My next car

-- Last Updated: Aug-10-09 11:54 AM EST --

needs to be fuel efficient and capable of towing a small camper, less than 300 pounds.

I'd have Yakima racks with my canoe on top, and a trunk rack for my bicycle.

Is there such a vehicle? I was thinking of the Honda Fit, but it seems not to be capable of towing 300 pounds. Easy come easy go, I didn't like the name anyway.

Suggestions would be appreciated. I don't really care much about performance other than gas mileage. Don't need frills, it is just transportation.

edit: I forgot to say, "cheap," too.

Find a used Camry in good condition.
If a 4 won’t pull 300 lb., a 6 will.

how low budget are we talking… I bought my wagon for $12,000

It’s nice, fast and can tow quite a bit. I have the AWD version but still get 24 MPG with the boat on the roof 29 without.


Wow, what a big canoe!
What kind of car is that? Can it tow a small trailer?

Budget, $12,000 sounds good.

Mercedes e320 Wagon

– Last Updated: Aug-10-09 6:05 PM EST –

It's a 2002 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon. It's AWD. I got mine for 12k with 75,000 miles on it. Look around on ebay or at the used lots. No one wants the wagon for some reason.

It will tow 2000 lbs with 200 on the tongue.

Here are some more photos of it and the canoe.

Side note…
a lot of bike racks won’t fit a hatchback, or a wagon.

Yakima has a model that will, but you’ll have to remove the bikes to open the hatch. I think it was called SuperJoe, or something like that.

I picked one up used on e-bay, as it will fit our sedan as well as our SUV.

There are probably others.

I rather like the Mercedes wagon as well, BMW also offers a fine small wagon, but I’m not sure of tow rating. I’m pretty certain the Volvos offer a tow rating.

Check them out at Very good search engine for used cars.


Don’t forget ongoing costs
$12,000 isn’t a lot for a Merc, but regardless of the purchase price, it’s still considered a luxury vehicle, with attendant higher insurance, maintenance & repair costs. I love glam cars and have had a Saab, an MGB-GT and a Subaru SVX (how I loved that car), but learned quickly that the purchase price is only a fraction of the overall cost of ownership.

I’ve been looking at the Honda Fit and am disappointed that towing with it will void the warranty. That and having to stay on the pavement. Oh well, it’ll have to do till I can afford a Forester…sigh…

Good idea,
and they get pretty decent gas mileage, too, according to a friend who has one.

Used Subaru Forrester
I was able to get 30+ mpg with mine, and that boxer engine will handle 300+ lbs.

Escape Hybrid
Not sure if it is cheap enough for you, but a Ford Escape Hybrid gets better than 30 mpg city-highway and has enough power to pull a small trailer.

On the high maint cost of a pre enjoyed Mercedes or BMW. These cars need what they need when they need them or it can get very expensive. Still, they are cool cars to drive, if not cheap to own. And the merc wagon is a great luxo utility vehicle.

On the subject of reliability of high end German machinery i can speak from experience here and tell you that it is no better or worse than American cars.

And a used Camry is better than all
of them if it has been properly maintained.

“THE” car
Seriously. Find a used Volvo XC 70. Nice car. Creature comforts. pleanty of haulin’ room. Good mileage for what it is. Reliable. Made for many years so you can likely find one at your price point.

Do it and don’t look back.

Camry’s are over rated
IMO, based on two that I’ve owned.

Owned 97, bought new, a real POS. In the shop numerous times. Went back to Honda Accords.

Flash forward ten years and decided to forgive Toyota and go for another Camry rather then our umpteenth Accord. What we ended up with is another Cash for Clunker disguised as a well built Japanese car. Just bad luck? Maybe, but not if you believe all the hits on google for the same problems. Back to Honda on the next round.

I’m thinking used Camry,
with my adorable canoe on top, my good ol’ bicycle on a trunk rack, and this:

being towed behind.

My almost 10 year old Camry runs
like a dream.It is beginning to have a few minor problems,but show me a car at that age that doesn’t.

My car reads
Unbelievable. My 2000 Saturn which has never given me trouble before is sitting outside my condo with the shift cable broken. Waiting for AAA to tow in; repair will cost over $500.

Could be worse; I’ve been in Ocala National forest 3 times in the last 2 weeks. No cell service there.

Time to seriously start looking for a new(er) car.

You got lucky.

I know!
Yes, I’m sorry I had to spend more money on my car, but it couldn’t have happened in a better place.

The Saturn dealership has a Pontiac Vibe, 2006, 53,000 miles, for $9999. Manual shift (which I like).

Anybody have an opinion on these? What with Pontiac going away, and so forth? Is it really the same thing as a Toyota Matrix?

$10k for 2006 Vibe?
That sounds like too much money for a four year old economy car that doesn’t have a Japanese badge on the hood.