Best vehicle for a cross country road trip?

teleforumnoob

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Wife and I did 2 month long 7000-8000 mile journeys from Alabama to Yellowstone, Colorado, Utah, Grand Canyon, etc.
In an 07 Saturn Vue.
Last time we took a new 4-Runner, and while more comfy, we really missed the 25+ mpg.
 

teleforumnoob

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For long distance solo, I’ve always thought a Prius would be the way to go. Tremendous mpg. Passenger side folds flat. You can run the ac parked all night off a gallon of fuel.
If gear is a prob, get a rooftop carrier.
There are nomad minimalists who live in a Prius.
Should be an easy resell in California.
 
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1 21 gigawatts

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If you don't need to haul a bunch of stuff, a used Mercedes sedan is a nice comfy ride. Check your local dealership's used inventory. Used luxury vehicles tend to be pretty good buys. They have usually had all of the service done at the dealership, and there isn't much of a market for older ones since luxury car buyers want the latest and greatest. Especially if there was a body change. I bought my wife a 2011 E350 with less than 40k miles last year for $12k. It looks brand new both inside and out. They are very reliable, and you don't have to worry about the high maintenance cost since you will only be keeping it for a short time.
 

dkmw

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In the last couple of months, both of our cars went in for service. The two loaners we got would do highway stuff just fine. The Cayenne would be a better sleeper though, although I don’t think a reclined BMW seat would be so bad either. The 5-series L was quite the coddler, just the opposite of what I think a BMW should be. I’m glad our BMW is an M2.

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BobbyZ

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Something like this is starting to be my dream car for a long trip. Kinda over this idiotic trend in cars to handle better we've been on the last 30 or so years. You drive on highways, there's a speed limit and pot holes. I don't care how many Gs a car will pull on a skid pad when my ass is getting beat to death from a road that's twenty years past needing a a good milling and paving job.
Of course I've been driving a Mini Cooper the last few months so I could be jaded. THANK GOD my daughter took that damned thing out to Los Angeles last Friday!
Hope I never see it again.
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CharlieO

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For long distance solo, I’ve always thought a Prius would be the way to go. Tremendous mpg. Passenger side folds flat. You can run the ac parked all night off a gallon of fuel.
If gear is a prob, get a rooftop carrier.
There are nomad minimalists who live in a Prius.
Should be an easy resell in California.

As a former owner of two Volts and current owner of an ELR, I cannot understand why anyone would want to suffer with a Prius. Compared to the GM product,they just seem to be cheap, boring transportation, and nothing more. And trying to sell it in California when 5 million other people are trying to sell theirs seems like a bad idea. Oh, and in a Volt or my ELR I can probably run the AC all night on electricity without burning any gas. Or if necessary I can find a 240 volt charger or 120 volt outlet and plug in.
 
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CharlieO

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In the last couple of months, both of our cars went in for service. The two loaners we got would do highway stuff just fine. The Cayenne would be a better sleeper though, although I don’t think a reclined BMW seat would be so bad either. The 5-series L was quite the coddler, just the opposite of what I think a BMW should be. I’m glad our BMW is an M2.

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I don't think that I am likely to buy a sedan because I really do think I would like to sleep in the back occasionally. I just checked and was surprised to find that there are plenty of used Cayennes in my price range. Hmmm...
 

dkmw

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Yeah, the Cayenne is a slap in the face when it comes to SUVs. Porsche did a good job making it feel like a Porsche. But then, a Porsche sports car makes the Cayenne feel like an SUV.

But since we’re talking long road trips and sleeping arrangements, the SUV part wins.
 

Torren61

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Maybe rent a vehicle? We travel from Pittsburgh to New England every autumn (except this year unfortunately) to visit family. After a mishap one year we decided to rent and have had worry free enjoyment from then on. We often find great bargains on unlimited mileage rentals through Costco. You can rent just about any type of vehicle if you plan ahead.

This. You can rent a super nice vehicle that you couldn't possibly have afforded at a fraction of your budget. No worries about buying anything. Make sure your insurance covers their car and get unlimited miles and go to it. Think about Mercedes or Audi. Also, long term rentals tend to be cheaper than day by day.
 

old soul

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Been from Florida to NY many times in a minivan. We've had 3 kia vans with no major issues. We've camped out in the cargo area, pulled the camper, thrown the canoe on top, etc. We use the hell out of them. Pretty good on gas. However the newer sedonas do not have removable middle seats which is disappointing
 

CharlieO

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I like this idea, but two considerations: One, windowblown sand will rough up the windshield and paint of any nice vehicle like this. Maybe talk to Safelite and find out if they have an ample supply of replacement windshields. And two, you see lots of Buick dealers in the Eastern 1/2 of the USA but they can be scarce in the USA West. Buick dealers have to know about so many vehicles made by different people in different places, Not sure if they will always be of much help.

I've car camped, a ton. But circumstances are up in the air, right now. I can't give current "car camping" circumstances on NFS and Bureau of Land Management lands right now. And we've lost a lot of very nice places to hang out, in these fires. I feel like I will be starting from scratch, myself.

+

Another thought: I'm writing this from the Memphis area, and people have been in love with Buicks for a long time around here. Except this model; didn't catch on here. Almost have to call them rare. You can well imagine, I'm a hawk about spotting cars around me and I've seen them in Nashville. But not many, anyplace else. This might be a rarer vehicle than you think.

Any decent car that I would buy would get ceramic coated, including the windshield, before I hit the highway. Several coats of ceramic should add a fair amount of protection. On the subject of the scarcity of the Buck Regal TourX, anyone who has been here as long as you have probably knows that I like to buy cars that are definitely outside of the mainstream.
 

tfarny

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At 20 I bought a '69 Ford Econoline conversion (this was 1992) former deadhead follower vehicle, and drove a 10,000 mile loop around the country starting and ending in San Francisco. I might have spent $1200 on the van? Wouldn't recommend it for reliability....
These days I'd like for comfy seats, quiet ride, good economy and a decent trunk. Lots of good vehicles out there, no need to get something super specialized. Don't spend 5k extra on a minivan and sleep in the back, to avoid $1000 of hotel room charges! Bascially, just get a decent car that you like that's comfortable.
 

CharlieO

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Found this beauty online — was a trade-in at a Jeep dealership in Seattle. $28k w/48,000 miles (had in checked-out by a Seattle MB dealership). It seems NOBODY wants to buy large sedans (any sedans?) nowadays. Had it nearly two years — only regular services required. Found on CarGurus.com. The trick is: low miles, dealer-maintained with service records/clean Carfax. And perhaps a bit of luck! Planning a drive from Kansas to Savannah next month — can’t wait! View attachment 762988 View attachment 762992 View attachment 762993 View attachment 762994 View attachment 762995 View attachment 762996 View attachment 762997

EXCELLENT license plate! What year is that? I'd be all over this if I thought that I could sleep in it. I would probably keep it, too, because I really should have a sedan for my real estate business. I have been driving an ELR for the last six months and fortunately have not had a situation where I needed to transport clients. I don't need AWD here in Florida, but I'd take it.

I just found a 2010 S 550 with 24,000 miles (two wheel drive) listed by a private seller for $23,000 in Naples, FL, which is 75 miles away from me. When the time for the trip gets closer, I may go on the hunt for one of these.
 
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Injam

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Our family drove a Toyota Sequoia from Atlanta to Calgary and back. I would recommend it. By yourself you could go in something smaller but still comfortable. Highlander.
 

CharlieO

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At 20 I bought a '69 Ford Econoline conversion (this was 1992) former deadhead follower vehicle, and drove a 10,000 mile loop around the country starting and ending in San Francisco. I might have spent $1200 on the van? Wouldn't recommend it for reliability....
These days I'd like for comfy seats, quiet ride, good economy and a decent trunk. Lots of good vehicles out there, no need to get something super specialized. Don't spend 5k extra on a minivan and sleep in the back, to avoid $1000 of hotel room charges! Bascially, just get a decent car that you like that's comfortable.

Believe me, I am not looking for anything that I expect to be sleeping in on a regular basis. 90-plus percent of the travel nights will be spent in a decent motel or Vrbo. In a few places I can stay with family or friends. I would just like to be able to sleep in the car if I need a break on the road, or if for any reason there aren't good accommodations where I need them.
 

CharlieO

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This. You can rent a super nice vehicle that you couldn't possibly have afforded at a fraction of your budget. No worries about buying anything. Make sure your insurance covers their car and get unlimited miles and go to it. Think about Mercedes or Audi. Also, long term rentals tend to be cheaper than day by day.

There is some merit to this idea. Any car that I would buy is going to have acquisition costs such as title, plates, and sales tax. If it isn't a "keeper," there also is the hassle of selling it. It would be interesting to see what I could rent for a month or six weeks for a budget of $1500 or thereabouts with unlimited miles. Looking at Travelocity right now is not very encouraging. $1589 will get me a VW Jetta for a month, picking it up in Sarasota and dropping it off in Portland, OR. I am sure that with a little effort I can do better.
 
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getbent

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As a former owner of two Volts and current owner of an ELR, I cannot understand why anyone would want to suffer with a Prius. Compared to the GM product,they just seem to be cheap, boring transportation, and nothing more. And trying to sell it in California when 5 million other people are trying to sell theirs seems like a bad idea. Oh, and in a Volt or my ELR I can probably run the AC all night on electricity without burning any gas. Or if necessary I can find a 240 volt charger or 120 volt outlet and plug in.
the prius is a surprisingly comfortable car, plenty of acceleration too and reliable... BUT, I think you want an american sedan in case you need service.
 




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