The SX-4 Crossover Touring model with automatic transmission is one of those great cars that the market has not found out about. It is small and sporty like the Mini Cooper and Honda Fit, but given it's a tall hatchback, it is in its own niche as the other two cars aren't tall and easy to see out of.
It handles like a sports car, but won't beat you up on rough roads. The AWD system handles anything that winter or tropical rains can throw at it, as we've had plenty of both in my ownership experience.
It is criticized for being under-powered, but it zips right along on the highway at 70+ mph amongst trucks, and has plenty of power to get onto the freeway and merge safely. It is rock solid in crosswinds and can handle high speed driving on crowded us highways just fine.
Gas mileage is good at about 25-26 mpg average for such a capable AWD car. The fuel tank is only 11.9 gallons, so you will need to fill-up every 270 - 280 miles, as the low fuel light comes on with a few gallons left to annoy you.