Car price: $28,090
A true midsize crossover, the Highlander has more interior space and a higher price than several others on this list. We've chosen the base model with the V-6 engine for the EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway fuel economy of its 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine. Engine output is ushered to the front wheels by a driver-shiftable, six-speed automatic transmission.
To get all-wheel-drive, you must step up to a V-6 version that has a cost increase of $2,605.
Highlander seats up to seven in its three rows of seats. It offers up to 38.3 inches of second-row legroom with a seat that slides and reclines. With second- and third-row seats folded, there is a spacious 95.4 cubic feet of cargo room.
This is the base version, so there isn't as much standard content as some others on this list have, but included in the base price are full power accessories, six air bags, cruise control, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a six-speaker audio system with CD player and auxiliary input jack.