What do you drive?

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kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839
What do you drive?

So I have a 2005 Hyundai Tuscon that has been a good little vehicle. I have over 100,000 miles on it and besides breaks and oil changes I've done almost nothing to it. Today it refused to start. We'll see what's wrong with it but I've been thinking about getting a new vehicle for a while now anyway and as much as I love having no payment today kind of got me back in the spirit of looking at vehicles.

We'll have 2 kids, there's a chance of a third and I transport dogs ALL.THE.TIME. So I'm thinking van....but I'm open to ideas. What do you drive? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Why!

annestacy's picture
Joined: 05/31/09
Posts: 473

I am a toyota girl. I drive a 2004 Sequoia. I love it. Its just a baby at 77k.

Pros: It looks nice. Has LOTS of power and towing capacity. Has room for 8 people and a dog or two in the way back. Is very versatile with seating...3 rows, rear row can come out. GREAT in the snow. Did I say it looks nice?

Cons: Gas mileage isn't that great (15.8 around town, sometimes I can get up to 22 mpg on the highway, if I am driving conservatively.) The tailgate has a funny way of not opening sometimes (which is a pain in the butt. The latch seizes up and needs to be replaced. We've gotten to be pros with it.) Also, the tailgate now sometimes won't latch on the first try, today it took about 7 tries to get it to shut the first time, then it shut on the first time the second time I opened it. (However, the back window rolls down, so if you are really in a pinch, you can get something in and out that way.

Overall, I love the vehicle. Some of my friends who are "van moms" have Toyota Sienna's and love them. Personally, I don't ever picture myself in a van.

My next vehicle will probably be a Hybrid Highlander. Or a Hybrid Sequoia (if they ever start making those.) But that's probably 7 years down the line...because I'll be driving my "Blue Bomber" for a LONG TIME.

Nikerz20's picture
Joined: 04/18/09
Posts: 673

I have a 99' Subaru Impreza sports hatch. It does the trick and I like driving it. If we were to upgrade I'd probably go for a Mitsubishi Chariot or Honda Odyssey.

It's definitely not made for 2 kiddos and dogs!

I'm really not much help because the cars we have across in New Zealand are so much more different. We have a lot of Japanese Imports.

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

I have a VW Touran, but they aren't in USA (Nicole, do you have them in NZ?) We really like it a lot! We have a 5 seater version, but there is also a 7 seater, or we could have ours converted to a 7 seater. I think it is pretty spacious for a "small" car. (Here it is considered a big car, but in USA, it would be a small car). The gas mileage is great! It has self parking! That is awesome because we live in the city.

It is now 3.5 years old and we have less than 10, 000 miles on it. We never drive. But it is nice when we need to go somewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touran

Don't take this the wrong way but I think it is a bad idea to buy a car on credit. You are basically sinking more and more money into a pit. You end up with a crappy deal. If you have to have a car, either save until you can outright buy it, or buy something used/cheaper. I understand sometimes things happen and people must have a car right away and didn't have time to save or whatever, but generally that isn't the case. People just want to upgrade/downgrade or a change. Life is so much easier without payments.

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

I have a 2007 toyota Rav4 Sport, for 2 kiddos it will be good. I love it, it has 270 hp and still gets 24-27 mpg. NO issues, but I only have 41000 miles on it.

DH has a 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour, gets 23-26 mpg, and is a good size sedan.

We are Honda and toyota people, we have had Chevies and GMs and had tons of issues.

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

DH drives a Rav 4 - before that a Carrolla but work now provides him the Rav 4. It is a nice little vehicle but I don't think we want 2 of them. I tend to be a foreign car person....sadly my only experience with American cars has been negative though I've never had a Ford there's just nothing in their current line up that appeals to me.

I'm not big on car debt either so I'm with you there. That's not really our issue though, we can afford a new (or relatively new - I'd probably go for a 2010 with

brady_bunch_plus_one's picture
Joined: 11/27/04
Posts: 399

I am a mini van momma. DBF and I are looking to get a newer van ( EX DH crashed my 2002 Kia Sedona in 2005 and we got a 95 windstar for cash since I refused to get into payments again) since his Pontiac Aztec isnt going to work once we move in together cause it wont seat all the kids and neither will my van.My van works now for all the kids ( my 3 and his 2) but once the baby comes we need something that will seat 8 and when his daughter is in visiting from Florida we will have to rent a 15 passenger van or something lol.
We are going to look at the Toyota Sienna.My cousin has one ( just traded her 2005 in for a 2011) and she said she will never drive anything but a Toyota.Handles great looks nice, very comfortable.LOTS of room.

ashamom27's picture
Joined: 07/06/06
Posts: 1010

A 15 passanger van! Ford E 350. Yeah, sexxxy.

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

"ashamom27" wrote:

A 15 passanger van! Ford E 350. Yeah, sexxxy.

Smile

brady_bunch_plus_one's picture
Joined: 11/27/04
Posts: 399

"ashamom27" wrote:

A 15 passanger van! Ford E 350. Yeah, sexxxy.

Better be cautious or you might I have go to a school bus Asha! Wink

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

We just bought a 2011 Chevy Traverse. I LOVE it so far - we had a 2008 Chevy Aveo previously. Our lease was up, and there was NO WAY we could fit a 3rd carseat in the Aveo!

Our new ride seats up to 8 (obviously less with darn carseats!) but since we plan on having 4 kids, it will still fit us once we complete our family. And once we can move some of the kids out of 5 point harnesses into boosters, we'll be able to use more of the space.

I like it because it's a trendy crossover, and not a van Smile but still has lots of room!

sweetsriracha's picture
Joined: 03/29/11
Posts: 1318

"brady_bunch_plus_one" wrote:

Better be cautious or you might I have go to a school bus Asha! Wink

Don't bash the 15 passenger van! I was SO embarrassed by my parent's 15 passenger van as a teenager...but then I learned to drive in it and now I can park ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, lol.

We're a 1-car family (which works awesome for now since SO and I are coworkers living in the city), either upgrading from our toyota corolla to a nissan pathfinder or adding a nissan pathfinder in the next few months.

Nikerz20's picture
Joined: 04/18/09
Posts: 673

I wish there was a "like" button here!

Lil- Yeah we have a lot of European cars here too. I don't think I have seen a touran on the road I know they are sold across here.

staceyx4's picture
Joined: 03/19/11
Posts: 26

I am a grocery go getter mini van, paid off! We were looking for a new car until bfp, decided no payments and the room might as well keep it for now. I love the space to move around, We drive to IW, NE and NV so the rooming is great.

Joined: 02/20/11
Posts: 865

We have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe and a 2005 Honda Accord. They are both good cars, and the Vibe has all wheel drive, which is essential for my 45 minute back road commute to work in winter! I dont ever want anything bigger because it will just mean I will accumulate more junk in it!

sweetsriracha's picture
Joined: 03/29/11
Posts: 1318

I completely agree with lil96 in regards to vehicle financing.... I know this is completely a matter of opinion and I 100% respect everyone's choices, but I know that financing a car is a choice I've learned the hard way to not make again!

MelanieP's picture
Joined: 09/25/09
Posts: 882

I have a mini-van and love it!!! My parents always had a van and I wanted one even before I was married. I did wait until we had a child though. Now I could not live without it. With my DS I need the room for his wheelchair and other equipment and since we travel alot I need that room. It is a pontiac montana. They make vans alot cooler now then they used to

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

We have a

1) 2006 GMC Sierra – camping vehicle – King Cab and long box. have a truck camper, gets about 18L/100km (13mpg) if you drive at 100km/hr (about 60mph). If you drive faster, it uses significantly more. It only gets used for a couple months out of the year.

2) A 2004 Toyota Echo – gets about 42mpg, fits 5, including 2 car seats and a skinny 12yo in the back seat. Great for parking and city driving. We were going to get rid of this one since we don’t all fit (dog is family too!) but since we do so much driving around town and we don’t have all the kids with us to go to work, it actually SAVES us money instead of driving the truck. It uses 1/3 or less of the gas the truck does, and it needs a fill up only every 720km! It’s amazing.

3) A 2006 Grand Caravan – It fits 7 people, and it’s a “stow n’ Go” model which means that it takes about 30 seconds to fold the seats into the bottom of the van and then you can use it for hauling stuff around. It’s got captain’s seating (which is great for the 2 car seats). We got a great deal on it, too. DH is in love with it.

All 3 vehicles have been paid for. We don’t buy new cars, after all they depreciate by several thousand simply by driving them off the lot. Then you have payments to deal with and I can’t stand being in debt. Our mortgage and line of credit is all that I will stand for. We’ve found some amazing deals on these vehicles, or we wouldn’t have bought them. The truck was DH’s brother’s work truck, has high mileage, but we got it for ½ of what it was worth. The van, we just happened to stumble across an AWESOME deal, low mileage, no accidents, driven by a retired couple in the country, about $5000 less than it should have been. The Echo was in great shape and not any great deal to write home about, but with the gas prices going up, and the awesome gas mileage, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The plan is to keep the Echo until it dies and then get an electric car.

Sarah's guide to buying a (used) vehicle:
1) How many people need to be in it?
Yes, we need a vehicle that fits everyone, but honestly, most of the time we aren’t all in it. Lots of the time there is only 1 adult and one or two little ones. Sometimes a 12yo as well. A small car can fit that easily – in fact better than a large one because you can reach from the driver’s seat everywhere in a small car.

2) What will we use it for?
Long trips? Travel to and from work? Carpooling?
We have one vehicle that fits everyone great. But the second vehicle (the echo) it really isn’t necessary. A little car with great gas mileage is great for the commuting done in the second vehicle.

3) What are the reviews for that type of vehicle?
Check Lemon-Aid, consumer reports, and other such vehicle reviews.

4) How much can we afford?
Check the bank statements, the debts owing, the grocery bill, etc… Pay off as much as you can straight up. For us, we can pay off about $1500 in a month, so we decide that if we could pay everything except $3000 out of pocket, it was a good price.

5) Don’t be in a hurry, be knowledgeable and make a graph. Once you’ve decided on the type of vehicle you are looking for, get on Kijiji, call people, and check out dealerships. Go check out a few. Drive them. Talk to people who have them. What do they like/ not like? What are the prices available for that type of vehicle? Collect the info. Make a graph of year vs cost and mileage vs cost. I find Mileage vs cost more informative. Get at least 20 vehicles on that line (I go for 40). Make sure those vehicles are local – the same vehicle and mileage may cost way less across the country but you can’t get there! If you have a dot WAY off the line, figure out why. Is it a lemon? Has it been in an accident? Is it just a base model? Does the seller not know any better?

6) Know what to ask a seller. Know a little bit about cars. Don’t fall in love.

7) Be ready to pay in cash / bank draft.
Once you know how much you can afford, and you have an idea of what you can buy, get the money you need easily accessible so you can buy a car at a moment’s notice. If you find a good deal, it won’t last. You need to be able to race over there and buy it on the spot.

Dirol WAIT and MONITOR.
Once you are comfortable with the line, wait for a vehicle that is quite underpriced for the make and model. Make sure that it’s not because it is a defective vehicle (power windows/air conditioning don’t work, accidents etc…), or no extras. Some of those things are expensive to fix. (As much as I love my echo, air conditioning would be nice!)

9) Be ready to buy, but be ready to walk away.
Keep track of new vehicles on the internet for a couple weeks. Be ready to jump in your car. We’ve purchased 2 vehicles this way at $5000 less than they should be. How? Being ready and knowing what the vehicle should cost. But both times there were over 200+ people who had called, or were driving around the block waiting for us to say “no” or even be undecided. Also, be ready to walk away and trust your gut. We’ve done that too. We found an OK deal, raced out there (3 hours away), checked it out, but both of us had a gut feeling of “no”. We didn’t buy it.

jeepbaby's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 492

Oh, wait, you mean ON road. In that case I have a VW Passat TDI. I REALLY want a minivan, but the VW is paid for and averages 49 mpg Dirol (after some chipping!). We also have a Dodge Ram. Now that #2 is coming we are thinking of getting a truck cap to put the dogs in the back (3 dogs and 2 kids w/ carseats on a bench seat? no way!). DH really wants to get a big SUV (we need something to tow the camper), but all of our cars are paid for, and the car fund does not have enough in it to buy anything else right now, so.... we drive what we own!

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I drive a Mazda CX-9, it's their largest vehicle and it seats 7 (3 rows of seats of course). I love it! This is my third mazda and I've had it for three years, never had any problem with any Mazda I've ever had! I love that it fits everyone in the family comfortably and yet still gets OK gas milage as it's not a true SUV but a crossover!

annestacy's picture
Joined: 05/31/09
Posts: 473

We've been looking at TDI Jetta's. However, the only one we found in NY within a 3 hr radius that was less than $10k (our budget for a 3rd car) was a POS and looked like it had been owned by a high school kid who smoked in it. Ick. Rust, dings, shot rims, burn holes, worn out...and the dealer wanted $8k for it!!!

We're just going to hold out and pay off both of our trucks and then bank the money we're spending on payments.

The other car we've thought about is a Civic Hybrid.

Only problem is dh REFUSES to drive a stick shift car, even if its a good deal and get 3x the mpg as his Tundra. Stubborn man.

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

"annestacy" wrote:

The other car we've thought about is a Civic Hybrid.

Only problem is dh REFUSES to drive a stick shift car, even if its a good deal and get 3x the mpg as his Tundra. Stubborn man.

I am the same way to I hate sticks. When we were looking for a car, I insisted it had to be a stick. My husband argued that sticks get better gas mileage. In the end we found out that a lot of newer automatic cars (ours included) get better gas mileage than sticks. It is due to the car knwoing when it should shift or something like that? I forget exactly.

Our car is the type that is automatic or stick. When we first got the car we of course had to try out the "sport" feature. We quickly realized it is so much easier just doing the automatic than having to switch gears. We have used the stick like 3 times ever.

Sticks are cheaper because they are more work (yea pushing in the clutch is tough work Lol )

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