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Occasional long-haul family hauler.

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

bokubob

I'm looking for something reliable and fun to drive. Most days it will be driven 15 mintues to and from work and dropping off the kid(s) at daycare, but sometimes it will be used to visit family in Wisconsin (winter driving) and Arizona (far away). We want lots of space for when our parents visit (they're not comfortable renting a car) or to pick up home improvement supplies (a 4'x8' sheet of plywood would be great, but not required).

We've looked at a very new and very expensive Buick Enlave and GMC Acadia. We didn't like the trucky feel to the Acadia syspension, but did like the space of the Enlave. Older Enclaves and Acadias (2007-2009) seem to have serious reliability issues with their transmissions and power steering, costing thousands, and we'd rather not take that risk, as we'll be making payments for at least a couple years. We've driven a CX-9 a while ago, but I can't remember how the rear seats fit an adult. We have a 1 year old (rear facing for at least another year) and would like to have at least one more.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Price or payments / Rear seat room & comfort / Cargo capacity / Handling

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Errands about town / Family transporter / Daily commuter

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 6 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 125000
Maximum age: 8 years

Maximum price: US $ 13000

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Response from mkaresh

6:33 pm September 4, 2015

You should definitely avoid the older Acadias and Enclaves, for the reason cited.

I personally have a Ford Taurus X, because I like the amount of space for people and cargo. Unlike in others, including the GM crossovers, there's enough space behind the third row for my family's luggage because the well is deep, as in a minivan. Reliability is better than for the GM crossovers, but still not great. The hood's leading edge will corrode if you live where the roads are salted. It isn't fun to drive.

Frankly, "lots of space" and "fun to drive" are very hard to find in the same vehicle. For agile handling, your best fit could be the relatively compact Mazda5 minivan. The earliest model years are prone to suspension issues and rust. The 2009 and up might avoid these issues. The 2012 and up will avoid these issues and has a nicer interior, but questionable exterior styling. It does handle like a sporty compact, though. If you don't often need the third row, or a large vehicle, for that matter, it could be your best choice.

Among larger crossovers, the CX-9 is perhaps the most fun to drive, but this is very much relative. Adults can squeeze into the third row. There's not much luggage space behind the third row.

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Mazda Mazda5
Mazda CX-9
Ford Taurus X

Response from bokubob

12:11 am November 6, 2015

Thanks for the suggestions. The CX-9 didn't have any provisions in the 3rd row for rear (enough room) or forward facing (no teather in the 3rd row) car sets, meaning with two car seats, any adults would have to make their way to the back, which would be difficult with two car seats.

We looked at the Mazda5 but it wouldn't give us the space we want for adults in the 3rd row and we did want AWD.

We eneded up with a 2010 Ford Flex with 2nd row captains chairs. We have the console, but we've read we can remove it when we want to make access to the 3rd row easier with car seats in the 2nd row. It has latch bottom and top teather in the 3rd row passenger side, which would let us put a car seat there, and lots of leg room that we can use between the 2nd and 3rd row with the sliding captains chairs.

So far, we're very happy with how everything fits and how it drives.

Thanks so much for replying.
-Jonathan

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Ford Flex
Mazda CX-9
Mazda Mazda5
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