2004 Toyota Highlander AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
Please understand that I really hate SUVs, but my family needed a car that could hold 6-7. I have always thought that the Highlander was the best looking small SUV, but I didn't realize that it had a third seat that would allow it to hold our family. We sold our Eurovan and bought a dealer demo, and I think it's the best car I have ever owned. At 25K miles, it's tight, quiet, comfortable, and everything that I could ask for in a family car. We happened to buy the loaded model, although I would have been happy with any combination as long as it had the third row. We have had it off-road once in Tahoe, and it handled a very rutted, rocky climb with ease. Highly recommended.
Overall size (small) compared to the interior room (generous). Great gas mileage compared to full size SUVs. Car-like handling. Toyota Quality. Driver ergonomics (shift, turn stalk, cruise control, etc. all excellent)
Pretty high wind noise on freeway. Lack of space behind 3rd seat with it in use. Gets dirty pretty quickl with soft interior surfaces. Not economical in town driving.