i've had my used 09 Forester XT (~57k miles) for about 2 months now. Took it cross country (+10k miles) completely loaded inside, on top with car top carrier and behind with hitch carriage. Gas mileage so-so (23-24 mpg). my previous car's 6 cyl engine did better with gas, but had nothing on this Forester when it comes to needing a little get-up-and-go on highway and in mountains. 2 problems: front head rest and noise. Turned front head rest around to reduce neck fatigue. Noise - my dog used to be an awesome road tripper, until we got this car. She is unable to relax as long as the car is in motion. It's so bad, i'm considering selling just for her well-being.
Turbo, to be sure!
Reliability of name
Have owned now for almost 2 years, and still am impressed by what a sound, competent SUV this is. Through 2 winters now, tracks like a goat-no way to get it stuck, and rain is irrelevant due to great visibility, wipers and traction. Body quality is high also-survived a nine inch wide, 12 foot long tree branch falling on it and grape sized hail without a dent or scratch. Plenty roomy (I'm 6'4" and comfortable front or back) and practical (carried everything I ever asked it to, much more than CR-V or RAV). Turbo makes it a VERY competent performer, and I think the handling is a great compromise between comfort and performance. Critics need to keep in mind that this is a Subaru, not an Audi
AWD, very spacious, rear seats fold down automatically when you pull the latch so it can be done from the back, comfortable (not harsh) ride, turbo surprisingly quick, sturdy body, great visibility through big windows. For an "economy" SUV (and it doesn't drive like one), it's the best deal going.
Sunroof only slides, doesn't tilt; no vanity mirror light; stereo and fog lights marginal; carpet somewhat cheap looking. Gas mileage not great, but for full time AWD with this level of performance.
7 mo/7000 miles, so far so good. Almost bought a RAV4 V6, but didn't like paying extra for accessories and hated RAV4 looks. However, would have bought a V6 Forester if available vs turbo-4cyl. While the car is fun, sometimes it seems it can't decide whether to downshift or use turbo, so performance is jerky with some lag at times. Could be due to 4spd auto tranny (or my driving style, which is avg to a little aggressive). MPG is ok, 20-23mpg avg, with up to 25 seen during a recent 1000 mile trip. I installed aftermarket oil temp and turbo gauge b/c I like to be more informed about engine status vs silly idiot lights. However, I still think its the best small SUV on the market, no regrets.
huge moonroof, looks (wheels, hood scoop, rear wing, and optional sport grill look awesome!), handling, AWD, stereo controls on steering wheel, size, visibility (vs RAV4), ground clearance, leather heated seats with lumbar support, rugged package, safety features
Better interior materials/exterior paint (mine already has lots of scratches/dings inside/outside after only 7 months!), update tranny, offer V6, bring back a real temp gauge! Put turbo gauge on turbo models (seems like a no-brainer), round cup holders, larger mud guards (seem like an afterthought).
Have had the XT for one year now, 14,000 miles, and like it a lot. Nothing has gone wrong. Ride comfort is excellent, very fun and nimble to drive, gas mileage OK at 22.2 overall. Would have liked a finer quality interior. I made the front seats comfortable with memory-foam seat cushions topped by sheepskin covers. Love the cargo space and visibility, turning circle, cornering ability, power. So far, so good!
Handling, great ride (far better than Toyota), cargo space, visibility.
Needs a better interior, especially the cheap carpet.