14 Comments

  1. Ev MacK
    January 20, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

    Mazda 5? Unless there is evidence to the contrary, I recall those R-class cars were utter pieces of crap. If not I'd have considered one myself.
    I'm on my third-in-a-row Toyota van (Previa, 2001 Sienna XLE, 2012 Sienna XLE), and all have been great. I just leave the middle seats in the garage. I'd say a used Sienna SE would be worth looking at.

    • kaibeezy
      January 20, 2016 @ 7:03 pm

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    • kaibeezy
      January 20, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

      i got the same advice re R-class on a recent similar thought experiment – however, at a very similar size but a small fraction of the price, an option would be to buy the best Chrysler Pacifica you can find – we had one for several years and everyone loved it, only trading it in on a Sienna SE when the little princess came along – the Sienna was a fine ride too (but i'll never buy a new car again on account of that experience… for another time), but there was something about the Pacifica we really missed – very comfortable, lots of room, and had zero issues with it

    • Johnny16V
      January 20, 2016 @ 10:41 pm

      Also in the not-quite-SUVs not-quite-wagons group (with the R-class and Pacifica):

      Toyota Venza
      Ford Flex

  2. Johnny16V
    January 20, 2016 @ 8:31 pm

    Subaru Outback is what you want. You can probably find a pretty new and fully-loaded one for $25k. If the roof is too low in the Outback, maybe a Forester would give a bit more space without being a full-on SUV.

    • Whippeteer
      January 20, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

      Outback worked for a friend if only 2 of her deerhounds were travelling.

    • DRV
      January 21, 2016 @ 12:21 am

      Forester has more up top room than any vehicle I have been in. My wife has the outback and it is bigger inside than the Volvo wagon…but it is the bigger 2015…got it 9 months used for 25.5 and certified. It's awesome and am averaging 27 around town with winter gas and cold while in the fall it was 29 around town. Highway was 32 ish. Has the all the options with the 2.5 and not big rims or sunroof…eyesight option is awesome….

  3. Rich
    January 20, 2016 @ 9:51 pm

    The nicest Volvo V70 you can find should be close to a T-124, 201, etc., in dimensions, or at least usable space. Roadtrip ability is enhanced by most Volvo seats. (Last summer I drove a 960 wagon with my wife and a smaller dog from Denver to Chicago on one long, but non-painful, day.) Dogs plus modest luggage for a long weekend is probably doable.

  4. DRV
    January 21, 2016 @ 12:24 am

    The Mercedes has the potential to make you broke. As K mentioned, the Pacifica has been bulletproof for a friend of mine with 180k plus on it.

    • NoCo MoMoPar
      January 21, 2016 @ 4:11 am

      If you want to stick with the E-class wagon, this might fit the bill:

      fortcollins.craigslist.org/ctd/5400826941.html

  5. Hunsbloger
    January 21, 2016 @ 4:24 am

    How about mid-20's highway economy, able to tow 5K #, AWD, V8 and incredible safety? Volvo XC90(V8 Only) No timing belt issues. Look for a low mileage used V8 and you'll be impressed with build quality and storage capacity. Your hound will thank you.

  6. Unknown
    January 21, 2016 @ 6:26 am

    There was an R63 (AMG) for sale on CL @$23k on Friday. I saw it via the "Obscure Cars for Sale" Facebook group (the occasional cool stuff). Thought it was a nice 'sleeper' minivan.

  7. Geraldine
    January 21, 2016 @ 7:15 pm

    You could put Fido in his Element. A Fit might fit. Fido could ride in a HiLux dog kennel carrier. xB is hard to be punny with.

  8. Anonymous
    January 23, 2016 @ 2:40 am

    The obvious answer is a Cadillac CTS wagon which was made until 2014 or 2015 without the restyle update. Same dimensions as the MB, outhandles the MB and costs $10,000 less for comparable used model.

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