After researching a "family" vehicle purchase for over two months, I eventually decided on a used 2008 Toyota Highlander, 7 passenger - FWD V6.
I test drove all the 2012 Dodge, Chevy, Ford alternatives. I decided on a used Highlander for the price point & TCO. No buyers remorse currently. On my first long trip I decided to test out MPG's. Half the trip I drove interstate, 75-80 MPH; MPG were between 20-21, I was disappointed.
On my return trip I took an alternate route & drove 60-70 MPH; MPG were between 28-29, I was impressed. I chose a FWD in anticipation of better MPG. Power and performance of the V6 engine is great. If you can adjust your driving style, you can get 2012 MPG in a 2008.
Driving comfort and engine power are the most impressive.
My main focus when deciding on a 2008 highlander were core vehicle capabilities; Performance, Comfort/Feel, Passenger capacity.
I could drive this vehicle all day and not get uncomfortable in it.
The Sport model has a smooth but stiff rid, I believe a lot of the ride will depend on the tire.
The features available in the 2008 model are all relevant and still make it a competitive choice to any 2012 alternatives available.