What to buy?

My husband owns a Toyota Forerunner and is tired of the gas guzzler. I have a 2000 Toyota Sienna van that I love so much I plan to use it as my coffin. My husband wants to buy me a new car and make my van HIS car - he is a builder so his “image” is important. He was considering getting a Prius but we have decided against that. I love a car that I can slide in and out of and I love the room of my van. Assuming I am willing to give up my van, what car should we buy?

I won’t move you out of the van. As soon as you see it full of tools and contractors junk you’ll just be more and more aggravated each time you see the van.

Have your husband look into a Honda Element. It has cargo mats a durable interior, the seats can fold up or come out and it can be his “office” and you won’t care that the chop saw is on the seats or there is lumber on the roof. I think the Element can haul a small trailer if he needs more room for a bigger project. The Element uses some gas, but I think it would get much better mpg than a Forerunner and perhaps better mpg than your van.

If he wants something brand new, have him look into the Ford Transit. It is made specifically as a work truck that gets good mpg. The Transit is just over $20K new.

I’m not a contractor, but I thought that a Toyota truck would have a better image to them than a 10-year old minivan.

Anyway, the newer Sienna has a four-cylinder engine. The Mazda5 has even better mileage since it’s smaller, but it has less room. It has sliding doors though.

[b][i]Never Drive A Toyota And Joke About Using It As Your Coffin. That’s A Touchy Subject Right Now. They’re Working On The Safety Image.



A two year old Ford small size pick up truck with a two wheel 4x8 foot trailer will meet his image requirements, and his gas milage needs, and you can keep your van.

The Transit is also pretty much THE contractors’ vehicle in the EU, atleast according to Top Gear.

Sadly, no diesel available in the US that I know of

We have the same vehicles that you have–a Toyota 4Runner and a Toyota Sienna. The difference is that my wife drives the 4Runner and I drive the Sienna. My wife picked out the 4Runner (it is a 2003 purchased new) and she wouldn’t give it up for the world. In fact, I think she wants to be buried in that car. The Sienna is our 4th minivan. We have had a Ford Aerostar, a Ford Windstar, a Chevrolet Uplander and now the Sienna. We purchased the Sienna in March–it is a 2011 model. It handles more like a car than the other minivans we have owned. The turning radius is tighter, yet I can load as much in it as I loaded into the Uplander. I’ve carried 2 typmani, a string bass, two french horns, three music stands and 3 passengers to an outreach performance of the chamber orchestra I manage. I like the fact that the seats fold down into wells in the floor. At my age, it is easier to fold the seats than to wrestle the back seat out as I did in my previous minivans. I like it better than the Uplander that we sold to our son who needed a minivan and couldn’t afford a new one.
I find the gasoline mileage on our 4Runner acceptable: 16-18 around town and 22-25 on the highway. The Sienna, with a V-6,does about 17-19 around town and 24-26 on the highway, although it may not be completely broken in yet. The mileage seems to improve with each fill-up. I tested both the 2010 and 2011 Siennas and decided to spring for the 2011. It has enough extra features in the redesign to make it worthwhile. You may want to look at the 2011 Sienna and see if buying one and letting your husband take your 2000 is an option. My wife thinks he is crazy to want to give up his 4Runner, but that is his problem.

It sounds like you both like the Sienna. Is there any reason why he wouldn’t trade in his Forerunner to buy you a new replacement Sienna and use yours current Sienna for his work vehicle?