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2004 foresterXT AT
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
anybody knows why the dual-range tranny on the 5 speed is not offered here in the US ? understanding the concept of this option to swith from high to low range when needed. does anybody know if the US version 5 speed transmission somehow substitude for the lkack of this option??
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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2,519 Posts
The 5spd is actually much worse than the 4EAT offroad, due to a high first gear ratio. You'll just fry the clutch.

Why was the dual range gearbox not offered? Don't know... they didn't give us the Forester or Legacy STI either. :frown:
 

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2016 Forester XT AT
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1,306 Posts
Having driven lots of vehicles with a low range, I can not see any benefit to the Forester having such a system. It does not fix the other off-road concerns such as ground clearance, approach, break-over and departure angles and suspension travel.

I have not missed the lack of low range in mine and if I truly needed it, I would have kept my 2002 Pathfinder or got some other more capable 4x4.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
I had a low range on 2 pickup trucks and used it once every 5 years. Useless for the most part..especially on a Forester. IMHO)
 

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2004 2.0 XT MT
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67 Posts
When I was Forester shopping, I looked at 2004-2005 models. Only the N/A 2.0 X (125 BHP) models had dual range transmissions, the turbo powered 2.0 XT (177 BHP) all had normal 5 sp transmissions. I assumed that the more powerful engine didn't need the low range.
(AFAIK, we didn't get the 2.5 engines until 2006.)
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,503 Posts
anybody knows why the dual-range tranny on the 5 speed is not offered here in the US ?
Because the American market is more interested in body coloured door handles and mud flaps? :shrug: And do Subaru really want to sell any manuals in the US at all? There is only one Forester model you can get it in anyway.
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,503 Posts
Having driven lots of vehicles with a low range, I can not see any benefit to the Forester having such a system. It does not fix the other off-road concerns such as ground clearance, approach, break-over and departure angles and suspension travel.
You obviously haven't driven a Forester manual with low range then.

No, it doesn't fix all the challenges you've noted but it really does make a difference when you need to take it slowly up and down rough hills and is a real benefit when doing those sort of things with a trailer. It might not be as low as the low ranges offered in the Pathfinder/Hi-Lux/Landcruiser but it isn't a truck like them either.
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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2,519 Posts
Yeah, we used low range quite a lot in our Suburban when we had our travel trailer, just starting from traffic lights on some really steep hills. Never offroaded in the thing.

It's useful, and I'd like to have it, but unfortunately, no. :frown: I couldn't care less about the body colored this and that. I just want more function! :lol:

(asking for more function out of a Forester... sheesh I'm a spoiled little brat...)
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,522 Posts
With a lift, removed sway bars, skid plates and good tires my troubles where not, as aforementioned: "ground clearance, approach, break-over and departure angles and suspension travel".

It left the weakest point of my foz the 5speed manual transmission.

A low range would have made the rig ideal for me, and I can guarantee I'd still be wheeling it today instead of taking the lift off and relegating it back to full pavement duty.
 

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2004 XT AT
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1,210 Posts
I reckon Subaru fit low-range gearing mainly to help with towing. USA market cars generally have significantly lower tow ratings than the identical car sold in Europe (rightly or wrongly!), so perhaps Subaru USA feel that there is no advantage in having the extra weight and cost of the transfer box. As to why it's only ever fitted to the manual, maybe be down to compatibility; alternatively Subaru might reason that torque multiplication in the autobox is enough to help get a heavy trailer rolling. Ditto why the turbo & 6-cyl & diesel models don't offer it (either they think the extra available torque obviates it, or else the transfer box is not up to handling the extra torque).

--- Steve
 

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2010 Forester
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621 Posts
Would be nice if they offered it as an option on all models, but I'm thankful that I didn't get it because "it ain't free" and like was said above, most owners will use it once in 5-10 yrs. and they could have gotten by without it.
 

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2007 MY07 FXT
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64 Posts
Low range is only installed on the NA manual motors for one reason, to compensate for lack of torque.

The Diesels don't need it

The Turbos don't need it

the 3.0 and 3.6 don't need it

They all make between 320-350nm

The N/A 2.5 only makes about 220nm, the low range stick is a 1.2:1 reduction, thus adding 20% torque to each gear, or effectively making the engine produce '264nm' equivalent torque (at the expense of lower top speed in each gear).

Low range is not usefull unless the reduction is clost to 2:1, the subaru one is for torque compenstion, not slow speed crawling.
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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481 Posts
I had a two speed New Process transfer case on my Chevy 4X4 pickup. Low range came in handy for pulling my neighbor's 2wd pickup out of the mud in his front yard, and for winding through all eight forward speeds for no particular reason except that it was great fun, mostly due to the racket the 350 V8 made with Thrush aluminum side pipes. I owned it for 12 years, and that's about it.

As always, YMMV.
 

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2006 XT
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675 Posts
Have any of you (other than Smash) had to crawl up a slow n slippy hill of rocks where in a manual you have to ride the clutch to be slow??? Real climbing is slow and not "full throttle" like a hill-climb race.

Turbo aint nothing, if not a big problem, because your not up to spool. Yes the 4eat would be best but I'm sporting good tires but the rig just can't go slow enough to walk over the bumps. Crawling is just that, yes auto would be best, but LowRange would be nice.

Could the LowRange get me there... I could only tell if I had it. But several times in the mountians I need to get "low".

My next foz will be Diesel/Auto:biggrin:

Yes wishfull thinking, ymmv
 

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2010 Forester
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31 Posts
From Aus here and we bought a MT naturaly aspirated MY10 Forester last year. I wasn't overly fussed when buying the Forester over the AT or the MT but our other car is an auto and my wife thought she may forget how to drive manual if we didn't have a manual car, so that decide that. However I am glad we bought the MT as I belive the auto with the NA motor would be a bit lacking performance wise, the MT atleast lets you rev through the gear range. So anyway, we also have the "low-range" shift and although I haven't done any off road driving yet (and probably never will do anything more aggresive than some dirt tracks, sand and snow), I have used and found the "low-range" to be quite handy when crawling through slow moving traffic (little to no clutch required) and even more so if moving up hill slowly. So for that reason alone I am glad to have it. I don't tow with the Forester (that's what the auto Ford is for!) but I can imagine it would help further in this case. So yes, yet to do anything off the paved road but I imagine it will help a little and I imagine I would have an advantage over Manual Turbo models as they can't have the "low-range" transfer case?? Unless they can take a fast run up :icon_razz:
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,503 Posts
because americans are cheap, and as guzzla said, we're more interested in bling.
That's why the Sports version of the Forester was marketed there - it's really all bling and no real extra substance. Now you can't even get a manual turbo :icon_rolleyes:
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,522 Posts
Wagn - i know you said not me, but I'm responding anyway. :lol: Yes I have, and yes I have gotten high off of burning clutch fumes many times. :lol:


In the end, I think Subi's don't get low range in the US because it's all a very cruel cruel joke on us Americans. :lol:
 

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09 Forester X touring
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66 Posts
Have any of you (other than Smash) had to crawl up a slow n slippy hill of rocks where in a manual you have to ride the clutch to be slow??? Real climbing is slow and not "full throttle" like a hill-climb race.
As much as i hate to admit it, my 09 has been there far too many times, at almost 60K now I am very surprised I still have any of my factory clutch left :shake: and would kill for low range in my foz. The auto would be nice in the bush but I just cant stand driving 4cyl automatics everyday.A h6 auto id consider or a Diesel Auto maybe (hard against a 6mt). With the normal 5mt there is a fine line between beating up the foz or riding the clutch hard in some situations offroad due to the tall gearing.
 
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