When they visit their Subaru car dealer Perth drivers looking for a diesel variant may be surprised to discover that they are not available. If you’ve been out of the car market for a while, this could come as a shock, but it’s part of a general trend that we’ve seen across the entire car industry. Let’s take a closer look at the issue involved and how the situation could develop further in the future.
The Subaru Shift from Diesel
This may come as a surprise, but Subaru has been gradually moving away from diesel-powered vehicles for almost a decade now. Every year we’ve seen a decreasing number of diesels released, and this is part of a wider trend. Subaru has been looking more toward a future where increase emission demands would significantly affect how their diesel engines can compete. It seems that Subaru (and every other car manufacturer) will now be moving across to hybrid vehicles as we move into the future.
The Subaru Casualties
The first recent casualty in this shift to a new powertrain was the Subaru Forester 2.0L diesel. This car was discontinued earlier this year when the next generation Forester was released here in Australia during Q3. However, this was only the beginning, and other fan favourites soon followed. Both the 2.0L petrol and 2.5L turbo petrol Foresters were also discontinued shortly after. In fact, there is now a single 2.5L turbocharged engine choice left amongst the 2019 Foresters four variant range.
For those lamenting the loss of diesel and certain petrol power plants that’s not where the changed actually end. We have also seen the discontinuation of an increasing number of manual transmission variants for the Forester. In fact, the entire new generation Forester range is only available with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Is This a Permanent Change?
Subaru has not ruled out a return of any engine type for a future Forester release here in Australia or elsewhere. We may see the return of the popular EE20 diesel "boxer" style engine somewhere else in the Subaru lineup. This engine is currently available on a pair of the Outback variants where is generates 110kW of power and 350 Nm as you would expect. However, any return or use of this diesel engine should probably be regarded as a last hurrah before we see a more widespread adoption of hybrid. Subaru has already stated that all development on their diesel engine has now ceased and we are not likely to see and future refinements.
A Brighter Future
The Forester is set to have a bright future with a hybrid drivetrain developed during a partnership with Toyota. We can expect plug-in hybrid variants in the future that should be a good indicator of the company health as we move forward.