2011 Subaru Forester Gets New Base Engine, Improved Fuel Economy

2011 Subaru Forester Gets New Base Engine, Improved Fuel Economy

Subaru has just announced updates for the 2011 Forester, including a new base engine that adds more usable power and improved fuel economy. The new 2.5-liter boxer engine in the 2.5X model retains the same 170-hp, but gains 4 ft-lbs of torque for a total of 174 ft-lbs. We agree that the increase is a small one, but drivability is up thanks to power that comes on slightly sooner, and torque that arrives at 4100 rpm vs. 4400 rpm on the previous engine.

The increase is the result of an all new powerplant with a new bore and stroke, along with a slightly larger engine size. While it’s still 2.5-liters, there are a few extra ccs, up to 2,498 compared to 2,457 for the old motor. Also of note is the switch from SOHC to DOHC.

The new engine helps improve fuel economy to 21/27-mpg (city/highway) for both manual and automatic transmissions, compared to 20/27-mpg (manual) and 20/26-mpg (automatic) for last year’s models.

Also of note is a new 2.5X Touring model with HID headlights, a display audio system with backup camera, dual zone climate control, silver finished roof rails, new gauges and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. For the 2.5XT model, the Touring trim now replaces the Limited trim with some added features. The 2.5X Premium model will also be available with a new, removable TomTom nav system.

For full info on all the 2011 Subaru Forester trim changes, see after the jump:


2011 Subaru Forester • All-new engine for Forester 2.5X models (turbocharged 2.5XT retains current engine); new bore/stroke dimensions with slightly longer stroke; displacement slightly larger (2,498 cc vs. 2,457 cc); chain driven double overhead cam vs. belt driven single overhead cam before; 170 horsepower is same as before, at slightly lower rpm; torque is up to 174 lb.-ft. at 4,100 rpm (vs. 170 @ 4,400 rpm); fuel economy is improved: 2011 manual and automatic transmissions — 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway vs. 2010 20/27 for manual and 20/26 for automatic. • New 2.5X Touring positioned above Limited: features HID headlights (low beam) with automatic height adjustment; display audio system with backup camera; dual zone automatic climate control; silver finish roof rails; electroluminescent gauges, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. • 2.5XT models now include 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Touring, the latter replacing 2.5XT Limited as top Forester model. • 2.5XT Premium gets new 10-way power driver’s seat. • Bluetooth® standard on all but base model. • Backup camera standard on 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring as part of new audio system. • New standard audio system for 2.5X Premium and 2.5XT Premium: AM/FM stereo with single- disc CD player and six speakers; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth® hands free calling and audio streaming; iPod control capability; USB port and Sirius Satellite Radio capability. • New optional TomTom Navigation System for 2.5X Premium includes removable 4.3-inch touch-screen portable navigation device; AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/DVD player and six speakers; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands free calling; iPod control capability and USB port. Also, a backup camera is available as an accessory with this system. • New audio system with rear camera for 2.5X Limited and Touring and 2.5XT Touring models: AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/DVD player and six speakers; 4.3-inch display screen, Radio Broadcast Data System; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands free calling and audio streaming; iPod control capability; USB port and Sirius Satellite Radio capability. (The backup camera is standard on 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring and available as an accessory for 2.5X Limited.)

• Driver’s auto up/down window with pinch protection (except base model). • New 17-inch alloy wheel design for 2.5X Premium. • New body-color roof spoiler on 2.5XT models

  • riobui y

    What about a standard telescopic steering column?

  • Z’s Man

    I couldn’t agree more. The Forester desperately needs a telescopic steering column. Nice to hear about the better mpg’s and a few more hp’s, thats always a plus. Why didnt they just throw us a bone with a CVT in the new 2011 Forester from the Legacy or Outback?? I mean it’s not like we’re ever gonna see the 2.0D here in the States. That would make way to much sense, covering all the bases with power, fuel efficiency, and that awsome 6 spd transmission. I’m a wanna-be giant standing 6’7″ but the Forester was the only SUV with sufficent leg/headroom. My price range last year when I bought my 2.5 Premium was 40k and under, so I was looking at all the major manufacturers here. Nothing compaired, except that POS Cherolet Equinox with fuel efficiency. So Subarubians UNITE!! Let’s be heard and get what we need w/ Subaru’s ever changing rad vehicles. Peace

  • James

    I cant get a 2.5 x limited (bells and whistles model)in canada with a manual transmission. So i’m stuck with the automatic. Everyone says that the 4 speed is really hurting performance. The old base engine was fine. It just needed a 5 or 6 speed transmission.

    If I have to drive automatic. Atleast do something about the transmission. The equinox has a 6 speed and it really gives that car an advantage in this class. I beleive subaru can be the undisputed king if they listen to what customers say and make the changes.

    Personaly.I will stick with my 2005 forester XS with a 5 speed manual. Its still alot of fun and it runs great. So unless subaru canada offers me a REAL choice that I have to pass on the new models. I might even consider looking into the competition a little more if I lose patience.

  • woodby1

    No matter what else they do, this car is a non-starter until they replace that stupid 4-speed transmission. At this rate they will be the last manufacturer standing with such outdated and inefficient technology.

  • Chad

    Woodby1, the answer the is simple: buy a manual. It is was what real drivers choose.

  • Erik

    We had our 2006 XT (5 speed) stolen… Loved the thing…..Now my only choice is in the line up if I want some zip is a the turbo with a 4 speed auto!!!??WTF!!. I’ve never owned an automatic and don’t intend to if I can help it. The outback only has the 6sp in the 2.5 not in the 3.6.. go figure. Been looking at other brands…. So far the RDX is looking good…good zip .. still an automatic with manual mode, but it has a lock up converter and will hold the engine at red line until you shift. Shift are quick with no lag….. kinda like the Suzuki SX4 I have as a rental ….. 6 speed box no less and shift better then the Mazda and VW auotmanuals.

    Drop the 6sp in the XT we know it will fit… or loose a customer.

  • Reflexions

    I was reading some of the above comments and then it dawned on me. I too was wondering why Subaru was keeping the 4speed trans. And then I remembered the engine torque curve and it all made sense. I own a 2003 OBS and am still amazed at the number of cars on cruise that I find myself having to pass on a climb while myself being on cruise on the motorway. We are driving at the same speed but comes a climb and these inline4 loose steam. They dont have enough torque to maintain their set speed. But that torquey 2.5 does and I pass them without touching the gas pedal. And by the same token, in order to keep their engines in the torquey band (hi rev), they need more speeds in their trannies. And by the way, the 2010 canadian Forester has a telescopic and vertically adjustable steering column. Torque guys! It all starts there.

  • Z’s Man

    Oh what the hell Subaru!! Why does Canada get a telescopic wheel and we don’t.

    your truely,
    Boo Hooington

  • Enn Norak

    A number of CTV-mongers on various blogs have suggested Forester adopt the CVT. The CVT is a deal-breaker for me. I would like to see Forester offer the Subaru H-6 engine with a 6-,7-,or 8-speed automatic transmission and limited slip differentials front and rear (Torsen® preferred). As for interior, my main beef with many Japanese cars is front seats that lack identical features and adjustments for both driver and front passenger.

  • Chad

    CVTs suck. Period.

  • Robert

    I bought a 2011 Forester with the automatic transmission, and love it. We have hills here where I live (Washington State), and there is no problem whatsoever for the Forester to climb them without shifting down two gears. I think the new longer stroke (torque)in the Boxer engine is responsible for this. And, traction in ice and snow is equal to my wife’s 2010 Outback. I have the telescopic steering column, winter package (heated seats, windshields and rearview mirrors)and the Tom Tom navigator package. It’s a great combination, and I highly recommend others to experience it for themselves. BTW, the synthetic oil (0W-20 Mobil 1) introduction into the Forester line is intelligent – no swollen seals, no dry starts and longer engine life. You gotta’ buy one!

  • Robert

    Just went on a 500+ mile trip around the State (Washington) today. The best part of the trip was eating at Five Guys in Longview before running the pass (White Pass) back to the Tri-Cities. I pulled up to fill my tank and see what kind of mileage the Forester delivered. 27.4 mpg! The 4-speed automatic had to downshift a gear now and then when the hills got very steep up near Mt. Rainier. The Forester now has 2,770 miles on it. The synthetic oil level has stayed the same since it passed 400 miles. I love this little SUV! I updated the Tom Tom on the computer last week, and it’s spot-on for accuracy!