The Truth About Cars » family vehicle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:30:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » family vehicle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com New Or Used? The $25,000 Question http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-used-25000-question/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-used-25000-question/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=860633 Michael writes: This August, we will have a 23-year-old German au pair coming to live with us. She will be taking care of our three boys – ages 6, 4, and 1. I am looking for transportation for said au pair that fulfills the following criteria: accommodates 2 boosters and 1 car seat– i.e. older […]

The post New Or Used? The $25,000 Question appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2012 Toyota Sienna

Michael writes:

This August, we will have a 23-year-old German au pair coming to live with us. She will be taking care of our three boys – ages 6, 4, and 1. I am looking for transportation for said au pair that fulfills the following criteria:

  1. accommodates 2 boosters and 1 car seat– i.e. older boys need to be able to access the seat belt buckles with the car seat in place (presumably in the middle?)
  2. reliable and low maintenance
  3. safe
  4. good in snow and ice (we live in Cleveland); preferably AWD
  5. under $25,000

My wife drives a 2013 AWD Toyota Sienna. It fulfills all the criteria but number 5.

My first thought was a used Volvo wagon, but a quick internet search revealed a very limited selection under $25k with less than 150k miles on the odometer. Used minivans are similar… not a great selection, and those under $25k are generally high-mileage specimens.

Currently, I’m thinking along the lines of a used Grand Cherokee, but I’ve never owned or driven one. I just know that there are a buttload of them on on the road and in used car lots.

My other thoughts: Escape/CRV/RAV4/CX5/Cherokee, but might be too small in the back. Forester, also might be too small, and seems overpriced right now.

I’m not a car guy and I’ve never bought a used car… so please, any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. And yes, having been a loyal TTAC reader, I realize that the car I’m looking for is a used rear-wheel drive sport wagon with a set of snow tires, but no. We both work 40+ hours a week (hence, au pair) and barely find time to get oil changes. (I know, I know. I don’t change my own oil… THE HORROR!)

Steve says:

You are dead to me. But really, even us emerging middle-aged enthusiasts let others change the oil every now and then.

As for your next issue, none of the crossovers you mentioned can easily seat three children across. Even the old school Volvos that offered real space aplenty back in the ’90s could never accommodate three super-sized child seats and/or boosters of the modern day. Today’s side impact technologies put an even tighter squeeze on middle-row seating. So long story short, since you have the Sienna, I would keep that and get your wife a third car.

If you absolutely must have all-wheel-drive and a new vehicle, my top pick would be a Kia Sorento. You are going to be $2,000 to $3,000 over on the $25,000 budget before tag, tax, title, and the inflated doc fee. But the Sorento has received outstanding reviews, and you should be able to make it a keeper for a long time given the third row.

Another good option would be a front-wheel drive vehicle that comfortably handles three adults and three children with proper restraints which also offers a solid safety record. If you chose this path, investing in a good set of snow tires would make a far greater difference in inclement weather than all-wheel drive. I happen to love the Ford C-Max. A small army of owners prefer the Chrysler minivans, and I’m inclined to think that the extra space for the full-sized minivan would come in handy for your family.

A Chrysler minivan will likely be a great fit if your au pair is comfortable driving something that big. I would encourage you to rent out both of these vehicles and see whether your au pair is comfortable with them on the road if, and only if, your wife is resistant towards offering her the Sienna.

All the best!

You can reach Steve Lang directly at carselect@gmail.com

The post New Or Used? The $25,000 Question appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-used-25000-question/feed/ 148
New or Used: Anything for Another Irish Car Bomb? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/new-or-used-anything-for-another-irish-car-bomb/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/new-or-used-anything-for-another-irish-car-bomb/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 13:45:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=399228 Michael writes: Towards the end of the year, we may be in the market for a minivan (Honda Odyssey… this is not the advice I’m looking for, but feel free to weigh in). We have two cars we own outright: 2004 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 VW Passat with 75K and 65K miles on them, […]

The post New or Used: Anything for Another Irish Car Bomb? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Michael writes:

Towards the end of the year, we may be in the market for a minivan (Honda Odyssey… this is not the advice I’m looking for, but feel free to weigh in). We have two cars we own outright: 2004 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 VW Passat with 75K and 65K miles on them, respectively.

Both are in good working order, no issues other than the sign of age. Both have V6 engines.

Question: which one to trade in? I figure they are both worth about $10k trade in based on KBB, with the VW potentially worth marginally more (I could be wrong there). I’m leaning towards trading in the VW since it will depreciate faster and is more likely to have issues as it continues to age and wear.

What are your thoughts (now being greedy)…on both the trade-in AND the minivan choice?

Steve Answers:

Neither. Unless you are having another child and your current rides won’t accommodate another car seat.

If you enjoy what you have then keep what you got. It’s that simple. The Passat is definitely the less reliable of the two if you look at all the data and reviews out there. But who knows? You may have one of the good ones! In which case you better change the middle names of one of your children to Tiguan for good luck!

It sounds like you have two solutions in search of a problem with your current rides. But if you must have a 10k minivan… I would skip that Odyssey. It is the most hysterically overpriced family vehicle on the planet. If you’re spending $10k on a family ride I would look more towards a Mazda 5 if you want a ‘family vehicle’ with a bit more sport.

If the minivan has to be full-sized then I would go completely against the TTAC grain and buy whatever hasn’t been knocked too hard by actual owners from Carsurvey, Edmunds, Consumer Reports and TrueDelta. I despise Sedonas. Others hate Freestars. Quite a few folks will turn their noses at Quests, Caravans and the GM brood. In truth minivans were mostly cheap and interchangeable during the 06 thru 08 period. Even the cheap ones will last to 200k.

Siennas and Odysseys were premium offerings for their time. But they had mixed reliability and are poor values in the used car market. My number one? An end of the model run 2007 Grand Caravan with a great owner and very low mileage. Think Florida retiree vehicle. You will spend far less than 8k on one and be all the better for it.

Sajeev Answers:

Disclosure time: Michael is a friend, former manager and 100% straight shooter. While I have no (current) need to suck up to him, I must admit he’s rather awesome. Plus he nailed his own query, which must count for something!

The Passat is the trade-in for obvious reasons: even if your initial VW dealership gripes originally mentioned (as co-workers) went away, it’ll never be the value proposition of a 4Runner. And the Odyssey is a perfect new vehicle for the family. Not that the Odyssey is a perfect minivan, it’s rather expensive. And both the transmission and displacement-on-demand engine left many folks (including TTAC’s Robert Farago) upset at the service department. The former shouldn’t be an issue, and let’s keep our fingers crossed on the latter.

Because I don’t see you liking the alternatives from Nissan, Toyota and Chrysler. Maybe a stylish Buick Enclave or Ford Flex Titanium is worth a look. Maybe not. Tough call. Too bad every decision isn’t as simple and awesome as the time you introduced me to the Irish Car Bomb.

I could certainly use another one after all this Minivan talk!

Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.

The post New or Used: Anything for Another Irish Car Bomb? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/new-or-used-anything-for-another-irish-car-bomb/feed/ 49