I’m a guy in Brooklyn looking to buy a vehicle. No idea what to get. This is the first car I will be purchasing. I’ve driven two other cars for a total of about 5 years.
I’m in a band and often need at least a wagon to haul gear, or haul a 4-5 people, move small furniture, and get my photo gear and an assistant somewhere relatively remote. I also would like to take the car out across the country. I’m sick of renting. The only decent rentals I had were the Toyota Sienna (newer ones are too expensive), and the Ford Escape (this car disguised as SUV seems impure).
What car/truck is the best combination of cargo room, gas mileage, reliability, and cost of maintenance?
And is having an American car truly more important once I am out away from metropolitan areas? I grew up in the Northeast where American, German, and Asian cars all lived harmoniously.
Does the safety of a passenger car for everyday driving cost too much compared to the utility of a van or capped pickup?
I am going to be buying used, around $5k, and most likely purchasing in NYC or on a mini road trip down to warmer climates.
I do not expect the car/truck to be good looking, nice smelling or desirable. I want an auto that I can go on adventures with. Age and mileage can be whatever, as long as there is some life to be had from the car.
I’ve thought of a buying a beat up Ford Taurus wagon, Nissan Quest minivan, Dodge Caravan, boxy old Toyota 4Runners, For Econoline vans. All seem like good choices but they all sacrifice something. Is the Chevy AWD Astrovan my soul mate? Is an old and beat up Honda Element going to cost me extra time and money if I break down in Montana (being a Japanese car)? Is a Subaru Legacy wagon going just keep going like a glacier? Is a giant boat mobile Cadillac that seats 6 the coolest thing ever(yes)? Is a manual rear wheel drive Volvo 240 the car that sees Mount Washington and San Francisco in the same month?
I love driving a manual, had one for years. Maybe a really busted old BMW 3 series wagon?