I am starting to think about getting a new (used) vehicle as I'll soon have new driver in the family so will be handing off my old vehicle and looking for a newer one for me.
I am looking for something which can seat at least driver and three riders and take ski equipment along. I would really prefer that the equipment (this means skis/boards/equipment and one piece of luggage if an overnight trip) can be inside the vehicle, but could consider use of a rack up above if I really have to. Probably need to plan for two to four skiers, or two skiers and two boarders.
I really prefer foreign (have had a Toyota Camry for ten years, and a Mazda for eleven years prior to that - LOVE my Toyota). Obviously, I keep my vehicles a long time, so want something else which I will be able to love for a long time. Would consider Honda, Subaru, etc. too.
Definitely want AWD or FWD. Stability is a must, as I flipped a car on ice when I was 21, so much as I love winter and snow sports, have to feel secure to keep from freaking out when a vehicle slides a bit. (I was okay, BTW, and because I was 21, I went dancing that night while my dad washed the spilled oil off my engine block. . . . )
A comfortable driver's seat is a must for me, with good lumbar support needed due to a bad back (love my Camry driver's seat!). I test drove a 2011 Subaru not long ago and had trouble with the head rest causing me to have to bend my head forward, and it didn't flex forward/backward as my Camry headrest does) - maybe the seat in the vehicle I drove didn't have lumbar support and so threw my posture off? Or maybe at 5'3" I was too short for the seat, as happens when I go to a Regal Cinema! Of course, I know that Subaru changed designs in the past few years, so maybe an older model would be different/better.
Also need good head/leg room for a 6'2" driver. Tried a Kia Sportage last year but even with my short height, it felt cramped overhead (and I do like moonroofs, so in general that lowers the headroom on vehicles too).
Need good visibility (such as the Subaru offers) as I am getting old and don't want to be accused of Granny-driving on the way to the resort.
I would be fine with a five-year old vehicle or whatever, as long as it is one of these never-die vehicles such as a Toyota. Plus, if my new driver borrows the vehicle for a ski trip, I won't worry if it gets a small ding in it, so a slightly older one might be better.
Good gas mileage is always a good thing (I currently get 30mpg - would hope to stay somewhere near that).
I was wondering about an older Toyota Highlander, and not sure about stability with it. The Rav 4 seems almost too small to get much gear into, though the size (and mpg) would be better for me, a sole driver commuting 40 round-trip miles per day.
I went to the big local auto show last year and wandered all over the exposition center, but went home without finding my dream vehicle.
So. . . . who is driving what vehicle, and what recommendations do you have?
FINALLY got some beautiful snow in Ohio!!