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  1. Default West Coast Trip - Car Type ?

    So over the summer I'm considering on a road trip from SF area looping through Vegas/LA and then back to SF.

    What sorts of cars do people usually drive on that kind of trip? I'd prefer not to have to rent :x

    Also any ideas about stuff to bring, general $ cost would be nice. I'm guessing it'll only be 3, 4 people - I haven't really worked out the details yet.

    For the record, available cars:

    '01 996
    '03 X5
    '08 328i

    None of which seem incredibly practical to me [except maybe the SUV?]
    Last edited by LastRomantic; 04-29-2008 at 12:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    The type of vehicles people take on any trip are as varied as anywhere else in the country. Now, if you're going to have four people on this trip, a Porsche 911 (aka 996) probably wouldn't be the best choice, and BMW 3-series also do not have much room in them, either. If it was just two people for a couple of days, staying in motel/hotel, then any one of these vehicles would be fine.

    You need to determine a few things first:

    How many people are going on this trip?
    How much gear will you be bringing?
    What kind of lodging will you be using?

    I know you asked about what to bring - but you can't determine that until you've determined where you're staying, and then you can't figure out how much gear until you know how many people are going.

  3. Default

    I don't know the fuel economy on any of those autos, but if fuel cost or emissions are not a big issue, then the most space would make the most sense. Although the nice thing about a Porsche is the trunk is in the front, it just seems more convenient.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,064

    Default I'm with Tim

    I agree you really are too early into your process to say which car would be best. However, in addition to space, I would also consider 2 other factors.

    One, reliability, An 2001 car is far more likely to have problem than one made in 2008, plus if you take the new car, you'd have the confidence of knowning any problems you do run into would be covered under warrenty.

    Second, which car do you enjoy driving most, and which car would your friends enjoy driving/riding in most. If you're going to be covering a lot of miles, you might as well be in the car you most enjoy using.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default This makes me chuckle!

    One, reliability, An 2001 car is far more likely to have problem than one made in 2008, plus if you take the new car...
    Only because I still consider my car, owned since 1999, my new car. LOL

    I think any vehicle that has been well-maintained, even my ancient one, can be just fine for a roadtrip. I agree that the issues are:
    * Is the vehicle in good driving condition?
    * Is the vehicle fun to drive?
    * Is the vehicle comfortable to be in for long driving days, especially if there will be multiple long days of driving? This should include drivers and passengers.
    * Is there enough space for my gear?
    * Is the fuel consumption and subsequent costs right for my budget? (and I suppose some folks would also factor in their sense of environmentalism here as well)

    In a perfect world, I'd take the Porsche. Not sure how much room it would have for my tent though so I might have to take the Beamer. :)

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

    Default of course

    I'm not saying that a 2001 would have problems on the road, its just more likely to. Even well maintained cars have parts that simply wear out over time.

    I wouldn't make that that the only consideration. My primary roadtrip vehicle is a 2001, and I've had a few problems on the road with it, but I'd still much rather take it on a long roadtrip than my wife 2008 car because I think its far more comfortable to drive. However, I'd certainly say the 08 car would be more reliable, and I'd know that if something happend, I could have it towed to the dealership and let GM pick up the tab.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Warranty?

    Gosh...considering my minimal experience with new cars, I didn't even think of that. ;)

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