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Best vehicles for families

Every family is different and has different needs when it comes to their vehicles. If you and yours are the outdoorsy types, an SUV may be the best way to go. Urbanites might benefit from a minivan or sedan. Those in between, well, that’s what crossover SUVs are for. The good news is that the days when station wagons were the only choice for families are long gone. The market has responded to these different circumstances with a plethora of shapes and styles to suit virtually any need. Of course, determining the best of these choices is what we do, so we gathered together 23 of the latest and greatest different vehicles from a variety of manufacturers to determine which made the cut. We started with last year’s finalists, and culled those that were either due for imminent replacement, or which had been clearly surpassed by newer vehicles in the segment. To that, we added new vehicles that had come out since last year — including a couple of redesigns — voted on candidates, narrowed the field, carried the one, and ultimately landed on the vehicles you see here.

The final field included three minivans, four compact SUVs, four midsize SUVs, two full-size SUVs, two full-size sedans, and three midsize sedans, the kinds of vehicles that usually come to mind when thinking about family cars. However, this year we also included cars from other categories. First were two full-size pickup trucks, unconventional choices to be sure, but roomy, comfortable, and with seemingly endless cargo space, they were definitely worthy of consideration. On the other end of the spectrum were three compact cars, often the first choice of anybody on a budget.

It came as no surprise that two minivans — the 2015 Honda Odyssey and the 2015 Toyota Sienna — made the family car final cut. The 2015 Nissan Pathfinder and new 2015 Toyota Highlander midsize SUVs also appear on our list of finalists. The Honda CR-V was joined by the new Subaru Outback on our list of small SUVs, and all three midsize sedan candidates — the 2015 Honda Accord, 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and 2015 Toyota Camry — made the cut. The 2015 Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan makes its second appearance, too. In the realm of small cars, both the 2015 Honda Civic and surprisingly flexible 2015 Kia Soul won out. On the other end of the size spectrum, both the 2015 Ram 1500 and new 2015 Ford F-150 full-size trucks we tested were deemed worthy of family duty. Finally, the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe made the list.

Read more here.

Owning a convertible doesn’t have to be expensive

If you’ve always dreamed of driving through the country or along the coast in a cool and classy convertible but assumed that could never be a reality because of price, you could be wrong.

A web site, ClassicCars.com, has picked five used cars that fit the bill for summer fun, mostly small roadsters and under $10,000. Here’s the lineup:

MGB convertible

The MGB is called “every bit as fun and stylish as the pricier British roadsters.” There are many enthusiasts who own them and parts are still available to fix them, which judging from those we know who have owned one, you’ll be doing often. ClassicCars.com says the best years are 1966 or 1967. The 1970s ones are the cheapest.

Triumph TR6

The Triumph TR6 is set apart by what ClassicCars.com calls as “lusty six-cylinder engine.” It says the car has been underappreciated in the last decade, which could help when it comes to price.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Even today, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is still made and has such devoted fans that Mazda has been able to drop the “Miata” part out of the name. It was introduced in 1990 and the early ones are fun because of their hidden headlights.

Read more here.

Planning tips for a perfect road trip

Summer is here which means road trip season is in full effect. Regardless of whether you’re hitting the road with friends or family, planning ahead is  essential.

Road trips—where you take a long car ride and hit many stops on the way—present a unique set of challenges (and opportunities). Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you plan.

Plan your route and stops in advance

You know your destination, but deciding on your route and stops can really depend on your travel style. HowStuffWorks suggests you make sure everyone is on the same page before you leave to avoid being stuck in a car with unhappy passengers for 8 hours a day. If you have to travel with someone who’s style doesn’t mesh with yours, consider planning a shorter trip.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress if you map out how you’re getting to your destination before you leave (obviously). These two services can help you plan.

  • Roadtrippers: We’ve talked about Roadtrippers before. The service uses Google-Maps based directions to lay out your route and helps you find all the stops along the way. You can now save trips and edit them too. With Roadtrippers you can also calculate fuel costs, time, and distance.
  • OnTheWay: Another app we’ve talked about before is OnTheWay, for iOS. The app can show you stops and restaurants along your route, but it can also help you find interesting things like museums, parks, and roadside attractions.

There are a lot of other apps you can use too, but these are two of the best. If you’re interested in some non-road-trip-specific travel planning apps, you can see what else we think is the best.

Get more helpful tips here.

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146 New Harbour Rd.
Blandford, NS
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