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 01-17-2008, 23:06 Post: 150353
kwschumm



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My wife drives a Toyota Highlander and in close quarters she keeps bashing it into stuff. We've had the left rear quarter panel and bumper fixed twice, and each of the other three corners fixed once. Yeesh, she just doesn't know where the corners of it are. The last straw was when she ran into the side of the garage door opening for the second time last week. (feel free to insert women driver comments here)

Anyway... we will be getting her a smaller vehicle with better visibility. Because of where we live I'd like it to be an AWD sedan. We rented a Subaru Outback once, and she didn't like it, so I'm curious as to what else is out there. I've always liked Audi Quattro's but those things are very spendy. I understand the VW Jetta/Passat with 4Motion are basically Audi technology so we will probably look there first. Toyota doesn't seem to make an AWD CAR, only SUVs. What else is out there? Whatever we get will probably be used, what's the point of getting a new one only to crash into stuff?






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 01-17-2008, 23:21 Post: 150354
greg_g



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I'm giving the Lincoln MKZ a serious look. It's a Ford Fusion underneath, but has a lot of more sophisticated features you don't get down at entry level. One of the few vehicles in its price range that offers heated AND cooled front seats.

//greg//






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 01-18-2008, 05:30 Post: 150357
hardwood

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KW; We had the same delema just a year ago. We had a Chevy Venture AWD that almost needed a fulltime mechanic to keep it running anymore, so we got tired of fixing it. We live at the top of a steep north facing hill so you know the rest. First off I will not buy foreign built cars,(rice burners in Iowaegan), so amoung the domestics a Chevy Trailblazer gave us a flat floor, (no door ledge to get our old aching feet over when getting in or out), four wheel drive, small enough for the Mrs. to manuver, but big enough to haul four in comfort and a bit of freight in the back, with decent four corner visibility, rear wheel drive, (I've had all the front wheel drive I can stand), heated seats and all the other BS dodads. Mileage is so-so, but the LITTLE SHORT Mrs. loves it, so I guess I like it too. As to your Mrs. mashing the corners I backed into an old Lincoln at a convenience store when the Trailblazer was a couple months old, didn't put a scratch on the Lincoln but left a nasty looking dent in our rear plastic bumper. the son inlaw crawled under it put his fist against the bump and it popped out good as new. Maybe they will offer rubber fenders for folks like myself and your wife someday. Frank.






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 01-18-2008, 09:00 Post: 150367
yooperpete



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Have you considered a small SUV like the Saturn Vue. It will give you the smaller outer size, more road clearance than a sedan and has a Honda engine. I believe highway mileage is around 25mpg.






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 01-18-2008, 09:15 Post: 150368
Murf



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I know I'm going to get some steam over this, but what else is new?

Look at and DRIVE a used Mercedes Benz ML series.

They are cheap (relatively speaking) because nobody who wants a Benz wants a USED one, HAVE to have the latest greatest model. They are extremely maneuverable, handle nicely, none of that rolly-polly wallowing down the road, and will comfortably cruise down the highway at 'European speeds' with 4 full-sized adults with ease. Not bad on gas (the 320 is a 3.2 litre 6 cyl., the 420 & 500 are V8's) and VERY dependable.

I've always had several in the fleet over the years, presently we have a 1999 ML320, a 2000 ML420 and a 2002 ML500 AMG (which is a rocketship with nice upholstery).

You can pick one up for about the same as a 2 or 3 year newer, much lower quality, Japanese or N. American vehicle.

Before you say "but it's an SUV" get in one, they turn tighter than my 'other half's' Volvo sedan does!!!

A pleasure to drive & own.

Best of luck.






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 01-18-2008, 10:11 Post: 150374
DRankin



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Ken.. This sounds like one of two things to me,

1)a DESIGN issue... where the CAFE standards dictate extreme aerodynamic styling to the point where she cannot see around the body curves. If so there just aren't many "square" cars built these days.

OR

2) A perception issue. Does she wear glasses? Does she need glasses? Is there an undiagnosed astigmatism? Is there a medication involved that sez "don't operate machinery"? Do the mini-collisions always happen at the same time of day... IE blood sugar drop?

Don't know if that helps..... Mark






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 01-18-2008, 10:29 Post: 150379
DennisCTB

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I have driven rental Toyota Highlanders and I have found them easy to drive and maneuver. The interiors seem a little cheesey on the rental editions I had, but overall a very nice car. I have also driven the Mercedes ML320, a nice vehicle, the one I had a small amount of additonal road feel in it than a Highlander, and I believe if you had problems with the Highlander you will have the same ones with the Mercedes Wink yeah right

Maybe one of those Little Cars would fit the bill Smile

When I first met my wife she would always take her turns to tight, onetime creasing the whole side of her sisters van. I warned her as she was doing it, and she even denied doing it after I showed her the crease down the whole side of the car. For years I would tell her to swing wide, I guess after years of the that she finally got it and had no problem driving a Tundra Access cab truck for couple of years.









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 01-18-2008, 10:42 Post: 150382
Justus



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KW, Although I don't own one (The next door neighbor has owned a few) Volvo offers All Wheel Drive on it's cars, is stylish and known for safety. Check out the link.
Good luck, Steve.






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 01-18-2008, 11:01 Post: 150384
hardwood

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Dennis; Is that thing for real or did somebody cut about three feet out of the middel? I happened to notice the insurance bill for our 07 Trailblazer that came the other day is the same as my 07 Silverado 415.00 each for 12 months full coverage.






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 01-18-2008, 11:22 Post: 150386
kwschumm



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Murf, I don't think those Mercedes are AWD, are they?

Mark, my wife has always been a total klutz. Eyes are good, she wears glasses but her eye-hand coordination and depth perception have always been poor. Women aren't generally as good with spacial imaging as men but she is about as bad as one can get.

The Trailblazer and Saturn VUE both look to be about the same size as a Highlander. We really want something about 1/3 smaller than that with excellent visibility.

A sedan with a big, airy greenhouse she can see out of would be best. Something not high off the ground - she had back surgery and it's more difficult for her to get in and out of taller vehicles.

Justus, I forgot about Volvo, thanks, we'll check them out.






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