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Time for a new car

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by katmu, Jun 26, 2015.

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  1. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    So my mechanic is recommending I trade my car soon. He has repaired a couple of oil leaks and he's thinking I may have bigger problems shortly. It's a 2009 Forester and the boxer engines seem to have this issue. I wasn't originally planning to buy a car for at least a year so now I feel a little under the gun to make a decision. Coupled with the fact that my Autistic son just spent last week in the hospital and is getting ready to move into supported housing next week, I'm not feeling quite as focused on my research as I normally might be.

    I drive 28 miles each way to work in Minnesota so I drive both a lot of miles and in snow/ice for a good part of the year. I have a reverse commute and the last 13 miles are pretty wide open country so there tends to be less than ideal road conditions with blowing snow and it's not always plowed well. AWD is a plus but not an absolute requirement. I tend to generally keep my cars for at least 5 years before I trade. I care that the car is safe, reliable and gets decent gas mileage given how far I drive but I would also like something with a little personality.

    I like the size of my current vehicle, and it works well with the dogs, so I would probably stay with a small SUV. I had a RAV4 as a rental earlier this year and liked it but didn't love it. The IIHS offset crash test worries me a bit though and the mileage wasn't as good as I would have expected. I'm also looking at the CRV. I like the gas mileage and it has better crash test ratings. It feels like a safe practical choice, I'm just not sure if I'm wowed. I also looked at a Mazda CX-5. The crash test ratings were good and gas mileage is ok. I have no experience with Mazdas though. I also ruled out the Escape due to the number of recalls in the last few years.

    My friend who is helping with the car shopping is also encouraging me to look at low mileage, higher end cars that are a few years old like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. I used to own a Volvo so I know to expect higher repair bills with European cars.

    I'm not really a car person so I'm hoping to get some advice on what other VMBers might do in my situation.
     
  2. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    We're Jeep people....wife has a 2014 Grand Cherokee that has that eco boost feature so it gets pretty decent mileage... I have a 2004 Grand Cherokee with full time AWD that suits my purpose as I have a short commute and the dog loves to ride....If not a Jeep I'd maybe go with a Subaru.
     
  3. queuetee

    queuetee High-Roller

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    I have a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Latitude ( smaller than the Grand). We like it. Very comfortable interior and lots of room in the back with the back seats down.
     
  4. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I used to drive subarus (had 2 legacy wagons) and now drive a Lexus. I think the lexus SUVs are overpriced (though very nice!) My lexus IS 250 is 8 yrs old and I worry I'll have to get a new car soon as well, so I've been looking at the new N (based on the RAV4) but it might be too big for me.

    The new Outbacks are almost as big as the old Forrester was, same size as the old Lexus RX too, and the CRV. My sister loves her CRV, and my boss' wife just traded her older Outback for the CRV and is happy. And I have another friend who went from a Volvo to Honda crosstour to an outback and he loves it the best....

    (I'll probably stick with japanese because I've been so happy with them - and my mechanic only does japanese cars, and I've been with my mechanic longer than I've been with my husband - I'm not finding a new one ;-)
     
  5. h0und10

    h0und10 Low-Roller

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    if you drive a new car for 5 years then trade it in, you must be close to always having a car payment? I would suggest leasing something. you can get a rav4, highlander, crv, forester or similar sized vehicles for between 200 and 300 a month. you will NEVER pay for repairs, tires, wiper blades or any of that stuff. plus you get a new car every 2 or 3 years depending on your lease, so you will always stay on top of new safety features, better gas mileage etc.

    -Cheers from duluth!
     
  6. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I was thinking suggesting a Subaru also. It looks like it would fit your driving needs well. My Wife and I own a 2010 RAV4 and while I don't love it (she does) it seems to fit the bill for her.

    I'm like you, Mike. I'm a Jeep man but lean more towards the Wrangler Rubicon. I won't recommend this vehicle to you, Kat. Us "macho" men like to look cool (and uncomfortable, lol!)
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Based on my wife's experience with her 1997 Outback, I bought a 2014 Outback and I couldn't be happier. Early this year we decided it was time to get rid of her 97. I gave her choices, but she wanted another Outback. 2015 and so far no complaints, she really likes it. Too many bells and whistles for me, but I wish my 2014 had the power hatch lift, like hers.
     
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  8. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    The flat 4 subaru engines get better with each version, honestly
    the head gaskets have traditionally been the weak link, not oil seals
    (How many miles are on it btw? )

    having said that, my 2000 Audi S4 is running strong and has been very reliable for 15 years
    but oviously when something goes wrong? Yeah parts are more expensive

    getting a lightly used low mile lease return Q5 would be my preference
    i have 3 friends with them (2 with the diesel engine) and they like them
     
  9. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    The Forester is about to turn 100K. I've liked driving it other than these recent repair issues. I drove Toyotas before that and liked them, I just don't love the RAV4.

    I'm too nervous to lease with the number of miles I drive as I'm definitely over 15K per year as I haven't seen any leases that allow more than that.

    No Jeep Wrangler for me as it might be a little tough for me to climb into and out of in a skirt.

    I really like the interior of the Audi so I think that's part of what's tempting me.
     
  10. Imperial_Palace_King

    Imperial_Palace_King High-Roller

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    Have you complained to Subaru about your issues? Doubt they will do anything, but maybe they can offer a discount on a new one.
     
  11. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    That might be a thought, since the dealer I would use is the same one I used last time.
     
  12. newmans

    newmans VIP Whale

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    I used to have a Lexus RX350. I liked it because it drove like a car, not a truck. I now have an X3. I like it, but it is a bit small. ( I like to put a lot of stuff in my hatch....golf clubs, costco etc). Before I bought my X3, I drove the Q5. There was something odd about the side mirrors for me that put me off the Q5.
    If you don't need the space of a larger SUV, I like the X3.
    (Woman's perspective)
     
  13. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    My sister owns a crv and likes it. Actually she likes it also because it is a standard and not many people can drive it (including her sons, lol). It seems more roomy than the rav4. I have a friend with a rav4 and it is a reliable car but doesn't seem that roomy (as a crv).

    I would recommend trying out all the cars just to get an idea how they ride, drive and feel. I do feel that the Asian models have a better reliability factor and models like the Jeep are a little more expensive than say a Rav4 or CRV (JMHO).

    I drive a lexus RX350. It was hard for me to get used to since I only drove a sedan before that. I scratched my car because I took a turn a little too tight. My old car also was a rear wheel drive so I had to get used to front wheel drive and cornering. I rather have a rear wheel drive because the power is in the back and it was simpler to make turns. I only picked up the RX because we put my mom in a care home and she gave me her old RX with the stipulation that I would use that or get a new SUV so she can easily get in and out of it (she doesn't like sedans). While her car didn't have many miles on it (21k for a 7 year old car) she dented and dinged it a lot and it wasn't in great shape so I traded in that car and my car for a new RX. When my mom passes away I'm not sure if I would stick with the SUV or go back to a sedan. While I got used to the RX I still am partial to zipping around in a sedan but I do like the high up feeling in a SUV.
     
  14. Packer

    Packer VIP Whale

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    All wheel drive Lexus rx 350... Lease it for 2000 drive off, 7500 miles a year, 36 months at 500 a month or less give or take. But it at the end of lease of no accidents and you like it.
     
  15. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I forgot to mention, to many it is easier to just lease the car/suv, especially if it's over $30k. With a general life of a car to be less than 15 years (not including maintenance and repair costs) it may be simpler to pay $200 to $300 a month for 3 or 4 years since that is probably how much you will be paying when you prorate costs of a car you own. Then at the end of the term you either turn it in or buy the car. Most turn it in because then they get a newer car with no worries about problems (since it is still under warranty).

    Of course if you are the type that can fix cars or if you are the type to run your car until it dies then this might not be that great an idea.

    Just a thought.
     
  16. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    I put on more than 7500 miles a year just to work and back though. Will they do a lease for more miles?
     
  17. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    Give the CX-5 another look. Mazdas are quality cars at reasonable prices. Plus you mentioned you wanted your vehicle to have some personality....the Mazda driving experience consistently rates highly among enthusiasts.
     
  18. Packer

    Packer VIP Whale

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    Yes. But if you're going to buy it or even if it's a question you should get the lower miles and I can negotiate with you at the end of the lease on the overage in miles if you turn it in and that sounds like it would be a big if or you can get 10000 12000 or even 15
     
  19. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    It's a cute car and the front seat was better than some for someone my height.

    I'm adding the Lexus to the research list. Leasing might not be bad since I'm not sure how likely it is that I will continue to drive as far as I do now for more than the next year or so.
     
  20. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    My wife's new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport AWD handled the roads here just fine this past winter. Seems like your aiming your budget a bit higher though, but just felt like throwing that out there. Great reliability and safety, but its not fancy like the Lexus, Audi, or BMW.
     
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