A 2012 CVT 5 door owner here. Driven the car around 12.5k miles since new, over the course of 7.5 months. Weighed in several times on this topic, but with all the grousing of late about the 'poor mileage' that a few folks are experiencing with their cars, its time for me to share some more details, apologies if anything is repetitive from before. Best tank so far was around 31.5 MPG, overall average is sitting around 27 MPG (was around 28 MPG until the winter blend gas came out).
The big reason I'm not doing better, like myrt1987 is, is that I'm driving a daily commute that's like a list of 'don't do this to get good MPG's'. I drive 8 miles one way, home to the office. First 3 miles are local roads, 30-35 MPH, with 4 stop signs, 1 traffic signal, and a RR crossing that invariably I get stuck behind a school bus at. Then it's about 3 miles at 65-70 MPH (on a good day) or 30-35 MPH (on a bad day), on the interstate. Then it's another 2 miles on city streets at 30 MPH, with 7 traffic signals. I then repeat about the same thing going home. All that stop and go, and the short distance, just means that the car just doesn't have a chance to get warmed up and then run without interruption.
Now, that being said, I've done some extensive highway driving to put all those miles on the car. I've run it at just about every speed between 55 and 75+ on the interstate, and unfortunately the faster you go, the worse she performs, MPG-wise. The best results I've had are between 50 and 60 MPH, rolling down the two lane country roads, where I've seen numbers of up to 42 MPG over 10-15 mile runs, and high 30's over a 100+ mile run through the Adirondacks, which dropped off once I hit the interstate and gave her some more gas...
The point I'm trying to make, is that MPG's in the high 30's/low 40's ARE POSSIBLE under the right conditions. Right now, in the middle of winter, however, you are going to see a drop in the MPG's due to winter blend fuel, cold temperatures, and other factors that I don't think anyone's quite figured out. If your driving style is to be heavy on the gas, blast down the interstate at 70+ MPH, do lots of short hops, do lots of stop-and-go, you're NOT going to see great MPG's out of this car. It's DEFINITELY not as forgiving as other cars in the same class when you drive as I noted above. Some of that is likely due to the CVT, and a BIG factor (I think) is the AWD on the car, which hurts your coasting ability (even moreso with the engine braking that's programmed in), not to mention the car is on the heavier end of the class.
Honestly, to get the MPG's I'm seeing out of an AWD car, and to have the quick 'speed boost' you get when you step on the gas at highway speed, due to the CVT, I'm TICKLED PINK about this car. It's performing phenomenally for what it is. Sure I'd like a few more MPG's out of it, but I think EVERYONE would like that regardless of what they're driving. And yes, I'll admit that I don't always granny drive the car to max out my MPG's -- I like stomping on the gas occasionally just like the next guy does. I'm willing to sacrifice some MPG's for some occasional fun with the car to see just what she'll do.
Let's face it, there are some people here (myself included, at times) who are overly obsessing about getting the best MPG's they can with their car. Sometimes you just have to drive, and the MPG's are what they are. But if you're not consistently getting a long term average that falls within what's on the window sticker, take a look at your driving habits (remember, roughly 1500 rpm is optimal for fuel economy in this car), double check your tire pressure, and take a big hard look at the frequency that you're running the car at less than optimal conditions.
All in all, I love my car, and I can't speak highly enough about it to anyone who will listen. My first Subaru, and likely not my last. Sorry some feel differently about their car than that.