Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Portland, Oregon
Car Year: 2016
Car Model: Forester XT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Americans are more cost sensitive than most others. I'd guess the lack of paddle shifters is a way to get the 2.5L models a little cheaper. That said, our 2016 Crosstrek Limited trim has paddle shifters, so Subaru's logic is confusing.
I'm with EJ above and have no ideal how one drives the 2.5 US models down mountain grades without manual control. It isn't safe to ride the brakes all the way down, especially if there is snow.
As for what to expect on the 2018s, I'd say nothing. We debated between a 2016 or 2017 Crosstrek last year (2017 is the last model year of the current design, like 2018 will be for the Foresters). Subaru had zero changes for the 2017 Crosstrek, so we went 2016. I expect the same for the Forester's last year.