I don’t day dream about the new cars I’d rather have, as I’m really very happy with mine. In fact, I have somewhat the opposite problem that sometimes occupies my mind: What if I had to replace one or more of my vehicles with a brand new one (for purposes of this exercise), as a consequence of a (non-injury) accident or such? The answers, for me anyway, are not easy.
Let’s start clockwise at the upper left, with my venerable ’66 F-100. I really can’t imagine replacing it with a new pickup, as I just don’t use it enough. I put maybe 2,000 miles or so on it per year. If it went bye-bye, I think I’d just get a lightweight aluminum utility trailer and tow it with my xB. I actually have a hitch I bought for it years ago, but never mounted it.
If I really had to, how about a transit or Sprinter with a Euro-style dump bed? And then maybe find a slide-in camper for it, which would then take care of replacing the Dodge Chinook too? I have actually indulged this line of thinking over the years a fair amount. I would prefer to have one fewer vehicles overall. This, or something along these lines, would be a possible solution.
I have been lusting after a Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion for almost 15 years now. My Dodge Chinook keeps starting up every summer, and we haven’t had the freedom to justify the expense of one for the few shorter trips we’ve been making. But as soon as I figure out how to extricate myself from CC, find a good maintenance man for my rentals, and get my younger son straightened out, I very much see something like this (or a Transit-based version) in the Niedermeyer fleet.
Those were the easy ones. Stephanie and I both love the 2013 TSX wagon (her daily driver), but it has its shortcomings. Mostly, it just feels a bit too wide, low and long in town, where much of her driving is. It’s great on road trips, and handles superbly. But getting in and out for us is starting to be a wee bit of a pain too, especially compared to the xB. I do not like driving it in town. Visibility is crummy, and compared to the xB, I feel like I’m driving a huge car. Which it’s not, but everything is relative.
Replacing it? Well, I suppose the easy fallback would be a Forester, which is what our left-brain sides told us to get in the first place, to replace our 2000 Forester. It’s tall, has relatively good visibility, and has better ground clearance and AWD. But of course it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun when really cutting loose on a remote high-desert highway.
Having to replace my 2005 Scion xB gives me the biggest headache, because it’s so unique in a number of ways. There’s just nothing that has its combination of features I so value, as a handy city scooter that can also swallow a washing machine in the back. But for the moment, I’ll go out on a limb, and make it a Chevy Bolt. I’m fatally attracted to EVs for certain reasons, and the Bolt is the only one for now that combines a practical, tall hatchback body along with terrific range (238 miles), at least for now.
Actually, the real solution for Stephanie and I is to replace both cars simultaneously, so that she could drive an EV around town (she does a lot of shopping and errands), and yet have access to a car (Forester) to take on long trips. In which case, she’d love a Fiat 500E, although I’m not sure I can see that as a long-term keeper.
And I’d have to drive the Forester, to use for getting use for my errands, getting us to remote trailheads, skiing, and for her/us to use on long trips. Hmmm….but two new cars, to solve that problem? It’s a bit complicated; my head’s exploding.
Your turn. Note: We’re talking NEW, as in 2017 models.