FXT is a great example of a Subaru. It's not perfect but it makes you happy. Don't know what else gives you what the manual/turbo Forester has for a reasonable price. But I like and bought because of ride height, performance, utility, reliability. I prefer this to my 04 wrx and 05 legacy GT. If you are thinking about this car things you get are: great visibility, ride height, 4wd, utility, reliability, performance (as easy or easier than wrx to mod if you want to). Things you'll have to live with: ugly (it is but its ok) gas mileage (good for what it is but not amazing), bit of wind noise. Not perfect but just does everything and makes you happy.
Does everything, no one knows what it is. Power - 5.x sec to 60, awd, space, simplicity. Huge sunroof, htd seats
add refinement (they did w/ 09+ but need to make it w/ manual)
I've had my Forester for a little over 4 years now. It has served me well in the city and on back-country roads. It does an excellent job in ice and snow, is easy to park, and carries a lot of gear. With the XT package it has more than enough pick up and is a lot of fun to drive.
Performance, flexibility of use - a little bit of everything from small SUV to sports car.
Sunroof mechanism is notoriously unreliable (dealer replaced my for free even though it was out of warranty); needs heated side view mirrors; needs better rear cup holders; headlights should be easier for the owner to replace (as designed the entire assembly has to be removed).
Love the car! Cannot drive with heels, even a one inch heel-almost got stuck when shifting. Too bad, it's a drag for that reason. The moon-roof deflector (optional) is a catch-all for water, and acorns. If you haven't had your "wake-up" coffee, you may end up getting an unexpected shower or lap full of acorns! Shoddy option. Also water stained the interior ceiling because of this. Leather interior had a pungent smell for the longest time. Had to get air neutralizer! Cowhide, not plush. Great comfort on long trips, fast and quiet and rugged! I love the car, although may trade it in if changes are made down the road--2008? We'll see.
Nice large moonroof, fast pick-up, very quiet.
Raise the pedals, drop the ugly fixture for child seatbelts, make it optional. The moonroof should be a darker glass to block UV rays. The turbo hood is lumpy looking. The side body has too many lines, looks like a station wagon more or less. Could be a few inches wider like competitors.