2002 Mercury Mountaineer AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Criteria: AWD, powerful engine, 3rd row of seats, 5000+ lbs towing capacity, SAFETY, and fun to drive (I own a 6-speed BMW 540i). The MDX fell short on towing capacity, and the engine seemed to lack "hop" when I hit the gas. The X5 was also no competitor here - not only no 3rd seat, but laughable space for a $54K vehicle. The M-Class? Great to drive, power, VERY safe. Build quality/reliability? The newer ones were thought of as more solid, but now the price had a "5"