Tackling 45 degree potholed hills with no problems, this '09 Forester XT's practical (plenty of interior room given size, tight turn circle), and fun to drive (euro-style ride and handling). Turbo and SPORT A/T mode helps in passing, but some turbo lag remains (5 speed would better match power to wheels). No fuel miser (18 mpg mostly city) but may improve when broken in. Despite being 1st year car, is well finished (dash squeaks, clumsy rear hatch opening only irritants). Leather spices up decent if unremarkable interior. Good auto A/C, well laid out engine bay, other thoughtful touches. Huge ground clearance at 9 inches. A car offering practicality over style, and does it well.
Nimble handling, high seating position, solid feel to chassis, many safety features, AWD, tight turning circle, large rear storage area, less turbo lag than most, large moon roof, good general build quality.
Inside eear hatch release button, less squeaks in dash trim, 5-speed auto or other MPG-enhancing features, adjustable VDC to aid traction in unusual cases, remove errors in owners manual, small glove box, auto-closure of side vents when heater/defroster is needed.
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