Base price: $21,995
"You can just tell by looking at a Forester that its visibility will be excellent for shorter drivers because its greenhouse is huge," Clarke says. "It's got big windows all around."
The Forester also comes standard with all-wheel drive and 8.7-inch ground clearance -- both great for driving either off-road or in bad weather.A redesigned 2014 model already in dealer showrooms also boasts a larger cabin, higher-quality finishes and better transmissions than the 2013 offers despite the same starting price. The changes have added a few miles per gallon to the crossover SUV's fuel efficiency, with a base 2014 Forester now rated at 22 mpg/city and 29 mpg/highway with manual transmission. (The model gets 24 mpg/city and 32 mpg/highway as an automatic.)