After months of research, I decided this sports wagon was the best value for me. Though I was originally in the market for an SUV, I concluded I would lose at the pump in the end. The direction of gas prices has only validated my decision. The Volvo is a perfect fit. It's sporty (I love the autostick), very comfortable (leather), sharp interior and exterior, and it has plenty of space for trips to the hardware store. I recommend it.
Front console is very cool and easy to use.
Higher clearence. A little extra height would never hurt. The auto-stick slips into Drive too easily. The alarm doesn't have an audible confirmation when armed.