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<p>We are thinking about selling our Nissan Murano. We love the car, but it's not that great on gas so we are talking about down sizing. It's mainly just me and my 6 year old daughter in it, so I don't need lots of room. Although, my husband drives in my car when we are all going somewhere together. We test drove a Toyota Prius today. I understand it gets amazing gas mileage and it's a low maintenance car. But it was definitely a change going from the Murano. It didn't have the luxury feel. That might be hard to get used to. Also, I am a little worried about the safety aspect because of my daughter. I'm afraid I would feel "unsafe" in a smaller car. Since safety is a big factor, I decided to test drive a 2007 Volvo S60. Man, those ride soooo nice. Definitely a luxury feel. But I don't know financially and practically if that would be a good move. The maintenance is probably a lot more than my Murano. Not sure I would really be saving money with the Volvo. Although it probably gets better gas mileage than what I get with the Murano. I am only getting 16 mpg in town. But the Volvo is safer than the Prius. Ugh! Help! So here's what we are looking at:</p>
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<p>2004 Murano with 76,000 miles. Pros: Good car. Luxury feel with all the bells and whistles. We owe $12,500 and could get that on a trade in. Just put new brakes and new tires (very expensive on this model of car) on. Very roomy. Good for road trips. Cons: Crappy gas mileage. Expensive tires to replace. </p>
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<p>2007 Volvo with 42,000. Pros: Lower miles than my Murano. Solid, safe car. Drives beautifully. Very comfortable ride. Volvos known to run forever if taken care of. Cons: Expensive to fix if something goes wrong. So, expensive to maintain and own. Not much leg room in the back. </p>
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<p>2008 Prius with 52,000 miles. Pros: Excellent gas mileage. Almost maintenance free. Low cost of owning. Cons: Not a very safe car to drive (at least it doesn't feel like it). A lot smaller, less expensive feel compared to Murano and Volvo. </p>
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<p>Thoughts?</p>
 

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<p>You mention 3 things several times in your post -- safety, luxury, and economy.</p>
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<p>There are "Hybrid" SUVs, that would get better mpgs than your Murano, without sacrificing the ride height that probably makes you feel safer.  They wouldn't get mpgs like a Volvo, or a typical station wagon.  But they would still be better.  I believe Toyota makes some. </p>
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<p>With the Prius, you have to realize that it's going to feel less nice no matter what you do.  Not undrivable, by any means.  A lot of things are lightweight plastic in the Prius.  Weight = gas.  Less weight = less gas.  I would seriously consider a Prius if my engineer husband didn't hate them for a myriad of reasons (and none of them have to do with luxury). </p>
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<p>DH's family has driven Volvos for 20+ years, and love them.   They are extremely comfortable, and yes, very, very safe.  But be prepared to pay an arm and a leg when they break.  Holy moly!  You mention that the pro to the Volvo is "Volvos known to run forever if taken care of."  My experience with Volvos is that that statement is absolutely true, but they require more care than the average car to keep ticking.</p>
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<p>Basically, pick one thing.  And then go with that option.</p>
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<p>I drive an '03 Subaru Outback, and I like it because it's decently safe, outstandingly reliable, and it handles well.  It is more fuel efficient than some cars (like your Murano), but less than a smaller car (like a Honda Fit) or a car sold purely for fuel economy (like the Prius).  I drive a Subaru because I can do lots of things to it myself (oil changes, brakes, alternator, small stuff), because it's all wheel drive (we spend a fair amount of time in snow, and a LOT of time in the rain), and because I can fit a lot of things in it (it's a station wagon, so dog+kid+stroller+parents+stuff).  While it is more luxurious than some cars I've been in (definately more so than the Prius), it's not a Volvo in that respect.  I picked what was most important to me (maintinence ease and superior all wheel drive), and then tried to find the trim package that I could live with.</p>
 

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<p>Feeling safe and being safe are two different things.  </p>
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<p>I would do your research on safety.  Many times larger vehicles are unsafe because people do not know how to drive them. </p>
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<p><a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5413418/safest_cars_to_buy_for_2011.html?cat=27" target="_blank">http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5413418/safest_cars_to_buy_for_2011.html?cat=27</a>  </p>
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<p>This year Chevy Curze gets some great ratings.  It is suppose to be an awesome car. </p>
 

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<p>We got a new prius for the gas mileage,but otherwise it is nothing special. If I could go back and do over I would ask dh to get a car that does well in car accidents.</p>
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<p>I recently had someone run a red light on me,and they would have caved in my passenger side if I did not stop in time. I was on my way to get the kids from school. They would have died in that crash. I am so careful driving,but others are not.</p>
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<p>So imo safety is what matters more than saving on gas or repairs.The way people are driving and txting these days the risk of being hit is higher.</p>
 
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