Adding a turbocharger to the 2.5-liter H4 Subaru engine boosts horsepower from 165 to 210 in the 2005 Subaru Forester 2.5 XT, the turbo version of the compact all-wheel drive SUV. With 235 lb-ft of torque, drivers enjoy the responsive acceleration, yet are surprised by the quiet engine and smooth handling. The 2005 Forester 2.5 XT does get less fuel economy than the non-turbo versions, only around 19/24 mpg. Aside from the turbo, the XT is much like the XS, with 4-wheel ABS, a rear and center limited slip differential, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, daytime running lights, and dual front-side airbags. A 5-speed manual or new 4-speed automatic transmission are available.
Full power features, a new 8-way driver's seat, cruise control, heated front seats and mirrors, a CD changer, leather trim, tilt steering wheel, tachometer, and intermittent front and rear wipers are standard inside. Power switches are now illuminated. A roof rack is standard, and the cargo bed holds up to 64 cubic feet of storage with the back seats down. A trailer hitch is available, along with skid plates, a rear spoiler, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a remote garage opener. Leather upholstery and an expansive power sunroof are optional luxuries in the 2005 Forester 2.5 XT. The premium gas requirement is a disappointment for cost-conscious drivers, but the love the confident turbo power, AWD capability, and overall comfort.