I purchased the Forester for my daily commute of 100 miles a day round trip. I gave up a perfectly good running Honda with 260K miles for the Forester and with the exception of gas mileage, I am very happy. The Honda was a consistent 32-36 mpg and this is around 24-26 on the highway, but with premium gas. Doing the math, that is comparable to 22-24 mpg running regular fuel. The car is FAST, fun to drive, practical, reliable (the Forester is built in Japan) and an excellent value for the money when compared to other vehicles. My ONLY complaint is the gas mileage. I would expect a little better with a 4 cylinder engine, but then again it's a turbo and AWD. Passing on the highway is done with ease.
Turbo engine, sporty hood scoop, heated seats, climate control, 6-disk CD changer, AWD, and 5-speed.
The car NEEDS a 6-speed. That would bring gas mileage up to the high 20's or low 30's. Put the STI tranny in it.