2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year
2014 Subaru Forester (Subaru of America)

The redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester has earned Motor Trend's 2014 SUV of the Year Award. The publication says, "The new Forester provides a comfortable ride with a roomy interior. Its off-road capability is plenty for the majority of sport/utility buyers. It offers a lot of value for the money. And it accomplishes all this while still being fun to drive."

To determine the winner, Motor Trend evaluated the contenders in six areas: design advancement, engineering excellence, performance of intended function, efficiency, safety and value. This year's contenders, which are all-new or significantly updated, include the Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mini Cooper S Paceman, Land Rover Range Rover, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, BMW X1, Buick Encore, Acura MDX and the Forester.

As SUV design tends to prioritize practicality over everything else, auto reviewers are often delighted when one turns out to be fun to drive, and the Forester is no exception. Motor Trend says, "The Forester combines the practicality of a small, wisely engineered SUV with the fun enthusiasts will enjoy." The publication does note that the Forester is not the best choice for anyone with any real towing needs, as the Forester is only rated to tow 1,500 pounds.

The Subaru Forester was named Motor Trend's SUV of the Year in 2009 as well, which Autoblog points out makes the Forester the only vehicle to ever win the award twice in the 14 years it has been distributed.

The redesigned Forester is not only a hit with Motor Trend. It is currently tied with the Honda CR-V as our top-ranked affordable compact SUV. Additionally, CNN Money notes that Consumer Reports said the Forester was the best vehicle it has ever tested among small SUVs.

Shopping for a Subaru Forester or another affordable compact SUV? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new vehicle by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.