All good suggestions... With that kind of budget, I'd look for a nice, late model, lease return BMW X5 Diesel. They are a very nice vehicle and get great fuel economy for their size and weight. Have a great trip!
I have to jump in and add at least a +100 to Firebro's post.
A good friend of mine picked up a lightly used X5 Diesel a couple of years ago. It's one of the best cars you can ask for on a road trip. It's comfortable, roomy, and easy on fuel. It can cruise all day at warp speed and have good enough road manners to make it an enjoyable experience.
My only gripe with the X5 3.0d is that even if you have a note from your mother saying that you're smart enough to change your own gears, they won't build one with a gearshift and clutch pedal....
I absolutely love your X5 perspective and overview. The Steptronic is all I need to get the complete experienced in the X5. I should have made my interest more clear to my son-in-law when they recently traded theirs back for another Beemer. I loved that car!
Vices and Habits supported by:BWR Motorsport, Chilled Adult Beverage, Dr. Patel and Extenze! Caution:May not always play well with others. "United We Stand" • 9.11.01 • "Never Forget"
Or Volkswagen phaeton W12, Merc s65, the best 2003 Audi RS6 you can find with lots of money left over, Audi RS7 or low mileage Bentley Flying Spur. Let someone else take the depreciation hit for you and have a car you can get on while your passenger sleeps in comfort. I'd make sure to buy it in time for a k40 radar install if I were in your shoes.