I bought this car in July of 2007 and the combined city/road gas mileage was 24 mph. As of about 8000 miles, when it was supposed to be broken in and getting better gas mileage, it dropped to 17mph. I have had it checked and talked to the guys at the dealer only to be given a ton of excuses and suggestions. Like, use Premium gas, only use top of the line stations, mix the regular/premium gas and they couldn't come up with anything wrong with the car after checking the engine. Not only that, make sure you know the dealer service and don't let them over fill the oil. Mine was way over the fill line. Not happy with the SUB. Terrible carpeting and they won't replace it.
The storage in the dash.
Make sure your people know that white plastic is used and sprayed black on the dash. I had to have it resprayed and it is chipping again. Seats uncomfortable. Don't like any of the accelerators in the newer cars. Redesign center console.
I loved this car immediately for the feeling of being equal and "up there" with the big SUVs. It has the small car handling with the bigger car space. The gas mileage is adequate. I feel good in this car.
The seats are great. The visibility is great. Getting in and out is easy for my husband with a disability. The cargo area is great for a walker or for carrying my plants. I feel very safe in my car, which has great crash test results.
The cup holders and front compartments were better in my 2002 Forester. If it were more aerodynamic, it would get better mileage. The road noise factor is pretty high. The turning radius is pretty big. A rear door remote with be great for those of us with our hands full.
This is my first Subaru, but it won't be my last. I appreciate the features and attractive interior that come with the LL Bean model. The ride is quiet and smooth with responsive steering. It handles the hilly and curvy desert roads where I live quite nicely. The AWD leads to only a slightly stiffer ride as compared to my Camry, but I have found it to be less stiff than any of the other SUVs I tried (including Volvo). With the LL Bean model you get a lot of nice upgrades for a very reasonable price. The A/C also works very well in our extreme temperatures.
This is my 2nd Forester and 3rd Subaru. I really love the control and ease of these cars. Deep snow doesn't bother them at all. I like that I don't have to push a button to use all wheel drive. My LL Bean is similar to my previous 2003 XS except it now has power seats. The new dual valve system has taught me to drive with a light foot, otherwise the mileage suffers. I also don't use my brakes as much because the engine slows the car down when you let up on the gas.
Climate control, 6 disc CD changer, vehicle reliabilty. I like that you can get as standard features a lot of items that are usually options on other cars. Safety features are a plus.
Mileage can always be improved. Lumbar support on the passenger side.
The Forester is a fun vehicle. It feels safe and capable, making wet or icy conditions a breeze. Cargo space is abundant, allowing space for necessities and toys. A bicycle will fit inside without removing a wheel. The one we have is my wife's; I want another one for myself.