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'09 Outback SE AT, '15 Forester Prem CVT
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an '09 that checks all my boxes except for it's anemic pickup and it's simply not very safe driving on the LA freeways when it comes to merging and passing. Is there anything I can do that's not radical (i.e. install a turbo) that can improve acceleration a bit?
 

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Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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6,759 Posts
It is what it is; not much can be done.

And you don't just "install a turbo", BTW. The changes needed are extensive enough that you may as well just trade for an XT, if that's your inclination.

But if you're going there, I'd look at an H6 3.0R first. Much less risk in getting something that will end up costing you a lot.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,304 Posts
Short answer: no. Get an H6 model.

Getting notably more power from the base H4 takes a good deal of time, money, parts, and skill. Unless you loooooooooooooooooooove a project, it is not a feasible option.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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298 Posts
I don't have too much trouble with my H4, the key is to use that handy dandy 4EAT and do some 'manual' shifting. 2nd gear is quite useful! I'm in Jersey, these streets is dangerous too.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
longer answer: you can gain around 5% power for roughly $500 worth of tuning; the next step up is [something radical like a turbo] and couldn't possibly cost less than $3k if someone else is turning the wrenches.

There are hack gadgets that will give roughly the same improvement for less, but all they are doing is faking the ECU into using more fuel which comes out as terrible MPG and rapidly burnt-out catalytic converters. Not practical in the long run.

Any tuning might have to be temporarily removed and reinstated to pass your local smog test, consider this difficulty.

Swapping for an H6 is almost always more cost effective.

I'm in LA for a few weeks each year, almost always in a low horsepower rental car. I don't find it that hard to get around, even with those steep onramps on the 14. Plenty of heavy 100hp hybrids doing fine, IMO.
 

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'09 Outback SE AT, '15 Forester Prem CVT
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Appreciate the replies. Confirms my thought that there is no easy/practical answer to make the Outback into something that it isn't.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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966 Posts
About the only thing you can do is to use the sport shifter to say at higher RPM's before going to the next gear. Not much but it could give you a little better control in acceleration/deceleration with the gas pedal when you're trying to get into that little space between two cars in the next lane.
 
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