7. Subaru Forester 2.0 XT – MSRP from $27,753
I already know that the Forester is far from cool-looking. In fact, the little SUV is pretty hideous when it comes to looks, but this article is about performance, and the 2.0 XT trim levels pack a good punch. Don’t believe me? How about this: the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes use of turbocharging for a peak output of 250 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel drive and an X-Mode that works to provide optimal response from the stability control, all-wheel drive system, engine, and transmission shift points for the best grip possible on slick surfaces. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is 6.3 seconds, which is quite a bit faster than other compact SUVs. You also get a higher ride height that is handy for driving down deeply rutted trails or through deep snow, plus a cargo area that is actually quite useful.