Good News, Bad News

The good news?  I just scheduled the last payment on my 2004 Avalanche.

The bad news?  The extended warranty has now expired.

Over the past year I’d been considering whether to trade in the Avalanche on something else, but I dithered too long and the market for used SUVs (or SUV-like vehicles in the case of the Avalanche) collapsed, meaning that I wouldn’t get enough in trade to make it really worthwhile to go through the hassle (at the low point, the difference between what I owed and what I expected to get would have only been $2-$3K). 

While it’ll be nice to have the money to apply to other stuff, I worry about not having a warranty, especially given how expensive it is to repair even the simplest thing on these vehicles.  But regardless of that, in the current uncertain economic climate having a paid-off vehicle is not something to take for granted.  As for my desire to get a vehicle that would be more dog-friendly, I’ll probably take another look in the late spring or early summer to see what’s out there.  And rather than trade the Avalanche, if I get anything new, I’ll just lease or buy it separately.

On the upside of this, though, is that having the Avalanche means that anything new that I get could be smaller and/or less expensive, since the Av could handle any towing or hauling needs.  What I really want is something sort of van-like with an upright seating position and a rear loading floor that is as low to the ground as possible to allow for easy dog entry and egress (something of a cross between a Scion xB, a Honda Element, and the latest Chrysler minivans).  I’ve looked at the Ford Flex as well as the Chevy Traverse, and both have high rear bumpers with a drop down to the floor.  Why is it that everything these days has such a high rear entry (as well as that annoying “lip”)? 

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