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Thread: Trading down

  1. #1

    Default SUV Question

    What would be the best SUV for road trips? My dad and I have been looking at them for awhile, and heard that Chevy is coming out with a v6 suburban in '08, but I'd rather go with a hybrid. What do ya'll think would be a good suv?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,060

    Default Rather a huge range of choices....

    Quote Originally Posted by hippyman View Post
    What would be the best SUV for road trips?
    Well, on my wish list is the Toyota FJ Cruiser I did some field testing of the Toyota Highlander this weekend. It handled well with five large adults and climbing gear on very sketchy roads (jeep trails) but it yawls a bit on any slope over 12 degrees. Nice on the highway too.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default It depends

    That depends on what you ultimately need the vehicle to do.

    Do you need to tow anything? Are you looking for swaths of interior space? Do you need a vehicle to carry several passengers? What options are interesting to you - you mentioned hybrid, so fuel mileage must be a concern. That right there limits choices considerably.

  4. #4

    Default

    We probably won't need to carry too many people, at the most we'll need to carry 3. We don't really need cargo space(we only usually take a couple of suitcases, and an ice chest and hang our shirts), and we're not going to be towing anything, that I'm aware of. And yes, gas milage is a concern. I also would prefer an eco-friendly vehicle.
    Last edited by hippyman; 05-13-2007 at 01:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Why not a car then?

    From what you describe, I see no reason that you need an SUV. Unless you plan on going off-road, most any car should be able to meet your needs. Or, get the smaller-SUV Ford Escape that is a hybrid. You'll find a variety of cars used by road trippers here, from compacts on up. It's an individual choice. I suggest you test-drive numerous vehicles and see which one seems to fit your needs the best. Heck, you can even bring your suitcases to see how they fit! Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,064

    Default Seconding a Car

    I'm in agreement with Judy.

    If you want something eco-friendly and fuel efficant, and you don't need to carry cargo or tow anything, then even a hybrid SUV is going to be fairly wasteful.

    A hybrid Ford Escape, a small SUV that is one of the few that is available as a hybrid, still only gets 30 or so mpg. Plus, with hybrids, you get better mileage in town when you are using the electric motor, so on a roadtrip, you'd end up getting significantly worse than a midsized sedan.

    There are lots of different options out there, but on the surface, it doesn't sound like an SUV is what you'd be looking for.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    From what you describe, I see no reason that you need an SUV. Unless you plan on going off-road, most any car should be able to meet your needs. Or, get the smaller-SUV Ford Escape that is a hybrid. You'll find a variety of cars used by road trippers here, from compacts on up. It's an individual choice. I suggest you test-drive numerous vehicles and see which one seems to fit your needs the best. Heck, you can even bring your suitcases to see how they fit! Good luck.
    We've always traveled in a van, and we have various health problems, vans just seem more comfortable. Plus they seem to ride better. I actually just ordered a brochure for the 2008 Ford Escape.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,064

    Default sounds like you've made up your mind

    Well, since you asked this question before, and both times you've decided that an SUV or a Van would work best for you, then I think you've probably made up your mind.

    If you have your heart set making your SUV a hybrid, then you've really only got 3 choices. The Ford Escape, the Saturn Vue, and the Toyota Highlander. All 3 of them get an EPA estimate of around 30 mpg.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default This is a cute one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Well, on my wish list is the Toyota FJ Cruiser I did some field testing of the Toyota Highlander this weekend. It handled well with five large adults and climbing gear on very sketchy roads (jeep trails) but it yawls a bit on any slope over 12 degrees. Nice on the highway too.

    Mark
    As you might have guessed, I'm not a big SUV fan. But this particular model is cute as can be. It looks like a Tonka toy to me. Tough and cute. Not a bad combination.

    I'm trying to visualize how steep 12 degrees is. Guess I better get out a protractor! :-)

  10. Default Cute car..

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    As you might have guessed, I'm not a big SUV fan. But this particular model is cute as can be. It looks like a Tonka toy to me. Tough and cute. Not a bad combination.

    I'm trying to visualize how steep 12 degrees is. Guess I better get out a protractor! :-)
    I think the FJ looks nice too -- but can't say I know anyone with experience with one.

    20 Degrees is about 1 foot in 5 elevation increase.

    I use a bigger SUV (Toyota Sequoia) for road trips -- partially because I end up supporting the boy scouts about every month on a campout or backpack trip somewhere, so I need the cargo and passenger space, and also since we can get a ways off road at times. I've also roadtripped in everything from a little Honda to a VW Bus to a MB Diesel 2-door coupe (!), and standard sedans.

    I like the bigger vehicle for the cargo volume it has, since I can toss in an ice chest and all my stuff inside, or use the roof rack. I can also haul a trailer if I need to (and I do on some scout trips). In an emergency, I can sleep in the back -- although I never have had to. I also like the ability to take some of the lesser paved or tracked roads if desired (although I typically don't).

    It does cost me something in gas as its a bigger heavier vehicle -- I typically run about 20 mph on the highway with the SUV, ranging from 19-21 depending upon the trip, grades, headwinds and what nots. But it takes regular gas, and I've noticed some of the higher mileage gas cars take the higher, more costly grades of gas since they need the higher octane (not all do...). The larger vehicle, plus a full complement of air bags (2 front, plus side bags), anti-lock brakes, and vehicle stability control give it a fairly good safety rating - although like every other larger, taller vehicle you do have more rollover considerations. t's also rated as a "ultra low emissions vehicle".

    I would typically vote for a larger, more room vehicle within the constraints of mileage and price. Better mileage is good -- but then so is enough room to travel without feeling cramped, particularly with multiple people on board.

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