My mom’s trusty 2001 RAV4 blew its transmission this summer. I let it sit a few months attempting some easy fixes and figuring out what to do next before listing it as-is on Craigslist. After a month or two, it sold for far more than any 20 year old car with 160k miles and no transmission should, but given the market, it was a fair price to all. The market is dumb. No car payment for the past five years has been amazing. This model was known for transmission problems, but had they not occurred I’ve no doubt it would run for twice as long as it did. The buyer’s brother is going to swap in a used transmission so I hope to spot it on the road some day (it’s got a few signature marks I’d recognize).

We likely could have survived with a single car, but Rebecca’s Forester is getting a little long in the tooth, likely won’t fit two kids as well as we’d like it to, we’d like some more safety for the family, and something we can rely on a bit more. We compared the Telluride and the Highlander with the latter winning out by not having an $8k markup, hybrid option, not having to choose whatever happens to show up at the dealership IMMEDIATELY, and not being a Kia. Even for the same price (we ended up saving a large chunk) we’d have likely gone with the Toyota anyway. We couldn’t be happier with the decision to get a Platinum AWD Hybrid in some fancy blue with brown interior. Mia loooooves her some panoramic moonroof and Dad loves him some 35mpg out of an SUV. Car payment though? Ugh.