so what kind of car do we buy? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 08-15-2005, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A few months ago my husband read a very scary article on the internet about the decline in oil reserves in the world. If you are interested, do a search for "peak oil". Basically, the author of the article my dh read suggested that we will have serious oil shortages in as little as 10 years. Others estimate it will take longer than that, but the gist is the same. My dh, who has depression issues anyway is terrified of this prospect and we have been struggling with this on many levels. That's another story.

Anyway, now we need to replace my car. But, what do we buy? We can't afford to spend much more than $25K (sticker price). DH commutes 70 miles/day in a Toyota Corolla that gets almost 40 miles to the gallon, so we are already doing the best we can there probably. We have 3 children under 8, so car seats are an issue. We are looking seriously at a Subaru Outback wagon - gets 23/28 - better than a minivan and the kids will all fit in the back. We tried to get a VW Passat wagon with the diesel engine because it gets 27/37, but we live in Massachusetts and we can't buy a new diesel engine here - something about emissions issues. We could look around for a used diesel (allowed in MA), but most of the dealers I talked to said it was a long shot. We looked at the Ford Escape Hybrid, but they are hard to find and price is not negotiable because they are rare (at least around here).

So, what do all of you that have 3 or more kids and are concerned about gas prices/future of oil/environment driving? Is there something else we should consider.

Thanks,

Capemom
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#2 of 18 Old 08-15-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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Check out the scion- great gas milage, only $14000 new.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#3 of 18 Old 08-16-2005, 10:59 AM
 
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Can you fit three seats in a Prius? I think Honda is coming out with a hybrid accord or civic. What about a new or gently used Honda or Toyota wagon- most dealers have to special order, and it still may be in your price range? I was surprised to see that the RAV4 had pretty ok milage for an SUV thing (I can't believe I am recommending an SUV...), but I don't know anything else about its ratings. You can compare cars through either msn or yahoo, and it will pull up all of the features and milage.
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#4 of 18 Old 08-16-2005, 11:09 AM
 
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We can't wait to replace Dh's car with a Prius. I have a civic and know there is no way to fit 3 carseats and not alot of leg room. I know the Prius is bigger, but not sure how much. Can you fit the 3 kids in the Corolla. Assuming you drive less than 70 miles/day, I would suggest having your Dh drive the Prius and you take the Corolla.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#5 of 18 Old 08-16-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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Honda has an Accord hybrid, at least online

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#6 of 18 Old 08-16-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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#7 of 18 Old 08-16-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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If you are truly concerned about gas mileage, get a deisel vehicle and go bio-deisel! Check out the forum on bio-deisel for more info, too! I am surprised to hear about your state not being more welcoming to deisel cars. I just read this link:
http://vehicletest.state.ma.us/dieselbg.html

It seems like you could buy a car and use bio-deisel without flack from the gub'ment as long as it passes the strict emission tests. I am not at all informed about how difficult that would be though. You know more than me, of course! It would be worth it to me to find one somewhere though, if I was looking for a vehicle right now. There are so many resources for cars outside of dealers. I would guess a dealership may want to sell their newer cars and not work hard to find you a used one, maybe?

The VW Passat Wagon in deisel would be my DHs choice for a new car, if we were buying one. We have a Subaru Outback now so no need for a new car. The Outback is great. Lots of room, super safe and handles well. But the gas mileage thing is still and issue...we want to go bio-deisel. Your DH has quite a commute so I can understand your desire to reduce gas use.

doula mama to my nov 05 and my feb 08 babes who wrap me in love.
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#8 of 18 Old 08-17-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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Chel, my neighbor drove a civc ('92 I think- she tried to sell it to us) until she had her fourth a little over a year ago. It was their family vehicle because her dh drove a little pickup. All of her four kids are currently under 8 years old, but unfortunately they had to get a minivan.

Just thinking, why not get an old school bus and convert it to biodeisel? Or you could go shopping for a biodeisel vehicle close to you here

We have have an older Subaru (1996 Loyale) and it is small inside even though it is a station wagon. It has been a fun car, but it is starting to die and have major problems ever since we took it to a bad mechanic. We are nursing it along trying to keep it going since it is dh's car (his commute is less than 3 miles and often he skates to work instead of driving).
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#9 of 18 Old 08-18-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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I have a prius and I tried to fit 3 car seats in it without much luck (my friend has 2 kids). Two of the carseats were Britax though, and they seem wider than the other car seat I have for my Mom's car.

HTH - I love my prius, and usually get at least 400 miles on less than 10 gallons, city or highway.
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#10 of 18 Old 08-18-2005, 10:00 PM
 
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too bad the prius won't hold the 3 car seats beccause
we have one as well and are so happy with it. i seriously
didn't think we were buying a real car - but you barely
notice that it is a hybrid. it is quiet and great on gas and
streamlined for better areodynamics, etc...

SO MAYBE... look into the cars that are coming out with
that technology? toyota has a highlander hybrid. not
sure of the price of that or the miles per gallon.

if your 8 year old is almost out of a car seat look into
the prius.
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#11 of 18 Old 08-22-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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We can and have put all three kids in the back seat of our '97 Saturn SL2.

The catch here is it's a '97. My dh is consitantly getting 36 driving the 55 miles to work and back (some highway, 1 mountain pass, and some city). When it was new, I got 39 on the flat highways between El Paso, TX and Las Crues, NM. Today's exact model doesn't come close to getting that kind of milage and it's the same size engine -- it makes me sick.

My father tells me we need to get a VW Jetta wagon with a diesel for 50 miles per gallon EPA rating b/c they do not make the Passat with diesel in the US (may that has changed). However, that doesn't help much for buying new in MA, but maybe you can buy used if that is what you want. Dealers list things on line with auto trader and ebay. We traveled to another state to buy the vehicle we currently drive as a family.

I don't see diesel as being the answer to the use and consumption of oil. But for the money a diesel gets just as good gas milage as a hybrid. The gasoline cars of the past -- the Geo metro tiny 2 door, 3 cyclinder got over 50 miles a gallon -- the Honda also made very efficient cars 60 to 70 miles per gallon back in the day.

I feel it's a big huge conspiracy between between car manufactures and big oil and big government. The technology for fuel efficency is out there and waiting (along with more solar electric), it's just being blocked to consumers b/c of the money greedy corporations IMO.

Given all that, I would buy a diesel. We've been talking about getting my dh a more comfortable car, but we couldn't give up the Saturn for it's great gas milage. If we did get a Jetta diesel for him, I'd take back the Saturn till it clunked!

(BTW -- no minivan here, we went all out for a 15 passanger!!! We bought it used. It was cheaper to buy than the same year mini-van and the gas milage was about the same. I even think we could replace the engine with a diesel if the engine went before the body. But my dh wants to get an uglier van -- the new Dodge Sprinter, UPS uses them in some places. Go ahead laugh...)
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#12 of 18 Old 08-22-2005, 04:09 PM
 
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we have a vw golf tdi and a vw jetta tdi and have been very pleased with both of them and run them both on b100 almost exclusively (occasionally have to put some petro in if we run low on a trip or something). i did a little searching for you and found this jetta wagon -- http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...g=en&cardist=4 . if you're looking to put three kids in the back the passat is a little wider than the jetta. if you want to go the van route there are plenty of full size ford econolines that are diesel. a used mercedes might fit your bill, too. i know a lot of people like to run biodiesel in them. here's a link to diesels in mass -- http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/search...Check=n&color=.

i also did a search on +massachusetts +biodiesel and found several places that sell it or distribute it so i know there are some other folks up your way who are into it. the www.biodieselnow.com forums are probably a good place to look and the www.greasecar.com site that melissa17s pointed to is based outta Mass.

i was initially interested in hybrids, but my dh became interested in biodiesel and told me about it and how it can get us totally off petroleum (unlike hybrids) and i was sold. we do biodiesel in our tdi's, but dh wants to convert his diesel toyota fj40 to grease.

oh, we get 45/50 mpg in our TDIs.

hth

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
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#13 of 18 Old 08-22-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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i have a 97 subaru impreza sedan that is just waiting to die, so i've been thinking of this too. i LOVED my subaru for all it's life, and i would LOVE to get a new one. i mean, i put the poor car through hell, and it's still running with nearly 200,000 miles on it.

has anyone looked at the new subaru tribeca??? no idea how much that one costs...
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#14 of 18 Old 08-22-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Also my friend told me you can retro fit a prius with 3 batteries and a switch to use only batteries. It is supposed to run for 40+ miles on electric only. this is only word of mouth and is unsubstantiated, but you coule do a search. Also, they are (supposedly) coming out with something to add on to the old prius' that allows you to plug your car in to a wall outlet...
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#15 of 18 Old 09-08-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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We just went through this ourselves. We needed basically the same thing but we needed to be able to tow up to 1500 pounds. We were coming from a big and old SUV as dh is a drummer and we pull a pop-up camper all summer to go to gigs. We did a great deal of research and test drove many cars. We were very interested in the VW Tdi's. Trouble is, you cannot tow anything with them and they are hard to get your hands on. Even used. We also looked at the Escape and ran into the same problems as you. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid was perfect but impossible to get and very expensive. We settled on a Honda CRV. The back is very roomy for three carseats. It has an excellent crash and reliability rating. And the mileage is the same as the Subaru Legacy wagon (the other top contender). We decide don the CRV over the Subaru after lokking up their crash and reliability ratings. It was no contest.

And has anyone noticed that the older SUVs actually get better gas mileage than the newer ones? Our old Explorer got 22 mpg. The newer ones are rated much lower. I have noticed that there are many smaller cars that get worse mileage than our SUV did. I just do not get it.
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#16 of 18 Old 09-08-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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My sister has a Subaru Outback and she can't fit 3 seats in the back. THey are VERY narrow. The Prius is actually wider inside. If one child is in a booster, like the Graco Turbobooster, I bet you could fit 3 seats in a Prius.
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#17 of 18 Old 09-08-2005, 10:42 PM
 
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check out the VW Lupo, not available in the US of course! the tdi gets like 60 mpg and reportedly even approached 90mpg in a 80 days around the world thing! run biodiesel in that baby and talk about environmentally friendly. well, you're not competing with bicycles yet, but probably about as good as you can get for a motorized passenger vehicle...

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
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#18 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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volkswagon deisle . . . good dreams . . . . .aaahhhhhh . . . .

in reality we were lookin at the Saturn Vue? Ion? whichever is not an SUV. anyway gas milage is 30/35 for anual transmission, don't know what the sticker was but payments were $200 a month (what we are paying now for our peice of crap van) and evry safe. air bag sensors that shut off if a caer seat is installed or if someone under 40 pounds is riding in the front seat. for people under 80 pounds it deploys at a slower speed an deiferent angle. So the big bonus there is that we can actually use the front seat. three (small) carseats in back and car pooler in the front (it is important to me to still be able to graba freinds for stuff)

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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