I've had it a year now and gone 24K miles with about 7k of those on camping trips with a small pop up camper running around 1800 lbs loaded. I have a manual transmission. I have been in mountains plains and it drives like a dream, 22 mpg pulling as fast as 75 mph across Nebraska (29 to 31 mpg w/o trailer). I am on my third Subaru and the Forester is the best so far and that's saying something. Best small tow vehicle in U.S.
Quickness, safety features, mileage, back room for hauling and the dog loves the view ... he can see out unlike most others where the deck is low.
Low range transmission, like Australia, load leveling shocks on all of 'em, like Australia, and not just the LL Bean version.
The Forester X is a wonderfully affordable, versatile everyday driver that is fun to drive. The gas mileage beats almost any other SUV, with the trade off being less power. If power is important, get the XT version. I took this car into foot-deep snow here without snow tires or chains and the X just plowed through it as stable and positive as you could want it. The handling is superb. What I really liked about this car was the price - for what you get, they practically give it away. With rear seats folded down, it handled 2 adults and their luggage for a vacation just fine. With a pet barrier, it takes my 70-lb. dog everywhere. In a nutshell: practical, reliable, versatile, fun, cheap.
All wheel drive. Handling. Exterior styling. Headrests. Fold flat rear seats. Roof rack Handling .Parking. Oh yes, did I mention the price? Dirt cheap for what you get. You can't price a RAV4 anywhere near a Forester X for the same features.
Tinted windows from the factory, like other SUV's.
I bought a silver Forester because of the snow and ice we get in Eastern Oregon. This car exceeded expectations. I never got below 25 MPG on the hwy, and around 22 in town. When "Chains Required" signs are posted on the interstate, this car buzzed past all the cars chaining up. Subaru is amazing for their safety and high quality. Because my son survived an extreme accident with only bruises I can endorse this car fully. I'm not saying another car wouldn't have performed as well. But this Subaru when put to the test, passed with flying colors.
Alas, this car gave up its life and saved my son in the process. He was driving on I-84 from Portland near Cascade Locks, OR in torrential rain & icy conditions. He attempted to pass a tractor-trailer. The truck changed lanes and ran over the passenger side of the car. He walked away with bruises
I bought my Forester X "Burt" used in July 2011 from a Subaru Dealer in Rockland County, NY with 107K miles on it. I now have 120K miles on it. It has proven to be a reliable and surprisingly comfortable vehicle. I average about 18 mpg in the city, and around 28 mpg on the highway. This car is one of the most "honest" cars I've ever owned. It just works without fuss or fanfare, and feels solid. I Have done nothing but oil changes, a differential and tranny fluid change, tire rotations, and inspections for maintenance, and Burt goes like a top! I hope to buy a new 2014 Subaru Forester based on my experience with this one, and I am one of the most "brand unloyal" owners out there!
The performance of this car is excellent. The brakes are strong, and the handling is confidence inspiring. I love driving this car in rain and snow because it always feels "planted," something I cannot say of some midsize sedans I've driven. The car feel solid and well built. Although aging, the interior has held up well and still is serviceable. I find the acceleration adequate, although I could see some saying it is a little "pokey."
The manual transmission is a bit notchy, and has long throws, making it tedious in traffic. Sometimes engaging reverse is difficult. There is a lot of wind noise at highway speeds. Some of the plastic on the dash is hard and looks cheap, although it has ultimately held up well. The back seat could use more legroom. Techie people would find this car way behind the times, but it is perfect for this dinosaur!
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