I owned a 2017 Forester Premium 2.5i that I bought in the Summer of 2016 right after the '17 updated model came out. I had a few bugs over the two years I owned it but nothing debilitating. I decided, when some great incentives and 0% interest came along at my local Subaru dealer, I would upgrade to a 2018 model with Eyesight - I did not opt for this on my first one due to my lack of knowledge about it. After researching the last couple of years, the Eyesight became a safety priority for me so I purchased a 2018 Premium model with Eyesight, cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and also the all-weather package which came with fog lights and a power tailgate. I looked at a touring model with the brown saddle leather - nice look but here in Florida it was like an oven in the car with the dark leather so opted to stick with the premium trim - and saved over $4,000! I am pleased so far with my upgrade to the '18 model, seems as if the minor "bugs" have been worked out and it has a very solid, quality feel to the entire vehicle - the Eyesight is amazing technology and am so glad to now have it on my vehicle...the last model I owned was my first vehicle with a CVT transmission and it took a lot of getting used to but I have become accustomed to it and find that many aspects of it I like - yes, it has a strange "feel" sometimes compared to old style transmissions but it accelerates nicely and doesn't "hunt" for gears on inclines or in slow driving like old style ones do and in the '18 model, they seemed to have gotten the programming right since it feels very smooth so far....for kicks, I went and test drove a new Accord with the 2.0 Turbo and 10 speed automatic transmission...what a disaster that transmission is! The thing stumbled and skipped the entire drive...not a pleasant experience and I compared the new CR-V while I was at it and it pales in comparison to the Subaru with slow acceleration, lower visibility and a less-connected feel to the handling in my opinion...bottom line is, to me, there is no comparison to the solid feel, amazing visibility, handling and the award-winning Eyesight safety system of the Subaru compared to the other major players -- the amount of equity I had when trading mine recently, shows the strong resale and residual values of the Subaru. Keep the Forester on your list if you are in the market for a compact SUV.
If have Apple CarPlay is important to you, just wait for 2019 model due to arrive in October 2018; has Apple CarPlay and a few other small changes. Absolutely love the adaptive cruise control and all the safety features. Ride is very quiet and smooth.
I've had the car for nearly a year, and I have over 8,000 miles on it. I am 6'4" tall, and I have sufficient leg room up front. I have slept, fully stretched out, in the rear of the vehicle overnight several times. You have to move the front seats all the way forward, and you have to lay something on the floor of the rear cargo area to raise the floor to the same height as the back of the rear seats. But once you do that, there's plenty of room to sleep in it. I don't like the hesitation and stutter of the transmission when starting from a stop, however. The CVT is quirky, but this can be overcome with a delicate touch on the gas pedal and a lot of practice. I turned off the lane departure feature because the pulling and tugging at the steering wheel just drove me crazy. I pulled a 1,600 lbs. utility trailer behind the car for over 3,000 miles, traveling between San Diego, CA and Eugene, OR. It handled wonderfully on flat-and-level as well as mountainous roads. The high tech safety features on this vehicle are outstanding. The backup and rear cross-traffic sensors will alert you to approaching traffic even if you can't see it, and will stop the vehicle in a hurry should you fail to respond appropriately. If you want to get the maximum freeway gas mileage (33 mpg highway), you'll have to set the Adaptive Cruise Control to 65 mph. That seems to be the sweet spot on my Forester. I HAVE been able to achieve that without ACC, but the car is much better at managing fuel consumption than my right foot. The shorter wheelbase makes the Forester very responsive to steering input. That's great when it comes to the turning radius, but not so great when you're traveling at highway speeds. I found that driving on the freeway for more than an hour at a time meant that my shoulders got a little workout. The headlight beam is designed in such a way that it doesn't rise above waist height. So the traffic ahead of you aren't exposed to a lot of glare. The high beam is appropriately bright, but it too is flat on top so as to avoid shining where it doesn't have to shine.