So I have mentioned a couple times how depressed I am at the price of gas these days. From everything I hear and read, it is only going to get worse. Some are even predicting it may hit $8 per gallon within the next 3-5 years!
Here is the question that we have been mulling over in the Horvath household: Should we sell our Toyota 4Runner and get a smaller car with better gas mileage?
I love my 4Runner, I do. It is safe, extremely reliable, we got a great deal on it. It is paid off, so no car payments to worry about. We can fit groceries and strollers and ice chests and our dogs in the back. When we go on road trips, I don't have to make any decisions about what to take and what to leave at home...it all fits! Seth and Caleb have plenty of room in the back seat. Steve just bought me 4 new tires and I am smooth sailing.
The only con (and it is a big one!) is the gas mileage. It only gets 17 mpg city driving, and about 20 or 21 mpg highway driving. Almost all of the driving that I do on a daily basis is city driving. I am averaging about $50 to fill up my 15 gallon tank, and that lasts me MAYBE one week. Anytime we go anywhere as a family, we take my car because Steve drives a Honda Civic hatchback and we can barely fit two car seats in the back. But he does get stellar gas mileage, about 36 mpg.
So our dilemma is this: do we keep the reliable roomy car that is guzzling the gas, or do we sell it and get something more like this:
A Toyota Matrix. Definitely not as roomy, but it does have a hatchback which gives it some additional room in the back. I don't think the kids and the dogs would fit in this car at the same time, so family trips to the park would be out. This is a picture of the Matrix with two large dogs in the back, and they have the back seat completely folded down.
Steve's Dad and step-mom Jacey used to have a Matrix which they really liked, but they eventually traded it in for something a little roomier for carting the grandsons around. The Matrix gets 25 mpg, 30 on the highway.
So what say you? 4Runner vs. Matrix? Is it worth it to give up the extra space and only gain 8 mpg? Does anyone have any other suggestions for a fuel efficient family vehicle that doesn't break the bank?