When we moved to Ghana in 2011 our generous supporters (you) gave us money to buy a vehicle. We bought a very nice 2004 Corolla for a great price. It has served us well with one exception, it limits where we can go. Even in the capital city, Accra, there are streets where we need to go which are impossible for the trusty Corolla. It also prohibits us from visiting language areas where translations are still needed. On the other hand, we love the fuel economy of the Corolla.
We think that we have found the perfect kind of vehicle for us, a small SUV. It would get good fuel economy and yet have enough ground clearance for rough roads. Importers bring in used ones from Japan and some are available from private parties. We thought we could find a low-mileage, recent model year for about $21,533, including taxes and registration.We are so pleased to announce that you have kindly donated $21,516! THANK YOU!
After a few weeks of used car shopping (not the most fun of experiences) we found a 2012 Hyundai IX35 for $21,963 (including taxes and registration) – only $447 more than the amount you have so kindly given. The extra $447 got us a vehicle three years newer than we had hoped to find in our price range. God is good! Here it is parked next to the Corolla (which has now been sold). While the all-wheel-drive will be useful from time to time, the ground clearance is useful every day. One of the biggest issues with the Corolla was the longish, low front overhang. It would plow into the road when the a front tire went into a hole. We tore the inner fender lose several times and loosened the fender and bumper more than once. As you can see in the photo (the red Corolla in front and the grey IX35 behind), the IX35 has a short overhang and it is much higher. I don’t want to think about the size of hole which would cause it to scrape the ground!
The IX35 is a model not sold in the US, I think. It is roughly equivalent to the Hyundai Tuscon, and the Toyota RAV4. We believe that it will serve us for many years. Thank you again for your support of our ministry, and of the bibleless peoples. May the Lord bless you richly for it.
Why this vehicle? About 10 percent of roads in Ghana are paved. So there are many places, even in the capital of Accra, you can only get to on unpaved roads. Those do not always require four-wheel drive, but they are often rough enough that a sedan, such as our Corolla, does not have enough ground clearance. Unpaved roads can deteriorate rapidly in heavy rains, which are frequent during some times of the year.
Fuel Economy: We had originally planned on buying a small diesel. But we simply could not find one. The IX 35 should get around 21 mpg in town and 30+ on the road. That is down a little from the Corolla.
Is this vehicle sturdy enough? If we lived in a rural area with very bad roads, this vehicle would not be sturdy enough. But we will use it on a mix of paved and unpaved roads. Also, a vehicle sturdy enough to use constantly on unpaved roads would be more expensive to buy and to operate. We believe that this model is the right compromise for us.
How will we use it? We will use this vehicle to visit areas which need translation projects and to visit areas where translation projects are stalled or need specific support. In town, we will use it to carry out our ministry, and for personal transportation. Having this vehicle will allow us to accomplish our goals quicker and even at less cost, in the end.
Could we import a vehicle from the US? Colleagues have imported vehicles themselves (rather than have a dealer import it), and spent more money than they would have working through a dealer. Plus it entails more work. Also, there can be a problem getting parts for US vehicles.