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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
New here.
We are shopping for a new car and believe we would really enjoy the Forester (first Subaru for us).
We have compared the different trims and narrowed it down to either the Sport or the Premium with some additional options.
My question(s) is/are for the current Sport owners.
We live in SLC and cannot find a Sport version anywhere to look at in person, while the pictures and videos make the orange trim look good - do you have buyers remorse\regret because of it.
Did you get tired of the Orange trim and wish you wouldn't have gone with the sport version?
I am on the fence but lean to the sport because of the the trim, led fog, paddle shifters but wonder if it's all more of a gimmick than it is practical with the Premium.
 

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Super Moderator
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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4,653 Posts
Hi there and welcome to your possible new Forester. Once you've made the purchase, be sure to update your profile details....


Next up - the orange trim on the Sport - there have been MANY discussions on this subject, including many threads and discussions about how to remove/cover/hide that orange trim. It seems to be an exceedingly polarizing issue with many on the YES and many on the NO side of the question "do you have regret about it"....

Note that there is also orange colored trim on the interior as well (HVAC vents, X-Mode panel)

But the bigger question on choosing between the Premium and the Sport would be more about what you want. And what equipment (standard or optional) that you get with the Sport that you cannot get on the Premium. And vice-versa.

For example, note that while both the Premium and the Sport list as having "gray cloth" seating, know that the gray cloth is a different shade of gray AND that the Sport uses a lot more vinyl (sorry - Star-Tex) material on the seating surfaces and that Star-Tex is as dark gray as you can get with out being black vinyl. As you may have more than a few days of bright sun and warm temps in SLC, that nearly black interior may be a bit of a detriment to your driving comfort during those warmer/sunnier months and days.

Car Vehicle Gear shift Motor vehicle Car seat cover


I'm currently driving a 2021 Premium (as a loaner while my 2014 is getting some service / maintenance done) and have had more than a few 2021 Sport loaners and prefer the lighter color interior for my personal choice.

The paddle shifters give you a bit more control over the transmission and gives you 7 (or it is 8?) pre-programmed "shift points" in the control, where the regular CVT in the Premium does not. It should also be noted that the shift points are also a polarizing discussion point.

You also have more color options (exterior) on the Premium, as the Sport only has 4? 5? Other differences:
  • Sport gives you the paddle shifters and the expanded X-Mode system standard; the expanded X-Mode is part of an option package on the Premium, paddle shifters not available.
  • Sport has 18" black finished wheels, Premium is 17" black & machine finish. For off-roading the 17" tires are better because you have a bit more sidewall height, which also helps some with a softer ride, as there is more sidewall rubber to absorb bumps before it gets to the suspension.
  • You mentioned the LED fog lights (Sport) vs the regular fog lights (Premium).
  • Sport adds turn-signal repeaters in the side mirrors, not available on Premium.
  • Sport adds a chromed exhaust tip.
  • Sport has the multi-color multi-function display (the one above the radio/infotainment unit) that is part of the option package on the Premium.
  • Sport has rear seat dual USB ports (back of the console) also with HVAC vents. Option pack on the Premium.
  • Sport has cargo light and cargo area rubber mat, Premium can be had with the rubber mat in the option pack.
  • Both have the same radio/infotainment unit standard, but the larger screen unit is optional on the Sport.
  • Sport includes the cross-traffic alert system and blind spot and lane change assist, option pack on the Premium; Sport also has rear auto braking optional, not available on the Premium.
Overall, the Sport has more upmarket options and safety features available. The Sport starts about 1600 bucks more than the Premium and the option pack costs 1600 on the Sport, but 1100 on the Premium. The Sport's option pack also includes the upgraded HK audio system - again another "I hate it/I love it" discussion point on the threads.

Personally, I don't dislike the orange trim but I don't feel strongly enough about it to use it as a YES or NO decision on the Forester. For me, the bigger issue is the dark vs light interior. I live down near Palm Springs so the darker interior is not a favorite during my summer months.

I currently have a 2014 2.5 Limited (with light gray leather) and could have purchased a 2014 XT Limited (with black leather) for about the same money but after driving both in August, the XT interior was still warm and heading towards comfortable after the 1-something mile, 15 minute test spin, but the Limited was actually comfortable an don the way towards cool after the same test drive loop.
 

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Hi all,
New here.
We are shopping for a new car and believe we would really enjoy the Forester (first Subaru for us).
We have compared the different trims and narrowed it down to either the Sport or the Premium with some additional options.
My question(s) is/are for the current Sport owners.
We live in SLC and cannot find a Sport version anywhere to look at in person, while the pictures and videos make the orange trim look good - do you have buyers remorse\regret because of it.
Did you get tired of the Orange trim and wish you wouldn't have gone with the sport version?
I am on the fence but lean to the sport because of the the trim, led fog, paddle shifters but wonder if it's all more of a gimmick than it is practical with the Premium.
Premium is a really good value option, and easily recommended.

Orange trim is going to be entirely personal. Love or hate.

LED Fogs: Premium already has Fog lights, upgrading them to LED's if you want would be trivial afterward. Not worth factoring IMO.

Paddle Shifters: You should know yourself if you want this, otherwise gimmick. I grew up a manual driving always having gears at hand, missed it mildly in my 2017, being able to modulate the engine breaking easier, it's kind of nice to have now in my 2021 the 5% of time I'm in the mountains, but that's pretty small. My fingers kind of run into them more when turning than I actually use for controlling gears. I label gimmick.

IMO there are other highlights of the Sport. Consider the Sport + Upgrade package gets a number of addons. Color center screen makes eyesight/cruise easier to user. But some biggiest are:
1. Upgraded 8inch screen looks much more modern.
2. With that upgrade package gets the HK amplifier and 9 speakers, and sounds amazing in mine.
 

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Premium Member
2022 Forester Limited 2018 Forester XT
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15,611 Posts
Really just a matter of taste. We always buy the Premium. But we have a limited coming bc it has more options. You can get the brochure and look at the options.
 

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2021 Forester Sport
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6 Posts
I happen to be on the 'love' side of the orange trim crowd. I believe it gives the exterior and interior a boost to character. I have also always been a foglight guy. So, as stated in many previous comments, you're going to end up choosing based on what YOU like. I'm all about the features and style of the Sport and that's why I bought one.

Also, you said 'sport' five times in your post and 'premium' only twice. I think you know which trim is preferred.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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1,344 Posts
Like said, if the orange trim becomes something you begin to dislike, there are many options on eBay and Amazon to cover it up.

The darker seats could be a factor in warmer weather like Craig (FozzieBalou) said.

I personally like the lighter interior, but I had black interiors in the last few cars I owned, so the light gray/dark gray trim was a nice change. While not applicable here, I have the Limited, but the leather sets are not too hot or too cold like some people will say they will be. They are really no different than the cloth seats in my wife's 2017, as far as temperatures. So that might be good news for adc.

If the available options is more appealing, the Sport is probably the better avenue. Being happy vs settling makes a big difference in overall enjoyment of your purchase. If you plan on keeping it long term, the extra $1600 or more might be a good investment. If it is only a 2 to 5 year purchase, then maybe "settle".
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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71 Posts
I live in Key West and had a Sport for the last 2 years. The dark color of the seats weren't an issue for me despite living on the surface of the sun, but the comfort of them was - I installed leather ones from Katzkin. HUGE difference in comfort and look. I went a shade darker (you can customize) and as I said it wasn't an issue with temp. For me anyway.

The tangerine striping/accents did kind of grow on me in a negative way. My main issues were on the back and on the air vents. In general it seemed like it was just trying too hard. I have the Wilderness now and to me it's got just the right amount (= fewer) of accents.

I chose the Sport because of the options listed above. I loved the look of the 18" wheels, not so much the stock tires though - was really looking forward to upsizing the tires but traded in before it was time. If you want a used Sport in excellent condition with low mileage and leather seats, I know where you can find one :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your replies and great information. We just returned from the the Auto Expo that is going on this weekend. While Subaru did not have a sport version on-site we were able to get a good look at other trims including Premium, Limited, Touring, and Wilderness (awesome btw).
Looking at the prospect of buying a vehicle from a manufacturer we had not had experience with, a car we could not see or drive, the timing was great.
We are getting the sport with the optional RAB, Power Liftgate, Auto and Info screen. We are 2-3 months out and our dealer is pricing it $250 under MSRP. We do typically lease but we will decide once it arrives.
We were obviously second guessing the orange trim but we feel like we will really like it. I need to confirm with dealer but we were not able to spec out the lighter interior, no matter what exterior color we choose the only interior option seems to be the dark, if that is the case we can try to combat the seat heat on hot summer days with additional window tint and a windshield reflector.
 

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Hi all,
New here.
We are shopping for a new car and believe we would really enjoy the Forester (first Subaru for us).
We have compared the different trims and narrowed it down to either the Sport or the Premium with some additional options.
My question(s) is/are for the current Sport owners.
We live in SLC and cannot find a Sport version anywhere to look at in person, while the pictures and videos make the orange trim look good - do you have buyers remorse\regret because of it.
Did you get tired of the Orange trim and wish you wouldn't have gone with the sport version?
I am on the fence but lean to the sport because of the the trim, led fog, paddle shifters but wonder if it's all more of a gimmick than it is practical with the Premium.
Hi I realize I’m a little over two months late commenting but I got my 2022 sport forester two weeks ago and I was really worried I’d hate the orange. However, I love it. I love the orange on the outside it makes it unique and well.. sporty! The ‘22 has slightly less orange in the interior, the ‘21 has orange air vents and the steering wheel bottom has orange, the stitching everywhere and the shifter handle and base. But the 22 doesn’t have the orange Air vents and the base of the shifter is black. It’s beautiful. i got pearl white and I think that helps feel more neutral as well.
 
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