...and even my wife told me to try to buy it from the rental company when I turned it in. So I tried. They put me in contact with their sales rep, who asked when I'd be interested in buying one. When I said "I want the one I just dropped off", they didn't seem to know how to deal with that.
I normally drive a 2001 VW Eurovan MV weekender, which is a great camping vehicle. It's got 167K miles on the body and transmission, and ~35K on a new engine. It was in the shop when I needed to go on this trip, so my wife thought I should rent a car instead of driving it before the worn suspension components were replaced up front. There were about 3 cars in the rental lot when I went in last Friday. They'd just finished washing a Chevy Cruze for me, but I saw the TC off to the side and told them I wanted to try one of those out.
I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the performance and comfort for long distance driving (on one day, I had to drive 700 miles). The family was with me the first day for a wedding we attended about 4 hours away, and they all liked the comfort. I loved the color, even (Race Red). It had the glass panorama roof and leather buckets in all three rows. It didn't have the larger touch screen though, but since I've never driven one of these before, I didn't know what I was missing and wasn't disappointed. The mileage was terrific for such a roomy vehicle. Worst tank was 23.75, coming back from Delta, Utah to where I next bought gas in Las Vegas, with a strong headwind most of the way. Best tank was going north to Salt Lake City with a tailwind, at 29.3mpg. For comparison, my 24-valve VR6 Eurovan gets about 19.5 mpg on a good day on the highway, and about 13 or 14 mpg driving it to and from work on surface streets... ...and only burns ethyl.
I've not tried the ecoboost version of the TC, of course, but I would prefer something like that if I can get one in the LWB version. I see on some of the threads here that it is available for the LWB cargo van, so I'm wondering if I can buy one of these and add at least the 2nd row of seats for carrying family members. Or, maybe better yet, are there plans for camper conversions of these vans that I can follow to make my own convertible seat-bed or camper interior?
TIA for any suggestions. I'm going to keep browsing for low-mileage used vehicles (first choice to keep costs down), but might consider new if I can find one rigged out the way I want it.