If you want a comfortable and well-built family hauler and don’t need to venture too far off road, this classy and capacious 7-seat wagon would make a great SUV alternative.
The W210 generation E-class is under appreciated, especially the late-run cars (post 2000 model years), which are among the simplest and most robust of Benz’s recent offerings. As a result, you can find cherry examples like this one, even at a dealership, for way less than ten grand.
At a fiver under $8000, this one’s actually kind of pricey, but I think it’s worth overpaying a little to get one of the best ones out there. $7500 or under would be well bought.