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My DH brought home a GMC Yukon 6 yrs ago now. While it has been a nice big family vehicle for us, frankly I hate driving something so huge when many times it's just me and one or two of the kids. The fuel economy is poor and, let's face it, it is a HUGE monstrosity to parallel park and maneuver.

So, I've been looking to downsize for some time now. Two weeks ago, I found a used Toyota Matrix. It is amazingly roomy for its size and gets at least DOUBLE the fuel economy that the Yukon does. I got a wonderful deal by being firm and persistent at the dealer.

We are keeping the Yukon because it is paid for and when all 5 of us go together, it is more roomy (DH is morbidly obese), but instead of daily driving for this gas hog, we are now using it once a week for DS' bike racing/family outing.

I am so happy we made this decision! We are doing fine without all the SUV cargo space 99% of the time (I do have a rack for the bikes though). Anyone else have a 'downsizing' success story to share?

ETA: My husband can fit in the Matrix really well - we were actually shocked about that. The only problem is that the seat needs to be back too far to accommodate the child seat behind him.
 

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My husband has a Ford F250. Anything smaller and he has trouble fitting. Both of us are very tall and wide shoulders. He sits in my little suv and has a hard time moving. He needed a business vehicle and in his business everyone has a truck. But with gas mileage etc he needed something better. For work I talked him into a mini. At first he laughed at me. But now he loves it. Plus he has almost more space in that mini then he does in his truck! People always remember his car now. Think about it. Home inspector pulls up in a mini. Steps out and he is 6'4". Then reaches in back and pulls out a tiny ladder that then you can extend to about 10'. He gets a fair amount of work thanks to his mini. With what he saves in gas it pays for the car payment plus insurance. He does a lot of driving for work. The truck meanwhile has cheaper insurance since it spends most of its life here except for brief dump trips or snow plowing. Crazy that these days its cheaper to have 2 vehicles then just the one. But even if you offered my husband a free truck he would pass it up for his mini.
 

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We traded in our Chevy Blazer last year for a Chevy Malibu Classic. It looks smaller, but the kids actually have more leg room in the back (2 bigger kids/teens and a carseat in between them) than they did in the Blazer.

Not to mention we get double the gas mileage out of it too...WELL worth it.
 

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We used to have a GMC 1500 truck with a v8, that got 14 mpg in town. With a 34 gallon tank it was almost $100 to fill. Ugh! The fates smiled on us and the transmission went out, and while it was awful at the time, it was a blessing in disguise. We hunt and pull a boat, plus are planning a family, so we needed something that could tow, haul, and with a backseat. We got a used Blazer that gets about 22 mpg combined (way better than epa estimates). It's not a huge improvement, but it's hard to find a truck/suv that gets that kind of mileage. Though if they made small diesel trucks I would love to have one of those.

My car is a Toyota corolla and we drive it whenever possible, since it gets 32 mpg combined. So we use it when we can to balance the other out.
 

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I just wanted to recommend the ScionXB (the one that looks like a little box) to all the people with long legs and wide shoulders. We bought it after one too many trips to the shop with my husband's Jeep Cherokee...outside, it's tiny. Inside, it's HUUUUUGE! In fact, it's soooooo muuuuchhh roomier than the Cherokee, it's ridiculous.

I wish you could have seen us on vacation in it last year (we went camping in Arkansas). Big husband, long tall teenage son (17, 6'2, long legs), wiggly son (11, hyper), me, my knitting for the trip, portable DVD player for the boys, a wheezing pug, camping equipment, 2 15-foot kayaks on top, 3 bikes on the back. It all fit and everyone was as comfortable as is possible for an 8-hour car ride.

At the campground, no one could believe we got all that stuff in our (seemingly) tiny car, with legroom to spare. The kayaks on top decreased our normally insanely high mileage (35 hwy), but we still averaged 30 mpg all the way there...with the A/C on.

It's the most convenient car we've ever had, yet so inexspensive and small. I love it.

Holly
 

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My sister drove a full-size extended cab Dodge truck for her catering business. I convinced her she didn't need to drive that exclusively. She finally bought a Ford Focus. It's paying for itself (including insurance) with the gas savings. Now she tells people she "bought a truck and got an economy car for free!"
 

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We traded an SUV for a Toyota... something... sorry, I am not a car person.

Anyway, we went from 14 miles/gallon to 28 miles/gallon. Then we had the tires filled with nitrogen instead of air. Apparently air corrodes rubber and the nitrogen does not react as much to temp changes etc. all adds up to less wear on the tires AND it is supposed to improve fuel efficiency. well, it did! We now get 34 miles/gallon! We are LOVING it. It is a 4 door sedan fits us and all we need.
 

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DH is 6'2" and I'm 6'0", so we loved our Cherokee. But, we decided to go from two cars to one, and wanted something newer. We got a Scion XB and although the trunk space is insanely small, we deal with it because the front driver/passenger area is HUGE for how small the car is. There is room for both car seats, we use the floor in the back for diaper bag and extra stuff storage, and the stroller just fits in the back (combi twin savvy) so we just have to be mindful about letting clutter junk up the car.... i LOVE that car, and am so happy we got it. We get about 32 MPG, and have cut our gas spending in half.

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cynotgirl View Post
DH is 6'2" and I'm 6'0", so we loved our Cherokee. But, we decided to go from two cars to one, and wanted something newer. We got a Scion XB and although the trunk space is insanely small, we deal with it because the front driver/passenger area is HUGE for how small the car is. There is room for both car seats, we use the floor in the back for diaper bag and extra stuff storage, and the stroller just fits in the back (combi twin savvy) so we just have to be mindful about letting clutter junk up the car.... i LOVE that car, and am so happy we got it. We get about 32 MPG, and have cut our gas spending in half.


Hey, I'm another Scion fan! If we never bought another car, I'd still be hapy in our little box!

Holly
 
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