I only drove a '16 last summer on a test drive, so I didn't pay much attention to the throttle response or transmission shifting, but I was severely unimpressed enough to not even look into the Twins further at that point.
I ended up buying a '17 Forester XT to replace my '15 Forester XT (That went through 2 CVTs in the 25k miles I had it). Both had High-Torque CVTs behind the turbo boxer engine, and I was used to the way the transmission acted in these vehicles before getting the Canyon.
In the Subies, when you "floor it", the transmission take a moment to calculate the right CVT ratio, then the engine RPM rises, the Turbo finally spools up, and then you get acceleration. To pass someone on the highway, you have to start this procedure about 2 seconds before you change lanes to pass, so you have to be careful about traffic in the lane you are changing into. In the Subies, you at least have paddle shifters to set the CVT in a set ratio depending on what Si-Drive mode you are in (6 or 8 ratios), so you could paddle shift down in the ratios to get the engine to spool up for more instant response. It took some getting used to, but having the paddle shifters helped make things manageable.
Now, fast forward to getting the Canyon. I saw that GM updated the engine and trans, and that auto magazine reports were showing the performance at or better than the Forester (0-60, 1/4, roadholding, braking), so I started looking into them. I test drove a Colorado Z71 V6 and a Canyon SLT V6 (because they didn't have the All Terrain at the dealer I went to), and both were a noticeable improvement from the old powertrain combo. I ended up getting the Canyon.
Now, I still have some gripes with the transmission and throttle response though. With the Canyon, generally, throttle response is good, but there are situations where I get frustrated with what I expect to happen vs what the truck does.
Example: We have an stupidly designed on ramp that gets on in the same lane before the off ramp for that street (meaning traffic is both slowing down and speeding up in the same lane). When you are coming around the clover-leaf you can only go about 35-40 or so, but need to get up to highway speeds pretty quickly. In the Forester, I could downshift with the paddles and hit the throttle at the end of the turn and get to highway speeds really quick, and it wasn't really an issue. In the Canyon, if I floor it, it seems to hold the gear it is in at about 2000 - 2500 RPM, and slowly build RPM until it finally accelerates. It never seems to want to downshift around this turn. If I am driving at 35-40 on a straight road, and floor it, it will downshift. I think this has to do with some of the traction control settings, but that reluctance to downshift has gotten me into a couple hairy situations on this one intersection.
There are just plenty of times when I expect it to downshift more than it does, as in, it only shifts down one gear, when it could shift 2 to be in a better range of the torque band.
The other huge gripe I have is the extremely slow response of using the manual shifting buttons. In manual mode, if you accelerate and are nearing the up-shift point, and hit the button, the engine continues to rev up and will eventually hit the rev-limiter, and then back off the throttle, and then finally shift. You can't get around the downshift issue I posted above by using the manual mode because as you are coming out of the turn, if you accelerate to get up to speed, you have to hit the up shift button well before you need it to shift.
I've ordered a Throttle Controller, and I hope this changes some of this characteristic. I see a lot of people in the PC thread that say '17s don't need one because they are better than the '15/'16, but there are still throttle dead spots, and there is still throttle lag that can be improved on.
I am hoping I can use the TC to be able to switch between sensitive response when I am alone in the truck, and less sensitive (but better linearity) when the family is in the truck.
TL:DR - the improvement from the '16 to '17 is what finally won me over to buy one, but it's still got room for improvement.