Base model hatchback hauls a lot more than I expected. Where I work it's all large SUVs and full-size 4WD trucks but I have had no problems with clearance through mud and snow and I stick to the road a lot better (and faster) than they do with way better mileage. Base model has enough power for real world and car is pretty rock solid. Did have a rock take out my air conditioning (dealer then put a screen under the grill) and windshields don't take rocks too well, seem to crack easier than they should. All in all, way more fun than a truck or SUV with much lower operating costs. When the 2008s arrive I intend to buy one.
Fun to drive on bad roads and bad weather.
Put a key hole in the rear hatch. Improve mileage not power.