BUYING A CAR IN 2015

BUYING A CAR IN 2017

(WITHOUT HAVING HEADACHES IN 2018)


SPECIFIC VEHICLE RECOMMENDATIONS - Passenger Vans:

These are the people haulers. Although there are lots of minivans available, many do not have the reliability that one would demand for a wife and kids. Several manufacturers have multiversatile interiors, but they are not worth a thing if the van tends to spend its time in the shop. The following are the most reliable of the bunch. Regular gas.

Honda Odyssey - The largest of all Hondas. Big space. Versatile interior. Has the best handling of all minivans. Great resale value. 6 cyl front wheel drive. Tows 3500 lb. Very high reliability. Good gas mileage for this class. Optional engine disengages half of the cylinders when cruising for best in class EPA mileage ratings.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
5 - Comfortable for 5 or 6 on trips, more around town
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
3 - Can tow up to 3500 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Toyota Sienna - Excellent (Toyota) quality. High reliability, but will probably have lower resale value than Odyssey due to Odyssey’s popularity and previous boring Siennas. Gets excellent gas mileage for this class. 6 cyl, front- or 4-wheel drive (4-wheel drive recommended for snow covered states).

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
5 - Comfortable for 5 or 6 on trips, more around town
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
3 - Can tow up to 3500 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Ford Transit - This truck replaces the long running E150 van. It's available in three different lengths, up to 15 passengers, and three different roof heights. Engines are V6 gas or inline 5 cylinder diesel. You don't buy this for gas mileage. The tallest and longest version could double as a motor home. And it'll drag 4 tons of trailer. Rear wheel drive only.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
1 - Takes over 130 ft to stop.  Rather longish.
1 - Below 15 mpg on regular or 16 mpg on premium fuel
5 - Comfortable for 5 or 6 on trips, more around town
3 - Decent reliability for long term ownership
5 - Cavernous
5 - Can tow over 5000 lb - horse/travel/big boat trailers
5 - Serious space and weight capacity
1 - Must rely on brakes alone


Ford Transit Connect - This is not a truck, but a small vehicle for around town transport. Treated as such, it will transport up to 7 people and still be easy to navigate parking lots. It is available in 2 lengths. It is not fast, but with the 2.5 engine, it will return good gas mileage with at least decent power. The turbocharged 1.6 engine is not recommended. 4 cyl, front wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
2 - Can keep up with traffic pretty well
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 or more around town
2 - Good for low initial price/short term ownership/low miles
4 - Swallows large household items
1 - Don't do it
3 - Easy to load and handles TVs and lawnmowers easily
2 - Can get out of its own way