Purchased new in Fall of 2012. Was looking for a car that checked quite a few boxes, AWD, good fuel economy, mid size, roof rack, trailer hitch etc. The Forester met quite a varied list, some of them quite well, some not. This review comes after almost 6 years of heavy use (168K as of this writing). First, the good; pretty good mileage all things considered, exactly 1 mpg less that the dash readout- I keep a detailed spreadsheet of fuel and mileage costs for my business. It's glued to the road like nothing I've driven. It did everything I asked it to, hauled extension ladders and trailers etc. Now the bad: Oil consumption. How does a quart every 1K sound? Don't let anyone tell you that's normal. My car had reached 100K when the consumption test notice came. I got an $80 check for extra oil, laughable. I spare the details here, but you'd benefit yourself to google Subaru/Oil Consumption, it's a defect they're well aware of. Noisy as hell, more cabin noise than a Jeep Wrangler (top up), passengers often comment on the noise. I added Dynamat soundproofing material throughout with little success- it took away noise outside but did nothing for road/chassis noise. The materials used match the price, average at best; most easily scratched paint of any car I've ever had, carpet hard to clean, the laminated leather seating won't age gracefully like a vintage 60's car, this stuff will split and delaminate where thin but that is probably true of most contemporary cars. So, would I buy another? No. It served me well but I hung on to it a bit too long and I'm now replacing parts at an increasing alarming rate. I usually do my own work so I'm not spending as much as someone who would pay a mechanic, but I've done wheel bearings twice (very difficult due to corrosion here in the NE, garages may charge $300-$400 for one alone), just put in my second set of front transaxles and fixed numerous lesser items, but the oil consumption is the real big deal. Word is getting out about it and it will damage the Subaru brand and reputation for years to come. Be very, very wary of the oil consumption issues for the model you are buying, do your research. Another reason for my answer of no on buying another is that I never really loved this car. I'm a car guy, I've had foreign and domestic, cargo vans, vintage American steel and European sports cars, from Jeeps to Triumphs, I just never felt connected to this car, it was like a rental, getting the job done but always aware that I made a bunch of compromises to be practical. As a car guy, being practical is a jagged pill to swallow! Although they have successfully marketed the cars as long lasting, it's not all blue skies for Subaru owners.
Car has been very reliable, handles very well in inclement weather, including excellent in winter weather conditions, well made and roomy, has especially generous cargo space, very high road clearance, good traction, comfortable and feels solidly built, good resale value (dealer has tried to get it several times as a trade-in).
Written 7-13-2018 - It's paid off and I still love my 2013 Forester XT. At 60K and 80+ MPH the MPG is almost 25. It is my favorite car in terms of speed, handling, capacity and reliability. It's functionable and fun. I highly recommend but please note it is not for sale so please don't ask.
Written 9-1-2017 - At almost 48K in mileage, the only faults observed is gas mileage and two recalls. The recalls were taken care of quickly while getting my free synthetic oil changes for life from the dealer. Subaru owns up to their mistakes (recalls) which is why this is my third Subaru. Gas mileage is about 21 MPG on average which is only twice the mileage I get from my 24' Class C Winnebago. On a good note, the 2.5L XT Turbo Touring model can go from 0 - 60 MPH in about 6 seconds and can carry a 42" inch TV, half king size bed pieces, lazy-boy recliner, etc. The XT is very Subaru like in that it handles extremely well in snow. You can full throttle the XT in snow / ice and it behaves well and will accelerate faster than anything I've ever seen on the road including Jeeps, Hummers and other 4 wheel / all wheel vehicles. The XT has the same engine as the WRX but less HP which is computer controlled. I was told by a Subaru STI owner I could get another 60 HP with a computer chip replacement but it seems like the engineers at Subaru know what they are doing and I really don't need to go quicker or faster. All three of my Subaru's have been rock solid. I heard my dealer no longer offers new car buyers free oil changes for life probably because of people like me keeping their cars too long but I want to give them an "attaboy" because their service department always gets me in and out quickly for free oil changes - I highly recommend Subaru of Kings Auto mall in Cincinnati and I'm writing this on my own accord.