I did a bunch of research before buying this vehicle and I was a bit hesitant buying a transition year. Don't hesitate. If you are thinking about this car run to your dealer, test drive it an pick your options. I was lucky enough to find a manual base model with the PZEV option. Without boring you with the technical details the bottom line is that the emissions from this car are almost the same as a Hybrid and only costs a few hundred dollars more. I have been averaging 28 MPG doing serious mountain driving. Up and down passes dirt roads etc. It handles everything effortlessly. So save the extra 10 grand and buy a Forester PZEV. NOt to mention the ongoing expense of batteries,tires.
Fit and feel features like the steering wheel, seats, easy open rear hatch. Zippy 4 cylinder boxer engine. MPG. Handling. Overall room especially in the rear seats. I pod connection. Clearance. Styling.
Better base stereo. But you can tweak the adjustments to make it work. Other than that they have nailed this vehicle. This is the best designed and built vehicle for $20,000 I have owned.