2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
We took a chance; had only Hondas and Toyotas since '82. The Highlander w/4WD and Navigation system was $12k more. We get 25mpg hwy+city with the A/C on max (ie: the gas engine is always on). Seats are not deep enough for a tall person, but headroom is excellent. Tires are really noisy and wander on grooved pavement. Make copies of the navigation CDs -- we couldn't find a source to buy or update them separately -- a full set is $200! Safety package is a must have. Wish it had an option for steering wheel radio/CD controls. Time will tell if Ford can come close to Toyota's reliability.
Acceleration is great for a 4-cylinder. Mileage! Adjustable seatbelts, 110v plug, fun to drive, navigation system is cool.
Daytime running lights, remote switch or at least a locking gas cap, door molding strips, better interior light in front, more storage compartments, better interior fit/finish, touchscreen NAV, sun visors -- larger w/pull outs and bigger mirrors.