I recently switched from a Pontiac G6 to a Jeep Patriot. I love it. I am going to be on my own soon and needed something to cart my dogs around in easier. The Patriot drives great, handles well, and is extremely comfortable. It seems small when looking at it from the outside, but there is tons of room inside. My dad, who is 6ft tall, fits with plenty of room to spare. Its been hard going from a sports car to a SUV, but I am happy with my switch, I do not regret this decision at all.
Anti-static seats are great when it comes to not showing scratch marks from the dogs and for vacuuming dog hair. Fuel economy, and color choice - I picked the deep green. :-)
No auto stick would be nice. After driving a stick shift for 10 years, its incredibly hard to switch to an auto stick, I find I usually just don't use it.