"As a vehicle for transporting a few buddies the 200-odd miles to Vegas and back, the Forester served its purpose, but it didn't do much more than that," says associate Web editor Rory Jurnecka. "The largest annoyance was the wheezy, anemic base-level engine. When paired to the four-speed automatic, there's just no upside. On the slightest inclines I was constantly shuttling between third and fourth gears in an attempt to maintain a reasonable speed while not feeling like the engine was going to grenade at any moment. As soon as I thought I'd built up enough revs and shifted to fourth, a lack of power would have be back in third a moment later. So irritating!" At 7500 miles, the Forester went to the dealer for its first scheduled maintenance, a $121.20 oil change, full inspection, and tire rotation.
| 2009 Subaru Forester |
| Months/miles in service || 3/7789 |
| Avg econ/CO2 || 22.1 mpg/0.88 lb/mi |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $121.20 (oil change/inspection/rotate tires) |
| Normal-wear cost || $0 |