I wanted another AWD wagon after trading my 4Motion Passat & purchased the Forrester. This was a logical decision but a big mistake. No mechanical problems just a boring vehicle to drive compared to the Passat. I love wagons but the Forrester exterior is simply unattractive and the paint is cheap! Cheap looking but sturdy interior finishes. My driving is pretty habitual but the gas mileage varied widely in town from 17 to 26 mpg and had to calculate that by hand-no digital "mpg" or "miles to empty" on the Forrester. I've just traded the Forrester after only 5 months for a 2006 Volvo S60 AWD and I have no regrets.
Weather band radio (I miss it). Heater and seat heaters both warmed quickly & the car was toasty warm in 1-2 minutes. Comfortable driver seat for a small person but the power seat does not offer enough position change. Peppy 4 cylinder. The transmission was usually very smooth.
Uncomfortably low arm rest position-I could never steer & rest my elbows at the same time. Bug guard sends bugs straight to the window! CD stereo only adequate. AWD does not perform as well as VW or Volvo-often felt the car hydroplane even at low speeds. Just never felt as safe in the Subaru.
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