We've had our Forester XT Turbo for 5 years now and it has over 130,000 miles. It sees hard daily use for both business and personal reasons. In comparing this with other small SUVs which we test drove, like the RAV4, CR-V, Liberty, Highlander and Pilot, there was simply no comparison. It easily out accelerated, braked and handled all the others. The interior has lots of neat little compartments to store everything from pens, pencils, cups, change, glasses, map books and more. The H4 engine performs very well, but tends to use more oil than most fours we've had. Problems at 100,000K have been a new radiator, cam timing belt and power steering pump. Gas mileage is mediocre at 20.
Engine is simply brilliant. Reliable, powerful and easy to work on. All service points to check fluid levels or fill are marked in bright yellow. Oil changes are very easy and both the filter and drain are accessed through a single hinged panel on the bottom. Great engineering.
Oil fill tube should be higher to prevent spills. Driver seat trim should be attached better. XT should be available with gray cloth seats, not just leather. Center fold down armrest would be nice on back seats. Wind noise at high speed on windshield trim should be fixed.