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2019 Tacoma TRD OR 4x4 6AT
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Discussion Starter #1
Lots of talk about people wanting the turbo and/or manual back. If you were granted the power to dictate Subaru's design requirements for the next generation (or mid-cycle refresh) Forester, what would you want? :smile2: Let's have some fun

Personally, my list would be pretty small as I think this is already a pretty awesome vehicle. Regardless, here it is:

- Bring back the turbo and manual (obviously...)
- Updated FA20DIT engine with both port and direct injection to significantly cut down/eliminate carbon build up issue
- Updated FB25 engine with both port and direct injection
- Tune intake and exhaust slightly to bring back more of that boxer engine sound we all love :grin2:
- Use same manual transmission from 2014-2018, but modify gear ratios slightly to increase fuel economy and reduce engine RPM at highway speeds
- Redesign interior; go back to cleaner looking SJ dash design, but modernize the infotainment interface and gauge cluster area
- Place stronger design emphasis on eliminating all sources of knocks, taps, rattles, and squeaks around the car
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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Seems like one of these wish lists pops up pretty regularly round these parts...It also seems that the good folks at Subaru are not likely to oblige many, if any of your desired changes, based on what I have read/heard through the rumor mill...

1) Not going to happen, not at this point at least. Perhaps with the redesign of the WRX the Foz may get some love in the next generation. Although Subaru seems to believe that all but a handful of buyers have zero interest in a new XT model, especially with a manual trans. We are out of luck so to speak.

2 and 3) This would require an entire engine redesign along with all the red tape that goes with it. All the eggs seem to be in the hybrid/electric basket these days so, probably not going to happen either.

4) Zero reason to do so. See numbers 1-3 above.

5) This could be a possibility if they were to bring back the manual and turbo...but all things considered, probably not. Besides Subarus in general have never been known for great fuel economy. It's just part and parcel to the platform.

6) This is the only item on your list that may come to fruition, as interior design is something that changes with every generation. It's also the one area that customers have any real input in.

7) Also not very likely. The best way to achieve this goal is to add sound deadening. Which adds weight, cost, and decreases fuel economy and performance if all other things are equal. The Forester is not a Cadillac, and most folks don't expect it to be.

Just playing devil's advocate here as I would love to see all the items on your wish list become a reality. Although I fear that the Subaru enthusiast is going to be limited to the WRX exclusively from here on out unless there is an uptick in demand for a new XT. But considering the sales numbers have been so low for the XT over several years (the sole reason for no turbo in 2019) it's probably just wishful thinking. But you never know. Subaru seems to be pretty tight lipped about future developments, so I suppose we keep our fingers crossed.

Perhaps if Ford has success in selling the Edge ST, and the rumors are true of bringing the Escape ST stateside, there may be impetus down the road to bring back the Forester XT in the name of competition. Just speculation of course. But obviously there is still some demand in the market for a small sporty/performance SUV. Time will tell.
 

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2016 Toyota RAV4 Auto
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150 Posts
1) No Auto Stop Start
2) No BS Radio.
3) Full spare.
4) No piano black.
5) No fake rugged (orange) trim on Sport.
6) Halogen headlight option.
7) No moon roof option on Premium
8) Heated seats on Basic instead of Eyesight.
9) More owner's customization options like grilles and trims.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring cvt
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1,081 Posts
Lots of talk about people wanting the turbo and/or manual back. If you were granted the power to dictate Subaru's design requirements for the next generation (or mid-cycle refresh) Forester, what would you want? :smile2: Let's have some fun



Personally, my list would be pretty small as I think this is already a pretty awesome vehicle. Regardless, here it is:



- Bring back the turbo and manual (obviously...)

- Updated FA20DIT engine with both port and direct injection to significantly cut down/eliminate carbon build up issue

- Updated FB25 engine with both port and direct injection

- Tune intake and exhaust slightly to bring back more of that boxer engine sound we all love :grin2:

- Use same manual transmission from 2014-2018, but modify gear ratios slightly to increase fuel economy and reduce engine RPM at highway speeds

- Redesign interior; go back to cleaner looking SJ dash design, but modernize the infotainment interface and gauge cluster area

- Place stronger design emphasis on eliminating all sources of knocks, taps, rattles, and squeaks around the car


Pretty much why my current FXTT will be the last Subaru I will purchase. Took a chance twice, and each time regretted it. Difficulty now is finding something else I like more.

Forester good:
Functional, roomy design with good visibility and utility.
The AWD capability.
Bad: Engine and transmission. Noisy, strange design and other than turbo/H6 models uniformly underpowered. Unlike previous poster I find the boxer engine sound gruff, coarse, and annoying. Adopting DI with no plan to deal with carbon buildup. Use of turbos instead of modern six cyl. No well designed HEV or PHEV that makes economic sense.

CVT, CVT, CVT. Ug. Agree with the post concerning the need for an automatic transmission, but there are, you know, quite good 8 speeds out there that are NOT a CVT. Is that a revelation, or just too obvious that I shouldn’t mention it?


Fix all that stuff and I’ll be back after I reach the trade point with this one.

Which isn’t going to happen which is why I suspect I’m in my last.



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2015 2.5i Premium
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1,309 Posts
- Bring back the turbo and manual (obviously...)
The turbo with a manual combo will never return because out of all the people that say they would buy it, only very few actually would. If it was actually that popular to begin with, they would have never have gotten rid of it. I could actually the turbo motor from the ascent making it into the Forester as there is talk of it going into the next gen Outback. I think if it is successful in the outback, it would make a good case to put it in the Forester.


- Tune intake and exhaust slightly to bring back more of that boxer engine sound we all love :grin2:
Rumbling exhausts don't appeal to most car buyers unless it is a Mustang, Corvette, WRX or other sports vehicle.


- Use same manual transmission from 2014-2018, but modify gear ratios slightly to increase fuel economy and reduce engine RPM at highway speeds
Manuals are not very efficient when compared to modern CVT and automatics. This is why most economy cars like the Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi mirage have ditched manual transmissions for CVTs as they get higher gas mileage and much better efficiency with a CVT than they can with a manual.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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552 Posts
I dont know, lots of wishes wants and complaints.. I am totally satisfied with my XT, I love it, period! Does everything I want it to do and looks awesome while doing it.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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I dont know, lots of wishes wants and complaints.. I aM totally satisfied with my XT, I love it, period! Does everything I want it to do and looks awesome while doing it.
This ^^^^ right here.

As has been discussed [this thread, many others] the manual ain't coming back. It's a fact. While more and more people that DO NOT want a 5 speed or 6 speed or any speed manual with stop-n-go traffic in so many areas, automatic transmissions will very probably become the ONLY transmission option for most manufacturers. Look at high-end super cars [Porsche, Ferarri, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Bugatti, etc] and find out how many manual transmission units are out there on dealer lots and how many only come with an automatic - whether with a shifter or paddles. Hell, some have knobs and push-buttons.

Turbo - each engine combination needs to be tested by the governments [local and around the world] for emissions and MPGs. New motors take huge amounts of time and $$$ to come to market. COULD the 2.4 T come from the Ascent? Sure. Will it? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on if they can crank out enough of thrm for the Ascent and the rumored Outback plan. Plus the Ascent and many Outbacks are made in Indiana. Don't all Foresters still come in from Japan?

New dash - yes, the new dash is a bit more cluttered and cramped looking. Reminds me of the Ford Focus rental.... But if the market trends are moving that direction, don't expect a change. Personally? I like my 2014 2.5 Limited dash layout. No more black trim? Great ide, but it is all personal choice. Some folks LOVE their shiny black plastic. Others not so much.

Subaru burble? Yeah, except on special market models [WRX, STI] it's not going to happen. Funny how people want a noisier exhaust but will not put up with a rattle or creak from the interior. You want MB vault quiet EXCEPT for the exhaust noise.

Customization of grills and such? Hah! Do you think this is the 1920's when custom coachwork was the norm? Today's market calls for mass production and minimal parts that are shared across trims and models.

There is a limited market for turbo models and manual transmissions - it is not Subaru, it is the market. It is what dealers put on their lots and what people buy fromt hose lots. The majority of automotive buyers out there are purchasing auto transmissions and not manual.

Turbo engines are used now not for power but to shrink engine sizes and increase output to achieve better MPG numbers from bigger and heavier models [ie Ascent] that keep corporate average MPG higher to meet requirements and regulations.

Remeber that Subaru sells the Forester all over the world to dozens of countries with many different regulations and requirements. As a smaller manufacturer, they need to stay competitive with bigger manufacturers [Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford] that have a lot more $$$ in their pockets to meet those requirements.

Think about this - Ford is running smaller motors with turbos to power most [all?] of their SUV models and trucks.

One final thought - look at the Forester competitors and see what they are doing. How many turbo manuals can you find? None.

While some buyers want these items, most do not or most don't care, they just want something that does A to B and side trip to C with a minimal of fuss and expense.

Orange is the new black. Some will love it, some will hate it.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring cvt
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Fozzie
What you write is essentially correct. To a certain extent, is a combination of: 1) increasing mpg requirements 2) manufacturer’s choices; and, 3) media and advertising.

Buyers are highly susceptible to what the market drivers are hawking to them, which becomes part of what they “want”. Car manufacturers choose the cheapest ways for them to meet standards and save the most money, not what might be the best owners choice.

So I’m saying that the corporations decide to use turbos, CVTs, ***, cylinder de-activation and other methods to reach standards. The government didn’t force those specifics. A lot of it is monkey see, monkey do. For example, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda decide to use CVTs MOL on everything they sell to shave some mpg and save corporate costs, even though the transmission is the antithesis of providing driving connection and enjoyment. But once one does it and still stays selling cars, then it’s like the herd moves.

Are turbo fours more pleasurable to drive than a small six? Heck no. Do they provide better mpg than a six if driven normally? No they don’t, but they can be used to game the EPA mpg and emission tests. Are CVTs fun compared to a step auto with paddles? Heck no. Is it a joy to have Automatic Start/Stop start and stop your vehicle, rattling and shaking to life every 30’ in stop and go? Heck no. Is cylinder de-activation pleasant when you give throttle at 60 mph? Of course not.

Did drivers and owners choose those alternatives? No.
Corporations did. Yes, it’s what we have, big and small companies mostly alike. Doesn’t mean it’s fun, though, just what it is.

EJ


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2018 Forester 2.5i CVT
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My foremost wish is for the Borg Warner designed dual-clutch automatic shifting manual transmission like the VW DSG or Porsche PDK.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium
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My foremost wish is for the Borg Warner designed dual-clutch automatic shifting manual transmission like the VW DSG or Porsche PDK.
Those DSGs are really nice until they break. Then they get very expensive very quickly to repair. I have driven a GTI with the DSG and it was awesome, but I do not want to see the repair bill when something break on it.
 

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13 forester 2.5 & 14 XT 4eat/ CVT
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The dsg is an epic transmission and I definitely miss mine in the mk7 I use to have. But the repair build would be similar to what the CVT cost so in my book thats a wash lol

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Fozzie
What you write is essentially correct. To a certain extent, is a combination of: 1) increasing mpg requirements 2) manufacturer’s choices; and, 3) media and advertising.

Buyers are highly susceptible to what the market drivers are hawking to them, which becomes part of what they “want”. Car manufacturers choose the cheapest ways for them to meet standards and save the most money, not what might be the best owners choice.

So I’m saying that the corporations decide to use turbos, CVTs, ***, cylinder de-activation and other methods to reach standards. The government didn’t force those specifics. A lot of it is monkey see, monkey do. For example, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda decide to use CVTs MOL on everything they sell to shave some mpg and save corporate costs, even though the transmission is the antithesis of providing driving connection and enjoyment. But once one does it and still stays selling cars, then it’s like the herd moves.

Are turbo fours more pleasurable to drive than a small six? Heck no. Do they provide better mpg than a six if driven normally? No they don’t, but they can be used to game the EPA mpg and emission tests. Are CVTs fun compared to a step auto with paddles? Heck no. Is it a joy to have Automatic Start/Stop start and stop your vehicle, rattling and shaking to life every 30’ in stop and go? Heck no. Is cylinder de-activation pleasant when you give throttle at 60 mph? Of course not.

Did drivers and owners choose those alternatives? No.
Corporations did. Yes, it’s what we have, big and small companies mostly alike. Doesn’t mean it’s fun, though, just what it is.

EJ
Good points EJ... However, Subaru and many others are not selling "fun" ... They're selling cars and trucks and SUVs. Could they be fun? Sure. But thats not what they're selling. They're selling cars and trucks and SUVs.

And besides, what may be fun to you may be tiresome to others. Some find collecting stamps fun. Me? Not so much. Some find bowling fun, or bungee jumping fun or watching paint dry fun.

And yes, each mfg can find whatever means and methods to meet those MPG standards, just as the buying public can buy what they like. Again, don't forget the dealerships in all of this. They order the majority of their stock based upon what they think they can sell to ther local market. If they don't think a turbo 5 speed XT will sell, they won't put it on their lot.

My local dealer orders a specific set of options or packages on most of what they stock from the mfg. They may find certain colors sell better so they order mostly those and not the other colors. And most of the buying publoc just chooses what is there on the lot and don't think about the other colors or options. They go with what the dealers or sales-guys are pushing and leave with that.

Personally? I don't find rowing gears and pumping clucthes to be fun... I don't need the extra oomph of the turbo - 95% of my driving is aroind town and with minimal traffic. My NA 2.5 Limited can get me going without trouble and keep me abreast or ahead of most traffic and can go zoom when I need.

PS - look at Porsche and Ferrari and Lamborghini and others that have auto transmissions [with paddles] ... Are you saying that they're not fun? Many maynwell disagree.

And it is ok to disagree.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring cvt
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Thanks for your thoughtful response. You are right, the dealers stock what they think can sell. However, it’s not so simple. I would compare it to the clothing industry: a lot of what sells is what designers produce and their media promotes. And so it is with vehicles, and particularly when much of what I’m groaning about has to do with the modifications and engineering elements installed to meet federal emission and mpg standards.

Generally, we the buyers have nothing to do with those particular choices, and a lot of us think the manufacturers have gone on the cheap and selected some of the worst ways to meet the standards. The majority result in a penalty for the driver, not for the seller. I haven’t found too many people that find CVTs, auto-stop/start, cylinder deactivation, DI carbon fouling, or putting turbos on small engines instead of using a six great driver improvements. Most people either hate them or at least find them annoying. Sad thing is all of this additional complexity is paid for by us several times: at purchase, when they break, and when they detract from driving pleasure.

Unfortunately, there really is virtually zip available that hasn’t been compromised similarly. They all are doing much of the same things, are there real “choices”? Not many that don’t feature all or most of the same garbage. So drivers get used to settling for over engineered golf carts and paying $35,000 for the privilege.

FWIW, I have only purchased six standard transmission vehicles in the last 50 years: two Triumph Spitfires, an early Honda Accord, a Nissan pickup, an Isuzu pickup, and a Miata. The rest have been automatics, including my current Forester XT (turbo 250 hp with a CVT) and a Mazda CX-5 (6 speed automatic). The XT has paddles, and I do use them, mostly for special passing or mountain roads. I don’t consider them much “fun”, but they can be useful.

Regards,
EJ


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