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.
Just bot a 2018 Forester with cvt transmission. I no more than got it home and the car would cut out 1-2 seconds or more from a stop or slow movement. Apparently this can be a problem with some cvt transmissions. It is dangerous in close traffic or pulling out into oncoming traffic. Took it back to the dealer who told me it takes a while for the car to get used to my driving habits. I cant buy this. Once the car cuts out it starts back up with a sudden jerk forward. This is unacceptable and am considering envoking the lemon law. Also the spedometer is set back under a cover and is hard to read.
A good deal of research and positive reviews in favor of Subaru is what moved us down the path to purchase the Forester. We're newbie's with less than 200 miles on the unit however really enjoying all the features. Navigation, the Starlink system, and Mirrorlink are poorly developed. Although the local dealership and salesperson seemed quite knowledgeable they could not get the Mirrorlink system to work even though all the software on both my phone and the vehicles's display unit (Heads-up) are compatible. I suspect using Google Maps for navigation will continue however I will also continue to work with Subaru on the Mirrorlink system. The Forester was purchased primarily for the gas mileage and other features (beyond navigation) so we're pleased so far.