Okay, with that in mind and moving right along these are my top 3 van choices.
The Chevy/GMC van is old school, but it does have a powerful and proven drivetrain. For real interior volume and diesel mpg frugalness the Transit and Mercedes lead the way.
2015 Ford Transit Diesel
2015 MB Sprinter Diesel 4x4
Chevy Full Size Van with Duramax Diesel
Favorite SUV - I prefer Volkswagen's all around fit and finish over SUV rivals from BMW and Mercedes. It's a safe rig to drive and it has good off-road capability. Although, with that said, none of these 3 options are bad.
VW Touareg TDi
Best All-Around Car for the Northwest:
As a former Subaru fanatic I will try to Forget Subaru's silly (XV Crosstrek Hybrid) fuel savings attempts that save a measly 2-3 mpg & cost thousands more to purchase. The BMW 325XD offers All Wheel Drive performance and a turbo diesel powertrain. BMW delivers what Subaru could not, and near the price of a loaded Subaru! The bottom line is that the difference in purchase or lease price is negated even more as you drive the BMW. This is especially true comparing a Subaru returning around an actual 28 mpg highway, verses 50 miles per gallon on the highway for the diesel BMW.
The Sequoia is still my favorite Full-Size SUV, since no one currently offers a diesel in this market segment. The Toyota Sequoia isn't cheap, except maybe when viewed from the long-term, with years of trouble-free use, versatility and excellent safety. Toyota offers an optional TRD Supercharger kit for the Sequoia SUV and the Tundra pickup V-8 that move horsepower from 381 to just over 500hp, Woa!
With Ford introducing more aluminum to their trucks the payoff will be in better fuel milage, less drive train wear and tear and better corrosion resistance. At the time I'm writing this the best fuel mileage for any full-size pickup is the Ram diesel at 29 mpg.
One could buy a new Ford F-150, benefiting from some fuel savings thanks to the increased use of aluminum (with a weight savings of around 200 pounds) or one could buy a diesel truck that provides consistently better mileage regardless of what you are hauling and more torque. Hmm, weight savings of one passenger or better overall fuel mileage and torque?
Nissan has released the cat out of the bag, showing off their all new Titan V-8 powered Cummins diesel 1/2 ton on Jan 12, beating Toyota to the punch. It appears that Nissan has done their homework and has chosen out of the parts bin wisely. This may be the cat's meow if you want to tow with a half-ton truck. Nissan says the Diesel Titan will be available for purchase late 2015. I'm excited to learn more.
Favorite Full-Sized Truck:
2015 Ford F-250/350 SD Diesel
2015 Nissan Titan w/Cummins Diesel V8
Why does conserving fuel need to feel like your sacrificing something? The answer is, it doesn't. When the price of fuel drops do you consider driving something different? Most economy cars are driven first because they are only cheaper to operate, but are not enjoyable to drive for any other reason. Diesel cars from most of today's manufacturers are more enjoyable to drive than hybrid versions and yet still deliver real, appreciable fuel mileage.
Favorite Fuel Sipper: NEW 2015 VW Jetta Sedan TDi,
& All New 2015 Golf Sportswagen TDi
The new VW Jetta has improved power and fuel mileage for 2015. The 2015 Jetta wagon will be named after the Golf this time around, (as it is in Europe). The new Golf TDi wagon will be roomier and will also have improved mileage over the 2014 Jetta Sportswagen TDi . The Golf Wagon should be available early in 2015.