Author Topic: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD  (Read 6495 times)

MrChanticleer

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Long time reader, first time forum user.

As the subject line indicates, I am considering trading in my 4 door Wrangler (very antimustachian car, I know) for a much smaller and more fuel efficient Scion xD.

The problem is that my family (wife, mom) and friends love the Jeep. One of the reasons we got the Jeep in the first place is to haul our camping gear for family trips and to carry our bikes to various riding spots.

I have read all the MMM blog posts, including http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/08/turning-a-little-car-into-a-big-one/ but I am still a little hesitant that I can make the xD work for me. (And convince the family.)

I think the camping and bike rack problem could be solved by adding a tow hitch to the Scion. But as a subcompact, the only tow hitches I can find for it are class 1. I don't know a lot about towing (I've never towed anything before), but it is my understanding that class 1 hitches are wimpy.

Could I tow a small trailer with it? Would it hold a bike rack for 3 bikes?

Does anyone have any input or guidance for me? I could really use the help!

Thanks!

alex109

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 01:46:02 PM »
I mean, you do not have to get the scion, there could be other cars that have similar reliability, mpg, and even greater towing capacity. Have you checked out the Honda Fit? Does it have more towing capacity? Plus, the seats fold down, and you will have even more interior storage than your wrangler.

MrChanticleer

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 02:27:00 PM »
Thanks Alex!

You're right that I haven't actually go the Scion yet. You are also right about the cargo space. It looks like the cargo space breaks down like this (rear seats up/rear seats down):

Jeep: 46.4 cu ft / 82 cu ft
Honda Fit: 20.6 cu ft / 57.3 cu ft
Scion xD: 10.5 cu ft / 35.7 cu ft

The Fit definately beats the xD for cargo space on the inside. We tend to be big packers though, and even with the Fit I would likely need to tow a trailer. It looks like the Fit/xd would have the same issues as far as towing goes and I would still definately need an exterior bike rack. (No way 3 bikes would fit in any of those cars, even the Jeep.)

alex109

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 03:30:10 PM »
Maybe you can find a crossover that gets mid 20's in the city and 30'ish at highway speed along with greater towing capacity? Actually a older volvo station wagon sounds like it would fit the bill. However, they are kind of pricey and their city mpgs will be more like 20.

gooki

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 03:49:48 PM »
Get a light weight station wagon with a small engine. It doesn't have to be particularly modern either.

My 1998 Nissan Wingroad will average between 35 and 40MPG, and has  a good amount of storage space, and will happily take 3 bikes on the back with a bike rack attached to the tow bar.

Some photo's (not mine):





I'm not specifically recommending this model is best for you, but it does sound like a light weight small engined (1.5 to 1.8 liter) station wagon will suit your family the best.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 03:51:48 PM by gooki »

Mike Key

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 07:49:54 AM »
Long time reader, first time forum user.

As the subject line indicates, I am considering trading in my 4 door Wrangler (very antimustachian car, I know) for a much smaller and more fuel efficient Scion xD.

The problem is that my family (wife, mom) and friends love the Jeep. One of the reasons we got the Jeep in the first place is to haul our camping gear for family trips and to carry our bikes to various riding spots.

I have read all the MMM blog posts, including http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/08/turning-a-little-car-into-a-big-one/ but I am still a little hesitant that I can make the xD work for me. (And convince the family.)

I think the camping and bike rack problem could be solved by adding a tow hitch to the Scion. But as a subcompact, the only tow hitches I can find for it are class 1. I don't know a lot about towing (I've never towed anything before), but it is my understanding that class 1 hitches are wimpy.

Could I tow a small trailer with it? Would it hold a bike rack for 3 bikes?

Does anyone have any input or guidance for me? I could really use the help!

Thanks!

Is your Jeep Paid for out right and can you make an even trade or are you purchasing a used Scion for less value than your Jeep? Spending money to save money, won't result in any savings if you do the math out on a sheet of paper.

Scizzler

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 08:25:22 AM »
I recently traded in a Scion xD. It was a great commuter car, averaging almost 40 mpg on the highway. However, it was underpowered and it handled like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. With such a short front end and front wheel drive it had traction problems even on wet pavement with new tires, so I wouldn't look to an xD to replace a Wrangler. If you never take your Wrangler off-road, that's a little different. You could probably do pretty well with an older model Subaru though if you want better mileage than you're getting and some ability to take it offroad.

James

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 08:32:22 AM »
Is your Jeep Paid for out right and can you make an even trade or are you purchasing a used Scion for less value than your Jeep? Spending money to save money, won't result in any savings if you do the math out on a sheet of paper.

That was my thought, you are asking the right questions, but probably not giving enough info in order to get the best advice.  The better and more extensive info we have the better the advice.

Based on the info we have I don't think you need anything special for your trips, a small trailer would certainly work for whatever space you need.  A bike rack on the hitch with storage on the roof would also provide plenty of space.  But the xD doesn't jump out at me as a natural choice given your desire for cargo space.

MrChanticleer

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 01:08:33 PM »
Thanks everyone.
Quote
Is your Jeep Paid for out right and can you make an even trade or are you purchasing a used Scion for less value than your Jeep? Spending money to save money, won't result in any savings if you do the math out on a sheet of paper.
Quote
That was my thought, you are asking the right questions, but probably not giving enough info in order to get the best advice.  The better and more extensive info we have the better the advice.

Based on the info we have I don't think you need anything special for your trips, a small trailer would certainly work for whatever space you need.  A bike rack on the hitch with storage on the roof would also provide plenty of space.  But the xD doesn't jump out at me as a natural choice given your desire for cargo space.

Good points. The Jeep is financed, but I have about $12k-$14k in equity depending on where trade it in. I was looking to buy something used for no more than $8k, and use the extra to pay off some other debts. That way I would save by not having a car payment, and save not having the payments on the other debts either.

Quote
I'm not specifically recommending this model is best for you, but it does sound like a light weight small engined (1.5 to 1.8 liter) station wagon will suit your family the best.


That makes sense.  I definately want the gas milage savings a small engine can provide. I have a 40 mile round trip commute 2 days a week and a 55 mile round trip commute the other 3 days (I work 5 days a week and do night school 3 nights). In the long term, I plan to get a job closer to home, but that will probably not happen until I finish school. (2 years).

I should probably mention also, that my wife has a midsize SUV (2006 Kia Sportage) that we own outright, so I don't really need the interior storage space, I guess. But I would like to be able to transport the bikes with either vehicle.

Thanks again for everyone's help. I am fairly new to Mustachian ways, but I am excited to get on the right track.

Daley

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 01:16:44 PM »
But I would like to be able to transport the bikes with either vehicle.

Simple question: why do you appear to need a trailer hitch to transport bicycles?

http://www.amazon.com/s/url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=trunk+mount+bike+rack

MrChanticleer

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 01:20:14 PM »
But I would like to be able to transport the bikes with either vehicle.

Simple question: why do you appear to need a trailer hitch to transport bicycles?

http://www.amazon.com/s/url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=trunk+mount+bike+rack

Wow, thanks! I was just not aware that there were other options.

Daley

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Re: Thinking of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for Scion xD
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 02:02:26 PM »
But I would like to be able to transport the bikes with either vehicle.

Simple question: why do you appear to need a trailer hitch to transport bicycles?

http://www.amazon.com/s/url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=trunk+mount+bike+rack

Wow, thanks! I was just not aware that there were other options.

No problem, glad to have helped!

Bit of advice, though, as I've used trunk mount racks off and on for the past decade and a half. The most vocal complaints from people who use these racks are people who whinge about the straps coming loose on long trips, this is because they never learned the value of knot tying or the importance of securing a strap with a load on it. Simply learning how to tie a saddle cinch knot overcomes this problem and should serve you well. The only other remaining argument against their usage (beyond vehicle damaging shortcomings of cheaper models with lousy padding and tiny strap hooks) is the added difficulty of accessing the trunk while the rack is in place, but most people encounter that problem with larger vehicles that can take a hitch mount rack as well, so it's no great loss. Just pack accordingly and keep the less used stuff that's more likely to be accessed when the bikes are off the racks in the trunk.

There's also roof-mounted bike racks, but parking your bikes on the roof a) makes it more difficult to access and utilize while on the road, b) kills your gas mileage, c) makes lower overpasses a hazard, and d) keeps you from using a luggage rack or storage box/bags in its stead for added cross-country vehicle storage.