Which Subaru Models Have Turbo: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a fan of Subaru vehicles, then you’re probably already familiar with the company’s reputation for producing high-performance cars that are also practical and dependable. One of the most exciting features of many Subaru models is the turbocharged engine. But which Subaru models have a turbo, and what are the benefits of this feature? In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to Subaru models with a turbo, explore the benefits of turbocharging, and answer some common questions about turbocharged Subarus.

Key Takeaways

  • Subaru offers several models with a turbocharged engine, including the WRX, WRX STI, and Ascent.
  • Turbocharging can provide significant improvements in engine performance, including increased horsepower and torque.
  • Turbocharged engines can also improve fuel efficiency by allowing smaller, more efficient engines to produce more power.
  • Some potential downsides of turbocharging include increased complexity, decreased reliability, and increased maintenance requirements.
  • When shopping for a Subaru with a turbo, be sure to consider factors like your driving needs, budget, and desired features.

Subaru Models with a Turbocharged Engine

Subaru offers a few different models with a turbocharged engine, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Here are some of the most noteworthy options:

1. Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is a sporty, compact sedan that has been a favorite of driving enthusiasts for many years. The current generation of the WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters.

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In addition to its impressive power, the WRX also features standard all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension, and a variety of performance-oriented features like a limited-slip differential and larger brakes.

2. Subaru WRX STI

If you’re looking for even more power and performance than the standard WRX, the WRX STI is the way to go. This track-ready sedan is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. Like the WRX, the WRX STI comes standard with all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission.

The WRX STI also features a variety of performance enhancements, including a driver-controlled center differential, Brembo brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension with adjustable dampers.

3. Subaru Ascent

If you need ample passenger and cargo space without sacrificing performance, the Subaru Ascent is an excellent choice. This three-row SUV is powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission.

The Ascent also offers a variety of family-friendly features, including a spacious and comfortable interior, numerous safety features, and an impressive infotainment system.

Benefits of a Turbocharged Engine

So what are the benefits of choosing a Subaru with a turbocharged engine? Here are a few key advantages:

1. Increased Power

Perhaps the most significant benefit of turbocharging is the increase in engine power. By compressing the air that enters the engine, a turbocharger can allow smaller engines to produce more power than they would be able to otherwise. This can result in faster acceleration, higher top speeds, and more thrilling driving experiences overall.

2. Improved Fuel Efficiency

Although it might seem counterintuitive, turbocharging can actually improve fuel efficiency in some cases. By allowing smaller, more efficient engines to produce more power, a turbocharger can help reduce the amount of fuel needed to achieve the desired level of performance. This can translate into better gas mileage and lower fuel costs over time.

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3. Better Performance at High Altitudes

Because turbochargers help compress the air that enters the engine, they can be particularly beneficial at high altitudes where the air is thinner. This is why turbocharged engines are commonly used in airplanes and racing cars that need to perform well at high elevations.

4. More Responsive Throttle

A turbocharged engine can also offer a more responsive throttle than a naturally aspirated engine. This is because the turbocharger helps increase the amount of air that enters the engine, which allows for more immediate power delivery when you press down on the accelerator.

Potential Downsides of Turbocharging

While there are many benefits to choosing a Subaru with a turbocharged engine, there are also some potential downsides to consider. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Increased Complexity

Turbochargers can add complexity to an engine, which can make repairs and maintenance more expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, turbocharged engines may require more specialized knowledge and equipment to work on, which could limit your options for finding a qualified mechanic.

2. Decreased Reliability

Some drivers have reported issues with reliability when it comes to turbocharged engines. This could be due to the increased complexity of the engine or the additional stress placed on certain components. However, it’s worth noting that many drivers have had excellent experiences with their turbocharged Subarus and have not encountered any significant reliability issues.

3. Increased Maintenance Requirements

Because turbochargers are an additional component of the engine, they may require more maintenance than a naturally aspirated engine. This could include more frequent oil changes, inspections of the turbocharger itself, and more specialized cleaning procedures.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Turbocharged Subaru

If you’re thinking about buying a Subaru with a turbocharged engine, there are a few factors you should keep in mind. Here are some things to consider:

1. Your Driving Needs

Think about what you need from your car in terms of performance, cargo space, and passenger capacity. If you want a sporty sedan that can handle tight corners and accelerate quickly, the WRX or WRX STI might be the way to go. If you need a spacious SUV that can handle family road trips and outdoor adventures, the Ascent might be a better fit.

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2. Your Budget

Subarus with a turbocharged engine tend to be more expensive than their naturally aspirated counterparts. Be sure to factor in the increased cost when calculating your budget for a new car.

3. Desired Features

Consider what features are most important to you in a car, such as advanced safety features, a premium sound system, or a user-friendly infotainment system. Make sure the Subaru you choose has the features you want and need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do all Subarus have a turbo?

A: No, not all Subaru models have a turbocharged engine. However, several models, including the WRX, WRX STI, and Ascent, do offer a turbocharged option.

Q: Is it better to have a turbocharged engine or a naturally aspirated engine?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Turbocharged engines can offer significant improvements in power and efficiency, but they can also be more complex and require more maintenance. It ultimately depends on your driving needs and personal preferences.

Q: Are turbocharged engines more expensive to maintain?

A: Turbocharged engines may require more maintenance than a naturally aspirated engine, but the specifics vary depending on the make and model. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a qualified mechanic for guidance on maintenance requirements.

Q: What kind of gas mileage can I expect from a turbocharged Subaru?

A: Gas mileage will vary depending on factors like driving habits, road conditions, and the specific make and model of the car. However, turbocharged engines can provide improved fuel efficiency compared to naturally aspirated engines, especially in situations where more power is needed.

Q: Are turbocharged engines more reliable than naturally aspirated engines?

A: Again, this depends on the specific make and model of the car. While some drivers have reported reliability issues with turbocharged engines, many others have had excellent experiences and have not encountered any significant problems.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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