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Toyota vs. Subaru vs. Hyundai, I am buying two new cars and so many choice!
So I have come into some money and I am looking at buying new cars for my wife and I. Here's a quick synopsis on what I want to do and where I need advice. Skip to bottom for TL;DR:
I love Toyota. My family has a garage and a fleet of cars that are all Toyota. '98 Toyota Truck, '94 Toyota Truck, '96 Camry and '03 Sequoia. The Sequoia and Camry I am driving now and I love the Sequoia. Toyota engines are simple and clean to work on. However, I want to buy two new, either a '13 or '12, cars for around $50,000. I can get them knocked down pretty good due to paying in cash. We want something safe, good to drive in winter (live in Alaska), plenty of room for future kids and good fuel economy.
Right now I am liking the idea of a Highlander or FourRunner but it would leave little money for second car. We looked at RX350 but same problem, plus it is pretty small. We could afford getting like a Forester and a base model of a Tacoma, as I would like a truck, but I am concerned about room size in those vehicles. My wife likes the Forester when it comes to size but isn't a fan of driving the Outback, she likes more of an SUV when it comes to handling. I would love just to get a new Sequoia but our fuel costs are killing me. I'd like something at least 20 MPG. What do you recommend? We are also looking at some Hyundai vehicles since my buddy sells them and my mother-in-law is also looking at getting one, so picking up three cars from a dealership in one go will land us some serious wiggle room.
Looking at a Highlander or Forester or possibly a Santa Fe / Veracruz. What do you think in terms of room size, handling, safety, fuel economy and winter driving?