Looking for a New (Dad) Car

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milhouse4588's picture

If you're going the sedan route I'd say go for the Camry/Civics. They may be a bit smaller than the Nissans but they are reliable, cheap, and you can get a ton of tech in them these days.

I've got an Acura and love it but it may be out of your price range but I'd highliy recommend it. I have a TSX which has been since replaced with the TRX and TLX I believe.

My wife also has a Hyundai Sante Fe and both that and the Hyundai Tucson are good cars.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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JTFor President2016's picture

Your 1st great choice was not mentioning buying something brand new. I'm sure that's probably the first piece of advice you got. As far as trucks go, make a list of what you would use it for, and then think how often you would do those things. For example, my friend got a truck "because I want to go camping and pull trailors". Well, he does those things maybe twice a year. Is that worth paying for the truck, plus gas? 

Also, more likely than not, you're going to use the same car when transporting your family. If that is going to be the Equinox, then lower "leg room" on your priority list. 

Odds are, you won't be hauling your family around in both cars, an equal amount of the time. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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osudray's picture

at the ripe age of 28, a new car is not something I could/would even want to try to pull off. 

I borrow my Dad's truck at least once a month, so I think I will get the use out of the bed if I had it.

Good advice on the using one car or the other. I would agree we would use the Equinox most times it's a "family trip"

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

I have three kids at home still. I have one of the new Honda accords. Love it. 

My wife has a Honda Pilot. Great family vehicle.

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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JTFor President2016's picture

Can confirm the accords. Or anything Honda. For my money, they make the best stuff out there. As reliable as they come. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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Major H's picture

Agree with the Hondas. We have 2 CRVs and love them.

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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analyticalguy's picture

I love my Accord. I'd never considered it a "dad car" before, but, well maybe. And even in my 60s I bought used (but low mileage). Great deal.

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aj99's picture

We tried a Honda Pilot. Complete POS for where we live. If you're driving it on flat land, don't require basic comfort, and don't care about basic engineering, then it will be great. If you're fussy like me, then don't get one. We live in the mountains and require a solid transmission, which the Honda Pilot does not provide. The stereo is garbage. The suspension is literally the loudest thing I've ever heard- it's their new advanced tuned suspension. It works, but it's loud. The seats are subpar compared to every other vehicle we've owned. I drive a 23 year old Toyota that is ten times the vehicle the pilot is.

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niblick's picture

Because your budget restricts you to used vehicles, I'd 100% stick with a Toyota.

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JTFor President2016's picture

Agree, plus Honda.I'm fully committed to used cars for life, and they will always be a Honda or Toyota. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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niblick's picture

Ive had 3 and you simply cant kill the damn things

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I_Run_The_Dave's picture

You could add Subaru to the list as well.

I drive a legacy and it is very comfortable and has great gas mileage for not being a hybrid.  Finding used ones on the market is difficult, though, but you can definitely get one for under $20k that checks all the boxes.  The standard all wheel drive is also a great safety feature, and their traction control systems are much better than Honda or Toyota.  As in, you can still drive up a hill in the snow.

Subarus aren't for everyone though, and you may not get the same interior/tech features you would with Honda/Toyota, but not everyone needs all that.

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chibucks's picture

just recently joined the subaru family (ascent) and couldn't be happier.  haven't gotten a chance to try it out in the winter/snow, but from everything i hear, it should be great.

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MDBuckeye2002's picture

My best friend has had major engine issues on 2 Subaru vehicles at just over 100k each time. He gets oil changes and regular maintenance as well. Not saying all Subaru vehicles are like that but his 2 new ones were.

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987

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IH8UOFM's picture

Subaru family checking in: wife has an Outback SUV and I have a Forester. Can confirm on the interiors-they aren't gonna wow you in that aspect but the 4WD is unreal. Saved my rear-end a million times in these winters. They hold their value so well that I have never owed more on mine than they are worth and are in high demand on the used market pretty much at all times.

I saw one of the comments about 100k being the "sweet spot" for repairs. Every 108k or 110k they are due for routine maintenance which is basically timing belt/water pump/pulleys which is gonna run you close to a grand but it'll last another 110k until it needs it again. Not unheard of for Subies to go 400k with only routine stuff being fixed. I averaged 33mpg on my trip from Detroit to Columbus in the Outback SUV as well.

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Hovenaut's picture

I purchased a brand new Hyundai Santa Fe back in 2014 (good year) that is still serving us strong. It's a Sport, and the Santa Fe may run a little higher than your price range but you may want to look at a Kona, their compact SUV.

It's been a weekend vehicle, commuter car, through a few road trips, and has withstood a growing boy from toddler to soon-to-be fourth grade. Maintenance has been great, with a full 10 year bumper to bumper plan, and I plan on sustaining it to where I'll likely pass the keys onto the boy when he's ready to (gulp) drive in a few years.

Good luck, 'dray.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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NativeSon's picture

My wife bought a 2016 Camry from Carvona a few months ago and we’ve enjoyed it so far. 

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Atl_Buckeye72's picture

If you own a house then get a truck. You can still get you family around but also have the ability to go to home depot.

My wife has a 16 Prius bc she drives a long way to work in Atlanta traffic. It has a surprising amount of space and 50+ mpg is nice to boot. The stigma of them only going 60 miles an hour is false they drive just like any other small car just uses battery to get started. Any, worth taking a look at

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McLovin2.0's picture

You don't only need a truck to go to Home Depot lol

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/04/28/what-does-your-work-truck-say...

What, are you trying to be an Irish R&B singer??

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

My wife has a 16 Prius... The stigma of them only going 60 miles an hour is false

Absolutely correct, they are perfectly capable of hitting 65mph when going downhill - add a tailwind to the descent and they might even brush 67.

And for everyone that has ever been stuck behind a Prius in the left lane:

Shandy is not beer

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Barfolomew's picture

GMC Terrain is really nice if you like the Equinox but don't want a second one.

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LCT's picture

Trucks always prove useful. Plus, then you have what you need when you buy a camper.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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JTFor President2016's picture

Loves

Camping 

Trips

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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osudray's picture

Truck owner? I have wanted a truck since i turned 16. The Cruze was my first car purchase and a truck wasn't in the budget, not what I wanted anyways.

I am a big fan of the Canyon/Colorados every time I see them, but want to actually get in one and drive it. It will either make me want one even more, or I can stop searching them online 

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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Grand Lake Celina's picture

Small trucks are nice, but darn are trucks expensive, especially if you want a crew cab.  If you are getting a used one, don't worry about the back seat leg room as it will probably need to be replaced prior to the spud being cramped.  They are handy if you have equipment you use/more around: yard aerators, sod cutters, mulch, dirt, saws, dead bodies, etc.  My general rule is if you use a truck as a truck, its worth the extra $$$, if you just like the look or whatever, use your brain and get something else.

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Grand Lake Celina's picture

Should have mentioned I had a '99 GMC Sonoma (really just a ST).  Loved that thing and everyone want to borrow it - friends so I was happy to lend it out.  Used the heck out of it.  It was just a two seater but it had an 8 foot bed, 4x4 too.  I about cried when it was time for little red to go bye bye, still reminisce about him to this day.

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LCT's picture

This is a great point. A truck being used for its purpose is a great deal. Otherwise not so much.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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AzBuckeye45's picture

I drove a Colorado, for a month, as a rental vehicle for work. I was very impressed with it. It had great "get up and go" and was a solid little truck. 

"Cause I couldn't go for three!"
Woody Hayes-1968

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SackMan's picture

Whatever car you get, just make sure it is a Toyota/Lexus. A used one is probably the best financial decision, as they never break.

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I_Run_The_Dave's picture

I'm gonna go ahead and disagree about Lexus never breaking.  And he also said under $20k

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SackMan's picture

Lexus is rated the highest among all brands for overall vehicle dependability almost every year with Toyota close behind, I am sure they aren't completely free of problems, as no car is, but I have a Lexus I bought used and it has almost 200k miles with no issues at all. I also have a Toyota 4Runner with 260k and no issues at all since I have owned it. I am a big believer in never buying new cars, the way the market it with cars and how much value they lose after just a few years, it is a no brainer to buy a car a few years old when it has the reliability of a Toyota/Lexus.

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aledyard's picture

I'm in agreement with you.  We have an '07 4Runner with 220,000 miles on it and have never had a major issue with it (knock on wood).  The quality of the materials on the inside is great too - still looks great and has held up really well over the years.  Best car we've ever owned.

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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Right Again's picture

I got a brand new 4Runner back in 2000.  It was a GREAT family car.  We loaded it up with all sorts of stuff, traveled comfortably in any sort of weather.  Never had a single problem with it the 7 years I had it.  I used to joke that I could have welded the hood shut.  I was not a big fan of the redesign(s) of the 4Runner since then, so, I've bought other (and sometimes more expensive) cars.  I still think that 4Runner was the best car I ever owned

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BIGTIMEBUCKS's picture

I previously had a 2016 VW Tiguan. It was awesome. Compact SUV with a good amount of power (200 hp turbo) and good gas mileage. Really enjoyed driving it. I also like the VW Golf. You can easily find both models used well within your price range.

"The Edge is where average stops and elite begins"

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IHadToGoogleArchiesMiddleName's picture

Ditto on VWs. We have a Jetta, which is fairly spacious for being the "smaller" car. But look into a Passat or a Tiguan for what you need. The warranties they are offering are absolutely great, especially if you get it certified pre-owned. And you are getting good deals on reliable cars.

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BBQ_Fan's picture

I had a diesel VW Jetta. Fun to drive for nearly 100K miles and then VW paid me a ton to buy it back. Went with a Mazda 6 after that. You can get a Mazda 6 optioned out for less than a comparable Accord or Camry and you don't drive the same car as everyone else.

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Brohio's picture

What city are you in? If you're anywhere near NW Ohio, my old man is the manager for an auto group that has Chevy, GMC, Acura, and Nissan I believe. He takes very good care of fellow Buckeyes. 

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osudray's picture

I am in Columbus, but not afraid to travel for the right vehicle. If you don't mind, post the dealership and I would love to take a look

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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erniefurgler's picture

Look for a nice used Honda Ridgeline.  You'll get the benefits of a truck, with the interior room of a sedan.  Currently have an '06 with 231K on it.   Bed of a Ridgeline also gives you 48'' clearance between the wheels, so those trips to Lowes are a less of a pain...Colorado's @ 45'' at the wheel wells.  Plenty of backseat space for a car seat or an adult.   

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erniefurgler's picture

Also, the Ridgeline has a weatherproof "trunk" in the bed...could toss a stroller or other misc items in there & still have all the bed space available.  And it has a drain, so you could chuck out the stroller & fill it full of ice & beers

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osudray's picture

Now you are talking my language haha

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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Jumar's picture

Minivans are good for a growing family.

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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osudray's picture

Not sure the wife is ready for an upgrade quite yet, but I will let her know 

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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analyticalguy's picture

It's way too early to be trading in your wife. Or are you thinking of having work done on her?

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Buck It's picture

If you are not in a huge hurry, try and wait until the very end of the year. I bought my wife a Ford Escape Titanium (2013 model year) brand new on December 31, 2013. The 2014 models had been out for months and they were practically giving 2013 models away. The sticker on this car was around $35,000. I offered $27,000 and they didn't even bat an eye. I probably could have gotten it for $25,500-$26,000 had I pushed. But I never ask for anyone's last penny. They have to eat as well. But it was a previous year model and not only were they trying to meet/beat month-end quota...but also year-end quota. This was Castrucci Ford in Milford. I live in Beavercreek, but it was worth the drive for the deal.

Point being is that if you wait until the end of the year, you can often find a previous years model brand new for a deep enough discount that it essentially pays for 100%+ of the depreciation. Then you also get the full manufacturer's warranty, which you often times will just get the balance of the warranty on a used vehicle.

But if you find a hell of a deal on a used vehicle, then I'd jump on it. But don't think you can't afford a brand new vehicle...you just have to be smart about it.

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osudray's picture

I am not in a big hurry, just starting to look. Want to test drive some different models to get a smaller target of what I am looking for.

This is the kind of advice I am looking for though. I appreciate it!

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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Sunny Buck's picture

Buck It is correct. I bought my Nissan Frontier the last week of December. It is the end of the quarter, end of the year and the dealerships need to get rid of inventory. Don't be afraid to make a lower offer.

Also, consider the Nissan Frontier crew cab. Proven reliability and resale value. Might want to consider a 4x4 living in Ohio. I also like the Canyon/ Colorado line too. Be patient and don't jump at the first deal.

Private party sales are cheaper but you don't always know what you are getting. Dealerships generally have extensive check lists before allowing a used vehicle on their lot. Good luck.

I'm not trying to win a popularity contest. I'm trying to win football games-- Woody Hayes

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tcm1968's picture

I lean SUV vs sedan any time you are talking car seats and kids. SO MUCH easier and they give you room to expand. Sedan and kids quickly become all the things you can't take with you. 

Mini-vans aren't sexy but they also aren't what they were for decades... these days they are loaded with gadgets and safety features and make transporting kids around so much easier.  Get the seats with the monitors in them and you can have hours of quiet time as the little ones are locked in to a movie etc.. 

Go Bucks!

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

Or spend a ton less and give the kids tablets that they can take anywhere, do much more, and upgrade as needed.

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Jspex23's picture

Whatever you decided to do, I would just recommend bring a car seat with you when you look.  My wife has a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I have a Hyundai Sante Fe. Both you would think would have no problem with space for a car set, they really don't.  For the infant seat we had to place in in the center seat in both vehicle because the passenger seat had to be pulled up to far.   Now that we have the larger car seat, its better but since it still faces the rear the passenger seat is still pulled pretty far up. 

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osudray's picture

This is what I am worried about. My mom has a Cadillac SRX and nobody can ride in the front seat when she is driving my niece around.

The good thing about the Equinox is the back bench seat moves. 

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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Jspex23's picture

Also dont forget space for a stroller, they can eat away at your cargo space. 

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Buck It's picture

Something else I’d like to recommend is if you are making this purchase with the understanding you will be having kids soon, get something that the kids can grown into. I tend to keep cars for a while. My wife’s 2013 Escape was great when my daughter was 5. But now that she is 10 and we’ve added another one that is 5, it’s getting a little snug in the backseat. So definitely factor backseat cargo space and legroom into the equation. I never used to bother myself with those dimensions, but I actually look at that now when comparing vehicles. There’s nothing worse than having your kid kicking the holy shit out of your seat. 

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lamplighter's picture

I really like my Mazda CX5

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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OSU56's picture

Toyota Camry, we have gone thru three of them so far and love them All Bought new- passed down two to the Kids for college and they both went over 150,000 miles with very little issues. The oldest one went 18 years with the air conditioning working better then any car we had including a brand new one. Never replaced any part of the exhaust system on any of them, Wife currently is driving a 2016 we bought new. Had 3 Honda's(Accord and Civics) and overall not bad, including two that went over 150,000 miles, but we did more repairs on those then the Toyota's.

SUV- I am currently in a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited and so far so good. We have had the Toyota Rav4 and that did very well as well with over 100,000 miles on it with very little repairs outside of maintenance. I would take the Toyota over the others for now. I have a Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 Pick-up at home that is over 10 years old and it runs good as well, but the Hemi likes gas, and lots of it. Low miles and in excellent condition.

My son has a 2017 Mazda 6 that has had no issues to date.

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

If you didn't already have the Equinox I'd suggest the Pilot. I drove all the 3rd row crossover SUVs and it by far had the most room and drove/rode the best. I wanted to like the Subaru Ascent but it did not impress. Same with the VW Atlas, wanted to like it but it fell short with the ride. Bighlander was nice but a bit smaller.

We have the sedan and 3rd row crossover combination and it works perfectly. The Pilot for when we're all together or have cargo, and the sedan for just one or two of us (commuter car), but it can also fit all 4 when less space is needed.

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Buckeye_Condor's picture

Toyota Sequoia they are beasty but it hasnt died yet and I drove it for awhile. before my brother had it and now my dad drives is and he can't even kill it! Its a 2004 w/ 250K on it. 

I also drive a 2013 Subaru Forester, I love it. smooth, not noisy, cargo space is awesome, it'll last. I recommend getting a 2013 if you can as Subaru went back to timing chains that year. I am not sure about the years after.  

although I have no idea if a car seat fits well in it or not. (Jspex is a smart person w/ the idea to take a carseat with you to browse) 

Connor Brown

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I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Our 2010 Forester has fit every car seat perfectly with no issues.  Plenty of space as you said.

Only problem is we got a jogging stroller (which is great for the zoo, etc) and it devours any space you think you might have regardless of vehicle.  Finding the right stroller that will actually compact but is still easy to use with storage space is nearly as important as your car.

Your signature will be publicly displayed at the end of your comments.

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youra6's picture

Subarus. Great in snow and has really good resale value. Be sure to buy snow tires for the winter. AWD gives people false sense of confidence in the snow.

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ELJTSA76's picture

Get a one month subscription to Consumer Reports, or another reputable testing company, and do some research. Don’t just take the words of a bunch of anonymous members of a football fan site. Your family is too important to be so casual about this, even though you probably have not received bad advice here. It’s not a lot of work to do some research and confirm opinions and recommendations.

Good luck!

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Arsenal7's picture

i'm also looking for a new dad

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GlassCityBuckeyes's picture

Just get a equinox if that's what you like. Take the saved money from not buying a truck and get yourself a small trailer. I did that for years with my trailblazer. Best of both worlds.

Noon games suck

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CaliBuckeye's picture

Ford F150 

FX4

White

Black wheels

Tinted windows 

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CWhiteland27's picture

That’s what I have except mine in sterling grey with a matching cap.  I just have the stock 18 in rims on mine for now but soon it will have nice ones. 

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Kinghellvis's picture

I did my research about 2 years ago and got the 2014 Rav4.  I highly recommend this car for kids.  You will find getting kids in and out of a sedan taxing on the back.  Smaller SUV’s are great and the used rav4 market has competitive deals around Columbus.  

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Buctor's picture

Traded my Impala this past year.  The trunk area is not wide enough, but with seats folded down you can get an eight foot board completely inside with the front seats in normal driving position.  Don't remember Max width, but half (24x48) sheet of plywood or drywall fit easily, even the dealer didn't know this.  Got more than 30 mpg on trips. Ride was great, plenty of stuff (more than needed).  Like you, wanted a pickup, resale on those is nuts though.  Can always rent one when needed, several stores even have cheap rentals iirc.

Now have a more expensive SUV.  It's nice, but does not have the same space, even with both sets of seats folded down!!  But for the first time in over 51 years, Mrs Buctor picked this one out.  Being the truly genius I am, I'll never say one more bad word about it!!!

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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Buctor's picture

Forgot, my 6'6" son fits easily in the back seat, again with from seats in normal position.  I'm about 6' and tilt my seat back abit more than normal, helps my back issues.  Will "guess" one of these would fit your budget.

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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mizzer's picture

Late model Toyota Camry.  We own two.  Gave one to our daughter who is in university.  Wanted her to have a reliable vehicle living far from home.

Younger daughter drives a Honda Civic.  Solid car but go for the Accord; it’s a step up with more room.

I drive a used Lexus LS430. Got a heck of a deal on it and I think the previous owner loved it more than he loved his wife.  It is, bar none, the best ride of any car I’ve been in.

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stxbuck's picture

I have a 15’ Kia Soul-way more room in the back and up front than you would expect, and a surprising amount of pickup on the open road.

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OSU_ALUM_05's picture

My wife and I are tall and when we had kids we needed something that had both driver and back seat leg room.  We test drove a bunch of vehicles and settled on the Toyota Tundra Crewmax.  We bought used of course.  It has a ton of room in the cab, but it is a little long to drive in tight spaces.  We live in the country so it's not a problem very often but it's something to keep in mind if you have to do a lot of city/parking garage type of navigating. 

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

That's the truck I want, but can't justify as it would be overkill for 99% of our trips.

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0H-10's picture

If you have yet to acquire the prerequisites for a "dad car"...namely a child, and a dad body to put in said "dad car" I'd stay in my budget and go with the most non-dad-like of your options. The sedans or mid-size trucks within your price range...no need to go full mini-van yet until you start looking like this guy...

o||||||o

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BurningRiverBuckeye's picture

Jeep Grand Cherokee. I have one and there's plenty of room for the car seat and storage (stroller) in the back. 

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Btbucks's picture

Nothing says you love your kids more than other people love there's then driving a Subaru. 

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Bringthejuice's picture

#1...Try your best to minimize/avoid auto debt

#2...I’ve got a full-sized 4 door truck. It’s safe, great for carrying the family (including car seats), and I can’t tell you how much use I get out of the open bed

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Dgeneral's picture

I have 2 great cars in the last 20 years- a  new Subaru Outback which I drove to 170,000 miles.Then I bought a 2 year old used Lexus RX350 ( for about $22,000)which I put 270,000 miles on it without any issues until  it sort of died.

Dgeneral

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Zimmy07's picture

I had a ‘97 Thunderbird that I drove my wife to the hospital in.

I really liked that car.

i traded it in on 2 Scion XB’s 4 years later after my wife’s Taurus’ engine was probably intentionally destroyed by a shop that’s out of business.

The Taurus was baggage / the T-bird was FINE.

We drove those Scions (2 of them) for almost 15 years.

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Zimmy07's picture

They were both manual ransmission.

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Zimmy07's picture

Both my twins cried when we left my Green Machine in exchange for our toasters.

i was really surprised by that.

i loved that T-Bird, too, but times change.

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NorthPoleBuckeye's picture

I have had probably about 6 or 7 Honda's in my lifetime and I have never had a problem with any of them. 

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readnguy's picture

I drive a fully equpped KIA Optima, and love everything about it! Beautiful car, amazing comfort, top of the line warranty, great performance, super gas mileaage, sweet price, high ratings and reviews. Do not shy away from KIA because of what you may have heard years ago! Byers KIA in Delaware is top notch, btw!

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

Wanted to test the new Telluride when it first came out but they couldn't keep them on the lot.

That said, when I first saw one in person I was kind of relieved because it wasn't nearly as big as they made it look in the commercials. It reminded me of a bigger Soul or Ford Flex. While the Pilot doesn't have the sexiest of a design, it does look a lot better than the Telluride or the Ascent (a longer Forester).

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CWhiteland27's picture

My wife was the same way when I told her I wanted a full size truck.  I talked her into going on a few test drives and she was really happy with the amount of room in the f150. So the super crew has way more then enough room.  There was a bolt rolling around in the center console somewhere so I had the rear seat down as normal moved the front seat all the way forward and sat cross legged on the floor in the back. They are very spacious and are good for a dad vehicle with room to grow. 

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DuckBuck's picture

Call it the PNW'er in me....but Subaru Outback. I think they are cool looking for what they are and the AWD is nice if you live in places with poor weather. Also, look to get the 3.6R if you need/want the power.

 
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buckeyefan67's picture

as someone suggested get Consumer Reports and do research (go to any library and look at the Car Issue usually April/May issue if memory serves)  Recently  have had two SUVs and loved them both. Enjoy being higher up for vision and of course for possible accident security.  Plenty of cargo space when seats are down . If necessary, usually a friend or neighbor has a truck . As a recent retiree and kids college paid for ;  traded in my old SUV and decided to splurge on Consumer Reports #1 rated medium sized luxury SUV , the Lexus RX 350. When that time comes for you, the ride , luxury and safety features are highly recommended.

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tajikey's picture

As three others have suggested above me, the Subaru Outback would be my suggestion. Long story really short, a few friends and I drove across some literal Nevada desert (off road) in pitch black darkness tracking down our payload from a weather balloon/GoPro launch. Couldn't see much, but could hear tumbleweeds scraping along the sides of the car as we approached our target. Not only did we track down our payload (have a video up on YouTube of the purpose for the trek under user ELATeacherMrB (in case you're curious)), but the car did not have a single scratch.

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Il_Padrino's picture

Imprezza STI?  I've always loved them and they have 4-doors, large trunk, and haul butt.

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

CPO and CDR, USN (ret)

1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!

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Il_Padrino's picture

No love for VW's?  I have a couple year old Tiguan and a new Touareg and love them both.

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

CPO and CDR, USN (ret)

1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!

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Il_Padrino's picture

I will take that as a "no".

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

CPO and CDR, USN (ret)

1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!

HS
Longtoothbuck's picture

I would say this.  First, buy a vehicle that you will drive 99% of the year and if you need something different for a vacation or whatever, rent it.

Second, only buy German or Chrysler if you have money to spend on repairs.  German engineering has appeared in Chrysler products.  (I currently own a NEW BMW that I will get rid of before it becomes a maintenance issue)

Third, kind of same as 1, clearly understand what you NEED, not what you might want.

Best options in my opinion are Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Kia.   Subaru’s are good cars but they have some unique engineering whereby not every mechanic is competent working on them.

Good luck.   

HS
jmmysms's picture

I am a truck guy and was going to stay out of this. I have rented two cars in my recent travels. I don't see how you guys do it but I am a big, ugly. Toyota Camry, sharp looking, 38 MPG but I had to crawl down into it and there was no head room or room for the rest of me in general. Then a Chevy Malibu, bigger with a surprisingly nice interior. But still low to the ground and under powered, rental I know. Fortunately I get to rent trucks and SUVs most of the time. I use my truck all the time for hauling and need it as I belong to a hunting camp. My GF drives a camaro, my truck rides nicer than her car. But yeah I am happy to get 18 MPG...

Only tips I can give are this. Two of my trucks were dealer demos. Loaded and after 5,000 miles they have to sell them, at a big discount. The other is and I think someone mentioned it don't be afraid to travel. I lived in LA but flew to TX twice to buy vehicles. $100 ticket saved me $1,000s, actually over $10,000 on the dealer demo I bought. Found that one on Ebay.

JMMYSMS

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aeronaut's picture

Before you go the compact truck route, put a car seat in the back and look at the space you have. I was thinking about replacing my commuter Golf with a small truck, so I took my kids to the dealer with me to try out the back seat. Their experience was the truck offering no more room than the compact car

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osudray's picture

I am planning on taking my moms car seat when we go (she has one for my niece). I’m in a bit of a waiting game now as my sister wants to buy my Cruze. But it’s time to start test driving so I know what I’m looking for when that time comes. 

Keep Calm and Buckeye On

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Bucks's picture

As someone who has made the mistake & thankfully came out ahead on a trade with a friend...

Yes, take that carseat. Also, as you said, you want to have this vehicle for a while so also think of a 3-4yr old in that seat.

I took a carseat as well though I didn't account for 12-18 legs dangling out from it after a few years. Not impossible to fit but chances are, your passenger is going to need to get used to scooting the seat up. Wasn't a nightmare but was absolutely inconvenient.

If you go the truck route, get a good size cab if you can swing it.

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Longtoothbuck's picture

Good advice looking towards Texas.  My brother works for a used car dealer and he gets 90% if his vehicles from Texas.  Don’t know why they are cheaper there, but they are.

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