Author Topic: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle  (Read 2975 times)

Gone Fishing

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Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« on: June 25, 2015, 09:29:11 AM »
So, our 2002 Sienna has close to 225k miles on it.  It has provide great service but I think it may be nearing the end of it's reliable life and thought I should go ahead and have a replacement model identified prior to a breakdown that I do not feel is worth fixing.

So far I have it narrowed down to another Sienna, probably a 2010-2011 model, or a CRV from the same period.

The only clear potential advantages to the CRV would be about 4 mpg and maybe $500-$1000 less on the purchase price. 

Right now, our 2002 Sienna gets used far too much for commuting/errands/kid taxi because I have the 2nd car (Corolla) 35 miles away at the office, but once I ER, I imagine the larger vehicle can sit at home much more often, only being used for vacations, hauling farm materials, and occasional times when we need to be in two places at the same time. We very rarely have the need to carry 5+ passengers, so the rear seats stay in the basement most of the time. 

Once ERed, I am estimating 12k miles per year and $3 per gallon which gives me around $300 annual savings* (*see towing below) per year by going with the CRV, or around $3k over our typical ownership period (10 years) add the lower purchase price and we are looking at around a total $4k difference by getting the CRV.

Here is the rub:

Vacations- We like to take very economical camping/canoeing/fishing vacations.  I am estimating these trips will probably account for around half of the total annual miles on the vehicle. Unfortunately, this requires a lot of gear and space to haul it.  As it is, we have found ourselves maxing out the interior and rooftop space of our current Sienna.  Our last big trip (3k miles) included 2 canoes on the roof and completely full cargo area (with the rear seats removed).  Making this happen with the CRV would require either both a roof rack and a hitch carrier (which would still be pushing it), or our 4x8 utility trailer outfitted with canoe racks and a gear box.  From what information I can find online, gas milage while towing with the CRV can drop into the mid-teens, which would actually be worse than the fully loaded Sienna, so I would like to avoid towing for long road trips if at all possible as it would negate nearly all of the annual mpg savings if we towed for the full 6k miles of roadtrip.     

The exception to the is may be the fact that my aunt and uncle have a small pop-up that we can borrow any time we like, but we have not tried it yet.  This may be a nice upgrade to our camping in the future, especially if we are taking longer trips in ER.  My grandparents towed it with their CRV with no problem on flat ground, but never really tried it in the mountains.

Farm materials-  We routinely (2-3 times a month) haul mulch, hay, firewood and other materials short low mph (45) distances (10-20 miles max) using our 4x8 utility trailer.  The CRV is rated at 1500 lbs vs the Sienna's 3500.  Our regular loads would come close to the top end, or slightly over for the CRV.  I don't worry too much given the low speeds and short distances as the CRV is rated for 3000 lbs in some other countries, but it is a consideration.

Given the amount of towing (albeit fairly light) we currently do and additional towing we might do in the future I imagine the Sienna's V6 and subsequently larger transmission would be better suited, however, I do not see many accounts of problems from people who tow with a CRV.

So what say you?

     
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 09:34:40 AM by So Close »

CmFtns

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2015, 11:20:57 AM »
How many people do you bring on your vacations?

If you have 5 people and you really use the car 50% for super long road trips I don't think you can ignore the comfort of a little bit of elbow room.

It sounds like your leaning toward the sienna anyway.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 11:22:47 AM by comfyfutons »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 11:24:24 AM »
How many people do you bring on your vacations?

4

I should have made that more clear!

Jeremy E.

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 11:33:00 AM »
2013 Mazda CX5 is the same price as a 2011 CRV assuming both have 40k miles on them. The CX5 get's much better gas mileage (EPA 26 City 35 Highway) and is newer. A 2013 Mazda CX5 with 40k miles on it in very good condition is valued at $16,000 (KBB.com)

CmFtns

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 12:17:23 PM »
How many people do you bring on your vacations?

4

I should have made that more clear!


If I were you, and had 4 or less people, I would hook up a 4x8 utility trailer to your corolla, put your canoes and gear on it then hit the open road.

Any car can tow 1,000lbs or so just as well as it can hold a few very heavy friends and hundreds of pounds of food from your local costco/wholesale store


Gone Fishing

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 12:52:24 PM »
How many people do you bring on your vacations?

4

I should have made that more clear!


If I were you, and had 4 or less people, I would hook up a 4x8 utility trailer to your corolla, put your canoes and gear on it then hit the open road.

Any car can tow 1,000lbs or so just as well as it can hold a few very heavy friends and hundreds of pounds of food from your local costco/wholesale store

So would I, but long trips in the Corolla aggrevate my wife's back pain, so we need something with more upright for seating.

CmFtns

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 01:33:13 PM »
So would I, but long trips in the Corolla aggrevate my wife's back pain, so we need something with more upright for seating.

Well if you rule out smaller cars because of comfort on long trips then.

Your comparing a minivan vs a crossover pulling a trailer. You'll absolutely be more comfortable and get better gas mileage in minivan. You just have to weight the slightly higher purchase price of van vs those benefits. Also whichever one your wife likes will probably be a good choice.

mateoSF

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Re: Help me pick a new (used) vehicle
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 07:35:06 PM »
What about an older Sienna (2005-2008) with around 100k miles?  You could save some $$$ (purchase price/tax, registration) and probably avoid needing collision coverage.