2014 Subaru Forester XS Lineartronic 2.0 petrol
Simple, practical, comfortable
None, because it's brand new, but the boot lid is a little tough to close - will go to the dealer for that one.
Since we have had the car for almost a few weeks only, I can't point out very much. For example I have no idea about its real AWD capabilities, reliability, etc. But in general, there are a few things to mention: (but before that, we have to understand, that we're comparing this car in its own segment - because that seems to be the most common mistake, which drives many unnecessary discussions about whether something is "good" or "bad")
1. Engine. Not powerful, but enough for everyday use. Very smooth.
2. CVT. Makes the best out of the engine - economy wise and power wise. Personally I like it. There's a manual mode with 6 virtual gears + a couple of "behaviour" modes either for comfort or sporty driving. The CVT operates smoothly and responsively.
3. Handling. Generally good. Very small turning circle, good maneuverability, easy steering. Very natural I would say.
4. Comfort. Not the Nissan Murano, but a big leap forward from earlier Foresters. Ride is quite soft. Softer than a RAV4 for sure. Seats are OK, front and back, legroom, headroom is good, ergonomics are quite natural. Boot is on the better side also. Visibility all round is great!..
Generally. Definitely feels a Japanese car. Styling, interior, onboard computer functions, etc. If you're considering buying this latest Forester, you have to understand that it's a different car from its competitors (CRV, RAV4, Kuga, Qashqai...). Not only because of its one of a kind symmetrical AWD and boxer engine, but also because of its simplicity and a bit poor options list. Even the high end trim level (XE) doesn't have anything special - the automatic rear gate probably would be its most awesome feature... Or maybe key less entry and push button start.
It's a vehicle to do the job. It's civilized, very easy to use and comfortable, but nothing fancy, nothing high tech.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th May, 2014
Update after 5000km from the original owner:
Nothing special, maybe a few points worth mentioning:
Real life fuel consumption is around 9.5L/100km.
It could use extra power - the engine + CVT is one of the most smoothest and refined pieces out there, but the performance is really marginal.
It feels bigger than it is and heavier than it is. That's probably because of the relatively soft ride, roomy interior and good visibility. That doesn't mean it's hard to handle - only that it feels bigger and heavier.
No major complaints - it does the job perfectly. However, if you want a trendy, refined and rich in specs midsize SUV, you should look elsewhere.