Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium
An excellent compact crossover that does everything well, the Forester combines a roomy interior with all-wheel-drive stability and a peppy engine. Its all-wheel drive means that if parking overflows off the pavement into a field, there should be no worries about driving out onto the grass. There isn't one particular feature that earns it a place on this list, but the sum of its parts provides its appeal.
Seating: Five passengers fit comfortably. The rear seat reclines and has center-console storage. It is also elevated, stadium style, providing second-row passengers a good view of the road.
Cargo: Luggage capacity is 31 cubic feet, but swells to 63 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
Convenience: When open, the rear lift gate provides some protection from the elements. A 12-volt power outlet is located in front and another in the cargo area.
Features: Only four speakers produce the sound from an audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. A dedicated iPod interface is available as a $223 option. A 170-horsepower 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine turns all the wheels by way of a four-speed driver-shiftable transmission.Price: The base price is $24,490.