Subaru offers a great selection of vehicles that can fit the needs of any driver, with an even bigger number of options to go along with them. If you take a look at the Subaru of Niagara inventory, you’ll see models with names like Legacy 2.5i and Forester 2.0XT. You’ll recognize the names, but you might not be sure about what those numbers mean. Fortunately, we’re here to help!

Let’s forget those “i” and “R” designations for the time being and focus on the numbers. Numbers like 2.5 and 3.6 refer to the vehicle’s engine size, specifically the volume of air it displaces based on the number of cylinders the engine has. Every gasoline engine has pistons that move up and down a cylinder; each time a piston goes down the cylinder, it sucks in air as part of the combustion process. The amount of air sucked in is found (in cubic centimetres) by multiplying the length (or stroke) or the cylinder by its diameter (bore). The total displacement is then found by multiplying that number by the number of cylinders in the engine, and rounding it off to a measurement in litres, for example, 3.6L.

So, why should that matter to you?

Engine size is related to the amount of power it can produce as it gives an estimate of how much gasoline the engine can burn. The amount of fuel an engine burns determines the amount of power it can produce. Larger engines will use more fuel and thus produce more power. What you need to consider as a buyer are your driving habits. If you’re driving in cities for the most part, you might want to consider a smaller engine to ensure your engine isn’t burning a large amount of fuel for low power situations. If you’re hauling heavy loads or driving on rougher terrain, you’ll want to make sure your engine can produce the power you need.

Fortunately, with developments in engine technology, reductions in weight through lighter building materials, and newer requirements for fuel economy, even the largest Subaru engines are producing more power while using the least amount of fuel possible.

As for the “i” and “XT” that are connected with the engine size, these designations refer to features of the vehicle itself. A 2.5i engine comes equipped with an i-active valve lift system, which causes the engine to automatically respond to atmospheric and driving conditions to continuously perform at its highest efficiency. XT models are equipped with turbochargers, which draw in, compress and heat ambient air that is mixed with the fuel, helping the engine produce more power.

Engine power and efficiency is also affected by its position within the car. Subaru’s Boxer engine, available in all Subaru models, counteracts many efficiency reducing issues related to traditional engine position.

Want to learn more about the Subaru engines or check out the drive difference on these vehicles for yourself? Get in touch with us and you can take one out for a spin!