I purchased the Forester after many months of comparison shopping and test drives and 15,000 miles later, I couldn't be happier with my choice.
I get around 27 mpg from mostly highway driving and have the safety and security of AWD to boot! Last winter, Chicago had one of the worst snowstorms in its history. Despite whiteout conditions and huge snow drifts, my Forester got me home and was sure footed and confident the whole time.
The car has great outward vision, decent pickup for merging and great handling thanks to its flat four and lower ride height.
In my opinion, the Forester is perfect for someone who wants more space but doesn't want to give up the fun of a small car.
1. AWD is the main reason I bought it. I'm a much more confident driver knowing that in the rain, sleet, snow and ice my car won't let me down. On a few occasions, I've had to make evasive manuevers in the wet and the dry and the Forester handled it with amplomb and never showed signs of skidding.
2. Other things I like about this car is the easy load in for cargo. I'm a bassist and I have enough room to put all my equipment in the back without folding the seats down.
3. I also like how easy it is to see in this car. With so much glass, I have a clear view of the road and blind spots are not as prevalent as they are in other small SUV's.
1. Although the engine performance is quite the improvement over my last car, I wouldn't mind a few extra horses to give the car a little more oophm from a standing start. Merging at highway speeds and changing lanes has not been a problem for me.
2. The radio could use 6 speakers instead of 4. Losing the speakers in the back by the tailgate can give some songs a tinny sound and has left me wondering if a speaker had blown or not.
3. It is just the base model, but the body roll when pushed really hard is a little unsettling. I don't feel unsafe or anything it just feels a little numb.