Ok, well maybe I’ll be coming at this with a bit of a bias as I recently purchased a Honda Ridgeline n March 2006, but I’ll try to keep it objective.
My wife and I had 3 cars, all sedans, and 2 of them were getting up there in mileage. We had her old 1997 Pontiac Grand Am (about 120k miles), a 2005 Malibu (10k miles) and a 2002 Acura TL Type S (about 92k miles), so I decided to start looking for a replacement for the Acura. You say, Mike, why wouldn’t you just sell the Pontiac? Well, we wouldn’t get much for it, it’s paid-off, it runs great, costs little in insurance, and it doesn’t take premium gas like the Acura. Also, the Acura had too much potential to get me into trouble.
So anyway, I had to think “What type of vehicle should I be thinking about?” First, what did we need in a new vehicle? Well, we want a family, so we need space and safety. We also want something stylish (ok, so maybe the Ridgeline isn’t pretty, but it’s somewhat unique, excluding the Avalanche). So here’s the types of vehicles we first had to consider:
- Sedan – No, we already have 3 of those
- Minivan – I wouldn’t mind, but the stigma of a minivan is too much for the misses. Also, I don’t think we need a people carrier yet if it’s just the two of us, and twins don’t run in our families.
- SUV – This gets complicated. A full-size SUV is just too big, too costly and too gas-guzzler-y. The compact SUVs just don’t make sense. All it offers versus a wagon is a higher ride height. It’s not like they’re made for off-roading, which we don’t need anyway. Now, a mid-size SUV was possible.
- Wagon – A wagon, such as a Subaru Outback, is possible because it gives the space, versatility, style and fuel economy that we’d like.
- Crossover – Ok, a crossover is a beefed up wagon or a toned-down SUV. But let’s keep them in the running.
- Pickup Truck – YEEHAWWW!!! C’mon Cletus, we’re goin to tha pig roast!!! Ok, why would I need a pickup when I don’t haul anything. Oooh, but if I could, maybe I would! Let’s keep this in the running.
So what do we have left: Mid-size SUV, Wagon, Crossover, Pickup Truck. Is there anything out there that combines all of those???
ENTER THE RIDGELINE…more to come in Part 2 of this article.