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Old 04-13-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis
3,675 posts, read 7,596,453 times
Reputation: 2333

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think I just thought of one vehicle that can "do it all" assuming you have the coin. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The base model hybrid is well equipped and has a ton of room. It only comes in AWD and is rated 28 city and 28 highway, which it actually gets with many owners reporting better than that. It is also capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Only downside is that it costs well over $30k new.
Right on!!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,717 posts, read 11,173,836 times
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You should look at one of the smaller hybrid SUVs
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,800 posts, read 37,476,508 times
Reputation: 20859
3000# is plenty to be towing behind your mini-van, and too much for a small SUV / commuter wagon.


Will your towing needs / weight increase? If you need a real truck, get a 1997 Cummins Dodge (last of the 12v) ~ 20 mpg and I regularly tow over 20,000# with an earlier version.

For the daily commute,
I would get a manual tranny VW Diesel wagon (I love by Passats with 25 gal tanks and 52 mpg) Too bad they only made them in '96 and '97... we are now making our own TDI wagons from gas GLX Passat Wagons and Diesel sedan donors.

Or you could just check your neighbor's brier patch for a $35 'StealthRabbit' that gets 50 mpg on free fryer grease
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Wellsville, Glurt County
2,845 posts, read 8,924,981 times
Reputation: 1373
The Lexus RX450h AWD is rated 30MPG city / 28MPG hwy and up to 3,500lb. towing... of course it also costs about $50k.

The 2006-2009 RX400h AWD gets slightly less MPG (27 city) but has the same towing rating.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,256 posts, read 4,910,189 times
Reputation: 3014
I would never in my life pay $50k for a car especially when they will have a 150k on them in 6 years. However, that is just my view as I have several coworkers who drive vehicles that cost $40k or more and get a new one every 4 years. I can't understand the logic as, for many, the cost of the vehicle is 2/3 to nearly 100% of their annual salary.

My goal is to try and reduce the number of vehicles in the household from 3 to 2 while improving gas mileage to save money. Apparently the most cost effective option for the moment is to keep things as is and if the high gas prices hold then perhaps we will be offered some better alternatives.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,256 posts, read 4,910,189 times
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Well I bought a Hyundai Elantra today. They gave me a fair trade for my minivan. I was very impressed with the ride and performance of the Elantra over it's competitors. The 40 mpg highway should help reduce my gas consumption over my van's 21 mpg avg.

I'm keeping the pickup for my towing, hauling, and winter weather needs.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,116 posts, read 20,155,449 times
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A Ford Escape hybrid might do as well and give you some of the other advantages of a small SUV.
I see them being used as Taxis in some cities. Only high mileage situations make hybrids woth the extra cost
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,392 posts, read 42,738,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
The Ford Escape and Rav4 almost make it. My dogs aren't that big but since we spend six hours a weekend in the car I'd like something comfortable for my whole family. The van is ideal to travel but not when it snows.

I'm considering the outback as it meets all needs except the towing. I'm trying to eliminate having 3 vehicles which is what I have now. I have a Ram 1500 that is only used for hauling and bad weather. It gets a whooping 12 mpg or about 9 mpg in 4 wheel drive. I had to use it several times this winter to get to work and it definetely is a less than ideal commuter vehicle.

I'd love to see the Subaru Forester Diesel that is available everywhere but here. It gets great mileage, meets my towing needs, and is roomy. Alas, according to my friends at Subaru they won't be bringing it here but bringing a hybrid instead.
Why do you want to go from 3 to 2 vehicles? If the 3 you have now are all paid for, if you only use the Ram occasionally it's thirst should not be that big a deal. If you are carrying appropriate insurance on these old cars, liability only, the insurance charges should not be that bad, although maybe it's different there in New England?

Maybe you want to re-think having to drive so far in such a car-hostile environment?

All that said, a Subaru would probably work about as well as anything. If you want to replace the other car, consider a Subie, they have AWD almost on the Audi level but cost a lot less and are less high-strung and maintenance intensive.

The Elantra should work well if you spring for a good set of proper snow tires for winter use. Being from Europe, you are probably more willing than the average Yank who wants one tire to do it all, and do it for many miles, and be cheap as well (which we who know cars and tires know full well is not going to happen, unless one settles for a very low level of performance - which sadly the average Yank will gladly do to avoid the unbearable expense of buying 8 tires for one car, and the back-breaking labor of changing 4 wheel/tire assemblies out 2X per year...)

I am glad to read that you kept the Ram - you probably would not have got much as a trade in real-money terms.

I am spoiled, I really like having at least one pickup truck in the fleet.
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,636,767 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
I am looking for a vehicle which doesn't appear to exist. Perhaps someone can point out a vehicle or two that I have overlooked.

I drive on average 24,000 miles per year which includes 300 miles per week and regular 300 mile round trip trips to northern New England.

My needs are a comfortable vehicle with enough room for 4 people and two dogs plus cargo. AWD or 4WD is a necessity as we live at the top of a 4 mile long, 13% grade mountain road which my current vehicle (Dodge Caravan) is unable to safely navigate in winter weather (have a long steep driveway as well).

My van averages 21 mpg but with the rising cost of gas I definitely would prefer a vehicle closer to 30 mpg.

I also occasionally tow a 3000 lb trailer.

Does a vehicle exist that can meet all these needs? My wife has an Impreza which is great in the snow and mpg category but is not comfortable for trips beyond an hour and is not capable of towing my trailer.
What kind of trailer would be my first question.

I'm not a connoisseur of towing, so forgive me if I strike out on that. Also with the engine types available on the US market I'm not sure how easy the 30mpg mark is to hit either, but my best guess would one of these:

Subaru Legacy, Outback or Forester
Audi A4 or A6 wagon or the Allroad
BMW 3 or 5 series wagon (I've been on long trips, with luggage in both, not sure if the 3 will fit the dogs, but the 5 will, and you ride in great comfort, even in the back seat)
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Michigan
114 posts, read 228,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think I just thought of one vehicle that can "do it all" assuming you have the coin. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The base model hybrid is well equipped and has a ton of room. It only comes in AWD and is rated 28 city and 28 highway, which it actually gets with many owners reporting better than that. It is also capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Only downside is that it costs well over $30k new.
I was going to suggest the Highlander Hybrid as well, just not sure how much it can tow. In my experience fuel economy is mid-20s.

You can check real-world fuel economy here:

Toyota Highlander real-world fuel economy
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