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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    Will look at the Jeep products too, but I wonder if repair/maintenance could be an issue. Heard some gripes from a couple of Jeep Cherokee owners I used to work with. We're so used to Honda/Toyota quality that it would be hard to take a step backwards. Especially since we'll only have one vehicle.
    Let me know what you find out.

    I have a Honda Civic. And though the engine is good, the exterior body is cheaply made. So are many of the parts.

    Maybe I should try a different (pricier) Honda, and compare. But based on my current ride. No thanks.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  2. #32
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    Jul 2003
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    Walla Walla, WA
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    After a quick look at the Jeep site, neither the Patriot or Liberty has as much cargo space as the Rav4 or Element (over 10 cubic feet less, surprisingly!)

    The Patriot gets excellent gas mileage and is extremely well-priced for a 4x4 SUV, but we gotta have that cargo space. The Liberty doesn't get very good gas mileage.

    Honda Civics are definitely not expensively outfitted cars; they used to be the very bottom of the Honda line years ago; not sure they are now. But they sure are reliable, or at least used to be. My father got well over 200K miles on his.

    Honda Elements are also very "plastic" inside, but that makes them easy to clean and inexpensive. I've never cared about having a luxury car or adding "appearance packages", stuff like that. I want comfortable seats for driving and a good driving position for a petite gal like me, but aside from that, I'm really looking for function over form and reliability over bells and whistles. I am what you'd call a very "basic" car buyer, I guess. Never had anything fancy, so I don't know what I'm missing.

    I forgot to mention that I also had a Subaru Forester that I loved before the Element, but bikes had to lie down in the back, and the transmission gave out after only four years, so I traded it on the Element. I also really disliked the service department folks in my area after many failed attempts to fix the "check engine" light issue, so I am boycotting Subies, even if they did have one that would fit a herd of bikes!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
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  3. #33
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura* View Post
    Every time I see one of these I start to drool. Smallish with lots of room inside, generally used for businesses.
    My other choice would be it's big brother - a sprinter van. Used, of course!
    http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/sprinter/crew-van
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  4. #34
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    Jun 2010
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    Maybe I should look at the Rav4. Always liked Toyota!

    By cheaply made, I meant the exterior and the locks, things like that. Not acceptable to be forced to replace all the locks after 5 years because of cheap parts. I guess most cars have power/remote locks. But mine aren't. Not made to withstand use, apparently.

    Plus, the plastic cover around the wheel-wells fell off for no apparent reason, and from the undercarriage.... No more Honda.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    Honda Fit has lots of cargo space even though it's a small car. It's also much lower than an SUV, which is good for kayaks on the roof. Not pricey; great mileage. Perhaps worth considering.

  6. #36
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    Jul 2003
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    Walla Walla, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    Honda Fit has lots of cargo space even though it's a small car. It's also much lower than an SUV, which is good for kayaks on the roof. Not pricey; great mileage. Perhaps worth considering.
    I agree that the Honda Fit is great for a small call and a commuter, and if I were still working AND we had a second car, it would be at the top of my list. But it's just too small for road trips -- we'd also have luggage and often, a dog and dog gear, in addition to bikes, a kayak, etc. Just not quite enough car for our current needs, but thanks for the thought.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
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  7. #37
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Maybe I should look at the Rav4. Always liked Toyota!

    By cheaply made, I meant the exterior and the locks, things like that. Not acceptable to be forced to replace all the locks after 5 years because of cheap parts. I guess most cars have power/remote locks. But mine aren't. Not made to withstand use, apparently.

    Plus, the plastic cover around the wheel-wells fell off for no apparent reason, and from the undercarriage.... No more Honda.
    I do hear you. We never had any problems with the locks on our Element (but had power locks), but we did have a trim piece fall off the exterior. DH was able to replace it with a mail-order part, so it was an inexpensive repair since it was plastic. And the driver side sun visor got floppy, but he was able to repair that too. Those kinds of things I can accept, because we put 130K miles on the car in over 7 years of ownership and NEVER had a mechanical or engine issue of any sort. Never had to have it in the shop other than for routine maintenance. And never did the "check engine" light come on. After my issues with my Forester, that alone made me love Honda.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet View Post
    Every time I see one of these I start to drool. Smallish with lots of room inside, generally used for businesses.
    My other choice would be it's big brother - a sprinter van. Used, of course!
    http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/sprinter/crew-van
    Oh yes, I know about Sprinters (Sportsmobile is simply a modified, customized Sprinter), but they're not in the budget for now. Very cool, though!

    I have not ruled out the Ford Transit, but I do have reservations about it. The cargo space is amazing, but there are drawbacks, like the tall profile I mentioned above (making parking decks a hassle). Also, I could not find safety data for it, possibly because it is more of a "truck" than a car. I'm also nervous about driving anything with metal panels instead of windows in back. Seems like that would make visibility/blind spots a lot worse. The Element was pretty bad in that respect, too, and if you flipped up the rear seats, I felt downright nervous driving it, since I couldn't look over my shoulders at blind spots before changing lanes. Perhaps you get used to that, but it's really hard to adjust mirrors to eliminate all blind spots.

    Anyone have any feedback on that? I guess we could always test drive one.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  9. #39
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    Not feeling the love after reading this (Source: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com...onnect/Safety/)

    The Ford Transit Connect gets an overall safety score of just two stars out of five from the federal government, which is worse than most vehicles on the market. This score is comprised of three-star frontal crash and rollover scores and a two-star side crash score. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does not crash test commercial vehicles.

    The Transit Connect comes with safety features that are basic for the class. Anti-lock brakes are standard, as are front and side airbags. Depending on the trim level, a rearview camera and a passive anti-theft system are optional.

    Reviewers note that although the Transit Connectís forward visibility is great, its rearward visibility is pretty poor no matter which model you choose. Cargo models are particularly bad, since the rear cargo area doesnít have windows. Reverse sensors are optional, which should help a bit.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  10. #40
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    Aug 2008
    Location
    NoVa
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    309
    Just wanted to add a little about the Jeeps. They did go through a point in time where there was significant difference in engines and upkeep. The 4.0 liters, well, you couldn't kill them (I had one, '92 Jeep Cherokee Laredo... I miss it soooo much!!!). Jeep no longer has 4.0 models but I've read that they have improved their overall engine lifespan.

    Check out the car forums. When I was looking a few months ago (was considering a new car...) I saw positives and negatives but more people loving their Jeeps than not.

    That said, I would stay away from the Compass and (I think...) the Patriot. Those two had the poorest reviews (consumer and magazine).
    Last edited by rubysoho; 05-08-2012 at 03:53 AM.
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  11. #41
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    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubysoho View Post
    Just wanted to add a little about the Jeeps. They did go through a point in time where there was significant difference in engines and upkeep. The 4.0 liters, well, you couldn't kill them (I had one, '92 Jeep Cherokee Laredo... I miss it soooo much!!!). Jeep no longer has 4.0 models but I've read that they have improved their overall engine lifespan.

    Check out the car forums. When I was looking a few months ago (was considering a new car...) I saw positives and negatives but more people loving their Jeeps than not.

    That said, I would stay away from the Compass and (I think...) the Patriot. Those two had the poorest reviews (consumer and magazine).
    Thanks!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  12. #42
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    Jul 2003
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
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    Continuing my research, did you know that the Rav4 (in addition to the Honda Element) has more cargo capacity than a Ford Escape (in addition to both Jeep models mentioned)? I was surprised! I'm really learning a lot from all this research and truly appreciate all the suggestions.

    Currently, it's looking like the Rav4 is at the top of the heap for what we want. DH still is pulling for an Element, but I've found at least one good site that compares the two, and Rav4 wins in nearly all categories.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  13. #43
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
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    Not sure if you are aware, but the Element has been discontinued, and good used ones are not so easy to find. My boss just bought one, and had it brought in from out of state somewhere.

  14. #44
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    Not sure if you are aware, but the Element has been discontinued, and good used ones are not so easy to find. My boss just bought one, and had it brought in from out of state somewhere.
    Yes, I'm aware of that. But there are a reasonable number of them available through Carmax in NC; I've already checked. More pricey than buying from an individual, but have been checked out better too. And we'll be in an area where Elements are VERY popular, so there's always a decent chance of a local sale as well.

    That said, I am going to push pretty hard for a Rav4, but it will probably be a late model used one as well.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    221
    Emily, in your 1st post, you say you want to be able to transport the bikes with front wheels removed? So, the bikes would be standing?
    If so, how do you secure them so they don't tip over while driving?
    I have an SUV, and I lay my bike in the back, which is fine since I'm single and only have to transport 1 bike. But when the bike is laying down, it takes up the whole back, and I've been trying to figure out how to stand it up, so I can take it on vaca along with luggage, coolers, etc.
    Good luck in your car search!

 

 

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