January 26, 2019
My wife and I upgraded from a 2003 Forester to a Forester Sport with the top tier Option and Popular Package 2. We are immensely happy with this vehicle and are blown away by the value it offers for the price.
Compared to the '03, the '19 Sport is a night and day difference and is better in every possible way. It's kind of pointless to even attempt to compare the two. That said, the biggest noticeable difference is in ride quality and performance. We were able to get by for the most part in the '03 on the highway, but getting onto short on-ramps and large hills was a monumental struggle. The '19 Sport obliterates those struggles with ease, and I find myself wondering how the heck people feel this vehicle is slow. It's no sports car, but for a crossover, it is by no means slow. For context, I live in Central PA where there are hills and mountain passes all over the place.
One of the big reasons we went with the Sport was it was the highest trim level with cloth upholstery (we're not a fan of leather seats). And man, these seats are comfy. They are firm enough to give you proper support, but comfortable enough that I don't feel a need to shift position during a long drive. I could easily fall asleep in them. I know, seat comfort is super subjective, but I feel these would satisfy a lot of people.
I saw some complaints about the cup holder positions and the center console overhang, but honestly haven't found that to be an issue yet. But this is also somewhat subjective and possibly dependent on body type and shape/size of cups and bottles you're putting in there. And to be clear, the console arm rest does NOT hang over the cup holders. The tip is flush with the back edge of the holders (I measured). So the only issues you'll have is with tapered containers which, admittedly, is how most fast food cups are shaped. But I don't eat fast food anymore, so I guess I dodged a bullet there :P
As of now, my biggest complaint is the responsiveness of the 8" touch screen. It's a little dodgy when trying to swipe, but that's just being nitpicky. Concerning the media unit and Starlink, it's one of the best I've used. The Starlink MySubaru app can be a little wonky, but it generally works 99.9% of the time. I love the remote start and climate control. The Starlink subscription ($75 for 3 years) is worth it for that alone. Incredible value and wayyyy better deal than buying the remote starter fob on its own.
I'm sure I have more to talk about, but that should do for now. I might come back later and revise when we put it through more situations.