I am the director of emergency services for a county and I live about 18 highway miles from my office. I need to be able to get to my office at any time, regardless of weather. I live in rural Maryland, so flooding and snow tend to be the biggest road-related issues. From a personal standpoint, I have two dogs and make regular trips downcountry or dirt roads or to the beach/bay, so my preference would be a vehicle that comes with leather trim - easier to clean! I currently own (and love) a dirty diesel VW Golf TDI, which has been fun but does terribly in the snow. My vehicle is also the primary family car and I'd like to rely less on my fiance to move large objects, so I'd like to go a little bigger than my beloved golf. I try to be eco conscious so I'd like the best MPG I can get, plus I'd like to stay on the small side in order to keep my car in my small-ish garage.
Some models that have caught my eye are the Subaru Forester and Outback, VW Alltrack and Tiguan, Lincoln MKX (2013), and Honda CR-V. Should I be considering others? Any American models I should be looking at?
Priorities: Reliability & durability / Handling / Warranty, maintenance cost
Need minimum of 5 seats
Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 30000
Maximum age: 3 years
Maximum price: US $ 25000
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