester, with its on- and off-road capability and cargo capacity, just with more engine performance on the mountain highways, and the acceleration here and there for passing is a nice to have.

EDIT: I haven't driven a nonturbo with electronic throttle. Maybe it would seem different to me, because changing the pedal position at higher throttle positions would actually have an effect (I assume). But with my 2007 mechanical-throttle nonturbo, changing the pedal position at high throttle had almost no effect. The result: Gutless, no acceleration at higher throttle.
 

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I looked at some of those mountain roads you listed, on Google Maps and Street View, but can't really tell a lot about them without "driving along" in Street View for a long time. But the default points Google Maps brings me to when I type those names in are near or in the city, which suggests a lot of traffic, or stop lights, and there were a lot of curves too. You may not be talking about these areas -- that's just where Google Maps defaults to.

When there are curves, stop lights, and traffic, you're not really on the highway. That's kind of like driving in the city. When I talk about "mountain roads" (and I think the OP means the same thing I do) I'm talking about highways, driving often in a straight line, possibly with some uphill to it, at elevation, for hours at a time, at highway speeds. Acceleration doesn't come into play at all -- you're accelerating only a few times an hour. In my 2007 nonturbo 5MT Forester (I think it had 172 hp), I was like a pylon on the highway. I'd be in 3rd gear at 4,000+ RPM, and huge loaded 18 wheelers and loaded dump trucks would be passing me. It would be difficult to accelerate and difficult to hear the stereo over the engine noise. In contrast, when I drive my 2018 XT (CVT), it just feels like I'm driving in the city. The car accelerates as normal, and is not stressed in the least.
I have to agree with @FozzieBalou as I have also driven up to Idyllwild on a number of occasions in my wife's 2008 Forester NA and while that car it notably worse than her new 2020 Forester, it still did "ok". SR74 is relatively steep grade leading up from Hemet into Idyllwild with few lights but it is a twisty, mountain road with a few passing lanes where most folks travel at highway speeds. ....elevation is ~5,400 feet in Idyllwild.

For something more like you are describing, try looking up Cajon Pass. The I-15 has a 6% grade through a good portion of that stretch and that's multiple lanes on both sides. The elevation at the summit is ~3,800 feet and windy as hell sometimes. We've been through that pass multiple times in her old Forester and while the the shifting between 3rd and 4th can be annoying (sometimes just select 3rd and leave it there), her car could keep up with the flow of traffic and even passing was possible with momentum.

In fact, I'd argue the types of roads you;re talking about (long, straighter stretches) are easier than twisty highways with a few traffic lights since it's easier to keep up the momentum than to start from a stop on grades.

I also did about 15 years of commuting along the same 74 highway but on the Ortega stretch. On the East side, there are a few miles of steep grade to climb up (at highway speeds) and the Foz did fine on that. It's quite a treacherous hwy and kinda famous for the amount of deaths (usually motorcyclists) each year.

All of this experience is in the 2008 NA Forester with the 4EAT. While that automatic is quite hearty, the programming was horrible IMO / IME. .....but it still did alright. Could have been a lot better with more aggressive tuning of the trans or at least a power option sort of like SI in the new one. Nothing compared to my car(s) but it wasn't that bad.

Just from the little time I've had with the 2020 Forester, I can tell a huge difference in the way the power is delivered in this car. .....and even though the 2020 is a relatively modest jump in power and torque (about 10 for each), the way that power is managed is much better than it was in her old car. Far from "gutless" IMO / IME and if the 2008 is any indicator, I expect that it should be more than capable in the mountains, at altitude, on grades, etc.

btw, we have a Yakima Loadwarrior with extension on the 2008 that will going on the 2020. We would load that thing up taking trips via those roads I described. I'm not saying the car didn't struggle but it held its own. ....far from being a pylon on the side of the road IMO.


EDIT: I haven't driven a nonturbo with electronic throttle. Maybe it would seem different to me, because changing the pedal position at higher throttle positions would actually have an effect (I assume). But with my 2007 mechanical-throttle nonturbo, changing the pedal position at high throttle had almost no effect. The result: Gutless, no acceleration at higher throttle.
Well, the 2007 / 2008 is electronic throttle (not cable) and to be honest, that was one of it's problems. Cable would have been more responsive as I've had many times where I would jump on the throttle only to have it pause a bit before registering. Her 2008 was not responsive to aggressive input.
 

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HI @Botnik ... very well thought out and reasoned response. Thanks for not just being "XT TURBO OR NOTHING!"....

I guess it will all come down to what the op means by "gutless driving in the mountains". As the original post doesn't mention what types of mountains he's driving or making the observation from.

And taking the Cajon pass on I-15 is freeway/highway (depends on how you want to call it in Canada vs US) with no intersections, just limited access on and off ramps. It's a steady climb (6% grade for about 4 miles). Other parts of interstate 15 also have similar grades and similar climbs for long (mostly) straight distances,

The other highways I mentioned do curve, yes. But they're also limited access. But they're still mountain driving and require an ability to keep a speed...

So part of the discussion becomes moot without knowing what type of mountain roads our poster is concerned with.

Any normally aspirated engine will have a harder time with higher elevations. When I had my Bounder motorhome and was driving through Oregon and Washington on a long-loop drive up to Seattle and back down through Idaho and Nevada, that big GM motor (the 8.1 V8? I think?) also had issues. When it comes to those types of mountain driving, yes, a turbo will always perform better because of the forced induction. The turbo generates atmosphere for the intake.

@Klinsman55 shows as being located in Northern Nevada (Reno) and so he's talking about driving in the Sierras in and around Nevada and NorCal... Those mountain roads are very much like the roads I mentioned in my response - especially when considering I-80 and I-15...
 

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Well, the 2007 / 2008 is electronic throttle (not cable)
That'll teach you to rely on my memory! Sorry. I haven't been under the hood of that car in a few years now. The clutch is cable operated, not hydraulic. I guess that's what I was thinking of. Or at least part of the clutch system, anyway, because I remember tinkering with something where there were two things a cable was attached to (clutch assy and hill holder I think), as my buddy was inside pressing and releasing the clutch pedal.

Yes, my 2007 did struggle on the mountain highways. And I couldn't just decide to pass a car. I had to plan it way in advance, get momentum, etc. Not so with the 2018 XT. And with the nonturbo, if the person I was passing was one of those people that speeds up when you pass them, only to slow down again when they're in front of you, I'd be out of luck, because often I wouldn't be able to pass them if they sped up.
 

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Cajon pass
Google Maps tells me that Cajon Pass is "Mid-range mountain highway dividing the San Gabriel & San Bernardino mountains, with scenic views" with an elevation of 1,151 m (3,777 ft). Depending on the route you take between Vancouver and Calgary, one point you often pass through is Kicking Horse Pass, which has an elevation of 1,627 m (5,338 ft). I think one part of the route my 2007 had a lot of trouble with was heading west when leaving Kamloops, where it's just uphill highway for half an hour, several lanes, and the speed limit is something like 120 km/h. But there are several long uphills on the route that my 2007 had trouble with.

In other news, I was surprised at the local dealership today. I was all set to buy one or more Wix 57055XP filters after reading a bunch of stuff, and then on BITOG someone pointed out the low max flow rate of that filter and the high flow rate of Subaru oil pumps. I decided I'd read enough and went to the dealership to buy the regular 15A filter. The parts guy asked me how many I wanted, and on the spur of the moment I asked if he would give me a deal if I bought more than one. He said sure we could work something out. That shocked me. I ended up paying $8.95 ea for 5 filters, usually around $11 or $12 each (dealership prices). It's raining now but I have to do my 40,000 km oil change in the next few days. I also got 5 crush washers. That should take me to 80,000 km.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For the first part - who knows? It may all depend on how the sales of the Outback Onyx XT sells... But if it doesn't make up a significant percentage of Outback sales, don't expect the turbo to come over to the Forester.

Remember that one of the reasons for the demise of the XT turbo in the change from SJ to SK was a deep lack of sales. When you have between 5 and 10% of the model sales going to the XT, there's not a lot of reason to bring it back to the line up.

Blame it on product planning (really - only a black interior option is available?) or dealer ordering (as how many they have on their lots directly impacts how many they can sell) or just a lack of difference between the "regular" Forester and and the Turbo XT Foresters... Truly, the only difference outside was the front fascia and the wheels. And yet even the wheels were not always unique to the XT - the same could be had on the Touring models in some years. The interior? No change at all - besides maybe the cloth seat fabric design and stitching? Oh and the steering wheel buttons and the paddles. But there wasn't really much different visually from the regular n/a Forester.

Sure the engine is more powerful. But it's less economical. So for some, it will never be a choice. And yes, now that the Forester is on the same global platform that pins the Outback and the Ascent and the rest, there's more of a chance for the 2.4 turbo to find a home in the Forester. But it depends on how well it would sell.

For part number two - about being gutless in the mountains - I'd have to disagree... I've regularly taken my Foz up towards Idylwild and Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead in the mountains surrounding the desert floor I live on in Southern California. My Foz has no problems on those mountain roads and keeping up (and sometimes leading) traffic. Are there faster conveyances? Sure. But I've never had any issues. I can easily travel at the posted limits (and above) without any issues. Do I have to keep my foot on the pedal? Sure, but you have to do the same thing in the XT also.

If you want to take a gander at the mountain roads I'm talking about, google search for California highway 18 or 330 near San Bernardino or highway 74 or 62 near Palm Springs and Yucca Valley.... Or look at I-15 up and over the Cajon Pass leading from the greater LA area in to the desert flat lands of Victorville and Apple Valley. I-15 or highway 215 going south from near Riverside down towards San Diego, or I-8 between San Diego and the deserts south of Salton Sea.

I've driven all of these and never had any feeling of "wow, how gutless!" when on those roads or any of them.
Yes this is true, a couple years ago it was near impossible for me to test drive a forester XT from my local dealer. Every time I would come in it was some story or another why they didn’t have one available. After a couple months of this I had To drive to another dealership in another city and even then I couldn’t test drive a new one, the salesman just let me test drive his wife’s 2 year old XT.

Same story in 2020. I wanted to test drive the turbo onyx or other turbo outback and “none available on lot” and was told they might get some in a month if they didn’t sell before they arrived
Im sure if Subaru had more turbo’s available to test drive on lot they would double or triple their sales. Hell, I probably would have bought one instead of my non turbo Forester. Makes it hard to buy one when it’s near impossible to test drive one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got my forester about 3 weeks ago. I was driving an Audi Q5 prior so that may have something to do with me feeling the Forester is underpowered. Although for whatever reason I think I enjoy my Forester more already then I did my Audi. The Audi could do 0-60 in under 6 seconds easily and was very quite on the inside. Little to no road, engine, wind noises etc. I don’t drive aggressive, Usually I’m in the slow lane, I treat the accelerator like an Egg shell I don’t want to break.

I just miss being to effortlessly overtake a slow vehicle if needed or pull out on a busy street etc. I believe the road I drive gets up to over 8k feet. I spend more time around 5,500-6000 feet.

as of now I much prefer my Forester then the Audi. I’m in my “breakin” phase now until I get to 1,000 miles so try to drive gently and keep my rpm’s under 3500. When I get to 1k miles I’ll try maybe pushing the pedal 75-90% Down and see how she does. Also discovered I have #Sport mode so will try that out as well.

in a year I may revisit trading this forester in for a turbo onyx outback (if I can ever test drive one at the dealer). Not too much a fan of the outback look (although looks much better then it used to plus handles a little better then forester) and you don’t sit as high in the seat as the forester and the outback has more space then I need.

Ideally I think a turbo forester would be perfect for me
 

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To each their own. Hope you guys love the 19+

The day I pay 40+ grand Canadian for a top trim ... 170-80 hp...

could/would never do that. other companies are offering and beginning to offer better options/trims. Subaru’s top trims are highly underwhelming and/or dated (STI).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To each their own. Hope you guys love the 19+

The day I pay 40+ grand Canadian for a top trim ... 170-80 hp...

could/would never do that. other companies are offering and beginning to offer better options/trims. Subaru’s top trims are highly underwhelming and/or dated (STI).
This is True. MSRP for Turbo outback onyx is close to $36k. I could almost get a base Audi Q5 for that or a 4Runner ( although I’ve never had a RWD and heard stories of easy fish tailing in inclimate weather with those)
 

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To each their own. Hope you guys love the 19+

The day I pay 40+ grand Canadian for a top trim ... 170-80 hp...

could/would never do that. other companies are offering and beginning to offer better options/trims. Subaru’s top trims are highly underwhelming and/or dated (STI).
I dunno..... I think the Premium trim is a great value. With the convenience option on the Forester we chose, package code 15 and cross bars at under $31k USD MSRP, that's was a lot of options in an already very capable and well equipped AWD vehicle. ......we got it for right about $28k which isn't even that great of a deal to be honest but that's still hard to beat IMO / IME. I guess if hp / tq is really important to you, I can understand where the Forester could be a deal breaker.

I'm used to driving vehicles with a lot more power but I didn't feel the 2020 was "gutless". The HP is plenty enough for for my wife and for me considering what it is and what it's going to be for. Certainly nothing to get excited about but then again, I still have my own vehicle(s) I enjoy for that sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I dunno..... I think the Premium trim is a great value. With the convenience option on the Forester we chose, package code 15 and cross bars at under $31k USD MSRP, that's was a lot of options in an already very capable and well equipped AWD vehicle. ......we got it for right about $28k which isn't even that great of a deal to be honest but that's still hard to beat IMO / IME. I guess if hp / tq is really important to you, I can understand where the Forester could be a deal breaker.

I'm used to driving vehicles with a lot more power but I didn't feel the 2020 was "gutless". The HP is plenty enough for for my wife and for me considering what it is and what it's going to be for. Certainly nothing to get excited about but then again, I still have my own vehicle(s) I enjoy for that sort of thing.
Yes the Premium is the one I wanted but they didn’t have any available on the lot lol it was like $27,500 before taxes etc. so I just went with the sport they had on the lot
 

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Yes the Premium is the one I wanted but they didn’t have any available on the lot lol it was like $27,500 before taxes etc. so I just went with the sport they had on the lot
I was lucky that the dealer I go to has mostly Premiums on their lot. I wanted the Jasper Green because I knew my wife would love it and since it was relatively rare around here but of course, they didn't have any. I discussed it with her and she went with the Horizon Blue Pearl which she also liked. .....I have to say that I also wanted the green since it would have been easier to maintain (doesn't show dirt and scratches as much). ;) The blue was a good compromise in that sense since she wanted nothing to do with the white. My own car is black so I really didn't want another high maintenance color.

They had 3 Premium blue for $30,7XX and the rest were white and black. The only thing missing was the crossbars which the Internet Sales Mgr gave me an employee discount on and I installed myself.
 

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I suggest you test-drive a Mazda CX5 Signature or Grand Touring Reserve wtih the Turbo. I am a Subaru diehard....we had an 04 XT Auto and an 08 XT 5M....still have an 18 Crosstrek LTD, but after test-driving the Onyx, having four recalls with our Crosstrek, and having two family members have Subaru CVT failures, I purchased a 2020 CX5 Signature. It is fantastic!

The CX5 Signature has all the grunt, speed, handling that I enjoyed in my 08 XT 5M...has a regular 6-speed auto with a sport mode, is solid, elegant, quiet, and has a great array of modern conveniences/technology. In addition, and importantly, their reliability track record is currently really good.
536879
 

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Hi All,

I have a 2014 XT with the turbo that i'm considering selling at the moment. Given that its not available with the turbo anymore is there a premium to be paid for these cars or maybe a discount ? Or does KBB provide a fair assessment of the value?

Thanks,
 
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