Maybe looking for a new vehicle

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Martin Blank
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Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Martin Blank » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:11 pm

We have a 2015 Prius V (the 4-door wagon version) that we're pretty happy with, but as the kids (2 and 4) get older, we're looking at some new options. We're wondering if anyone has hands-on experience with vehicles we should consider (or maybe to stay away from). Requirements:
  • Something that is more step-up or at least step-in, as wife has a bad back and climbing up is sometimes difficult.
  • Minimum four seats, more is probably good
  • Good cargo capacity
  • 25+ true MPG highway, higher better, hybrid even better
  • Back-seat AC/heating vents
  • Android Play highly desirable
  • Not a full-size SUV
  • Below $45K MSRP, and that's reaching for the limits of what we can afford
Beyond that, we're fairly open.
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by raptor9k » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:59 pm

We had a 2015 Toyota Highlander that was a pretty good fit. 3rd row seating with captains chairs in 2nd row. Massive cargo with the 3rd row folded down. Averaged 24-26mpg highway despite all wheel drive. Sticker was $47k and it was fully loaded. The main reason we don't have it today was the terrible dealership. My wife also wanted more of a truck ride vs a car ride, but it did sit up more like an SUV.

I have a buddy that's currently looking for a Kia Telluride that prices in around $45-46k with all the options. I think they won SUV of the year for motor trend or some other awards org. 10 year warranty is pretty hard to beat.

I'd also check out the Subaru Ascent. It was another on his list but they prefer the Telluride's looks. My mom bought a Outback and they gave her the Ascent as a loaner while it was prepped. She was impressed.

If you don't need 3rd row I love the hell out of the wife's '17 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I think we paid around $38k and it only lacks ventilated front row and a built in DVD player (money wasted given the cost of Amazon Kindle + $15 headrest mount). If you go up one level of trim you get the heigh adjustable air ride suspension but I'm pretty sure it stays under $45k.

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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by FirebirdNC » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:58 pm

I love my Kia Soul, it is a SUV crossover so you get the height without as much bulk. The back seats will fold down for a ton of cargo space, but even just the regular trunk area is farily roomy. It gets 27/35 MPG I seem to average around 31 MPG. I got all the bells and whistles at $25K I think the base model is more like $19K. It has Android/Apple Play the warranty and financing were awesome and I had a minor Bluetooth issue and they immediately fixed it. I think they are making a hybrid next year. This will be my third one so I am clearly a fan. The model I have has Harmon Kardon speakers and mood lights that go with the music lol. The only downside was it didn't come with a hamster :)
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Deacon » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:04 pm

One thing I would strongly recommend is that you see if you can find something with stop-and-go capable automatic cruise control. Major life saver if you fight mind-numbing traffic with any regularity at all. They're starting to filter down into "normal" brands and models, no longer the realm of luxury stuff. I've already made the decision that the next vehicle I get for my wife must have it.

The Kia Telluride is a full-size SUV (though not quite to Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition sizes), which you said you weren't looking for. But it has indeed been getting glowing reviews from across the automotive press and so far from the handful of owners I've ever talked to. EPA highway estimate is 26 mpg. No word on a hybrid option yet that I'm aware of, but that would likely push the price higher.

If you're looking to buy new, what about a plug-in hybrid? If it's used for commuting, it would certainly help elevate the overall fuel mileage average. The problem is they still command a premium. I don't know what (if any) federal or state incentives/rebates may be available.

If you don't mind a minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica's plug-in hybrid starts MSRP at $41.5 and is very well reviewed as minivans go. I think the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV starts at MSRP $36k or so and might fit the bill if it's big enough. Do they have the new Toyota Rav4 Prime (PHEV) in California? Supposed to start at $38k and might be just what you're looking for.

Otherwise, regular old hybrid options are going to be the easiest way to get better fuel mileage out of larger vehicles, of course. And when you eliminate high fuel mileage as a requirement, and especially if you're open to used/CPO, your options with that budget are wide open.

There are lots and lots of good vehicles out there these days, and just like hard drive brands some people will swear by one while others swear about it.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by FirebirdNC » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:32 am

I LOVE having the stop and go automatic cruise control in my Kia Soul. The lane assist took some getting used to and I learned I take curves too sharply. :)
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Martin Blank
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:38 pm

We rented a Kia Soul for something or other a few years ago, and while the ride and interior were nice, we couldn't get past the outside looks, which are just weird for some reason. Seems to work for a lot of people since it sells well enough.
Deacon wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:04 pm
One thing I would strongly recommend is that you see if you can find something with stop-and-go capable automatic cruise control. Major life saver if you fight mind-numbing traffic with any regularity at all. They're starting to filter down into "normal" brands and models, no longer the realm of luxury stuff. I've already made the decision that the next vehicle I get for my wife must have it.
We're looking at various automatic controls. We don't have to have any sort of auto-drive (though it would admittedly be nice), but automatic cruise control adjustment would be nice. I'm not completely sold on auto lane adjust; I ended up in a top-line Cadillac SUV for work a couple of years ago (total luck as they were out of regular SUVs) that had it, and it was really jarring mentally how it would pull without an immediately obvious reason. I only had it for a few days, though, so maybe I just wasn't used to it.
If you don't mind a minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica's plug-in hybrid starts MSRP at $41.5 and is very well reviewed as minivans go. I think the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV starts at MSRP $36k or so and might fit the bill if it's big enough. Do they have the new Toyota Rav4 Prime (PHEV) in California? Supposed to start at $38k and might be just what you're looking for.
I wasn't aware of the Pacifica and will have a look. The Crosstrek is a maybe already, but we're not sure it's quite what we're looking for. Don't have to worry about California availability for anything, though, since we've been in Dallas since 2012. :)
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Mav » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:25 pm

My kids fit pretty well in a mazdaspeed. Whatever happened to the Camaro man?
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Martin Blank
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:14 pm

Have you ever tried to cram toddlers in the back of a Camaro? Or, more to the point, get them out?

Also, for all I love her, her backseat safety ratings are teh suck.
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Deacon
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Re: Maybe looking for a new vehicle

Post by Deacon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:19 am

Martin Blank wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:38 pm
We rented a Kia Soul for something or other a few years ago, and while the ride and interior were nice, we couldn't get past the outside looks, which are just weird for some reason. Seems to work for a lot of people since it sells well enough.
If you’re willing to go as small as a Soul, you have LOTS of options.
it was really jarring mentally how it would pull without an immediately obvious reason. I only had it for a few days, though, so maybe I just wasn't used to it.
It probably depends somewhat on the manufacturer. About 2 years ago I ended up in a rental RAV4 for a bit that had lane keeping assist, and it was actually pretty nice for the most part when a little distraction might have you otherwise encroach on someone else’s lane momentarily. My driving style tends to treat the lines on curves as a suggestion, though, and I found myself turning it off when I knew I was going to be commuting through the twisties (before I moved).
Don't have to worry about California availability for anything, though, since we've been in Dallas since 2012. :)
Ha! I totally forgot you moved! Sorry about that...fellow Texan ;)
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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