I spent the better part of a year researching SUV's as I'm also the owner of a 2004 Tacoma TRD Off-Road. Having spent 13 years in that truck, I was getting a little tired of the stiff ride and poor gas mileage, but I need something that can handle some off-road as well as poor driving conditions in the winter. I was thinking of trading my truck for either a new Tacoma or a 4Runner, but really didn't feel like I'd get anything very different, especially from an MPG standpoint. Enter the Forester. My biggest concern was the available "get up and go" since I live at about 6100 ft in Colorado and frequently drive into the mountains where 10,000+ ft is common. The XT was an obvious consideration but the MPG of the Limited 2.5i was very enticing. After test driving the 2.5i up the local pass, I decided it would suffice. I've got 2000 miles on the car and many of them are mountain driving. No power issues whatsoever! I'll admit I'm not racer, but I usually go about 5mph over the speed limit and have really had no problem with acceleration or keeping the speed up at all with the 2.5i. If I could have gotten blind spot and RCTA on the XT without going all the way to a Touring model, I'd have probably gone that route (although I much prefer regular gas to premium). Anyway, the Limited 2.5i has a very comfortable ride and I'm averaging about 28mpg in town and 35mpg on the interstate...again, at real altitude! Also, I got to keep my truck! I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Review at 1000 miles: We spent the last six months researching and test driving for our first new purchase. We had a budget of $35k and the final three contenders were the BMW X1, Honda CR-V Touring and the Subaru Forester XT Touring. We live at altitude in the Pacific Northwest and are "outdoorsy" without needing extreme off road capability. We also take the highway up to fairly high altitudes for hiking and ski excursions. Coming from a fun & spirited but extremely noisy and uncomfortable Impreza, we were looking for a good blend of comfort and utility. Forester XT Touring satisfied these criteria with the added FUN factor that the CRV just didn't bring to the table. The Forester XT has *almost* all of the get-up-and-go of a WRX with off road capability and a far, far quieter ride. I find the CVT to be quite responsive, particularly in the Sport mode. Interior comfort is impressive; I'm 6'4" and 220 lbs, and have so far taken three 2+ hour trips behind the wheel, on highway and Forest Service roads. The cabin is quiet, with excellent visibility on all sides. While not quite the same in terms of luxury, at this price point, to get the AWD on the X1, we'd have been dropping closer to $40k. I just couldn't justify paying the premium for mostly a badge. Only qualms so far is the entertainment suite: Starlink is basically useless aside from Pandora. Navigation combined with Sirius XM traffic is quite useful. Eyesight suite is powerful, useful and intuitive and is what ultimately swayed our purchase. Considering our Impreza lasted reliable 275k miles with strict maintenance, I am confident that the Forester XT will be reliable for years to come and serve our needs well.
It was time for a replacement for my Jetta TDI. Living in New England it is four wheel drive or walk home. I am a retired businessman living on a fixed income so getting the best value is important. I narrowed the search to a Kia Sorento and the Forester. Both were impressive on the test drives with the Forester edging out the win by being tighter and quieter. The layout of the cockpit was better in the Forester and I was able locate and understand marginally better. Once I began driving I became more impressed with all of the aspects of the Forester. It does things for me like; reminding me to stay in my lane, put my brakes on to slow properly, eyes in the back of my head with the camera. It is not going to win a drag race but I can merge into traffic with no problem. Bottom line is, It feels solid and drives the miles in an honest and straightforward way. I am actually looking forward to snow season this year.
For an affordable cost we got a car this is good to great in every category, except navigation. We are used to using a garmin. With that when you are driving and need to stop for lunch, a coffee, gasoline, your passenger just searchs for it on the garmin and then inputs it as an add to the current route. We use it all the time. But with the stock navigation system it locks you out from any changes. I think you can use voice commands but the voice recognition is poor. So my solution is to get a new mount for my iphone or garmin and put it over the expensive nav screen. I used to put the garmin up in the middle of the windshield but you cannot do that with this car because it will interfere with the ?eyesight? system. Still a good car but the navigation sucks.