2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
This is my third Subaru. Have had 05 Outback 2.5 and 06 Tribeca. My biggest complaint -- regulating the heat is virtually impossible! I don't like a lot of heat coming out but you either get none, or way too much. I also do not like the materials used in the interior, I am sure they will show wear and tare shortly. The seats are fine, I am talking more about the trim on door panels, etc. The center console is not the greatest either. Actual MPG since I purchased vehicle 24.2, per computer 24.4. I hope when vehicle broken in it will improve somewhat. Exterior is great, lots of room on inside. One more thing, cabin could be a little quieter. Too noisy on the highway.
AWD, reasonable mpg, bluetooth works great (better than my Nissan I had before), radio "ok" great visibility, excellent storage, unfortunately no snow any longer (live near Providence, RI) so will have to wait until next year but should be fine.
Difficult to control heat (although you get plenty if you want it). Should have 5 speed tranny, poor location for switch heated seats (although once you know where they are should not be a problem). Should have auto headlights. Nav system WAY TOO BRIGHT in map mode at night.
I have been driving for the last 24 of my 39 years. I thought that car manufactures have their engineers to make profitable and funny looking cars with gizmos, flashy looks etc... But an enjoyable ride was always produced on my driving style because of the fact that you are never satisfied with your car. They are always or too bumpy, to narrow, to short, too big, too heavy, too lightweight, too uncomfortable etc... until now. This is the first car that produced such a nice driving experience that I will say that it was designed to be enjoyed by the driver.
A roomy interior, descent radio system; all the powertrain, suspension, brakes and safety features, assisted hood opening devices make for an effortless opening of the hood, trunk cargo tray, auxiliary jack for your portable music player and the mpg computer.
Bought the Forester after leasing a Tribeca for 3 years. Now I wish I had bought the Tribeca which was a far superior vehicle in every way. The Forester does handle excellently in ice and snow but highway driving does not inspire confidence. Vehicle is easily buffeted by wind and uneven road surface. Engine performance meets expectations for this class of SUV. Interior OK but rear speakers malfunctioned in first 6 months and annoyingly loud squeak has developed from the rear tire compartment. Dealer says this is common complaint and they don't quite know what to do about it. Mileage averages 25 combined city and highway. Overall, 2009 Forester does not live up to hype.
AWD is excellent in ice, snow, sand. Moonroof nice and good exterior visibility.
Longer wheelbase like Outback may add more highway stability. Better speakers. Higher quality spare tire/cargo compartment materials to eliminate squeaks/rattles. Auto-on lights on night is a significant omission - practically all other brands come with this feature.
I was motivated to write this review after reading reviews citing multitudinous problems. No rattles or breakdowns to report. Incredibly roomy inside given the small package outside. I don't think it is fair to cite as negatives the use of plastics or the sound system since those are attributes that can be evaluated in a test drive. I think this is a super automobile for the price point.
Roominess; cup holders and storage nooks.
Seat warmer location is difficult to reach. Manual driver seat adjustment doesn't offer much versatility.
This is the 7th Subaru that I have either owned or leased (5 owned and 2 leased) and this the worst experience I have had so far. The initial concept is good, but the end product definitely needs improvement. I drive 30,000 miles a year in MN. Poor windshield wiper design (front and back), build quality needs to be upgraded (had a water leak in the vent system and now I have major mildew problems. Poor placement of heated seat switches, auxiliary outlet plug, and IPOD plug. Heat is either off or on with poor modulation. Poor design on center storage/cup holders. Needs a five speed transmission; hunts for gears all the time. Buy an Outback. Forester missed the mark, at least for now.
Good ride, excellent Subaru all-wheel drive, and solid 2.5L engine. Good utilization of space, plus decent mileage for AWD.
Five speed transmission, better sound proofing, upgrade interior materials, redesign driver/passenger storage area/switches in interior, and replace goofy arm rest. Use thicker metal on roof (feels like paper and flexes all the time when opening and closing the doors).