Ideal two vehicle combo?

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Movingshrub
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Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Movingshrub »

My wife and I just purchased a 4Runner. We purchased her vehicle to replace an Audi A4 (the bigger vehicle out of the two) since it wasn't big enough for any kind of family trip.

We have one infant, a dog, and the two of us. I am confident there will be at least one, if not, two additions to the family in the next few years.

I have a 2001 Civic Coupe with 251k+ miles. Removing and installing the car seat carrier into the backseat is not an enjoyable process on my car.

I'm trying to identify what vehicle I should replace my Civic with when that day arrives. I STRONGLY prefer a manual transmission, which significantly limits my options. I need something that will fit the whole family comfortably incase the 4Runner is down for whatever reason.

The top contenders are a Honda Accord LX or EX, 6 speed manual, or a Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Double Cab V6 4x4 manual transmission. The Tacoma double cab is smallest cab where I think I could fit a car seat behind the driver or the passenger. The other, non manual truck options would be Toyota Tacoma or Ford F150. The 4Runner offers towing capacity of 5000lb, and we don't have a boat or anything we need to tow.

I am a huge do it yourselfer, so there is some appeal to having the truck in terms of transporting building materials. Another option would be to get a utility trailer and either tow it with the 4runner or get a trailer hitch on a sedan.

I welcome suggestions. Thank you.
MI_bogle
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by MI_bogle »

Pretty hard to say definitively without more details like: how far you're going to drive with the 2nd vehicle and what it's primary use is. I am a huge Tacoma fan but would view it as too redundant since you already have a 4Runner


If it were me, I'd get the 4Runner a hitch and get a small trailer. And then buy the Accord or equivalent.

That way you have a large SUV with towing capacity, and a sedan with decent MPGs but can still fit everybody in. It's nice to diversify your fleet capabilities. If you commute long distances or take road trips, it is nice to have a car with better gas mileage.
corysold
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by corysold »

Kids are in car seats much longer now. If you are going to be up to 3 kids in the next few years, that will mean 3 kids in car seats (older child is likely in a booster by that point, but it still takes up space). Be sure to check if 3 car seats can fit across the back seat if you plan on using the vehicle for the entire family if needed.
DSInvestor
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by DSInvestor »

4 runner can probably handle 2 adults, 1 child and a dog on a trip if you use a rooftop cargo box or small trailer to provide additional storage space. You may be able to handle 1 more kid in the 4 Runner. The third child is going to force you into something like a Honda Odyssey.
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Millennial
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Millennial »

I'm with you on manuals, wishing there was a good option for an AWD manual wagon. Closest I've come to finding it is a Subaru Forester, which you can get in manual in the lower trim package.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by livesoft »

Our last manual transmission was a Nissan Maxima 4DSD. I don't know anything about current models, but I know it could go 120 mph without straining on the LIE with a car seat in the back.
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dm200
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by dm200 »

Movingshrub wrote:My wife and I just purchased a 4Runner. We purchased her vehicle to replace an Audi A4 (the bigger vehicle out of the two) since it wasn't big enough for any kind of family trip.
We have one infant, a dog, and the two of us. I am confident there will be at least one, if not, two additions to the family in the next few years.
I have a 2001 Civic Coupe with 251k+ miles. Removing and installing the car seat carrier into the backseat is not an enjoyable process on my car.
I'm trying to identify what vehicle I should replace my Civic with when that day arrives. I STRONGLY prefer a manual transmission, which significantly limits my options. I need something that will fit the whole family comfortably incase the 4Runner is down for whatever reason.
The top contenders are a Honda Accord LX or EX, 6 speed manual, or a Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Double Cab V6 4x4 manual transmission. The Tacoma double cab is smallest cab where I think I could fit a car seat behind the driver or the passenger. The other, non manual truck options would be Toyota Tacoma or Ford F150. The 4Runner offers towing capacity of 5000lb, and we don't have a boat or anything we need to tow.
I am a huge do it yourselfer, so there is some appeal to having the truck in terms of transporting building materials. Another option would be to get a utility trailer and either tow it with the 4runner or get a trailer hitch on a sedan.
I welcome suggestions. Thank you.
Some comments:

1. Manual transmission: I, too, love manual transmissions. "My" car is manual. HOWEVER, my wife cannot (I term it WILL not) learn to drive a manual. Decades ago, I tried to teach her several times and "gave up" deciding that any further efforts would result in either a DIVORCE or MURDER. As fewer and fewer Americans buy manual transmissions, many models do not even have that option. Some that do are terrible. SO - if you buy a manual, make sure it is a good one. Also, make 100% sure that any manual transmission has a "hand brake" (Old Farts like me still call them emergency brakes!).

2. Although expensive, it seems like a 4 door pickup truck would meet your needs. I never shopped for such a truck, but I am surprised if a Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet or GMC such truck did not come with a manual transmission (BUT make sure it has a convenient hand brake).
inbox788
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by inbox788 »

Prius & Sienna!
stoptothink
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by stoptothink »

DSInvestor wrote:4 runner can probably handle 2 adults, 1 child and a dog on a trip if you use a rooftop cargo box or small trailer to provide additional storage space. You may be able to handle 1 more kid in the 4 Runner. The third child is going to force you into something like a Honda Odyssey.
The 3rd child is a total game-changer. You can not handle 3 small children on a trip without a van or SUV, it just doesn't work. FWIW, we have two children (4 and 18-months) and have made several week-long or more long distance trips (600+ miles one-way) in our only vehicle...an '09 two-door Hyundai accent hatchback. No problems at all, and actually plenty of room (even without a cargo box). We have actually had 3 car seats back there when our niece visits, but only for short-trips - not fun. I am always of the opinion that you don't need as much car, space, and stuff as you think you do (even for the occasional long-distance trip), but it just doesn't work when you add that 3rd kid.

This is a decision to be made when you decide for sure about the 3rd one.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by stoptothink »

Millennial wrote:I'm with you on manuals, wishing there was a good option for an AWD manual wagon. Closest I've come to finding it is a Subaru Forester, which you can get in manual in the lower trim package.
I also will not purchase an automatic. If one is willing to go with VW, the new Golf alltrack is pretty sweet http://www.vw.com/models/golf-alltrack.m. We test drove on a few weeks ago.
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lthenderson
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by lthenderson »

dm200 wrote:As fewer and fewer Americans buy manual transmissions, many models do not even have that option.
I was just reading somewhere last week where only 3.9% of cars in America are with manual transmissions. I took my car in for an oil change a few weeks before that and had to drive it in myself because no one at the place knew how to drive one. Despite loving a manual transmission, I think my next one will be an automatic. Besides, these days many automatics out perform manuals on gas mileage which is why I bought my manual back in 98.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Eurookat »

We have a CRV and it's tight in the back. We have a 3month old and a 3yr old. Thankfully we only need one stroller. My commuter car is an Accord. I wanted a subaru wagon but the wifey didn't like how they look.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by arsenalfan »

Odyssey is a great car for 2+ kids and dogs.
When they're little, those carseats take up a lot of room.
As they get older, you're the carpool vehicle of choice - amazing what tweens/teens will say, I learn more as a swim/soccer taxi about my kids day in those 15-30 min than an entire week's worth of dinners.
And roadtrips are ridiculously easy (and cheap) vacations.
Also, the van is great for hauling stuff.
We never had an image problem with the minivan that some folks do. I think we know we're cool on the inside LOL
MrNewEngland
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by MrNewEngland »

I have a Wrangler JK manual that I put a tow hitch on. I have a small 5X8 trailer so the Wrangler is both my fun vehicle and my utility vehicle. I also have a Kia Optima bc they had such a good lease deal earlier this year and I actually really, really like that car. It's comfortable and gets exceptional mileage. It also has a lot more usable features than the Jeep. It's working out pretty well for me.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Focus RS. It's AWD, 4 door, hatch (for practicallity) and manual. It's the perfect car for you.
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F150HD
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by F150HD »

Movingshrub wrote:
I'm trying to identify what vehicle I should replace my Civic with when that day arrives. I STRONGLY prefer a manual transmission,
saw a recent story on the news about manual transmissions being a dying breed even in semi-trucks. On that note, buying a manual could result in a costly maintenance bill when it does occur as there may be fewer qualified people to work on it.
FWIW....

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/l ... story.html

Even Ferarris are auto.
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just frank
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by just frank »

Big car (CUV) for road trips, small EV for commuting. That's what we have. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

F150HD wrote:
Movingshrub wrote:
I'm trying to identify what vehicle I should replace my Civic with when that day arrives. I STRONGLY prefer a manual transmission,
saw a recent story on the news about manual transmissions being a dying breed even in semi-trucks. On that note, buying a manual could result in a costly maintenance bill when it does occur as there may be fewer qualified people to work on it.
FWIW....

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/l ... story.html

Even Ferarris are auto.
Manuals still cost $1000 less when purchased. They give the driver far more control of the car and are more fun to drive. Ferraris are double clutch manuals that are shifted through computer control. Although you don't have to push in a clutch, they do move a clutch (2 of them, actually). While I agree that they are disappearing, there are still quite a few cars out there with the option of a proper manual transmission including boring mid sized sedans like Accords and Mazda 3's, BMWs, Audis and smaller sporty-ish sedans like Subarus, Civics and the like.

Mechanics will know how to take care of these for the next 50 years. They are far, far simpler to maintain, replace and repair.
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blueberry
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by blueberry »

Even with my daughter grown (20), I'm having a hard time giving up the minivan. You do get called up to be chauffeur but what one poster said, you learn so much more about your children silently listening as the chauffeur vs. having kids over for birthday parties etc. It's fun! In addition to that, I've moved furniture, wood piles, landscape materials, and slept in the darn thing when the tent wasn't enough for cold or wet weather conditions. Two sit on top kayaks fit -inside- with all back seats removed. I also consider it a decent emergency shelter in the event of an earthquake (you won't want to sleep in your house because of aftershocks) and keep some supplies in it. That and my subaru impreza (manual) work as a great duo.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by c078342 »

I am going to be the curmudgeon here. You need to determine whether you are a car guy or a utilitarian. A car guy WOULD NEVER own a van. An SUV is acceptable. You're going to spend considerable time in vehicles, why not make those hours enjoyable? You don't need the back packs and diaper bags I see many millenials toting around. Your parents, and their parents, didn't fuss that much.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by F150HD »

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Manuals still cost $1000 less when purchased. They give the driver far more control of the car and are more fun to drive. Ferraris are double clutch manuals that are shifted through computer control. Although you don't have to push in a clutch, they do move a clutch (2 of them, actually). While I agree that they are disappearing, there are still quite a few cars out there with the option of a proper manual transmission including boring mid sized sedans like Accords and Mazda 3's, BMWs, Audis and smaller sporty-ish sedans like Subarus, Civics and the like.

Mechanics will know how to take care of these for the next 50 years. They are far, far simpler to maintain, replace and repair.

um, half of my vehicles are manual. Was just stating a recent news report.
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FIREchief
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by FIREchief »

Simple. Two 4Runners. Been there, done that, can't touch this...... 8-)
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by blueberry »

FIREchief wrote:Simple. Two 4Runners. Been there, done that, can't touch this...... 8-)
Redundant vehicles? I don't get that. Have 2 vehicles for different purposes and cover the spectrum. Manual fun driving thing, people mover, awd thing, truck, depending on your life, but why ever 2 of the same.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by wander »

MI_bogle wrote: That way you have a large SUV with towing capacity, and a sedan with decent MPGs but can still fit everybody in. It's nice to diversify your fleet capabilities. If you commute long distances or take road trips, it is nice to have a car with better gas mileage.
I agree with commute long distance using better gas mileage car but for road trips I always prefer my large car since it is heavy and more stable, especially when passing the trucks. My siblings will agree with you, it's just me. :D
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FIREchief
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by FIREchief »

blueberry wrote:
FIREchief wrote:Simple. Two 4Runners. Been there, done that, can't touch this...... 8-)
Redundant vehicles? I don't get that. Have 2 vehicles for different purposes and cover the spectrum. Manual fun driving thing, people mover, awd thing, truck, depending on your life, but why ever 2 of the same.
Because simple, body-on-frame, 4 door station wagons can do just about everything. Had a stick once, no interest. Had several trucks, don't need them anymore. Don't want to "move people." To each their own.... :sharebeer
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blueberry
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by blueberry »

FIREchief wrote:
blueberry wrote:
FIREchief wrote:Simple. Two 4Runners. Been there, done that, can't touch this...... 8-)

Because simple, body-on-frame, 4 door station wagons can do just about everything. Had a stick once, no interest. Had several trucks, don't need them anymore. Don't want to "move people." To each their own.... :sharebeer
True, if a vehicle matches what you do without any shortcomings, stick with it. :sharebeer
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car).
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Incendiary »

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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Slacker »

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Focus RS. It's AWD, 4 door, hatch (for practicallity) and manual. It's the perfect car for you.
We do short road trips (less than 10hrs driving) in a Focus hatchback. 2 adults, 2 teenagers, 1 dog and either mountain bikes on the hitch carrier or we use the hitch for one of those luggage trays and strap additional bags down back there (gives us more room for a cooler in the hatch area for road snacks/drinks).
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by emoore »

VW GTI
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by sambb »

manual sedan - consider 340i bmw
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by sunny_socal »

Bought an accord sport 6spd for the same reasons as OP. It works.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by StoutDrinker »

Toyota Sienna and Subaru WRX.

Before the Sienna and before kids...DW and I shared a manual Tacoma X-Runner. We sold a Lexus IS sedan...since we didn't need two vehicles. Then we had twins, so we traded the Tacoma for a Forester. The AWD Forester was awesome in the snow. Then we had a 3rd child, so we had to get the Sienna because it was too difficult to find car seats that would fit 3 across the back. Also, we wanted extra seats for other family members who occasionally traveled with us.

The Sienna will actually fit 4'x8' sheets of plywood with the middle seats removed and the rear seats folded flat into the trunk (2007 model year). So I don't really miss the truck too much for transporting large objects. I've even transported a large fridge once (important to store it right side up for at least 24 hours before plugging a fridge in after being laid flat).

Once the twins started school and went to backless boosters which takes up a lot less space and the 3rd kid moved into 5-point harness booster, they can all fit in the back of the new WRX. We've taken two road trips. 5.5 hours one way...sometimes I don't even stop to get gas. No complaints until maybe the last 20 minutes, but my kids have traveled quite extensively at a young age.

The WRX is the base model and is a manual. Very fun to drive! :D
MPG isn't too bad, we've gotten over 30 MPG, but when you want to have a lot of fun...it's like 5 or 6 MPG.
Currently, these two vehicles are ideal for us. I also like the 4Runner, so I would keep it and get a trail/hitch like others have suggested if you need more storage. I wouldn't though...just pack light. Going electric/hybrid for the 2nd vehicle is also a great idea. We almost got the Tesla. lol
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by carguyny »

I get that you love manuals (I have a manual 911 sitting in the garage) - but keep in mind unless it is a fun car, you might need it for babysitters/family to drive from time to time so it wouldn't be a choice I would make. You never know when a primary family car is in the shop and leaving you just the manual option.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by mrc »

Former manual fans here. Until we moved to DC metro and experienced constant stop-and-go traffic. That's when an auto is nice. We went hybrid and gas/electric, so a CVT was made mandatory. I don't miss shifting one bit. Automatic's reliability much better than in years past, the trannys outlast the vehicles most of the time. Safely stowing three kids and a dog for cross country trip or a grocery store run takes priority over many other decisions. Anyone can drive my car now -- which wasn't the case before.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by mmmodem »

It doesn't matter what you get as long as it has back seats. Your wife already has the SUV. Your car is back up. Just about any car will fit 3 car seats in the back. I had a 2003 Civic Coupe. I know its dimensions well. Slim child car seats will fit. The child carrier is only temporary before they sit in toddler seats. Don't limit yourself when there is no reason to. My wife has a Prius and all our family trips are taken in that. I occasionally have to shuttle the kids when she is stuck in traffic or late at work.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Millennial »

stoptothink wrote:I also will not purchase an automatic. If one is willing to go with VW, the new Golf alltrack is pretty sweet http://www.vw.com/models/golf-alltrack.m. We test drove on a few weeks ago.
I would buy a VW - but according to their website, this car is not available with a manual... do you have some good news for me?
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by emoore »

Millennial wrote:
stoptothink wrote:I also will not purchase an automatic. If one is willing to go with VW, the new Golf alltrack is pretty sweet http://www.vw.com/models/golf-alltrack.m. We test drove on a few weeks ago.
I would buy a VW - but according to their website, this car is not available with a manual... do you have some good news for me?
Manual alltrack coming early next year.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by 6miths »

We have 4 children so Odyssey and Civic (Acura CSX which is a Civic in Acura finish) and have served us very well. Now that all 4 are driving we also have a Hyundai Elantra GT which does the job as well though is not nearly the vehicle the 10 year old manual 6-speed CSX Type S is. I totally agree on manuals and the kids all take great pride in being able to drive one and see the benefits. As an added bonus, it is hard to drive a stick and text - especially in traffic! The most recent Odyssey is a 2014 and DW want to go with an SUV instead but I can't see giving up the hauling capacity and flexibility of the minivan. Apparently, I'm not a car guy. Also, I was thinking of becoming an Uber driver in retirement and thought that the van might be an excellent option!
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by bloom2708 »

How about pairing the 4Runner with a Hybrid Electric for good gas mileage? Take the car that is most appropriate for the trip.

We have a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi (2014 Ford Explorer is the other family vehicle). The plug in model. You get ~20 miles of all electric.

My wife routinely gets 70-80+ mpg with in town buzzing around type driving. It costs 50 to 75 cents per night to charge. We routinely get 800 to 1,000 miles on each tank of gas + electric.

The C-Max line is pretty loaded up with features. They ride very good. The prices on used ones are very reasonable.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by onmyway33 »

I find myself in a very similar situation juggling car seats and dogs but wanting a manual transmission vehicle that supports my DIY hobbies. I am considering the Toyota Corolla iM, which looks to be new version of the Matrix. Hatchbacks seem to offer a good bit of flexibility with hauling building supplies but also offering good gas mileage and adjustable seating positing for backseat passengers of all types.
I would also recommend that you make car choices with your current number of children, or maybe current # + 1 in mind. You may regret making big ticket purchases based on a desired # of kids, as your desired # may be greater than the actual #. I learned this after I purchased our current house.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Incendiary »

mmmodem wrote:It doesn't matter what you get as long as it has back seats. Your wife already has the SUV. Your car is back up. Just about any car will fit 3 car seats in the back. I had a 2003 Civic Coupe. I know its dimensions well. Slim child car seats will fit. The child carrier is only temporary before they sit in toddler seats. Don't limit yourself when there is no reason to. My wife has a Prius and all our family trips are taken in that. I occasionally have to shuttle the kids when she is stuck in traffic or late at work.
Which slim car seats do you recommend? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by bighatnohorse »

If it's not too far fetched and you can tow your 4runner with "four down" then this could cover your family vacations at the same time:
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mmmodem
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by mmmodem »

Incendiary wrote:
mmmodem wrote:It doesn't matter what you get as long as it has back seats. Your wife already has the SUV. Your car is back up. Just about any car will fit 3 car seats in the back. I had a 2003 Civic Coupe. I know its dimensions well. Slim child car seats will fit. The child carrier is only temporary before they sit in toddler seats. Don't limit yourself when there is no reason to. My wife has a Prius and all our family trips are taken in that. I occasionally have to shuttle the kids when she is stuck in traffic or late at work.
Which slim car seats do you recommend? Inquiring minds want to know.
This is what I use when I need to fit three in the 2nd row.
https://www.amazon.com/Diono-Radian-Con ... 36a6a82e33
Incendiary
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Incendiary »

mmmodem wrote:
Incendiary wrote:
mmmodem wrote:It doesn't matter what you get as long as it has back seats. Your wife already has the SUV. Your car is back up. Just about any car will fit 3 car seats in the back. I had a 2003 Civic Coupe. I know its dimensions well. Slim child car seats will fit. The child carrier is only temporary before they sit in toddler seats. Don't limit yourself when there is no reason to. My wife has a Prius and all our family trips are taken in that. I occasionally have to shuttle the kids when she is stuck in traffic or late at work.
Which slim car seats do you recommend? Inquiring minds want to know.
This is what I use when I need to fit three in the 2nd row.
https://www.amazon.com/Diono-Radian-Con ... 36a6a82e33
You use seatbelts to put all three in? Don't the outside ones still angle out?
leo383
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by leo383 »

If you're serious about maybe having three kids at some point, you're in minivan territory.

At the very least you're best off only looking at vehicles with three rows of seats.

We have three kids and no sedan/coupe/small SUV is enough. They just don't have enough space for three in one row. Trust me on this. :happy
KyleAAA
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by KyleAAA »

I'd go with the Mazda6 manual over the Accord if driving is important to you. The shifter in my 3 is a dream.
Bacchus01
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Bacchus01 »

stoptothink wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:4 runner can probably handle 2 adults, 1 child and a dog on a trip if you use a rooftop cargo box or small trailer to provide additional storage space. You may be able to handle 1 more kid in the 4 Runner. The third child is going to force you into something like a Honda Odyssey.
The 3rd child is a total game-changer. You can not handle 3 small children on a trip without a van or SUV, it just doesn't work. FWIW, we have two children (4 and 18-months) and have made several week-long or more long distance trips (600+ miles one-way) in our only vehicle...an '09 two-door Hyundai accent hatchback. No problems at all, and actually plenty of room (even without a cargo box). We have actually had 3 car seats back there when our niece visits, but only for short-trips - not fun. I am always of the opinion that you don't need as much car, space, and stuff as you think you do (even for the occasional long-distance trip), but it just doesn't work when you add that 3rd kid.

This is a decision to be made when you decide for sure about the 3rd one.

He has an SUV already. The 4Runner
Bacchus01
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Bacchus01 »

leo383 wrote:If you're serious about maybe having three kids at some point, you're in minivan territory.

At the very least you're best off only looking at vehicles with three rows of seats.

We have three kids and no sedan/coupe/small SUV is enough. They just don't have enough space for three in one row. Trust me on this. :happy
We have 3 and there is plenty of room without a 3rd row. They are 15, 11, and 7. Would a third row be better? Sure. But by no means required. Until recently our biggest vehicle was a Grand Cherokee. No third row and the second row is modest compared to most SUVs.
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Movingshrub
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Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

Post by Movingshrub »

MI_bogle wrote:Pretty hard to say definitively without more details like: how far you're going to drive with the 2nd vehicle and what it's primary use is. I am a huge Tacoma fan but would view it as too redundant since you already have a 4Runner

If it were me, I'd get the 4Runner a hitch and get a small trailer. And then buy the Accord or equivalent.

That way you have a large SUV with towing capacity, and a sedan with decent MPGs but can still fit everybody in. It's nice to diversify your fleet capabilities. If you commute long distances or take road trips, it is nice to have a car with better gas mileage.
The Accord or Equiv plus a utility trailer is definitely a contender, based on cost.

The MSRP (just for the sake of comparison) of a new Tacoma, Tundra, or a F150 all start between $31k-$33k. The Accord is $22k.

I plan for the vehicle to be my daily driver; approx 12 miles round trip to/from work. My vehicle will not be the primary family road trip vehicle. My vehicle is to get my rear end to and from work, carry the family if the 4Runner is down for any reason, and then potentially any supplemental requirement. To me the choices are either manual sedan, manual truck, automatic truck, or manual jeep.

I am not opposed to a utility trailer for the 4Runner. I am an Eagle Scout. There is something about the whole "Be Prepared" mindset that really makes me like not relying on someone else in order to accomplish whatever I need to do. I have a feeling coordinating with my wife to get her vehicle and to get the utility trailer is probably going to drive me nuts; although I could totally be wrong on that one.
dm200 wrote: Manual transmission: I, too, love manual transmissions. "My" car is manual. HOWEVER, my wife cannot (I term it WILL not) learn to drive a manual.
My wife is minimally proficient at driving a manual, so in a pinch, we can both drive the vehicle. Every vehicle I've owned since I started driving has been a manual - I can back up on a steep incline, and then gun it backwards onto a busy road, when necessary, without stalling the vehicle.

Regarding a full size truck - I'm not interested in Dodge, and not that eager for Chevy or GMC for a truck. It would likely be either an F150 or a Toyota Tundra, neither of which come in manual.
lthenderson wrote: these days many automatics out perform manuals on gas mileage which is why I bought my manual back in 98.
I know I lose on efficiency compared to an automatic. It's just so much more engaging to me to drive a manual transmission.
F150HD wrote: buying a manual could result in a costly maintenance bill when it does occur as there may be fewer qualified people to work on it.
I like being able to fix what I'm driving. I can replace a clutch. I can't rebuild an automatic. Granted, the clutch replacement is 100% likelihood depending on length of vehicle ownership, where replacement of an automatic isn't a sure thing.
c078342 wrote: I am going to be the curmudgeon here. You need to determine whether you are a car guy or a utilitarian. A car guy WOULD NEVER own a van. An SUV is acceptable. You're going to spend considerable time in vehicles, why not make those hours enjoyable
If it wasn't for the baby, I'd happily take an Audi A4 quattro manual transmission 2.0L turbo or a BMW 340i xDrive with the manual transmission.

I don't see the benefit of duplicate vehicles, other than from a sustainment angle, or maybe getting a better deal by buying two vehicles at once, and even then, that savings could be achieved dependent of the make/model purchased.
leo383 wrote: If you're serious about maybe having three kids at some point, you're in minivan territory.
At the very least you're best off only looking at vehicles with three rows of seats.
The 4Runner has three rows. I think we could fit two car seats, for sure, in the second row and a booster or forward facing car seat in the third row, if it came down to it.

To me I think the ideal combos are:
1. A van and a sedan and an older beater truck and maybe a utility trailer
2. A van and a sedan and a utility trailer
3. A van and a truck with a double/king/crew cab and maybe a utility trailer

My wife refuses to drive a van, hence the 4Runner. So I don't know if the 4Runner occupies the van side of those examples, or the truck side of the example.

So I see my choices as buy a van, where the capacity would go unused regularly on a daily basis and doesn't seem to serve a very good job of hauling mulch/dirt, anything with fuel inside of it, drywall or plywood, unless I take out the extra seats and/or hook up a utility trailer. Plus I don't know if there's one that comes in manual anyways. Lease appealing choice unless I'm over looking something.

Buy a sedan and a utility trailer. This option involves better fuel economy, lower purchase price for vehicle vs other options, manual transmission options exist, *maybe* lower insurance cost but can't say certain. The utility trailer will require registration and insurance which will off set, some but not all of the lower purchase price of the vehicle. The vehicle can fit four people and maybe two adults and three car seats across the back in a pinch, depending on the make/model selected. Most appealing on cost, but not appealing on towing or hauling stuff you don't want in your vehicle. I could either get a trailer hitch, or tow with the 4Runner, which then involves coordinating with someone else and/or dealing with hooking up the trailer.

Buy a sedan and a old beater truck, and maybe the utility trailer. This is the largest physical footprint in my driveway. This option may or may not be cheaper in the short term and/or long term, versus just buying a large truck. Also allows towing of things you may not want to carry inside the cab of the vehicle. Utility trailer would only been used when bed capacity is exceeded or when used in tandem with the 4Runner.

Buy a large truck - least efficient, highest purchase price, higher insurance most likely, very limited manual options, enables me not to rely up on someone else to haul something. Allows towing of things you may not want to carry inside the cab of vehicle.

With that all being said, we've had the 4Runner for two weeks now. Much of the carrying requirements may be satisfied by it, so if the 4Runner isn't sufficient when we need to move something, probably going to learn towards the large truck, if it sufficient, then the sedan option looks more appealing.
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