My second Subaru Care service was just as painless as the first. When it reached more than 15,000 miles, the technicians at Frank Subaru in San Diego replaced my 2.5-liter's 0W-20 oil, oil filter, and oil plug gasket; checked and topped off all fluids; and rotated my freshly filled tires. That's number two of four free services done.

During my dealer visit, I shuffled through the Forester's accessories catalog. That's not a good idea if you're not looking to spend any money. But I gave in, adding cross rails ($180) and Yakima bike carrier ($195) to my standard roof rack; a gunmetal grille at the nose ($430); wind deflectors to passenger windows ($100); and a much-needed cargo cover ($170). All told, it was a $1357 shopping spree (including $186 in labor and $96.73 in taxes). A lot of dough, I know, but the accessories will be of great use to me, an outdoorsy type who likes to roll with his windows down and throw dirty kicks in the trunk. The cargo cover will keep goodies cool and my mind at ease.

My most recent finding: On a six-hour, 250-plus mile drive to Las Vegas, I determined that I'm not a fan of the Forester's infotainment system. Don't get me wrong, the speakers sound great – they're crisp, clear, and loud. It's the controls on the head unit that are the headache. The reaction time between the depression of a digital button and its actuation is languid at best.

There is also no "direct tune" option for radio frequencies, which means I'm always frustratingly scrolling ever so slowly to my favorite channel. I'd rather pay closer attention to the road than search for a station. Luckily, presets are available, which eases channel surfing stress, and in satellite radio mode, there is a direct channel function. Please give us direct tune for radio, Subaru, and while you're at it, enough with the audiophile equalizer function. Bass/treble/balance adjustments are all I need.

As for good findings, I'm now getting the hang of the hyperactive throttle. The key, I found, is to not touch it at all in low-speed situations. Easing off the brake pedal is usually what's needed to instigate a smooth crawl. Then it's slowly onto the skinny pedal if more speed is desired. Easy as that.

But once up to speed, there is now more wind noise thanks to that cool Yakima bike carrier. Doh.

More on our long-term 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5T Touring: