I live in NCW Washington and drive 30 miles to work and this winter have had many challenges with record snow, fog and ice. I love the all wheel drive and the heated seats. I have had problems with the 36000 warranty and with Subaru following up and fixing a quality control problem.
Heated seats and the all wheel drive.
The front cloth fabric seats were replaced by dealer at 17000 miles because of fraying on seams. Within miles same problem again. Dealer pointed out 2 new 2008 cars on lot with same problem, stated it was Subaru's problem now. Many photos and calls, letters and emails later still no fix. Frustrating!
If you perform all dealer suggested service, will run you over $200/month. Engine is a marvel, but burns oil. Brakes feel soft, but perform well. Bought "program" car with 10k miles, should have had inspection.
Performance, fun to drive, great handling in inclement weather.
High cost of service, maintenance. Rattles and squeaks, which I'm sure Subaru addressed in the new redesign.
Moving from a Lexus SUV to the Forester made me a believer. Solidly built and this car handles like a champ in inclement weather. Living in New England, this car runs up hills in snow and cruises wonderfully on the highway. My '06 has 30,000 miles and basically still runs like new. Heated seats are great in our cold winters although if I'd buy the leather next time around as my tan cloth seats stain easily. Gas mileage is fantastic coming out of a gas guzzling SUV. Visibility is also great, love the huge sunroof. I'd buy this car again in a second. It's a great value and such a common sense vehicle.
Travelling in snow is a breeze. Cruises well on open highway, easy to park, fabulous gas mileage for a 4 wheel drive. Heated seats are wonderful on cold winter mornings. Visibility is great.
I'd read some reviews claiming the auto transmission can be a bit rough. Mine shifts marvellously. It can lurch on occasion when going from reverse to forward, but nothing serious or concerning. I'd prefer the leather interior, especially if you have kids.
Every day I drive it, I think to myself how lucky I am to have selected a Subaru Forester. It is perfect for the active sports lifestyle I live - a hitch for the bike rack, roof racks for the canoe, fold down to flat cargo area for sleeping when it's too wet outside to sleep in the tent. All that and great handling in the snow on the way to the ski resort. I couldn't have asked for more features and at an extremely reasonable price.
Auto temperature for cabin heat & air conditioning - no fussing with the knobs. Just set the temperature and it's maintained automatically.
There is not a single thing I want this car to have or do that Subaru hasn't already included.