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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Step Up
Time for all lurkers to step up!

No, seriously, we need some help.

We have two more car payments to make on our car. Yippee!!! It's been fine, but it's now way too small. It will make an excellent 2nd car as our current 2nd car is a '92 Geo Tracker that Jim bought 10 years ago. It had over 100,000 miles then. It's actually a great car. We've never had any trouble with it at all, but time is not on its side. We're going to use it as a trade-in and buy another car. Our current main car will then become the back up car aka Jim's car.

I'd like to hold off a few months on the new car because life without a car payment sounds good for a few months. I don't know how long we'll be able to make it though. We've always carpooled to work. Our schools are five minutes apart, but that isn't going to work this year. Jim will be running an afterschool homework program. Things like that weren't a problem in the past. I always had plenty to do at school and would just wait until he came to get me. I don't think Sera will be as willing to wait. This means she and I will have to drive separately on days he runs the program, which will be Monday - Thursday for the most part.

Anyway, enough babbling, on to the dilemma. We are a family of three, but we take long car trips once or twice a year. Plus, we'd like to be able to have other people in the car if we want to road trip to Chicago or Detroit, or just load up at the IKEA in either city.

I'm a big wimp in the winter time. The only time I felt really safe driving on ice was the couple of years we had a Chevy Blazer. Now that Blazer was a huge lemon. We bought it used and are lucky it lasted as long as it did. It wasn't old, but it just fell apart.

I like the idea of a minivan. I like the three rows of seating. I like the electric sliding doors. I want a rear entertainment system (remember long car trips). And I like the gas mileage.

Jim would prefer an SUV. It's more manly, you know. I like how SUVs drive in ice and snow. I'm not thrilled with the gas mileage on them though. I also don't think it would give us more seating than a regular car: two in front and three in back. Unless we bought a Suburban or Yukon, but those are awfully big for our everyday use, and they're more than we can really spend on a car. The storage part is good. He would also like XM radio though we do currently use a car kit.

To sum it up, we need a vehicle that will hold a minimum of two large adults and one car seat with the ability to add additional passengers. We would like decent gas mileage, rear seat entertainment, and the ability to hold all our stuff when we travel without requiring a trailer.

Oh, and we'd like it to be cheap, please. Which leads to another question, new or used? I'd always bought new cars and had good luck with them until our current car, which has had some issues. Jim had always bought used cars and had good luck until the previously mentioned Blazer. I'm leaning towards used, just a year or two, due to the fact that we're looking at an expensive car and that way someone else gets the depreciation hit. Jim is leaning towards new because he doesn't want a car with hidden problems.

Oy! What to do? What do you drive? Do you love it? What do you recommend?



Blogger Gail said...

Hi Magi,
I drive a Toyota Sienna Minivan and love it!
I had a Honda Accord (10years old) and wanted something I could use to haul big things if needed.
I am a single mom so I didn't really want a truck.
Minivan works well. I can put half of the back seats down if needed to fit long, big or bulky things.
The Entertainment Center is definitely a plus when traveling and it drives like a car. Gas Mileage as well.
Buying a new car is stressful, I know it is for me.
I am happy with my decision.
Good Luck

Blogger Lori Franklin said...

Magi, we were in a horrible car crash about 8 years ago and we were driving a used Dodge Caravan and we all survived. It was totalled and we all walked away. This was so scary that when we decided to replace it we bought the same model, but moved up a step or two to a Chrysler Town n Country minivan. It had leather, heated seats (sooooo nice in the winter), and was the longer version, so we could haul lots of gear. We often had seven people comfortably seated in it. We ran the hell out of that van and when I said goodbye to it last fall (when I got my Miata) I felt sadness for all of the places and fun times we had in it. I'd recommend leather because it's so easy to clean and it smells so wonderful. We didn't have the DVD system, but I probably would have paid for it if we had. The car had a few bugs, easily taken care of before the warranty ran out. I think we got it up over 100,000 miles on it. We run all of our cars into the ground. And we've bought both new and used and let me tell you, when you get a first "ding" it hurts a LOT less when it's a used car. And the new car payments can be really high. The next car we are looking at is a Toyota Prius, but we are waiting for the one to come out that can actually plug into electricity in your garage to charge. We also just sold our "crap" car - '91 Eagle Talon for $900 (!) and Casey's bomb of a car, a Mercury Sable ('93) for $400. Now we have the '02 Pontiac Grand Am (boys share it) and Eddy's '01 Kia Sephia and my litte used '01 Mazda. I really can't say anything bad about the minivan - the versatility w/ moveable seating makes it work like a truck when you need it. And when you have having friends over or transporting friends, it's so nice to do it in one vehicle. Keep us posted on what you get!!

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