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I played around with the cruise control levels 1 through 4 today on a 150+ mile trip I did this morning and I have to say that the #4 Dynamic setting makes a huge difference in how the non-turbo 2.5L responds. It (meaning #4 or the 2.5 in general?) seemed to be just fine (more than adequate) in merging and passing on a freeway.
(The above bold type added by me, not Kevin)
Perhaps, I'm misreading this, but are you saying #1 through #4 made a difference in merging and passing? I thought it only affected how fast you sped up to acquire a lead car, or how fast it resumed the set speed after a slow lead car disappeared (changed lanes).
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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XT = Effortless acceleration. It just goes without strain. You're up to 90-100mph and It's like peddling through a school zone. Quite impressive. We had a Hyundai Sonata prior to this that was our main go-to travel car and when passing or going up a grade you had the beat that thing with a pipe. It got up to speed okay but my God, the effort was insane. It screamed like a banshee the entire time! And then you'd be to maybe 80mph. The XT motor is the polar opposite of that and makes it such an absolute pleasure to drive, not to mention comfortable for the passengers.
 

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FWIW levels 1, 2, and 3 are just a progressive version of bland. I would just as soon choose #1 or #4 and roll.
With my Onyx XT I found 2-4 way too aggressive in reacquiring. I have mine set to 1. Otherwise 2-4 punches you back in your seat as it reacquires quite rapidly, probably killing gas mileage. Not that I'm anal about gas mileage, otherwise I wouldn't have an XT. ;)
 

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So, I have never owned a turbo before this car. And in all honesty I was directly comparing the Outback XT to the Tesla Model Y, and I chose the XT for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the utility that the Tesla just didn’t offer. (Don’t test drive a Tesla, it will ruin you!)

My Subaru ownership experience includes all automatics and all 2.5L NA engines until this point. I have owned manuals and automatics, both the traditional geared transmissions and CVT.

My 2019 Forester had Sport and “I” Mode. Sport was fun and held the power higher in the band for more power quicker (so it felt or have the perception of anyway)... it did cause a rubber band type of effect when coasting.

I remember my 2009 Legacy having a “Sport” mode on the 4EAT that was fun and I used it often. My 2011 Outback did not have this but did have manual paddle shifters if I wanted to do that, but they were not connected to the wheel so they were impossible to use in turns, though I know from my manual experience that you should be in the gear you want before you’re in the turn because it could cause you to skid (since you’re essentially putting the car in neutral when you clutch and you’re breaking the mechanical connection of wheels to engine)...

I can’t stress enough just how quiet the XT runs. It just doesn’t stay at high revs. My driving often puts me on merges as I change highways around town. If I had to get out in a hurry and step on it, the Forester would rev up to or above 4K right away and hold it until 5k or 5.5k until I let off. It’s loud and made my passengers notice - like I was making brash decisions. (For the most part I agree that you should drive defensively and a turbo is not going to help you merge safely into an unsafe spot, but there are times some drivers on the road decide to change lanes from the middle to right lane that you’re waiting to merge into, and it’s these types of scenarios I’ve noticed a real benefit to the power.)

The same merges in the XT don’t make it miss a beat. It stays between 1.5 and 2k and it moves. Like was pointed out in a few posts prior, I have to really give it the beans to get it to go above 3k which is fine because I’m still on break in period and not looking to fully send it quite yet.

For me, the XT was a combination of wanting the Onyx package - digging the StarTex and I love the front black grille - and the quiet power it provided. It’s not an electric vehicle, but not having the drone of the NA 2.5 screaming at me with a full car of people is refreshing.

This is my favorite car I have ever owned and it has only been about 350 miles worth of adventures. I am practically walking into walls as I look over my shoulder and peek out at the driveway to look at it.

If you’re torn between the two:

Drive both. If you’re a city driver, test it in those city settings. If you’re a highway driver, get it up to speed. If you drive in hills or mountains, check those out too.

I thought I would miss the 3.6R and had a lot of regret for going with a 2019 Forester compared to the “last” of the 2019 Outbacks, but the XT has checked off every single one of those boxes and more.

And believe it or not, I don’t miss the Tesla either.
 

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2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
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(The above bold type added by me, not Kevin)
Perhaps, I'm misreading this, but are you saying #1 through #4 made a difference in merging and passing? I thought it only affected how fast you sped up to acquire a lead car, or how fast it resumed the set speed after a slow lead car disappeared (changed lanes).
I agree with what you have stated or at least I do not know how to describe it better in other terms. In my experience this morning the settings dictate how aggressively the throttle responds when in cruise control. Perhaps I was just surprised by how much more aggressive #4 was, there is not much of a jump between 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 or even 1 to 3. #4 is a very noticeable difference in responsiveness compared to all others.

EDIT: Pilot1226 mentioned SI-Drive and that is the closest thing I can compare the 4 cruise control levels to. 1 & 2 are like intelligent mode and 3 is at least a step below sport model. 4 is definitely at least sport and closer to sport sharp. I am not not attempting to draw precise comparisons but rather give a rough estimate based on the fact that I have driven a lot of different Subaru vehicles with SI-Drive 🆒
 

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There’s no problems with Eco mode as long it is as you expect. I like using it when I’m getting on the freeway in the morning and the engine is still not quite warm yet, it’s a gentle application of throttle to bring me up to speed. On the way home when the engine’s warm, though, look out, keeping that thing in my own control.

I will have to play around with the settings when I’m out of the break in period. I have always wanted to try out Dynamic (4) and that seems pretty fun.

The lack of SI Drive is one of the things I kind of miss, but the turbo really doesn’t need to go faster for what I want it to do.

What would be cool is if you could electronically control whether you are in Otto or Atkinson cycle for the engine to maximize power or economy, or even have the computer recognize you’ve put in a higher octane fuel.

Now that would be some cool stuff.
 

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In my experience this morning the settings dictate how aggressively the throttle responds when in cruise control.
I appologize for being dense and continuing to kick a dead horse, but are you talking about the automatic throttle response of the cruise system? Or do you mean it changes the throttle response of actually pressing on the accelerator pedal while cruise is activated (something I haven't thought to test)?
 

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I apologize for being dense and continuing to kick a dead horse, but are you talking about the automatic throttle response of the cruise system? Or do you mean it changes the throttle response of actually pressing on the accelerator pedal while cruise is activated (something I haven't thought to test)?
They're talking about the boost controller dial next to the SI drive button.
 

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2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
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I appologize for being dense and continuing to kick a dead horse, but are you talking about the automatic throttle response of the cruise system? Or do you mean it changes the throttle response of actually pressing on the accelerator pedal while cruise is activated (something I haven't thought to test)?
I am referring to the system doing everything itself after it receives my cruise control input, the accelerator pedal is not a part of the equation. Thank you for allowing me to clarify 🙂
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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So, you're using the cruise control on the on-ramps to merge onto the freeway.
 
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So, you're using the cruise control on the on-ramps to merge onto the freeway.
The #4 Dynamic setting got the job done today, just adequate enough but nothing spectacular.
 

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#4 yeah. Adequate for typical freeway cruising. Not running the Indy 500 so a leisurely acceleration to catch up is fine. It actually seems to work the best, at least for my purposes.
 

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I have a related question. Is there any way to turn off the beep whenever the car locks on to the car ahead? I see the green LED on the HUD, I don't need to hear it all the time. Drives me batty.
 

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I have a related question. Is there any way to turn off the beep whenever the car locks on to the car ahead? I see the green LED on the HUD, I don't need to hear it all the time. Drives me batty.
There's a setting to turn it off. I like it on personally, but again, I like the beeps on a starship command deck too.... ;)
 

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It’s under Eyesight. That’s the lead target acquisition
At least on the previous generation, that setting is forgotten if you knock the battery dead. I haven't gotten around to resetting it after the last time I left the interior lights on in the car for a couple of days. I find it really annoying but I only remember I need to change it when I'm at highway speeds where it locks out access to the menu.
 
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