I purchased my Forester used (former daily rental with low mileage) as a replacement to a 10 year old Jeep Liberty. My Libby used to be my winter vehicle. I do not do very much off-roading to warrant something as rugged as another Libby but I wanted something that offered four wheel drive to operate during winter snow.
Overall I am very pleased to date. After 4 months of use I have had no issues. I will be taking it into the dealer for my first service visit next week.
Since I purchased the vehicle late in the winter season I left the OEM equipped all seasons on and was pleasantly surprised at the handling through a few travels on unplowed road conditions. I want to put a set of all terrains rather than snows on but have not been able to locate anything that fit this vehicle.
The Subaru handles just as well as the Libby. The only noticable difference is the Libby felt more planted in snow conditions (probably due to the fact that the Libby was a heavier vehicle). One of the biggest handling surprises with the Forester lies in the lack of body sway in cornering. The Subaru feels more like a car than an SUV.
Interior space is excellent. Rear seating room is more than ample for adults with more than enough head and leg room. I'm just over 6 feet tall and can comfortably sit behind my driver position without any compromise. It definately feels more spacious than the Libby as well as other similar SUV models in its class. Cargo space also compares with the Libby both with rear seats up or down..
Gas mileage (as I've posted in the MPG section) is much better than expected. I did not like CVT's at all until I came across Subaru and while I maintain they are not good for 'spirited' driving, this trany really does an excellent job of keeping gas consumption in check.
I read a lot about oil consumption issues on various boards on the web but to date I have had no issues, although I still check my oil level at every fill-up.
I also read a lot about the heating system. Although I only acquired this vehicle at the end of February I can verify that the cabin vented air does take a bit longer that other vehicles I am familiar with to get up to temp. I would think though, that this is a combination of more glass, large cabin, smaller engine and engine designed for fuel efficiency (i.e.: less heat production in general). Eventually the cabin does heat up. I have not found it unbearable having driven through a few cold days but then again I wear my parka in the car during winter.
The combination of great mileage, low body sway in cornering and excellent driver visibility make this vehicle well suited as an all season daily driver. I used to use the Libby only for Winter, occational recreational travel and shopping but the Subaru can do that as well as perform daily office commuting.
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Thanks for the review, we just got a 2014 Subaru. We love the suv/car!
Has 30.000 on the clock, and in very nice condition.
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