Motor Trend magazine has picked the 2009 Subaru Forester as its sport utility vehicle of the year, citing its fuel efficiency, comfort on the road and competency off the pavement. The award, announced Thursday, came from a field of 13 finalists mostly made up of car-based crossover vehicles, with few traditional body-on-frame truck-based SUVS as in previous years.

The all-wheel-drive Forester with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission gets an estimated 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 on the highway. Other finalists were the BMW X6, Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Journey, Ford Flex, Honda Pilot, Infiniti EX and FX, Kia Borrego, Lexus LX570, Nissan Murano, Toyota Sequoia and Volkswagen Tiguan.