I dunno, dude - I feel like any move you're likely to make is going to be lateral. I don't think any of the competition gets fuel economy that's convincingly better than what you've got in your driveway - sure, a few mpg here or there, but nothing that's going to stanch the complaints anytime gas is over $4/gal. You could move up to a Highlander Hybrid, but the increase in your monthly payment would neatly cancel out any gas savings.
My feeling is that trying to accommodate diametrically opposed uses - like daily driving and capable towing or offroading - in one vehicle is just a recipe for feeling like you're compromised in some important respect. I've never been calmer and more relaxed about my vehicular situation as I am now, because the 4Runner was cheap, it'll run as long as I want it, and I can approach the question of a fun daily driver without trying to make it also suffice for offroading and camping. A two-vehicle solution is likely to be the superior one, if it's affordable. My 4Runner was $8000. A Trailblazer or something related to it would be less than that for fewer miles, and then you could get an efficient daily driver for your wife.
Someone already mentioned this, but just to chime in: my brother's Jeep Liberty diesel gets ~25 mpg. He uses biodiesel when possible, to bring the cost down more. It can tow ~5000 lbs. He says it is easy to park and see out of, drives well, likes the engine. He's 6'2" and has decent headroom, but overall it's a smallish vehicle. I've ridden in it and it's pretty fancy (but then I'm used to 20 year old VWs...)
Not red, not blue- red, white, and blue
Also, narrow? We've had 3 adults across in the back for a couple hours with not too much of an issue. It's actually fairly comfortable in the back with a flat floorboard + reclining + sliding fore/aft rear seats. I'm sure 3 200lb+ people won't fit well, but again all depends on your needs.
3500lb options I have pursued:
B3 Passat G60 Syncro Wagon (from Canada) . Had one but it was problematic, old, rusty
Audi allroad 2.7TT 6spd manual. Had one but it used too much fuel
ideal option for me is to import a 1996 Audi A6 Avant TDI, but I haven't got that far yet. Don't know if that's possible with US import rules.
- Take into consideration the number of miles your family anticipates driving the vehicle annually and the annual cost of fuel for the vehicle.
- How often do you think you will be towing this boat you are planning to acquire?
- Also look at the difference annually in the cost of fuel for the car/truck/suv/cuv.
- Say the equinox, what's the mpg difference for the V6 vs 4cyl? how much will that cost you annually?
- How much annually are you willing to pay to have this capability?
If I were you, I would be looking at the dollars and cents of it all. Narrow the list down to a few vehicles you like and meet the needs of what you are looking for. Run the numbers for the lease. Run the numbers for the annual fuel costs. Drive them and narrow your choices down. You may find the drop in fuel economy and increased cost to have that V6 is perceived to be a higher cost than what you might think.
Good luck in your search, I hope you find something that can accommodate your needs and wishlist.
I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge
it's definitly possible.
though, not sure i'd wanna tow 3500lbs with an a6....
it's funny though, there are 2 threads like this on TCL alone right now and I know that i'm looking for options as well, let alone a few other people i know. the auto companies seem to be a little flat footed on this one??? good fuel mileage with good utility, surely this has been thought of before now?!
Last edited by boner; 04-10-2012 at 01:16 PM.
Has there been an indication what mileage a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 will get wth the new 8sp transmission? The current setup will easily tow what you need (rated up to 7500lbs), and could squeeze ~22-24 mpg hwy with cylinder deactivation (not towing). The 8 speed should make things better, but not ideal.
The P-Star V6 is rated at 3500lbs...probably too close to the limit for your needs.
And the JGC is a very nice place to be...I'd own one today, if I had the $$.
Improving the signal-to-noise ratio
I need to be very clear on this:
I absolutely will NOT do a Tacoma. Not in any form, not in any configuration, not when I can go get an Ecoboost F150 for not much more.
Family vehicle for me means an SUV, station wagon, some form on 2 box vehicle that is comfortable, can carry cargo, and is ideally AWD. So ideally, I am not looking for a pickup.
THe Q5 is a solid option. I just priced one up and it is hovering around $40,000 for a 2.0T Premium Plus, which ain't bad at all. Looks like it can tow 4,000 lbs too. That's a nice bump.
The reason why I am doing it this way is I want 1 practical family car, and 1 somewhat impractical sporty car in the garage. Right now, the Equinox and GTI fill those roles. Eventually, I see the SUV joining with a Mustang GT Premium.
Last edited by Maximum_Download; 04-10-2012 at 01:36 PM.
2016 Honda Accord Sport CVT w/ HondaSensing, Crystal Black Pearl/Black
Improving the signal-to-noise ratio
It's plenty capable.