...Because my old one simply will not do. And here are my thoughts: for many years, the primary criteria my car had to meet was fuel efficiency. But now that I have a kid, that's changed to crash survivability. So, my choice in autos has necessarily mutated, allowing possibilities that would have seemed gauche in the extreme to several of my earlier selves. Following are cars that will fit my personal bill, and the reasons for them.
1. Some big American truck. This because in the realm of crashworthiness, sheer mass is king. It's simple physics, folks. Also, I can run a diesel on veggie oil, or biodiesel. And I like buying American. And I need room, for dogs, kids, gear, crap, whathaveyou.
2. VW Vanagon Syncro. Absolutely cavernous inside, and the all-wheel-drive makes it feel a lot safer than the (visually cool, but light as a feather wrapped in tinfoil) VW bus. Not as crashworthy as a full-size pickup, though. Age is a factor here. Self-maintenance is easy.
3. Pinzgauer. These Swedish military trucks have air-cooled engines and the best four-wheel drive ever made. Parts and service is not too bad, either. Ugly, utilitarian, weird (these are not negatives). Can survive a near-direct mortar blast.
4. Subaru. The best-engineered car made today. Comparitively tiny- not so good for someone with three huge dogs. Ubiquitous in the Bay Area.
5. Some other all-wheel-drive minivan, a la Dodge Caravan, Toyota Sienna, etc. Also very light and tinny- will fold like origami in a collision. Good on gas. No diesel option.
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