Family vehicles are so expensive

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  1. Druid318

    Druid318 Well-Known Member

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    I'm 36 and the wife and I just had our third child 6 months ago. I'm having vehicles woes. Trying to not spend a ton of money and be responsible. I drove a Ford Ranger extended cab for 12+ years and it got to the point of being not really usable once we had our first kid, but I kept it anyway. I bought myself a really nice new Challenger R/T and sold it after my second kid was born. Bought myself a 1964 Dodge Power Wagon Town Panel, and drove that for close to two years. The two kids loved it, but the baby couldn't ride in it due to how stiff and bouncy the suspension was. I was honestly afraid it would hurt her neck. I've now bought myself a 64 Dodge 440 4 door sedan. Still waiting on it to arrive. I think it should be a good compromise with soft suspension and lots of room.

    We bought my wife a Ford Escape brand new during the Cash for Clunkers crap. I couldn't find a used vehicle to save my life at that point. The Escape was great for one kid, and sort of ok for two. It's useless for three kids. The back bench is stuffed full of carseats door panel to door panel, and the rear facing child seat has the front passenger seat crammed almost all the way forward. So i'm trying to figure out what to buy her now. I don't want payments and I'm guessing we will have 10-11k to spend. That seems like a lot of cash until you look at what any kid friendly vehicle costs.

    We have no need for an SUV and the prices are laughable generally. We've been hunting for a Dodge Caravan. The only option I really want on it is rear A/C so the kids don't melt. I'm lucky to find any around here that don't have 150k+ miles on them.

    I've seen a lot of talk of cars being expensive, and they really aren't compared to inflation. The thing I never see discussed is that with the kid carseat laws you are required to buy a much larger vehicle than would have been socially acceptable years ago. Sedans at this point realistically seat 4 if you are lucky. The rear bench/bucket hybrid seats make the middle seat unbearable. Sedans used to seat 6 with two benches. Dad used to be able to drive a standard cab pickup but now you need a crew cab if you have kids. Now instead of a standard sedan and a standard single cab truck families are pushed into a minivan or big SUV or a crew cab pickup with a loan payment the size of a small mortgage.

    Back to the minivan hunt for me, but just wanted to see if anyone else had noticed the rising cost of family transportation. I can't even imagine what a pain it would be if I had more than three kids.
     
  2. BeeKool

    BeeKool FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Chrysler T &Cs are great vehicles.
    I got one ayear ago and couldnt be happier.
    Too bad they quit production, but if you can find one with less than 80k on tge odometer it would be a good buy.
     
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    • Bladecutter

      Bladecutter "Pursuit of Shape" FBBO Gold Member

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      I'm gonna get heat over this probably, but look at Volvo wagons....doesn't cost much to speculate.
       
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      • 69a100

        69a100 Well-Known Member

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        The Mopar family of minivans rock, period! I have a 94 caravan CV w/155K on it, had 79K when I bought it back in 98. It was a Ameritech service truck before I bought it. When I go to the yard lookin for parts, I'm shocked to see that almost every one regardless of marque has over 250+K and some with well over 300 on them. Look for the 3.3 or bigger, those motors work and the trannies are strong. I have a 3.3 and love it. Granted mine is the 2nd generation but I'm sure that 5 & 6th gen's are just as good. Good Luck
         
      • oldbee

        oldbee FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Well all i can say is to have the wife&kids cleanup the car when they get out,every time! Jeez,every time i see my daughter in laws car I just shake my head. Looks like she does everything but sleep in it! Have to check my main ride everytime the wife or grandkids get out!!
         
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        • J5 GTX

          J5 GTX Well-Known Member

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          [QUOTE="Druid318........ Bought myself a 1964 Dodge Power Wagon Town Panel, and drove that for close to two years. The two kids loved it, ..... I've now bought myself a 64 Dodge 440 4 door sedan. ................

          Back to the minivan hunt for me, but just wanted to see if anyone else had noticed the rising cost of family transportation. I can't even imagine what a pain it would be if I had more than three kids.[/QUOTE]

          First, let me say that you've got one cool wife that's game for those vehicles.

          Second, I would have kept the Power Wagon and bought the kid a neck brace. Just kidding.

          I'd like to buy a really nice early '70s Valiant or such. Wife won't have anything to do with it.
          She's a lot like Mrs. Douglas on the old Green Acres TV show.
          Prices are up, for sure. As new car prices go up, resale values tend to go up. Ford and Chrysler are quitting the family car market, so that leaves the NK's and Japan. (yes, I left out GM on purpose).:lol:
          High miles usually isn't a problem IF the vehicle has been taken care of. Perhaps an older couple is selling their vehicle with good maintenance records, that would be a consideration.
           
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          • WileERobby

            WileERobby FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            What they said.. Chrysler or Dodge minivan.
             
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            • Druid318

              Druid318 Well-Known Member

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              I sold the Power Wagon to a bodyshop guy so I feel good about selling it. He's going to clean up the old body work and put a fresh coat of the original paint on it.

              The suspension in that thing was brutal on the kids. My two year old would bounce all over the place in her car seat, she loved it. The baby would probably have been injured though, she really would have needed a neck brace.

              Trying to find a 2012+ Caravan with lowish miles so we can get the 3.6L V6. My office has one and it has plenty of power.
               
            • Druid318

              Druid318 Well-Known Member

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              My old daily driver, and my soon to be daily driver. Waiting on it to arrive.

              3.jpg 440.jpg
               
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              • moparedtn

                moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Never succumbed to the mommy van ownership; steadfastly refused.
                Grand Cherokees for some years; Chargers (5.7) since 2006.
                 
              • J5 GTX

                J5 GTX Well-Known Member

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                A Cherokee with the old straight six is one tuff hombre'.
                 
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                • burntorng70

                  burntorng70 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Chevy impalas with front bench seat hold 6 and have a huge trunk. 2004 -2005 with under 60000 miles go for 4000 bucks every day on CL. My current one has 185000 miles, still going. Seats 3 in the front, 3 in the back..........I know, stupid chevy but wife won't drive a minivan. I'm about to buy another. I'll never pay more than 7500 for a family car, unless its a old Mopar or new truck.
                   
                • 747mopar

                  747mopar Well-Known Member

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                  We bought a 2014 Town and Country recently and absolutely love it! The stowaway seating is a huge bonus, we can haul full 4x8 sheets and still close the gate. Downside is they're so well liked that they aren't cheap, we buy our cars totaled and it still costed us $8,000 but it was completely loaded, TV, front/rear climate control, navigation, leather.... If you do bodywork this is a great option and because of the way they're built they can be easily fixed depending on the damage.

                  To answer your question yes it's stupid expensive to buy transportation, you can blame that on the Gov and people's undying need for every bell and whistle you can imagine!
                   
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                  • BeeKool

                    BeeKool FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    T & Cs are common and cost much less than a Cherokee.
                    And they drive juat like you would expect from a Chrysler.
                    Cruise right along at 85 getting great fuel economy with 8 people onboard.

                    I looked into the Cherokee but my budget was $13k and that got me a 2011 T & C with 70k. Wouldnt even begin to touch a similar aged Cherokee for that.
                     
                  • moparedtn

                    moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Got that right. The 4.0 is near indestructible.
                     
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                    • moparedtn

                      moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Yes sir, Mr. Mommy Van.
                      It's ok to admit you like the things.
                      Really. :)

                      Kidding aside, I actually prefer the Grand Cherokees with the last of the real Jeep inline 6's in them, not
                      the more current iterations with the Pentastar engines.
                      I agree- the newer generation GC's are way overpriced.
                      On the other hand, I never had the need to cart 8 people around.
                      Geez.
                      Not that my nerves could take that anyways. :)
                       
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                      • mopar 3 B

                        mopar 3 B Well-Known Member

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                        How you going to install kid seats in the 64? No seat belts will make it difficult.
                         
                      • YY1

                        YY1 Well-Known Member

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                        Journey with 3rd row?

                        Jr. minivan (lighter) with the same 300HP engine.

                        The full size Caravan is no slouch with that motor and gets 27-ish MPG.
                         
                      • Ron H

                        Ron H Well-Known Member

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                        My routine pretty much has been a search (southern/far western) on cars.com, etc. for used vehicles I want and search for lowest mileage with preferred options with a few exceptions here and there. Bought my last two Dakotas this way. If you're not in a rush they eventually pop. Although we are long past kids now, my wife never liked mini-vans; but we would rent them for family vacations and were great to have for all the chit and room. Being mopar slanted, I owned 4 Eagles (two were new company cars) and others I got used after I left the company. Really liked them; but irritating repairs. I succumbed to buying my first non-domestic car for my wife a year old '07 Sonata at the time with the 6 engine. I liked the body style. That car ran and ran with little repairs and gave it to our daughter who still has it running good with 170k on it. I got another a low mileage '09 (the last year of the 6 in this model) four years ago and has had issues with brake calipers; but at 38k now a pretty reliable cheap car I can 't complain about. Would be too small for 3 kids; but there's a lot of cars out there a few years old that can be had cheap.
                         
                      • Richard Cranium

                        Richard Cranium FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        A 3rd kid screws everything up...and I should know.

                        Now you need a vehicle with 3 rows of seats & going out to restaurants is now a chore because you now need something bigger than a table for 4. Not to mention that you're all burnt out from having two and the 3rd will put you over the edge.

                        My best advice to you is to sell one of the kids. Personally, I'd go with the youngest before you get too attached to him/her.
                         
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