Recently got this car in July 2013. I wasn't thinking of spending the money for a new car but somehow I found one on the lot for 4k off sticker and went for it.
It was a great choice, the car is incredible sturdy, useful, easy to drive, it came with a manual which was important to me. The backseats are much more comfortable than any SUV I have been in, lots of space in the back too.
First snow of the season hits and I could not be more pleased with how the car handles. The only thing you have to worry about is the cars around you, this thing is just phenomenal in the snow, especially with a manual transmission.
Manual Transmission, AWD
In the snow you have to be seriously trying to lose traction with this thing.
You feel incredible secure driving this thing, Great seating position, great viability.
Engine and transmission. While I love that you can get a manual with it, its obvious they spent more time refining the CVT. The gears are incredible close together which leads to a painfully short 6th gear. 3000 RPM before 70 MPH is really annoying, which also is a cause of my next point.
Gas Mileage. This thing is a 2.5 4 cylinder. While it does okay if you nurse it and go under 70 MPH, anything above and your mileage drops fast. At 75 MPH I see 26 MPG, while at 70 I see 30. Really steep drop off is annoying.
Engine is reliable, and gets the job done, but you can tell its an old design. A little more power would be nice, and I think would almost help with mileage,