Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by docmobley, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. I'm looking at trading vehicles in a bit. My next vehicle needs fuel economy, enough room to haul the double bass, enough traction to use bad roads, enough power to get down the interstate.
    Anybody have favorite recommendations?

  2. Hey! I own a Subaru Outback wagon. it has a 60/40 split back seat, so you just pop down the 40% side and the bass slides right in and you can still comfortably carry 2 adult passengers. Gas mileage is pretty good (24 city) considering it is an all-wheel-drive. We have never got this car stuck and have driven it in some pretty bad conditions (snow, mud, etc). We have the one with the smaller engine (2.2 liter, I think), but there is a version with a bigger engine. We have never had any complaints about the "get-up-and-go". It will do 80 on the Interstate without even trying :)

    It is also a very safe car. My aunt got broad-sided by a logging truck while driving her subaru on the highway and walked away from it. She was very lucky, cuz those logging truck drivers haul ass on the Washington coast.

    Hope you find what you like.

    Shelly :)
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I'm looking myself. My friend has a Pontiac Vibe and he loves it. He said he gets 35 mpg. He can get a DB, amp, his guitar and amp and a passenger with no problem. It's built off the Toyota Matrix (which is another nice car). He in Nova Scotia and hasn't complained about not being able to get around in the winter.

    The Subaru is nice too but it's a lot more $.
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Subaru, definitely. I have a '99 Forester, will probably buy another if it ever dies, and if I didn't need a pickup truck for my little Polynesian Gentleman's Farm, I'd probably own two of 'em.
  5. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    And what do you grow on your Polynesian Gentleman's Farm?
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    "Green Waste". It's amazing how much stuff there is to haul to the composting plant each month, just from what I trim from the fruit trees. Hence, the pickup truck.

    The cool thing about the Subarus is the fact that they don't kill you on the road. In spite of the full time all wheel drive, they feel very carlike and refined on the road. Plenty of power, yet they deliver decent gas mileage. I wish I'd had a Forester when I still lived in snow country; I bet I would have spent less time in the ditch.
  7. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I have a Honda CRV. I looked at the Outback but the Honda was a bit more in my price range.
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Anyone tried the Escape Hybrid? I'm not much of a Ford guy, but with gas hovering around $3.5 to $4 per, I'm looking at all the alternatives.

    We have a biodiesel factory here....maybe I should just score myself an old Mercedes 300D wagon, and kiss the dinosaur juice goodbye.
  9. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Driven the Escape Hybrid. Strange to drive. It kind of feels like it's supposed to be upshifting when it doesn't. Also, i know my company discontinued the brake program for that vehicle. I don't know if that means Ford went with another supplier, or the vehicle is being discontinued. It's one of the two.

    The Subarus are nice. So are the Volvo Wagons.
  10. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Honda CRV for now, but I've got my eye on the Element. It's ugly, but it's got so much nice square cargo room!
  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I have a "98 Volvo V70 wagon and a 2004 Mazda 6 wagon, both of which are awesome bass haulers. The Mazda gets points for the quick seat folding via handles in the rear hatch. The Volvo has 150k miles and drives wonderfully as well.
  12. I recently picked up a 1996 Volvo 850 wagon (an earlier version of the V70). It is a rare 5-speed manual and gets about 32mpg on the highway. I recently got that on a 250 mile road trip loaded with all of my bass gear and overnight stuff. Like the suburu, it has the 40/60 split rear seat. When my folk trios play we can all fit in the same car with all our gear. It has side impact airbags as well (lowers your insurance premiums). It is the first of the front wheel drive Volvos and so will be a good winter/snow vehicle. Mine doesn't have the optional traction control. The engine is 5 cyl. (oddball, but really smooth). Turbo versions with substantial pep were made;- mine's the sluggish economical one but with the manual trans, it is peppy enough. I did exchange the space saver spare for an actual spare tire. There is room in the spare compartment (you just hafta wonder what's up with that?) so this doesn't cramp anything.

    This is actually my third Volvo wagon. To give you an idea of their longevity, my previous one was a 1973 145. Sizewise, earlier models were larger than the 850. The 145, 245, were the largest. I was looking for a 245 (last made in 1992), but the 850 comfortably handles my gear, has more power, gets better mileage, and I was really biased toward the manual trans. A dealership told me that in recent years only 1 in 500 Volvos imported to the USA are manual trans., so I snapped up the first one in good condition that I found. It's a great hardshell road case. The ride is so quiet, I can hear Mingus jamming out on his solos (six speakers on the standard CD player). Well maybe, it's the stereo that's loud. Anyway, you can't beat a Volvo wagon for a dependable ride. I want Talkbass to offer a bass clef license plate? Now that would add that extra touch of class all of our rides could use....
  13. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    1 out of 500?!!? And we're both on this forum!!

    Mine is the 5 speed and I love it. With the traction control and manual, it is super in bad weather. The 5 cyl engine is strange, but my mechanic assures me he sees them quite often with 300k miles on them.
  14. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    I've got a newish V70 (the slinky shape, but not all the toys the latest ones have): manual, 5 cylinders, tons of space etc. I love it for the seats: I drove a lot in Europe including Greece this summer, and you can sit in it all day without starting to creak. Did about 33mpg despite hours at 83 mph with cruise-control on the French autoroutes.
    Of course my gear for gigs fits in easily: don't know why I never had one before. (Yes I do: couldn't afford it). Maybe bass & Volvo go together: big strong bits of kit that thump away all day and last for years.
  15. Either bassists are biased to the the manual trans or the Volvo dealer was telling me a load. Three recent sticks in the same forum! Hmm. Well, his figures were for the US, so really we still only have the two USA manual T cars reported. The dealer really had nothing to gain;- he didn't sell me the car, he just serviced it. Anyway, for the week and a half that I was shopping, I found only two used wagons with manual T, and the '96 850 was in the best condition. I used search sites that would give me any wagon model, any price, any zip code, manual T. Fortunately this one was also close by in Marietta. Anyway, I hear the automatics aren't bad either, just not particularly suited to the control freaks amongst us (are we more than 1 in 500)?

    It's interesting how the V70 has evolved. The early ones are nearly identical to the 850's and now the body is quite different. I think it is still the same car underneath the new curves. Those hips remind me a little of the old 140, & 240 series bodies. It's good to hear someone report similar mileage. I have the cruise control but haven't used it yet. These are very comfortable traveling cars with much better than average seats. This is something that is almost unchanged at least since my 1973 model. In fact all of the manual seat controls are in the same place, the knobs are shaped the same, and they perform the same functions as on the 1973 wagon. Only one function has been added to the seat movement. Volvo has made many improvements in the cockpit, but happily they haven't meddled with things unnecessarily. It's odd though, even when the doors shut they make the same kind of characteristic sound as a door on a 30 year old Volvo model. Caution: Volvo ownership is habit forming.
  16. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I love manual transmissions and use it all the time for engine braking/ sport shifting.

    The Mazda is a ton of fun to drive, but its auto stick doesn't allow me to clutch -> accelerator to get RPM's up -> downshift. I go a LONG time between needing brakes, which is something that tends to wear out frequently on Volvo's, probably due to the weight.

    The 225 horses in the Mazda also would lead to many tickets for me, so my wife mostly drives it. :smug:
  17. Subaru... all the way. ask anyone that has owned one - especially in the last 5 years or so.