So my mechanic is recommending I trade my car soon. He has repaired a couple of oil leaks and he's thinking I may have bigger problems shortly. It's a 2009 Forester and the boxer engines seem to have this issue. I wasn't originally planning to buy a car for at least a year so now I feel a little under the gun to make a decision. Coupled with the fact that my Autistic son just spent last week in the hospital and is getting ready to move into supported housing next week, I'm not feeling quite as focused on my research as I normally might be. I drive 28 miles each way to work in Minnesota so I drive both a lot of miles and in snow/ice for a good part of the year. I have a reverse commute and the last 13 miles are pretty wide open country so there tends to be less than ideal road conditions with blowing snow and it's not always plowed well. AWD is a plus but not an absolute requirement. I tend to generally keep my cars for at least 5 years before I trade. I care that the car is safe, reliable and gets decent gas mileage given how far I drive but I would also like something with a little personality. I like the size of my current vehicle, and it works well with the dogs, so I would probably stay with a small SUV. I had a RAV4 as a rental earlier this year and liked it but didn't love it. The IIHS offset crash test worries me a bit though and the mileage wasn't as good as I would have expected. I'm also looking at the CRV. I like the gas mileage and it has better crash test ratings. It feels like a safe practical choice, I'm just not sure if I'm wowed. I also looked at a Mazda CX-5. The crash test ratings were good and gas mileage is ok. I have no experience with Mazdas though. I also ruled out the Escape due to the number of recalls in the last few years. My friend who is helping with the car shopping is also encouraging me to look at low mileage, higher end cars that are a few years old like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. I used to own a Volvo so I know to expect higher repair bills with European cars. I'm not really a car person so I'm hoping to get some advice on what other VMBers might do in my situation.