2008 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)
This is my first brand new car and I love it. Needed room for dogs and horse gear. Being 6' tall, this was the only SUV in it's class that I did not bump my head getting in and out, or loading either back seats or rear compartment. I looked at the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, BMW 5 and even the Element. This one won out on features. It has tons of room for gear, construction stuff or passengers. For the price, it is a great value. I live in the Northeast, and I can't spin this vehicle around corners!
curb height, handling (esp in snow), roominess
moving some of the console buttons to a higher location - I don't like the need to take eyes off the road to lower/raise rear windows; fuel efficiency city (though I suspect the new 4 cyl is much improved, and for me the V6 is more than I need).