Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Transportation

Looking for another vehicle...

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My husband and I are about to pull the trigger on a new Subaru Outback this summer, just waiting for the new model year to come out to try and get a good deal. He's also partial to the Toyota Tacoma, he had one when he was in high school (from '89, back when it was just a "Toyota truck"). That old one he said he got 30 mpg, though it didn't have 4WD, I think the newer ones aren't quite that good. Around here Subarus especially hold on to their value, that's why we're leaning towards buying new instead of used. My father-in-law owns a mechanic shop and is partial to Toyotas, just because they're easy to work on, last forever, and hold their value well.

When does the new model year start this summer?

Looking into any perks I could get thru AAA if any and other outfits. Their prices are the same as what has. Know that Costco has a small up to $200 coupon deal with certain dealerships for new/used vehicles.


--- Quote from: oktheniknow on May 28, 2018, 08:32:57 AM ---
Honda RidgelineRT

--- End quote ---

I got a 2018 Ridgeline RTL-E in January and have put a couple thousand miles on it (my driving needs typically only burns a tank of gas per month).  Granted, it's a funny looking vehicle that most wouldn't consider a truck (which is really the whole point), but I drove a Honda Element for 15 years so driving weird vehicles isn't anything new for me. 

I seriously contemplated buying a real body-on-frame truck, but I rarely need that much truck and I hate all the wasted volume inherent to that design.  I also considered several of the mid-size SUV's, but they almost all have the awkward 3rd row seat that eats up cargo space.  Actually, I really don't mind minivans and they're hard to beat in terms of usable interior volume and ease of access, but my wife absolutely says no minivans.  A small Sprinter was also a consideration, but even the smallest one's are too tall for most of the parking structures in my area and won't fit in my garage.  I also considered AWD wagons from Subaru, Audi, and Mercedes, but decided I prefer the extra ride height (plus I'm not up for whatever is involved with becoming a luxury german car guy) and wanted something that was capable of hauling the occasional sheets of plywood and messy stuff. 

The Ridgeline hit the sweet-spot for me and so far I'm happy with it.  Honda has a weird knack for creating odd utilitarian vehicles that break the mold and the Ridgeline is no exception.  It's quiet and relaxing going 80 on the highway (the Element was tiring on long road trips) while still getting 24mpg, it smooths out rough and poorly maintained surface streets and deep intersection drainage gutters, and also corners surprisingly well on windy mountain roads with the AWD system (identical to Acura's SH-AWD) powering the outside rear wheel around corners, which is an unusual sensation for someone like me used to being dragged around corners in front-wheel-drive cars.  The massive lockable trunk below the bed is awesome and gets used all the time, even though I have yet to actually haul anything in the pickup bed proper.  It doesn't need a bedliner because the "bed" is a durable composite and there's a ton of anchor points, mine also has cargo lighting, speakers, and an inverter/AC outlet built in, too.  The V6 powertrain is a luxury for someone like me who's been driving 4 bangers his whole life, yet it is still getting better overall and highway mpg than the old Element.  I'm kind of skeptical of the growing trend toward turbocharging 4 cylinder gas engines and mating them with CVT or 8-10 speed transmissions to meet CAFE standards, so the tried and true V6 powertrain was a big plus for me.

I'm still getting used to the size of the vehicle, which makes me glad I didn't get a real truck, because it's not as easy to maneuver through a parking structure, although driving a Honda Element for 15 years makes everything harder to park.  It's also not as convenient for hauling dogs compared to the Element.  The only thing I really hate about it is the infuriating touch screen infotainment system, and if I listened to more than one radio station and used the built in navigation I probably couldn't live with it.  The fact that it integrates with my iPhone fairly well with CarPlay mitigates most of the frustration.  The lower trim line infotainment controls are supposed to be much easier to use, but I wanted the extra safety features in the Honda Sensing system that only comes with the top trim levels.  Fortunately the climate system has separate manual controls and is very intuitive and easy to use.  So far the Honda Sensing system hasn't been annoyingly intrusive and has been easy to get used to, plus the more intrusive features can be switched off.  For short distances it will actually steer itself down the highway before it flashes "Steering Input Required."

My wife thinks she wants to get a Subaru Outback for her next car, but that's probably still a few years off.

I've thought about the Ridgeline as well, a friend of mine has and likes it. It's not as much on towing capacity as say an F150 but has other perks as you mentioned.


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