My poor old 2009 Buick is once again sitting in the driveway, battery dead as cold fried chicken, and it's very likely that car will never run again. It has major electrical issues and always has. I'm going to try to get it to the garage one more time (I have AAA and the garage doesn't have a tow truck), and if I can't sell it to the garage guys for parts or as a mechanic's challenge, it will probably end up being donated to Goodwill or a similar charity. They will come and get your car, even if it doesn't run. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Anyway... I know I have asked in this space before about the best, affordable, most reliable late-model sedans, and the Toyota Camry seems to be coming up time and again. They are so reliable --- just keep them serviced and they'll last forever --- that they are even the car of choice for ISIS and similar terrorists. (I doubt Toyota will ever use that as a selling point
But what about SUVs? The way my son and I travel, go on road trips, go exploring, and haul stuff --- he likes to set himself up a little traveling cabin in the back seat --- I'm wondering if I might want to go for a little more spaciousness, than any sedan can afford. Right now I'm driving my father's used Cadillac, I'm not a "boat car" fan, but for what it is, it's very driveable and comfortable, hideous gas mileage (11 mpg) but still good, reliable transportation. But I don't want this to be our only car, moreover, my son has said that this is HIS
car --- his grandfather has, indeed, "gifted" it to him, though he retains title for now, so I am flanked by two generations --- and I need something for my own, sooner rather than later. I have told my son that no teenagers drive Cadillacs, but he doesn't care, he wants to learn to drive on that car. It's got 100K miles on it, so if he gets it out and tears it up, not that much lost, take the insurance and buy a beater.
I'd also like something that would be spacious enough for "car camping", let down the back seats (or even remove them entirely) and put in a large air mattress. We have a campground just minutes from our home, and we've discussed "vacationing" out there for a couple of days, being close enough to home, that I could return to care for my father as needed, then go back to camp. I'd be looking into us taking our tent and sleeping bags, and parking the SUV next to the tent. I know they even make canopies for such arrangements, but we're not that fancy. Just a grill, a couple of camp chairs, a cooler, a pot to make coffee with our 12-volt power inverter, and possibly to boil water for Mountain House meals or MREs, that's about it. Sadly, the campground has no range facilities nearby, and they don't allow airguns. They're no fun at all. (It is a state-owned facility, so they don't allow packing heat, but they've got the occasional coyote and bobcat out in those woods, so that's just going to have to be a purely penal law. I'll tell any judge in the land why I had to turn that critter into mulch to save my son and me, and possibly other campers as well. I always pack when we go hiking in the woods. We live in 2A-friendly country, so I'm sure I'm not the only one.)
If anyone can offer some suggestions, or guide me either towards or away from various SUVs, I'd be much obliged. I have heard good things about the Toyota 4Runner and the various Jeep models. I can't afford a Land Rover.
Thanks in advance.