After much research and checking out competitors vehicles, my wife and I settled on the Forester. We liked the styling and comfort. Living in the California foothills and mountains we wanted all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. Being a 4 cylinder, I thought it was a little underpowered, but after three months of ownership, we are both convinced, this car needs a 6 speed automatic to perform and keep up with traffic, especially in the hills. Being promoted as an outdoor vehicle for use in the hills, it seems funny most cars have a 6 speed automatic and Subaru has a 4 speed that was common in the 70's. Keeping the engine rpm in the higher ranges would make this car stellar. A good car.
All wheel drive. I makes the cars perform like a performance sport car. Great road manners and responsive. Very comfortable for a basic car. My wife likes it and enjoys it. Has plenty of cargo room for shopping.
Well, as I said in my review, it surprises me Subaru hasn't given this car and engine a 6 speed automatic so the engine can remain in it's power range instead of shifting to a much lower gear and revving to very high rpm and screaming up a hill on the highway trying to keep up with traffic.
I don't actually agree on the 4 speed auto issue. 4 gears are perfect for city driving and sufficient for all other applications. More gears are prone to wonder between gears, especially in city traffic.
You'll be probably surprised to know that Subaru rally cars win championships with just 4 gears as well :-)