Last week, my sister totaled her 2008 Nissan Rogue SL. It was a great car, and it’s the reason I like Nissan. Purchased new in 2008, the Rogue was the oldest car my parents had ever owned. We’ll miss it; the Rogue was good for at least another five years.

This new car will be paid for, maintained, and insured by my sister, who is about to make a ton of money. Because of bad experiences, my parents want her to go new (I tried convincing CPO, but oh well). She wants heated cloth seats and a sunroof; the budget is $30,000, and a leftover balance in her college fund means that the vehicle will be easily paid for. The cargo capacity of a crossover is highly appreciated. Being the good little brother I am, I took her to look at some cars.

The Equinox LT and the Escape SEL (no SE’s on the lot, but the SE is equipped well) were alright and are good values, but they paled in comparison to the three Japanese cars we looked at: the Forester, the RAV4, and the Rogue. All five vehicles had MSRP’s of around $31,000, and the Forester was the only AWD one.

My sister loved the Forester Premium, and so did I. The seats were comfy and it had a good layout. However, Subaru isn’t willing to give good discounts. What a shame. RAV4s and Rogues are everywhere; Foresters are not. The RAV4 XLE with the Convenience Package was a sweet vehicle, too, but the road sign reader made my sister feel weird. I’ve been happy with my RAV4. Finally, the Rogue SV with all of these packages we looked at was super nice. Except for leather, AWD, and fog lights, it seemed loaded to the brim. It was a pretty blue, too.

Consensus: Forester is nice, but the Rogue is the value winner. There’s a huge discount on the Rogue. I don’t care what y’all think: it was nice. Yeah, there’s the CX-5 and the CR-V and other crossovers, but these seem like good choices to her. Plus, she loved her Rogue.