The more I think about it, the more I'm more and more leaning toward selling the wife's Camry in a couple of years and going ahead with getting her something that'll work for as long as we can foresee, even if we have to finance some of it. That means an Outback or even a *gasp* minivan. Then in 7-10 years replace my '07 Fit. If we sold the Fit and I took the Camry, I just don't know if it would stand up to many more years of the abuse of my commute without significant ongoing repairs. It's not many miles, but it's really rough on cars. Makes more sense to subject a newer and cheaper one to it. It makes less sense to keep the car that's already costing a few thousand in repairs each year and sell the one that has yet to have a single problem, even if it's too small. You know?
Either way, I just don't see any point in even thinking about doing anything until either the Camry well and truly starts to fail (smoke, shudder, miss shifts, etc), since we're not going to get much for it anyway, or we just cannot live with the Fit and two kids any longer.
I bet we can get at least two more years out of the Camry though. That would be around 200,000 miles on the odometer. Probably still reliable, geven all of the work that's gone into it these past few years. So in two years from now we'd have another $12k saved, if we can continue to save $500 a month, which would put us around $30k cash. We might have to finance $10k if we went with an Odyssey or similar depending on how much we get for the Camry, but we could pay that off in under two years then resume the $500 a month into savings. If we could wait five more years after that purchase, we'd have around $30k to replace the Fit. It has 95k miles now, and in 7 more years it would have only around 180k if I keep driving what I drive now, so maybe I could still get a couple thousand for it.
This is all assuming there are no wrecks, major breakdowns, or change in income.
But that's my thinking as of now.
You know, when I bought the Fit in 2008, I never imagined I would keep it for more than a few years. I had a temp job, which paid quite well, but an old truck that was constantly breakibg down and got 17 MPG on a good day. The Fit was supposed to be a stopgap, not a long-term relationship, much less a family car! And now that I'm making solid money in a good job, have no debt, and am in reasonably sound financial shape, it seems odd that I'm in such a quandary over a $13,000 entry-model econobox with no options and no amenities... but no payment and no problems.