A large part of what people consider when purchasing a car is the engine as that is what powers the car. When looking for a car, getting a good engine is critical, which is why some people ask: which Subaru forester engine is best?

The best and most powerful Subaru Forester engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 250-hp, which was available in the fourth-generation Subaru Forester. The Forester has had the same base engine for two decades, a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder boxer engine, but there are three other engine options.

Although the best Subaru Forester engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, Subaru makes a variety of types. Keep reading to find out more about Subaru Engines.

Which Engine Does the Subaru Forester Currently Have?

The 2021 Subaru forester has a Boxer 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. This is the only engine offered for the 2021 year, no matter which trim package you chose. This same engine has been used for years with the Subaru Forester. Over the years the horsepower has increased, and it is now at 182 HP. (Source)

Engines Over the years

The Subaru Forester first came out in 1998. Since then, there have been 5 generations of this car, each trying to be better than the last.

First Generation

When the Subaru Forester first came out in 1998, it sported a 2.5 liter, 4 cylinder engine. In the two decades that this car has been available, it has used this same basic engine. One of the only things that has changed is the horsepower of the engine, which has increased from 165 hp to 182 HP. (Source)

Second Generation

Over the years, there have been a few other engine options available for the Subaru Forester. It started in the second generation of the Subaru Forester, which was from 2003-2008. They offered a turbocharged 2.5 L 4 cylinder engine in 2004, and it has a horsepower of 210. In 2006 the horsepower for this engine was increased to 224 HP.

Third Generation

Next, we have the third generation of the Forester that was built from 2009 to 2013. By this point, the basic engine remained the same, but its horsepower had increased to 170. No new engine was created for this generation of Subaru Forester.

Fourth Generation

The fourth-generation Subaru forester was built during the years 2014 to 2018. During this time, there was another turbocharged engine option, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Its horsepower was higher than the rest, as it had 250 HP. However, this engine was discontinued in 2019, along with the option of a manual transmission. (Source)

Fifth Generation

This current generation of Subaru Forster is the fifth generation. This generation has the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine as all of the other generations. With the previous turbo engine discontinued in 2019, this is the only engine offered for the year 2021. (Source)

However, in 2021 Suburu did start offering a 1.8 turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with 175 HP. Interestingly, this engine is only offered in Japan and is unavailable in the US.

Which Subaru Forester Engine is Best?

Over the more than two decades that the Subaru Forester has been built, there were only four engine options. Now that you know this, you’re probably wondering which one is the best so you know which one you should choose. To figure out the answer, you need to know what horsepower, torque, and turbocharged mean.

What is Horsepower?

Horsepower is a measurement of how powerful an engine is. The higher the amount of horsepower, the more powerful the car is.

What is Torque?

Torque is how much rotational force is exerted by the engine. It’s measured in pound-feet. (Source)

Torque is connected to horsepower. To have a powerful engine, you will want one with good horsepower and torque.

What Does Turbocharged Mean?

A turbocharged engine will use turbines to force extra air into the engine, creating a forced induction that increases the engine’s power. Because of this, turbocharged engines can be smaller than a regular engine but produce the same amount of power. (Source)

Now let’s evaluate the four engines that Subaru Foresters have.

Basic 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine – 1998-present

In 1998, this engine had a horsepower of 162, but now in 2021, it has a horsepower of 182. Also, its torque has reached 176 lb-ft. (Source)

Turbocharged 2.5 L 4 cylinder engine – 2004-2013

This engine has a horsepower of 210 when it first came out in 2004, but was improved in 2006 and now has a horsepower of 224.

2.0-liter turbocharged engine 250-hp – 2014-2018

This engine has the highest horsepower at 250. It also has the highest torque at 258 lb-ft of torque (Source)

Japan only 1.8 turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with 175 hp -2021

This unique engine has 175 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. (Source)

In the end, the best overall engine depends on whether you want a turbocharged engine or not. Turbocharged engines have their downsides, like any other car adaption. However, turbocharged engines have become more popular in recent years.

If you are willing to have a turbocharged engine, then the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from 2014-2018 might be your favorite. It has the highest amount of torque, 37 lb-ft more than any other Subaru Forester engine. It also has the best horsepower, a stunning 250 HP. That’s why this engine is the best.

Which Subaru Engines Should You Avoid?

Avoid the older 2.5 L engines, as it has improved in recent years and has gained horsepower over time. Also, avoid 2009 and 2010 Subaru Foresters with a 2.5 L 4 cylinder turbocharged engine. 2009-2010 Subaru Foresters with this engine have a multitude of reported engine problems. One of the most common issues was blown head gaskets, which are expensive to fix. (Source)

If you’re looking at the basic 2.5 L engine, a newer engine will be better than an older one. There have been significant improvements done to this engine over the years, proven by its increased horsepower. The reported problems will vary by model year.

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