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Old 02-08-2013, 10:34 AM   #2126
iowasuby
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Just to clear up something someone asked the other day, on the Subaru Forester Model Information 2014MY sheet I took from my dealer, under the options for 2.0XT Forester it lists Headlights: Black Inner Bezel so finally, no stupid chrome in the headlights for the XT model. I had to send my LGT headlights to someone to have them blacked out (I was too chicken to do it myself), because the GT still had chrome in the U.S. while it was blacked out in every other country that car was sold in. *sigh* Subaru *shakes fist*
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #2127
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The one thing that all car reviewers can on is that they ALL hate CVTs. They also hated electronic assisted power steering at first too, but now hardly anybody complains about it because they're used to it.

CVTs are here to stay, like it or not.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:38 AM   #2128
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Exactly, Justy.. which is why I said it's marketing. It's specifically worded to make the more expensive option (the automatic) an easier up-sell. Don't buy into it.

A viscous-coupled differential and a viscous coupling are two different things. Old crappy AWD systems from the 90s (such as those found on Hondas, Mazdas and Mitsubishis) used viscous couplings (also known as "part-time AWD". They were 100% FWD until there was wheelspin. This was an easy design to adapt to FWD platforms because they generally didn't send much power through the aft part of the drivetrain so it could be made very lightweight and the modifications to the transmission were minimal. This coupling isn't a differential.. it's a clutchpack that locks up when there is slip. When it's open the rear wheels are just free-wheeling (just like a FWD car) and when it locks up to send power to the rear axle, the rear axle cannot spin faster than the front axle under any circumstances... because the most a locked clutchpack can do is bring the rear axle up to the same speed as the front axle.. and the front axle is rigidly locked into the transmission just like any other FWD car. With the coupling unengaged most of the time, these cars drive just like FWD cars on dry pavement.. they work the front tires hard but there's no binding in corners either.

Subaru has a mechanical viscous LSD. It is 50:50 AWD all the time until something slips and then the viscous unit locks up the differential. What this means is that you're approaching slippery situations with a 50:50 AWD rather than a 100:0 'part-time AWD' system.. so you're far less likely to slip in the first place (nearly 1/2 as likely, actually). Since it's a true AWD system, you could chock the front wheels and still turn the rear wheels on a slick surface.. so up to 100% of the power can be sent rearward (of course the viscous locker will try to prevent this from happening, but viscous lockers can't maintain a lock, by design). Before any slip occurs the use of a center differential means there is no action preventing the front and rear axles from travelling at slightly different speeds, so the car's ability to turn is unaffected (ie: no binding) while still putting equivalent power to all 4 wheels.

Calling the power-take-off clutch in the Active AWD systems a differential is disingenuous. It's much more like an aggressive part-time system. The front axle always turns at a congruent rate to the transmission output just like the part-time AWD systems. The big difference is that the lockup is controlled by a solenoid. In the old 4EAT transmission it stayed largely locked up in 1st & 2nd gears and then stayed largely unlocked in 3rd & 4th gears. This prevented the clutchpack from cooking the ATF while driving down the freeway with unequal tire pressures. Adding moderate to full throttle would also trigger more lock-up in all gears. When turning at low speeds and under throttle there is always a bit of binding which causes a bit of extra understeer. If you're tuned into the car well you can feel it.. and if you're autocrossing you'll notice going wider out of turns than a manual-transmission Subaru whenever you add power.

For average, defensive drivers (most of Subaru's pragmatic buyers) there's very little difference between the two Subaru systems in the real world. Both will get you out of your driveway and to work when driven with any sort of common sense. For an enthusiast (which the Forester XT was supposedly built for) Continuous AWD is superior and VTD's absence in the CVT (in favor of Active AWD) just reeks of cost cutting.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #2129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
The one thing that all car reviewers can on is that they ALL hate CVTs. They also hated electronic assisted power steering at first too, but now hardly anybody complains about it because they're used to it.

CVTs are here to stay, like it or not.
No.. they still hate crappy power steering systems. Electric PW steering has dramatically improved over the last decade to rival or exceed hydraulic systems, but there are still some manufacturers churning out the old crappy over-boosted systems that make steering completely numb.

CVTs will, no doubt, be better than traditional automatics at some point.. but they aren't there yet.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:47 AM   #2130
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Is this lag (both gear shift and acceleration) an issue with CVT technology in general? The acceleration lag sounds like it. It think it's just a matter of getting used to the new transmission paradigm?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #2131
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Originally Posted by iowasuby View Post
Exactly what I was going to post. Eyesight, the CVT, the 2.0DIT have all been around for at least a year. So this is the 2nd year for all of it. Improvements have been made, adjustments have been made. So I dove in and bought a 2014 Forester. I'm not worried about it at all.

Heck, my 2010 Legacy GT I just traded in had the steering shake (it was a 1st model year for that car) and Subaru stood by it every single step of the way until it was fixed. People on the LGT forums that couldn't get theirs fixed, well guess what, Subaru bought their cars back. What other company stands by their vehicles like that?

Buy a Subaru, buy with confidence. (I don't work for Subaru, but I've owned 6 of them going on 7 now)
Agreed. My 12 impreza is subaru #14 for me. All of mine except my Baja T and '12 impreza have been manual transmissions. I think the CVT is actually smoother and less lag than the 4eat that was in the Baja T. But it's also hard to compare a turbo to a non turbo.

My 02 wrx was one of the first in the country, as was my 04 sti and '12 impreza, all preordered and had to wait forever to get them! My 02 wrx had the cold fuel smell recall and a seat belt recall. The STi got a new ecu because the first couple in the states had a crazy lean tune and would detonate if you ran 91 octane, the baja had fuel pump recall, and my '12 impreza had a cvt and ecu reflash update and has run much better since the update...anyway, subaru stands by their cars and I wouldn't be worried buying the new model.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #2132
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Originally Posted by bakadayo View Post
Is this lag (both gear shift and acceleration) an issue with CVT technology in general? The acceleration lag sounds like it. It think it's just a matter of getting used to the new transmission paradigm?
Modern CVTs are programmed for fuel economy ratings, not performance, so they're intentionally designed to eek the most out of every last drop of fuel.

That being said, the first time I drove a second gen Subaru CVT I didn't like it at first, in fact, I hated it, then after driving it for about a half an hour I didn't even notice it any longer, except at initial throttle tip in, which is a bit touchy. After that however, the car just did what it needed to and felt really, oh, I don't know, "calm" maybe?

After I got my Impreza back from the dealer the old 4EAT felt awful compared to the smooth CVT that was in the Legacy I had as a loaner for 3 days.

The 4EAT had hurky jerky shifts, insane jumps from 4th to 3rd while passing, it was just all over the place. I kind of enjoyed the serenity of a CVT.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:52 AM   #2133
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Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
After I got my Impreza back from the dealer the old 4EAT felt awful compared to the smooth CVT that was in the Legacy I had as a loaner for 3 days.

The 4EAT had hurky jerky shifts, insane jumps from 4th to 3rd while passing, it was just all over the place. I kind of enjoyed the serenity of a CVT.
Right.. but comparing a new CVT to a 4EAT from 1989 (when Subaru debuted the infamous 4EAT) isn't saying much. A modern 7 or 8 speed automatic is tremendously better than a 4EAT too.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #2134
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Right.. but comparing a new CVT to a 4EAT from 1989 (when Subaru debuted the infamous 4EAT) isn't saying much. A modern 7 or 8 speed automatic is tremendously better than a 4EAT too.
Infinity gears is better than "just" 7 or 8 gears, especially if you can program the computer to emulate jerky shifts, with a CVT, which makes no sense whatsoever.

I've driven some newer GM 6 speed autos, and they were fine, but did hunt for gears a lot. I haven't driven anything with more than 6 gears in an auto yet, so I don't know what 7, 8 or 9 is like.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #2135
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Right.. but comparing a new CVT to a 4EAT from 1989 (when Subaru debuted the infamous 4EAT) isn't saying much. A modern 7 or 8 speed automatic is tremendously better than a 4EAT too.
It depends on the programming of the transmission. The Chrysler 8 speed is pretty smooth, but it does keep trying to shift as high as possible while driving, then has to rapidly downshift when you actually need to pass or get out of the way. Unless you row your own gears, every automatic transmission has issues IMO. Well, in cars most of us can afford anyway.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #2136
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Exactly, Justy.. which is why I said it's marketing. It's specifically worded to make the more expensive option (the automatic) an easier up-sell. Don't buy into it.

A viscous-coupled differential and a viscous coupling are two different things. Old crappy AWD systems from the 90s (such as those found on Hondas, Mazdas and Mitsubishis) used viscous couplings (also known as "part-time AWD". They were 100% FWD until there was wheelspin. This was an easy design to adapt to FWD platforms because they generally didn't send much power through the aft part of the drivetrain so it could be made very lightweight and the modifications to the transmission were minimal. This coupling isn't a differential.. it's a clutchpack that locks up when there is slip. When it's open the rear wheels are just free-wheeling (just like a FWD car) and when it locks up to send power to the rear axle, the rear axle cannot spin faster than the front axle under any circumstances... because the most a locked clutchpack can do is bring the rear axle up to the same speed as the front axle.. and the front axle is rigidly locked into the transmission just like any other FWD car. With the coupling unengaged most of the time, these cars drive just like FWD cars on dry pavement.. they work the front tires hard but there's no binding in corners either.

Subaru has a mechanical viscous LSD. It is 50:50 AWD all the time until something slips and then the viscous unit locks up the differential. What this means is that you're approaching slippery situations with a 50:50 AWD rather than a 100:0 'part-time AWD' system.. so you're far less likely to slip in the first place (nearly 1/2 as likely, actually). Since it's a true AWD system, you could chock the front wheels and still turn the rear wheels on a slick surface.. so up to 100% of the power can be sent rearward (of course the viscous locker will try to prevent this from happening, but viscous lockers can't maintain a lock, by design). Before any slip occurs the use of a center differential means there is no action preventing the front and rear axles from travelling at slightly different speeds, so the car's ability to turn is unaffected (ie: no binding) while still putting equivalent power to all 4 wheels.

Calling the power-take-off clutch in the Active AWD systems a differential is disingenuous. It's much more like an aggressive part-time system. The front axle always turns at a congruent rate to the transmission output just like the part-time AWD systems. The big difference is that the lockup is controlled by a solenoid. In the old 4EAT transmission it stayed largely locked up in 1st & 2nd gears and then stayed largely unlocked in 3rd & 4th gears. This prevented the clutchpack from cooking the ATF while driving down the freeway with unequal tire pressures. Adding moderate to full throttle would also trigger more lock-up in all gears. When turning at low speeds and under throttle there is always a bit of binding which causes a bit of extra understeer. If you're tuned into the car well you can feel it.. and if you're autocrossing you'll notice going wider out of turns than a manual-transmission Subaru whenever you add power.

For average, defensive drivers (most of Subaru's pragmatic buyers) there's very little difference between the two Subaru systems in the real world. Both will get you out of your driveway and to work when driven with any sort of common sense. For an enthusiast (which the Forester XT was supposedly built for) Continuous AWD is superior and VTD's absence in the CVT (in favor of Active AWD) just reeks of cost cutting.
Thanks for the informative post!

But what in the flying ****? The new Forester XT has Active AWD instead of the VTD?

I heard some turbocharged automatic Subaru models got VTD, but I keep finding conflicting sources.

The Legacy 2.0GT DIT gets the VTD but not the Forester XT... *sigh*
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:10 PM   #2137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
The one thing that all car reviewers can on is that they ALL hate CVTs. They also hated electronic assisted power steering at first too, but now hardly anybody complains about it because they're used to it.

CVTs are here to stay, like it or not.
I, personally, am excited about having a silky-smooth CVT with no shift shock!

I scratch my head every time I read a review where the journalist lambastes the inclusion of a CVT without qualifying why they don't like it.

I've driven the Outback and Impreza CVT's and loved it. Subaru's high range ratio permits peppy starts, relatively spirited driving, competent passing, AND good economy. All this discussion about "laggy" acceleration has me confused.... maybe it's the XT's high-torque CVT in question.

I've driven other makes that had a CVT, like a Nissan Rogue, and did feel like it was sluggish from a standstill, almost like a small displacement turbo or starting in 2nd gear. I believe this is what some describe as the "rubber band" effect. I haven't had that feeling from Subaru's CVT.

People need to take a test drive and decide for themselves before discounting the CVT as a compromise or inferior to a conventional auto. My $0.02.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I recently rented a 2012 Nissan Maxima and it was a pleasure to drive. I had to look up on the Internet to confirm it had a CVT. It was that good.

Last edited by eps105; 02-08-2013 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #2138
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Originally Posted by AWDfreak View Post
Thanks for the informative post!

But what in the flying ****? The new Forester XT has Active AWD instead of the VTD?

I heard some turbocharged automatic Subaru models got VTD, but I keep finding conflicting sources.

The Legacy 2.0GT DIT gets the VTD but not the Forester XT... *sigh*
I thought all those videos posted from the AZ media drive a couple weeks ago where SOA reps explained the technical details of how X-Mode works made reference to it being based off of -- and an improvement to -- VTD.

I could be totally wrong, and I don't have time right now to go back and check, but I thought VTD was basically standard now. Can someone double-check?
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #2139
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No, VTD is reserved for the "higher" models of Subaru's lineup... Which I thought for sure would include the Forester XT.

VTD I know for sure is standard on the Tribeca, overseas-market 5EAT automatic WRX STI, H6 Legacy, H6 Outback, certain automatic Legacy GT models, and the new Legacy 2.0GT DIT.


And here ya go
http://www.subaru-global.com/tec_awd.html
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #2140
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No, VTD is reserved for the "higher" models of Subaru's lineup... Which I thought for sure would include the Forester XT.

VTD I know for sure is standard on the Tribeca, overseas-market 5EAT automatic WRX STI, H6 Legacy, H6 Outback, certain automatic Legacy GT models, and the new Legacy 2.0GT DIT.


And here ya go
http://www.subaru-global.com/tec_awd.html
Lol, wow. Where have you been? VTD disappeared from the USDM Forester XT in MY2009 for 2008. That was 6 model years ago.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:53 PM   #2141
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Lol, wow. Where have you been? VTD disappeared from the USDM Forester XT in MY2009 for 2008. That was 6 model years ago.
I'm disappointed the new SJ Forester XT doesn't have VTD, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised now...

I keep hearing conflicting info regarding the SG Forester XT... So I guess it was only once the Forester XT got VTD... SH Forester XT = Active AWD then.

Thanks for clarification.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #2142
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Too much BS in this thread. How long until dealers get the XT so I can go drive one. That's what I want to know.

Also. Anyone want to measure under the new XT. Is it different exhaust set up than the WRX now? I was able to slap a SPT exhaust from a WRX sedan on the '09 FXT. Wondering how different it is now.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:46 PM   #2143
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Originally Posted by GodWhomIsMike View Post
Too much BS in this thread. How long until dealers get the XT so I can go drive one. That's what I want to know.

Also. Anyone want to measure under the new XT. Is it different exhaust set up than the WRX now? I was able to slap a SPT exhaust from a WRX sedan on the '09 FXT. Wondering how different it is now.
Sounds like early March..March 11th to be exact they are expecting shipments
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #2144
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Infinity gears is better than "just" 7 or 8 gears, especially if you can program the computer to emulate jerky shifts, with a CVT, which makes no sense whatsoever.
It's better in theory.. but theory doesn't always translate to the real world, particularly once you factor in development time. The planetary-gear-based automatic transmission has had far more development than modern CVTs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grzydj View Post
I've driven some newer GM 6 speed autos, and they were fine, but did hunt for gears a lot. I haven't driven anything with more than 6 gears in an auto yet, so I don't know what 7, 8 or 9 is like.
Find an IS-F to drive. Fantastic transmission... certainly better than any CVT yet made. Feels like an aggressive DSG when in sport mode and using the paddle shifters.. feels like a standard Lexus transmission when driven sedately (smooth).
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #2145
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My ideal car would be the new Forester with Mazda's 2.5L SkyActiv (or some DI variant of the FB 2.5L) and their 6-Speed A/T :P That would be the best of both worlds Unfortunately I have to pick one or the other, and I think I'll stick with my choice of the Forester unless it's a horrendous drive, which I doubt it will be.

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:38 PM   #2146
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Calling the power-take-off clutch in the Active AWD systems a differential is disingenuous.
Well, they did say it "acts" like a diff. I definitely noticed some of the things you mentioned on the older system that I had in my 95 Legacy for sure. Would be interesting if a certain SOA engineer that I haven't seen post in over a year could chime in on this. You are basically calling them liars. To tell you the truth, I could really care less. Even when I am driving spirited, my car performs fine. I have never gotten stuck with a Subaru AWD and only once in my '85 Justy 4WD I had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
No.. they still hate crappy power steering systems. Electric PW steering has dramatically improved over the last decade to rival or exceed hydraulic systems, but there are still some manufacturers churning out the old crappy over-boosted systems that make steering completely numb.

CVTs will, no doubt, be better than traditional automatics at some point.. but they aren't there yet.

Define better.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #2147
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Someone asked the other day about the temp. gauge on the 2014 Forester, I found this photo, it is the same blue = cold, red = hot light/icon Subaru uses on most cars now, look under the 8 on the tach:

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #2148
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Well, they did say it "acts" like a diff. I definitely noticed some of the things you mentioned on the older system that I had in my 95 Legacy for sure. Would be interesting if a certain SOA engineer that I haven't seen post in over a year could chime in on this. You are basically calling them liars. To tell you the truth, I could really care less. Even when I am driving spirited, my car performs fine. I have never gotten stuck with a Subaru AWD and only once in my '85 Justy 4WD I had.
A differential is a gear system that can split torque from an input shaft evenly to a pair of output shafts while allowing them to turn at different speeds. Slip limiters and lockers are there to counter-act the differential's one purpose should there be a traction deficit.

Active AWD is all of the slip limiter without the differential. There are high end supercars that use very similar systems to throw power to the front wheels under heavy throttle or slippage. Honda's SH-AWD is basically the same thing, but with an extra pair of clutchpacks (one for each rear axle) and a taller rear final drive ratio to cause some torque biasing. My Ridgeline has the dumbed down version of SH-AWD (called VTM-4) that doesn't have the taller drive ratio.. Honda has not tuned it to be as responsive as Subaru's system, so I can easily spin the front wheels (from a start on snow/ice) before the center clutchpack transfers any power to the rear. It also has a 'lock' mode that can only be engaged with the shifter in 1st gear that puts more preload on the clutches and locks them faster.. but even then it isn't as quick to respond as a 1990 Legacy with a 4EAT. That says a lot about the value of Subaru's system.

So, please.. don't get me wrong.. my argument is mostly semantic and aimed at the marketing materials.. not the brand or the cars.
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Define better.
Less NVH, more responsive, more intuitive.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #2149
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Too much BS in this thread. How long until dealers get the XT so I can go drive one. That's what I want to know.
What he said. When I can go to a car show and have more hands-on access to an all-new Porsche Cayman than I can an all-new Subaru Forester, something is seriously wrong.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #2150
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Hawley, PA
Vehicle:
2014 Crosstrek Ltd.
Tangerine Orange

Default

I wonder if the 2015 WRX/STI is going to based off of the 2014 Forester. The 2008 WRX sedan and the 2009 Forester XT are identical when you get under them. The SPT Exhaust for the 2008 WRX sedan matches up perfectly with the 2009+ Forester XT. I am hoping the parts from the WRX (like the exhaust) will be interchangeable again.
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