We have been looking for a new car and we can’t decide on which car to settle on; our final list is:
2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Pros: We like 4X4 Auto for pulling stuff and getting to grampa’s house in the mountains of Vermont. Decent quality interior lots of room in the front seats. Cons: Back seat legroom. No heated seats. Also there was some dealer confusion; the local dealer says they don’t make 2009 FJ’s yet (as of May 2009) though the dealer 40 miles away had two on their lot. Local dealer also sells and services Volkswagons which is a service is a concern.
2009 Toyota Venza AWD 4Cyl
Pros: More aerodynamic than the Honda Element and Higher ground clearance than VW Beetle. Great interior quality and back seat leg room. Cons: Local dealer also sells and services Volkswagons which is a service is a concern. Question: Why isn’t this a HYBRID?
2009 Ford Flex FWD SE
Pros: Gynormous interior and seating for a zillion. Extremely comfy interior. Cons: Very long vehicle may not fit in our garage; we would have to hang a tennis ball to keep the garage door from tearing off the tail gate of the Flex.
2009 Nissan Cube FWD Manual
Pros: Extremely well thought out interior with roomy seating front and back. Very cool storage options for groceries. Cons: A hockey puck is a hockey puck; not a great car for driving the windy Midwest highways. The wrap around window on rear quarter panel on passenger side does not give as much visibility as we imagined it would
We presently own:
2004 Honda Element EX AWD
Pros: Huge interior; young children can not kick front seats while on long road trips. All Wheel drive and higher ground clearance than our VW Beetle. Service has been great both in FL and IL. Cons: Hockey puck shape is terrible on windy days on highway; too much wind noise. Driver seat falling apart after four years.
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS Turbo
Pros: Very nimble great feel good bubble car with roomy front heated seats Cons: No place for medium sized drinks. Service experience has been horrible in WI, IL and FL. Low ride; we bottom out often going in and out of parking lots.
Vehicles we looked at, but failed to make it to the final four:
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan
What drew us in: the Employee pricing dropped the price to something we could afford. What drove us off: Interior quality; we were afraid we might break something during the demo a be stuck buying the car.
2009 Dodge Nitro
What drew us in: the Employee pricing dropped the price to something we could afford. What drove us off: Interior quality and the rear storage area was odd; it had a rolling platform to help get gear out of the back, but it looked like only feather pillows could be supported by it.
2009 Volkswagen Routan
What drew us in: The fun commercials of kids getting wet and all the cool storage; plus the price was in our range. What drove us off: To get anything close to what we saw in the commercials was twice the price of what got us to look at the car. We also had concerns about service from our previous experience with our VW Beetle.
2009 Volkswagen CC
What drew us in: The advertised luxury. What drove us off: Only room for four passengers. We also had concerns about service from our previous experience with our VW Beetle.
What cars surprised us:
2009 Dodge Challenger
Neat looking retro muscle car. $45K dang! We did not even know it existed until we drove into the parking lot of the dealer.
2009 Ford Fusion
A midsized Hybrid for overweight people. Yeah! 600miles to a tank Yeah! Poor battery choice. Battery replacement cost is what we fear most about the hybrids (all brands).
We are still looking and hope to make a decision soon.
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