Calling all the car experts

4 02 2013

My Jetta TDI is going to die.  Its death is not immanent. I’m lucky, I have sometime to plan.  I figure I have about 2 years max, 1 year more likely before I’ll have to dish out a significant amount of cash to replace it.  Unfortunately, what I’m supposed to replace it with has me at loss. I think I’m being realistic is asking for a vehicle that seats 5 comfortably, has enough trunk space to pack up food and ski / kayak gear for a family, isn’t massive, super expensive or a gas guzzler and enable AWD / 4WD.  Ideally I would like optional 3rd row seating so that I can actually take monkey and his friends places.  Don’t bother suggesting a mini-Van, despite the fact that I’m willing to consider a station wagon, Mr.SM will. Not. Buy. A mini-Van.

Suggestions?

 

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6 responses

4 02 2013
Sarah

I am guessing that a Mazda5 is too much of a minivan for Mr. SM, but if it’s an option, I highly recommend it. It’s not actually much bigger than our Mazda3, very easy to drive, and has a great combo of people vs gear space. (It’s a bit of a tradeoff – you can do 4 and tons of gear, 5 and a reasonable amount of stuff, or 6 and not much else.)

4 02 2013
Allez

Apparently you and I are looking for the same car (but I also require good power for climbing mountains). I haven’t figured it out yet.

5 02 2013
Mrs. Spit

If you want the build quality of what a jetta used to be buy a BMW 5 series wagon or a Subaru outlander.

5 02 2013
Em

I just spent 12 hours in the back of a Ford Explorer for a road trip – it has the optional 3rd row, lots of space in the backseat for passengers and gear (sitting three across in the back was comfortable with two large adults and one small adult; lots of legroom even when the driver/front passenger were over 6′). Lots of convenience features. It was new, so I can’t speak to the long-term build quality, but my understanding is that Ford has come a long way in the last decade.

5 02 2013
scientistmother

Sarah – we were looking at the Mazda CX7 but its fuel economy is atrocious compared to others. The M5 at first glance looks to miniVan-ish but I’ll look it. thanks!

Allez – we also need something that can climb mountains as we LOVE to ski…the mitsubisbi outlander may be an option but I think the lack of power will nix it. I’ll have to read more reviews.

Mrs.Spit. Even if I could afford a BMW5 I wouldn’t considered it, because the 2 animals I gave birth too would destroy the interior and that would drive Mr.SM crazy. Do you mean the Mitsibushi Outlander or the Subaru Outback? both are the top picks as of now.

Em – will have to look into it. Currently Mr. SM “thinks” the Explorer is bigger than the outback. I have started an excel sheet with all the specs: length, height, ground clearance, cargo area, posted MPG. We are a data couple. I may post the info once its all compiled.

5 02 2013
Sarah

The Mazda5 *is* rather minivan-ish, but it’s small and European looking. It might not work for you anyway, though. It’s pretty low, so if ground clearance is a concern it’s probably not the best choice. I don’t know if AWD/4WD is available or not. We live in Ontario and it is *great* with winter tires on normal roads, but we don’t have any mountains to test it on here, so I don’t know how it would do for ski trips.

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