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  1. #1

    Default Mileage or space? A Civic or a Van?

    I am preparing for my first big road trip from Portland, OR to the East Coast this fall. My ol' Corolla is about done and although it has served me well I am going to replace it. I just wonder if it makes more sense to get something that is cheap to run 40 MPG or something like a van that could carry all the stuff I would need to traverse the Arctic and get 7 MPG? I think I would rather drive a Civic than a van and there are just two of us, me and the dog.
    Comments??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default "...to traverse the Arctic and get 7 MPG?..."

    Quote Originally Posted by holmancv View Post
    I just wonder if it makes more sense to get something that is cheap to run 40 MPG or something like a van that could carry all the stuff I would need to traverse the Arctic and get 7 MPG?
    Traverse the artic? That would be pretty tough for any wheeled vehicle -- I think you need to think in terms of getting the most reliable vehicle you can afford.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Taste Specific

    I agree that reliability should be a major concern, but this is also just too much of a personal preference to get a good response.

    Get a vehicle that you will be comfortable driving. You probably don't need to bring the kitchen sink with you on a roadtrip, but if you'd feel more comfortable having it with you, then go with a larger vehicle.

    If you want to be able to travel as cheaply as possible, then find the most fuel efficiant car you can.

    Personally, I like my SUV for roadtrips. I use the smaller car for shorter trips, but I think my SUV is the most comfortable to ride in for long distances, and its worth it to spend a little more on gas and have more enjoyment during my drive.

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Good Alternatives

    There are some good alternatives to a huge gas-guzzling SUV or Minivan without having to roadtrip all the time in a VW Bug (sorry Judy).

    You may want to look at options such as Hybrid SUV's, which give higher gas milage. Another alternative are wagons, or "Crossovers" as they're now called. These give you more room yet are usually more fuel efficient.

    There are some good alternatives out there, it might be worthwhile looking into them.

    -Brad

  5. Default

    I just drove across the country (LA to NYC). My friend and I rented a Mercury Grand Marquis (it's essentially a Ford Crown Vic - i.e. police cars and taxis).

    We did not regret this at all. I was able to place all my belongings in the trunk (I was relocating) and the rear end did not sag.

    Mileage - we averaged about 24.5 mpg. We drove about 10-15 above the limit most everyplace. Mileage improved as we slowed down (got pulled over twice). If you can stand driving 55mph, I think you can get it up to 30mpg.

    I've found that late model small cars actually get horrific mileage on freeways considering their size because they are pretty heavy for their size and their small engines rev much higher and expend more fuel.

    Before I sold it, my LA car (2001 Chevy Impala) got 30+ mpg on freeways driving 10 above the limit. Comparatively, I rented a 4cyl 2007 Chevy Malibu my first couple weeks in LA and never got above 27mpg on freeways. Granted a Malibu is bigger/heavier than a Civic but I think you'll be surprised that you'll only get 2-3mpg more in a Civic than a larger car.

    In my opinion, comfort is more important than that relatively insignificant mileage improvement.

    Unless you get an old-school small car. My brother's Saturn SL2 gets mileage in the 40s but that car was one of the last truly light small cars.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default LOL...Different strokes for different folks, Brad

    Hey holmancv! So you're going to the East Coast via The Arctic? Wow. I hope you'll come back and tell us about this trip. I have a friend who has drven her New Beetle from Anchorage to the lower 48 and back again a couple of times. It made the trip just fine but she did comment that there was times she wished she had higher clearance. So I suggest that you get whatever car you feel most comfortable in and what fits your budget but, at the same time, if might not hurt to look for something with good clearance.

    Have you checked into a Subaru? The Outback, Forester, and Baja are cross-over car/SUVs. The people I know who have an Outback just love it. It goes almost anywhere an SUV can...the key word is almost...gets good gas mileage, and has a fair amount of room to haul stuff. Good clearance, too. Just a thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    There are some good alternatives to a huge gas-guzzling SUV or Minivan without having to roadtrip all the time in a VW Bug (sorry Judy).
    I realize not everybody likes my kind of ride. We're all different. I used to have a job requiring a lot of travel and I had a pool of cars to choose from SUVs to mid-size sedans to economy cars. None of them give me the joy of driving my Beetle. So there! ;-)

    Hybrids are a cool concept. Be aware that they get the best mileage in town when the electrical propulsion system is being used regularly. Their mileage drops on the highway when they use solely the gas part of their engine.

    I'm actually quite impressed to hear the fuel consumption of the Marquise. Wow! I would never have expected that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Seacoast, New Hampshire
    Posts
    20

    Default I hear ya on the Beetle...

    Again, I have to throw the VW TDIs in the mix. Many people regularly get upwards of 50 mpg on the highways with them. The Jetta and Golf are popular as TDI models; the Beetle and Passat are also available with the TDI engine, but tend to get lower fuel economy due to the Passat being heavier and the Beetle being less aerodynamic.

    If you are concerned with space and fuel mileage, you may do well with a used/pre-loved 5 door Golf TDI; you can get quite a bit of stuff in them, and should reasonably expect to see 45 mpg or more, depending on your driving style. Also, you can use BioDiesel, which is another benefit (VW allows B5 under warranty, but once warranty is up, you can run 100% Bio if you so desire).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default My next car will burn bio-diesel

    It's so cool. I have several friends who use it. It smells like dinner cooking when you're behind them. :-)

    The other cool thing about it is that you can mix bio-diesel with petrol-based diesel when traveling if you can't find stations with bio-diesel without any problems.

  9. Default

    If your just going to need the space of the van for the trip, I'd suggest renting one but buying the car for when your not on the trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    home: Pitt, PA work: Philly, PA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    personally, i would figure out what you are planning to take with you. if it is alot of things, you may want to take the van, regardless of the mileage.

    if you are traveling lightly, then i would suggest the civic. just be sure that any maintenance on the car is done before you leave. also, keep in mind that the civic may get much better mileage, but the car is much smaller too. not sure how comfortable you can be in the civic versus the van. only you can make that decision.... :)

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