Saturday, November 20, 2010

Le Car-Le Mon

A bit over a year ago, I gave my car to #2 son. I haven't replaced it. I neither miss not having it, nor am I terribly inconvenienced by its loss, but I have this sinking feeling that I need to begin giving some thought to getting another.

So once again I come hat in hand, soliciting opinions. What should I buy?

My requirements are simple. I need to be able to haul 4 adults in comfort, periodically I may need to carry something a bit more cumbersome than groceries, but not often, and certainly not far. have I mentioned I am unwilling to pay a great deal?

From what I've noticed my choice is either a car, or something that looks like a truck. I've always had cars, and have never fancied trucks, but something is drawing me towards a crossover. A Chevy Equinox, or Hyundai Elantra Touring perhaps? Do I like front wheel drive, rear wheel, AWD? The motoring world is almost unrecognizable to someone who last had a 20 year old car.

So what's in your garage? What do you like, or perhaps more importantly what do you hate? Which motoring decision do you regret? All ideas and opinions gratefully received. Please, help steer me to the right decision.



Shelley said...

I'm guessing you at least want a hatchback; 90% of cars here in Britain have one. Can I recommend 4 doors instead of 2? We tend to buy 2 year old cars with good service histories. I love my Peugeot 206. I hate Bills Citroen Loeb with 2 very large, heavy doors that open far too wide. Citroens do often have interesting design features. No idea about Japanese/other cars. Don't envy you this! I'm warming up to get rid of mine, much as I love it - I don't need it. Why do you now need a second car, just out of interest?

Suburban Princess said...

I drive a Jeep Patriot and I LOVE it. It isnt huge but still had a nice amount of space in the back for anything I need to transport. It also have 4x4 for treacherous conditions.

Anonymous said...

You touched a nerve asking what motoring decision do I regret: selling my '91 Volvo 240 wagon. I wish I had it today, but it had reached 200,000+ mi. and some uncharacteristically rational notion came into my head that I'd best buy a new car. I could get a sofa in the back of that wagon and shut the door on it. I loved the shoebox design, loved the absence of buttons and dials on the Shaker-simple dash, it had wraparound visibility, and it cornered on a dime.

I replaced it with a Subaru Forester and, in time, replaced that Forester with another Forester. The Forester has gotten rounded and generic looking now, but satisfies my no dash nonsense requirement and my adjustable driver seat requirement [so getting in and out with arms full of things doen't require acrobatics].

But I miss my Volvo wagon.

nanc said...

I love my Toyota Sienna mini-van. Last week my friend and I were able to get a sofa she won at auction in it easily. I like the rear doors sliding so it can fit in tighter spots. I carpool and need the space but know it is not cool. We have a 2000 Audi Allroad which handles quite a bit of cargo and is a good car for our teenage drivers. We also have an Audi A8l. Its too big and low, in my opinion. If I could only have one of them I would pick the 2000 Audi.

Town and Country Mom said...

My son has an older Jeep Cherokee Laredo, and I have to say it's very convenient for hauling things, carries four adults comfortably. It is a straight shift and rides like a truck, but I expect the newer models have a more car-like feel.

house things said...

Well, I have a 2002 Toyota Prius and a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid. Both are good, but the Escape is pretty handy when it comes to going to the garden center or antique shopping or going places with all three dogs.

That said, I love the look of boxy cars and Flo's message above reminded me of cars I've always liked - the 240 Volvo wagon and the old Subaru Forester.

If I had to get a new car today, I'd look for something squarish that would fit three big dogs. Maybe another Escape. Maybe a Honda Element.

Toad said...

I lost a 240 DL wagon in my divorce, so I may not be going there. Shelley, there is a rule in the US that cannot be taken lightly. Only buy French cars if you are in France and plan to stay in France. For the most part, French and Italians are unavailable here.

Your comments are helpful though, I'm starting to get excited about this.

Anonymous said...

"I lost a 240 DL wagon in my divorce"

Ugh, yes, memories. The Volvo wagon was one of the few things I was allowed to keep in my divorce. That's probably why I let it go when, according to zealots, V's at 200K miles have only just gotten warmed up.

Ann said...


Been reading and enjoying your blog recently.

I have an HHR by Chevy. I chode it because I had been driving a minivan and when the whole family no longer fit into the one vehicle, I decided to get something smaller that could still haul stuff.

The back seats and front passenger seats fold down so i can fit lumber for projects (most recently, a chicken coop) and the back is large enough for a good sized load with the seats up.

I recommend the leather seat option as the cloth seats suck. Not sure about comfort for four adults. Front seats are great, back, not so roomy.

Chevy claims 32 MPG, but I get about 26-28.

I usually buy used, low-milage cars for economics and other reasons. i paid $12,000 for my car with about 22,000 miles on it.

Happy shopping. :)

Toad said...

Thank you Ann. I drove an HHR recently, I kinda liked it. The size is right, but I couldn't get comfortable in it.

LPC said...

Aaargh! I wrote a long comment and Blogger ate it. I have a Rav4. It works. It is very, very comfortable, which is why I got it. But there is no thrill at all.

Jane K. Schott said...

Toad, I couldn't and wouldn't live without my Toyota SCION B...I bought it because it reminded me of the small lorries they drive in England. It was a great price and did I mention a Toyota?

I now have 125,000 on it and have loaded it full of furniture, fabric, even drove 3 6'4" men on a trip from Houston to Austin in comfort. You will not believe the head room.

My only regret is that they have change the style and made them more rounded. I love the 2004 that I have because it is like a box!

Give one a drive...I have done nothing but gas, old, pair of's the best.


GunsandButter said...

Jeep Wagoneer...from either Wagoneer World or Wagonmaster

Pigtown-Design said...

Volvo. either a sedan or a wagon. the wagon is about a half an inch longer than the sedan. it's a workhorse and can carry 5 adults comfortably. it's got loads of room in the back seat. my last 240 was up past 300k miles when the odometer stopped. my current v70 is at 150k and working fine *cross thumbs*. i've driven volvos since i was 16 and even bought one when i lived in the uk.

Patsy said...

All things Subaru. Loved my Forester, loved all my Outbacks, loved my old Outback Sport and love my new one (we no longer need to haul kids around, so downsized to the Sport).

The only reservation on the Sport model is, it is very low to the ground. If you are planning to get old, this could prove to be a problem later in life, as my mother can no longer get in and out of ours comfortably.