Author Topic: Help ditching the SUV  (Read 660 times)

joenorm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Help ditching the SUV
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:49:58 AM »
I have a paid for car, but it sucks on gas.

Pros-
It's "cool"
very good 4 wheel drive never gets stuck
can sleep in it
can tow medium sized loads
very reliable/low miles
Good resale value (can sell for 12K)

Cons-
Gas guzzler (16-20 mpg)
I hardly ever use 4x4
I rarely tow anything
I probably go on less trips because of gas issue even though its a great vehicle for trips and that is why I bought it.

Was thinking about selling it and buying something for half the cost, with better fuel economy. But at the same time, I own this thing, I know what I have, there are transactional costs involved with the trade. If well maintained this vehicle could go another 15-20 years no problem.

Thoughts appreciated

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Help ditching the SUV
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 10:17:05 AM »
How much depreciation will there be if you keep it another year or two?  That would help me calculate on whether to keep it or not.  Also think of the ongoing maintenance.  I used to have a Honda Civic, I loved that car it was simple and reliable, cost to replace 4 tires was $200, vs $1000 for my current Venza. 

If it is a close call, then think of some intangibles such as how much of a pain is it to park vs how much safer do you feel in it.  For some things math doesn't always win out.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Help ditching the SUV
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 10:31:28 AM »
How much driving do you actually do?

If you're putting 3k miles/yr on a car because you bike to work/work from home/etc, and mostly use it to go out camping in the muck, that's very different from putting 20k miles/yr of commuting on it in city traffic.

What do you actually need in a vehicle, and what are your wants?

I've got a truck that gets about 12mpg, but it rarely gets driven outside times I'm using it as a truck (hauling, towing, climbing around our hillside in 4Lo, etc), so the fuel economy doesn't really bother me.  I'm not spending much on fuel in the first place.  However, we optimized my wife's car to a Chevy Volt, which is quite cheap to run for our common 20-30 mile trips into town.

joenorm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Help ditching the SUV
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 08:53:26 AM »
It's true, I don't drive it much. Probably 3-5K per year. I have another truck I use for work that I have no problem beating up a little. This one stays shiny.

The vehicle in question is great for times when its needed, but the majority of the time its a waste (18mpg, heavy, off road tires))

I am tempted to replace it with a Honda Fit, or Prius. But I am curious how those vehicles do on fire roads for the couple times a year that the big tires/high clearance come in handy. I am not an "off-roader" by any means, but driving 20 mies down a washboard road to get to a trailhead will happen in the future.
Sleeping in the back is nice, But I could forgo that for a tent.

Another issue is that the vehicle is coming up on quite a bit of maintenance, needs water pump/timing belt replace, needs tires. But it is in high enough demand that I can sell it for a good price without doing these things. Saves maybe 2K of near future work.

Anyway. Can any small, low to the ground car owners speak on the clearance issues for adventuring.

thanks

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3490
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Help ditching the SUV
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 09:13:18 AM »
I am tempted to replace it with a Honda Fit, or Prius. But I am curious how those vehicles do on fire roads for the couple times a year that the big tires/high clearance come in handy. I am not an "off-roader" by any means, but driving 20 mies down a washboard road to get to a trailhead will happen in the future.

https://jalopnik.com/this-lifted-prius-trolls-jeeps-1825777000

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Help ditching the SUV
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 09:32:52 AM »
It's true, I don't drive it much. Probably 3-5K per year. I have another truck I use for work that I have no problem beating up a little. This one stays shiny.

Why do you need two trucks?  Obviously your goal is to get rid of one, but how flexible is your other truck?  Can you take it out to trailheads and such, or is it purely a work truck?

Quote
The vehicle in question is great for times when its needed, but the majority of the time its a waste (18mpg, heavy, off road tires))

Ah.  Yeah.  A "money pit" from tires alone.  Says the guy with 19.5" highway tires that need replacing soon. :/

Quote
I am tempted to replace it with a Honda Fit, or Prius. But I am curious how those vehicles do on fire roads for the couple times a year that the big tires/high clearance come in handy. I am not an "off-roader" by any means, but driving 20 mies down a washboard road to get to a trailhead will happen in the future.
Sleeping in the back is nice, But I could forgo that for a tent.

A Fit or Prius or such will handle gravel just fine, will handle washboards just fine, but will not handle rutted roads or muddy trails at all (for a first order estimate).

It sounds like you might consider a Subaru wagon (AWD, better fuel economy than the truck, can still sleep in the back).

Or, at 3k-5k miles/yr, can you just use a bike for more local transportation and put fewer miles on your truck?  You're not putting that many miles on in the first place.