The Exploder is No Longer

The last I wrote was about all the fun stuff we did over Christmas Holidays. Well, one thing I didn’t mention yet is that the day right after Christmas, Jason’s Explorer (or Exploder as we affectionately call it) bit the dust. Jason says that I broke it because I was driving it with Natalie from the Mall. 🙂 But we all know the thing was on it’s last leg – it was a 1992 with 230,000 miles on it! I mean, seriously!

So, it has been real fun lately trying to figure out what to do next (I say that sarcastically). We have been all over the gamut of various options, I have test drove probably over 10 cars in the past couple of weeks, and read so many reviews on the web, that I am about to go crazy! We started out thinking we would probably get a minivan, then we saw some pretty cool crossovers and mini-suv vehicles, that we started trying those. Now, keep in mind that we aren’t getting anything new, so we pretty much have to check inventory for all of Orlando to see if they have the one we want to test-drive.

What gets me is these crazy sales people that think just because you came in to check something out, and drove it for 5 minutes, that you are ready to take their offer! I mean, come on! I explained to one guy, that I pretty much research everything before I buy it all the way down to foods and make-up, and that I am in the very beginning stages of figuring all this out. And boy, do I really feel like it! Sometimes I feel like I haven’t even made any progress! Especially when you get on Consumer Guide or Edmunds and read reviews, then you feel like there must not be anything quality or reliable out there! And then you add in the kid factor! My goodness! If there is ever a time to see their bad behavior come out…it has been while test-driving vehicles! I have decided that Nicholas is a typical boy. All he wants to do is touch every button or gadget possible (over and over)! And then the arguing! Wow!

So, I think we have narrowed it down to like 8 possibilities that fit within our criteria (basically a larger vehicle that could haul friends and family with us, so a 3rd row seat, reliability, quality, and good gas mileage)- Now, some of these are in our dreams because they are more expensive than our budget, but what do you think?
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Sienna
Honda Pilot
Honda Odyssey
Buick Rendezvous
Hyundai Entourage
Hyundai Santa Fe
Ford Freestyle

Would you believe, that reading the reviews on these show issues on all of them! I was completely surprised by that on the Toyota and Honda! So, I don’t know what to think. I welcome any suggestions or ideas.

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15 Comments

Filed under Around the House, In my Brain

15 responses to “The Exploder is No Longer

  1. My good friend just told me yesterday that she and her husband just bought a 2005 Nissan Murano and so far, she is loving it! They are expecting their 3rd child and needed something bigger, as they only had an Acura and a Toyota Corolla. Anyway, I have no idea how much the Muranos cost, but it sounds like the size and type of vehicle you are looking for right now. Good luck on your search!!

  2. Thanks, Becky. Actually the Murano is out of our price range. Pretty sharp looking though.

  3. Hana

    I love Pilots…my parent have one.

  4. Anna

    For us, SUVs’ gas-guzzling tendencies and smaller room make mini-vans the better option for the price, even though we all know SUVs look cooler. :o) We really love our new-to-us (1994) Toyota Sienna, but I did love the brand new Honda Odysseys we test drove. We also research everything to death. Apparently 2004 was an excellent year for the Sienna, so we were and are really pleased with our decision. And, since we bought used, we were able to get some upgraded features (like leather and DVD player) that we would have never paid for in a new vehicle.

  5. We just upgraded from a Saturn station wagon to a used Dodge Caravan this summer. We’re so excited about the extra space, but I’m sure we would be no matter what the make/model. How’s that for being vague and unhelpful?

  6. We called Ande’s Explorer the Exploder!! It was actually a really good vehicle to us, but Exploder just sounds more fun.

    I say go Toyota or Honda. I LOVE my Honda (it’s a used Accord) and appreciate the fact that it drives smoothly and quietly and is so so comfortable. And let’s face it, Hondas last a long time.

    We rented a Hyundai recently on vacation and it looked great from the outside, but was honestly a piece of junk….and this was a NEW one! One night we awoke throughout the night (at a B&B!) to the blaring sound of the alarm going nuts for no reason. We returned it for an Accord. Just my two cents. Good luck!!!

  7. karintome

    I call every Explorer I see an Exploder!!

    My mom has a Honda Pilot but I don’t like it because it feels like I’m driving a truck. Andrea has a Toyota Highlander and I LOVE it! It drives like a car.

    I love that you research everything!!

  8. Marianne W.

    Ok, when I talked to you a few days ago you said you had it narrowed down to five cars. What happened!?! 🙂 For what it’s worth, I vote for either of the Hondas or Toyotas. Good Luck!!

  9. Ok, I feel a bit of a need to defend the Exploder, err, I mean Explorer. It was a great ride for more than 9 years. I was really hoping to get at least 10 years out of it but came up short. Question for you… What is the most miles you have put on one vehicle?

  10. We have a 1995 Honda Civic that is still kicking after well over 100,000 miles! I drive a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder and love it. I’m looking at possibly a used Pacifica (Chrysler.)

    I don’t think you can go wrong with a Toyota or Honda, though.

    There is a really great car review website written by moms I found a while back… http://www.motherproof.com.

    Check it out!

  11. Kristin

    So glad Jason chimed in. When I read Jill’s title I was a bit sad. I don’t remember Jason without that truck! Honestly, it’s a Ford and a miracle it made it so long. That buggy is a part of your family and has taken you all many places…. dare I say your first date??
    Please don’t get a mini van. You are not mini van people. My few cents.
    I have lust/covet issues with Pilots. The prototype for the new 2009 design just came out and it is sharp but I love the classic style of the current model. It is for sure the family-mobile of choice of staff in this area.

  12. Kristin,
    You crack me up! Although your reminder of the exploder taking us on our first date brought tears to my eyes!! There were lots of great memories!
    The saga has continued in the search for the perfect car. I have definitely struggled with the whole mini-van thing, but honestly it will probably be the best option as far as financially and with gas mileage. So, we’ll see! Hopefully we will have something in the next couple of weeks!

  13. Thanks for the encouragement about the Explorer. I think I am inspired to get it fixed now. You know we did go on our first date in it and I actually still have the shirt I wore as well. Although the shirt has shrunk a bit so I do not wear it much if at all.

  14. uh…fixed? seriously!
    And the shirt…you sure it shrunk??? (hee, hee).

  15. Kristin

    oh, i needed that laugh. jason must have washed his shirt with my pants.
    the murano comment. my mom finally retired her ’95 maxima and just got a murano which she has wanted for YEARS. she doesn’t love it. horrible gas mileage. she’s reconsidering a highlander. but, alas, she has no small children but is planning to tote grandchildren.

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