Thursday, December 04, 2008

Kayaking Cars

After six years and 93k hard miles being both a sports car and a gear hauler (some times simultaneously), the egg needs some major maintenance. The head gaskets are starting to leak, the exhaust is starting to succumb to the salt, and the pistons are making some noise. I can invest a few K in refurbishing it and it should last a few more years, or I can trade it in and get a new car. While I really like the egg and don't really want a car payment, the cost of the refurb is close to its value and I'm really hard on my car.
So if I'm going to replace the egg the question is: What to replace it with?
The car I think I want is a Mini Clubman. It is sporty, gets good gas mileage, and has more room than a regular Mini. Sadly, it is only a two door and more room than a regular Mini does not translate into much room for stuff. It also doesn't have All Wheel Drive.
I like to be ale to carry two kayaks, all the gear needed for two paddlers (Spring/Fall gear-levels), camping gear for at least a weekend, two bikes, the gear for the bikes, and potentially a child and their associated stuff.
As H pointed out what I really want is an economical, sports car that has the hauling capacity of a van. While there are many cars that come close to fitting bill, most fall short.
A new egg has a ton of room, AWD, 4 doors, and drives like a sporty car. Unfortunately it gets similar gas mileage to most small trucks.
I tried out a Honda Fit. It has tons of room, 4 doors, and gets great gas mileage. Unfortunately its powered by a gerbil.
I was thinking about trying out a Mazda 3, a Suzuki CX4, and a Rabbit. They all claim to be sporty wagons. The Mazda has the Zoom, Zoom image, the Suzuki offers up AWD at bargain basement prices, and the Rabbit has German engineering.
Are there any other cars that would fit the bill? They need to be sporty to drive, have 4 doors, and have largish luggage capacity. The other requirement is that it needs to be under 25k.

1 comment:

  1. Could always try a Subaru. Made in the US, but still have great reliability, AWD, and great ground clearance. I've got an 06 Outback wagon 2.5: can load 2 kayaks, 2 mtn bikes & all the gear. Of course the 4 cylinder engine doesn't appreciate all that wind drag... altho you could get the 6-cylinder 3.0, or a turbo.
    My brother had an 04 or 05 Impreza WRX, could fit his mtn bike in the trunk & still have his 2 kids in their car seats in the back.