I'm going to give you an off the wall suggestion. Stop and sit down before you continue reading ? I suggest you pick up a 2-3 year old used Dodge Grand Caravan that has been taken care of. ($13-15K) Yes ? it is a soccer mom van ? but they are fairly reliable and the repairs are reasonable if you don't go to a dealership. I am coming up on the end of life for our 2007 dodge grand caravan. (290,000 Kms) I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I will miss it when it is gone. (yes I feel emasculated when I drive it) My sister is 5'2" and she had the same generation for 8 years, so although you are shorter, you will be fine in it. I am recommending it because you can pick one up at a reasonable price, you can beat it into the ground and junk it when you think it does not owe you anything anymore. Dogs and kids are hard on vehicles, and although the dodge minivan is not sexy ? it is very functional. It is big enough and heavy enough that you will not have a problem getting up the hills. Yes you need snow tires. It can truly haul a lot of kids and dogs to all the practices, events and vacations. You can put a lot of crap in the back ? skis, and all kinds of cargo, and don't forget a 4x8 sheet of plywood. They are cheap to buy used, reasonable to fix. They are a good deal for what you get. One last comment ? the dodge grand caravan is about the only good vehicle Chrysler has made in the past 35 years. Enough said. my next car will be an Audi A4.