I drove the 5 speed. Stock suspension and gear box on the XV felt better than my stock 11 WRX did. The car isnt really lacking any daily driven power. We piled 5 people in the car at the dealer and went for a spin. Slow compared to my 300+WHP WRX but enough to get you around. Took it down a rough road and over some speed humps and the ride quality is FARRRRRR better than the 2012 forester.
I also took it up ~20 degree slope with all 5 passengers, 2nd gear going slow and made it up no problem. I almost had to floor it but never had to downshift.
To me this car is an upgrade from the forester is both looks and ride!
*one thing I wonder is how the shifter linkage is going to be. Wonder if I could run my 11 WRX short shifter and bushings in it. That would be nice :P