In the next year or two, I'd like to buy an SUV to serve two purposes:
1) Supplement my compact sedan for the purposes of hauling crap, i.e. pickup people at the airport and their 8 massive suitcases, haul furniture and boxes during moves, etc.
2) Do some off roading out west.
I'd like something that's very stable and comfortable to drive in town, which is where it will be mostly, but also well above average when it comes to climbing the rocks or driving across the desert.
Any suggestions? I've got Land Rover LR4 (which may be just out of budget) and Jeep Grand Cherokee, tentatively on the list. Would the new Ford Explorer fit the bill? I'm looking for something in the $35K - $40K range and preferably under 195" in length and shorter than 5'10" or so (which rules out the big, full size SUVs).
EDIT: Must be new, not used.