My old 1993 Ford Explorer finally decided to come to an end when it started leaking gasoline at a truly alarming rate (you could see the puddles and drip trails). I sold the Explorer, right quick, over Craigslist for the reasonable price of $150 (without the stereo system). Then, between my solidly good 2006 tax return and my mother's offer of support, I set out to purchase a new vehicle. My new purchase was intended to be my first purchase of a car in good condition, to date.
I went to a number of dealerships with a very specific set of minimum requirements in mind: 4WD/AWD, ABS, >20MPG, seat 5, have room for my stuff. The first vehicle that I encountered, which met my requirements was a Subaru Outback Sport but, upon test driving, the car made a funny sound and really didn't have much pickup. There turned out to be relatively few cars that met my standards and seemed decent, namely a few Subarus and some Honda CR-Vs. In the end, the specific car that most caught my interest was a 2000 Subaru Legacy GT. The Legacy had 71k miles on it, the cleanest engine that I'd seen, sounded great and felt great during test driving. I ended up buying that Legacy GT and am, really, quite pleased by my purchase.
I'm very happy to have a new car, especially one as nice as the one that I've gotten.
UPDATE: It turns out that the Subaru AWD setup is decidedly not overrated when it comes to handling snow. We had a bit of a snowstorm--just over a foot--and I had needs that were best served by driving to Target and Rainbow (our local grocery chain). There was, as expected, a solid layer of compacted snow sitting on the roads at the time, which allowed for adequate adverse weather handling tests. During the few instances when I found myself losing control, the loss was minimal and control was regained in an instant. I should also like to note that the ABS combined with four disc brakes was quite fantastic in its stopping power. All in all, I am pleased to note that my car meets my adverse weather handling requirements.