Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Forester SE excellent general use vehicle
Pros: Handling and performace with reasonable economy, 'real' glove compartment, durability
Cons: Fog lamps and privacy glass not standard across the line and idiot lights verses real gages for temp, pressure, voltage.Recently purchased Forester SE is proving to be a good choice. Elbow room aplenty. Averaging much better than advertized economy, all modes (without lead-foot). Good power, adequate for medium (300 mi) and hilly trips. I bought the SE trim to get real tires and wheels (16x65 vs 17x55) and to avoid the 'hole in the roof' (a small popup would have been acceptable). The 'push' from the rear wheels in lock-to-lock turns is a different experience, care on slippery surfaces in really tight turns may be advised (not tried yet). My biggest criticisms of the total lineup:  idiot lights, no temp, pressure or voltage gages (all trims).  Only high-end trims offer privacy glass, power seat(s) fog lamps (I installed post-delivery) and compass  only 3 exterior colors offered to get dark upholstery and carpet (which I got ...pastel gets dingy quickly... general complaint about all vehicles).  the assist handles should be 'A' pillar-mounted instead of roof-mounted (this may be a head-strike issue though).  Riccaro seats would be better (not available on everything out there unless you buy a premium gas-diet German or Swede).
Pros: Sits up higher than my previous auto (sedan)
Cons: Refer to review comments.I hear a 'clunking' type sound whenever I start my forward acceleration. It sounds like it is coming from the rear of the vehicle but the dealer service manager says it is the ABS computer under the hood and that it is common to this vehicle. I frankly do not believe that. It is proving to be very annoying, leading me to be completely dissatisfied with the car. I would not own another one.
no but a good family car
Pros: Roomie front seats
Cons: Not a smooth rideGood car , not a smooth ride , driving was very tight and handled good.
Bullit Proof Ride!!!
Cons: Gas mileageThis car has been 100% reliable for the first 100k (except for a battery at 90k). It has been everything that I could have expected.
Pros: Handling and AWD
Cons: Under powered by 25/30 hp.This car is wonderful to drive and handles like a BMW at times. Problem without Turbo auto is a bit under powered even with the manual 5 speed. Still for a short wheel base it feels great, stops on a dime and is very balanced. Low center of gravity and AW keeps auto glued to ground. Best car for the money in its class. First Subaru but won't be the last.
Great value for the money
Better quality than my Jeep
Pros: 4 doors plus pickup bed
Cons: rear view -- blocked by rear headrestsThis car has had no major problems (except for replacing the rear differential - covered under warranty) since I bought it. The tires are still like new and I just replaced the brakes at 71,000 miles. No other problems - great value.