After sampling other small SUV's, I was "sold" on the XT two minutes into the test drive. This vehicle is near ideal (for me): high performance (blazing acceleration, great handling), safety, exceptional build, roomy, well thought out interior, comfortable, good sound system and marvelous technology. Gas mileage is fair to middling: 20 in the city and 24 on the open road. Still ... a small price to pay for exceptional performance. After seven months, I still look forward every day to driving this machine. It is that much fun to drive! How many people can say that?
Turbo boxer engine with symmetrical all-wheel-drive give a great feeling that few other vehicles can match. The transmission distributes torque to the wheels -or wheel!- that need it. It even shifts torque to the rear wheels upon acceleration. And the torque is amazing 235 lb.ft.!
I haven't experienced any problems with the tires, but I have only driven in the rain twice. Some XT owners have indicated that better tires are in order for this Subie. I think a five-speed automatic would help with the gas mileage, But I would not mess with the current gearing.
2005 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
Started out to buy a CRV but they were sold out. The Forester was on sale with a couple thousand off the MSRP and it certainly had a good reputation. It replaced a 1991 Sidekick. The Forester is more comfortable and handles better than the Suzuki. With one month of winter driving I am not sold on the AWD system on the Forester, seems pretty easy to get this car going sideways on slippery roads. The Forester is an O.K. vehicle but I find it hard to really be enthusiastic about it.
Seats are great, super visibility and good heater. Quality seems good, have had no complaints in first five months of ownership.
Lots of buzzy road noise from rear. No window frames is odd. Transmission hunts going up hills. Couple of hard starts on cool days. Could use a little more power.
2005 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
Lots of head room, fairly fun to drive, but has a loud clunking sound coming out of the transmission when you take off. Also has some bad rattling sounds already coming from the hatchback. Stuff that shouldn't be happening with 12,000 miles on it. This is the second Subaru i have had with drivetrain problems. They are very expensive to fix! I won't be buying another one and will be trading this one off before the warranty runs out. It sure goes through the gas with city driving. I will try a Toyota next, or maybe a Honda.
The headroom, interior design, looks and fairly fun to drive. The use of space is ok and having a full size spare tire.
The drivetrain and the noisy hatchback. Fuel economy could be better.