An Audi A4 is a bit small and I can't import and RS6, what else should I look at?
Our little puppy
isn't so little any more and in the not too distant future, Mrs. VTX and I plan on having children. We drive up to my in-laws lake house about every-other weekend in the summer and about once per month the rest of the time. I work from home so this car will sit in the garage most of the time (we can't quite make thing work as a one car family or rather, we don't want to).
I have a 2005 Nissan Altima 3.5SE now and it's already feeling a bit too small once we get everything loaded up. Right now, all our gear goes in the trunk and the dog sits in the back seat. Once a child seat is back there, the dog will be stepping all over the kid and we'll have even more stuff so that won't work.
I know most people in this situation would get either a minivan or an SUV. The problem is that I like sporty cars that are fun to drive and I really want AWD (we're in Minnesota so rear drive doesn't really work and AWD is the next best thing). So some manner of wagon is going to be my best bet.
We test drove a 2009 Toyota Venza. My wife loved it, I loved everything about it but it's handling. It handled great compared to an SUV (and most cars) but I wouldn't really get excited about taking through a twisty canyon road.
An Audi A4 Avant seemed like the other option but I just don't think there will be enough space and an A6 is out of our price range.
What else should I look at before pulling the trigger on the Venza?
-2009 or newer
-Decent gas mileage
-$20,000-$25,000 well equipped (heated leather, auto climate control, etc.)
-About as much room as the Venza (a little smaller is okay)
-Fun to drive