You may not recognize how much space there is inside a 2012 Subaru Forester until you climb inside. The seats are well-placed, the cargo floor is low, and it will hold not only four full-size adults--five in a pinch--and a surprising volume of their gear. Loading and unloading through the tailgate is easy (that low cargo floor again), and the rear seat folds flat. One weakness may be the front seat shape, with some of our reviewers finding them flat and unsupportive, especially for taller drivers.
Traveling in a 2012 Forester is a relatively refined experience, though all the new compact crossovers are considerably quieter--and the Forester faces increasingly tough competition on that front. The ride is well-damped and surprisingly soft, but Subaru's chronic challenge of road noise and wind roar from around the door mirrors remains. (The mirrors themselves are large and well-shaped, but perhaps as a result, they're noisy.)
The interior materials and trim plastic, especially those used on the large flat surfaces of the dashboard, aren't up to the best in class. They look good, but feel hard and occasionally hollow. They're undoubtedly practical, which may be the right choice for the hard wear that some Subaru owners expect out of their Foresters. But other crossovers now have more pleasing and stylish interiors.