No takers yet, but at least I started a spirited discussion. How I wish I was selling the car up in Canada. It's my favorite country, present nationality included. It just seems to fit my liberal/Scottish/cool-natured temperment. Count yourself lucky, Canucks!
I know the manual transmission limits the market for my car, but it increases its driveability and performance. If anyone is thinking of towing anything with a Forester, you want the 5MT. On paper, that raises the tow rating by 400 lbs, to 2,400 lbs. On the road, the 5-speed makes best use of the engine's 175 hp. and provides just the right degree of engine braking on long descents.
In comparison, I test-drove the 2012 Forester with automatic and found it totally lame. To call it a dog would be a slander on lazy dogs everywhere. Subaru's ancient four-speed automatic got caught between gears, and I could not accelerate up a steep residential road, though I held full throttle for eight seconds. Felt like I was pulling a trailer!
Bottom line is, the Forester XS is a gutsy little tow car that punches above its weight
. You can read about my towing experiences in my previous posts here, if you search. My car will find a buyer eventually, but it would be nice to find a buyer here who would make use of my tow prep improvements and mods.