i liked the way the honda CRV drove but i'm not too big of a fan of the exterior and there were a few interior design things that bugged me - namely the placement of the shift knob (up on the dash next to the radio??) and the hand brake (also in the dash area). but it drives really nice and it slightly bigger than the RAV4 without being absurdly bulky. it might be better to tote around equipement but do i go for style over functionality? not sure quite yet.
also looked at the chevy sequoia and ford escape but the rear seats don't fold down flat so they aren't ideal. also they are larger than the other 2 and i don't think i need that much space. plus the sales guys at the chevy and ford dealers were awful and i couldn't leave too soon.
i also drove the nissan exterra which was nice if a bit big. it didn't drive quite as well as the others but it was comfy and i like the way it looks. probably too big.
but my dad gave me lots of good advice on car buying, as well as the nice guy at the honda/toyota dealer so i feel alot better about going on my own in LA. just got to be firm and tell the salesperson what i want.
i'll keep y'all updated on the new car progress. if you have any ideas on colors, let me know too.