Beefbone 5pts I've had many cars -- including Fords, as well as Audi, BMW, Buick, Honda, Jag, MGs, Plymouth, etc. -- but none as satisfying for all-around use as when my son & I each bought early Subaru Forester XTs with stick trannies in 2003. I still have mine (and my great little S2000 for pure recreation). The newer ones are slower. Just love the maniacal acceleration. Living in the Northwest, Subaru's superlative AWD and reliability are essential features. It's even great on deeply rutted forest roads, as well as for highway cruising. Other highs are its exterior compactness coupled with tremendous inside space, great outward visibility, precise steering, tight turning radius, simple and logical controls, standard heated seats. OK... it doesn't look like a rocket ship, or a brothel's boudoir, but those things are immaterial to me.