I bought my '14 Limited a couple months ago. My first Subaru. My first CVT. Took awhile to learn how to drive with the CVT...easing in on the throttle results in a good torque response at low engine speed. That makes for an easy-going drive. I think Subaru has done a very nice job on this transmission. Will see if it holds up over the years.
Now for an apples-to-potatoes comparison....over the past week, I drove a 2014 Ford Fusion (a trip car for work) with the base 2.5 liter 4-cylinder with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Hmmm.....same displacement, less weight than my Forester, so this is not a direct comparison at all, but wanted to rant a bit about my driving impressions.....
....the Fusion's engine output feels very anemic compared to my Forester. The programming forces relatively high RPM even at marginal acceleration
3-3.5k on the tach! Engine noise was obtrusive. Transmission shifts not smooth. Fuel economy (80% interstate, 20% city) was about 31mpg. Only 3 mpg better than I average in my Forester. As an aside, the outward visibility was atrocious in that car....the chimes at engine start-up were annoying too!
So, today, I got back into Forest for the first time in a week....made me appreciate the greenhouse visibility even more....and the smooth transmission (it was a bit rougher during the first 1k miles, but very smooth now at 2500 miles.