TCL, I needs your help!
So my wife's Elantra has 181k miles and it's starting to show it's age. The engine is perfect, underpowered and slow, but extremely reliable. Everything else is getting so old that it's uncomfortable and shaky in highway and every day driving; even with changing out old/worn parts and routine maintenance, it's still just old. Transmission is very laggy... hopefully it doesn't crap out yet.
At last my wife wants a new car.
A little bit about us; we do everything outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, canoeing, photography, skiing, MTBing, etc.
Since we have that type of lifestyle, my first thought was a 4Runner. 4Runners are almost as capable as Wranglers, but have that bulletproof drivetrain and construction so they'll last forever. Plus the rear locking diff in the TRD Off-Road is something I'd definitely like to have. There have been many times where we've encountered some rough off-roads and we can't keep going since our current cars can't do it. We don't want to do hardcore rock-crawling and such, just off-roading through forests like some of the ones in Pennsylvania or even upstate NY. We also want something that's comfortable for weekend road trips... again the 4Runner is the best imo.
I've looked at other alternatives such as a Crosstrek. I've heard some horror stories about Subaru engines... idk what to think about their reliability, but they are cheap enough where we can most likely buy it cash. The 4Runner we would have to finance some of it.
My wife isn't a very confident driver. She wants a 4Runner, but is intimidated by daily driving it since it's a taller and bigger SUV. This why she told me to look at other alternatives.
What alternatives would you guys recommend?
I'm open to capable XUVs, SUVs, mid-size pickup trucks and also open to pre-owned.
Thanks in advanced dudes!