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What car should I buy?

I will be in the market for a new vehicle next year. I want something very comfortable for open road driving, with some storage capacity (photography gear), but able to handle off-road terrain if necessary for photo shoots. For highway driving, I am looking for the newer bells and whistles (lane drift, cruise control, sound system, navigation). My current vehicle will probably not fit all of these requirements.

Hyundai Sonata, Tuscon, Santa Fe
Honda CRV
Toyota RAV4

Forget about “lane departure warning” and either stay awake or find a motel.

In my Ford lineup, all the 'E’s fit the bill . You decide how big, 2wd, awd or 4x4.

The best production car I ever drove was a Grand Cherokee. Good interior room (plenty for photo equipment, GPS, laptop, scanners if you’re a stringer, etc), good ride, comfortable seats, and the thing went anywhere I asked it to, especially after we replaced the stock tires with ones that were better for non-asphalt driving.

And I might add,
the same thing I always say about which brands to buy. Because in this small town it is VERY important.

– the long term servicing of your vehicle –

In warranty or out, can you get it serviced with ease and reasonable price ?

Spend your money locally with neighbors who spend their money with you.

From right where I stand the closest dealers for Subaru, Honda, Hyundai, Volvo, Mercedes, Kia, VW, BMW, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and others, even CarMax, are all 140 miles one way !

If you are 140 miles one-way from car dealerships you may want to consider a Cessna 182 instead of a car.

Never had one, or even been in one, but most Subarus would seeingly fit the bill. They are all AWD and I expect the top models would be comfortable crusers.

Yep, had one for a while. Actually a 172 with the 182 engine, at this altitude a perfect upgrade.

However, there are plenty of cars/trucks to pick from here.
The Ford lines.
The GM lines, two dealers.
A Dodge - Nissan dealer
A Toyota dealer

That’s why it matters so much.
People think they’re getting such a great deal by going to Albuquerque, Farmington, or even Phoenix…
…until they need service !

Older generation or new genration? The Grand Cherokee is all new this year and is now unibody. But I hear the chassis is still very stiff.

Mine was an 04. A colleague had an 05.

but able to handle off-road terrain

Non of the above mentioned…except some Jeeps. If you really want to go off road, there are few vehicles left that fill that nitch along with being comfortable cruisers. The pre 2010 4runner is the closest. Off road? Forget about good fuel economy. Subarus, ravs and crvs are not off road. A crew cab PU may get you in the ball park. But off road and comfort generally don’t mix unless you want to spend lots of money and/or sacrifice economy.