I've now had the 2013 Impreza and the 2013 Forester as loaners.
I didn't terribly mind the CVT, once I got used to it. I do see how it could be useful, being able to stay in the powerband perpetually. I thought it made the car seem peppier than it was. Let's face it, it has very little power, so being able to keep the revs in the best spot throughout acceleration definitely was doing it a favor. That said, I did not really like driving the car. The steering and handling were garbage.
The Foz has an antiquated 4 speed auto trans, and it stinks. That said, the car still manages to feel peppy in city driving thanks to some low end torque, just don't gun it and watch the speedo, you'll be sadpanda. I think passing on the highway would probably be more trouble than it would be worth, as well. Steering and handling, though, are worlds better than the impreza. The foz feels nimble despite a good amount of body roll, the impreza did not despite having the roll more controlled.