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What car do you have?

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by Blur2713 Blur2713 (New) New

I'm going to be buying a used car in the next few months. I have a 2003 mustang that is terrible on gas with 147,000 miles on it. I'm scared it wont make it from Vermont to California.

So my question is what would y'all recommend? I always seem to load my car full of stuff but trying to pack light this time. Is there an "ideal" travel nurse car? I'm currently in Vermont, which had snow when I arrived in March. My mustang did not do well in snow. I don't plan to go back up to the northern states, but I never know where I will go. Psych openings are limited so I'm not to picky.

My dream has been to go to California, and after waiting almost 5 months to get my liscense, I'm ready to go. Also looking for a travel buddy. I'll be done in Vermont in December and looking to go to Cali in January 2015.

Any tips, comments, suggestions on a great vehicle for travel or California would be most apprieciated.

Well, a Prius has much better gas mileage, and much more room. 4 wheel drive vehicles are overrated mostly. Only if you are stuck are they any good. At speeds over one mile an hour, front wheel drive cars (or old VW bugs) are just as good. Subarus are the value pick for four wheel drive, but only this year have they started getting better than low 20mpg (except 80's cars and earlier - I owned a 1979 rare front drive only that managed 30mpg). So you would have to buy a new one.

Personally, I have a 2001 PT Cruiser. Pretty bad in the snow, in part due to poor clearances and really primitive traction control but I survived a full rural New Hampshire winter in it. Also poor mileage in my opinion at 28 overall (stick shift, mostly highway). The rear seats are removable (took them out the day I bought it and they are still in my garage), and it will swallow two bicycles, all my stuff, and still have room to sleep fully stretched out. Pretty good for a car smaller than the Dodge Neon it is based on. So I use it for a hotel room whenever and wherever I get tired. But honestly, the increased mileage of a Prius would pay for hotel rooms driving across country.

We have a 2011 Subaru Outback. If you use non-ethanol gasoline, you can get 30+ mpg on the highway. Also has great cargo room. I am personally using our minivan right now though, also with non-ethanol gas as much as possible.

Oh, and we've already put about 130,000 miles on the Outback. Still runs great, just have to keep up with the maintenance. We also put Michelin Defenders on all of our vehicles. They're rated up to 80,000 miles and great for different types of weather.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Nissan Altima.

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

Subarus are not 4 wheel drive they are all wheel drive ( yes there is a difference) and they do a great job at keeping you from GETTING stuck. I'm on my third Forester and all of them have been terrific. Tons of cargo space, excellent handling and amazing visibility. Not to mention how reliable they are.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Subarus are not 4 wheel drive they are all wheel drive ( yes there is a difference) and they do a great job at keeping you from GETTING stuck. I'm on my third Forester and all of them have been terrific. Tons of cargo space, excellent handling and amazing visibility. Not to mention how reliable they are.

I believe it. Everyone says buy a subaru, you won't be disappointed.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

I have a Chevy HHR. Good mileage - avg. 33 mpg hwy when loaded with all my stuff. It holds all my belongings easily with the fold down seats having different configurations - split back seat and passenger front can go flat. Haven't had any problems driving in any kind of weather.

Pat_Pat RN

Specializes in ER, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

When I started doing home health, I bought a very used Subaru Impreza. Other than having to put a new motor in it (my fault) it has been a great car. The AWD is awesome, haven't gotten stuck in 2 years driving on our country roads before they were plowed.

I'm sold on Subaru.

Underthemoonicp6

Specializes in ICU. Has 4 years experience.

I'll buck the trend here a little bit. I recently bought a new car and while I was close to getting the Subaru Forested, I went with the new Jeep Cherokee. To me it was a more comfortable ride and a very intuitive technology system to keep you entertained for the long hours on the road.

The vote stands at:

Subaru - 5 fear of stuckness primarily, but love the reliability (I sold mine with 225 thousand and still going strong - I still miss it)

PT Cruiser (and knock-off HHR) - 2 all about space

Nissan Altima - 1 no reason given but I'd bet on comfort

Jeep Cherokee - 1 luxury

The last two give some credence to the rich travel nurse rumor! But I'm sure that travelers have the same cars as the general public. I've met several travelers with pickups (usually with shells that are occasionally used to sleep in). Lots of SUvers, just like the general public and perhaps women. I'm sure the RVers will weigh in as having the ultimate travel vehicle.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

I am not a travel nurse but drive 100-200 miles per day. I have a 2014 subaru outback that I bought new 13 months ago, now with 42,000 miles on it. I live in central IL drive thru up to 23 inches of snow in rural areas with absolutely no problems. Third Subie I've owned and love them...30 mpg

eager1hasbegun

Specializes in L&D, Mother/Baby. Has 7 years experience.

The last two give some credence to the rich travel nurse rumor!.

Lol. Ned you might wanna look up the cost of those vehicles. You don't need to be rich by any means to afford them (especially as a traveller without a tax home). Now, I've seen some nurses with Lexuses, Benzes, and Audis. Those are the ones that reinforce certain peoples' ideas of all nurses being rich!

You are right! Much lower cost than I thought.

Chisca, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 37 years experience.

Saab. Front wheel drive so it's good on snow. They have a bad reputation from people not maintaining them but as long as the previous owner has service records and changed the oil every 3,000 miles they are great bargains. My daughter has a 2002 9-3 with 130,000 miles that I picked up for 3K. The car rides like new. Again, make sure the previous owner has all maintenance records.

Love those old Saab two strokes!

These are all great suggestions. I really wanted an Infiniti coupe but am looking around more before making a decision. I think the most important factors will be good gas mileage and space. A great, loud audio system is a must. Thanks for all that responded.

ERpinup

Specializes in Emergency. Has 9 years experience.

I have a NIssan Rogue. Great room for packing up things and it is good on gas! Very comfy!