Christmas sled: Subaru WRX 5-door
Cross Country Skills: The WRX wagon is a lovable jack of all trades, capable of toting up to five passengers and carrying goodies in the back while thrashing every type of terrain its 6.1 inch ground clearance can roll over. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive keeps things on the straight and narrow while the 265 HP, 244 lb-ft, boxer and available 5 speed manual keeps the trip fun.
Present Capacity: 19.0 cubic feet with the rear seats up, 44 cubic feet with the seats down.
Usage: Excellent for all-purpose Christmas duties, available almost everywhere.
Christmas sled: Hummer H3 Alpha
Cross Country Skills: The latest H3 in Alpha form is a formidable off-roader, the 5.3 V8 delivers a whopping 300HP and the front and rear locking differentials mean even if Granny's cottage is on top of a mountain or in the middle the Moab you'll get there. Full time four wheel drive works great on the slippery stuff and the capability to ford 24 inches of water means the river doesn't even need a bridge. Hopefully grandma's house isn't too far from a gas station though, 14/16 fuel economy isn't too impressive.
Present Capacity: 25 cubic feet all seats up, 62.9 seats folded
Usage: For four to five passengers AND gifts AND roads modeled after goat paths, the Hummer will get the job done.
Christmas sled: Aston Martin Rapide
Cross Country Skills: Let's say Gran-gran's house is more of a mansion and going over the river and through the woods means traversing the family's tremendous family estate, spoiled rotten brood in tow, there are few vehicles on the planet as fitting to make such a trip as the Aston Martin Rapide. Sleek and sultry, the Aston is most definitely the most opulently obnoxious car on the list
Present Capacity: Who cares? That's what servants are for.
Usage: The grounds of Belmoral Castle
Christmas sled: Suzuki SX4
Cross Country Skills: The SX4? Yes. Despite its nex-gen Pinto appearance, the SX4 isn't actually a bad car, and it's by far the least expensive all-wheel-drive vehicle you can get. Good packaging makes seating comfy, but there's trade-off for cargo capacity. Handling is inoffensive and in-segment even pretty enjoyable. No-doubt the dark horse entry here, but if you're trekking long distances and need fuel economy, light-duty all-wheel-drive reassurance, and a low price, it's hard to beat.
Present Capacity: a wimpy 8.2 cubic ft seats up, a whopping 54 cubic feet seats down, choose wisely
Usage: Urban areas, fits everywhere and has great cargo capacity if it's just two people. Cheapy-cheap all wheel drive for snowy days.
Christmas sled: Ford Flex AWD
Cross Country Skills: There are few eight passenger cruisers as good as the Ford Flex at this price point. A handsome and comfortable interior, enough tee-vees to keep the whole posse in a trance, and tons of cargo capacity. If you're so inclined a 355 HP twin turbo V6 will keep you from asking "Are we there yet?"
Present Capacity: 20 cu.ft. behind the rear seats, 43.2 cu.ft. with the wayback laid down, and a cracking 83.2 cubit feet with everything folded flat. That's a lot of gifts.
Usage: The suburban special, perfect for the average North America family
Christmas sled: Nissan Patrol
Cross Country Skills: While not available in the US, the Nissan Patrol is the do-everything off-roader in the rest of the world. If it's good enough for irregular militaries the world over, it's good enough for Christmas. The only vehicle here available with both a diesel AND a manual transmission, the Patrol satisfies every measure of manliness, and though it might be crude, the 9 inch ground clearance, heavy duty four wheel drive and large interior volume make it great for going wherever you want to.
Present Capacity: 21 cubic feet, an indeterminable additional volume with the third row removed
Usage: Delivering presents to the rebels: Everywhere not in North America. Literally.
Christmas sled: 2009 GMC Savana/Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD
Cross Country Skills: The capacity king on the list, this baby can haul up to eight passengers, (ditch all-wheel-drive and step up to a 3500 for 15 passenger capability) with no cramping or a ridiculous 1,700 lb payload capacity. It's certainly ponderous to drive, but there aren't a lot of vehicles that could safely deliver that brand new Kawasaki Versys for little Timmy.
Present Capacity: 51.9 behind the rear seats, up to 204 cubic feet with the seats removed. The Santa special.
Usage: Everywhere parking isn't a concern and industrial sized Christmas is the norm, North America only.
Christmas sled: Toyota iQ
Cross Country Skills: Toyota pretends the iQ is somehow a four-passenger vehicle, but it's really a two passenger citycar with a pair of jump seats/shelves. If you're Christmas takes place amongst the concrete canyons of a megacity or the high-priced fuel hell of Europe, this one reduces the headache of finding a parking spot and sucking down petrol. Frugal, compact, and not offensively styled, the iQ will get you to Grand-mère's abode on the cheap and easy.
Present Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet
shelves seats up, 8.4 cubic feet seats down
Usage: Cramped expensive places in Europe, Asia, mega-cities not in North America
Christmas sled: Jeep Wrangler
Cross Country Skills: If you absolutely must get to grandma's house and don't have either back seat passengers OR a heavy present load, there's no more capable vehicle than a Jeep Wrangler
Present Capacity: 17.2 cubic feet seats up, 56.5 cubic feet with seats folded forward
Usage: Anywhere, cheerleader camps.
Christmas sled: Audi RS6 Avant
Cross Country Skills: The ultimate Christmas cruiser, as long as you're from the old continent. The RS6 Avant boasts a twin-turbocharged, V-10 with 580 hp, all-wheel-drive and a 0-62 MPH time of 4.6 seconds, electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. It's the fastest production wagon ever built and probably the most lustworthy object Audi's ever created for public consumption. Great for the last minute shopper.
Present Capacity: 19.9 cubic feat seats up, 58.6 cubic feet seats down
Usage: Wherever an all-wheel-drive super-wagon is appropriate, also appropriate where Gods reach down to touch the hands of men. Not the US.