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Old 04-09-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,256 posts, read 4,915,892 times
Reputation: 3029

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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.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Eastern NC
18,143 posts, read 16,668,695 times
Reputation: 15978
If the dogs are big, this vehicle does not exist. Small dogs, then I would look at an Outback. But you could also put a temporary carrier on its roof for cargo so the outback would work if you are willing.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:46 AM
 
10,683 posts, read 17,057,327 times
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You'd need the V6 Outback to tow 3000lbs which wouldn't get much better mileage than the van, 18/25.

If you remove the MPG requirement it's an easy task finding a vehicle to meet your needs, but with it, it ain't gonna happen.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:23 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,171,649 times
Reputation: 11851
Ford E350 conversion van with 4 WD and Powerstroke diesel. I know they make them because I have seen them on the road.
Mercedes also make a diesel van but not sure if they make a 4WD.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:24 AM
 
10,683 posts, read 17,057,327 times
Reputation: 10116
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
Ford E350 conversion van with 4 WD and Powerstroke diesel.
That gets 30MPG?
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:30 AM
 
4,248 posts, read 10,245,327 times
Reputation: 3110
Here's a novel idea. Keep the van for pulling and the dogs. And get a beater for the rest of the driving.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,552 posts, read 17,923,134 times
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If the Jetta clean diesel wagon came in a 4WD, you'd have your car. It gets crazy good mileage, is quite comfortable and can haul a lot of crap for its size. The passenger compartment easily fits 4 adults, the dogs can go in the back and cargo can go on the roof rails.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:42 AM
 
33,184 posts, read 39,183,307 times
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The dogs and the towing will force you into some compromises however this Ford flex will get you 24mpg on the highway will have plenty of room for the dogs and will tow 4500lbs..
2011 Ford Flex | View All Ford Flex Specifications | Ford.com
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:05 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,171,649 times
Reputation: 11851
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
That gets 30MPG?
Nobody make a vehicle that does everything he wants
4 people,+ 2 big dogs,+ lots of stuff, 4 wd, great mileage.

How about adding 0-60 in 4 seconds.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,256 posts, read 4,915,892 times
Reputation: 3029
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.
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