Is it time to buy a gas-guzzler?


I’m surrounded, I’m outnumbered, and I’ve finally had enough. 

The people next door to me have a GMC Sierra and a Chevy Tahoe. Across the street from them are an ’07 Tahoe and a Ford F-250 Super Duty. The people across from my house have a GMC Envoy XL, a Chevy Silverado, and just added a Ford Expedition. (Yes, I live in soccer-mom suburbia.)

Needless to say, I’m feeling inadequate as I pull out of the garage in my comparably minuscule Suzuki SX4

When gas prices were over $4 a gallon, I was the one making fun of them and their outrageous fuel bills. While they were spending an easy hundred bucks per fill-up, I was driving out of the station for under 40.

The price of fuel isn’t that big a factor anymore, though, and I’m tempted to get something bigger. This morning I browsed through the CarGurus reviews of some bigger rigs and checked prices on some pre-owned vehicles in my area. Here’s what I found:

2003-yukon-xl-denali2002 Tahoe: $10K
2001 Sequoia: $10K
2005 Expedition: $14K
2003 Yukon: $11K
2003 Yukon XL Denali: $14K
2004 Volvo XC90: $14K

I know I could get one heck of a deal on any of these, and I’m pretty sure I’d be happy in one while making unnecessary road trips just to see how much I could pack into it.

I need your advice, though. I’ve read every comment that’s come through on our blog and I know there are a lot of smart car gurus out there. This CarGuru could use your advice.

Do you think it’s a good time to buy a bigger vehicle? Which one would you get? 



  1. Unless you need something bigger sick with the SX4, this summer gas is supposed to be back up into the $3 range. That being said if you need a bigger vehicle to carry extra cargo/people around I would go with the Toyota or one of the GMC’s, don’t get a minivan they may have somewhat better fuel economy but that is negated by their higher repair costs.

  2. How about getting a slightly smaller, Like the Kia Borrego or a Kia sorento. Those are very good suv’s and make better gas miliedge. ;-)

  3. Only buy what fits your needs! Not based on your neighbors. Minivans are way better people movers than SUVs are but they don’t tow well.If you need what an SUv offers go big (3 rows) or you will soon be lamenting the purchase. Suburban in my yard along with a Civic.

  4. Why get something to keep up with the Joneses? If the SX4 is all you need, keep it. If you want something bigger, get a minivan or something. Most of the older SUVs you’re looking at were not made to drive around suburbia.

    Or, you could buy a brand new Yaris 3-door and give them something to talk about!

  5. Global Warming issue is major linked to Greenhouse Gas Emissions –

    b- Also, regardless of fuel cost, we have all forgotten about 9/11. It is absolutely true that we are funding terrorism largely through our fuel consumption.

    Still, I totally sympathize with wanting something with more curb appeal – something more fun to drive. You can get a lot for your money right now on a 10k budget — what about 2001-2003ish Bmw 3-series awd, Audi quattro, also, Infiniti G-series awd ?– all of these get far better gas mileage and the BMW and Infiniti have far better re-sale values. Regarding your list, I’m not sure about the Volvo, but I know re-sale on any of those domestic SUVs are awful.

    Just some suggestions for something nice that you can still sleep at night:)

  6. To tgriffith,

    DON’T DO IT!
    I definitely feel your pain as far as driving a Suzuki, but I can assure you that you are the smart one and your neighbors are the fools and here is why…

    1- The price of Fuel will indeed increase again if for no other reason than the fact that the USD is expected to depreciate.

    a-“Global warming is expected to cause the sea level along the northeastern U.S. coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century”

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