Being recently married, I plan on replacing my 05 Forester (5 speed MT) with a vehicle that has an AT so the wife can drive it. I commute to work in NYC everyday via public transportation and only need a vehicle on weekends. Also, the forester is pushing 160k miles and I don't want to deal with any mechanical issues that usually surface with a 10 year old vehicle with high mileage. It has been very reliable to date. It does not make financial sense for us to maintain 2 vehicles in our household. With that being said, my two top choices for a replacement are the Mazda 3 5 door and Subaru XV. The pros of the Mazda I can see are: -better fuel economy -more "fun" to drive -simpler engine design -no complications of AWD system -cheaper initial purchase price Subaru: -AWD for winters in Northeast -higher ground clearance -better cargo carrying capabilities. I prefer an MT, but this purchase will be an AT. I will be man enough to admit on BITOG that I eschewed an MT for an AT. I've read a lot about the Subaru CVT on BITOG and have to weigh the CVT vs. a more conventional 6 speed AT in the Mazda 3. My budget is in the low 20's. I usually pay cash for my vehicles unless I am offered 0% financing. I anticipate getting about 3k as trade in for the forester. I had a 97 Protégé (totaled in accident) prior to the Subaru and really liked the MPG's it produced. I'm interested in how the BITOG crowd will compare and contrast these two vehicles.