I Live To Make Tim Laugh

So, with the impending birth of a second child coupled with our cars both approaching 10 years of life and being well over 100K miles, I've started browsing the various options of what's out there in cars these days. Tim gets no end of glee from watching me studiously looking at car websites and building out various models. Honestly, he doesn't care - a car needs at least 4 tires and 2 doors and enough oomph to get him from here to there. I, on the other hand, really enjoy researching cars.

The dilemma this go-round is boiling down to gas mileage (because I really don't think gas prices are going to dip below $3 a gallon any time in, oh, the next millennium) vs. seating a family of four and either kid's friends or two rather large collies.

On our recent trip, we took a number of taxis and two of them were Prius taxis - and those two held us and our luggage (particularly the luggage) more comfortably than any of the regular big sedan taxis. So the Prius seems like a reasonable thought. This is especially reasonable as I actually drive most of my miles around town, where a hybrid actually makes sense. But (and it's a rather large but) it would hold the 4 of us, certainly, but no kid friends and definitely no collies. For all that it held our luggage, I just don't think we can squish even one collie in the hatch back trunk area. Now, if we keep the VUE (meaning it's the car that is still alive the longest), then realistically, toting the collies is less of an issue as we can take them places in the VUE. But if we're going to be realistic, it's not likely that the VUE (vs the Toyta) is going to be the car that hangs in long enough. I hate to slam Saturn, but, well, this one was after GM reabsorbed them. And that should be enough said.

On the flip side, a minivan (for all that I just really don't want to be a minivan mom) would handle kids, kid friends and probably the dogs all at the same time. But 1) it's a minivan and 2) if I'm going to be a minivan mom? I want an Odyssey. (Say it with me now, "Cha-ching!") And we ought to go ahead and throw 3) in there -- gas mileage on a minivan is not exactly in the realm of "fuel efficient". I don't even think it gets to "not unreasonably bad."

So, poking around a little, I found the Highlander hybrid. This seems to possibly straddle the lines (seats 7, or could hold 4 + dogs, etc.) and gets 28 mpg...which I'll grant you is not the 50+ of the Prius, but it's also not the 20 on a really good day of a minivan.

We're probably a ways off from having to make any kind of decision, but honestly I just don't know which side of the equation to fall on. And so Tim will have many giggles ahead, I'm guessing, as I continue to fiddle with my options.


  1. My brother's family has a Prius and gets the 2 adults, 3 teenagers (all very tall) and dog in it easily. Of course, the dog bounces around on their laps, not so desireable with a large dog (or 2)! They also have an Odessey which they love and have had FOREVER...very practical and reliable as mini-vans go.

  2. Anonymous9:43 AM

    FWIW, our Odyssey seems to get pretty good mileage. It has some kind of cruise "eco" technology whereby it doesn't fire on all cylinders when it doesn't have to. This kicks in not just on the highway, but also around the neighborhood.

    - Robbo

  3. We have two Odysseys. Get a mini-van. You're forgetting how much STUFF a newborn has to take with them, and tell Tim he can haul plywood sheets in it by putting the seats down.
    And this is why my hubby also drives a mini-van.
    BTW, I'll be coming up to D.C. next month. I'll bring the Moses basket with me, and maybe we can meet for lunch on Nov 4th?

  4. We're getting a minivan next year, but I'm a Toyota gal, so ours will be the Sienna.

    Have you looked at the Toyota Venza? It's their crossover and I like it a lot, too.

  5. Robbo, that's encouraging. I'll have to take a closer peek at their specs and see if they say anything about that.

    Jen - I need to play with the Sienna and remember why I had decided against it. Tim tends toward Toyota himself, so he'd be happy with that. I have looked at the Venza and like it a lot, but it only seats "5" - so no friend carriage with that.