Monday, February 19, 2007

Pardeemobile

With our latest addition to the family, we have been feeling a bit cramped in our current vehicles (a '99 Accord and '91 Civic). Thus, we are car shopping. We would like to be able to bring Kodos on various trips with us, and the days of us all getting into the Accord are long gone.

Now, having successfully avoided the minivan ('cause we're hep, man--thanks for asking) through the addition of 2 children to the family, we are fairly eager to keep doing so. Which means either station wagon or SUV. But Dear Wife is allergic to station wagons, and let's face it, she does like 80% of the driving, so I guess it's SUV-city for us.

The problem is that we've always been small-car people, and in particular, Honda people (I've never owned a non-Honda in my life). So naturally we have looked at the CR-V, the Element, and even the Pilot. Of the 3, the Pilot most captured my imagination. I have this fantasy that my brother would actually come out to visit us someday w/his family of 4, and since the Pilot seats 8, we could host them & all move about in one vehicle. I also have this fantasy that my sister would come out to visit someday, but she's got 6 in her family, so there's no way to avoid multiple vehicles.

But anyway, dang is that Pilot expensive--about double what we paid for the Accord in fact. So that's looking like a pipe-dream at this point.

The others are okay--the CR-V is actually quite nice, and a nice size. The fatal flaws on that are a) no 3rd-row seat at all and (this is silly, but it matters to me) b) no built-in aux jack so we can listen to our mp3 players in the car. To quote Lindsay Bluth "what are we, Amish?"

The Element has its funky look (which we both like) but it's a tad bit utilitarian for the money, and it won't hold all 4 of us plus the dog in the back. So that's out.

So... last Saturday we strayed across the street to the Toyota dealership (heresy!) and tried out the new RAV-4. Loved it! It gets decent mileage, is not outlandishly large, and yet you can still get it with fold-away 3rd row seats for 2. So it would hold 7 people in a pinch (w/close to no luggage or legroom, mind you, but sometimes that's enough). The salesdude even let us drive it home to test how it fit in our garage (no problems). We like. I have ordered the Consumer Reports price report on it, and will devise my strategy for getting a good price on it.

While we were there, we also looked at the Highlander. We like that one (and in fact daughter Annelise likes it better than the RAV-4, b/c it's got a bigger back for hiding in) quite a bit too. What makes it less of an attraction to us is that you have to choose between getting good gas mileage (e.g., get the hybrid) and fitting > 5 people in it. That is, you can't get a 3rd row seat on the hybrid (I believe because that space is taken up by all the batteries). So we'll see how it goes. It's conceivable to me that we'd settle for a non-hybrid Highlander if it's too tough to get a good price on a RAV-4. Wish us luck...

2 comments:

Nanook The Newfoundland said...

Hey there. we've got a honda pilot, and I have to be honest, even with one newf in it, it feels pretty full! I don't like that the first row of seats don't fold all the way flat, but Nanook doesn't seem to mind an incline while he rides. Other than that, it's a fabulous little car!

Roy said...

LOL--"little" car you say? It seems enormous to me. But it's all relative, of course.

BTW--*love* the latest pictures of Nanook on your blog. What a gorgeous boy!