We bought this 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premiium to replace our 2004 CR-V EX. Found purchasing through internet negotiations very effective, 11.3% below sticker delivered. We live on a small farm in ...
We bought this 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premiium to replace our 2004 CR-V EX. Found purchasing through internet negotiations very effective, 11.3% below sticker delivered. We live on a small farm in MN, plenty of snow and a very steep driveway, relatively steep roads, and most of the roads unpaved. The CR-V was certainly reliable and to some degree adequate but barely so. If snow depth exceeded 3-4" getting up the driveway did not happen - yes the driveway is THAT steep. The Forester handles 6-7" of snow the the driveway deftly.
We ordered our Forester from the factory with a rather lengthly list of options which were chosen for functionality (or at least that was the intent). Rear spoiler, all-weather package, all-weather mats, wheel arch moldings, splash guards, body side moldings, puddle lights, rear bumper protector, fog lights, trailer hitch, auto-dimming mirror and compass. Long enough list?
If I had to do it again I would forget the rear spoiler - it did not meet my expectations for a clean rear window (the CR-V spoiler was very effective) and has the added benefit of protecting the rear window from cleaning by the automatic car wash. I'm not convinced the auto-dimming mirror is adequate, but I may be rushing to judgement since we don't have a great deal of traffic nor the opportunity to test it well. The front all-weather mats are entirely too small to be of much good. Go with Weather-Tech.
If you live where it is dark the puddle lights are quite nice. Push the unlock button on the remote, turn on the puddle lights and the front interior lights. The "automatic" headlights are a bit unusual. Off = DRL, middle = DRL + tail lights, On = headlights + fog lights. There is no ambient light sensor other than your eyes to know when to switch from DRL to headlights. When key is inserted, lights turn on; when removed, lights turn off. Other than that I am not quite certain of the definition for "automatic."
Fuel mileage calculator is off by about 2%, my 2009 Corolla off by 7%, both optimistic in their mileage estimates. Fuel economy is very disappointing. In winter driving 23 highway, 18 country/town and I have a light foot and use cruise when ever practical. So much for 27/20 - I am positively underwhelmed.
What I like:
automatic headlights unusual but very convenient
instrument cluster lights on in daylight
all-weather package and heated seats - YES!
puddle lights are nice in the dark
continuous rear wipers
handles deep snow quite well - great ground clearance
sport shifting system helps stopping on icy roads
hood has hydraulic lifters rather than the steel stick
hands-off Bluetooth is standard
moon roof is positively gigantic. if you like convertibles you will like this moon roof
What I don't like:
rear spoiler does nothing to keep rear hatch window clean
doors must be shut rather firmly
gasoline hatch does not open consistently nor open far enough - bring your keys with you to pry it open
gasoline hatch is on the passenger side - I don't like that
front all-weather mats are entirely too small and not protecting much - go with WeatherTech
fuel economy rating rather optimistic - getting 18 in winter country/town driving - yuk.
heated seat switches in awkward location and rather slow to heat the seats
center console very small and even more awkwardly located
no lip on rear cargo liner - if hatch is open things WILL fall out - get the cargo net!
mp3 player is clunky, no practical fast forward or reverse
headlights seem to need to go further out, and fog lights don't help that situation at all
electrochromic mirror seems weak, certainly weaker than those I have used in GM rental cars