Now that I have a 2 and 4 year old, my 2007 FJ Cruiser has just become non-functional. I’ve loved it, but it is a pain to get kids in and out of car seats, plus, with the lift kit I have on it, it won’t fit in my downtown work parking garage. Time for a new car.
I’ve always trusted Car Talk recommendations, so I’m looking for few. Here are my considerations:
- Looking for a used car with 50k or so miles on it. I’m not particularly a ‘car guy’, so I’m pretty open to types/models/condition.
- Mechanical reliability. I typically own a car for 7+ years, so looking for something that is reliable and low maintenance. Ex - I’ve always owned Toyotas
- Looking for a smaller SUV.
- We live in the city (Austin), so big cars can be a pain
- Good gas mileage would be nice
- Big enough to throw a kayak, bike, fishing gear etc. in/on
- AWD a small plus, but really not necessary
- Two kids in car seat for a while and all that goes with it…
- 3rd row seat would be nice to have - does not need to be roomy, just there if needed
- Our other car is a Subaru Outback (which I really like)
- No…I just can’t do a minivan yet…
- I’m 6’2". Don’t want to be cramped
- Daily commute is 7miles. I don’t drive a ton.
I can get about $15k to trade in my existing car (62k mi), I can put more money in if needed, but don’t want to go overboard.
So far, I’m looking at something like a Mazda CX-9 or a Hyundai Santa Fe. I suppose if I found a Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander it would be nice, but seems like I’d be in the 100k mi range, and not sure I’d need the size.
Any other considerations? So far, I’m leaning to doing the whole transaction at CarMax. I think I could get $2k or so more for my car on the private market, but just don’t want the craigslist runaround.
Appreciate the thoughts!