SPECIFIC VEHICLE RECOMMENDATIONS - Midsize Wagons:
This is an old class that went away, but now it is back. Families with requirements for luggage or kid space but not wanting SUV or minivan gas mileage will love these. A family or a couple with larger pets will find this category of vehicle quite satisfying. These are very useful vehicles, and handle much better than the older station wagons. Better styling, too.
Subaru Outback - Smaller than Flex. Excellent reliability. Excellent choice for snow covered states. 4 or 6 cyl, 4 wheel drive. 6 cyl engine does not add much value.
3 - Adequate for most situations 3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop. Good for non sports car. 4 - 25 to 29 mpg on regular or 28 to 32 on premium fuel 4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips 5 - Best there is. More reliable used than many new cars 4 - Swallows large household items 3 - Can tow up to 3000 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul 3 - Easy to load and handles TVs and lawnmowers easily 3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance
Honda Crosstour - This is basically an Accord wagon with some extra weight and a little flair. It can tow a 1500 lb trailer. Since it sits slightly higher than the Accord, the gas mileage is a little less. Excellent (Honda) reliability. 4 cyl or V6 with front or 4 wheel drive.
3 - Adequate for most situations 2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop. Average for today's cars. 3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel 4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips 5 - Best there is. More reliable used than many new cars 3 - Good trunk space 2 - Can tow a small trailer (4X7/motorcycle/jet ski) 2 - Hauls large boxes, but you have to fit them into the trunk 4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers
Ford Flex - This vehicle is a crossover of sorts, and based on the Taurus, but can really tow a 4500 lb trailer. It is front drive and uses a Taurus drive train. Reliability is decent. V6 with front or 4 wheel drive.
3 - Adequate for most situations 2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop. Average for today's cars. 3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel 5 - Comfortable for 5 or 6 on trips, more around town 3 - Decent reliability for long term ownership 4 - Swallows large household items 4 - Can tow up to 4500 lb - 20 ft I/O boat/5X10 Uhaul trailer 4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items 3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance