When the time comes to replace the wifes car we will be looking at the boring, under powered CRV. When it comes to 70 mile commutes gas mileage is way more important to driving dynamics.
My wife has a 2010 Forester XT. Honestly, the 4-speed isn't great, but because the 2.5T motor has such a flat torque curve and the car is relatively light (~3600 lbs) compared to similarly sized vehicles, it doesn't feel sluggish by any means.
However, "fun to drive" it is not. The suspension is soft and wobbly. Twisty roads aren't fun, as the car leans and bounces. Driving through the hills in eastern Ohio in crosswinds with snowtires and a Thule box on the roof puckered my ass so tight I haven't seen those pants since.
Someone makes a coilover kit, but it's expensive ... WRX parts may fit, but I've heard can mess up the geometry, given the increased travel the stock Forester has.
Lease is up, so we're letting it go and replacing with a friends Dinan X5 4.4i.
Aung San Suu Kyi