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A Consumer's Guide to the Subaru Boxer Engine

Last updated 4 years ago

Originally developed in 1989, Subaru’s horizontally-opposed four-cylinder boxer engine was then a marvel of automotive engineering—and it still is. After more than two decades of successful integration into some of the most popular Subaru models, the boxer engine was overhauled in 2010, and it is now one of the most technologically advanced engines in the world. Here are a few things to know about the boxer engine available on most new Subaru vehicles.

What Changed

The boxer engine’s crankshaft stroke was lengthened in 2010, improving combustion efficiency and thereby boosting gas mileage. Variable valve timing, a technology not yet available when the boxer engine was first introduced, also appeared in Subaru vehicles for the first time. These changes, among others, make the new boxer engine (and the vehicles powered by it) incredibly fuel efficient. The state-of-the-art boxer engine also produces fewer emissions than the previous model, a fact that should please Subaru’s outdoor enthusiasts.

What Didn’t

The general design and shape of the boxer engine has remained largely unchanged. The availability of lighter weight metals is something Subaru capitalized on to decrease the weight of the engine’s moving parts, but the engine’s displacement and inner workings are remarkably similar to those of the 1989 product. This means that drivers switching to Subaru models equipped with the upgraded engine can expect the same smooth, quiet ride they have been familiar with for years.

Today, many new Subaru models come equipped with Subaru’s state-of-the-art boxer engine, but pre-owned models powered by the first-gen engine are still incredibly fun to drive and fuel efficient. For more information about Subaru, please call our dealers directly at (703) 361-5866.

 

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