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Smaller Car - Did you regret the purchase?
Old 09-06-2019, 05:21 AM
  #1

I have been driving a minivan for about 13 years. This fall I am considering buying a smaller vehicle but fear I will regret my purchase. Currently, I drive a Toyota Sienna and am considering a Toyota RAV 4.

So, did you downsize your ride and then regret the decision?


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Old 09-06-2019, 05:30 AM
  #2

I didn't, but I went from toting around car loads of kids to not having to do that anymore.

I do have a wagon sized vehicle now that I can load a ton of stuff in. It sure comes in handy and I love driving it.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:45 AM
  #3

I would think about how many kids you still need to haul and how much stuff you need to haul. If the answers to both would be not very many/much, then I would lead toward downsizing a car.

We comfortably worked in smaller cars until the kids got a little bigger and dd started needing more medical equipment. Now we need a minivan and likely will for a very long time. But I could see downsizing once the kids are off to college and dd may have a wheelchair that collapses better.
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Rav4
Old 09-06-2019, 06:23 AM
  #4

DH really wanted a RAV4 so we purchased one about five years ago. I disliked it the first time we took a trip in it. Iím tall (5í8Ē) and the passenger side was so tiny. The ride was really bumpy because itís on a short wheel base. The road noise is louder than other cars weíve owned.

Itís handy to carry large items in the back and we get pretty good gas mileage. Weíve had no issues with unexpected repairs so itís reliable. Itís comfortable to drive and very stable in snow and rain.

Still... Iím anxious to replace it.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:24 AM
  #5

Good advice from others about evaluating what you need to carry. I went from a minivan to a Honda Pilot, then downsized to my Subaru Forester. I love my Forester! Once I got used to the smaller size and figured out how to put my groceries efficiently in the trunk, it was no problem. I just can't carry pieces of furniture like I could in the Pilot! You will probably love the easier parking and maneuverability.


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Old 09-06-2019, 06:42 AM
  #6

I went from a four door tundra to a scion tc after I no longer had to haul around kids and their crap.

I loved it. Now I'm considering something smaller.
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Drove three different versions
Old 09-06-2019, 08:46 AM
  #7

of a Dodge Grand Caravan and a full sized van. When the kids moved out and I reached 200,000 miles on my Caravan, I gave it away and bought a Honda CRV. I love my CRV. It gets great gas mileage, travels well (It's a 2015 with currently 97,000+ miles on it)

It's a good height for my aging knees and back. Mine had the keyless ignition, side and rearview cameras, and bluetooth, all of which I didn't have before.

We've put large items in it, including a boxed dishwasher.

Every once in awhile we have grandkids visiting and could use the extra room. We just take two vehicles. It's not ideal, but considering that most of the time I'm just driving myself and/or husband, it's plenty of car.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:10 AM
  #8

No, I went bigger and can't imagine going back to smaller and I'm a single person without kids. I used to have a 2-door coupe then went to a compact SUV and I think this is the size I'd LOVE to stay at. I also like sitting up a little higher.

Last edited by MAsped; 09-06-2019 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:19 AM
  #9

I'm pretty much the opposite of MAsped. I drove a Plymouth Voyager (we had 3 kids, and usually one or two extras), then went to a mid size car, then to a Pontiac Solstice (tiny little 2 seater) back in 2006. Still have that car, still love it! We do have a Hyundai Sonata too, and rent a larger SUV when kids come visit, but I still love driving my little convertible. When it dies I'll get another 2 seater.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:27 AM
  #10

I went from a mini van to a Mazda CX5 (same class you're looking at) about 6 months ago. I admit I had a few moments. In general, I'm thrilled to have a smaller vehicle. However, I had to learn to remember to duck my head when getting in. I also had to get used to my groceries etc. taking up all the space. I had plenty of space, but I was used to extra space so it felt "crowded" even though it was fine.


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Old 09-06-2019, 09:41 AM
  #11

I went from a minivan to a Subaru Outback. I love my Outback but I do sometimes miss the size of the minivan, especially when the grandkids are visiting. I do not miss trying to park the minivan though.
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Smaller car
Old 09-06-2019, 10:58 AM
  #12

Iím with MAsped. Iíve been driving a Honda CR-V for 8 years and drove a mini van prior to that. Itís been a fantastic car but next time Iím going a bit bigger. Iím done hauling kids around too but still thinking about buying the next size up and going with a Honda Passport next time. Definitely wouldnít go smaller. Good luck making your decision.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:01 PM
  #13

I traded in my Toyota Camry for a Honda CRV four years ago. I don't miss my bigger vehicle and adore my current one.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:31 PM
  #14

I went from a minivan to a a prius, so I went much smaller. I bought a roof bag for our yearly trip to the beach as I no longer have as much room. The prius does have a fairly roomy trunk and the back seats go down. I'm happy to have gone smaller.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:39 PM
  #15

I had twins and we never went the mini van route. We went the midsize SUV route with a RAV, then a Forester, but always had a sedan like a Corolla. We are now empty nesters and have a Nissan Sentra and a Mazda CX-5.
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Car
Old 09-06-2019, 01:59 PM
  #16

We went from a mini-van and a truck to a Honda CVR and a Rav4, both the same size. I love them. I donít feel like Iím driving a tank but Iím still up higher. We are both tall and itís easier to get in and out of the SUVís than it would be to get out of a car.
The minivan and truck were great for hauling kids, sports equipment, and moving them back and forth from college but we donít need that anymore.
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smaller car
Old 09-06-2019, 02:28 PM
  #17

I don't regret my decision at all! In fact, I've even said I wonder why it took me so long. I drove a minivan (well, several) for 24 years while my children were younger. I downsized a few years ago to a Lincoln MKZ and I love my car! No regrets here!
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:20 PM
  #18

Iíve never driven a large suv or minivan. Iíve been driving suburuís since the 70ís. Why? The most dependable car out there! Love my forester. Perfect size, little maintenance required. Try a suburu, you will not be sorry.
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Prius
Old 09-06-2019, 03:24 PM
  #19

Went to a Prius and am so glad I did! The savings in gas really stacks up! It kind of pays for itself. Is it super comfy or fancy or quiet? Nope. But I can fill it for about 25 dollars and drive for so long that I, for fun, try to remember the last time I bought gas.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:29 PM
  #20

I have a Toyota CHR, and it is small! but big enough to squeeze three carseats in the backseat (for grandkids).

Unfortunately (for the car situation only) ds2 had twins last January. So now we are considering getting something larger with 3 seats to accommodate 5 catseats.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:07 PM
  #21

I've never downsized, but always have hatchbacks or smaller sedans. Love them! We have two kids and two dogs and no issues with a hatchback. We travel, hike, and go on day trips and I've never wanted a bigger car. Hatchbacks are my favorite!

I've driven larger cars and minivans as rentals and always miss my smaller car. I never enjoy having a large car.
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