I've had my '14 Forester in the Limited trim model and I've been delighted. So many things people have already noted are true: the terrific visibility, the great mileage, the quality of the interior features, the quiet and stable ride. I've noticed, too, that it has a nimble feel, with a very tight turning radius. Responsive steering, perfectly adequate acceleration with the CVT normally aspirated engine. I'm happy with the sound system--I went for the tweeter upgrade--and I like the all weather package, power lift gate and leather which are standard on the Limited.
I've had my car for 2 weeks and I absolutely love it! It is definitely a practical buy, so people looking for prestige/performance should look elsewhere. mpg is great, I am getting 28-30 in the first few hundred miles, even though I am mostly in 20-30mph traffic during most of my commute. I recently drove through a major snowstorm in the northeast and this thing performed wonderfully!
UPDATE 60,000 Mile Review ---> Now at 78,000 miles
written on 09-09-2015
2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
This is an update to my earlier review posted on 09/09/15 (I got an email notice from Edmund asking me to do so, so what the heck). Apparently there's a word limit, which I'd reached with my first review, so please refer to that original post to see my full review although I'll touch on a couple of items mentioned earlier. It's been 6 months and another 18,000 miles since my first post (yes, I drive a lot of miles). Regarding the oil consumption issue: In my original post I mentioned my low-oil light came on for the first time at 51,500 which was about 1000 miles shy of the 52,500 scheduled maintenance interval. At that time I just changed the oil then and there. At the time of my post I was at 58,000, still in the "safe zone" on the dipstick, and wondering whether I'd see another low-oil light before the next 7500 interval. I did not. I've changed the oil twice since then; once I had to add oil, the other time I did not. So my oil change and oil consumption history to date has been: 0 - 45400: Oil changed roughly every 7500 miles. No excessive oil consumption (i.e. no low-oil light) during this period. 45400 - 51500: Low-oil light came on at 51,500 - changed oil early. 51500 - 59222: No low-oil light. 59222 - 66950: No low-oil light. 66950 - 74388: Low-oil light came on at 73,450 - added about 3/4 quart. 74388 - 77,980 (current): No low-oil light, oil level one-third down from top hole on dipstick. By the way: In January 2016 Subaru announced they were settling the class-action lawsuit regarding oil consumption: "Subaru has agreed to extend its 5 year, 60,000-mile warranty in respect to the alleged defect to an 8 year, 100,000-mile warranty. SOA will also reimburse certain expenses for vehicle repairs, rental cars, towing and the purchase of up to six quarts of oil per vehicle with appropriate proof." Moving on. The other issue I commented on in my first review was the lousy OEM tires and how I couldn't wait to change them, which I did at 65,000. I was down to 4/32s and started to hydroplane in moderate downpours so that was a no-brainer. With a fresh set of General Altimax RT43s grip and handling improved greatly, both in wet weather and especially in light snow (I put my snows back on in January). In fact, if anything these particular tires are a little too grippy as my mileage droped by a couple of mpgs but as I was getting great mileage beforehand I'm not too disappointed with this aspect of things. What I am a little disappointed with however was the new tires didn't improve the ride comfort. I've always felt my Forester rode a little harsh on rough roads and over bumps and railroad tracts, etc. I had attributed some of this to the lousy OEM tires and was hoping a change to fresh rubber would help. The ride has improved somewhat but I still feel more rough road than I'd like. One last testament conerning traction and winter driving: In late January, I had to venture down unplowed dirt roads the morning after a 10 inch snowfall (having by this time changed over to my second-year Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRTs). Chewed through the fresh snow without incident. Amazing. Not much else to add to my original post, no other maintenance issues to speak of. I fear I'll need new brakes soon and not looking forward to that expense but I'll adhere to the schedule and hope to have my Subie for many more years.
The '14 Forester project leader vowed to improve last gen Forester in every way. He and his team have largely succeeded, for the '14 XT manages to ride, handle, accelerate, brake, and use fuel far better than the capable '09 XT it replaces. More like Lexus or euro car, the new XT outdoes most euros on interior packaging efficiency. Reliability's unknown as of yet but '14 build quality seems good with far fewer rattles and jiggles than in the older XT. Only weak spots are numerous rattles, and the new turbo engine which sadly required a major rebuild as the left side developed major wear (was covered by a Subaru TSB.). That led to decision to replace this vehicle with a '17 Forester XT, which proved superior in a number of ways.