Of course, most of us have day jobs as well. Not to mention living in different climates and population densities… so maybe the paddling thing is among the less important criteria.
But looking at replacing a vehicle is something I’ve never really enjoyed. I have the ideal features and characteristics in mind but either the vehicle doesn’t exist or isn’t in my price range. I figured it might be worthwhile to put it out there. Maybe I’ll get some ideas I hadn’t considered.
To focus the discussion, I’ve started out by looking at Subarus. Looking in the range of about 2011 to 2014, I’m not too keen on the looks of the Outback or Forester. I like the older ones that were less “SUV-like” and more “wagony”. So that limits me to the Legacy wagon if I’m going the Subaru route. I’ve considered more “mainstream” (and less expensive) SUVs like a Ford Escape or similar, but I’ve always shied away from SUVs because they seemed less useful than they should be. Is it time I changed this belief? I’ve even thought that an AWD minivan would be great because of the space inside, but options are severely limited in this category.
I live in a snow belt area, in Ontario east of Lake Huron with heavy lake effect snow being frequent in the winter. I’m also rural and often find myself traveling down “No Winter Maintenance” roads just for the fun of it or to reach a nice put-in with my kayak. For where I drive, both related to paddling and just getting to work in the winter, AWD or 4x4 will definitely be used, some days even essential. I would prefer more ground clearance, as I’ve become rather used to the higher ride of my current vehicle, a GMC Canyon. Better fuel economy for the longer trips I’m thinking of taking would be great too. Simpler is better for me, but with some luxuries like heated seats. If they made a car without power windows I’d probably go that route because it’s less to worry about breaking at the worst time.
Maybe I’m just rambling on and thinking out loud, but if there’s anything helpful you can add in this stressful time it would be greatly appreciated.