I bought a 2006 for my wife when it was a yr old w/25000 miles. My wife was a home hospice nurse @ the time, and traveled everyday to patients homes. Even during the bad snow stom of 2008, she made all her visits without even one slip, slide, or getting stuck. Had performed SUPERBLY during bad winter weather. You'll be glad you bought a Saburu with AWD. A very secure feeling. In fact, we;re picking up ou 2011 Subaru outback tomorrow for ME.
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).
I just purchased a used Subaru forester on Monday, just three days ago. I am completely surprised at the quality and power that this 4cyl has. I was driving a V6 and this is much more responsive and quicker. This is my first Subaru. I have owned nothing but American cars before. In just three days I would say that I'm a convert for life, not just only based on my mere three days but on other Subaru owners that have told me their experiences. I love my Forester and can't wait to actually feel safe while driving in bad winter conditions. FOR ONCE! I highly recommend it to all. Buy a Subaru and you will not be disappointed.
Power, Comfort, road feel, climate control, user friendly, good overall gas mileage, It feels like a full size SUV and handles like a sports car.