Having test driven the Forester we knew this was a very good vehicle & one that bested our older cars (07 and 08 Impreza) in nearly every way. As the miles have passed both my mom and I have become more & more impressed with these vehicles. The ride is sublime, yet the Forester handles like a car half its size with little pronounced body roll. The quality of the interior is vastly improved with a soft touch dash & no squeaks or rattles. Also, this is a very easy car to drive with an incredible visibility & back up camera. And in spite of being bigger and heavier I'm already averaging better fuel economy then my Impreza. Subaru has clearly made an incredible car, that is why we bought two!
Subaru still offers a manual transmission on the Forester (6-Speed)
Numerous power driver seat adjustments
Fuel Economy (I'm already averaging over the stated combined rating)
Standard Backup Camera
Ipod and Wireless Phone Connectivity
The All-Weather Package is standard equipment on all manually equipped 2.5i Premium Foresters
The service and deals we received (both our salesman and finance officer bent over backwards for us and made this a very easy experience)
The accessories are more reasonably priced compared to those of my Impreza.
More soft touch materials, for instance applied to the top of the interior door panels.
Better stereo (coming from an aftermarket unit using a JVC head-unit and Pioneer speakers and being an audiophile this stereo simple does not cut it for me, but will no doubt satisfy an average music listener)
The iPod controls can be a little confusing because you cannot access any of your iPod's playlist or artist ect. through the steering wheel mounted infotainment controls. You have to use the stereo head-unit and even then it is still not that easy to use.
To operate the clutch you need very little pressure. For a comparison, my 2008 Impreza 2.5i with the 5-speed manual needed more pressure to operate the clutch. Personally, I don't think the clutch is vague, but rather very easy to use, especially when you take into account the hill holder feature. As for the shift actions, they are medium in length/throw and rubbery. For me, coming from my Impreza, it did take some getting used to as the distance between 3rd and 5th is very small and I found myself during the test drive and for a short time after I purchased the Forester missing 3rd gear and going into 5th. To be honest, I think the shifter could use some stiffer bushings. But other than that I really like the 6-speed. All in all, I feel like I'm in control more, that the car is quicker, even with the manual the Forester is still very easy to drive, and I think it smoother than the CVT equipped Foresters as I noticed that the throttle on the CVT models seems much more sensitive and considerably less smooth when it engages which causes a sort of neck jerking operation. Also, I've been getting a little over 30 miles to the gallon and the manual equipped cars cost about a thousand dollars less then the CVT's. Plus, if your are getting the Premium model with a manual, it come standard with the all weather package, which was something that I really wanted and didn't have to pay extra for. So, when it comes to the choice between manual or CVT 2014 Forester I would highly recommend the manual. I mean, its not perfect, but neither is the CVT, and in my opinion there are simple too many pros to the manual.
Nice review....thanks. I'm on the fence between a manual and the CVT. Honestly though, the reality is I just don't trust the CVT to be around at 150k or so, whereas the manual will be. If the CVT repair/replacement was the same $1k that a clutch replacement would cost, it would be a non-issue, but it seems that the cost to replace (since they aren't really being "serviced" by anyone) would be extremely expensive. I'm just not sure I'd take that risk. And although everyone calls this an "inexpensive" vehicle, for a guy with 3 kids (2 in college), even $25k is far from "inexpensive".
Hi all, 0814subaru here again. I figured after spending over a year behind the wheel of my Forester and putting about 10k miles on it, it was about time for an up date. As I stated in my first review I was and still am very impressed with this vehicle. I have had NO issues with it, including the excessive oil consumption that many owners have experienced. And just to be certain, because I worked in the service department of my local Subaru dealer, I made sure my Forester took part in an oil consumption test after its first oil change, which proved that there were no issues with my specific Forester. Another aspect of the vehicle that I think should be noted is that they appear to be very tough. I was, unfortunately, involved in a low speed accident, where I backed into the rear passenger side of a Honda Accord. Long story short, there was NO damage to the rear bumper of my Forester, but $1800 in damage to the Accord...maybe I just got lucky, I don't know. Another highlight was how well the Forester handled this winter. I live in NY and this winter was the worst I have ever experienced, yet the Forester handled it in stride. I never found myself stuck and when I did find myself slipping the car was easily controllable. It really made me feel comfortable, though still very cautious, to travel in bad weather, which was a necessity for me due to work and school. I have also found that the Forester is a perfect travel companion. Besides being very comfortable on long trips, I have also been averaging around 35 mpg on long trips. However, what should be noted is that I started seeing these numbers after I began using a K&N air filter and that these numbers tend to drop to the high 20's to low 30's when the temperature goes down. But, being comfortable and a fuel miser doesn't mean the Forester isn't fun to drive as well. Though the steering does lack some feel, which is no doubt due to the unit being electric, the Forester is still just as much fun to drive as my old car, a 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i hatchback. Where the Impreza drove like a Japanese Buick, with tons of grip but rather pronounced body roll, the Forester's body motion is far better controlled with a lot less body roll, despite its taller height and bigger size. Lastly, I have also addressed my issue with the sound system. I installed an after market unit and speakers and found the installation to be seamless and easy to do by myself. Now, in the pursuit of being honest, there are some issues that I will disclose. Chief among which is a single rattle that occurs at slow speeds and only over road irregularities. That is the biggest issue I have and I find it to be incredibly annoying and distracting. One other issue I have is with the stock tires, the Yokohama Geolander G91F's. I find them to be great on dry, straight, smooth roads, but pretty much average to below average on everything else and appear to be wearing at an excessive rate. I plan to replace them with either Pirelli Cinturato P7's or Michelin's Premier A/S tires. I think grand touring tires are a much better fit for the Forester's on road and all weather capabilities (the stock tires are highway all seasons). Lastly, though the rest of the cabin is holding up really nicely, including the light gray cloth seats, the cloth floor mats are not. And this is in spite of the fact that the floor mats were recalled and replaced. The drive's side, which sees the most use, is showing signs of excessive wear. But, in the end, I feel that these are small niggles, all of which can be remedied in some way. That is why I anyone looking for a safe, practical, reasonably priced, reliable, and comfortable crossover SUV.
You provided a great commentary, however, could you please describe your 6 speed MT experience?
For instance, does the clutch feel
numb at all as some auto writers seem to describe and how much pressure has to be exerted to engage it?
Can a heel toe maneuver be accomplished with your left foot?
Does the shifter engage smoothly with short throws or is there any vagueness?
How would you rate the performance of that trans with the engine?
Did you test drive the CVT version for any comparison?