Though they are in similar classes, if not the same, the CX-5 and Forester share little in terms of their goals IMO. Take ground clearance alone. I think the the CX-5 is more streetable without trying to be any kind of off-roader at all. The Forester is a multi-role vehicle, in which a compromise must be made.
If I wanted a pure soccer mom SUV, it'd be a Bimmer, or a CX-5/9, Highlander type something. I wanted something I could get Western in if I had to / wanted to / will, but still have some kind of refinement and sound deadening for a comfortable daily driver on tarmac.
I don't the think CX-5 is pretending to be that capable offroad. It is also quite a bit smaller than the Forester, and thus, will handle like a smaller vehicle.
The suspension travel requirement alone on the Forester will change the handling from the CX-5.
Both have different purposes.
I think the XT has been tuned a little more for the street - stiffer suspension and 18's, but at it's core, it's still a Subaru.