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Discussion Starter #1
I brought my car in to the dealership for service and they provided me with a rental car. The new 2020 2.4L Turbo Outback. It's nice and I love the bigger screen, Qi wireless charging pad, and place to keep your phone above the passenger glove box.

However, the 2.4L turbo feels like a 2.4L. The power is nowhere near as smooth as my 2019 3.6L Outback. Even though the torque and hp numbers are higher in the 2020 2.4L Turbo, it feels like a 2.4L with....a turbo. Nothing beats the 50% larger engine displacement of the 3.6L.

Is it just me, or do others feel the same?
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring
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I brought my car in to the dealership for service and they provided me with a rental car. The new 2020 2.4L Turbo Outback. It's nice and I love the bigger screen, Qi wireless charging pad, and place to keep your phone above the passenger glove box.

However, the 2.4L turbo feels like a 2.4L. The power is nowhere near as smooth as my 2019 3.6L Outback. Even though the torque and hp numbers are higher in the 2020 2.4L Turbo, it feels like a 2.4L with....a turbo. Nothing beats the 50% larger engine displacement of the 3.6L.

Is it just me, or do others feel the same?
100% agree, but love the seats in the 2020. Also 2020 drives more like and SUV, where 2019 drives more like a car.... your mileage may vary...

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Discussion Starter #3
true, the 2020 feels stiffer for sure.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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I also very much agree with you. Like the saying goes "no replacement for displacement". Also I believe the new screens have a few bugs that need to get worked out. The new update helps, but still needs some more attention.
 

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I also very much agree with you. Like the saying goes "no replacement for displacement". Also I believe the new screens have a few bugs that need to get worked out. The new update helps, but still needs some more attention.
I have a 2020 OB on order so don't know first hand, but from what I'm reading in the 2020 Software Gigathread, "a few bugs" is a bit of an understatement :)
 

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Before the 504 update, the infotainment in the 20 did indeed have bugs. After the update it's very close to perfect with bugs that only a super nerd like me can find. If you've got an older Outback you're happy with, press on, but if you've been holding off on a 20 just because of the infotainment you need not wait any longer because it's very good now.
 

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I prefer higher displacement however I think embracing new technology has almost always proven to be a good thing. I am not old enough to remember when the automatic transmission was invented but I am sure it was met with a lot of resistance . Now they are even becoming somewhat standard in big trucks and buses. I am not a big fan of turbos, they muck up your engine oil faster, if they fail, they very often take your entire engine with them, and lastly, they really only build enough boost when you need it the least (when you are going fast.)
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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I had an XT loaner for a week recently and have mixed feelings...the 3.6R is more responsive off the line and at lower speeds...definitely feels better around town. But the 2.4T is quicker at higher speeds and pulling/maintaining speed on steep hills/mountain climbs. The auto stop/start is terrible and requires multiple pages/presses in the infotainment to turn it off every time you restart the car. Garbage. Looks like there are some aftermarket defeat options for it which would be required before I would consider the 6th gen XT.

Much of the rest of the car is a big improvement though over the 5th gen....more rigid, better ride over rough roads, seats are considerably more comfortable for me, Eyesight lane centering is much better.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Two points to consider:

1) A four-cylinder engine will never be able to match the smoot power delivery of a six. This is due to inherent balance issues, as well as the fact that a six has overlapping power pulses while a four does not.

2) A normally-aspirated engine, four cylinder or six, inevitably loses power at higher elevations due to lower air density. On the other hand, a turbocharged engine can maintain sea-level power all the way up to some critical altitude ... usually above 8 to 10 thousand feet.
 
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I ALWAYS choose normally aspirated over turbo......turbos fail and cost a bundle.
The 3.6R was a simple choice for me. Smooth power. Lose a little mileage and a teeeeny bit of power in the mountains (teeeeny !), but one turbo failure eats all that benefit up and then some.
One man's opinion.
 

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I had an XT loaner for a week recently and have mixed feelings...the 3.6R is more responsive off the line and at lower speeds...definitely feels better around town. But the 2.4T is quicker at higher speeds and pulling/maintaining speed on steep hills/mountain climbs. The auto stop/start is terrible and requires multiple pages/presses in the infotainment to turn it off every time you restart the car. Garbage. Looks like there are some aftermarket defeat options for it which would be required before I would consider the 6th gen XT.

Much of the rest of the car is a big improvement though over the 5th gen....more rigid, better ride over rough roads, seats are considerably more comfortable for me, Eyesight lane centering is much better.
Agree the auto start-stop is the single worst development in very recent automotive history. I have a company car that I'm ready to push over a cliff, as one cannot defeat the auto ss. It's maddening.
 

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I prefer higher displacement however I think embracing new technology has almost always proven to be a good thing. I am not old enough to remember when the automatic transmission was invented but I am sure it was met with a lot of resistance . Now they are even becoming somewhat standard in big trucks and buses. I am not a big fan of turbos, they muck up your engine oil faster, if they fail, they very often take your entire engine with them, and lastly, they really only build enough boost when you need it the least (when you are going fast.)
Speaking of mucking up the engines faster these new engines are now direct injection which tends to deposit carbon on the intake valves requiring regular decarboning. Unless they combine a port injector with it like Toyota is now doing.


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Agree the auto start-stop is the single worst development in very recent automotive history. I have a company car that I'm ready to push over a cliff, as one cannot defeat the auto ss. It's maddening.
I have only sampled start/stop in a few vehicles: a Mercedes, a Ford and GMC pickup, and our 2.5NA Subaru. They have all been fine, but in all honesty the Subaru is perhaps a tiny bit rougher, perhaps because the Mercedes and Ford were both 6-cylinder and the GMC was an eight. On this forum there seems to be more complaints about SS with the turbo, which I have never driven. Our 2.5 started out good and got smoother with time, the only time we can even feel the start stop now is if it restarts with our foot on the brake; when it restarts as you're leaving a stop, it's virtually imperceptible. So the anecdotal evidence suggests the execution is better with the 2.5 than the turbo. Whatever, we leave it on all the time. One trick we had to learn was to set the pb before shifting into Park to avoid the engine shutting off, then restarting when you select Park, only to shut off again when you hit the stop button.
 

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Test drove a new XT today after they sold the 3.6 i wanted while i was en route (3rd time in as many days I've missed one).

As a current driver of a turbo 4, i have to say that the Subaru version is flat out awful.

Between the full second of turbo lag and the constantly "gear" hunting CVT, you have no idea when any power is coming at all. Even in manual flappy paddle mode i often couldn't get the turbo to kick in when trying, only to get a big kick when not expecting it later.

I'm genuinely surprised it's getting as good press as it is. It's worse than the 6cyl it replaced by a long shot on everything but mpg.

The rest of the 2020 updates we're noticably nice though and I'd consider one if i were interested in a 2.5i... Except the stop start (bleh) and the full touch screen infotainment system; i prefer buttons and knobs so i don't have to look at the screen to do things.
 

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I keep getting dealer email to trade in my 2019 3.6R for. 2020. Think I’m going to tell them I’ll happily trade my 2019 If they will swap over my 3.6L.
 

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Test drove a new XT today after they sold the 3.6 i wanted while i was en route (3rd time in as many days I've missed one).

As a current driver of a turbo 4, i have to say that the Subaru version is flat out awful.

Between the full second of turbo lag and the constantly "gear" hunting CVT, you have no idea when any power is coming at all. Even in manual flappy paddle mode i often couldn't get the turbo to kick in when trying, only to get a big kick when not expecting it later.

I'm genuinely surprised it's getting as good press as it is. It's worse than the 6cyl it replaced by a long shot on everything but mpg.
Have you driven the 3.6R? Neither are going to be anything like your Focus ST in terms of performance...the 3.6R is very torquey at low rpms but rather dead at speed. The 2.4T is a low-pressure turbo so you will not feel a rush of power when it "kicks in" as you say. The refinement is also massively different between the engines so the Outback is never going to "feel" as raw and quick as the Focus. I mean the engine output of both 3.6R and 2.4T are in the ballpark of your Focus but the Outback is at least 600-700lb heavier.
 

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Old: '13 Focus St ::: New: '18 3.6 Ltd in white
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Yep, I've driven all of the gen5 and 6 options now. Clearly none will handle like my current car, and i went in knowing that, I'm shopping for a space upgrade not a performance upgrade.

i disagree about the 2.4T being smooth, it's a kick in the pants when it hits. It's just totally unpredictable with the cvt in the mix.

The 3.6 is my clear favorite personally despite it feeling nose-heavy under braking and turning, but load it up with people and stuff and it should be more balanced with enough omph when needed.

I think the 2.4T is better on paper but i just didn't enjoy the guessing game of driving it. To each their own, or we'd all be driving the same thing. :D
 

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'17 OB 3.6R Touring [ex-'09 OB Ltd. (2009-16); ex-'01 Audi A6 Avant (2001-2009)]; '14 Impreza Sport Premium
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Have you driven the 3.6R? Neither are going to be anything like your Focus ST in terms of performance...the 3.6R is very torquey at low rpms but rather dead at speed. The 2.4T is a low-pressure turbo so you will not feel a rush of power when it "kicks in" as you say. The refinement is also massively different between the engines so the Outback is never going to "feel" as raw and quick as the Focus. I mean the engine output of both 3.6R and 2.4T are in the ballpark of your Focus but the Outback is at least 600-700lb heavier.
my experience with the 3.6 on an annual 1,100 mile round trip (VA-Cape Cod) is that the 3.6 (2017 Touring) is reasonably torquey, relatively few downshifts at ~68-70 mph cruise through CT hills or when passing. I specifically went 3.6R for that trip, the downshifting and thrashing of the 2009 OB Ltd 4-cyl (non-turbo of course) was annoying. I owned and loved a Saab 900 Turbo in the 1980s but bought the 3.6 specifically to get that engine before all-turbo came back.

My ‘17 Touring w/ slightly larger rear ASB reminds me in positive ways of my 2001 Audi A6 Avant (and will likely be more reliable, lol). Not a ripper, but a 540-mile drive is comfortable and fairly easy. The 3.6R gets about the same mpg as my ‘09 OB Ltd 4-cylinder or the ‘01 Audi. And it definitely handles like a wagon, not a SUV (good).
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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Since folks keep their cars for about 2.9 years, what are 3.6 owners gonna buy next?
 
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