Best vehicle for a cross country road trip?

CharlieO

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That white wagon looks like a nice ride. Not many wagons around these days now that the SUV madness has gripped the populace. We have two wagons in our family but neither are sold in the US! I have a Ford Mondeo (Fusion in the US) diesel wagon. Big, comfy, economical and eats up the miles. And handles like a car. My wife's Subaru Levorg (WRX wagon) beats it for fun though and has all wheel drive grip.
How about a 3-4yo E series wagon?
View attachment 763328

I definitely would consider one of these. This is one of those cars that I might get a good deal on in Florida if I can find one, and it could be worth more money if I try to sell it out west.
 

CharlieO

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It appears that you doubt my story. My friend was from Finland, and she worked as a tour guide in Portugal. Her friend was also from Finland and doing the same job. To avoid the very high tax on new vehicles in Portugal at the time (it may be the same today), she ordered the new Honda in Finland. Henna picked up the car for her in Finland and met me in Amsterdam. We drove a brand new car registered in Finland in someone else's name through several countries, hoping that we would not be stopped by police or border guards. At the time I wondered if we would have been covered by her friend's insurance policy if we had an accident. Anyway, as an experienced tour guide Henna knew that there could be issues at the border into Portugal. She suggested that we should cross on a road in some remote location on Sunday night, because the border might be unattended. She was right.

Those girls had a pretty good deal. I am sure that they didn't make a lot of money but they lived very well. For the week that I was in Portugal we were comped at several restaurants and wineries, obviously because she brought them business. Finland didn't ask them to pay income tax because they were working in Portugal, and apparently Portugal didn't tax them because they were paid by a company from Finland.
 
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drumtime

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You might rethink the staying in hotels thing. There's no telling where we'll be pandemic-wise when you travel, and hotels are really not as clean as we think they are in the best of times. It's probably safe, but it should be a consideration.

Sleeping in your vehicle is not that much fun unless it's really set up for that, so that would steer you toward a van or wagon-type vehicle. And comfortable seats, quiet ride, and nice sound system. I'm too old for a cross country trip without a lot of comforts built in, but I'd love to do it again sometime.
 

teletail

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A Jeep! Two door, not the 4 door soccer mom abomination. Or go in style and get a C5 corvette. You can get a nice used, low mileage 2002 for well under $20k.
 

Mike Eskimo

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These unloved vehicles were only imported into the US for three years. Even though they have a Buick badge, they were made in Germany by Opel, which GM no longer owns.

My TourX had a $40k sticker that I paid less than $30k for it, all in, NEW.

You can still find a few at tremendous discounts, but they stopped putting Buick labels on them and importing them in January of this year. They are running out.

250hp, 295lb ft of torque, 0-60 in 6.2 seconds, Turbo 2.0 AWD with torque vectoring.

The pic is NOT mine, just one I found on the web, but I do own one.

View attachment 762913


The idiots at GM never gave this thing enough of a chance. These things will be collectible. If you look at the Volvo right now, the wagon, it’s nearly identical.
 

imwjl

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These unloved vehicles were only imported into the US for three years. Even though they have a Buick badge, they were made in Germany by Opel, which GM no longer owns.

My TourX had a $40k sticker that I paid less than $30k for it, all in, NEW.

You can still find a few at tremendous discounts, but they stopped putting Buick labels on them and importing them in January of this year. They are running out.

250hp, 295lb ft of torque, 0-60 in 6.2 seconds, Turbo 2.0 AWD with torque vectoring.

The pic is NOT mine, just one I found on the web, but I do own one.

View attachment 762913

It's getting hard to find those new, and unlike the Golf wagon family that had same fate un US, it won't have the long term support and doesn't have the short-term options with Golf being a huge platform for mods and aftermarket choices. Still, nice cars. You also get a 60,000 mi or 72 month warranty if you can get one of the "rona special" Alltracks.

Two sleepers and super road trip vehicles:

1. Sienna SE minivan where it's lowered an inch and has sport handling upgrades. The mid-generation update versions have considerably nicer dashboard and 292 HP. All the Siennas are fine but the 1 inch lower, sport suspension and premium wheel/tire combo REALLY show up in highway driving even if it's only handling crosswinds. The SE vans also get some Lexus style trim.

2. The other sleepers are Mk 7.5 Golf wagons where some new ones with super deals are still available. The FWD SEL will have performance wheels and tires. The Alltrack version can have state of the art safety and convenience electronics and larger screen Car Play (and Android) and it also has Haldex AWD (same as Audi or Golf R) and the under-rated CXB version of the gen 3 EA888 engine. The Alltracks are emasculated Golf R Estates raised slightly, but not as much as an Outback. A FL resident might not want the Haldex like I need AWD for my work.

I have done epic road trips in our Sienna SE. Just my wife and I and super loaded with family of 5. Was way better than formerly having SUV and premium European wagon. The Alltrack is only 3.5 months old but has been super with regional trips. The comfort, handling and peppy nature defy the price. Having had premium Volvo wagon and shopped up to $53,000 sticker vehicles, an Alltrack is 80% the vehicle and 50% the cost. Very little effort and modest costs turn it into a crazy performer.

If you can find the right Alltrack you get a thoroughly modern dinosaur - turbocharged manual transmission AWD wagon with modern safety and convenience features. They're a wagon/GTI mashup where you can easily bring your power that's more than standard Golf to GTI or R levels.

Edit: My wife seconded the good road trip aspect. We've done 380 mi days and were surprised by the comfort compared to the van and premium Volvo.

6eP1j6i.jpg
 
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Middleman

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We bought an RV and foldable Ebikes for our trip this last summer. Didn't want to stay in the hotels because of the Covid thing. Perfect for the wife, had our own kitchen and dining plus a Queen bed in the back. HD TV in the front and back. Wireless Network for paying the bills back home. Went through 14 states, with week stays with friends in Lawrence Ks, Chicago Ill, and Raleigh NC. Great trip. Great for breaking the Covid blues.
 

imwjl

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The idiots at GM never gave this thing enough of a chance. These things will be collectible. If you look at the Volvo right now, the wagon, it’s nearly identical.

The Tour X and VW Alltracks are (more accurately were, almost were) popular at our ski club that's a private ski area. Personal acquaintances have both, and same local dealer sells both. I believe both will have people want them as used cars but Golfs are #2 selling car in the world. Several vehicles use same MQB platform and EA888 engine where the Tour X is a re-badged Opel GM sold to the French and merged with Fiat Chrysler.

GM did try, VW tried, but somewhere here I posted a CNBC bit on wagons and the USA. 1.4% of sales last model year and most of that was the Outback. In our really big car search in May it was hard to find wagons within everyone's inventory but the Outback. Audi, BMW and Volvo mostly stocked SUVs just like VW and GM.

@CharlieO might want to know the Outbacks (and Legacy) got a super upgrade for 2020 where the platform is more solid than ever with turbo and upscale trim packages that are new. A stand out for Charlie's budget is you can get a new super warranty and 0% interest Alltrack within that.
 

CharlieO

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The idiots at GM never gave this thing enough of a chance. These things will be collectible. If you look at the Volvo right now, the wagon, it’s nearly identical.

I continue to be amazed at the stupid marketing decisions that GM has made repeatedly over the decades. When I bought my first Volt, I observed that Chevrolet would constantly run television ads showing their sedan lineup, without the Volt. Over the past few years I have never seen an ad for the Buick Regal TourX. They run ads with all of their crossovers lined up next to each other. If they put the TourX in the photo, they might actually create some interest. In my opinion, they also made a mistake by not offering the TourX as a more conventional wagon. If you look for the Vauxhall and Holden versions online, you will see that they are not lifted and don't have the cladding. They are beautiful touring cars. Some US owners are removing the cladding and either lowering them or adding 20 inch wheels, and they look fantastic.
 
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imwjl

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I continue to be amazed at the stupid marketing decisions that GM has made repeatedly over the decades. When I bought my first Volt, I i observed that Chevrolet would constantly run television ads showing their sedan lineup, without the Volt. Over the past few years I have never seen an ad for the Buick Regal TourX. They run ads with all of their crossovers lined up next to each other. If they put the TourX in the photo, they might actually create some interest. In my opinion, they also made a mistake by not offering the TourX as a more conventional wagon. If you look for the Vauxhall and Holden versions online, you will see that they are not lifted and don't have the cladding. They are beautiful touring cars. Some US owners are removing the cladding and either lowering them or adding 20 inch wheels, and they look fantastic.

In describing to an associate that we noticed true wagons just handle better, he said I don't get the lack of popularity because we're skinny - not really true. My wife thought part of the CarUV and pickup-based popularity might be the obesity epidemic.

Following car news, it doesn't look like we're going back to wagons soon so that makes me more happy about getting one of the last of those VWs.
 

fredwrites

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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.

2011 (last year for 5.5 liter V8 non-turbo). I did give the license plate a bit of thought — not a Kansas native (here five years); so I still think of the band when someone mentions the name of the state. Glad you like it!
 

dkmw

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I just saw one of these out on A1A, and thought of this thread. I really don’t like MB cars, but for this kind of vehicle they are at the top of the heap. A G-Wagon would be great cross country.



C9464748-288D-482E-A2DE-9C4CF4118699.jpeg
 

CharlieO

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A Jeep! Two door, not the 4 door soccer mom abomination. Or go in style and get a C5 corvette. You can get a nice used, low mileage 2002 for well under $20k.

No interest in a Jeep, sorry. I have been looking at C6 and C7 corvettes for a long time,but I have not pulled the trigger. I don't think I would step down to a C5 when I can afford newer. And if I would consider a Corvette for this trip, I think i would actually be better of with my Cadillac ELR.

If sleeping in the car is not a requirement, my dream grand tourer is a Porsche 928.

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I spent some great time on the highway in a 928 back in 1986 when my friends were bringing in gray market cars from Germany and I was attempting to sell them. As mentioned in my response above, though, I think that my ELR might be better for this kind of trip than a Corvette or the 928. It is staying home.

Charlie ELR 1a.jpg
 
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CharlieO

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Headed to FL for a funeral in a few..CX9 is all loaded up with padding & blankets. Yeti is stocked. We do this quite often. I rest for a few when tired then drive again. When retiring soon, been looking for RV..will gut & make what we will need. Planning on seeing the kids often, now that they are spread out everywhere. Pull up ..plug in, def will have a laptop & usb interface & bring guitar. Seems to be a good way to still travel & go places but be mre in control of the environment..no lines..bookings airport layovers.ect. Just pack n go.

It seems that a CX9 would be ideal for your trip or my trip to the west coast. I envy you for planning to buy an RV - my wife would never go for that kind of travel, unfortunately.
 




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