I bought the car new in September of 2012 and thus far it has been a great car. I have nearly 10,000 miles on it already and everyday i still look forward to driving it. It has the 5 speed manual tranny in it and
with that it has plenty of get up in go. The cornering on road is great for how big the car is and offroad it is even better. I have plenty of clearance for mild to moderate offroading and plenty of grip as well. Also performs excellent in the snow with no slipping unless i forced the car to do it. Highly recommended to anyone looking to buy.
My favorite features of the car are it's ability on and off the road. Living in Nevada, i have the opportunities to go off the beaten trail a lot and this car has never let me down. Winter driving is great with Subaru's AWD system backing you up and sunny driving is great too with the enormous moon roof. Also there is plenty of room for passengers to come with you on these outings. the front seats are big and the rear seats have plenty of room so passengers aren't to squished together and have ample legroom for long trips.
The only thing I would improve on this car is the lack of fog lights with the particular model. I would think that because of the fact that they come with most Subaru's standard , they would come on the highest model of the Forester with the manual tranny but evidently not.