So it looks like I’m officially in the market for a new vehicle now. We’ve had it narrowed down to a Chevy/GMC Suburban for awhile now, and it’s just a matter of finding a good deal on a used one (and getting affordable financing, but that’s another story). So, LJ friends, gimme the inside scoop. What’s your favorite place – online, published, or brick-and-mortar – to shop for used vehicles in the Southern PA/Northern MD area?
 OMG A giant SUV? Do you hate the environment or something? OK, here’s the deal. My requirements for a family vehicle are simple:
- It must be able to comfortably accomodate 4 adults and 1+ carseat(s), plus a large dog, plus luggage for a week. Periodically we visit family in Florida. Car is by far the most cost-effective way to do it. Our two older çhildren are adult-sized, and we are planning on having more children during the time we own this vehicle. We also like to go camping, which requires even more luggage space. This requirement alone pretty much narrows it down to full-size SUVs and vans.
- It must be able to transport the whole family on a back road in a blizzard. We plan on buying a farm in the country as soon as we are able. PA doesn’t get a ton of snow, but every now and then we get a blizzard, and sometimes bad things happen during blizzards. I cannot responsibly live out in the country without the means to transport my family out in an emergency even in the worst possible weather. This means 4WD, a large engine, and decent ground clearance. At this point it’s pretty much between the Suburban, the Sequoia, and the expedition – and the Suburban has, by several decades, the best track-record.
- It should be a decent farm-utility vehicle. See above re: farm. It needs to be able to haul lumber, plow snow, and pull stumps out the ground.
In other words: I’m buying a full-size SUV for what it is actually meant for, not as some kind of male-enhancement device. I’ll still be commuting (and carpooling) with my little Mazda 3.