Which mini suv/ wagon to buy

We (three adults) own 3 sedans We are looking to buy a new wagon/minisuv…whatever you want to call them. Seats 5 with cargo room in the back.
Price is no object…but I don’t need to, want to, get a $50,000 car when a $25,000 car meets my needs (which are simple).

It will be used for local errands, taking the two dogs to the local park, vacations maybe to the mountains but staying on main highways.

Seats 5
Cargo room in the back, how big the cargo space is might be a deal maker (I’d like more rather than less).
I like the idea of, design of, a back cargo door that is split horizontally so just the top opens up and you can also lower the bottom half down (but this is not a deal killer).
A/C heat vents behind the front seats, (rear passenger area) are a big deal maker.
4 cylinder is most likely fine, (don’t think why I would need more power?) but if I do willing to pay more.
Front wheel drive is fine.
I like the idea of noise reducing acoustics.
I like the idea of tire pressure monitors.
I am retired, don’t think I would need blue tooth (not sure what it even is?) fancy computer/hand free/phone internet stuff.
Do not need, want, moon or sun roofs.
Not sure about back up warning system, certainly sounds like a good idea but not essential? Not sure about the side mirror (I forget exactly what?) camera?, some thing that shows right side blind spots better when changing lanes?
We are all small people so don’t care too much about how big the interior passenger space is.

The more I look on the Internet, the more choices I see, and the more hopelessly confused I get!

If someone could narrow my choices down to maybe 4 specific models that I could focus on I would really appreciate it!

We have a Toyota Venza. It is built on the Highlander chassis which seats seven but has seating for five. Ergo, it has copious room for 5 people with tons of cargo space. It looks like a wagon but has 8inches of ground clearance which means it will handle faily deep snow. They start at $29k but can be outfit with v6 dual moon roofs that you may not want, excellent voice recognition and entertainment system, six way power seats that are the most roomy and comfortable I have ever sat in.

The four cylinder is more then adequate, the six is outstanding and still gets high twenties on the highway. It is a marvelous road car that can cruise at any speed you dare to in comfort. I love driving on the highway with it. Drawbacks ? It’s big and takes a little getting use to if you are brought up on compacts but more then makes up for it in luxury appointments, ride and handling. We had a couple small SUVs; it put’s them to shame with the ride room and comfort. Ford makes a variation too. I like Toyota . IMHO, it is not as good in snow as an Outback but the accommodations, sized and great motors more then make up for it. They come in fwd or AWD but the AWD handles so much better ! It has dual air conditioning for those in back, standard.

My wife is on the small size but the seats give her a commanding view and she loves it over the previous RAV.
I think of it as Toyota’s version of the Crown Victoria on steroids. The rear seats flip down with one lever giving you over 70 cubic feet of storage. Back up cameras etc are standard now. You will get use to Bluetooth and voice recognition for all your entertainment and cell phone needs and love it. Go with the flow.

This is a category with several attractive options. When you talk of three passengers in the back are they three adults, three kids, or some combination. The compact uses can only handle a small child in the center position. An adult would be very uncomfortable there. The Venza Dagosa mentions is a little wider, though three big adults across would be a squeeze. Of compacts the most popular is the Honda CR-V, and it is quite nice. The Toyota RAV4 is fairly similar. The Mazda CX-5 is the darling of the automotive press. It handles more like a car than most and gets very good gas mileage. The Subaru Forester is quite popular in places with cold winters. The newly redesigned Nissan Rogue is much improved over the weak previous model, but reliability is still a question mark. The Ford Fusion is elegant and drives well, but has a few weak spots that hurt its reliability. In mid-sized crossovers the Honda Pilot and more recently refreshed Toyota Highlander are old favorites, with the Venza an intriguing alternative. The Subaru Outback is also based on a car that has been given more ground clearance. This is far from all of the models available, but these are some of the more popular ones.

Get a base level Toyota Sienna. It has copious room, you can drop the rear seats for a cavernous space for dogs or cargo, it is quiet, has rear seat heating and cooling controls, and gets reasonable mileage. The base model has none of the extras you don’t want. Go drive one and I think you will be impressed. The Venza is also nice but has quite a bit less space overall then the Sienna.

I have a 2002 Sienna, and certainly agree with bloody knuckles… Great car and easy to drive, while carrying a lot. Mine has the heavy duty towing package, which I never use but it makes it tough for my mountain driving.

A while back we needed some long metal poles from a metal sales place 30 minutes of winding mountain roads away. They were too long to fit inside, so we opened the back hatch, shoved them as far ahead as we could, and drove him the 12 miles at the speed limit, just under 40 mph. The door did not even bounce once, though it was all the way up.

For max 5 I’d look hard at the Venza. The smaller ones would be tight for 5.

A smaller, and easier to park, version of a Sienna would be the Mazda 5.

I forget when backup cameras will become mandated, but you can’t usually get one unless you get the package with the moonroof.

This is refreshing to read; “price is no object”. We often get a post with many of your requirements but with the final caveat…I have $3000 to spend and I want it to last 10 years with no repairs.

Price not being an object doesn’t help much here. There are various luxury brand crossovers, but they don’t really carry people any better and all the extra gimcrackery hurts reliability.

The Venza or a Toyota Highlander would probably be your best bet although you can see if any of the compact suv’s mentioned will be roomy enough for 5 (If you have a really slender person for the rear middle position maybe) but from my experience if you’re going to carry five people in comfort you want a midsize suv if not a Sienna.