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Old 12-15-2017, 01:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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Originally Posted by Grant-53 View Post
Any fleet vehicle is judged on fitness for use and average annual cost per year over the vehicle life. Interior space and cargo capacity are given specs. Fuel and repair costs are critical including down time for service and insurance rates. Compare prices of routine maintenance items such as tires and filters. In Vermont things like ground clearance and traction in mud and snow are considerations. Does the heater and defroster heat up quickly? Is there adequate leg and head room? Is that vehicle make or model prone to rust? When I sold auto parts I would check Consumer Reports annual used car charts so I could anticipate what models would need which parts.
Frankly, we're not going much off road in these vehicles. The highways are clear except for a few hours on the worst of days, such that any sedan or hatch is going to be able to navigate it. AWD is a bonus but it isn't going to sway purchase decision.

Headroom and cargo space are major considerations. My boss ruled out just about every sedan, because we have some very tall employees and some of them simply can't sit in the back of a Prius (non-V) comfortably for long periods. The Bolt doesn't carry quite enough in the back. The Prius V he described as "feeling dated and underpowered" compared to the competition.

The top choices right now are the Rav4 and Kia Niro, with a leaning toward the Niro. Kia's warranty largely makes up for the reliability considerations on the transmission, though he tasked me with checking out the reputation of the service department at the Kia dealer. The Chrysler Pacific is a runner-up, but he's thinking he doesn't want a vehicle that large. I'm going to have him sit in a Clarity just for giggles, but it's probably not going to make the list.

It's a shame the plug-in Niro probably won't be available before the federal tax rebate runs out. (?)
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