6. Subaru Forester
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All-wheel drive means as much to Forester's allure as it does to that of its stablemate, the Legacy. What this mini-SUV has going for it, however, is a beloved body type Subaru just doesn't make anymore.
The 2002 Forester was meant to be a small SUV, but always looked and rode like a large station wagon. It had a low center of gravity, high ceilings and 63 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down -- a step above a grocery-getter, but just a few notches below a true off-road vehicle.
Take one look at Foresters of this vintage on the roads today and rugged terrain isn't really what they're being asked to tackle. Leave that to the mountain bikes on the roof or the soccer gear and tents tucked away in the wayback. This is the archetypal lacrosse-practice car, and a 2.5-liter four cylinder with a 165 horsepower engine that gets a combined 22 miles per gallon is game for shuttling duties.
Just hope someone has replaced the standard cassette deck. We know they're making a comeback in the hipper circles, but one of the kids may still try to jam an iPhone into it.