New Vehicle

I could use some help in finding a new vehicle to replace my 2005 Ford Freestar. I need something that will fit my 48x35x32 dog crate, would love to have AWD at a price that doesn’t put me back in the poor house. I have seen minivans with the 2nd window that opens, that would be great when transporting animals.
Love to hear any suggestions!

On our 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan, the windows in the sliding doors roll down. My Sienna replaced a Chevy Uplander Minivan which replaced a Ford Windstar which was,the forerunner to your Freestar. According to an email I received from the Toyota dealer, my Sienna has a book value of $15,500, but they will give me $18,500 on a new one. I’m not trading, but this might give you an idea of what a used Sienna is worth.

Make a frame out of PVC pipe the same size as the crate and take it with you and then you will know if the crate will fit.

Thank you for the info, I will check out the Toyota Sienna.

I do know that the Sienna is available in an AWD version. The downside is that the AWD version comes with my spare tire, but instead, has run flat tires which have had wear. Issues. If you are looking at new vehicles, we just completed a 1500 mile road trip in a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe that we rented. I was impressed with this SUV.

@Triedaq Was the Sante Fe the sport version (small one) or the 7 passenger Santa Fe. (They have recently changed their styles and naming). If it was the Sport, was it the Turbo or the regular.

We are shopping for a smaller CUV; The RAV4, Tucson and Santa Fe sport are on the short list.

“The downside is that the AWD version comes with my spare tire,”

Are you telling us that you’re not willing to share, @Triedaq?


@galant Since it wasn’t a 7 passenger, it must have been the sport version. I am not sure about the engine, but when I checked the oil I saw either GDI or GTI on the engine cover. I don’t think it was the Turbo as I didn’t hear any turbo whine. We averaged over 30 mpg in all highway driving. I am sorry I didn’t pay more attention to details.

Pick up a copy of Consumer Reports New Car Preview at your local bookstore, peruse the available options, and test drive those that look interesting to you.

@Triedaq Thanks for the info. Yes, probably the regular. I am in the process of trying to rent a few of the candidates to test them on a longer drive. Unfortunately, they never have the make/model I want in stock. Given your other cars (minivan and the 4R) are pretty comfy, I would put the SF higher on the list.

@VDCdriver My Android smartphone sometimes seems to choose the words for me. I really meant to say that the AWD version of the Sienna has no spare tire. However, at the moment I will share my spare tire on the Sienna. My Sienna was recalled because the spare tire which is suspended under the vehicle might fall off onto the road. Since I didn’t want to take,the risk of causing someone to have an accident, I had the recall done. The spare tire was moved into the rear compartment and strapped down untjl Toyota comes up with a permanent solution. I removed the spare because in the rear it won’t allow the seat to be folded flat.
@galant If I didn’t need a,minivan for transporting my fellow musicians and their instruments, the Santa Fe would be high on my list. Mrs. Triedaq said she likes her 4Runner better than the Santa Fe after having driven the Santa Fe.

@“Carousel Critters” A couple of years ago, we rented a Chevrolet Traverse which we drove through the mountainous area of California and then along the coast. We were both impressed with the Traverse. One strange experience we had was a popping noise in the Traverse as we were descending from higher evaluations. It turned out to be our plastic water bottles being compressed by the increase in atmospheric pressure. The Traverse seemed to me to have plenty of room for your pocoches. I used to use a cage that fit in the back of both our 4Runner and Sienna to transport our smaller terrier mix dog. However, I now have a strap that attaches to the seatbelt and to his harness. This keeps him safe and he can see out. He prefers the back seat and rides along proudly as if he has a chauffeur.

Thanks for your input. My own dogs ride in their designated seats, but I pick up boarders & grooms, my vehicle is the PETCAB, so I always have my exlarge crate in the back to keep those dogs safe.