Author Topic: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?  (Read 2101 times)

jeromedawg

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Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« on: June 29, 2017, 01:04:07 PM »
Hey all,

We've been considering a minivan thinking about having 3 kids in the future but I was curious if anyone has suggestions for anything else that can support taking 3 kids around that is AWD and has decent MPG but isn't necessarily a van? I'm just thinking ahead in terms of wanting to go on road trips where there might be the potential for going 'off-road' like on beaches or dirt roads and even potentially hauling a trailer.

Subaru comes to mind but was wondering if there are other suggestions.

Currently we have a Rav4 and a super old Camry 93. I barely drive the Camry around now that I'm WFH and if we really wanted to go down to one car we could. Just trying to come up with ideas for the next potential car as we may outgrow the Rav4 especially if we have a third.

Car Jack

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Re: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 01:13:47 PM »
So do you already have 2 kids or are you doing long term planning?  I'll answer 2 ways.  If you're just planning, buy a manual transmission Subaru Impreza.  Why?  They're cheap, have "real" AWD get about 30 mpg and avoiding the biggest problem (the CVT transmission) gives you Honda kind of reliability (well Honda manual....their CVTs also have issues). 

Ok, so if you already have 2 and might have a 3rd, I guess I'm sorta stuck.  Ford Fusion, perhaps?  They do come with AWD and I've noticed that a ton of new ones come in AWD.  Nice and big.  Not big enough?  Taurus?  They're huge. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 01:31:10 PM »
So do you already have 2 kids or are you doing long term planning?  I'll answer 2 ways.  If you're just planning, buy a manual transmission Subaru Impreza.  Why?  They're cheap, have "real" AWD get about 30 mpg and avoiding the biggest problem (the CVT transmission) gives you Honda kind of reliability (well Honda manual....their CVTs also have issues). 

Ok, so if you already have 2 and might have a 3rd, I guess I'm sorta stuck.  Ford Fusion, perhaps?  They do come with AWD and I've noticed that a ton of new ones come in AWD.  Nice and big.  Not big enough?  Taurus?  They're huge.

Yea, we have two kids now so it's more short to midterm planning.

I'd be happy with driving manual, so thanks for the suggestion! My brother has an Impreza WRX wagon and I really like those - I was considering getting one for a long time but never brought myself to it. Of course, I'm not sure I'd need to get a WRX as the standard Impreza sounds just fine.

I'll look into the Fusion and Taurus. Though, I grew up around people who have the idea that "American" made cars are problematic (constantly in need of repairs and generally therefore more expensive). Maybe things have changed in the past decade but I've never really given much thought to Ford, etc. Is that something of concern though?

rothwem

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Re: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 01:36:31 PM »
You really don't need AWD for the purposes you're describing.  Dirt roads are fine 2WD, and you definitely don't need AWD for towing a trailer.  On a beach, if you don't have ground clearance, you'll get stuck, even with AWD, just ask my dumbass friends that got their 2014 Impreza stuck at the outer banks and got stuck with a $500 towing bill.

 

marielle

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Re: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 01:39:15 PM »
You can drive on dirt roads and most beaches perfectly fine with a two-wheel drive car. A van can also tow a small trailer. Even if you rented a car every time you needed this capability, I think you'd still come out ahead with buying the van now. Unless you're talking about taking a trip every month or actually going off road on a mountain or something (meaning, not dirt/gravel roads). As MMM says, AWD comes with increased costs in gas due to extra weight and more potential for failure due to extra drive components. Just food for thought.

jamesbond007

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Re: Ideas on an AWD car w/ decent MPG and good for kids?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 02:02:05 PM »
AWD is overkill IMO. In fact it turns out to be more expensive when you drive in snow. You have to put chains on all 4 wheels.