Jun 05 2010

More car stuff, and a roundup

Thanks to your helpful comments and e-mails, we’re taking the Chrysler Town & Country off our list. Yes, it’s economical. Yes, you can get a newer model with fewer miles on it for a good price — but at what cost? They are considered extremely unreliable by Consumer Reports and anecdotally by owners.

Maybe some people luck out and never have a problem, but since we want to keep this vehicle for at least 5 years (and 10 or more would be fantastic!), I just think we need to go with something that has a better track record for reliability.

You see that I keep mentioning Consumer Reports. I bought a one-month membership to the online info for about $6 and I think it’s worth it. I’m also scouting the expert and user reviews on Edmunds.com as well as miscellaneous message boards.

We’re now looking at Odysseys and Siennas (if we can find a decent mileage, newish model that’s actually in our budget), Kia Sedonas, and Mazda5. The Mazda is like a mini-minivan. It only seats 6 and it’s a bit smaller than a regular van, but it has great reviews, gas mileage and it might fit our needs. I need to see one in person to make sure it’s not too teeny tiny.

[Edited to add: The Sedonas appear to have a similar reliability record as the Chryslers and they seem to be a pain to repair, so we’re taking that off.]

Some have commented that maybe we could get away with a wagon or crossover. Well, we hope to have at least three kiddos and so that’s why we want to just get a van and be done with it. Buying a vehicle every couple of years is expensive and a pain, and I don’t want to have to keep paying hundreds in sales tax.

Next up — I will call our car insurance company to have them give me ballpark quotes on what various vehicles will cost to insure.

We are also looking at maintenance costs to make sure we don’t pick a vehicle that is too expensive to repair.

The search continues…

On to a roundup! Haven’t done one in awhile so some of these posts might be kinda old. Still check ’em out.

  • Bob at Christian PF is giving away an iPad! I think it might be kinda spiffy to have one. I recently bought a used iPod Touch and I love it.
  • Last month, Trent asked if it was cheaper to ride a bus/public transit. Shane pays $105 per month for an unlimited train pass. The pass is purchased with pre-tax dollars, so that does make it a little less. But still! $105/month is a lot. It used to be around $75/month or so, but costs have risen. Still, we have determined that the price is way cheaper than us buying a car, gas, vehicle emissions, registration, maintenance and insurance. Oh, and he’d have to pay to park downtown, which would be $5/day minimum. The cost of parking per month would be about how much a transit pass costs.
  • I want to make these blueberry streusel muffins!
  • Lynnae reviewed Angel Food Ministries, and I didn’t realize they had a produce-only option. I think some of their packages just look a little too unhealthy but maybe the meats or produce-only ones are good. I especially think ordering a box like this would be helpful during the crazy newborn phase when I really don’t want to think about a shopping list or going to the grocery with a tiny tot and a toddler.

3 Responses to “More car stuff, and a roundup”

  1. Make sure to sit in the Mazda when you look at it. When we were in the market a few years ago, I almost took the Mazda MPV off the list because the numbers and the looks were smaller. Long story short, we bought the MPV! It was a little smaller but the comfort and the fact that the rear sliding door windows rolled down won us over. If you can find one of those I would say to at least consider it.

  2. Another thought…try to get leather seats! It has been a life saver so many times. They do get hot in the summer but I can live with a little bit of warmth if I forget to cover my seat.

  3. I love that you’re doing all this research, our original plan was Honda or Toyota, and I guess will stick with it after all your homework. Keeps me from having to do it. :) Thanks.
    .-= Jes´s last blog ..We lost a week! =-.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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