The time has finally come when my husband and I will be consolidating to just one car and I can hardly wait! While car shopping is certainly not my favorite pastime, the prospect of getting to vote with my wallet for the cars that should be on the road is exhilarating.
Considering that in the United States, the largest group among American’s owning at least one car, actually own three, it’s no small feat to go from two cars to one. We live close to a metro train stop and usually take public transportation to work. We rarely are using two cars at the same time, these days, so it make this transition to stepping down to one car that much easier.
We currently lease a small, but efficient 2007 Honda Civic and own a small, but as efficient as she can be 2001 Toyota Rav4. The Rav4 is my baby, surviving the worst car crash I have ever been in, experiencing Vermont winters (she’s only a 2×4), and seeing me through my tumultuous 20s. While she may not have been the most fuel efficient cars of her time, she has been a dear friend. Replacing her towing capacity, reliance, and comfort while maintaining top notch fuel efficiency is our number goal in finding the perfect vehicle – the question is: are there any new automobiles on the market up to the challenge?
The simple answer right now is: we just aren’t sure yet. We have looked at the obvious choices like all the hybrid models currently available to the U.S. market. We have researched the conventional engine models which have “good” gas mileage, and we have begun the investigation into new diesel technologies which are not only cleaner than your father’s diesel engines but more efficient too. But there are other aspects to consider too – do they have the room we need? Are they something I want to be in for a long ride half way across the country when we visit the family? Will they last and have excellent resale value five to eight years from now? And sadly, will the manufacturer even exist by year’s end let alone for the life of the vehicle?
We are both professional environmentalists, who both even advocate for strong climate legislation for a living, so it is important to us to make the right decision in a time when consumers can really make a statement just by their purchase.
Over the next few days and weeks, I will be chronicling our efforts to find the perfect auto and hopefully making it easier for you to follow suit when you are ready to look for your next four wheel best friend. Have a question or have advice, comment below!