Looking For an SUV's with Column-mounted Shifter

If your grandparents own a vehicle that works for them, and they want you to drive them somewhere, they “let” you drive their vehicle or they can get an Uber. Don’t base your vehicle purchases on a perceived want from someone else, especially when you are assuming that they will expect you to do something for them and not allow you to do it with their equipment.

Get the vehicle that’s right for you. If that vehicle isn’t right for your grandparents, who already have a vehicle that’s right for them, then unless they’re putting up the cash for your car and being their chauffeur in your own car is one of the conditions for the money, that’s not something worthy of concern.

Oh dear, it seems I have created some controversy.

Driving my grandparents is something I would like to be able to do for them. Not a request they have made. They don’t have their own children around to take care of them, and I am incredibly grateful for their guidance. One reason why it may be difficult to have me drive their van, is the insurance. I’m not sure if splitting the insurance or just paying for my own would be the most beneficial.

And I have had my learners licence for four years now. I think that it’s time that I get my drivers now before it expires. I’ve been wanted to drive for a long while, but did not have the availably to at the time. I am planning to go to driving school this winter and really learn how to drive properly so I can be a safe and responsible driver.

There are lots of people who I know that don’t have the advantage of having a car to get around or can’t drive anymore, so if I can use my driving skills and my own car to help those without the advantage and not just myself, then I feel that makes it worth while too.


And I am 22 years old, so I’m not sure if my parents will be as concerned, I don’t live with them, and they are 8 hours away from where I live.

I mean, they know that I will be trying to pursue getting a licence and one day my own car.

No controversy , it is that many people just assumed you were 15 years old when you said you will be getting your license . I do think you should get a vehicle that meets your needs and budget and your own insurance . If people want your help then they will ask .
I must admit I have never heard of anyone having a learner permit for that long.

@meg.pony_157208 Congratulations on going about this in well considered manner.

If it helps to know, for a combination of reasons I was twenty before I got my license. I had high school driver’s ed class at age fifteen and a half. Then I didn’t get to drive again until starting over at age twenty. When REALLY learning to drive, in my case, I discovered that those few years extra maturity made a major improvement in judgement, reaction time, physical coordination, ability to focus, etc.

You will do fine. You have had patience, whether by choice or neccesity, and four years practice on a lerner’s permit. And now you are choosing to take professional driver’s training to be certain you are ready to drive on your own.

As to the issue of driving your grandparents, conversations with them can sort this out. It sounds like you have been working and saving for several years and possibly may be about to graduate college. Anyway, whatever your circumstances, best of luck to you.

As you research and test drive vehicles, feel free to keep asking questions here. I certainly have when replacing cars several times despite decades of driving experience in multiple cars.


Marnet has a point . Just a side note - my wife and I are both retired and at last Christmas the people who visit us started asking questions and making suggestions as to what we should do as if we are no longer able to function . It was really irritating . They even questioned our last vehicle purchase .
So Meg if they even show the slightest reluctance to discuss this transportation thing drop it and let your parents handle it.


I agree with Volvo’s advice. It’s fine to make the offer to provide transportation for your grandparents but then don’t push it. Best to ask them what their preferences and concerns are.

When you take the drivers ed class chances are you will be driving a car with a floor shift.

Auto insurance is expensive. There used to be a cost advantage for women, but I don’t think that exists anymore. You might consider putting your parents on the title and getting insurance through them. My 26 year old daughter still drives a car I bought for her to use in 2012. She is old enough now to buy this car or another and put her name on the title without an insurance cost penalty, but at 22, I think insurance would be costly. Contact your parent’s insurer and ask what it would cost to insure an example vehicle in your name and your parents name.

Her parents live 8 hours away from her so that will not work .

here’s my recommendation, based on your preference for column shifter suv, and also based on the fact you seemed to like the GMC Sierra . . .

Get a Yukon or Tahoe

They’re available with column shifter . . . at least they used to be

The 5.3 liter V8 gives good power for the vehicle

It actually rides better than some unibody fwd suvs, in my opinion

The downside is reliability

The 5.3 has been somewhat problematic

Regardless of the model year you get, the suspension and steering is going to need a lot more attention and :heavy_dollar_sign: than the typical fwd suv

Yes, unfortunately life events prevented me from being able to actually get my license. Thus the delay.

Thank you very much for your helpful advice and encouragement.

The grandparents thing has been discussed with them before. I had suggested it, if they would find it helpful, and they appreciated it. So if they need me, I can be available.

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With the classes I’ll be taking, a Honda CR-V is available to train on, and rent for the test.

Insurance is something I do need to consider.

With this driving school, your insurance will be lowered. Which is a plus.

Yes, out of all the vehicles I’ve driven, the Sierra was my favourite.

The Ford Fiesta would maybe be second place. It was peppy and responsive. (When it worked) I quite liked the drive, except for the cramped size and the tech failing all the time. (Worked swell until winter hit, not much of a winter car.)

My Grandpa’s Dodge Van was nice too, it felt smooth. Very strange driving such a new car for me though. Didn’t have to put your foot too far on the gas at all. Also had the backup camera, which was nice since the back window felt so far away. Defiantly not a fan of the length of the vehicle. Too big for me.

The worst was the Montana. It wasn’t very steady on the highway. It never felt good with the steering though. Did not enjoy that van at all.

And, they fulfill the OP’s desire for a vehicle that is “amazing on gas”!
Amazingly bad, unfortunately…

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I think the idea of buying a used Honda CR-V, Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager, or Toyota Sienna van is a good one. You don’t need the latest and greatest, just something that runs well, and is free of rust and body damage. An older model cost less to buy and less to insure, though you will obviously need to budget for repairs and maintenance.

You do not need a full-size SUV, and probably would be unhappy with the fuel costs, insurance, and maneuverability of one for city driving. A van or compact SUV (such as the CR-V or RAV-4 from the late 1990s to 2000s) would be better.

I am also going to disagree with the people who posted that you need the “latest and greatest” because of the newest “safety features”. The fact of the matter is that the most important “safety feature” in any car isn’t installed at the factory, and doesn’t rely on cameras, sensors, or computers. It’s the skill and common sense of the person driving! A 25-year old car can be as safe as anything else on the road if driven by someone who pays attention, doesn’t drive too fast for conditions, and always wears their seat belt. A brand new car can be the biggest death trap on the road if driven by someone who takes their eyes off the road, drives aggressively or too fast for conditions, or doesn’t wear their seat belt. Keep your cellphone put away and out of sight, and the safety of your car just increased by leaps and bounds no matter how old it is!

This was sort of my thought process as well.

I’m not really into all the fancy gadgets cars have now a days. Massive screens for the audio system, leather seats or other “extra” things. No matter what car I get, it’s not going to last forever, I have no reason to really get the newest thing. I’m more concerned if it runs okay. I also like how simple older cars few, less distractions. Just a car.

At work we drive an old early 1900’s GMC truck with a Ford body. It may not be the safest, but I appreciate how simple it is. Steering wheel, speed gage, gear shift, emergency break…
I’m just happy with the basics.

(And my cell phone will be out of sight in my car! One of my biggest pet peeves is when my family pulled out their cell phone while driving.)

Sorry, couldn’t resist!