Best driving "small SUV" of the RAV4, CRV bunch, even with base engine. There is no comparison. Even in base X form the handling is awesome, confidence inspiring. Turns are crisp, stopping/starting all great. Drove both XT and normally aspirated and was pleasantly surprised with the pull of the base engine. Interior is also roomier than expected, back seat is roomy enough if the front seats aren't pushed all the way back but even if they are I feel I have just enough legroom with front seats at maximum travel. Love the height of the cabin plus the tall stance. And in terms of AWD systems, there is no comparison (especially with these Colorado winters we've been having).
Extra large moonroof, two sunglass case holders, copious amounts of storage, bins, tall ride height, handling, fuel economy. Long seat cushions give good thigh support. Styling is handsome inside and out, not overly-styled and extremely functional; turn signals in the mirrors are a classy touch
I think Subaru nailed it with the Forester. Would have liked leather without the LLBean package but Premium package had all I wanted anyway (heated seats/mirrors/windshield). Maybe a smidgen more rear seat room and ground clearance would be nice but I know all that's been fixed with the 2009 model