I had really high hopes for this vehicle, it being the first *new* car I've owned. Sadly it was a complete disappointment. The safety features are solid however, here are the areas it fails miserably. Transmission: Incredibly sluggish for a CVT. the gearing designed to simulate actual shifting is terrible. It is so awful that at low speeds the vehicle will jerk you around rather than driving smoothly because it can't decide if you are driving in its fake 2nd or fake 3rd gears. Additionally it appears that the transmission either slips or cannot decide whether it is time to engage when you hit the gas suddenly from a stand still. This is particularly dangerous if you need to accelerate in order to avoid a collision. Interior: The ventilation system is cheap. I had my vehicle detailed professionally about a month after purchase, during this detailing the vent direction adjusters snapped off. When questioned about what happened the professional showed me on one of them how easily they came off. At first he didn't realize that they were breaking and assumed that they detached easily. Air Conditioning system is incredibly weak. When questioned about why the system performed so poorly, the dealer explained that they made it weaker so they could try and get more mpg. Seriously if it's in the upper 90's outside you're going to be sweating in this car. Within the two years of owning the vehicle I have had to get an entire seat bottom replaced because the seat belt/airbag interlock was somehow shot. Apparently the system is so sensitive to moisture that high humidity can cause it to fail. A car seat should be expected to withstand a certain amount of moisture, especially so with one geared toward the Outdoorsy types. Electronics: The Bluetooth interface is slow, unrefined, and honestly looks like a failed app developer created it. Whoever tried to make this work needs to find a different career path, my nephew has built more user friendly interfaces in Minecraft.
It “ overachieves “ in that in every area of performance and assessment ( less the nav system ) and after two years of driving, this vehicle outperforms my original expectations, which were based on a careful reading of the specs and a short demo drive. In the two years, there were two hurricane evac’s and a 1100 mile wedding trip. Only weak points were the nav system and absence of android auto. The former remains valid ( in spite of detailed mailings to Subaru ) while the second is resolved in the 2019 model.
I bought a new 20017 Forester after hitting a deer and totaling my 2014 Forester, but not before test driving just about everything in its category and price range. The base model Forester still came out on top in overall performance and value. I was not interested in buying an expensive or highly optioned model of any car because of how and where I was going to use it. Being a good off road, as well as on road car, is important to me. As I found out, most base models do not perform very well and require upgrades to be competent. The Forester was the exception. I have owned this car about a year and a half and it has met all my needs and expectations. Miles per gallon is up to 31.5 which is better than the 2014 model I had, probably due to a change in gearing. This car is the best out there for the money.
I'm not impressed at all. I've owned many cars and for $30,000 I don't I got my money's worth. The ride is jarring and the leather seats on my Touring edition are like sitting on cement. For a Touring edition the front passenger seat is like sitting on a booster seat at McDonald's. Technology. What technology? My 93 Mercedes Benz was more impressive. The vehicle is good in the bad weather. My Wife and I have four vehicles and avoid taking the Forester as much as possible. I'll give Subaru credit for that. Otherwise, I don't understand the hype.
I really enjoy this car. It is easy to maneuver and park. The Eyesight safety system works well and is a great feature for us mature drivers who maybe don’t drive as well as we used to. The AWD system prevents snow and ice; at least in North Texas where I live. Since I bought my first Forester in 2015 we have had negligible winter precipitation. It does very well on soft sand though, and that is why I bought it. I fish the Texas gulf coast and so far it has taken me where I want to go. Thats the good. The bad is very hard seats and no soft place to put my knee on long trips. There is a dead pedal, however. The mandatory moon roof in all but the base model takes up interior space. The CVT is a pain. It bogs down on a normal start and will sometimes shift hard in the higher gears. There is a lot of noise in the cabin. That being said I’m going to get a new 2019.