A reader asks: Subaru Forester 2.0i or 2.0 XT?

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by Botchi Santos | Dec 15, 2013

Hi, sir Botchi. I\'m planning to get a Subaru Forester this month or early January 2014. This will be my daily car, and I will be traveling an estimated 55km daily or around 250-300km a week. Will the city driving burn a hole in my pocket if I get the 2.0 XT, or will I be better off with the 2.0i?

Jan Michael Te


Jan, thank you for your e-mail. In all honesty, I have gotten far better fuel-consumption figures with the Turbo variant of the two previous Foresters compared to their normally aspirated counterparts. There are a number of factors as to why this is so, but my driving style is the primary reason.

I am an aggressive driver. I get on the gas noticeably harder than the average driver. However, I have learned that this style of driving--as compared with some techniques for turbo driving--nets better fuel economy. The secret technique? I slowly lift up the accelerator pedal the closer I get to my ideal speed-and-rpm combination, and by the time I get to my ideal speed, I look for the sweet spot in the engine\'s rpm range and try to make sure that my throttle input (i.e. how heavy I step on the gas pedal) is just barely enough to sustain that rpm and speed. It sounds difficult, but it is actually quite easy.

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The new Forester, however, with its CVT, is a totally different beast. The CVT transmission will help find and simulate the ideal gear to keep both revs low and steady without stressing the engine out too much. In my short stint behind the NA version, the fuel consumption was similar to the Turbo XT version. Hence, based on my limited time with the NA 2.0i, fuel consumption difference is negligible between the two in real-world driving conditions.

Having said that, I\'d recommend the Forester 2.0 XT because its resale value will be better, and it is much more enjoyable to drive than its rivals. I\'ve extensively driven the all-new Toyota RAV4 as well as the Honda CR-V. You will just be generally happier with the XT because build quality is impressive, interior space is really good, and the X-Mode system (which the NA 2.0i also has, by the way) really enhances the car\'s off-road capabilities.

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Get the XT. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Take the time to play around with it, and you will see what all the fuss is about these great Subarus!

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor

Do you want Botchi to help you pick the right car? Send your inquiry to topgear@summitmedia.com.ph.


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