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To car or not to car??

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Undefinabl3 posted 2/17/2014 11:28 AM

That is the question.

So, I have a 9 year old van that is not quite paid off yet. Its a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. around 200,000 on it.

Anyway - DH and rented a Chevy Cruise for our weekend away and I really liked the car. I am used to a Van, but the car was nice.

So, anyone go from a van to a car and love it?

With the van...I love the storage, the amount of people space, and the fact that its easy to get the kids in and out. I also love that I will not have a car payment soon. I don't like the bulk of it, I hate the fact that it only gets like 18 mpg and that its older and starting to require regular cost (kind of replacing the car payment).

With the car....I love that it was still pretty roomy, that it gets more MPG and that it would be new so would not (hopefully) have the same issues we are running into with the van. I don't like that I am really losing the amount of people I can have. We sometimes travel with my mom to Chicago, so that would now limit us on doing this. I am also now looking at paying a car payment every month again, but would be at least lower then what I am paying now.

I have tried to find out what is truely important to me, but the problem is that I want something both MGP high and still have the ability to fit more then 4 people.

Rainbows posted 2/17/2014 11:41 AM

I can't speak to going from a van to a car, since I just went from a paid-off convertible to a financed crossover (small SUV). The convertible got similar gas mileage to your van.

I was also worried about taking on a car payment, but was pleasantly surprised that I am spending less now than before.

When I added up my monthly costs for gas, maintenance and repairs it was more than my new car payment. The new car gets significantly better gas mileage, so I'm actually spending less overall than before.

GabyBaby posted 2/17/2014 12:31 PM

I've never been a van person, but I went from SUV to car.
Personally, I prefer the more compact vehicle. I will say that hubby drives a Ford F150, so we still have a larger vehicle on hand if we need to haul things for the kids or the house.

Gas mileage with the car is a LOT better than it was with my SUV. I drive 45 minutes each way for work. I had to fill my SUV up 2-3 times each week. I can fill up on Sunday evening and that tank of gas will last me through Thursday evening with my car.

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 12:46 PM, February 17th (Monday)]

inconnu posted 2/17/2014 15:57 PM

I went from a Chevy Astrovan to a Hyundai Elantra. I love my little car.

But, my kids are now young adults, and most of the time I'm driving by myself. When SO is in town, there's plenty of room for the 2 of us, plus our stuff. If we go out to eat and my boys go with us, it gets crowded. My Elantra would definitely not be the vehicle to take on a long trip with more than 2 passengers.

Sad in AZ posted 2/17/2014 16:24 PM

In 2001 I went from a Chevy Astrovan to a Subaru Forester. I've NEVER regretted that move. The X had a very large pickup. DS was starting to drive; it would have been difficult for him to learn in either the truck or the van. The Subaru was perfect.

We used to go up the mountain for outings in the van with the two dogs--a mastiff and a Belgian Sheepdog, but we never did this as a family very often. Most of the time it was DS and me with the dogs. They fit nicely in the Subaru.

For a while I missed riding high above the traffic, but that faded rather quickly.

Twice A Fool posted 2/17/2014 19:36 PM

Last year I bought a new Ford Explorer and kept my 14-year-old Chrysler Grand Voyager van with nearly 200,000 miles on it. It's one owner and never been in an accident but really, what would you get for it? I think the resale value is $2,000 or less (for mine at least).

My van is my truck. I've hauled numerous couches and whatnot in it. I keep the bench seat in the garage. I only put 6,000 miles on my Explorer last year because I prefer driving my van.

But that's just my opinion. :-)

wifehad5 posted 2/17/2014 20:54 PM

How old are your kids? As they get older, they get taller. Just something to think about.

We had a Buick Verano (the Buick version of the Cruze) for a week last summer, and took it up north for the weekend. It was four of us plus the dog, and it showed us that it wouldn't suit our needs on a long term basis since we make that trip a lot.

If you're only making trips that require the van a few times a year, you could always look into renting a van when necessary

InnerLight posted 2/17/2014 22:15 PM

I would get a car with great gas mileage and rent when you need to haul a lot of people. If you mostly need the vehicle to commute then this is the way to go. If you haul a lot of people frequently then get the most gas savings for the larger car like a Honda CRV. Buy used and know your numbers to get a good deal.

Gas is only going to go up and you never know when it could jump to $5/gallon. It's a real financial vulnerability to own a gas guzzler IMHO.

thebighurt posted 2/18/2014 00:27 AM

I know two people who have gone from vans to a Subaru Outback and rave about them. They say they have taken trips with 5 in the car and all their stuff with ease. One says her H regularly hauls building materials with the seats down. The newest version is larger than before and higher too. I can't speak to the mpg, tho. They haven't mentioned that, but are very happy to have them this winter.

iamasurvivor posted 2/19/2014 18:30 PM

After driving a van for 15 years, I decided to buy a car last June!
I was worried that I wouldn't like it, but I love my Ford Fusion! My kids are grown and done moving them in and out of dorms!

My van was a 2006 caravan and I knew that I would start have repairs and decided a car payment would be better. I bought my car with 19,000 miles and warranty. My car payment is very manageable!

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