I wanted a AWD/4 Wheel Drive car. I had decided on the Kia Sportage. I liked the looks, features & great warranty. Wasn't so impressed with the mileage, or uncertain reliability record after being brought back after being off market a few years. I saw the reviews of the 2005 Forester here, and then saw Consumer Reports TOP RATED the Forester, and decided to look deeper. I was very pleasantly surprised! The start from stop, without the turbo, was as strong or more so than our Camry, which had originally moved me from the V-6's. Fit, finish and ride are super. I drove it from Palm Springs to Reno and loved it in the mountains. Averaged 26.5 combined, 1500 miles. I am completely pleased.
This baby is quiet! Pick-up is great. The A/C, in the 115* heat of Palm Springs, never lags. The sound system, with tweeters and woofer is excellent. The weatherband included in the radio are a real help. It takes corners & handles well in high winds. Easy to get in & out of. Good lighting overall.
Subaru is in the stone age as far as offering privacy glass on the rear and side windows. Cost me $200 to have it added to all but the front window. I'm a large guy & while comfortable, wish the drivers seat was an inch or two wider & deeper. Overall no big complaints.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.