I drive a 2003 Pontiac Vibe, 2WD, manual transmission. I get better tha 30 mpg without my box, around 27 mpg with. I hve to mount the box at an slight angle in order to get good clearance from the antenna, and often get wild gestures from other drivers who are worried my box is falling off. The weakness of the Vibe is that it has very wide tires and poor ground clearance. I would avoid even the AWD version unless I were going to change to narrower and perhaps taller rims. The interior configuration is really good for skiing, but the other problems make it less than ideal. I did see an interesting alternative in 2 WD. The Kia Rondo has good ground clearance and does not seem to have obscenely wide tires. I also think some of the Kia/Hyundai stuff would be a good choice, especially the Tucson/sportage. FWIW the Sorento seems to have some good discounts at the moment. If you have a competing vehicle or already own a kia, you can get $1,500 owner loyalty bonus or competing vehicle bonus, plus $3,000 in rebates, on a 2007, which has an invoice around $21,500, which would be like a purchase price of $17K. With gas prices high it might make more sense to go for a vehicle with big rebates, and bargain hard on price. You'll end up wiht more vehicle and might have a lwoer purchase price. Past gasoline price spikes have often been follwoed by moderating prices, and there is every reason to believe that could happen again. Why am I so keen on Kia? I own a Sedona, which is my family trip car, and a Spectra, which my daughter uses as her college car. My ex has a spectra as her daily driver, and used to own a sportage as her daily driver. Before we split we had a sephia. Despite all the howls about these vehicles, they have been very reliable, and all had very low initial purchase prices (usually around nominal invoice less a big rebate). None of them had class-leading gas mielage, but I am sure I saved enough on purchase to outweigh the additional cost of fuel over the life of the vehicles. Often these vehicles are cited as having extremely high depreciation, but that is in relation to sticker price. If the Sorento I descroibed has a sticker around $23,500 and you pick it up for 17, then it looks like it depreciated a whole bunch after a year when you compare blue book to sticker. OTOH, if you look at a Honda, which has the sticker padded with $500 pinstriping, and goes out the door at $500 above sticker, it may not be a great bargain if it depreciates a small amount relative to sticker. The net depreciation for comparable cars could be the same, and would be a lower percentage for the more expensive car, but to the owner who drives cars 150K miles or more, the initial purcahse price has a lot more to do with total lifetime cost, since it affects tax, finance and insurance costs.