Good Car-ma, anyone?

Yes, the Kersh family is STILL debating our next car purchase. Our 2000 VW stationwagon has been our faithful driving companion for seven years, but now that our kids are getting older and have more friends and activities, we REALLY need a bigger car (hey, we did six months of buying nothing . . .we know need from want). The deadline of summer and our ambitious camp schedule along with my committment to carpooling is upping the ante and making us search more fervently. I logged a good 3 hours this weekend on carmax, autotrader, craigslist and ebay–but nothing is screaming out “buy me!”

All of this car shopping is taking place at the same time that Bush is dodging protesters all over South America, wheeling and dealing to import sugar-based ethanol and lessen our dependence on foreign oil (as if he cares). Where are all of the smart people in this nation who can create an automobile that runs on something other than oil (or ethanol-based products that require a ridiculous amount of oil to produce)? If some high school kids created a vehicle that runs on soy beans, then surely someone at GM can step it up.

There was that nifty little electric car in the early 2000’s–but car manufacturers, oil companies and the federal government nixed that well-loved vehicle before it even had a chance. (Want to spend an evening getting extremely frustrated…watch “Who Killed the Electric Car“). To date, there is no such thing as a hybrid mini-van. I know biodiesel is becoming a more viable option (I just searched and found that I can purchase this fuel in Durham, Apex and Pittsboro!), but I’m not aware of a diesel minivan, either. Every other possible option seems to be a good 3-5 years down the road. By that point I will have poisoned the minds of my children completely by uttering the “F” word every time I attempt to buckle a third car seat into our tiny wagon.

(Sigh)…for now, I’ll just read TreeHuggers suggestions for Greening up my Car, and keep on shoppin’. Is anyone else out there struggling to find the ideal family car that carries a litter of kids, gets good gas mileage, and includes those sexy, automatic opening doors? What are you driving these days?

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7 Responses to Good Car-ma, anyone?

  1. Paige says:

    I support the mini-van 100%. With no better options for environmental worthy driving, carpooling is the next best thing. I feel guilty when I’m childless driving my big ass van around. But sadly, I’m childless for approximately 3 hours a day, if that. Yes, buying
    a bigger car to “better the environment” is about as helpful as the government’s suggestion to abstain to prevent pregnancy. But saying the F word less will save you a ton in therepy for your kids in the future. And in that furure, hopefully you can take that money and buy a hybrid! It’s the circle of life…

  2. edens says:

    For automatic doors you have no other option except the mini van. Our Odyssey does have this “continuous variable transmission” that shifts into lower gears to save gas on trips. Still, the MPG barely enters the 20s usually. If you are willing to forgo the automatic doors I was very impressed with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid – drives great. Also, the Saturn Outlook is cool looking for a non-hybrid option although I think they are also going to make a Saturn hybrid mid size SUV. The Ford hybrid SUV is also interesting. I think we’ll be going for a Prius to replace my our two door (talk about inconvenient) 1995 Honda Accord that Dave is driving – although it has been an awesome car and still going strong. Good luck!
    Neva

  3. emily says:

    You can’t get a diesel mini-van (that I know of), however you can get a conversion van that is diesel. My uncle has one, but I’m not sure what brand it is.

    Good luck. Car shopping stinks.

  4. DEO&I says:

    i love your blog! we are also starting to think about this when/if we add child #3. please let us know what you find in your research & what you decide on!

  5. CletusPapa says:

    NEATFREAK

    is this your way of telling us you and Mr. Neatfreak have been getting your FREAK on?
    Why do you need to be strapping in a 3rd car seat huh? Huh? HUH???

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    CletusPapa

  6. perr1ker5h says:

    I can’t decide what’s more hilarious…calling Carter Mr. NeatFreak or the thought of us having a third child! I know, I know…a minivan for a family of four seems totally ridiculous. But I do have fantasies about hitting a little button and screaming “get in the car” to the kids…while the doors magically open on their own and the kids dutifully pile in and buckle up. And I find that we’re toting around someone else’s kid at least 3 times a week these days. It’s definitely minivan time my friend…and of course, the other benefit to a van is that if we do decide to get our freak on, we can always get a bumper sticker that says “Don’t come a knockin’ if this van be a rockin'”.

  7. CletusPapa says:

    tee hee….funny isn’t it. Back in the day the girls I knew were told to stay away from boys in station wagons and vans. Now….we’re all driving station wagons and vans and the only way the windows get fogged up is when the A/C can’t compensate for the screaming kids….

    ..sigh…

    Good luck with the search. There’s always the new Jeep Diesel.
    CP

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