You can't beat a Subaru for this type of commute or driver - on or off road. All Wheel Drive is standard across the board and the price doesn't jump for it.
I have a 2014 Forester 2.5i Limited. This has the larger 2.5 liter motor, AWD, and the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The Forester is very comfortable, seats 4 (5 in a pinch) has great ground clearance, pretty decent mileage and pretty good power/acceleration. The AWD just doesn't stop. The Forester is an upright compact SUV. It's easy to get in and out of, easy to see out of and easy to drive. It's the most ... upright ... in the brand. I do mostly around town driving with the sunroof open (it's a HUGE roof) and - I live in the deserts of So Cal - the AC is running at least 6 months of the year. As such, I regularly see low 20s for my MPG.
There is also the XT Turbo models with a 2.0 turbo flat 4. More power, less mileage, some extra features. There have been some improvements for the 2015 and 2016 models (mostly related to Starlink and a new stereo unit to coordinate with Starlink.
The CVT is often misunderstood. But what makes the Subaru CVT differ from anybody else (Jeep, Nissan, etc.) is that the Subaru CVT mimics the feel of a normal automatic transmission - feels like a 5 speed auto. You can "feel" the shift. With the XT, the CVT offers paddle shifting and the feel of 8 gears.
Next up would be the Crosstrek (and to a small degree, the Impreza Sport wagon). The Crosstrek and Forester share a lot of common features. The Crosstrek has a smaller 2.0 liter engine so you get less power. Mileage is about the same as the larger Forester. The big difference is the Crosstrek Hybrid - which gets you better mileage ratings around town - but not on the highway. It's about $3-grand more than the non-hybrid model. Has the same ground clearance as the Forester, but is lower and shorter, so interior space is snugger. It's a bit more ... sporty ... in marketing and design. Most of the same features on the Forester are on the Crosstrek. Less cargo room. Less outward visibility.
The Impreza Sport wagon is the Crosstrek with less ground clearance and better mileage. And much less expensive. More like a typical small wagon with good economy and pep. Compare it to a Mazda 3 or ... Well, that's really about it.
Stay away from the Jeep Compass and Patriot models with the CVT. They're loud and noisy and - when equipped with 4WD, very thirsty on the road.