2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I moved up from a compact car to a compact SUV to accommodate my growing family and deal with the decaying CA roads. The Tiguan is right-sized for urban life in the Bay Area, quite compact exterior for nimble driving and parking, but a very spacious interior. In comparison, Rav4 and CRV are weird/dull/dated. I had hopes for the Forester but the interior was extremely cheap - read the reviews. The Tiguan is in a class of its own for build quality, design, and driving experience. More expensive yes but better value as I will be enjoying this for many years. The 2.0T engine is fantastic, I feel I have the GTI from my youth wrapped in a responsible family package with all safety features.
Space in rear seat - panoramic roof has limo like wow factor. Practical VW design: Sliding rear seats allow more trunk space. Fold flat rear and passenger seats. Right mirror dips to view curb when reversing. Unpainted plastic wheel arch and fender strips will protect against scratches.
Few inches longer car for a little more trunk space. Media Device Interface (MDI) iPod/USB and Bluetooth integration should be standard with the navigation system.