I have been wanting a new car/truck for a long time now, but can't decide what to get. I am currently driving a 2002 ford focus zx3 and want something bigger. My better half has a ford escape, which I like, but the seats don't fit me well and after a long trip my legs get sore. I have looked at the new ford taurus X, which I really like, but I would be sacrificing some mpg's. I have looked at getting a pickup, but can't justifiy it since the focus has done 99% of what I needed it to. So I am really looking for a good balance between fuel economy and comfort. So if someone could give some insight as to good comfortable cars are out there, let me know. Here is how I define comfort in a car:
-upright seating where your legs are supported all the way to the knees (kind of like a good office chair.
-quiet; I hate rattles that develop 65k miles after you get the car, or road noise
-room; I would like a car that is a little bit wider than the focus, and storage space would be nice, since I like to go on long road trips / camping.
I really want a new car because I am tired of this one. I know that sounds wastefull, and all too "american". I am more than willing to look at older vehicals, if you had something in mind. I thought about a prius; but new technology sometimes worries me, just don't know if a hybrid is for me or not, I know how a gas engine works and I can troubleshoot/work on them with some proficiency, but a hybrid is a whole new ballgame...sort of.
I understand completely. I'm still not much help for older newer cars, but I know many people who own accords and all of them are very happy with the utility and comfort. I have a friend who hauls hundreds of pounds of garden junk in his accord every week.
On the topic of hybrids: It was indeed a worry when they first came out, but I think as we now have seen many of the first hybrids age gracefully into the 150 and 200k range, it's possible to say they are worth putting confidence in. Priuses have been out in japan for 11 years now and there has been no major breakdown with toyota.
I had a 1991 Subaru Legacy that had the best seats that I have ever encountered. Not as soft as American cars, but just really supportive in all the right places. Might be worth checking out a new Subaru or a used (newer) Legacy. Fuel economy wise: you can get just above 30 mpg which is good for a car with permanent four wheel drive. Especially recommendable if you live in the North of the US.
Lancek, go test drive a Santa Fe and then start praying for the day until we can get the very economical 2.2L CRD in North America (40 mpg).
Exceptionally quiet, great storage - can throw a huge 65cm bike in the back by dropping just one rear seat.
The only part that sucks is that the 2.7L has a timing belt and a either a crappy 5 speed (2900 rpm at 60) or a crappy wide spaced 4speed auto. Then if you get the 3.3L and you hate torque steer, you'll be wanting AWD although the hit on mileage for AWD is quite low - Porsche uses the same system.
27 highway is possible but not at speed.
I went shopping for a hatchback to replace an older economical minivan in July and would have never bought an SUV, but it was actually a good solution. I'm 6'6 so legroom is always a major factor in purchases.
Just be warned that if you get one, you will be the antichrist at CleanMPG!