The Big Move (Part 1)

October 21, 2010

So, my wife and I moved. When I say we moved, we MOVED – to a place out in the middle of nowhere. The house only has dirt roads connecting it to the highway, and it gets nasty when there’s any type of weather. So, I have decided that I need to look at different vehicles that can get me to the house, no matter what the weather does to the roads. I don’t know that I will have the money to buy another vehicle, but if there’s a chance, I want to know the right vehicle to get. I have, of course, looked at SUVs, and trucks, and even some cars. I will have a post that will (nerdy…very nerdy) list out every vehicle I have considered, and the specifications for each.

Here’s what I need:

Quiet – I want a quiet vehicle. I like smooth, quiet cars and I want another vehicle that matches that description. So, of course, I have been hunting down reviews for vehicles that are quiet, smooth, and reliable. Of course, most newer vehicles have focused on quiet as a source of customer satisfaction (Ford has found that customers associate quiet with reliability, and have since put resources and money into making their vehicles quieter). So, I have looked at Mercury Mountaineers (I don’t really want a Ford Explorer), Buick Rainiers (very quiet, but not the best for safety), etc.

Ground Clearance – I want a vehicle that is going to be able to make it over most situations I will encounter – washboard surfaces, big holes, etc. without crashing into the ground the way my LeSabre does. Of course, a truck is the best for this, but I don’t know that I am ready to pay through the nose to fuel my vehicle. So, once again, I have been looking at body-on-frame SUVs, and crossovers with AWD and a fair amount of ground clearance.

Fuel Economy – of course, this is high on my list. Who wants to keep burning their money needlessly? I want decent fuel economy…mainly anything above 14/20.

Horsepower – I am a large man. I carry a lot of people. I want to get out of my own way on the highway when needed – any vehicle with more than 250 horsepower will do.

Rear legroom – Like I just said, I carry people. I want them to be comfortable. I have my seat all the way back when I drive, and I want the people behind me to not feel squished.

Safety – 5 stars all around? Yes, please. This is very important to me. I don’t want anyone to get hurt should there be an accident.

I have made an Excel spreadsheet that pits all of my considerations against each other. I used http://autos.msn.com to compare the specifications of each vehicle, and then colored the columns green for those vehicles that are the best (in my opinion), yellow for neutral, and red for bad.

So, who won? You’ll have to see the spreadsheet – if I can figure out how to link it…

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