I decided on a Subaru Forester after extensive research, and bought a 2009 model new.
It had flaws in the beginning- the ipod adapter didn't work well; the stereo in general was not very impressive, the driver's seat was uncomfortable, the mpg was consistently on the low end - but I didn't regret my purchase until the big problems started at just 29K miles, within weeks of the bumper to bumper warranty expiring.
Between 29K and 38K miles the car has had the engine coil replaced, the brakes replaced and now the transmission.
It's not my driving, either - my last car went 9 years and 80K miles without a single repair and I've never spent this much in repairs on any car in 20+ years.
Overall functionality; cargo room, ease of handling, 4 wheel drive.
Better stereo, more comfortable seats, better fabric (the platinum cloth in mine is actually stain absorbent - even water leaves a mark).
I know Subarus are generally reliable, but they do make lemons.
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