We have been Vehicle Shopping.. and its been utterly brutal.. I mean I know that there are peaple that like to car shop.. we are not those peaple.. Vehicles are for us are workhorses that get the job done.. we are not need a new one every four years.. In the 23 years we have been together, we have never made a vehicle payment.. we have always bought outright and we do regular care etc but we drive our vehicles till they are done!
So when a couple years ago, we started really giving the “saving funds some extra bumps” and we started reading/research and really having long talks about what we wanted in our 50’s vehicle.. we built and rebuilt our list and saved..
Our awesome 1999 car is on its last tire, no point in fact its the transmission that is going and there has been a few whoa’s on getting stuck in different gears and our 2007 little cherry swift is awesome, and still going strong moterwise (other then it sounds like a teens race car) but its body is truly and fully rusting out.. lets put it this way.. its legal but if it got taken off the road and had to pass a test to be on the road.. haha.. rolls eyes.. still as my guy says, moter sound, breaks sound, drive it till it drops..
Due to health reasons over the past couple years for both of us, we have been reminded that while we LOVE our farm, we miss our very adventure filled 20/30’s.. we have sunk roots down and deep into the land we live on.. but we both really miss spreading our wings and hitting the road..
Road Trips feature in a BIG way in our 50’s plan (we both turn 50 in 2022) and we would like the next 10 years to be filled with amazing places and memories made.. so this has a huge effect on the vehicle shopping..
So after research, I had a list I wanted to test drive, hubby had a list for us to test drive and we booked times and went though all the fuss and we figured out very quickly, we were hooped..
a) I am heavy, big and it turns out that at least 1/3rd of the ones on our list had really snug fitted bucket seats.. well.. let me tell you, that rise, its my nerves just right to have my back where I damaged it 3 years ago and I was in gasping/tears within 5 to 10 min and crippled up for a couple days after.. wow!
b) then comes my bad knee, now its my driving knee and I have a way that I tip it to the right to take pressure off it, there are few ways I move it around in Cherry (and remember part of the reason we got Cherry was because CD car didn’t work for my injuries) and so I can do longer trips in her.. I have no idea why but 70 plus percent of the new SUV’s all have these MASSIVE huge solid high consoles between drivers and shotgun rider.. its insane.. it takes up all that extra sideways leg room on both seats..
I would find one that fits me but no knee room, no leg room.. CRAZY.. WHY>> BAD CAR COMPANIES! and so of course they would say, we can go up in size to the full size truck.. and of course its a smooth ride, its massive, its also a tank.. and a gas hog.. I mean if you need one, great.. but we do not need one.. and its about 40 grand higher then our top end budget..
I kept finding different company.. and we would test drive, and test drive.. and finally we had it narrowed down to the dodge van.. nothing wrong with a dodge caravan.. its ok.. it really is.. and I have no issue with looking like a soccer mom etc.. but I did honestly want more clearance, and it meant that we still needed to look for a older farm truck for hauling and so. Ideally we like to be a one vehicle family.. it is so cost saving to only run one and with hubby working from home..
Full credit, it was hubby that months ago said.. there is something coming on the market that might just be the trick.. the ford Maverick.. and I looked at it and went.. ok.. We put our name down for notice for a test drive and waited.. and waited an waited..
Finally we got the call, two had come in and we need to come now as they had sold but the one person said we could test drive.. thank you kind stranger.. My first thought was smaller then I expected as I stood and looked at it but i knew it was smaller then the ranger, I thought you are cute,, but how do you fit a sheet of plywood in your tiny 4.5 box and its going to cramped inside..
Boy was I wrong! It was the most perfect fit.. the seat has very gentle bucket rising edges but but its got a wait for it.. 8 way adjust on it and by the time I finished adjusting back, down and so on.. it fit like a dream, the seatbelt also fit like it was meant for me.. the design on the door is so you can fit big 1 liter water bottles which is fine, but what it means is it gives a lean for my left leg if I want and more open space to give my left leg on drivers and more space when riding in it.. the big thank you is that it has a low riding much more narrow middle bridge and it has this adorable but going to take some use to gear shift but all that space normally taken by the gear shifter.. open air and room for my bad knee!
I am not sure I will fit in the back three seater, but my hubby can on the RARE event we need to seat three and its big enough for my dogs , which will be the more regular, its got underfloor storage which I love because it means extra dog proof storage..
They designed the back tail gate to have a spot to lock it in and you can load 18 standard 4 by 8 sheets of plywood or sheet rock, and here is the thing.. this little truck is pretty bare bones and I love it for it.. its got great amount of tie downs, adjust this and that for different uses..
Of course you can bling it up to a point, go ahead peaple, drop that extra 10 or 15 grand and make it have so many of the “new standard” features .. or drop it really down to the bare bones and go..
For me, its a middle of the road.. I want the extras for the cab (remember long trips) including the heated seats and so on.. I am drooling at the idea of coming back from a good hike and driving with heated seats to where we are spending the night and having it help not have me stiffen up so much..
I also want the towing package, both for the towing but also for the improvements on a few things that would be good for the overall wear and tear on longer trips and for up and down the big old hills..
Now its a full 10 inches shorter then the F 150… but its still got 17 inch tires and good regular clearance, you might not want to mud bog with it, but it will certainly hold its own for our personal needs.. we are going AWD and because of the towing package, it means we have the ability to drop it into low if needed..
I love that it means I am not reaching up to get in.. that extra 10 inches means a HUGE difference on what I have to push up and come down on my bad knee.. having said that.. the way the truck is designed, you feel like you are driving either a very high SUV or a truck..
I also have to give a shout out to the amazing views.. so many of the vehicles we test drove had REALLY bad blind spots.. they made up for these massive glaring blind spots with all kinds of sensors.. don’t worry that you can’t see there the car will beep and adjust itself.. Let me tell ya.. I do not like test driving a car that auto corrects me or worse yet.. self brakes.. WTF.. both husband and I were totally impressed at how well it was designed to NOT have bad blind spots..
That was the thing I hated the most about the van, I turned it to sharply on a wide open space in the country and three times! it auto breaked me due ditch,, i had lots of room, I even got out and checked.. I can see why the towing packages come with a switch to turn that off when towing.. the van did not have the off.. Trust me, you want to turn it off!
We both looked at each other and went.. well there it is.. meets all the farm needs, the travel needs, the possable commute needs and so on..
the only downside.. trying to get one, and worry about parts being made in this Pandemic.. at least there is crossover history on frame an other sections that have good reviews and I have joined a forum where there are some really hard core gents that have them in their hot hands and are running real time checks on all kinds of things and reporting their findings.. so far so good..
I guess that the other downside is that there are no deals to be had.. No.. here take this off, no down payment and so on.. three years ago, if you paid all cash, you got a cash price.. its a 500 difference at the moment.. and it used to be that if you paid cash that the dealerships liked it.. not any more.. they almost beg you to finance as they get a kickback from the bank.. or so at least 5 salesmans told me from different dealerships
So we are going to put down our deposit and hopefully by new years? we will have our new truck.. Keep you posted on how it goes.. I have never ever custom ordered before.. its different.. I am just grateful that after all that looking, sitting, test driving we FINALLY found something that is in our planned price range(its top end of it) that works for our needs and for me health wise!