I was motivated to write this review after reading reviews citing multitudinous problems. No rattles or breakdowns to report. Incredibly roomy inside given the small package outside. I don't think it is fair to cite as negatives the use of plastics or the sound system since those are attributes that can be evaluated in a test drive. I think this is a super automobile for the price point.
Roominess; cup holders and storage nooks.
Seat warmer location is difficult to reach. Manual driver seat adjustment doesn't offer much versatility.
This is the 7th Subaru that I have either owned or leased (5 owned and 2 leased) and this the worst experience I have had so far. The initial concept is good, but the end product definitely needs improvement. I drive 30,000 miles a year in MN. Poor windshield wiper design (front and back), build quality needs to be upgraded (had a water leak in the vent system and now I have major mildew problems. Poor placement of heated seat switches, auxiliary outlet plug, and IPOD plug. Heat is either off or on with poor modulation. Poor design on center storage/cup holders. Needs a five speed transmission; hunts for gears all the time. Buy an Outback. Forester missed the mark, at least for now.
Good ride, excellent Subaru all-wheel drive, and solid 2.5L engine. Good utilization of space, plus decent mileage for AWD.
Five speed transmission, better sound proofing, upgrade interior materials, redesign driver/passenger storage area/switches in interior, and replace goofy arm rest. Use thicker metal on roof (feels like paper and flexes all the time when opening and closing the doors).
I found my 2009 Subaru Forester to be a very good vehicle. It is roomy and easy to get in and out of, I don't have to duck or crawl. I bought my vehicle last June and have 18000 km on it. At 6 ft tall and 250 lbs, I found the Forester a very comfortable fit, as it is larger than the 2008 version. The steering is positive but is not twitchy. The vehicle holds the road well in all seasons. Snow and ice have not been of a problem, even though we had more snow this year than previously. Any time we go anywhere, we have to cross a summit, yet have not had any concerns with the Forester. I researched vehicles on the net and Subaru was the best vehicle, so I bought it.
I like the AWD and the Automatic with Sport Shift. The Sport Shift allows for smoother climbs up hills, as by getting out of Auto, you can manually shift without the surging you get as the automatic hunts for the right gear for the speed.
I would really like better cup holders. The ones it has are awkward to use and if using a cardboard cup with a lid, you usually pull the lid off the coffee while trying to lift it out. The controls for the heated seats are too far back and awkward to reach.
2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
Looks great, controls well laid out, incredible visibility, love the panoramic sun roof, comfortable and feel safe, sticks to the road like glue, good storage capacity, fun to drive. Turbo is a must, the standard 4 cylinder is underwhelming.
Appearance, road handling, performance, sun roof
Arm rests for drive and passenger, better Nav and computer system - Subaru version basic compared to Garmin, Tom Tom etc.
I was originally looking at Honda CRV and Toyota Rav4, but was concerned about their blind spots and bad rear visibility for backing up. So I looked at the Subaru (with AMAZING visibility in ALL directions) and sold on the appearance, performance and features. The Subaru Symetrical AWD is also superior to the 4WD technology on Honda and Toyota. Regarding other reviews: The base trim does not have cup holders in the back seat center console, but ALL trims have cup holders embedded in the back doors (perhaps the other reviewers haven't noticed?). The radio seems just fine to me. The passenger seat is low, but not a showstopper. The driver seat is very comfortable in the Limited trim.
Symetrical AWD, On and off road performance, Visibility, Amazing maneuverability/turn radius, Moon roof, Value for the price