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Old 03-03-2009, 07:31 AM   #21
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FWIW, as a big fan of the smooth, soft, comfortable ride found in big heavy vehicles, I am quite impressed by my little VW's ride. I can't honestly say that it's mushy or soft, but it never bothers me like the ride in most small cars does. I never go over a bumpy stretch and feel rattled, I never go over a bad pothole and feel jarred. I remember in my Grand Am, bad potholes felt like the end of the world...anybody in the car would go "Ooomph!"

I don't know how long that ride will last, though. At 18,000 miles it shows no sign of going away.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:12 AM   #22
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I got a Dodge 2.2L Charger in 1983. I drove a LOT. I always felt beat up at the end of the trips. I bought a nice 2wd '86 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup. At the end of the first 4 hour trip I felt like I could go another 4 hours without stopping! The noise and vibration of the small car was beating me to death. The next truck was a 4wd, as was the next, and the next. Big and smooth is good.

I have an '89 CRX now, too, but I don't take long trips in it. I could, but I don't.

As we get older we want, and can afford, comfort and power. Why not? I don't buy into AGW, nor Peak Oil, nor foaming-at-the-mouth green-ness. Frugality is its own reward, but if I can afford it and want it...stand aside.
THe Chevy 1/2 tons always seem to ride nice. My first truck was a 74 C10. Very ugly, but rode and drove like a Cadillac. I've taken Rusty (my 86 C-10) on many road trips over the years, and it rode very well. The best of all of them is The Beast (98 K1500). I am amazed that a full size 4wd truck can ride that smoothly and quietly, and it will out handle my Buick. (and the A body Regals is what evolved into the Grand National...) With the speed sensitive power steering you can easily take that truck to 100 MPH and not notice it if you aren't paying attention.

-Jay
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:24 AM   #23
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There's not a lot of bench seat fans around...and torque FTW!

I love bench seats! Big, squishy, over padded velor bench seats with a flip down arm rest in the center!
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:01 AM   #24
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50mpg Cadillac

I just turned 45 and Im about to buy my 50th car. Don't feel bad, the last 2 years driving a stick in D.C. traffic has my ankles and tendons killing me now, driving with factory racing suspension has beaten my back too. Im looking for a squishy, fully loaded, couch, that gets great mpg. Me too, I have had 4 beatles and a host of other economy cars and loved them all, there is a certan beating that you get tired of taking. I have been looking for a Cavalier or Grand Am, the Toyota Camry, all with automatic and the 4 cylinder. I may have a line on a Ford Focus, automatic, crusie control, power windows, and air conditioning.

Let me stress to you the importance of air conditioning. When I lived in Florida and here in Baltimore, the cars I was driving at the time before the Solstic did not have air and I got heat stroke twice. After 2 bouts with almost passing out at the wheel, I keep the air on in summer.

Im not going to buy an SUV, there are plenty of cushy cars out there that are great for comfort and economy, Im glad you brought the subject up. I still plan to HHO the car, HAI, LLR, under body panels, pulse and glide, the works to extract the maximum fuel economy out of a vehicle, but I am going to do it in comfort.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #25
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I think you need to look more at Camry-sized cars and less at Grand Am/Focus-sized cars for a squishy, fully loaded couch with soft suspension. For GM cars, look at models the next size up with the 3800 engine, like the Grand Prix.

Also, I don't know if Saturn made any larger cars, but some older Saturn automatic transmissions were EOC-compatible.

The 1997 Grand Am that I had years ago was not as harsh as other small cars, but it was not at all something I'd consider for relief after a Solstice-inspired aching back. It was probably very efficient for a V6 automatic car but I didn't care at the time.

Of course there's Honda Accords and Toyora Camries. As mentioned in another thread, the VW Passat TDI is quite efficient, and I'd guess that it could be pretty comfortable. Of course, then you're dealing with an aging VW...

For extreme comfort, you could get an old lightweight boat like my 1980 Lesabre and put a modern powertrain in it, if you're up to that kind of experiment. The bench seat (with fold-down armrest) is quite literally a squishy couch (see Jay's description above). For being so huge, the car weighs a relatively svelte 3500 pounds.

The Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis does well -- Jay reported 30mpg as a guest driver of a Grand Marquis with no hypermiling effort/modifications at all.

Those are what I can think of at the moment.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:18 AM   #26
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umm dare i say it: ANY BUICK CAR: lesabre, century, somehtign else i belive.

my friends rides nice, seats have an extra layer of pure squishiness and it is like sitting on a couch.

you can find the later 90's buicks for cheap.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:30 AM   #27
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The Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis does well -- Jay reported 30mpg as a guest driver of a Grand Marquis with no hypermiling effort/modifications at all.
Yes, I highly recommend getting any Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria, or Towne Car that has fuel injection. The family has had several of them... Grandpa had Grand Marquis of the following vintages: 89, 92, 02, and 05. My great aunt had an 88 Towne Car. I've driven all of these cars and I can report that every last one of them will do between 25 and 30 on the highway with hardly any effort as long as you keep it down to a reasonable speed. They also rode extremely well, and the 92's on up had extremely good handling, despite their large size. They also came with incredibly powerful air conditioning systems. If you wanted to you could easily make it 40F inside the car on a 100F+ day. I am a GM man at heart, but I have to say that the Ford full size cars are top notch. I just wish that GM still made full size cars.

-Jay
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:32 AM   #28
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umm dare i say it: ANY BUICK CAR: lesabre, century, somehtign else i belive.

my friends rides nice, seats have an extra layer of pure squishiness and it is like sitting on a couch.

you can find the later 90's buicks for cheap.
LOL, I ofter describe the feeling I get driving my Regal as "Driving an overstuffed couch"
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:42 AM   #29
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On further consideration, some of these large (rather than medium) cars might not work out so well for the stated purpose -- driving "in D.C. traffic". For that, the car will need to be somewhat lighter than a Grand Marquis. For highway driving it's not so important.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:43 PM   #30
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I love bench seats! Big, squishy, over padded velor bench seats with a flip down arm rest in the center!
Since no one else has said it yet, I will. Bench seats also add a fun factor to road trips with your significant other...

lol
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