Funny how a pair of untimely deaths (actually, timely in this case, 205,000 miles on the Caravan and 91 years on the mother in law) can have such an ultimately beneficial outcome for the living. Circle of Life, and all that.
Long explanation, eh? Cars are my passion. Ask me about them at your own risk.
A 2012 VW Gol sedan. Power steering, Air conditioning, 5 speed, and nothing else, not even a radio. It's my daily driver. I love it. Far more suited to the narrow, congested, potholed streets of Oaxaca than the land-yacht Caravan was. 23 mpg with the A/C on and I still haven't had the opportunity to cruise for more than a few seconds in 5th gear. If you're in the US, the Gol won't be familiar to you as it isn't sold there. Imagine a slimmed down Chevy Aveo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV3rbPd9cLU
For the wife, a 2013 Jetta Sportwagen. 2.5 l, automatic, electric windows, etc. etc. etc. This was a demonstrator that we managed to pry away from the dealer for a very fair price since we were buying two cars from them. Very nice car, plush, roomy, and comfy like the Caravan at a fraction of the mass. I steal it away from my wife whenever a decent excuse to do so arises.
Was driving a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan until it developed a rod knock a couple months ago. Wasn't a big surprise, we bought it in the US for 2 grand, drove it all the way here, and got another year of service out of it. I just wish I hadn't put new tires on it 4 months ago, but whatever. Horrible gas mileage, like 11 mpg. Sold it to my mechanic for 35,000 pesos. Luckily, used cars have much higher resale value here than in the US, especially luxury barges like the Caravan. Wasn't sorry to see it go...wasn't exactly my style.
Coincidentally enough, my wife's mother passed away three months ago (from a massive stroke, not a rod bearing). Wife received her paltry inheritance about the same time the Caravan was on its last legs, so we went to the VW dealer and bought: