2012 Volkswagen Tiguan S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
After 14 years with Ford Explorer Sport (2 dr) manual transmission was time to more on (California smog regs).
Looked options for smaller suvs with manual- Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, and VW Tiguan plus Kia and Hyundai brothers.
The Korean cars, nicely priced but the drive-train are junk - recent reports are that their clutch has very limited life.
Escape is old and has no zip.
Forester is ok, but driver space is limited.
Found basic Tiguan with manual -only one is Southern Cal... and dealer was ready to move it for under $21,500 (plus taxes).
Has few fancy accessories, no roof rack or sunroof but drive-train is solid, better mileage than EPA sticker - compares to $30,000++ versions!