Monday, May 28, 2018

Subaru Forester XT vs 2.0iP - Visual Differences

Subaru Forester has been a more common sight on the road in Malaysia in the recent years since this All Wheel Drive (AWD) mid-size SUV has been made more affordable to the general masses. Most of the Forester running on the Malaysian road are the naturally aspirated (NA) version, which are usually marked as 2.0i (standard trim)and the 2.0i-P (premium trim). Then there is the turbocharged version which are rare and not often seen known as the 2.0 XT.
Subaru Forester 2.0i-P. Photo taken from CarSifu.My
Performance differences is huge. the NA is 150ps and the XT is 241ps. Torque is 190Nm vs 350Nm. Pricing wise, it is also significant with RM100K between them mainly due to the CKD (NA) vs CBU (XT) which meant higher tax structure.
The Forester XT engine bay with top-mount intercooler. Not obvious as no scoop over the hood
The older generation Forester (up till 2006) was shaped more like a station wagon and with an intercooler scoop. To the Subaru community, they are known as the SG version.
SG version. 2nd Generation XT. Photo: Wikipedia
It then evolved to the SH version (third generation, up till 2013) where it starts to take shape as a mid-sized SUV vs a stationwagon like stance.
SH version. Third generation XT. Photo: Wikipedia
When the 4th Generation (or known as SJ) came out in 2013, they took the shape of what you are familiar with. And with Subaru going mainstream and offering NA version of Forester, the XT (or FXT) became similar looking as the NA (of FNA). Some of you may had seen these Forester on the road more than once - and may had tried to outrun them if you are driving similar SUV such as CRV and CX5.
Same-Same, but different. You can't tell which one is NA and which is XT
So, if you are a new car owner or not been aware of these "Wannabe Sports SUV hiding as Soccer Mum Vehicles", you may had on many occasion, managed to outrun (speed and pick up) these 2.0i and 2.0iP which only packs 150ps (about 148hp if you prefer metric).  And maybe, on the rare occasion you came across one that looked exactly the same, only to be humbled - and that Forester ain't even trying. So this post is to help you to identify the NA and the XT.
The physical signs it's a FXT
If you are looking from your rear view mirror, It is often not too obvious other than the silver roof rail. Only the FXT has a silver roof rail. While it may take some effort to see, that is why I felt the scoop of the FXT should remain...
Silver Roof Rail vs all Black Roof Rail.. 
And if you are tailing from the back, the double muffler is a clear sign it's a FXT. And while these can be installed by FNA, you can't fake it without cutting your lower bumper lip.
Double muffler with corresponding cut off bumper lip - and the XT emblem
The FXT is shod with 18 inches wheels with very different rims pattern, while the FNA is on 17 inches (6-spokes). The FXT is 5-spoke in Y-shape. Some FNA are known to replace their 17inches with the FXT rims for the more "complete" look. 
Not the best photo, but here you go with the rim!
These are just a few tell-tale sign of the FXT that you can see physically. The other not so obvious are the huge sun/moonroof that opens up big enough for two adults to climb through. I love the sunroof as it provides a very roomy feel when the interior liner are pulled back. 
The Forester XT.
Hope this thread was useful to help you recognise and take notice of the rare FXT!

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