Way on back in 1997, my mom bought a Toyota Celica convertible as a reward after many years of minivans and large sedans for kid-schleping duties. Those days were coming to a close, so she finally got a car like she always wanted.
One year later, a car turned left in front of her and the car was a complete loss. She was injured, but recovered. She decided her next vehicle would be large to better protect her in any possible future accident.
She bought a new 1998 Dodge Durango. That SUV served the family well. It took me and my siblings to college and back, was used as the Christmas tree delivery wagon, was used to tow, haul, go offroad...everything. It eventually was relegated to third car status once we all moved away from home and my mom got a new E-class, but it was still there as the all-purpose utility wagon.
Well, earlier this week my dad was using it since he had to take garbage to the dump. On his way back, a Tahoe turned left right into the side of the Durango (the very kind of accident that caused us to get a the big SUV in the first place!) So, after 11 years and 130,000 miles of service, the Dodge was totaled out by the insurance company.
My dad now is the one with the small convertible (SLK 55 AMG), and once again my mom wanted to get a large car to keep him safer than the convertible would.
So..........................the search was on.
They wanted something relatively large and roomy, reasonably rugged, 4WD/AWD, and with decently good fuel economy.
My dad's first choice was the GL450 BlueTech, but those were a bit too spendy. Then he looked at the Grand Cherokee. THEN, he called me to say he was going to the Honda and Toyota dealers to look at Pilots and Sequoias.
I had to do something. So I pleaded the 2mode Hybrid's case, we discussed the merits, costs, rebates, availability, and packaging.
In the end, he decided it was a better choice than a Honda Pilot. (I called the car company and told them he was going to buy a Pilot if they didn't do something about it, and they found an additional $750 rebate for him (on top of the $4,500 factory rebate), which helped). After much, MUCH online searching of dealer inventory, precisely 30 hours after the accident, they bought the SUV.
They took it home today:
399hp, 390lb-ft, 20/22mpg, and it's a Hemi!!
The Tahoe/Yukon were immediately deemed unaccepable due to the non-folding flat third row (GM short-changed the GMT900s, and it continually costs them sales). So, that's why they didn't get one (I know those comments are coming).
So far, they love it. The backup camera, navigation system, real time traffic, Bluetooth, music hard drive, iPod interface, and electric propulsion have them all excited.
As far as we could tell, it was the last one on Long Island. My dad like the Aspen better, but the only hybrid ones within driving distance were demos. My mom ended up not liking the "wood" grain in them, anyway, so that worked out.
I guarantee they won't be seeing another one on the road anytime soon. I think they only made them for a month before production in the Delaware plant was permanently idled.