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  #31  
Old 03-25-2013, 04:18 PM
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I have a Rav-4 right now, and I really like it. I do need to get a new crate for Meg, because her big Noz2Noz doesn't fit in the back unless I put the seats down - and the seats don't fold flat. Gusto's 30" fits easily, and I think I'll get Meg a 36" that will fit next to it with no issues.

In reality I'll probably keep the Rav-4 for at least another year or two; but because it will be paid off in 4 more months, I am of course already dreaming of getting a new car. My requirements are pretty similar to yours with the added need for something that has 4 wheel drive because of where I live. I'd assumed and planned to get another Rav-4, because it is hard to beat the cargo space in that size a vehicle, but I was crawling all over someone's new Escape in a parking lot the other day. I really hated the old look of them, and really like the new one! The fold-flat back seats are perfect, and a new one with leather (my current seats are cloth, and never again) is actually in the price range I'd be looking in. I'll have to actually test drive and get in one when I'm really ready to shop, but I was amazed how much I liked it from the outside. Fords usually do nothing for me.
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  #32  
Old 03-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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Maybe? It's a Hyundai Elantra Touring





Can't say I've ever tried to fit crates in mine, but I'd imagine it's doable. It's a little car, but has a hatchback and the back seats fold down. Not bad gas mileage either (high 20s to low 30). The only thing that bugs me to no end is that the lights don't "ding" if you leave them on, so it's easy to forget!
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  #33  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:20 PM
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This thread couldn't have come at a better time for me!


Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post

In the meantime, check out the blog I write, Four Paw Drive (www.4pdrive.wordpress.com), for some vehicle reviews to get you started.
:runs off to read:
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:22 PM
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Probably totally not what you're looking for, because good luck finding one with 40k or less on it, but I can fit four crates in my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Two wire crates in the back, side by side, one is a 34 I think, one is a 32, and then I can get a 200 or 300 (not sure the size) airline crate in where the seats fold down, because they fold flat, and then I have a soft crate that goes on the other size that's probably 24 inches tall?

But I've got 274k on it, lol
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  #35  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:26 PM
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just saw this posted by a friend of mine. Just got some crates from here and she likes them. take a look

https://www.facebook.com/TransK9USA?group_id=0
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  #36  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:45 PM
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Chevy Equinox is what I really want but the seats don't fold totally flat. Not a huge issue with my dogs being that our crates aren't that big. In an ideal world I don't have to sell my little sporty Impala to buy it, I can just have two cars. The Pontiac Torrent was the Pontiac styled version of the same vehicle; I prefer the Equinox styling actually (which is odd because I almost always preferred Pontiacs; they usually had sportier, more aggressive styling) but some people go the other way.

Trailblazer is another option but there is that whole not-very-sexy thing. The GMC Acadia is a lovely, larger version of the Equinox but also quite expensive being a GMC.

Saturn Vue is what Auggie's breeder drives. It's not a bad looking vehicle and she has three crates in it (two in the back, one sideways facing the door.
I really liked the Saturn Astra when it came out (hatchback); the back seats fold flat and in most models I believe the front passenger seat folds flat as well (won't do you any good if you've got a traveling buddy, but it's pretty cool.) The two door is rather sexy, the four door less so but it's a PITA to haul dogs around in a two door IMO. The only thing I don't like about it is the whopping 1.8L motor. Meh. MORE POWER.



ETA: On the leather seats discussion, I brought this up the other night after seeing an Equinox I was considering. I have leather seats in my Impala which my dad highly recommended and he was right, they are SO easy to clean, I love them. But in the Equinox my dogs would be crated more than they already are (which is already most of the time) so is it really that big of a deal? Ultimately I said "But I want them." I think I just do. I'm a bit spoiled by how easy they are to clean. Plus it doesn't matter if they're in crates... sheltie hair will be EVERYWHERE in that car anyway and if I have fabric seats it will STAY everywhere. So leather is where I think I'm going to stay.


ETA2: I just checked for Saturn Astra's within 100 miles of here and only came up with five, not a single one of them red. (And it's a proper red too, not burgundy or maroon.) You might not be able to find one of those either.
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  #37  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
pffffft. quit your whining I went from a 1967 mustang convertible to a minivan and survived. I did buy it purely for the dogs and I do still have the mustang, though it's in storage.
I went from a 91 honda civic to a used Odyssey. ($10,000) Looking at newer used Odysseys right now. There are some good deals out there.
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  #38  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Top contenders are the new Ford Escape (completely flat folding rear seats in the 2013 model!!) and the mazda CX-5 (would end up being over budget though). I think in either case to get what I want in those models I'd need to wait a year or more for used versions.

Are there regular cars that magically have extra space? A hatchback that is still cute?
The CX-5 is awesome. If you want the best car in the class (performance and MPG-wise - get the FWD MT) you're going to go with that. Cargo space is great and it's as close to a sportscar as you're going to get. It handles beautifully, even better than the Eclipse - just a little more top-heaviness due to the shape. If you love the Eclipse, you'll love the feel and responsiveness of the CX-5.



Call Chantilly Mazda and ask for Carlos or Charlie, let them know I sent you and you will be taken care of - they are both zero-pressure and care about their customers. Mazda dealers are sketchy as ****, so if you actually decide to buy one, it's well worth the 1/2 hour drive to go somewhere and work with good people who wont screw you over because it's a Tuesday. If you have to deal with a manager, make sure it's Mike Creasey, but you shouldn't have to even bother with that if you have Costco pricing. The only reason I'm saying this is because the last person I know who bought a Mazda I gave the same freaking advice to, and instead of driving 45 minutes to go deal with Carlos, she went to a dealership by her house and had a great experience until they got her the car. Suddenly the price jumped by $1,500. And it was the only one in the area like it, so she ended up getting screwed over. Is a couple grand worth an hour and a half round trip? In my mind, yes. In her mind, apparently no.

General advice on car-buying for everyone here, go to Carmax and have your car appraised there first. Take the better of the two offers if you're trading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostfell View Post
this thread is relevant to my interests

what about a used scion xd?
This is also a decent choice. Everything with a Scion badge is a Toyota Corolla - so it's not terribly fun to drive, wont have a great feel to it, but will keep going and going and going no matter how hard you kick it.



If you're looking at hatchbacks, though, just look at a Mazda3 already. More space, just as reliable, more fun to drive.





But while we're on Scions, if you're looking at an xD there's no reason not to look at an xB.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzleDog View Post
Used Honda Element!.
THIS. Ultimate dog-car. For anyone interested, here is a thread with more info/people raving about it: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...1#post65869179



Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I test drove the rav-4 and it felt super cheap and yucky. The 4runner is much nicer, but waaaaaay more expensive. 2008 models with 70,000 miles are selling for $23k around here. Friends have the 4-runner though, and it is really nice, you're right. Just can't justify the premium.
Here's the thing with a 4Runner, though. . . you're not paying a premium, like you are with an Infiniti or Acura or Lexus. You're paying for a better vehicle. A 4Runner with 80k miles hasn't even reached 1/3 of it's lifespan yet. Change the oil every 5k on the dot and get all the services done and they should near 350k miles without any major repairs. I traded one in with 180k in December that looked and ran like a brand new car. No body issues, super clean interior, and an engine that purred like it was just off the showroom floor. When you look at what you're paying for a car you also need to look at the lifespan you should expect out of it. If you're paying $23k for a Ford, you're in trouble - you probably wont get $20k worth of use out of it, because it's going to start having issues around 60-100k and crap out around 120-150k.
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And it's a turbo so it gets good mileage.
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  #39  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:32 PM
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Next thing I'm going to throw out there as an idea is a Subaru or a Jetta TDI Sportwagen.

I can't speak for reliability on the Jetta - Volkswagen has improved in leaps and bounds, and I had the most unreliable make of the Jetta and never had an issue, but if you're looking at Fords that wont be an issue for you:



I'm surprised no one has recommended a Subaru yet, frankly. Most reliable ****ing cars on the planet and absolutely great dog-vehicles.

Crosstrek:



Impreza:



Forester:



Ask Zoom about her Forester - we fit all three dogs in the back with room to spare and could probably fit a fridge back there with the seats down. I'm 6' and I fit comfortably in the back seats as well as the front, too.
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And it's a turbo so it gets good mileage.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
ETA: On the leather seats discussion, I brought this up the other night after seeing an Equinox I was considering. I have leather seats in my Impala which my dad highly recommended and he was right, they are SO easy to clean, I love them. But in the Equinox my dogs would be crated more than they already are (which is already most of the time) so is it really that big of a deal? Ultimately I said "But I want them." I think I just do. I'm a bit spoiled by how easy they are to clean. Plus it doesn't matter if they're in crates... sheltie hair will be EVERYWHERE in that car anyway and if I have fabric seats it will STAY everywhere. So leather is where I think I'm going to stay.
On the leather seats discussion, don't worry if they're not in the car to begin with. It's not a big deal. Don't make that a deal-breaker when you're looking for the car. You can get leather (usually nicer than factory unless you're looking at an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes) and heated seats added in aftermarket for less than $1,000, and you can have it rolled into your payments by the dealership if you're financing. It also means you can chooce the color and stitching if you're picky. We did leather and heated seats for like $600 in Mazda3s when I was selling them, and it was nice leather, too.

As to brands, if reliability is a concern and you're looking for something made within the last 5-10 years, you should be looking at Subaru, Mazda, Honda, or Toyota. Avoid American brands (or research the reliability of that particular model - for instance, F-150s and Fiestas are really reliable Fords but the RX-8 and Tribute are really unreliable Mazdas). Avoid Korean brands - Hyundais and Kias generally fall apart after a few years, and while they may brag about the great warranty, it's a warranty you will use. They also will do anything to screw you out of the warranty that they can - if you don't service your car on the dot you void the warranty.

How many of you here can tell me when your last oil change was and when your next one was due? If you can't answer those questions correctly off the top of your head, a Korean car with a "great" warranty is not for you. Just buy a car that wont be in the shop to bill for the warranty in the first place.

One of my techs at the Audi dealership I was at used to giggle with glee at the sight of Sonatas and brag about how much money he made off of them.
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And it's a turbo so it gets good mileage.
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