Second review after 6 months and 5000 miles. Averages 25 - 28 mpg, which is mainly short urban commutes. 31-34 mpg on a good run. Everything still works well and the engine is loosening up. Feels a bit slow though next to my 2.2 Civic.
The most irritating aspect of the Forester is a constant rattle from the boot area. It will be investigated at a dealer's soon. It spoils an otherwise great car
I love my Forester. Handles more like a sports car than a 4x4 station wagon. Roomy inside but small outside, actually shorter and narrower than a 3 series BMW. Looks big but easy to park and a joy to toss around on Hong Kong's twisty, narrow mountain roads. Lots of treats inside like a huge sunroof, conveneint in-dash 6 CD player, plently of storage, four cup holders, cruise and fully automated climate control. The mediocre Yokohama tires are the weak link. Get some good wheels and premium tires suited for the car's intented use. I have 235/50 Eagles on 17x7.5 wheels.
This is a fantastic car if you got the 2.5 turbo model. It is fun to drive and exremely fast, it is comfortable, it can use its 4x4 forrest, snow etc), it got a lot of extras included which cost a lot in other cars (sun roof, gps, cruise control, leather seats, clima control etc). It use a lot of gas - but if you consider it has 4x4 and its 5.9 sek/60 pph then it is fair.
Subaru Forester 2.5xt - try it - I just love it.
This is the second one we've had from new - the first was faultless for 50,000 miles and the second has done over 80,000 (two lightbulbs have needed replacing and now one of the instrument panel bulbs needs replacing - not bad!). Great fun to drive on country roads, I suspect more fun than the turbo which may be too powerful to use the full performance. Brilliant day to day car, very flexible, great fun. The low range gears have been useful towing off road on occasion. Downsides - 4 wheel drive makes it fairly thirsty - about 28-30mpg, 350 miles or so range on a tank. Cruising at over an indicated 80mph (where legal of course) gets noisy and the engine gets more thirsty. My wife also finds the seats unsupportive on long runs. Overall much more praise than criticism though!
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