Having recently purchased one of these, I thought I’d offer some thoughts.
This is my third Subaru. The first was a twin turbo Legacy wagon, our first car in NZ. The second was a forester a couple of years ago that we sold back to the dealer so I could recycle the money into my Can Am Spyder.
This one is the best of the lot. The build quality is equal to Germany now and is comparable to VW or Skoda etc. It’s quiet as a church mouse inside and the seats are phenomenally comfortable, heated and ventilated and electrically adjusted. The nappa leather is soft and very nice to the touch.
The guages are a little dated: they’re still actual needles on dials whereas one might expect a more modern screen synthesis now. However they are easy to read and do what they’re intended to do.
The huge 11” screen in the centre is your menus, settings, maps, Car Play etc and is very good although they should ask Apple to consult on the UI.
The engine (2.4 Turbo out of the WRX with a few less horsepower but same torque) is lovely and well worth the price of admission if you can stretch to it. It makes the car quieter and less frenzied and it lifts the towing capacity to 2400kg braked.
Fuel economy so far over only about 1000km of mixed driving and keeping the revs below 4k as per the handbook has been a reasonable 8.2 l/100. I’m a smooth driver who does not drive like a madman and then stand on the brakes, so my driving style probably helps the economy.
Handling is very good. Updated dampers and other suspension parts front and rear help with a smooth ride that exhibits little roll and of course the grip is excellent with the AWD.
Is it worth the not insignificant cost (plus the $5,000 tax penalty!)? To me, yes. 3 years free servicing and a 6 year warranty help sweeten the deal and the car is really as close to an ideal NZ car as you can get if you want to tour around a bit, tow a trailer, tow a boat, carry loads of camping gear etc etc.
The extra power makes overtaking much safer by reducing your exposure to danger whilst on the wrong side of the road. The Eyesight system is excellent (although US cars already have a better system with a third camera that we don’t get) and is an added layer of reassurance if you’re distracted.
I think it’s a great choice if you don’t really want an SUV but do want a light off road capable, very safe wagon with useful towing capacity and enough bant to put a smile on your face when you drop the hammer.