I test drove 2010 Forester (and CR-V) after a great deal of research. The ride quality and handling was better on Forester. It offered features I needed and was within my price range. But, I decided to wait for the 2011 model since it was going to have additional torque (174 pound feet compared to 170), slightly better mileage, and standard bluetooth. I recently purchased the 2011 Forester Premium (Automatic with all-weather package and Tom Tom navigation). The ride is excellent and handling is superior (it hugs the tight corners very well). It has great cost/benefit - loads of features (huge moonroof, heated front seats, power driver seat, ample cargo space, bluetooth, USB, etc).
I got TomTom navigation option, which provides MP3 playback, rear view camera, and DVD playback (it is cheaper than standard navigation). Other favorite features: Handling, AWD, panoramic moonroof, cargo space, heated seats, good mileage (I am averaging about 25 miles/gallon), and ample leg room.
The engine has some vibration at start up - the car vibrates at idle intermittently until the coolant temperature light turns off(The dealer tells me that it is common with boxer engines). It would be nice to have 5 or 6 speed transmission (instead of 4 speed) and better sound/speakers quality.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.