Please help me find a new car to fit my specific need.
May 28, 2012 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Please help me choose a new car. I'm struggling to find something that works for me!

The car I WANT is the Prius V+ (not available in the US). Excellent fuel economy, decent price, 7 passenger.

What is my alternative to that since it's not available in the states?
7 Passenger is necessary.
Highest possible fuel economy. I'm traveling 20-25K mi per year.

The Highlander Hybrid is a good size but grossly overpriced for a vehicle that gets like 25MPG max.

I LOVE the Explorer but really wish it came in a hybrid.

I'm not hung up on hybrid, but I really want greater than 30MPG.

Any ideas, smart people of MeFi??
posted by Thrillhouse to Shopping (13 answers total)
How about a Kia Rondo? 31 MPG highway, can seat 7 in about the same space as a Prius V has, and they're not a new-new model so there's definitely some room to negotiate on one (which is never the case with a Prius as I understand it).

5 years of bumper to bumper on conventional mechanicals is nice, too.
posted by at 4:09 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

What you want doesn't exist. 7 passengers and greater than 30 mpg is a pipe dream.
posted by karlos at 4:10 PM on May 28, 2012

The Rondo looks more like 27MPG Hwy and combined 21 according to Still... Not the worst by far.
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:16 PM on May 28, 2012

How about the Mazda 5? Can seat 7 and combined gas mileage of 24 mpg according to - seems to be the best of the minivans.
posted by needled at 4:22 PM on May 28, 2012

What's your price range? You say the Highlander Hybrid is overpriced. Are you looking for a car that makes financial sense in terms of upfront cost vs. fuel savings, or will you pay a premium for a hybrid even if you aren't going to recover the cost? Does styling matter (probably not if you want a Prius V).
posted by Dasein at 4:24 PM on May 28, 2012

We have a Highlander Hybrid, and can get 27-30 MPG driving carefully on the highway, and about 24-25 in the city. We average more like 22-23 city, and 25-26 highway without thinking much about it. It was expensive, but where I live there was no sales tax on hybrids, which made it affordable if you factor in gas savings.
posted by procrastination at 4:26 PM on May 28, 2012

I've tested the Highlander and didn't like the fact that for nearly 40 grand you're driving what is essentially a slightly nice truck. I just didn't like it, especially for the price, and you definitely don't get back the initial investment in paying for the hybrid. Not at 25MPG.

I'd be willing to spend 25-30ish without a problem. I'm also willing to trade styling for value to some extent which is why I'm willing to go for the Prius V.
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:31 PM on May 28, 2012

The Mazda5 seats 6, not 7, at least in the U.S.

Why not get a Dodge Grand Caravan, which is $18,000 cheaper than a Highlander Hybrid, and will only cost you about $1350 more in gas a year, based on $25k miles, 55% city driving, and 3.75/gallon gas (you can personalize your numbers at The point is, don't get hung up on fuel economy; you have to look at overall cost of ownership.
posted by Dasein at 4:33 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

The 2013 Kia Sorento EX 2.4L I4 FWD is EPA-estimated at 32mpg highway and has a 7-passenger configuration.
posted by eschatfische at 4:57 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

You want a minivan -- Toyota Siena or Honda Odyssey. That's as close as you're going to get for mileage and passengers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2012

The Sorento is a nice idea..... Investigating. Thanks!
posted by Thrillhouse at 5:05 PM on May 28, 2012

Keep in mind that if you regularly have 7 passengers getting in and out, crossovers can become a huge pain in terms of access in comparison to minivans. Good luck!
posted by Dasein at 7:29 PM on May 28, 2012

You might want to consider a diesel. Sadly, if you're American, you don't have a lot of options for 7 passengers. VW Taureg or a large Van would be your only diesel options.
posted by Megafly at 10:28 PM on May 28, 2012

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