Comparing Subaru SUV Engines, What You Need to Know

Subaru Ascent, Outback and Forester Engines & Power

Subaru vehicles are known for their legendary reliability. The Subaru Outback is undoubtedly one of the most popular models with the Ascent and Forester following close behind. Drivers in Dublin, OH choose Subaru because of their desire to explore and seek out adventures. The Subaru Outback, Ascent and Forester are made to go beyond the pavement and take you further. But what sets them apart when it comes to power? Each of these three models features powerful engines that differ in towing capabilities. We are going to explore these differences, so when it comes time for you to pick one of these three you are fully informed and have the correct information to make an informed decision.

2020 Subaru ForesterSubaru Forester2020 Subaru Ascent2020 Subaru Ascent2020 Subaru Outback2020 Subaru Outback


Overall each of these three Subaru models are going to perform with power and efficiency, but it is up to you to think about your lifestyle, driving needs and family size to make a decision ultimately. Let's review the basics. Listed below lays out each engine that the Outback, Ascent, and Forester is equipped with.

  • Subaru Forester: 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Subaru Ascent: 2.4-liter turbo engine
  • Subaru Outback: 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or 2.4-liter turbo engine

All of these engines are SUBARU BOXER® engines that come with standard symmetrical all-wheel drive. They are designed for optimal balance and an even distribution of power for better traction, stability, fuel efficiency and quick response to driving conditions in Ohio. If you are looking to tow more the Ascent is your best option while the versatile Outback gives you more speed and power. The Forester is a calming blend of power and efficiency with room for up to five.

Subaru Outback 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder EngineSubaru Outback 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder Engine
Subaru Forester Engine 2.0-liter Four CylinderSubaru Forester Engine 2.0-liter Four CylinderSubaru Ascent Engine 2.4-liter turbo Subaru Ascent Engine 2.4-liter turbo Subaru Outback Engine 2.4-liter turbo engineSubaru Outback Engine 2.4-liter turbo engine

Subaru Forester Performance

The 2020 Subaru Forester has one BOXER engine under the hood that delivers the ideal blend of powerful and efficient performance with standard Auto Stop-Start Technology to get up to 33 highway mpg. The 2.5L four-cylinder BOXER generates 182 horsepower and 176 lb.-ft. of torque. The BOXER® engine is paired with the standard Lineartronic® CVT for effortless shifting and smooth acceleration. The Forester Sport and Touring are equipped with paddle shifters for a more fun and engaging driving experience.

The Forester is an SUV in every sense of the word with the ability to tow up to 1,500 lbs. And is ready to take the road less traveled. Like all Forester’s before the 2020 model year, Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive is standard on every model for a commanding grip on the road. The symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is unlike other all-wheel-drive systems and works by evenly supplying and shifting power between all four wheels to maintain unmatched traction, control, and stability at all times. For extra capable performance the Forester is available with X-mode with Hill Descent Control.

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Subaru Ascent Performance

The 2020 Subaru Ascent is equipped with a turbo-four engine that performs good acceleration and ample power for both highways driving and towing. The Ascent provides a smooth ride and poised handling. It also performs well when the pavement ends.

The Ascent features an all-new Direct-Injection Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER® 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. It is matched with a continuously variable transmission, which functions like an automatic. There is little turbo lag, and the engines deliver good acceleration.

The Ascent gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. These are very typical numbers for a midsize SUV, which we find impressive because the Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive, which usually has lower mpg ratings. No matter if you need to tow big loads or lots of gear the engine of the Ascent lets you haul up to 5,000 pounds. The Subaru Ascent is the perfect family vehicle with ample room and enough power to take you far beyond Hilliard.

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Subaru Outback Performance

The redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback arrives with two new BOXER engines under the hood and a new special edition trim level that delivers exceptional off-road performance. The standard 2.5L four-cylinder BOXER engine is also redesigned for the 2020 model year and now generates 182 horsepower, 176 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to 2,700 lbs. The 2.5L BOXER engine is also equipped with Auto Stop-Start Technology to improve fuel-efficiency and get up to 33 highway mpg. The second BOXER engine that Columbus drivers can choose for more powerful performance behind the wheel of their Outback is a 2.4L turbo BOXER that generates 260 horsepower and is capable of towing up to 3,500 lbs. Which makes the 2020 Subaru Outback XT models the most powerful Outback ever.

The Subaru Outback Onyx XT Edition is a new trim level for the 2020 model year that is equipped with a special Dual-Function X-Mode with deep snow, mud, and dirt driving modes to tailor performance to deliver ideal performance. The Onyx XT, as well as the Limited XT and Touring XT, are all powered by the 2.4L turbo BOXER. Of course, all 2020 Outback models come standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive and X-Mode for exceptional performance no matter where the road may go.

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To truly experience the difference come on down to Byers Subaru Dublin and test drive a model that speaks to your needs and budget.  We will work with you and answer questions to ensure you make the right decision.