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Old 11-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
jme5343
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Default Going from 4 vehicles to 2? Help me think through this, would ya?

I currently have a 30 mile each way commute, and have no need to haul any passengers on said commute, so I use a two-seater hybrid. I also have one wife and two kids who primarily use the minivan. I have an old truck for dump runs / pellet pick up, etc. And finally have a two-seater toy that goes fast. I'll list them below with *my* guesstimation at their worth - as in what I could realistically get for them.

2000 Honda Insigt w/ 143k on the odo. - $5500
2005 Buick Terraza w/ 132k on the odo. - $4000 (hail damage)
1990 Chevy K1500 4x4 w/ 160k on the odo - $1500
1991 Toyota MR2 turbo - not stock - $11000

So, about $21k all in, give or take a few thousand.

Considering consolidating down to two vehicles:

2007+ Chevy avalanche - has room for 5-6 people and versatility to do the things I do with my truck, including the AWD.

2008+ Chevy Traverse / GMC Acadia / Saturn Outlook - has seating for 7 if needed and is AWD.

I figure I can pick up a higher mileage version of each for around 17k each. Sell off some of the current vehicles and only owe $14-15k.

Am I missing anything?
Any other vehicles y'all would recommend?
I save a bit on insurance, perhaps maintenance, but I give up quite a bit in fuel efficiency. On a related note, don't factor the 60miles / day commute in, because I need a vehicle that I can haul guests and customers around in, so the insight is out as far as that goes.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:20 AM   #2
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I don't see what motivates changing out all your cars like this honestly. One thing that few people realize is that once you've owned a car for a while, you know what's good and bad about it.

Why take away the stability of four known-good cars and shrink it down to two, which could have problems coming up?

Additionally, gas is not going to get cheaper, and selling those SUV's down the road will be difficult without taking a large hit in value. The MR2 will probably not sell for $11k unless it's highly modified or low-miles/near-stock. I see them listed for that kind of price, sure, but what are they actually selling for?

It sounds more that you're in the market for a newer daily driver with seating for more people. How often do you have customers in your car, and on average how many?

At the end of the day, you're spending your hard-earned money how you want to.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:43 AM   #3
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do you own all of the cars? if so, unless you are having consistent maintenance problems, i'd say keep the fleet.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:53 AM   #4
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With a total commute of what, 300 miles a week, your two options for replacement vehicles are going to suck your wallet dry. We have an Acadia and it sits in the garage during the week only to be used for road trips and we we're hauling people. The 40mpg I get in my CR-Z looks at lot better than the 20 in the Acadia. I drive pretty conservatively and still haven't achieved EPA highway estimates unless there's lots of downhill on the interstate.

I could see dumping the Buick and the truck for a Lambda. Then get a small utility trailer for dump runs and such. The tow rating with tow package is 5200 lbs.

EDIT: You say you don't take anyone on your commute but then state you need to transport customers and guests? So which one is it?
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Part of the reasoning behind all of this is that we are likely to move somewhere that doesn't have as much space for all the vehicles. If I had to keep one vehicle based on practicality, it would be the van. Based on desire and awesomeness, it would be the MR2.

So maybe sell the insight, truck and MR2 and just spring for the Avalanche, while keeping the van might make the most sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alkalinetaupehat View Post
The MR2 will probably not sell for $11k unless it's highly modified or low-miles/near-stock. I see them listed for that kind of price, sure, but what are they actually selling for?

How often do you have customers in your car, and on average how many?
It is highly modified.

I don't yet, but I just accepted a different position that will require a lot more of it. It will be at least weekly, 2-3 people.

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do you own all of the cars? if so, unless you are having consistent maintenance problems, i'd say keep the fleet.
I do, not a payment on any.

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... 20 in the Acadia. I drive pretty conservatively and still haven't achieved EPA highway estimates unless there's lots of downhill on the interstate.

I could see dumping the Buick and the truck for a Lambda. Then get a small utility trailer for dump runs and such. The tow rating with tow package is 5200 lbs.

EDIT: You say you don't take anyone on your commute but then state you need to transport customers and guests? So which one is it?
Good info on the Acadia, I've seen other info along those lines on other forums, thanks.

What's a Lambda?

Both. Beginning 1/1, I will be changing positions.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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I did something similar and am much happier.

Another suggestion to look at is the GX470. It's basically just a baby land rover (edit land cruiser), IE built very very well, is 4wd and has some luxury to it. It's true body on frame, so pickup a cheap trailer in case you need the utility of a truck bed.

Last edited by SpatiallyAware; 11-23-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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Sell everything, and get a Forester.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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or an A6 Allroad with two sets of tires (road/offroad) and a trailer.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #9
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Lambda is a reference to the platform. The current Lambda vehicles are the Acadia, Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave. Formerly the Saturn Outlook too.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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Maybe a dealer will give you decent trade-in value for the whole lot.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #11
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Selling the MR2 already?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
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or an A6 Allroad with two sets of tires (road/offroad) and a trailer.
Yeah I would consider a trailer when designing your new portfolio of vehicles. It's much cheaper to insure and maintain a trailer than an additional vehicle. If you aren't loading it up with more than a few thousand pounds and it's only used a few times a year you can tow it with almost anything.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jme5343 View Post
Part of the reasoning behind all of this is that we are likely to move somewhere that doesn't have as much space for all the vehicles. If I had to keep one vehicle based on practicality, it would be the van. Based on desire and awesomeness, it would be the MR2.

So maybe sell the insight, truck and MR2 and just spring for the Avalanche, while keeping the van might make the most sense.

It is highly modified.

I don't yet, but I just accepted a different position that will require a lot more of it. It will be at least weekly, 2-3 people.
Maybe you could find a middle ground which would ease the increase on the gas bill while still fitting your needs? One thing that has always got me about vehicles is legroom. If you've got it, trips are great - even in smaller vehicles. Edmunds.com has this list of the top-10 sedans in 2012 with the most legroom. I've rode in and rented SUV's because I wanted the space, only to find they don't really have legroom. The Traverse is a great proof of it, and the Avalanche too, albeit to a lesser degree. They come in at 36.8" and 39.1" of rear legroom, respectively. The smallest amount of legroom on the top-10 list was 38.1", the biggest coming in at 40.9". Going through the list, the redesigned Dodge Charger came up with 40.1".

292hp, 21/27 city/hwy, seats 5. In Michigan at least, I found plenty with up to 10k miles on the clock for $19-$21k. At $21,000 you were essentially buying a new one, since several had less than 200 miles on them. I'd give those a look, since they still handle well, have plenty of power, and the space you need. Front legroom also favored the Charger by half an inch over the Chevys, at 41.8".

Sources:
Avalanche - http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/ava...=&sub=crew-cab
Traverse - http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/tra...s.html?sub=suv
Charger - http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/charger...html?sub=sedan
Top 10 Sedans - Legroom - http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/t...-for-2012.html
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Last edited by alkalinetaupehat; 11-24-2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: added sources
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Maybe you could find a middle ground which would ease the increase on the gas bill while still fitting your needs?
You are probably on to something. For as little as I use the truck, it may behoove me to keep the old junker that I have, sell the insight (already sold it today, btw) and grab something like you linked - or an avalon, or a camry, or an accord, etc, etc, etc. Better fuel mileage is certainly appealing.
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