Ask Paul Archive - January 2012

Q: I'm a single mom of 3 kids who is about to ditch my 2005 Honda Odessey with 157,000 miles. Car is fine, I just want something not a minivan. Hence my issue - how can I search vehicles by # of people they hold and mileage? I don't know what type of car I want - I just need it to seat 7, ideally 8 people and want somewhere close to 19 mpg. Suggestions?


Kelly, I don’t know of a “not minivan” that’ll hold 7-8 people unless you look at a (probably) much lower MPG utility vehicle like an Explorer, Acacia, etc. And while search engines we can construct have been somewhat unified in how they filter a search, what you’re asking for is for it to do ALL of the research for you. It’d be nice, but a data nightmare for some poor IT director. You’re asking for a combo of ingredients in what you want that’s akin to a “really tasty, lean rib-eye on the bone that only costs $1.95 per pound.” As much as I’d like to say, “Oh THAT car, of course!” I can’t, as it basically doesn’t exist. I wish I had a better answer for you, but I think you have to decide if what you want for dinner is fish or fowl and there’s no combo platters allowed. Rethink it and perhaps write me back and we can zero in on something for you that’d work. Better yet, unless your need is really immediate, come to the auto show, plan on a few hours to walk the floor and see if something strikes your fancy.