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I'm a convert!

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 6/12/2016 Baseball Townie

First, please understand I was driving a 2008 KIA Sportage manual shift and was very happy with it, when my wife told me it was time to get a new vehicle. Hey, I don't have to be told twice.I did a lot of research, and a lot of looking, and the new KIA's did not suit my purposes. I do a lot of kayaking and other outdoor activities. The new KIA's roof rack design was not conducive to carrying sea kayaks, plus they haven't been highly rated. I also looked at the Toyota RAV-4's, and have experience with the Honda CRV since my wife has one- none seems to be the package I was looking for. The more I read, the more I thought the Forester was just what I needed. Not the sportiest vehicle out there, but reputed to be reliable, good gas mileage, good traction, and roomy without being overly big. The Forester turns out to be beyond my expectations. The kayaks fit easily, and I haven't noticed any decrease in the MPG with them on top. I have been averaging about 29 MPG on non-highway driving. I love the moon-roof, and the entertainment system is great. All the usual driving controls are very intuitive. I've heard complaints about acceleration, but I find it peppier than my old Kia- not a problem merging onto the interstate. The car handles nicely on our winding back country roads, and the high clearance was perfect for the dirt "roads" in the Adirondacks that I frequent. It is quieter than my Kia, and the CVT seems to work much smoother than a traditional auto transmission. There is good visibility while driving.I also read extensively about the oil burning problem reported on older models- this gave me some pause, but after grilling the sales person and service manager, I was assured the problem had been fixed. And so far I haven't used a drop of oil in over 2500 miles. I'll keep an eye on it, all the same.There are only a few things I would like to see improved. The dashboard material is very hard to keep clean- the pollen and dust stick readily to it. The instrument panel display (speedometer, etc.) are the nice red backlighting (protects your night vision) when the lights are on, but the sound system is an LED screen, which I find excessively bright at night. Unfortunately there is only one dimmer switch, and when I decrease the brightness to suitable level, I can barely see the speedometer panel.Another minor annoyance is the design of the door trim. I have long legs, and tend to sit splay legged when I drive, therefore my knee rests against this protruding trim. After an 8 hour drive across the state, I found I had pressure marks.Another adjustment I've had to make is the delay when moving from reverse to drive. Seems to lag a little. It may just be my transition to an automatic from a manual, but I do have to be aware of the change in timing for when I back out onto the road- I need more lead time to keep others from getting perturbed. The "all weather" mats that come as part of the "upgrade" package are quite cheap and ineffective. Subaru should be embarrassed. They would be better off contracting with Weather Tech to make some decent mats- particularly at the sticker price they put on these crappy things. The only other "regret" I have is the interior color. I got the blue exterior, which is really snazzy, but I didn't pay much attention to the seat color, which is a very light shade. I can see that down the road these are going to get grimed up. I guess you can argue the light color seats will be cooler in the summer- but living in the north, that is not a great benefit. I can't fault Subaru for my choice- just be aware.Overall, I am very happy with my new Forester, and I expect to be driving it for years to come.

Average Rating : 5

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