At 8000 feet is there a difference between a 4 cylinder 250 hp turbo and the same car with a 6 cylinder also 250 hp without turbo (presuming all else is the same)?


Asked by Mar 10, 2013 at 03:50 PM about the 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5 i Wagon

Question type: General

I drive through Colorado several times a year and I have a 2005 Subaru Outback (4 cylinder, 168 hp, I believe).
I know that Subaru has turbo and 6 cylinder models and i was thinking, would a car rated with the same HP but with a Turbo do better in the high altitude (less dense air, less oxygen) than the sam car with the same hp but no turbo, only 6 cylinders instead?

5 Answers


With today's computer controlled vehicles it makes no difference where you run them. High altitudes, deserts, or the Arctic Tundra. The computer will make the necessary adjustments to keep the vehicle running as it should. Years ago, before we had this technology, carburetors had to be jetted leaner for higher altitudes, ignition timing adjusted for specific operating conditions, and so forth. Now the computer handles all that. HTH. -Jim

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Followup to JS08016 I guess I was thinking in terms of peak performance. If I were to accelerate up a steep slope at high altitude, would one or the other engines perform better, or would it be, as you say, fully compensated for by the computer. My theory is that the turbo, by compressing the air, would do better than the 6 cylinder engine. The other thing I didn't really factor in is that a Turbo is lighter than a 6 cylinder engine... but let's just say the Turbo has added dead weight in the front passenger seat to compensate.


I see & agree. Turbo would probably perform better. With thinner air both would have to work harder than at sea level . -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

The forced air would definitely have more power than a NA engine.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I'm glad you asked this question. I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 with the CVT transmission and took my car and tear drop trailer which weighs about 1,000 pounds to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, elevation, 8,800 feet. The car worked just fine and I got excellent mileage on this trip. The difference in towing capacity on the H6 and H4 is 300 pounds. If you really need the two seconds of acceleration on the H6 and don't mind the extra money for gasoline, then go ahead and get the H6, but, there's no reason to do so. The Outback is not a racing vehicle, rather, it's a great wagon and you'll be fine with the H4. Be sure to get the CVT, it's a superior transmission, you're always in the right gear and it is very responsive. There is no turbo option on the current Outback 2.5 and the gas mileage is great.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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