Background: I've had several SUV's in the past, but didn't really like anything I've owned enough to keep for more than a year or two. I generally always buy used, except for the Toyota FJ Crusier I bought new in '08 (didn't like the stupid suicide doors or huge turning radius, or the big blind spots); sold it for a huge loss after just one year.
Basic requirements and criteria:
Budget: $15k max
Must be AWD or 4WD
Seating capacity: 5
MPG: 15+ (20+ if possible)
Costof ownership: Low
Color: Anything but red or gold
Style: shouldn't suck in the looks dept but not the most important factor, decent enough for occasional business meeting use
Performance: should be a good daily, and handle decently on mountain roads of course, doesn't need to be a speed demon
Storage room: should be able to carry 4 big duffles and 3 backpacks (gear can go on roof if needed)
Maintenance: shouldn't require anything other than regular service, not a problem child with electrical or power train hassles (must be easy to live with and reliable)
Here's what I'm currently thinking about (all 80k miles or less):
Early 2000's Toyota Landcrusier
07-10 Toyota FJ Cruiser (I'll overlook the aspects I hate if it's the best in other areas for the money)
Audi Q5 or Q7 with high miles
Porsche Cayenne v6 with high miles
Early 2000's Chevy Tahoe
07 or newer Ford F150 Supercrew 4x4 (wife already has Expedition)
Jeep Unlimited 4 doors
Also remotely considering Subie WRX or Audi A4, A5 or A6, but any would have to have high miles to meet the budget, I don't have confidence in reliability and the roominess isn't there. I'd get better handling to the exception of space--but I'd consider one of these if someone with experience at high miles could assure me they're reliable and not expensive problems waiting to happen.
Thanks for your opinions, I appreciate it very much.
Happy Holidays everyone, pray for late Spring snow!