I don't understand why they re-introduced the bulging fenders, coupled with the optional OEM fender trim. For that matter, there's no telling yet whether that fender trim is standard now, or still an option. I suspect it's standard equipment going forward.
Personally, I think the wheel arch trim (or cladding, or whatever you want to call it) looks great on the current model Forester. And it's necessary, because the oddly sculpted fender design is an expensive ding magnet. Granted, the trim itself was a costly dealer-installed option, but we did it anyway, and it looks right, particularly coupled with the optional body side molding.
Look, I'm no Subaru enthusiast even though we love our Forester. It's only 6 months old, and it was our first. I suspect it will be our last.
Also, I genuinely think Subaru's CVT implementation in the Forester is pretty darn good. It's the first CVT that I don't actually hate. But there's no amount of Kool-Aid in the world to convince me there's any purpose to pretending
to shift a CVT. Maybe it's fun for some people, but from a practical and mechanical perspective, it's just colossally stupid. Hard stop. Someone here made a good point about managing the transmission for engine braking when towing downhill... and that's a good point I suppose. Someone also made a point about manually "downshifting" the CVT for passing performance, and that made me LOL.
It's a big tent. Opinions are free.