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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
I got the 2013 Outback with the 2.5 for better mpg. I didn't think 3K more for the 6cyl was worth it especially losing 6 or 7 mpg.
I brought my 2.5 to the local speed shop that specializes in making WRX's fast. I asked what they could do to my Outback to make it a little quicker and with some laughter I was told "nothing".
I figure at least a better air intake and maybe a better muffler to breath a little better might help, but there doesn't seem to even be anything like that out there. I was also told any chips for this engine are a scam.
That being said... ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO GET MORE POWER OUT OF THE 2.5????
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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4,017 Posts
Long and short answer, No. You could probably spend that 3K and not get 10hp. There are several threads on the subject with negative results.
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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1,072 Posts
Hold the accelerator to the floor.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
You can definitely do things that would give it more power. The question is, would any of them be cheaper than the hit on trading it for a 3.6L?

Nobody on this board has posted results from an attempt yet, so you could still have the glory of being first.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
There's no quick, cheap way to do it. You can drop a new engine and transmission as well as beefing up the drive train and suspension. It would cost the same to trade in your OB for one with a 3.6.

I'm pretty sure Subaru is mustering as much fuel economy as they can so any modifications will drop you down (or maybe even below) the 3.6. Again you're better off eating a couple thousand and getting into a 3.6 if you want moar power. If you want fuel economy you're going to have to stick with putt putting around town.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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510 Posts
It takes fuel to make power. The more power the more fuel. If you were able to increase the power level equal to the H6 I am sure it would burn as much if not more fuel than the H6. I also suspect you would spend way more than 3k in the process. I get about 28 with my 3.6R at 75 mph on the freeway. So I guess you are getting 34 with your 2.5.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If I wanted a fast car I would have got the STI!! LOL. Just looking for an idea to give my 2.5 pig a little life. You'd think K&N or someone would at least make an intake. Making it breath better would be more power and better gas mileage. I have to say though...I'm surprised at how nice the Outback actually is for a lot less than anything similar.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,676 Posts
...adding nitrous...?
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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1,972 Posts
So you want all the fuel economy of the 2.5, all the power of the 3.6, all the time.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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3,567 Posts

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
Long and short answer, No. You could probably spend that 3K and not get 10hp. There are several threads on the subject with negative results.
This sums it up. The factory intake and exhaust, while not the most free flowing, are not going to free up much power. You could easily drop several hundred to a thousand on new intake and exhaust and have MAYBE 10 hp to show for it.

The NA 2.5 is not designed to be a speed demon, and making it one costs a lot.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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I have an AFE drop in dry flow filter. it performs similar to the K&N ****, but doesn't need oiling. it might add maybe 1 hp but other than a filter, forget about more power. there are intakes available from cosmo racing and takeda, but not really worth the money. I bought the filter cuz you just vacuum it to clean it instead of buying a new filter every 30,000 miles. I also put an AEM dry flow filter in my '12 impreza. K&N owns AEM so its sorta a K&N filter.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,676 Posts
I have an AFE drop in dry flow filter. it performs similar to the K&N ****, but doesn't need oiling. it might add maybe 1 hp but other than a filter, forget about more power. there are intakes available from cosmo racing and takeda, but not really worth the money. I bought the filter cuz you just vacuum it to clean it instead of buying a new filter every 30,000 miles. I also put an AEM dry flow filter in my '12 impreza. K&N owns AEM so its sorta a K&N filter.
Question. Did you use just the filter odd you replace the intake too?
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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i didn't replace the intake, just a new filter. about $50, but that's better than a new OEM filter every 30k miles.

now there is an AEM filter available for about $40.
 

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If it has a aluminum intake manifold , look into phenolical spacers and throttle body spacers if it has that style intake. Light weight pulleys and a header. All this will help that 2.5 get up and go pretty good. I don't understand why if someone asks for a little info, people just bash and ask why did you get an outback....... I've had lots of Subaru's and the outback has been by far the best that fits my small family's needs. Before I had my son I had a 99 wagon with a 07 2.5 N/A with all the mods I just listed and I could keep up with wrxs off the line till 3rd. Now that I'm a dady I had to get a bigger car and slow down a bit. Doesn't mean you can't have a little extra power under your foot in your grocery getter when you want it........... hope some of the mods I listed help.
 

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Adding power also affects emissions, could be an issue if you live in a draconian smog check state like Ca.
On a federal EPA level, tampering with anything that affects emissions is illegal.
Power adders also need to be CARB certified with an Executive Order number to be legal in Ca.
Any reprogramming of the ECU will probably void the warranty.
Strangely, I find the power in my OB 2.5i adequate.
The OB is certainly faster than my first car,a '55 VW Bug with 36 hp. Acceleration to 60 was measured in minutes.
I take the bike out if I have a go fast urge.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Limited
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186 Posts
I just sucked it up and bought a 3.6R for many of the reasons listed above. You can build up any motor with enough time, money, and motivation. If you are looking for a comparatively easy list of off-the-shelf go-fast goodies, no, they don't exist for the new 2.5i engine yet. Remember... you have the first year of the new timing-chain engine.

I had a 2011 2.5i with CVT. No meaningful power-adder parts available for the engine (an air filter is not meaningful). Even if there were, the CVT would have rendered them pointless.

If you have a stickshift and really want more oomph out of the 2.5, you can always go the custom engine shop route, but it will get VERY expensive. Custom phenolic intake spacers, custom headers, custom cat-back exhaust, custom Ecu reprogram or standalone engine mgmt... can even go crazy and have custom cam ground and custom pistons made for it. When I say "custom" I don't mean items out of a catalog... I mean fabricated-to-order.

Anyway... between wanting more grunt, and wanting better suspension, I just came home with a 2013 3.6R Limited earlier today. MUCH happier. Yeah, I'll pay for it at the pump. I'll make the budget work. The performance boost is worth every penny.
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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212 Posts
It takes fuel to make power. The more power the more fuel. If you were able to increase the power level equal to the H6 I am sure it would burn as much if not more fuel than the H6. I also suspect you would spend way more than 3k in the process. I get about 28 with my 3.6R at 75 mph on the freeway. So I guess you are getting 34 with your 2.5.
I have never got 28mpg on either of my 2012 2.5i Premium or my 2013 2.5i Limited. Between HWY and City driving over the last 6000 miles, Im averaging 23.4 mpg. On a 865 mile trip from SLC, UT to Puerto Penasco Mexico, I averaged about 27.5 mpg. Im not a pedal to the medal or aggressive driver---I just drive. I only put premium gas in my car and may suspect living at high elevations and mountains plays a key role in MPG.

Im not a big believer in what Subaru is stating for MPG....maybe driving 55 mph at sea level but not 70+ mph in the higher elevations.
 
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