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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When did non-turbo Outbacks (and Foresters) switch from regular to premium fuel?

I'm looking for a used Outback or Forester, the latest year that regular gas was the recommended fuel for (non-turbo).

From what I've been able to find, it appears that the latest years for regular gas were 2014-2015, but I can't find anything more specific than that (like for instance, did fuel change occur in some countries before others? Did production change occur in the middle of a model year? etc.

I'm planning on doing a lot of travel by car (in the US), I'm going to ditch my 2003 Outback because the body is starting to rust from the inside-out and has other problems. Looking for a regular burner because premium fuel would make a significantly bigger impact on my travel costs. A 2014-2015 Outback or Forester would meet my needs nicely, but the online car ads never mention what fuel type they use.

Thanks!
 

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which subarus like premium gas from 2000-present:

turbos.

and 2001-2009 H6 3.0.

other then those all run happy on regular.
 
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Where do you see the premium fuel recommendation?


My 2018 Outback 2.5i manual says to use 87 octane or higher. That is no different than any naturally aspirated car I have had. After driving 6k miles in all kinds of conditions, the car still runs like a healthy cat. I see no reason to use a higher octane.
 

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Perhaps turbo + premium fuel requirement is changing? Based on this information on the Ascent the new 2.4 turbo will not require premium -- it says 87 octane. Look under "Engine/Chassis" for the build tool where it says " Fuel requirement: Unleaded gasoline (87 octane)" for all models. Perhaps that engine and those fuel requirements will reach the OB in 2020.
 

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Perhaps turbo + premium fuel requirement is changing? Based on this information on the Ascent the new 2.4 turbo will not require premium -- it says 87 octane. Look under "Engine/Chassis" for the build tool where it says " Fuel requirement: Unleaded gasoline (87 octane)" for all models. Perhaps that engine and those fuel requirements will reach the OB in 2020.
Engine controls are good enough now to make enough adjustments based on fuel octane. The current turbo 4cyl Mustang can run on 87octane fuel ok, but it won't make the advertised hp numbers. Must use premium to get the most out of it. I would suspect many other turbo engines would have similar constraints.
 

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Perhaps turbo + premium fuel requirement is changing? Based on this information on the Ascent the new 2.4 turbo will not require premium -- it says 87 octane. Look under "Engine/Chassis" for the build tool where it says " Fuel requirement: Unleaded gasoline (87 octane)" for all models. Perhaps that engine and those fuel requirements will reach the OB in 2020.
Our '16 Forester XT runs fine on regular or 87 octane. It is recommended to use 93 for best performance, but in the owner's manual it states regular may be used with no detrimental affect or impact to the warranty. We actually found using midgrade or 89 octane to be the sweet spot between performance and mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll have to go back and check the source, but pretty sure the source was wikipedia... although I did read a lot of other reviews and never found any contradictions to the wiki.

Please note that I'm asking specifically about 2014-2015 models, and about the 'recommended' fuel. There are people responding about 2016, 2017, and 2018 models.

Based on jnmarshall's response wikipedia may be 'correct', since my question was about 'recommended' fuel grade. I asked the question that way because many (older) engines that have a premium recommendation have a tendency to knock on 89.

dukey33's response:
"Engine controls are good enough now to make enough adjustments based on fuel octane. The current turbo 4cyl Mustang can run on 87octane fuel ok, but it won't make the advertised hp numbers. Must use premium to get the most out of it. I would suspect many other turbo engines would have similar constraints."

Enlightening. The most modern car I have is a 2005 RX8, and perhaps engine controls then weren't as sophisticated. Engines that had a 'Premium' recommendation then did have a tendency to knock with lower octane then, and that wouldn't be acceptable to me. Maybe the magic years when engine controls became capable of using either regular or premium was in the 2014-2015 era, and if you think about it that way, then maybe the Wiki, and all the reports of 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all correct and not in conflict with each other, because that's when the engine capabilities to run sufficiently well on regular or premium octanes evolved.

thanks for the replies, they were enlightening, in that, even though the recommended octane is 93, that part that jnmarshall provided from the manual, 'regular may be used with no detrimental affect or impact to the warranty' is a key piece of information for me, as are all the other posts and the information they provide.

Why 2014-2015 you may ask? Well, I want something reasonably simple, for utilitarian use, for going to Home Depot, hauling stuff to the waste transfer depot, and not very appealing to car thieves. Something that you don't have to replace the whole dashboard if the clock stops working. Something to drive to the airport where I keep my good 'car' (a Cessna). Something relatively inexpensive to buy and operate.

I'm a long-time Outback owner, and it just runs. And runs. And runs. When I started looking at cars earlier this year I was surprised at how many complaints there were about recent year model Outbacks & to a lesser extent, Foresters. Far more than I've previously seen with earlier model years. From some reputable sources. It only makes sense though; the more sophisticated cars become, the more things there are to fail.

YMMV
 

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I'll have to go back and check the source, but pretty sure the source was wikipedia... although I did read a lot of other reviews and never found any contradictions to the wiki.

Please note that I'm asking specifically about 2014-2015 models, and about the 'recommended' fuel. There are people responding about 2016, 2017, and 2018 models.

Based on jnmarshall's response wikipedia may be 'correct', since my question was about 'recommended' fuel grade. I asked the question that way because many (older) engines that have a premium recommendation have a tendency to knock on 89.

dukey33's response:
"Engine controls are good enough now to make enough adjustments based on fuel octane. The current turbo 4cyl Mustang can run on 87octane fuel ok, but it won't make the advertised hp numbers. Must use premium to get the most out of it. I would suspect many other turbo engines would have similar constraints."

Enlightening. The most modern car I have is a 2005 RX8, and perhaps engine controls then weren't as sophisticated. Engines that had a 'Premium' recommendation then did have a tendency to knock with lower octane then, and that wouldn't be acceptable to me. Maybe the magic years when engine controls became capable of using either regular or premium was in the 2014-2015 era, and if you think about it that way, then maybe the Wiki, and all the reports of 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all correct and not in conflict with each other, because that's when the engine capabilities to run sufficiently well on regular or premium octanes evolved.

thanks for the replies, they were enlightening, in that, even though the recommended octane is 93, that part that jnmarshall provided from the manual, 'regular may be used with no detrimental affect or impact to the warranty' is a key piece of information for me, as are all the other posts and the information they provide.

Why 2014-2015 you may ask? Well, I want something reasonably simple, for utilitarian use, for going to Home Depot, hauling stuff to the waste transfer depot, and not very appealing to car thieves. Something that you don't have to replace the whole dashboard if the clock stops working. Something to drive to the airport where I keep my good 'car' (a Cessna). Something relatively inexpensive to buy and operate.

I'm a long-time Outback owner, and it just runs. And runs. And runs. When I started looking at cars earlier this year I was surprised at how many complaints there were about recent year model Outbacks & to a lesser extent, Foresters. Far more than I've previously seen with earlier model years. From some reputable sources. It only makes sense though; the more sophisticated cars become, the more things there are to fail.

YMMV

You should be in the 2010-2014 forum: Gen 4: 2010-2014 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

The 2015-2019 models are all going to have the same fuel recommendation.
 

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Maybe the magic years when engine controls became capable of using either regular or premium was in the 2014-2015 era, and if you think about it that way, then maybe the Wiki, and all the reports of 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all correct and not in conflict with each other, because that's when the engine capabilities to run sufficiently well on regular or premium octanes evolved.

My 2002 Ford Escape V6 has a recommendation of 87 octane. That is all it has gotten for 160k miles. It still runs like a healthy cat at any altitude I take it.

I give no credibility to the Wikipedia article. The recommendations in the Subaru manuals trump anything Wikipedia says. To keep it simple, just go download the pdf version of the make/model you want, and read the fuel recommendation there. There are some eloquent, but wrong, people yapping on the Internet. Heck, don't even trust what I am saying. Go read the manuals.
 

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I'll have to go back and check the source, but pretty sure the source was wikipedia... although I did read a lot of other reviews and never found any contradictions to the wiki.



YMMV
there is your problem right there. that is a world wide site. the data is all mixed up.


with every user sticking in what they think is applicable to what is sold in their market....and whatever great or crap gas they sell. vs. diesel.

RON vs. AKI.
 

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Please note that I'm asking specifically about 2014-2015 models, and about the 'recommended' fuel. There are people responding about 2016, 2017, and 2018 models.
Probably because your original post implied you had 2014-2015 data and you were looking for newer model information
it appears that the latest years for regular gas were 2014-2015, but I can't find anything more specific than that (like for instance, did fuel change occur in some countries before others? Did production change occur in the middle of a model year? etc.
You BEST source of the information is many of the Subaru technical documents readily found at STIS. Go to Online Reference section and you can access all the owner's manuals and such for FREE! You only have to pay if you want access to the service manuals.

Enjoy!
 

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I give you an example why you don't trust a world wide site like wiki.
In 2008 I purchased a 2008 2.0L Impreza for the wife. We are in Australia by the way.
Fuel cap and book said use PULP 95RON. Dealer said don't, just use 91REG. Reason Subaru say us 95 is because that is the fuel they used when doing the government mandated fuel consumption test.
 

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