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Old 08-23-2001, 03:40 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 6046
Join Date: Apr 2001
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: San Francisco
'08 Prius

Default Forester boxer roar... sounds different from the RS

I've driven a Forester 2.5S and 2.5RS recently and it seemed to me that the Forester engine sounded more truck-like, for lack of a better word. The Forester definitely has that boxer sound characteristic too, but the 2.5RS seems more refined. It also seemed to have more pronounced wobbly idle too.

Is my impression totally wrong or did subaru design the forester that way? Just curious. Love those foresters!
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Old 08-23-2001, 10:32 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 9562
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ottawa, ON. Canada
2001 Forester S-LTD
Black Diamond Pearl


Hmmm... What years were the two vehicles? I know in 98 the 2.5 engine was a louder DOHC version and in 99+ it went to a SOHC engine. That engine is quieter and not as clunky/grindy sounding. It's possible if you drove a 98 and a 99+ that could be the difference. Also, while I don't know enough about the 2.5RS to be sure, the tranny that mates to the engine could be a more performance oriented than the Family oriented Forester. Also remember the Forester is somewhat heavier.

As for the Idle, I've never noticed a wobble with exception to start up, when the Forester sligthly heaves from side to side, that part feels like a truck to me.
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Old 08-23-2001, 01:08 PM   #3
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Member#: 5424
Join Date: Apr 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: not where you are...
BRP STi Version 3
Type RA V-Ltd RHD


I know MY Forester doesn't sound like a truck. Of course, the Borla Gen III header and RS muffler may be the reason!
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Old 08-23-2001, 02:50 PM   #4
Ken S
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Member#: 1895
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Bay Area, CA
05 Leg GT Ltd. W


Was the engine noise difference perceived while driving in the vehicles or standing outside them. One thing to keep in mind is that wagons tend to be noisier inside because you're in a bigger enclosure.

As for the DOHC vs. SOHC, the DOHC is noisier at idle (especially at cold startup) due to the fact that it has more moving parts. However, it's been my observation that at 4000+RPM the DOHC actually sounds more mellow since the design allows for higher revs. A buddy of mine has a 00 Forester S and the engine sounds harsher than my 98 Forester S when driving hard (that's even with my Amsoil filter in place).

What were some other differences you sensed between the Forester and RS?

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Old 08-23-2001, 11:32 PM   #5
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Location: San Francisco
'08 Prius


Both were MY01, all broken in and stock
Actually the Forester sounded to me a lot like the Ford Explorer, especially under WOT while I'm driving ... engine just roars when you floor it! On the RS it seems you could hear the exhaust drone more at all RPM's just because the engine's quieter. Also the ride height difference is very noticeable. Is it true about a future turbocharged or supercharged Forester coming to the US? I wonder how SoA would market such a beast, and if it would replace the WRX wagon.
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Old 08-27-2001, 04:37 PM   #6
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Member#: 1424
Join Date: May 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Potomac, MD, USA
1998 Forester
Acadia Green Metallic


The new Forester arrives next year as a 2003 model. A turbo should arrive in 2004 (per Automotive News), but I'm guessing it'll be a 2.5l turbo, for good low end torque. Remember, the Forester has to tow, unlike the WRX wagon. It'll get bigger so the models don't overlap as much as they do now.

I've driven a Forester and an RS back-to-back, and the Forester has a lot more sound insulation. It's much more quiet, and the ride is smoother, compared to the RS. Perhaps with less road noise you hear the engine more clearly?

The RS felt sporty, connected, but LOUD compared to my Forester. When I got back inside I felt like I was in a luxury car!

Maybe I should do that more often!

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