The 2009 Forester in base trim provides a ton of utility, capability and safety for a fairly low price. I am a big-tall type and most vehicles don't fit me well-the Forester has plenty of room and big, wide opening front doors for easy entry. Excellent visibility and driver sight lines. Negatives- Seat cushions are too short, pedal space is tight for size 14E shoes and the seat cloth and carpet are cheap feeling. Biggest complaint INTERIOR RATTLES!! The clutch is smooth, but the drive-by wire throttle hangs revs-coupled with a notchy shifter makes smooth shifting challenging, however, the stick allows you to make best use of the high revving flat four. Handling is nearly sport car class.
Great AWD system. Sporty handling. Tight turning radius. Room for the big- tall types. Very good visibility. Decent gas mileage for a full time AWD wagon.
Better interior quality control and seat fabric. Better wearing stock tires-the Bridgestone Duelers wont make 20K miles. Tinted windows on the base model. Bring back the standard skid plates.