Help me find the perfect car!



I recently started car browsing and it seems that no car or company can meet my needs. I’m hoping someone here can help out with suggestions. The time-frame on my buying is anytime between now and December 2008, so I have some time. The wife and I currently own a 2001 Outback and a 2001 Saturn SL2.


* Good mileage: 25+ required, 30+ preferred

* 4 doors, can hold 4/5 adults + dog

* Diesel preferred, then hybrid, then gas

* Safety is key, lots of airbags, and if it’s an SUV, stability control is required. (I believe this eliminates the Escape hybrid)

* ABS required

* I have an aversion to SUVs. Nothing larger than a Saturn VUE/Ford Escape size. I’d rather walk than drive a Suburban.

* Station wagons okay. Sedans not as much.

* I’m biased against Ford/GM/Chrysler, but willing to change, maybe.

* Automatic transmission (blame the wife)

* Price: under $45k, closer to $30k is better.


* 4WD - but only if it doesn’t kill mileage

* heated seats (I live in Colorado)

* Sunroof (300 days of sunshine here!)

It seems in general that some of the cars that fit my needs like the Volvo S70 or the VW Passat Wagon are not in diesel or hybrid. VW has a hybrid Touraeg, but it costs like $75k.

Why can’t someone make a nice station wagon/SUV with lots of features without putting a V18 in it and having it get 3 miles per gallon? The theory seems to be that if you can afford a nice car, you don’t mind spending $300/month on gas.


Edit: I meant to say “diesel Touraeg” not hybrid.


Ford Excursion Diesel. I know it doesnt fit in your specifications. There is a Huge variety of diesel vehicles available all over the world, but sadly not in the USA.
Toyota 4 Runner ( Surf) Diesel.
Toyota Land Cruiser Diesel.
Land Rover Diesel.
Hell toyota has a Hiace mini van in diesel also.
A bunch of Volvo diesels, the list goes on and on…and on… What will it take to get them and keep them here I dont know.


I cannot find a single 2007/2008 Volvo diesel car. They are all gasoline up and down the line. I will also say that Big SUV trumps diesel. With my manhood still functioning well, I’m not sure what the point of an Excursion would be.


You cannot find Volvo Diesel vechicles in USA. Thats a shame. There is also Peugeot with their excellent diesel lineup. Not to mention VW, Mercedees, Rover, Nissan, Renault etc…

If you import anything like a 4 runner or Land Cruiser or any other diesel, you will pay an arm and a leg when you go in for repairs plus it will take forever to get the parts.

I really dont have a good answer for you. The only domestic diesel options are Excursion and ( brace for impact!!!) Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel with a Quad cab. Both extremely stupid choices.

However, have you looked at Toyota HiLander Hybrid option?


Hang in there a little while (like summer 2008) and you will likely have a lot more choice. VW and others have diesels ready, but they were waiting for the new clean diesel fuel. It is here, but now they need to get their cars certified. They are working on it.


Seems I remember VW had a diesel Passat Wagon in the US market a couple years ago. Perhaps they will re-introduce it for next year?

I suppose the short wheelbase Sprinter is out of the question?


Keep the Saturn. When Bush attacks Iran, owning an automobile will become irrelevant…We will ALL be walking and riding bicycles.


4/AWD will kill gas mileage regardless.
How about a mini van? I know most will get around 20~25 mpg, dunno about the sunroof though


You are obviously spoiled. That is a mean statement, I realize, but you must go back to basics. Do you remember what it was like when you were very young, to walk or ride a bicycle? From that starting position, anything with a motor that runs to keep you from walking or pedaling is an enormous improvement.

With that in mind, you can be less particular. That is how I can be happy with a cheap car; am grateful to not have to walk or pedal!

Your complicated demands for a satisfactory vehicle prompted this response.


If you are really willing to spend $45K, check out a new ML320 CDI. There aren’t really very many diesel choices, maybe look for a used Jeep Liberty CRD (smaller than the new Grand Cherokee Diesel). Otherwise wait a while and see what else comes on the market.


A 2008 Subaru Outback fits all your needs otherwise all for under $30k except it gets under 25MPG on average. Its rated city/highway 20MPG/26MPG.

We have the supposedly worse MPG turbo version but my wife manages manage 23MPG average. Its a shear pleasure to drive over ANY SUV.


Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD 34mpg city

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 27mpg city

I’d go with the Highlander because it has a V-6 and better reliability. Slightly bigger
than Escape, but close.


I don’t see how a request for a normal (non-SUV) vehicle that gets good gas mileage is complicated. Maybe I should just buy a Hummer?


I did talk to the VW dealer here yesterday, they will have a Jetta “Sport Wagon” in summer/fall 2008 that should offer a diesel version. He said that they should also offer a Rabbit and Jetta sedan diesel around that time.


I think that’s what I will do. I just can’t figure out why in the US diesel is relegated to huge trucks.


I may look at that one too. I love my 2001 Outback.


I can’t do it. Call it religion or something maybe. I’m only 30 and I just can’t do it. Well, if I put a “If this van’s a-rockin” sticker on it…


“I don’t see how a request for a normal (non-SUV) vehicle that gets good gas mileage is complicated. Maybe I should just buy a Hummer?”

That is easy. The hard part is 5 adults + dog. That means a pretty large vehicle if someone does not want the dog on their lap(s) or feet.


You could always ask to see if you could put a V8 in it. :stuck_out_tongue: