2001 Subaru Forester L AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
There must be something about 2001 manual Foresters. We had all sorts of trouble with our 2001 manual L model. Almost from the start, we had problems with shudder and gear grinding/engagement. Since 2001, we've gone through four new clutches, two TSB services and a total transmission replacement. They were all covered under warranty, but not without a lot of grief, letters to Subaru headquarters and, most recently, a month of the Forester being in the shop. When the transmission started grinding again (six weeks after the transmission replacement) we decided that was the last straw. We traded in the Forester for a new Honda Accord EX V6 coupe. We're keeping our Outback, tho.
Handling, power and responsiveness, especially in the rain (when it wasn't in the shop for manual transmission problems).
The Forester is supposed to be one of the most reliable ... build a transmission to match that reputation.