I’m looking to buy a new or used car, max price $15,000. I’m more comfortable driving small car (currently drive a 2 door saturn SC1) but am trying to find a 4 door comfortable for myself, my 75 pound black lab & my 6’4" boyfriend. I’d also like 4wd, since here in colorado we may get no snow or 14 inches overnight! Any suggestions on a bigger car that feels smaller that we can all be comfortable in? Thanks!
At your price range there is a good choice. Since the future of Saturn is very mcuh unknown (GM it trying to unload it or close it down), you should stay away from that make. A Subaru Impreza or Forester, well maintained would be a good choice if you are a skier or hiker. Others are Honda CRV or Pilot, or Toyota RAV4, or Highlander.
I would stay away from anything with Chevrolet, GMC or Pontiac on it, as well as any Jeep model, Volvo, or Land Rover. All these have above average mechanical problems.
One word: Subuaru.
A used Legacy sedan or wagon meets or exceeds your needs. The Forester might also interest you.
The Subaru AWD system is vastly superior to most others. If you live in snow country you should be driving a Subaru.
I’ve had Great Danes in the back of my Legacy wagon with no problems, so I’m sure your Lab will fit.
What about a 2005 VW Passat 4motion? It has AWD, not 4WD, is that OK? Anticipated 5-year repairs are equivalent to a Highlander. The Passat 4motion is available as a sedan or wagon. Test drive one a d dealer and see if you like it.
I’ll second Docnick"s suggestions. Though Subaru may have the superiority in snow AWD, the RAV is a close second for these compacts and the CRV is plenty adequate if it’s general on road snow conditions. I have a huge preference for the RAV/CRV if buying used and feel until you get to 2006, the CRV is superior in handling overall. I’ve heard NO ONE who has owned a CRV dump on it (incl daughter), and all would buy another. $15K will get you a very good used CRV awd.second generation (04-06); stay away from the first which is underpowered. It is plenty big inside to handle your needs.