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What's the best vehicle for my needs?

tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
Having a hard time finding the right vehicle to fit your needs? Let's talk about it here!


  • bigbutrbigbutr Posts: 111
    I currently work for the USPS doing rural mail delivery 2-3 days a week and am looking at replacing my current vehicle. It is a still-in-pretty good shape 1996 Chevy S-10 extended cab truck with a little over 86,000 miles on it. I average around 14 mpg on my route, which encompasses about 75 miles and something like 600 plus boxes.
    I plan on driving the truck until it quits, though I've heard with proper maintenance, that 4.3 Vortec V6 will run forever. I managed to suck up some water into the engine on one day :sick: , but after draining, drying and new fluids, it runs even better (mileage actually went up from 12 to 14 after that, though I can't figure out why ). :confuse:
    I've looked at numerous small SUV's (RAV4, CRV, Element, new FJ Cruiser, Escape Hybrid, HHR among many) and even some cars, though I don't really need another car since my 96 Beretta with just over 80,000 miles is still running strong and delivering right around 30 mpg.
    The only requirements necessary are being able to drive the vehicle from on or half-of the passenger seat without sitting on a gear shifter and plenty of storage space.
    The Element seems to fit the overall package, but I'm a little concerned with some reports of poor gas mileage, and that's just regular driving, not the hard stop-and-go I subject my truck to.
    Plus, I don't know if I void any warranty coverage since I'm sure the hard work will strain some parts. I ask this because one of our other rural carriers bought a right-hand drive Jeep Wrangler (made specifically for rural mail delivery) but was told if she used it in that manner, she voided her warranty coverage. How crazy is that? :confuse:
    Sorry if I rambled on, but if there are any other rural carriers out there, I'd like their thoughts. Any other thoughts are appreciated as well.

    Panama City, Florida
  • yoroseyorose Posts: 1
    We are presently driving a 1997 Lincoln Towncar that we would like to replace within the next few of years. We like the Lincoln's comfortable ride and the fact that the seats sit higher than many other cars. (It is getting harder on our knees to get in and out of vehicles that are too low to the ground.) For our next car, we have considered SUV's, but believe the ride would be rougher than we are used to. Minivans are a possiblity, but that's more space than we need. Any recommendations on a car that would meet our needs? Is there any way we can compare seat heights other than physically getting in and out of each car? Thank you!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    There's a discussion group here about vehicles for elderly and diabled. It's not had many posters recent weeks

    the link is
    Disabled and elderly

    This message has been approved.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I'm thinking this topic is a little more general so there can be more interaction.

    Anyone got any suggestions for bigbutr or yorose?


    tidester, host
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    I've heard that many older people like the Ford 500 because its seats are at a height that makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I think the Toyota Avalon, with power seats, would be a good choice.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I've heard that many older people like the Ford 500 because its seats are at a height that makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.

    I'll second this recommendation. The Ford Five Hundred has a similar step-in height to a minivan (I believe it's the same platform Volvo uses on its XC90 - station wagon looking thing). My mother uses a Nissan Quest (and Pontiac Montana before it) to tote my disabled 90 YO great aunt around.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    The Element seems to fit the overall package, but I'm a little concerned with some reports of poor gas mileage, and that's just regular driving, not the hard stop-and-go I subject my truck to.

    I would try to find a Ford Ranger with a bench. Those things will literally run forever, and are much heavier-duty than something like an Element.

    I've seen local mail carriers using Ford Escapes, but you can't get those with bench seats.
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132

    There are many crossover utility vehicles that may fit your needs. I have osteoarthritis in my hips and currently it is hard for me to get out of my Intrepid. Examples of crossovers are the Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape, Acura MDX, Mercury Mariner, Honda Pilot, etc. My favorite and the one I will buy is the Hyundai Santa Fe. I'm getting it because it is easy to get in and out of. I have also tested the Highlander and it was easy, too. The others would be similar.
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,028
    A large local newspaper is looking to interview 18-25 year olds on what type of car they are looking to purchase. Please send an e-mail to no later than Friday, August 18, 2006 by 2:30 PM PT/5:30 PM ET containing your daytime contact information.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • Hey yawll,
    Its finally time to think about my first car to use on the road. As I near 16, my old truck will just not be enough. My parents have descided to get me a new car that will be broke in before I leave for collage in the coming years. A few alternatives that I have come up with is the Kia Rio/ Hyundai Accent. Any info on those cars will be greatly appreciated. Another would be the Chevy Aveo. Possibly, I might consider the new Nissan Versa, and the Suzuki SX4. Any advice will be greatly appreciated in relations to this topic. Any input on the cars listed above or any others you would reccomend along those lines will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • cjuricacjurica Posts: 7
    Hello everybody;

    I am looking to get into a newer car. I dont mind used, I have '05 Tahoe now, wife has a '03 Audi A4 1.8 convertable, I want to trade in Tahoe to get something around $30,000, keping in mind we will be having babies on the way. I have never been a big import guy but am open to anything, my auto will be the main car. So i need 4 doors, not big on getting another big SUV, but would like something cool. I just need some ideas on what to look at,

  • So... are you thinking sedan, or maybe a crossover? As a person who has *had* babies, I can tell you that getting a vehicle with back seats that don't require bending way down to access is a BIG plus when dealing with infants in car seats.

    Crossovers are kind of nice in this regard because they allow you to get kids in and out of the vehicle without being a contortionist - you can plop them right in at your waist level or higher.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • cjuricacjurica Posts: 7
    I just dont want to look like a scooer mom, i am a 34 year old guy who wants something cool but willing to be pratical
  • Have you considered the Chevy Eqinox, the Pontiac Torrent or the new Suzuki XL-7? Suzuki may be an import but its XL-7 is derived from the Eqinox plsatform so you might get a better deal on the Suzuki than you can the Chevy/Pontiac. If so, then its a steal. I guess these vehichles are big enough without being a quote" big SUV " I hope this helps you friend.
  • roundtriproundtrip Posts: 105
    A friend bought an Equinox. Nice looking car on the outside but a kinda strange tricolor inside. It rode comfortably for the 2 miles I was in it. :P I don't think mileage is too great, but she wanted something with lots of room. She's a big girl and needed her space.
  • cjuricacjurica Posts: 7
    oh wow, thats hard core, Well i am a big boy 6'-3" 250, so i need some space too, i was thinking maybe a hardtop jeep wrangler, or a mini cooper s, i wonder how hard it would be to get the eugrats in and out of those cars?
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    You may want to look at the Ford Edge crossover coming this fall.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    If you don't have babies yet, you may want to consider a CR-V or RAV4. Good amount of space without the mileage penalty. The Mazda5 is another possibility, part sedan, part minivan. I have to agree with kristie Easier on the back if don't have to bend so much to put your child in a car seat. If the babies are coming soon, buy your car seat and take it with you as you shop to make sure it fits in the back seat.

    Don't knock the minivans. Sales have gone up and there are more choices on the market. Best use of space in a passenger vehicle adn they get decent gas mileage. BTW if you are about to be a daddy, forget cool.
  • What do you guys think of the Malibu Maxx? That might be what you are looking for. If you like style you can opt for the SS with the 3.9L V6, and if you want low cost, opt for the base with the 3.5. I think that car would be addiquit even if you see kids in your near future.
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