• Sep 5, 2008
Click above for gallery of Subaru's newest diesel-powered models

Subaru debuted its new 2.0L diesel boxer engine earlier this year in the Legacy and Outback, and soon it will also be offered in the Forester and Impreza, though only in Europe. These two latest models to feature the unique horizontally opposed oil-burning engines will debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. The Forester 2.0D will offer 147 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque while returning 44.8 combined mpg in the European cycle, which is class-leading for a small CUV over there, while the Impreza 2.0D offers 148 hp and 258 lb-ft (fuel economy for the Impreza 2.0D was not released for some reason). The diesel Forester will hit showrooms later this month while Euro shoppers will have to wait until January for the diesel Impreza. While we certainly hope Subaru is tweaking its 2.0L diesel boxer engine to meet emissions standards in all 50 U.S. states, we haven't heard one word about it.


[Source: Subaru]

PRESS RELEASE

BOXER DIESEL FORESTER AND IMPREZA UNVEILED AT PARIS MOTOR SHOW

Subaru's highly-acclaimed new Boxer Diesel engine will appear for the first time in both the new Forester and Impreza at the 2008 Paris Motor Show (October 4-19).

Meanwhile, other highlights include a Subaru Impreza WRX2008 replica plus the Subaru R1e and G4e electric cars. There will also be a 50th Anniversary Display showcasing the original Subaru 360 minicar.

Subaru's press conference takes place on the Subaru stand at 17.00 hours on Thursday, October 2, 2008.

New Boxer Diesel Forester And Impreza
Both the new Forester SUV and Impreza five-door will be unveiled featuring Subaru's highly-acclaimed new 2.0 litre Boxer Diesel engine.

The world's first horizontally-opposed diesel engine for a passenger car has won widespread praise for its refinement, smoothness, sharp throttle-response and outstanding fuel economy. It first appeared in the Legacy and Outback earlier this year.

Both the Forester and Impreza Boxer Diesels feature new six-speed manual gearboxes while the engine itself benefits from a new closed-type diesel particulate filter.
Such is the efficiency of the new engine that the Forester 2.0D boasts class-leading fuel economy and emissions.

No other SUV can better the 44.8 mpg Combined and 167 g/km of the Forester 2.0D X.

The Forester 2.0D produces 147 PS and 258 lb ft torque and the Impreza 150 PS and 258 lb ft – both at 3,600 rpm and 1,800 rpm respectively.

The engine's benefits include exceptional compactness, light weight and a low centre-of-gravity which benefits handling agility and makes best use of the standard all-wheel drive system.

The new Forester Boxer Diesel goes on sale in the UK in late September and the Impreza Boxer Diesel in January 2009.


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  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think I read in Car and Driver that the diesel was designed with the US in mind, but that because it does not have an automatic option yet they have not brought it here yet, however, they are planning to for 2010. I hope so- a diesel would make all kinds of sense in an all-wheel drive car like the Scoobys!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ugh... hopefully they won't hobble it by offering it ONLY as an automatic in the US. Even as bloated as it's become, I'd consider a new Forester XT if they offered a manual, but nope, it's just the low-tech 4speed auto. You can have a manual, but only in the low-powered version, and no more Legacy Wagons. In terms of keeping *MY* business, Subaru has made poor decisions recently. I'm glad my '05 Legacy GT Wagon is holding up well, since they're certainly not offering its equal or better in the US.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Diesel and AWD, I like it! The Forester especially since it should be a pretty good light duty work/tow vehicle.

      Being the owner of a construction company it would be a great vehicle for me, as I have diesel pumps at my yard and I buy diesel fuel in bulk, so it ends up costing me less. Plus I'm sure it gets better mileage than the full size diesel suvs/pickups we've used traditionally.


      With that said, I've never heard a boxer diesel, I wonder what it sounds like, especially unmuffled?
        • 6 Years Ago
        From what I've read, the boxer diesel sounds a lot like a regular boxer, but a little louder at idle.

        That said, I've had my boxer unmuffled briefly. It sounded awful raspy.

        With a good, high-flowing muffler it gets that deep boxer rumble. Much better than open-pipe. I'm sure it would be the same for the diesel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It all depends on exhaust manifold.
        Subaru's with the constand pulsation exhaust manifold don't have the blub blub blub sound.
        From L L R R firing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh my, a diesel Forester, I could very well be in heaven if that came to the U.S. Please please please!
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about a Diesel Legacy with a 6 speed? That would be my daily driver dream car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm on the same wavelength with you here. That would be a pretty much ideal sedan/wagon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Slow day at work, so what the hell.

      @ WhyNot:
      Ok. Let's compare sports/sporty cars. Going with MY2008 this time because the 09 Impreza/WRX isn't on Fueleconomy.gov yet that I saw.

      Audi A3 Quattro 5d/manual: 18/25, 21 combined
      BMW 135i coupe/manual: 17/25, 20 combined
      BMW 128i coupe/manual: 18/28, 21 combined
      Chevrolet Cobalt SS: 22/30, 25 combined
      Mazdaspeed 3 5d/manual: 18/26, 20 combined
      Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 4d/automated manual: 17/22, 19 combined
      Subaru Impreza WRX 5d/manual: 19/25, 21 combined
      Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5d/manual: 17/23, 19 combined
      Volkswagen GTI 3d/manual: 20/29, 24 combined
      Volkswagen R32 3d/automated manual: 18/23, 20 combined

      Or we could go to a more luxury oriented market;
      Acura TL-S 4d/6spd: 18/27, 21 combined
      Audi A4 3.2 Quattro 4d/manual (AWD): 15/25, 19 combined
      BMW 128i 4d/manual: 17/28, 21 combined
      BMW 128xi 4d/manual (AWD): 16/25, 20 combined
      BMW 335i 4d/manual: 17/26, 20 combined
      BMW 335xi 4d/manual (AWD): 16/25, 19 combined
      Infiniti G35 4d/manual: 17/25, 20 combined
      Infiniti G35x 4d/auto (AWD): 17/23, 19 combined
      Pontiac G8 (V8) 4d/auto: 15/24, 18 combined
      Subaru Legacy GT Spec B 4d/manual: 16/25, 19 combined
      (all figures from fueleconomy.gov)

      Again... not that big of a difference that I see, for the most part. The only standouts I see are the GTI and the Cobalt SS, and those are appreciably better in combined mileage and on the freeway than EVERYTHING else, not just the WRX. And since someone may point it out, yes, I did leave out the A4 2.0T Quattro; not because of the mileage (20/28, 23 combined) but because I think it's totally outclassed, performance wise. The only 0-60 time I found in a quick search was for an 05 model and that did it in 7.2 seconds. Which is downright laughable for a "sporty" car. Everything else in that second group except maybe the 328s and the Acura are sub-6-second cars, and I, for one, sure as hell wouldn't cross shop a slug like the 2.0 with anything in that list.

      So... I don't know where you or the OP get this stuff. Maybe there's some Subaru model that I don't know about that gets 4mpg on the freeway or something, I dunno. But, um... I'm pretty sure those lists are quite comprehensive, if not exhaustive, and all I see is that they're on the low side of average relative to their competition, but not extremely so. So unless you can come up with something different, I'm calling this whole "Subarus get crappy mileage" deal exactly what it is: Complete BS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        supposed to be a reply to the first post... just showed up half an hour after I hit the add comment button and reposted it. When is the comment system getting fixed again?
      • 6 Years Ago
      needs more turbo diesel imo
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should quit doddling. They could get in on some of the Jetta TDI demand.

      TDIs are still going for a premium because there aren't enough in the US. Good opportunity for the competition... if there were any.

      • 6 Years Ago
      subaru not giving us a diesel in the states in the reason my current forester will be my last..subaru's gas mileage numbers just suck!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Geeky

        "Audi A3 Quattro 5d/manual: 18/25, 21 combined"

        I don't know where you get this number from but this is wrong. 08 A3 2.0T gets: 22 city 29hwy

        You chose the AWD version which in 08 was exclusively a 6 cylinder motor pumping out 255hp and weighs quite a bit more. So not exactly a fair comparison. Ditto for the R32, 6 cyl only.

        In 09 Audi has paired DSG (auto) transmission, Quattro with 2.0T which gets you: 21 city 28 hwy. The Audi weighs about 200 lbs more than the Impreza as well. So to sum up, the Audi weighs more, has more horsepower and has a better transmission and gets slightly better fuel economy than the Impreza (non-WRX).

        Sure the Audi costs about 10K more but that probably has more to do with leather seats, more standard features and German manufacturing costs and status brand than the actual technology.

        Subaru could do three or four simple things that would improve their fuel economy: 1) Add a 6-speed auto 2) use direct injection 3) use a small turbo to boost power. 4) Trim a bit more weight.

        In other words, they should build a GTI/A3 and charge less for it. There is huge market for fuel efficient, fun to drive vehicles. If that car is a diesel ... great, bring it on!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wish subaru had kept up with the 2.0L instead of the 2.5. Teh smaller engine just gets better mileage. If i drive my 2002 WRX conservatively i can get 25-27mpg in 50/50 city highway driving. They need to make that smart drive whatever stuff have a setting that seriously improves mileage. I certainly think they could do it. Just add 10-15% by limiting boost
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes folks, all awd cars have crap mileage, the difference is you don't have a choice with Subaru. If they refuse to do something about this they are going to be a small player in American forever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @LS7,

        It is not, because they have never been way behind. That's like saying 'the zero difference in mileage is due to the AWD'. They never were really far behind of even many of the FWD competitors.

        And AWD most certainly does help in the rain for everything but stopping.

        AWD is most useful in 'steering' as you say, whether you are talking wet or dry. The advantage to straight-line acceleration is miniscule by comparison.

        AWD systems don't recognize 'snow'. They recognize slip. Any slick surface can cause slip, and they adjust torque to the wheels not slipping to force the vehicle along its intended vector.

        To an AWD system, snow is like an 8/10 on the slip scale. Rain might be more like a 2.

        And traction is not all-or-nothing. Even when the vehicle is slipping, some traction can still be applied to the ground and controllable. Granted, this takes skill and shouldn't be pushed on the road.

        But ANY slip can be controlled better with more drive wheels. It is just as legitimate a weather-aid as traction control. In that case, the slipping wheel is braked, instead of the other wheels sped up. The affect is about the same. In conjunction, they are even more effective.

        That is how these systems are programmed to work from Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan, and a half-dozen others.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Now compare to other sporty sedans and hot hatches.

        The mpg figures do suck compared to the competition. Of course, it is due to the AWD, but what if you don't have a use for the AWD? What if you live in Florida?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Subaru's gas mileage numbers just suck"

        Hrm. Looks like djSyndrome beat me to it (damn posting at work), but I already had it typed, so...
        Let's see here...

        MY2007:
        Forester NA/auto: 20/25
        Forester Turbo/auto: 18/23
        RAV4 AWD 4cyl/auto: 20/25
        RAV4 AWD 6cyl/auto: 19/26
        CR-V AWD 4cyl/auto: 19/26
        Dodge Caliber FWD 4cyl/CVT: 21/25


        MY2009:
        Forester NA/auto: 20/26
        Forester Turbo/auto: 19/24
        RAV4 AWD 6cyl/auto: 19/26
        Tiguan AWD 4cyl/auto: 18/24
        Journey AWD 6cyl/auto: 15/22

        Others...
        2008 Legacy NA 4cyl (both auto & manual get the same mileage): 20/27
        2008 Camry 4cyl (both auto & manual get the same mileage): 21/31
        2008 Legacy 6cyl/Auto: 17/24
        2008 Camry 6cyl/Auto: 19/28

        So... Uh... With your Forester, assuming it's similar to the 07/09s, you're giving up, at worst, about 3mpg on the freeway according to the EPA, which is ~12.5%. At 12,000 miles a year, assuming you got 3mpg worse mileage (which I think is unlikely, since the combined mileage for the 07 Forester Turbo is 20, and for the 07 RAV-4 6cyl it's 21), you'd have used ~60 gallons more gas. Which works out, to, uh, $270 at $4.50/gallon.

        So yeah... I don't know what you consider reasonable mileage for an SUV with the aerodynamics of a brick, but I'd say an additional $250-300/yr per 12,000 miles in gas is worth it for a car that feels like a car, not an applianc...er, I mean, not a Toyota.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The new Forester is teh-sex. My parents went from a Forester to a B9 to another Forester and couldn't be happier with the car and the gas mileage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @whynot

        awd is good in florida, we get lots of rain~!!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Slow day at work, so...

        @ WhyNot:
        Ok. Let's go ahead and compare some of the sportier sedans and stuff. Going with MY2008 this time because the 09 Impreza isn't on Fueleconomy.gov yet that I saw.

        Audi A3 Quattro 5d/manual: 18/25, 21 combined
        BMW 135i coupe/manual: 17/25, 20 combined
        BMW 128i coupe/manual: 18/28, 21 combined
        Chevrolet Cobalt SS: 22/30, 25 combined
        Mazdaspeed 3 5d/manual: 18/26, 20 combined
        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 4d/automated manual: 17/22, 19 combined
        Subaru Impreza WRX 5d/manual: 19/25, 21 combined
        Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5d/manual: 17/23, 19 combined
        Volkswagen GTI 3d/manual: 20/29, 24 combined
        Volkswagen R32 3d/automated manual: 18/23, 20 combined

        Or we could go to a more luxury oriented market;
        Acura TL-S 4d/6spd: 18/27, 21 combined
        Audi A4 3.2 Quattro 4d/manual (AWD): 15/25, 19 combined
        BMW 128i 4d/manual: 17/28, 21 combined
        BMW 128xi 4d/manual (AWD): 16/25, 20 combined
        BMW 335i 4d/manual: 17/26, 20 combined
        BMW 335xi 4d/manual (AWD): 16/25, 19 combined
        Infiniti G35 4d/manual: 17/25, 20 combined
        Infiniti G35x 4d/auto (AWD): 17/23, 19 combined
        Pontiac G8 (V8) 4d/auto: 15/24, 18 combined
        Subaru Legacy GT Spec B 4d/manual: 16/25, 19 combined
        (all figures from fueleconomy.gov)

        Again... not that big of a difference that I see, for the most part. The only standouts I see are the GTI and the Cobalt SS, and those are appreciably better in combined mileage and on the freeway than EVERYTHING else, not just the WRX. And since someone may point it out, yes, I did leave out the A4 2.0T Quattro in the second list; not because of the mileage (20/28, 23 combined) but because I think it's totally outclassed, performance wise. The only 0-60 time I found in a quick search was for an 05 model and that did it in 7.2 seconds. Which is downright laughable for a "sporty" car. Everything else in that second group except maybe the 328s and the Acura are sub-6-second cars, and I, for one, wouldn't cross shop a slug like the 2.0 with anything in that list.

        So... I don't know where people get this stuff. Maybe there's some Subaru model that I don't know about that gets 4mpg on the freeway or something, I dunno. But I'm pretty sure those lists are quite comprehensive, if not exhaustive, and all I see is that they're on the low side of average relative to their competition, but not extremely so by any stretch. Am I missing something here?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @tankdog,

        Are you aware of what thread you are posting on?

        Diesel Legacy and Forester have class-leading economy in Europe.

        If the AWD system is the same (which it is) and the engine is what's different, obviously it is the powerplant that is responsible for 90% of what the mpg yield is.

        Obviously, with the right power plant, AWD cars can get mileage that is more than adequate.

        The chassis is just fine. We need powerplants like the one above (with clean filtering of course) and some DI revised petrol powerplants.

        AWD is not the enemy. And Subaru doesn't need to become a major market player when Toyota is their daddy. Creating a FWD Impreza would just be badge-engineering a Corolla/Matrix.

        How many mainstream cars do you need that are exactly the same? Subaru sales were up by 14% in August. They expand their niche by being slightly different.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I wish to reconsider my last post. Although "1 mpg" isn't a fixed thing, it doesn't mean it can't be a handy shorthand at times, so I shouldn't have criticized the use of it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your premise/conclusion don't necessarily line up.

        Geeky explained it better.

        AWD alone only costs any of those models 1mpg. I said it is almost as good as many FWD competitors. Like the Golf, which is more compact than the Impreza. And the Jetta and base Mazda 3.

        Others are improving, no doubt. Remove the AWD and make up a whopping 1mpg? Not going to solve the problem.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They're probably too scared to bring it over here, like everyone else...

      It's a shame how GM's diesel debacle has had such far reaching impact on the US market.

      Idiots.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My understanding is the (still in the future) CARB emissions on CO2 are currently not as tight as the (still in the future) NHTSA ones anyway. Of course, all this can change as the date the regulations go into effect actually come near.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Quote from RMc: -
        "On top of that CARB goes way beyond the federal standard and makes unreasonable levels for NOx which kills the chance of diesels being sold here except for when they have advanced (and expensive) filtering or urea injection systems that are only now making it to market as in the new Jetta TDI." -

        The NOx emissions don't have anything to do with diesels not being sold here. The CARB standards(LEVII and ULEVII) for NOx are the same as the Tier2Bin5(Federal) standard at 0.07g/mi. In fact, the CARB LEVII standard is identical to the T2B5 standard in every aspect.

        As you did mention, diesels are using filters or urea injection to bring down the emissions and have been very successful with it. As such, many new diesels are currently, or will soon be offered in the US and their emissions will be worlds cleaner than previous diesels and on par with many gas vehicles. Not to mention cleaner than even many "clean" gas cars from just 5 years ago or so.

        The technology needed to meet the increased standards is somewhat expensive, but isn't prohibitive for most buyers(and will likely drop over time). Additionally, recall that many diesel pickup buyers were saddled with extremely high premiums just for the diesel engine and that was previously without the increased emissions equipment.

        Right now, the diesel option for M-B vehicles(E, ML, and G classes) is $1000 and for the VW Jetta is $2000. There is also a tax credit of varying amounts available for all of those vehicles as well which will soften the increase significantly.

        These price increases end up not being much more than the increase for other engine options. I'll use the Jetta as an example(though it's tough to do). For '08, the Jetta was available with the 2.0T in addition to the 2.5L. For '09, however, the 2.0T was dropped and the TDI was added. So, I kind of have to straddle two model years to make a comparison.

        Anyhow, for '08, the Jetta SE with the 2.5L based at $19,850 and the Wolfsburg with the 2.0T based at $20,875. The 2.0T was only available on the Wolfsburg, but there are two Wolfsburg's available(at different prices), so I assume the feature levels were similar to the SE and SEL variants. Other than the engine, the differences were cosmetic with the Wolfsburg also getting 17" wheels and unique badging. So, I think it's a fair comparison to state that the 2.0T is about a $1000 option on the Jetta. I used the VW since the M-B's make it tougher to get a fair comparison, in order to bump to the larger engines(say V6 to V8), you also have to take on a large amount of additional equipment which increases the cost significantly and muddles everything. With diesel options being currently somewhat slim in the US, the VW made for the best choice despite the confusing comparison.

        So, the TDI will be a $2000 option, $1000 more than a 2.0T option would cost approximately. Due to the increased fuel efficiency, the $2000 cost over the 2.5L will be made up in a few years. Comparing a 2.5L manual to a TDI manual, fueleconomy.gov estimates a savings of about $550/yr at the EPA mileage figures which many agree are somewhat low for the TDI. I did substitute my local fuel prices to make it as accurate as possible. Prices used were $3.52/gal for RUG and $4.19/gal for diesel.

        That doesn't even include the $1300 tax credit which drops the $2K cost to $700 which means that the payback time would drop to about 18mos. Basically, if you can find a TDI, there is very little reason not to buy one over a 2.5L gas version.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree with everything you say RMc, except for the idiots part. Here in California, we need these tighter standards to keep our air clean, because we have high population density in valleys.

        If you don't think it makes sense in your area, then tell your lawmakers not not adopt CARB. And if the non-CARB areas cannot present a large enough market for Diesels to bring them to your area, don't go complaining that the CARB areas should risk health and dirty skies effects just so that you can have a dirtier car in your non-CARB driveway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, CARB (California Air Resource Board) and the six other states that live to CARB standards are the idiots. They don't realize that diesels have lower carbon emissions despite higher NOx and particulates. In Europe, the standards are split for gasoline and diesel but in the US and for CARB, the standards are the same for all fuel types. On top of that CARB goes way beyond the federal standard and makes unreasonable levels for NOx which kills the chance of diesels being sold here except for when they have advanced (and expensive) filtering or urea injection systems that are only now making it to market as in the new Jetta TDI.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Probably 2010, which is when the Legacy/Outback platform is due for a refresh, right?

      Since manufacturers think they'll sell in low numbers (to enthusiasts), anyway...wouldn't a six-speed manual awd diesel be a good 'enthusiast' car?

      My vote is to bring back the Legacy wagon exclusively as a 6-speed diesel next year!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I want one. Legacy wagon for me please. Talk about a great dd or road trip car.

      You can google a video Subaru did of the engine design. Pretty good stuff with a variable vane turbo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I currently own a WRX, and gas mileage isn't as bad as people think. I average about 25 mpg - not bad at all for an all-wheel-drive, turbo car. Is it worth the cost of premium gas? ABSOLUTELY!!

      Now that diesel sports cars are becoming a reality (see Audi R8 TDI), I hope this is a precursor to a oil burning STI. I would love to get 400lbs of twist and 40mpg at the same time.
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