WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SUBARU?

14,095

Asked by Jun 04, 2015 at 12:53 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

How did you discover the sweet sounds and performance of "flat engines "?
Do you think they have a performance sweet spot,  with the equal torque and horsepower
specs?

21 Answers

34,535

Flat fours do not have sweet sounds and the power of Subaru naturally aspirated engines is rather anemic don't you think? They are quite weak in the hills and are under powered for cars weighing close to 2 tons Funny aside - my 1957 Chrysler 300C with a cast iron 392 hemi that could do 150 mph and carry 6 people was only a few hundred pounds heavier than a Forester or Outback!

14,095

Full_of_Regrets- ok, tell me how you can compare an engine displacement of 392 cubic inches to a 153 cubic inch Four? I'm a little confused by your comment about the sound of the engine and you really think it's anemic? . According to you, the Chrysler was only a few hundred pounds heavier and has a Four and yet it is powerful enough to drive a car only a few hundred pounds less. Finally, it's hard to compare a naturally aspirated Four with four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing to an old pushrod V8 with two valves per cylinder. I think that the 57 Chrysler has 375 horsepower? From my perspective, the Subaru's engine is rather remarkable to be able to deliver the power it does in such a small package. And, the Subaru WRX STI is one of the fastest cars around, 305 horsepower and 290 foot pounds of torque from a 2.5 Four. Who goes 150 mph? By the way, the top speed of the Subaru WRX STI is 155. Again, I would never even consider it. You would lose your drivers license immediately, if you were caught. Do you still have the 1957 Chrysler. ??

14,095

Sorry, meant to say that the Subaru only has the Four vs, the Chrysler in the above sentence. I think you know what I mean.

34,535

The naturally aspirated 4 is rather weak at only 170 hp or so and it hauls a lot of weight around. Most reviews agree that the engine is under powered for the car. My point is cars are getting absurdly heavy and Subaru has not kept up in the power department unless you get a boy racer WRX. I am not comparing the engines so much as the cars. Those legendary muscle cars from the 60's with big cast iron V8's were all about the same weight as a modern Subaru with a 4! When I have to gear down 2 or 3 gears to get up hills at 55 then the car is way under powered, especially when you realize how low the gearing is in a Subaru.

14,095

Full_of_Regrets, I see. Let me ask you a question, don't you think that it's quite a marvel of engineering that a 2.5 litre Four with one half of the horsepower and displacement can even power a car the size and weight of the Subaru at all?. And, let me share this information with you, my parents had a 1968 Oldsmobile with a 455 cubic inch V8 and 325 horsepower that only did 0-60 in 10 seconds. My Subaru Outback does 0-60 in 9.7 seconds and it's the 2.5 Four. So, you have to gear down to 2nd or 3rd going up hill? If you are gearing down, maybe you have the manual-transmission? My CVT transmission just transparently changes engine speed on the fly and it never slows down on uphill climbs, even pulling my teardrop trailer. My counterpoint is this, the super efficiently Four which is only one half the size of the V8, not only powers the vehicle and all the weight, but does so getting better mileage at the same time. And, if I really thought I needed extra 0-60 times, I would have probably gotten the 3.6 H6 engine. I really thought I needed that , but, after I test drove the Four, I was convinced that it was fast enough. I'm not a race car driver and usually never exceed 80 to 85 mph on the road. It's just too dangerous, in my opinion, tires, citations, road conditions, etc. And, the fastest you can legally go in California with the trailer is 55, although they rarely even look at me doing 60 or so. Sure, the 3.6 H6 will accelerate faster to 60, in 7.4 seconds vs. my 9.7, but, who cares. I'm not in high school anymore and that's just not important to me. I politely disagree with you that the Four cannot get out its own way as you suggested with its anemic performance. It's just not a rocket ship, I understand that. And, I don't pay attention to all reviews or necessarily agree that it's underpowered. In case you're unaware, the 2010 Subaru Outback Limited was chosen by Motor Trend as their SUV / crossover car of the year. And, they even suggested that people purchase the Four. Now I know that you're very disappointed with your Forrester, and I'm truly sorry that you're having problems, but, it appears from everything I've read that the Subaru Legacy and Outback especially with the CVT transmission and 3.6 H6 engine have are not burning oil. On at least one occasion, you asked or suggested that I work for Subaru. I just wanted to tell you that I have never worked for any car company, ever! I spent most of my entire working career in higher education and I've been retired for 5 years. I really wish you the best of luck with your endeavors and hope that you're able to sell your Jaguar for a profit and get the car you really want. Personally, I remember the 60s and wouldn't want a car again from that era, restored or not. Just me.

34,535

I am glad you love your Subaru but if you drove the hills I do everyday you might well have a different opinion. Pulling a small trailer like yours up our hills would have you down to 30 mph. Subaru's regular engines are good for flat ground but are lacking in power for hills and passing. I suspect that if you checked the hp/weight ratio of most comparable cars that Subaru would be near the bottom. All the best to you.

14,095

I understand. Perhaps you should have purchased the 3.6 H6 engine with the Outback. It has 256 horsepower. I don't think there's an option for you to do this with the Forrester. So, you do have the standard transmission. I imagine that is harder to deal with in the mountains? As far as hills, I towed my Subaru and trailer to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, almost 9,000 feet and recently went to Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. I didn't have any issues towing that up and down the mountain, but, there's a 45 mph speed limit on those twisted roads and my experience was that the car had plenty of power to get us there and back easily. Again, when you're towing, you have to slow down for safety . I live in Los Angeles and don't have any issues on an freeway passes or climbs, even went to Death Valley with zero issues, all with the trailer. But, I'm just going to believe what you're saying with your car. Here's a picture of my rig for you. ---Mark

34,535

The manual is easy to use and with 6 gears you know you are getting all the engine has to give.

14,095

I've got friends with two of these, one with the 5 speed manual, it's a 2009 and an automatic 2011 model. The 2009 has had clutch and throw out bearing problems, but, they have over 105,000 miles on the 2009. No problems on the 2011. I see that they changed the manual transmissions in 2014 . The problem I've heard on the manual transmissions is that people run their engines closer to the red line for performance and it takes a bigger toll on the engine, thus oil burning. Again, I've heard that from other people, no official confirmation. Also, I've read stories that it's a ring issue. Didn't you say that you got a new short block? . How about next time asking them to just rebuild your engine with a new ring and valve job in house? That's what I would do.

14,095

My friend with the 2009 has the old EJ25 Series 2 engine. She's lucky, they introduced the new FB series engine in 2011 on the Forrester.

34,535

Subaru tried doing just ring and piston re-builds but that did not have good results so they went to short block replacements. We don't redline the car at all so that was not the cause of our problem. The CVT Forester I drove ran at higher RPM's than I usually drive. When passing it would pretty much go straight to the redline for power. I personally think the manual transmission issue is Subaru's lame excuse # 8.

14,095

Full_of_Regrets- did you consider the CVT transmission when you purchased your Forrester?

2,800

Flat motors are inherently torquey, but don't like to rev high due to cost constraints prohibiting fine balancing of parts' masses. The CVT/2,5i driveline is pretty torquey given the weight and AWD driveline of the modern OB. But of course it's anemic above torque peak...even after the cams reset above 4k rpm. If you compare the same driveline and only 10% lighter Impreza 2.0i you'll see how successful the 2.5i is, as the 2.0 REALLY needs to wind up to get the CVT to move along. (Of course it's even worse with the overweight CrossTrek version; huge mistake to not use the 2.5i in that app.) Using 6 of those bigger cylinders in the 3.6i is perhaps overkill unless ya think we'll be at cheap fuel for a long while; I don't! The relatively poor handling of the too-tall OBs and Foresters is also made worse by the heavier H6 up front. The Leg Sedan is the far better iteration with the 2.5i; the pricier H6 is bested by a G37x with equal or better reliability too. Subaru's cheap metallurgy doesn't justify overspending in the rust belts or NorthEast.

2,800

"Sweet sounds"? Ha! I've been listening to and tuning Subie motors for 32 years, and "sweet" is the last word I'd think to use to describe these clackety beasts. Balanced, torquey? Sure. Low CoG with good secondary component access? Sure. "Piquant" maybe...but not "sweet"....

14,095

TheSubaruGuruBoston- very much liked your last answer on the sounds of the motor! I would say its a more interesting and unique sound from other cars, agreed? I'll try and keep my 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited with CVT to 4,000 rpms. Hey, I noticed that even the 3.6i , H6, has a peak torque at 4,400 rpms although it has 247 foot pounds of torque. Again, it will do 0-60 a second or two faster than the Four.

14,095

TheSubaruGuruBoston- thanks for confirming that these flat engines are a little more "torquey" than inline Fours, it definitely feels like that. I've noticed too that when you press hard on the gas, there's a little bit of push back you can feel in the drivers seat, compared to other cars with even larger engines. I wasn't sure if that was just the torque of the engine or the AWD system doing that. My Mom has a Toyota Camry with the 2.5 power plant and even when you step hard on this, you cannot feel the sensation of being pushed back just even a little, if you know what I mean.

2,800

There are two reasons why the AWD 2.5i feels "rear-pushed", if you will. When going straight the initial acceleration is due to the torque of the motor. More, subtle, but quite addictive, is that when powering through twisties, the sensation of being forcibly "centered" by the rear wheel drive (but only when accelerating!) counters the cetripetal acceleration of the turn. The result of feeling more "planted", or centered, in the seat, is comforting, and empowering, especially on unkind surfaces. In that regard the Subie's softer suspension actually results in more transparency of this "transitional stability" than a stiffer chassis like an Audi, Bmw, or Infiniti G Series. So I actually like the older OBs and all Legacy Sedans under 60mph than their German cousins. Above 85 mph it's a different sory completely, however, where better parts and tuning result in the others owning the Autoroutes, Autostradi, M- Roads and Autobahn.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
2,800

It's EXACTLY one and half of the 2.5i; hence the math works out linearly. But it's overweight for the sloppy OB suspension; haven't driven the Leg 3.6i, but I'm told it's a winner. But I'd take a used G37x over the Leg 3.6i any day. The real winner here for outstanding future eco is the Leg 2.5i CVT Sedan. Really blows the competition away...especially when fuel jumps back to $4+ in a couple years.

14,095

TheSubaruGuruBoston- I see what you mean by the 3.6 being precisely one and one half larger than the 2.5; actually I figured one and a half to be closer to a 3.7, but, OK, let' go with your calculation. And, yes, I've also read that the extra weight of that H6 engine up front messes up the steering dynamics a little bit on the Outback and makes it a little harder to steer and corner. The main reasons I gave up my quest for an H6 were, availability, the 2010 model didn't feature the CVT and when I drove the CVT with the Four, I really didn't think I needed or wanted the H6 with the conventional 5 speed and poor fuel economy. You know, here in California, the top speed towing is 55, sometimes I go 60 and its not big deal, But, slower is safer with the trailer and who cares about one and half or two seconds. Also,someone told me that the CVT is not really designed for towing, BUT, I have not had any issues whatsoever and now that Subaru has migrated to all CVT gearboxes on the 2015 and newer, and advertises that the car can tow 2,700 pounds with the Four, I don't see where this person is coming from. Thank you for the brilliant explanation on the "rear push" feeling. I've mentioned this to some other people and they could not explain this very well. And, yes, I like the feeling from driving the car with this. So, it IS PARTLY the boxer engine and the AWD? So, I might not feel this in other cars that are AWD? Let me know, and thanks,

14,095

TheSubaruGuruBoston - and you're right, the rear push feeling is addictive and feels more planted and secure. Seems like my Subaru Outback actually feels like the steering is more precise than my Toyota Prius.

14,095

TheSubaruGuruBoston- just sent you a private message a while ago.

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