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Old 03-29-2016, 10:42 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
2,241 posts, read 992,930 times
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For $20k I would buy either a used Subaru Forester or a used Lexus RX 400h hybrid SUV. I have owned the RX400h since 2008. Never had a singe issue with it in 110k miles. I know quite a few people that have older RXs and they have never had a problem either. Looks like new. Gets 27 mpg around town, sometimes higher. Great car and easy to get in and out of if needed. You can get a fairly low mileage RX for $20k easily.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,146 posts, read 45,694,157 times
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Hubby has researched all the legroom, so there are several with more...Altima, fusion, sonata, optima. He likes to have his leg extended which is why he bought the Altima we're trading.
It will depend on the angle of the dangle, too, I'm sure, so we'll still sit in a bunch of different cars.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,268 posts, read 44,963,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
The thing is, it is a 15 year old Highlander. It still looks like new, but we don't want to tax it by taking it on long trips. We had a hard time deciding which car to trade, but I can't get rid of the Highlander, because it's still too nice, even though no longer worth much. We aren't ready to go down to one car, since we each have pt or volunteer jobs.
Long trips are not taxing to a car. Long trips are actually easy miles, provided you don't load the car down with stuff and run 90+ on hot days. Drive my 92 Subie Legacy over the mountains to Seattle all the time.

Offhand if the Highlander works for you, don't try to fix "what ain't broke".
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,146 posts, read 45,694,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
The Ford Fusion is quite roomy and economical. Used models are a steal in some places. My son bought one for a lot less than 20K.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Long trips are not taxing to a car. Long trips are actually easy miles, provided you don't load the car down with stuff and run 90+ on hot days. Drive my 92 Subie Legacy over the mountains to Seattle all the time.

Offhand if the Highlander works for you, don't try to fix "what ain't broke".
If I had a crystal ball.... The highlander has 165000 miles on it, and it has started to burn oil. I think we'd be dumb to keep pushing it for anything but local driving.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:08 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,883,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
If I had a crystal ball.... The highlander has 165000 miles on it, and it has started to burn oil. I think we'd be dumb to keep pushing it for anything but local driving.
I would get it looked at; it isn't always the worst answer. If it is burning oil (as opposed to leaking) then it will likely burn more per mile around town than on the highway (in lower gears, the pistons are cycling up and down more times per mile and while accelerating they are doing so under more strain). There is a big difference between needing a quart with every fill up and needing one half way to the next oil change also. How bad is it?

Also, about my question about whether it is burning or leaking...
Sometimes people think they are burning oil because they are losing oil and there are no drips under the parked car. You also want to wipe the back of the car with a paper towel and see if is oily. Some leaks only occur while running and are slow so you don't see drips when parked; it just blows back and on the road while driving.

Last edited by ReachTheBeach; 03-30-2016 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,268 posts, read 44,963,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
If I had a crystal ball.... The highlander has 165000 miles on it, and it has started to burn oil. I think we'd be dumb to keep pushing it for anything but local driving.
My Subie burns a quart every 2000-3000 miles. People who are used to newer Japanese cars think any oil use is necessarily a problem. Detroit cars of the 60's and 70's burnt this much oil when new. I consider the Subie to be perfectly serviceable despite the slight oil consumption.

One thing you do need to look out for is if you do a lot of "granny" driving around town with a car that uses a good bit of oil, around town you may get enough fuel dilution in the oil that the level falls very slowly, but get out on the highway and it will fall quicker as the fuel in the oil evaporates off. You can avoid this by changing oil just before any long trips, or just check oil level every gas stop when you go out of town. Or by not driving like a granny!

Get AAA, and you will be fine.

Or, just rent a car for long road trips, that way if you have any sort of trouble, the rental car company handles it.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,883,191 times
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An aside about changing oil on cars that burn or leak oil...

The reason to change your oil is because the viscosity drops. We change filters every time these days. "Way back when" we changed them every other oil change. Are filters worse? No, they are better. So if you are burning (or leaking) oil and replacing it, the viscosity drops slower and you can go longer between oil changes. It amazes me how many people change their oil more often if the car is using oil. It makes zero sense; maybe less than zero.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,856 posts, read 4,969,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
I bought a Dodge Caravan, brand new, with everything except the fancy phone stuff for $18K + some change. I also have Arthuritis. Absolutely unquestionably the handiest vehicle I've ever owned. Side doors open fully - I don't have to go bending over and wrenching my shoulders or back grabbing for stuff stored in the back. I drive it across the country twice a year. Comfy ride, endless storage, good mileage and runs on corn squeezins where available.


Best 18 grand I have ever spent.
Yup, a used mini-van is a good choice.

They might not get great mileage in town but retirees usually don't drive that much. The high seating position provides an excellent view of the road and the long wheelbase creates a comfortable ride.

Plus, if you run out of money and become homeless there is plenty of room to sleep in the back.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:37 PM
 
2,631 posts, read 1,940,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
Yup, a used mini-van is a good choice.

They might not get great mileage in town but retirees usually don't drive that much. The high seating position provides an excellent view of the road and the long wheelbase creates a comfortable ride.

Plus, if you run out of money and become homeless there is plenty of room to sleep in the back.


Good thought.


Some additional stuff: I invested $30 in a blow up mattress that fits back there splendidly. Saves on motels. I just can't praise that vehicle enough. BTW, the 12 way electric drivers seat makes driving for 13 hours so comfy. There are more storage bins than I know what to do with and those 4 pop up seats if I need them - otherwise they're just buried in the floor - are very useful at times. Then there's the 6 speed drive on that vehicle. In mountainous terrain, it's very handy; makes driving a breeze.


I look like a soccer mom in it, but so what...it keeps the cops off my butt.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:31 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
Reputation: 23806
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
Good thought.


Some additional stuff: I invested $30 in a blow up mattress that fits back there splendidly. Saves on motels. I just can't praise that vehicle enough. BTW, the 12 way electric drivers seat makes driving for 13 hours so comfy. There are more storage bins than I know what to do with and those 4 pop up seats if I need them - otherwise they're just buried in the floor - are very useful at times. Then there's the 6 speed drive on that vehicle. In mountainous terrain, it's very handy; makes driving a breeze.


I look like a soccer mom in it, but so what...it keeps the cops off my butt.
I am looking to 'upgrade' to stowaway seat version. I do lots of building projects and haul cabinets, toilets, and lumber home from my city trips to Habitat ReStore.

I have a trailer hitch that gets a lot of use with my faithful 'Snowbear' utility trailer.

I used it (Snowbear and minivan) to tow 'dad' 2500 miles for burial. Rented a backhoe and planted him with military honors.

My rented minivan campers in NZ had pull out cooking range, cooler, and sink; plus elevated bed and lots of storage below. Tasteful curtains, lots of acc outlets for 12V.

If only I could get a diesel minivan in USA (all my other vehicles are diesel and LOVE running on free waste cooking oil.). I have a friiend that transplants diesel engines into minivans, but too much trouble for me. They only get 35 mpg, and my Passat Diesel wagons get 50 - 52mpg, so it is not worth the bother to convert. I will try to buy a diesel VW Transporter out of Canada. (I have only seen a few imported to USA, it is not 'free' either). The only issue with burning waste cooking oil, is the line of people following you looking for Donuts / fish & chips. There is no 'smoke', so emission tests are a problem if DEQ is looking for smoke. / soot.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 04-06-2016 at 06:56 AM..
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