Over this ast few years I've owned an Audi A4, a Prius, a Mini Cooper S, a VW GTI, and a Chevy Cruze Eco. All were good cars but each had characteristics I didn't care for right from day 1. Not the case with my new Forester. I haven't found a single thing I don't like about this car (well okay, I didn't like the wheel rims so I replaced them with some I do like - but that's it). This 2.5i is the bottom of the line Forester, but it has everything I would ever want in a car, including cruise control, which, on other cars I looked at was available only on the upscale models.
Oh, by the way, this color, this eggshell metallic white, was a thousand dollar option on my 2000 Audi.
Great visibility, easy for a big guy to in and out and sit tall, all wheel drive, good handling, good mileage, and good low RPM torque (even at mile high elevation with A/C turned on. Also .. This is the only CVT transmission I've found that doesn't possess any of those irritating CVT characteristics like whining under load. I love the tilt/telescoping steering wheel, the broad range of seat adjustment, the ability to adjust the head rest up and down AND fore and aft, the back seat leg room, enough room to put a twin size air mattress in the back (with seats down), the steering wheel controls, the bluetooth phone function, and good sounding audio with the types of input connections I want.
Make the odometer/trip meter display easy to read under ALL lighting conditions .. and .. include a digital speedometer in that display.
Also, it would be good if the three power connectors would function, at least with low load devices connected when the ignition is turned off.
Most folks don't even think of Mazda because they have only just introduced a new model (the CX-5) that competes with the CR-V, Forester, RAV, etc. -- but it truly drives like a small sports sedan. In fact, it drives very much like my first car -- a 1969 BMW 2002 (Really!). Plus it has plenty of ground clearance, AWD and lots of gear hauling capacity, plus a very nice (but understated) interior akin to a VW Jetta.
I test drove the CX-5 prior to choosing the Forester. I did not like the "feel" of the CX-5. It is subjective, but the CX-5 felt way to big! I felt much more "cozy" in the Forester. I'm told by the dealer my perception of the Forester's feel is due to the generous window allotment... visibility is outstanding. Not the case with the CX-5. Test-drive comparisons are the only way to appreciate subjective differences in what has become a wonderfully competitive market!