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2017 Forester XT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Fellow Forester Owners!

I finally decided to join after lurking around the last year and a half when I purchased my first Subaru. I currently own a '17 FXT which I've been a big fan of, with the exception of the fuel economy. I've taken it on many adventures in the Southwest and its definitely held its own. I am currently waiting on a 2021 Ice Silver Metallic Forester Sport that should be arriving at the end of the month, so I'll be enjoying my FXT before I traded it in at the end of the month.

Here are some pics of my XT in the mountains of Nevada and loaded with our camping gear. Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Plant Wheel Tire Sky Cloud Car Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Land vehicle Wheel Tire Car Sky Vehicle Car Vehicle Plant Hood Trunk
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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829 Posts
Welcome.... and yeah what's wrong with the mpg? You have to pay that hp tax some way. 250hp vs 180hp I'll take more hp all day.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@GMD and @Mr.AC this is my wifes daily driver and right now on we averaging about 19 in town and max 21 on the highway. I understand that having ATs and a cargo box (only on the Forester when we go on adventures) would bring down the fuel economy, but I didn't think it would be as bad as my 08 Tacoma.

When we were first looking at Foresters we were all about the power over MPG as we spend our weekends in high desert/mountains. But after several adventures we've come to terms that we'd rather have the fuel economy vs power at this time. Don't get me wrong, the extra power was nice the first year or so, but as the fuel prices started to increase and the FXT not getting near the 27/23 we decided that we will trade it in for now and wait a few years until Subaru comes out with something new.

Trust me I had a long discussion about this with my wife before we decided to pull the trigger on a 21' Forester as we really like the body style of the Fourth Gen over the Fifth Gen Foresters. We even considered an Outback XT or Outback Wilderness, but we don't like the looks of the Outback vs the Forester. So hopefully in the next few years Subaru will come out with an updated Forester with a good power/MPG ratio and we'll consider upgrading again at that point.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,175 Posts
Glad you're here and you'll enjoy your time in the land of Foz...

When it comes to the MPG - remember that the EPA estimates are (first) just estimates. But the bigger issue is "how" they achieve those estimates and results. I suggest taking a look at the EPA site and seeing just how they figure it... It was a real eye opener....

As you've also discovered, the AT tires and cargo carrier and many other updates/mods can really drag your MPG down towards dismal numbers... Even just adding a simple thing like the roof rack cross bars can drop your MPG. Running AC? That's another drag on MPG.... Windows or moonroof open? More drag... Even just simple changes in the atmospheric pressure, the temps and the altitude can cause variances...

If you use the SI Drive and keep it in the "sport" mode, that will change the MPG, too, as it uses different mapping on the ECU and TCU which can also impact the MPG.

When I bought my Foz back in Aug 2013, I was thrilled with the MPG estimates but knew I'd never come close to hitting those numbers. I drove a Fox XT, as well and - like you - found the extra ooomph to be fun, but knew (from previous experience) that the extra ooomph comes at a price - like MPG and possible repair costs down the line.

You'll see better MPG on your 2021 when it comes in. But you may not ever meet the EPA estimates...

What does the future hold? Probably more emphasis on increasing MPG but possibly with a loss in power. Some have been hoping that the new 1.8 turbo will find a home in the Forester, but in reality, those smaller motors with turbo addition to meet the HP/torque numbers of the larger non-turbo motors have often shown that the MPG gains just are not really there as the engine needs to work harder to get moving vs the non-turbo larger motor.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@FozzieBalou thanks man! I've already found a lot of useful information on this forum.

I figured vehicles would never meet the EPA estimates, as you don't know the exact environmental factors when they did their tests, which could have been in a very controlled environment. We live in the Southwest at slightly under 3k in elevation and drive up to 7-8k on the weekends so we also knew that wasn't going to be as advertised. The only time we would put our FXT in "sport" mode was when we needed to pass on single lane highways and mountain passes.

We would have been fine with the FXT if we at least achieved 20-21 on surface streets and 23-24 on the highway but it is what it is. I don't even think when we first picked up the CPO FXT about two years ago we even achieved that to be honest, which is fine as both my wife and I knew off the bat we wanted power over MPG.

Oh well, you live and you learn. As time has passed our priorities have definitely shifted from power over to MPG. Maybe that will change in a few years, but I've been happy so far with Subaru and its nice to be apart of the Forester Family.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,175 Posts
Generally, the MPG testing is done in a controlled environment that meets certain criteria. Again, I really suggest reading up on the process - it really opened my eyes...

For example, the highway numbers are built off of tests that never used to get above 50 MPH. A few years back (maybe in the early 2ks?) they adjusted it and had the speed top out at like 80 MPH, but the average speed for the entire test was still under 50 MPH. City testing I believe teh average speed never really goes over 20 MPH.

I know in the 80s, there was another revision to the testing in that the original testing used to be the equivalent of a flat road surface - no inclines or declines - no AC, nothing...

From an article in 2005 -

The "city" program is designed to replicate an urban rush-hour driving experience in which the vehicle is started with the engine cold and is driven in stop-and-go traffic with frequent idling. The car or truck is driven for 11 miles and makes 23 stops over the course of 31 minutes, with an average speed of 20 mph and a top speed of 56 mph. The "highway" program, on the other hand, is created to emulate rural and interstate freeway driving with a warmed-up engine, making no stops (both of which ensure maximum fuel economy). The vehicle is driven for 10 miles over a period of 12.5 minutes with an average speed of 48 mph and a top speed of 60 mph. Both fuel economy tests are performed with the vehicle's air conditioning and other accessories turned off.
Throughout the test, a hose is connected to the vehicle's tailpipe and collects the engine's exhaust. The amount of carbon present in what's spewed from the exhaust system is measured to calculate the amount of fuel burned. The EPA claims this is more accurate than using a fuel-gauge to physically measure the amount of gasoline being burned. Still, the final fuel economy figures are adjusted downward, by 10 percent for city driving and 22 percent in highway mileage, to help reflect the differences between what happens in a lab and out on an actual road.

Car & Driver did a report - The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates

This is from the EPA - Detailed Test Information
 

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2017 Forester XT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@FozzieBalou thanks for sharing. I ended up checking it out per your suggestion and that is a pretty big eye opener for sure.

IMO these controlled tests does not match up to todays in city and highway driving here in the states or at least in the SW region. Most of the highways in my area range from 65-80 MPH and in city ranges from 45-55 MPH which is well above their controlled testing environment.

I'll be happy just as long as I get better fuel economy than my Tacoma.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,175 Posts
That was exactly my point - how off those "estimates" really are.

I have a similar set of roadways as you - a few interstates (70 MPH limites) and a lot of big city roads with speeds of 45 to 55 - 4 to 6 lanes wide, often with maybe a single traffic light every half-mile to mile, with a lot of big housing communities with limited access to those big roads... It is an eye opener...

Have the additional tests brought more realistic estimates? Maybe. But they're still way out of whack to the typical drivers here in the US...
 
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