End of a Turbo Engine – Slow Sales Killed Subaru Forester XT

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The new lineup for 2019 season is here. Subaru updated its Forester crossover SUV. It might look different, with some details making the model more appealing. Well, it is up to fans preferences. But, the major news is a drop of a 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine, or Subaru Forester XT trims. The new vehicle will get the power only from a 2.5-liter Boxer unit.

Well, hardcore fans are still believing the XT will be available later in 2019. Current lineup shows only four models – all with the 2.5-l unit. On the other hand, Subaru still needs to confirm officially the Forester XT is gone. Until this happens, we will still be waiting for the turbo crossover to appear.

What does this mean to the Subaru Forester? Non-turbo engine is producing less power. It was more popular and more efficient unit with a return of 32 mpg on the highway. The Subaru Forester XT adds 80 hp, but it uses only an AWD and its fuel economy is 25 mpg combined. Why the company drops XT models and turbo-four engine, we still don’t know. However, rumors are saying the Japanese company is working on the new unit. A turbocharged drivetrain should add even more power, consuming less fuel.

Subaru Forester XT specs

Questions Still Waiting for Answers

Although the base model with a 2.5-liter engine is more popular, fans of the Subaru Forester XT are shocked by this move. The strange thing is that the company didn’t come out with reasons for dropping a turbocharged drivetrain. Well, it leaves a hope that XT will appear at some time. On the other hand, rumors we can read are also saying the new Forester XT is on the way. But, no further details are available. Everyone wants to know when will that happen and what will be under the hood.

Sales are the Reason?

When fans of the Subaru Forester XT complained to the company, officials said that only 5 percent of Forester’s sales were turbo version. That unveils unhappiness with this model. Let’s be honest – if something is not making a profit, would you keep investing in that? So, that is the case with Forester XT.

On the other hand, the Japanese carmaker had a unique crossover SUV. Boxer engines are offering incredible handling. Well, a 2.5-liter non-turbo is also using the same type of system. But, with a turbo setup, acceleration and performance are taking the driver to new levels.

Subaru Forester XT return

Specs and Towing Capacity

Before we see what could replace the Subaru Forester XT let’s see what we might lose. The XT version is using a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine. Its specs are showing the drivetrain is capable to produce 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Automatic High-Torque Lineartronic CVT distributes power to all wheels. A Si-Drive allows the driver to switch between six- or eight-pace virtual transmission.

The main advantage of the Boxer engine is their low position under the bonnet. It also lowers the center of gravity, allowing better handling and response. Vehicles are also safer and don’t need “risk of rollover” warning label.

Subaru boosted the output of the remaining drivetrain in the Forester. However, both engines, a 2.5-liter, and outgoing 2.0-liter turbo were not so great when it comes to towing. With a capacity of just 1,500 pounds, Forester was not the best option for buyers looking for machines that can work and tow.

Subaru Forester XT turbo engine

Subaru Forester XT Replacement

A long-term plan for Forester is ready. Also, other vehicles in the family are already receiving big updates (read more about the new Outback). The company is still keeping tabs on the turbo engine. Otherwise, Subaru would step up and make the discontinuation official. We still believe the Forester XT will come somewhere during 2019, or in 2020. However, this time, the crossover will certainly use a new unit. Unfortunately, even rumors are not speculating what kind of drivetrain it could be.

The first option is to bring more power with larger displacement. It is questionable how it can fit into a compact crossover SUV. On the other hand, smaller unit is also an option. In that case, the new Subaru Forester XT will match the outputs of its regular model, but with better fuel consumption. These are some of the possibilities, while the return of a 2.0XT model remains the least possible.

2019 Subaru Forester Sport Can’t Replace XT!

For 2019 season Subaru added a new trim level. It is called “Sport”. But, you won’t find anything sportier there than on other versions. So, if the Japanese company tried to hoax us with this crossover as the replacement for Subaru Forester XT, it is a very bad joke. They risk just to offend true fans of turbo crossover. So, we won’t consider this one as the serious substitute for our favorite model and turbocharged engine.

Subaru Forester XT towing capacity

Subaru Turns Attention to Forester Hybrid and Autonomous Systems?

The plan for the next five years includes some interesting project. The Japanese carmaker intends to invest heavily into a hybrid technology. What’s more, with it, we will witness the first Subaru vehicles with the autonomous drive. The 2020 Subaru Forester will use a Level 2 of this feature. In future, by the end of a long-term plane, the crossover will upgrade the autonomous drive to Level 4 or Level 5.

So, with Level 2, the 2020 Forester is going to get at least two advance driver assist systems. For example, these are adaptive cruise control, auto steering, or emergency braking. What’s more, the coordination between these features is qualifying them to become an autonomous drive Level 2. Nevertheless, attention is still needed, and a driver must be ready to react at any time.

Subaru Forester XT Future

Well, we moved out of our main topic – Subaru Forester XT. But, who knows – the next XT could also get a sort of autonomous features. All in all, this version has a future. We must be patient to see in which form it is going to appear in the next couple of seasons. The worst scenario is to keep it sidelined for a couple of years until the five-year plan ends in 2024. Then, the new generation of the Subaru Forester is coming, with a hybrid engine, autonomous systems, and we hope, the new and better XT trim and engine.


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