View Full Version : Would like some vehicle ideas
12-31-2007, 12:07 AM
Advice from those who have a family needed:
My midlife crisis consists of driving a van. :p We have a full size van which swallows all 5 of us and our luggage/horse show stuff/anything we could possibly need. On some occasions we carry 7 people in it to soccer practice. It is practical, holds 7 adults in comfort, is paid for, has almost nothing wrong with it despite having nearly 150K, and just screams UNCOOL MOM. ;) It also gets around 13-15 MPG which isn't bad for a big van, comparable to an SUV while being more practical. Still, I would like to buy, in 2008, a more cool mom vehicle.
We need something that will carry 5 people in comfort on a regular basis. We also have an F-150 crew cab which is big enough for any/all trip luggage but has little room inside for the flotsam that the kids like to take. My biggest daughter is nearly 5'6" already, and she is growing fast. We need something that has adult legroom. I don't think a vehicle with a hump in the middle will work for long, so that lets out most all sedans/station wagons.
It seems most SUV's have basically room for 5. If you have a 3rd row seat, you have to climb over something to get to the back row. Not good for 2 teenage girls who might wear skirts. We need good access to the 3rd row. We also need enough space for luggage, not just a soccer chair like some of these minivans like to think is sufficient. I would like to spend less than $100 to fill the darn thing up, as well. :rolleyes: We don't need 4WD, as it snows about 4x a year here.
We really can't keep the big van for trips and get another smaller vehicle. The parking situation would become difficult and insurance would wipe out any gas savings, since we do mostly local driving except for shows and tournaments. We could get a smaller in town vehicle and use the truck for trips but it gets 16 MPG on a good day. I'd like to improve on that.
So does anyone have any ideas about something that would be around $15K used, is fairly reliable, holds 5 people and some junk, and gets decent gas mileage? A sunroof is a bonus. :cool: Any ideas?
12-31-2007, 12:47 AM
I drive an Acura MDX (or the Honda pilot) -- maybe that would fit your bill. I don't know how much they go for used but b/c of a recent body style change I would think you could get one for your price.
Mine seats 5 comfortably, there is no hump, plus a rear seat folds up to seat two more kids. When the 3rd row seat is not in use there is tons of cargo room -- usually taken up by 145 pounds of happy dogs.
I get 22 MPG highway and a fill up is around $50. The "standard" model has just about everything you could possibly want on it. It is an ultra low emission vehicle.
12-31-2007, 01:02 AM
I don't have an on the spot idea for you, but I recently purchased my mini van by searching online. I looked for the features I wanted, searched by price and ended up buying the perfect van for me from a family friend.
I know that you want to be a cool mom cause I do too...I never thought I would be caught dead driving a minivan, but in reality there are some really nice "luxury" mini vans out there that get decent gas milage. I love my minivan now, it drives like a car, and can hold 7 people, all of our stuff, and helped me move a big leather chair 180 miles! My husband and I now "fight" over who gets to take the van. LOL
Be patient, know what you want, and don't jump into something that is not quite what you want. ( you will regret it) Do your homework, go to the dealer with your expectations and don't let them sell you something that isn't what you were looking for. Good luck and happy shopping!
12-31-2007, 08:33 AM
Carol, does the rear seat hold only kids, or are adults comfortable back there? I don't think I knew about the no-hump in the back seat.
Gabrielle, which minivan did you get? I'm not against driving a van, just a large 2 toned green van!
I should count my blessings that I have a vehicle that runs and looks very good for being 12 years old, and is paid for. But resolutions aren't about what we already have, are they?
12-31-2007, 08:51 AM
After much struggle, (I was very opposed) - we got a Honda Odyssey Mini-van. it is my 5 year olds mini-van and she will tell you that and let you know. She loves the Swingy doors (they slide back and are magical) - might not work as well with older kids. Anyway - I have had it since July and even though I am "NOT A MINIVAN MOM" - it is a great vehicle. Hold up to 8 people, yes, full size adults and everyone was comfy....don't know if I would take 8 adults on a 5 hour trip in it. We have driven it 12 hours to Louisiana and it is very comfy. It has lots of cargo room, with or without the back seats flipped down. I have three plastic totes that fit perfectly in the back cargo area. I can put stuff in them and everything stays organized. When I run to the store, I can put the grocery bags in the totes and nothing spills. Have to thank my Hubby for the tote Idea, it was his and works very well. It gets great gas milage compared to my Chevy Suburban that I had prior. The Suburban was nice and I really loved it...but the $100 a tank was getting out of hand - ok, it was about $75 every time I filled up which was about 1-2 times a week. The Mini-van is about $45 -$55 to fill (depends on where I fill up). If you want any more detail, etc. Let me know. Good luck with your search.
12-31-2007, 09:13 AM
My dad has an Odyssey. The thing I like about it is that you can change how the middle row seats are configured. They can be touching or not. And I know you can find them that seat 3 in the middle row. I know a family of 8 that uses a Honda. Amazing, but they are small people!
I keep waiting for banks to give away new Suburbans when you open a new checking account or accept a credit card or something. Surely people aren't buying many of them?
12-31-2007, 09:50 AM
I had a big ol' Suburbarn XL and sometimes I sure miss the sheer size and comfort of that thing! But NOT the fuel bill.
The 3rd row of the MDX is really just for limber kids. I've ridden back there once and it was OK but getting there requires some climbing. 5 adults + 2 kids is the max, I think.
I've always thought the Sienna and Odyssey were the best looking of the minivans but there are some new ones that look a little more "athletic" too.
12-31-2007, 12:28 PM
I've got a '99 CR-V that holds 5 people and has plenty of leg room for adults (since I don't have kids) in the back. I'm not sure about the newer ones, but I know they look bigger from the outside than mine so it wouldn't be too much to figure that they've got more leg room inside. Mine gets a good 350 miles to the tank (14 gallon tank if anyone wants to figure the milage) The things I like are that the tailgate swings open (nothing can be set on it and then break the tailgate) and the back seats fold flat (for hauling big stuff or lots of stuff) It moved me from Cali to Ohio pretty well. And the all wheel drive is a life saver, I've never (knock on wood) gotten stuck in the mud or snow.
12-31-2007, 03:55 PM
The new Honda CR-V's are SO nice and roomy inside. My friend just got one, and while I'm not sure of the price, it came with everything. Sunroof, satellite radio (maybe for 3 months?) and leather. The trunk is huge, so I'm sure all your horse stuff would fit! They are very comfortable cars. Have you looked at the new Ford Escapes? Those are nice as well. Or you could go a bit bigger and look at the Ford Freestyle - sort of a minivan sort of an SUV all in one.
12-31-2007, 05:15 PM
I LOVE the Ford Escapes. I just don't think they are big enough, and I think they have a hump. We all remember riding the hump as kids, I think. Freestyle would be great if they had a passage between the seats back to the 3rd seat. I think I've seen one with a console but never one with the passage clear.
Thanks for the ideas. Although, now I want to go looking and we don't have $$ for that yet!
Carol, I love the name of your old vehicle. Suburbarns! Isn't that just us?
12-31-2007, 05:39 PM
If you are at all interested in doing a "conversion" vehicle, take a look at the Freightliner and/or Dodge Sprinter Vans - They are badged under both names (Freightliner for the commercial type customers and Dodge for the consumer customers) - they are powered by a 5 cylinder Merecedes diesel engine and get approximately 31 mpg and ride like a dream.
Let me know if you'd like more information on them :) or you can Google them.
01-03-2008, 10:02 AM
We drive a Ford Expedition. It has the third row that folds flat with a touch of a button which is great. We packed us and 2 kids and drove to Texas. Got here and then unfolded the third seat to haul family around. My 61 year old mother gets in the 3rd row with no problems. The middle row is a 40-20-40 seat and the 40 sections flip up to allow access to the 3rd row.
01-03-2008, 10:22 AM
What kind of mileage do you get from your Exped? I'll wager it's less than my van gets!
01-04-2008, 04:37 PM
Have you looked at Subaru at all? My husband has a Forester that we both really love. Its only about a year old, but we haven't encountered any problems so far (knock on wood). The Forester might be a bit small for what you are looking for, but they have a sporty-looking slightly larger SUV called the Tribeca, available in 5 and 7 passenger models. It might be a bit above the price that you stated, though, but for what I've seen and heard, the quality and durability of the Subarus make the slightly higher price worth it. Plus, you get all-wheel drive for a lower price than is typical with other brands. You may not get much snow, but its sure nice on rainy roads too. And you can take it into the woods if you ever need to. :)
01-04-2008, 06:56 PM
We hit a deer and totaled our old mini van...we had different rentals every week for about a month and a half. Eventually my parents decided on a Toyota Rav 4.
So far, we love it. It is significantly smaller than a mini van but there is enough room for four people and a dog. It's great for driving to the barn. Toyota's are supposed to be made really well...compared to a Chrysler, anyway. :)
01-04-2008, 09:57 PM
We were a Suby couple for a while. Back then they were tins cans on wheels. I loved AWD on the Volvo. Put her over the hill in snow many a time! :o If the Tribeca just was a bit bigger I'd look at it. Maybe the Outback, but you've got the hump in the middle again.
Had 2 Chrysler products..forgive me Grandpa but I won't buy another. Trannys went out at 50K on both. :mad: Neighbor works for Toyota so I'm up for their Highlander. Don't know about gas mileage, though. And yeah the Rav4 is too small. Have that 3rd kid and get put into a bigger vehicle every time!
01-05-2008, 10:38 PM
Neighbor works for Toyota so I'm up for their Highlander. Don't know about gas mileage, though.
Every Toyota I've looked at in the past (yes, I'm female, and enjoy car shopping....wierd, I know) seems to require Premium gas. I refuse to buy a car that requires premium. At least for now.
Have you considered Saturn? They've got the Relay and the Outlook. The Vue might be a bit small for you, but they do have a hybrid in it, which essentially improves gas mileage. I test drove one a few months back, and was pretty happy with it. I've had two different Saturns (SL-2, then an ION) over the past 10 years or so and all in all, I've been pretty happy with them. Relatively problem-free. Plus, with GM being a bit down right now, they've got some great financing options going on too.
01-05-2008, 11:46 PM
No premium gas here either. I've got horses! And I'd like to keep them.
Saturn is on the way to the barn. Convenient. How's their quality? I've heard it wasn't good early on.
01-06-2008, 12:27 AM
Have you looked at the Mazda SUV? I think it's the XR7 & the XR9. One seats 5 passengers and one seats 7. It's gotten good write ups in the car magazines and I think it's a really nice looking vehicle. I'm not sure if it takes regular or premium gas. I do know that the Highland comes in a hybrid. Problem with the hybrid is that it's at least $5,000 more than the regular engine.
I currently own a Subaru Outback Wagon which I love. Not sure if it would be big enough but I'm really impressed with the Subaru line. The Subaru Tribeca is really nice but it can be a bit pricey, depending on the model. I'm not sure if all Tribeca's take premium gas but I know that some models do.
01-06-2008, 11:45 AM
Since I work at home, and DH works .4 miles away, the most driving we do is for the kids. So a hybrid wouldn't be cost effective yet. I probably put 32 gallons in every 2-3 weeks unless it's soccer season. DH puts in less than that. So we don't use that much.
(My mother faced this same problem circa 1979. The world was running out of oil (again), she drove a lot and wanted to cut down on usage, so she sold her big Chrysler and got a small car. )
Seems like everything in the size range I want (minivan, med SUV, etc) gets nearly the same MPG as I get. :rolleyes: My van gets 15 on trips, fully loaded, and 12-13 around the valley. I would like to improve on that but it isn't going to happen easily.
So many car choices and none perfect. ;) What's a girl to do? I appreciate all the info y'all have given. I did notice that dealers on ebay are close to giving away Expeds. Toy and Honda vans are still pretty expensive.
01-06-2008, 02:01 PM
As far as the quality of a Saturn, I have a 1999 SW2 (wagon) that we bought new. It does nothing but run and sip gas. Granted it's not fancy, but all I use it for is going to work, to the barn, and it doubles as our tow vehicle behind our motorhome. It's due to be replaced in the next year or so, and I really don't want to consider any other brand.
01-06-2008, 04:32 PM
I drive a Ford van. :rolleyes: Do I care about fancy? I'm more interested in reliability. Good to hear Saturn is reliable.
In addition to 2 Chryslers with tranny problems, I had a 1998 V70XC. Gorgeous car, very sporty, and plenty of room at the time. I spent more on fixing it than car payment. Touch wood, but my van has been very reliable. Very little requires fixing on it, and it's fixable by the local mechanic. I probably spend $200 per year on getting things fixed.
Maybe I should just keep it until I can get that Mercedes sports car! 8 more years until the kids are grown. ;)
01-06-2008, 10:07 PM
I've had two saturns now, and both have been reliable. Minimal repairs and maintenance is typically very affordable. Actually got the extended service agreement on the last one which I actually liked. Extended warranty plus all scheduled maintenance included. Very few problems. They may not feel quite like a Mercedes, but they look nice and are a good, all-around car when you need something that works and doesn't cost and arm, a leg and a kidney.
01-06-2008, 10:14 PM
Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier.
I ended up getting a newer(not new) Dodge Grand Caravan. At first I wanted to get captian's chairs in the center row but I found out that there is two built in child safty seats in the bench! ( a plus for me since I have two still requiring them)
The benches are both removable or stowable, plus a bounus is that both the drivers and passenger side sliding doors open which makes it really easy for "pileing" in without climbing all over eachother. I think the highest fill-up I ever had was during the summer when gas was almost 4.00 a gallon, it cost me 75 dollars. the average is around 40. We usually get around 20-23 MPG on the highway and a little less in town running errands.
It is a great retreat from the heat during show season and it holds two really nice sized coolers in the cargo area! I used that feature for all the 4-H shows this last summer...
(we also bought the dvd players for the kids and that is a life saver for between classes or on long road trips) Like I said in my earlier post, just shop around. You might have different needs than I do but a lot of minivans have different features for different people.
I really wanted the Honda Oddesy van but that was out of my price range. Do some online browsing of local dealerships, most of them that have websites have pics of interiors and outside pictures also.
Oh i forgot this is a really helpful tool in deciding which vehicle to choose...
(kellybluebook.com) you can compare similar vehicles and choose different models to look at it's a very helpful tool!
01-06-2008, 10:26 PM
Is also very useful, especially for comparing several cars side-by-side.
Is another one.
01-07-2008, 09:23 AM
I was able to find a suggested price thru Edmunds for when I do sell it . I also found some reviews. These things will drive for 250K. So I've got a few years yet..the Mercedes sports car may not be a dream for long!
01-25-2008, 11:46 AM
Well remember how I said the van has an issue 1 time a year?
It's here. The thing won't start in this cold. The mechanic says it could be a computer thing. But we either have to get it started to drive it over there, or they have to tow it.
So DH is looking again at vehicles likely vans. Nissans may not be good quality (any experiences?) Hondas are good but to get in our price range we get high mileage. Toyotas are comparatively expensive. Chryslers aren't all that reliable (2 we owned had bad trannys). So what's left? Can anyone share more info?
01-25-2008, 12:27 PM
I can comment on the Nissans. . . love love love them! Had a Murano for three years, and by far has the most room, best ride, and very reliable of the SUV's, if you can get one slightly used you will fall in love!! I leased mine, turned it in and got an Altima, love it too, but really miss the Murano, it is incredibly roomy in the back for kids (you won't believe it) and they have a DVD system too, I encourage anyone to get the Nav package if you go to shows, it saved my behind several times, but for the money it is soooo comfy and roomy, go try one! Ask creekislandfarm about our 22-hour drive all over the State of Georgia, in any other vehicle we would have been miserable, but it was a joy... :D
01-26-2008, 09:24 PM
DH Deep6d the idea of anything smaller than a tractor trailer!
Now he's drooling over the Expeds. Hm, last time I went to shop for a car he got a new one! Something strange about that! Anyway, he's looking at 4x2s cause no one wants them. We haven't had more than 6" of snow in a decade. Does anyone drive those where it snows?
01-27-2008, 04:11 PM
Don't mean to hijack your thread, 3kids, but since this question is in the same vein I thought I'd go ahead and ask! :)
Has anyone had any experience with Isuzu Rodeos? I'd like to upgrade in the next year or so and I really like their look. They're also the perfect size.
And I'll go ahead and throw in my two cents about Fords. My mom got a new Explorer about four years ago (give or take) and it has had nothing but problems. Transmission, issues with the hatch in the back, random rusting of the paint, random weird noises... the list goes on. She's pretty easy on her cars and except for horse shows it isn't driven excessively (or by me hahaha), so there's really no reason for all the issues. I don't know if Expeditions are the same, but I know I am really soured on the whole Ford SUV deal.
01-27-2008, 05:43 PM
BUICK Enclave. Has everything you're asking for. Seats 7, access to rear seat. Cargo space. Fantastic in the snow, rain, whatever the weather. Love it!!!
04-24-2008, 04:28 PM
Updating this thread:
Well, since gas is now more valuable than gold :glare: we are looking smaller. DH has finally decided that an Exped is going to be TOO expensive to drive. Wonder where he got THAT idea? :bored:
So now he has decided to get a hatchback/wagon that holds 5 reasonably sized people. So where can you get a car like that?
Scion. :pinch: xB, to be exact. He swears that 5 can fit in the 2008 models and still be close to our price range. Anybody have comments?
04-25-2008, 10:42 AM
Saturn Vue is highly recommended and one that I'm going to look at.
04-25-2008, 12:24 PM
Out of my price range, I'm afraid. Also, with gas not looking to go south anytime soon, we are about done with supporting oil companies. I'd rather support my horses. The only way to stop this run on oil is to use less, IMO.
04-25-2008, 03:41 PM
Scion xB's are great! They are pretty basic, not a lot of extras, but very nice basic transportation and lots of room. I almost bought one myself, but then plans changed and I ended up buying...nothing :bored: I probably would have ended up with the xBox, but I did like the Buick Enclave as well as the Honda and Toyotas. Hondas were definitely out of my price range.
04-25-2008, 05:45 PM
Just went and looked at the Scion and I think it may be my Mom's next car. It was SO easy to get in and out of...wide doors and high roofline...seats just the right height for those that have trouble getting in and out.
04-25-2008, 06:55 PM
I've heard of people who hate the Scions for their styling, but I've never heard any major complaints about the car itself.
It is Toyota, which is a plus for longevity and I think your gas mileage at 22/28 is pretty good for an SUV-ish vehicle.
The Subaru forester is similar in gas mileage (I think 23/28), but I would guess it is a bit less roomy than the Scion, and is more expensive. The all-wheel drive is nice, though.
All-in-all, I would imagine its a pretty good choice. How do minivans stack up as far as gas mileage goes? I've never really looked into them, myself. Also, have you considered KIA?
04-26-2008, 07:42 PM
Also, have you considered KIA?I'd imagine Kia is similar to Hyundai, in that they don't retain their value as well as some of the other brands such as Honda, Toyota, etc..
04-27-2008, 07:13 PM
Cynthia, Foresters have the hump in the middle. My son would not be happy.
Minivans have slightly less gas mileage than the Scions, but only by 2-3 MPG. We debated but a Honda would be 4 years old before it is the same price.
We are going to look locally and see if we can find one. We test drove it and it is cute, peppy, and quite roomy. Better for 4 than 5 but we can manage for shorter trips.
04-28-2008, 12:36 PM
As for minivans -- love mine! :wub: It's a Chrysler Town & Country Limited with the extended wheelbase. The extended WB is a must if you're going with a minivan, no matter what make. The standard or short WB is the same as a regular car wb; the extended is the same as a truck wb. It gives you plenty of comfy leg & head room for passengers, lots of cargo space in the rear and a ride that's as smooth as glass, and you can configure the seating in so many different ways it's amazing. The one drawback is that there's no such thing as a 3-point turn with it though, it's more like a 10! :laugh: , but it's well worth the trade-off for the extra room and great ride. It's our savior for trucking around all things equine and it makes a long drive a rather pleasant experience. :thumbup1: My average gas mileage (via the on-board computer) is 17 mph. It could be better, but considering most of my driving is in ridiculous stop and go traffic, I guess that's pretty good. My first choice was the Honda Odyssey, but that was out of our price range. The Chrysler fit the budget and included all of the "extras" and I'd definitely buy another.
As for Scion's -- I have 2 friends that each have one. Both have long drives -- 1 is courier and racks up the mileage on his on a daily basis, and the other travels an hour each way to and from work. They tell me its fantastic on the gas mileage and the cargo room. The courier specifically got it because it could hold all of the crazy stuff he's asked to deliver. My other friend uses his mainly for work, but they have packed their family of 5 (2 adults, 1 teenaged girl and 2 elementary aged boys) into it on more than one occasion. They must be dependable cars because neither of these guys are gentle drivers and their vehicles are always rode hard and put away wet! :tongue_smilie:
04-28-2008, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the positive comments on Scions. I'm getting the Blackberry Crush, 5 speed. I haven't had a stick in 10 years or more.
Anne, my mother was a great fan of Iacocca, and has bought Chryslers for nearly 40 years. DH & I have had 2, and problems out of both of their minivans. So until they are better with quality, they are off our list, sorry to say.
We wanted a Honda, but for the same $$ as a Scion, we would get a 2004 with 50k+ on it. The gas mileage was the difference. Plus, in the F150 we have a family vehicle with plenty of luggage room and passenger room for 5 easily. And it drives nicely. So we have expanded our functionality.
04-28-2008, 10:10 PM
Hmmm...yes...the subaru hump. Don't have kids, just a dog who LOVES the moon roof, so I guess I don't notice it. :-)
Sounds like the Scion is going to be just about perfect for you. And hey, it is from Toyota, so you should be able to expect some decent quality and longevity.
You'll definitely have to tell us what you think about it!
04-28-2008, 10:35 PM
We owned Subys for years before we had kids. They were great cars, but rather thinly constructed back then. You could throw a rock and put a dent in them. We went on to Volvos and from there everywhere else, so we just haven't been back. I'm sure they are much tougher now.
Scions use the same 4 cyl. engine as the old 4 cyl. Camry. Evidently those engines are bulletproof. Hope so anyway.
I will report on how it is. I was really amazed at the room this teeny looking car had in it. I told my father I'd need a gangsta hat to drive it, though. :P
05-04-2008, 09:03 PM
Had the car 5 days. I've only stalled it twice. :blink:
The back seat room is wonderful. DH, who is 6'1", DD, who is 5'4", and DS, who is not quite 5', all fit in the back seat. Luckily we weren't going far! Leg room was fine. Shoulder room was tight.
It drives like a gocart. :scooter: Coming from HUGE vehicles, it feels like a toy. But man can it smoke down the road. Not that I know from experience, mind. :whistling:
I can easily be identified coming down the road. There are VERY few of these around. No local dealers can get them in, and few people will drive anywhere to get one, so I'm unique. The kids are mortified, which can't be underestimated either. :tongue_smilie:
I think I might have made a good purchase.
05-05-2008, 07:58 AM
We owned Subys for years before we had kids. They were great cars, but rather thinly constructed back then. You could throw a rock and put a dent in them.
Now I don't expect you to remember this, but I recall when the Subaru was marketed as a disposable car...seriously! It was designed with one seat for the driver and passenger seat right behind. It looked like a miniature mini-van.
Man, I'm old.
05-05-2008, 08:31 AM
I was meaning '80's Subys.
You are old compared to what? One of the mothers on DD's soccer team is 12 years younger than I. I realized this when she complained about her 30th birthday approaching. :blink: (Her DD (and mine) are almost 13. Do the math.) So I have to realize that she is really not the same generation that I am.
05-05-2008, 08:52 AM
How old, hmmm, I guess I'm another generation up. :laugh:
05-05-2008, 10:56 AM
My mom has a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee/ Laredo and we absolutely love it! Its very nice to look at and the inside is awesome to. It rides incredible and very comfy, perfect for those long drives to the shows. I would def. recommend these to anyone!
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