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Author: Subject: Car Shopping

True Peach





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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 11:20 AM
Okay, my vehicle (2000 Isuzu Rodeo) that was hit head on last Sunday has been declared a "total". The person-at-fault's insurance has offered me about $4.200.00 to settle. Obviously, this won't buy a new car. It will be a good down-payment on something.

Buying a car has been the furthest thing from my mind. I had taken real good care of my Rodeo. All maintenance was done on schedule and it ran like a sewing machine. I guess I took it for granted, but when I start thinking about it - it's been a real sweet vehicle.

Buying a used vehicle always scares me. Am I getting someone else's problem? If it was a good car, why'd they ditch it?

Anyway, I guess I'll be looking for a new ride.

Since I routinely haul a good amount of camera and video gear, I need to stay in the SUV-compact wagon-mini van realm.

The models I'm considering right now are:

Honda CRV
Toyota Highlander
Toyota RAV
Suburu forester

Do any of you have any experience or knowledge of these models? Any other recommendations?

The models mentioned are more or less in my price range. Models like Lexus, Infinity and all those other "yuppie-a$$ed" SUV's are not in the equation.

Anybody got any ideas?

Thanks!

"Rusty"

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 11:27 AM
Hey Rusty,

I owned a Toyota prior to buying my current truck and if I ever buy another truck it would be Toyota...

I work with several people that own the Highlander and have nothing but good things to say about it...

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 11:44 AM
Rusty, I just bought a 2001 GMC Jimmy from my bank here for $4000. Many banks are selling their repo's. They don't want to send them to auction, and lose. I did a background check on the car, and it was a 1 owner. Like Bluedad, I am a fan of Toyota's too. Check with your bank, and you may get a great deal.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:17 PM
Hey Kevin,

30+ years ago, I probably wouldn't have said that about a Toyota, but they have come a hell of a long way

There is also an internet car finder that will let you choose the model of your car you want, options and the amount of money you want to spend and they will find a dealer that is willing to sell the car you choose.

They send you an email (in a few minutes) listing all of dealers that will sell for the price you want with any options you have selected.... No haggling. You pay the price you want.

I will try and find that site and post a link to it here...

You might have to drive to SC to save a thousand bucks, but I'll buy you lunch

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:22 PM
Found it...

try www.CarsDirect.com

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:26 PM
I know several people who have had bad luck with the Subaru. I haven't bought anything but a Toyota for about 15 years now. They run and run and run and run...not unusual for them to get 300k miles if well maintained. And, if maintained, they never have given me a moment's problem. They're economical and crashworthy.

 

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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:34 PM
Rusty
If you get a chance to get away from Bham you might find some pretty good truck deals. Areas like Bham are so much truck country they still move some with a bad economy and high gas prices. Here in the DC area guys are begging folks to take SUV's off their hands.

Regarding models, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the vehicles you mentioned. The Subaru has the unique thing of having AWD as standard,

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:41 PM
If your parameters include cargo area, but not high ground clearance or AWD, I suggest you think outside the SUV. The cargo area of the CRV to the back seat (35.7) is only 3 cu ft larger than that of a Jetta wagon. When you consider that many wagons and sedans have folding rear seats, there is even more room available for gear.

What you lose in an outdoorsy look, you gain in handling, acceleration and efficiency. On the other hand, there are probably some outstanding deals on SUVs now.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:57 PM
I had a Subaru wagon and loved it, and wouldn't hesitate to get another one, but they can have their quirks too. I didn't have reliability problems with mine, but with the pancake/flat engine design they do have a tendency to burn or use oil. One dealership service dept. I took it to once said he'd never seen one that didn't. You'll also lose a couple MPG's due to the full-time AWD, and AWD vehicles also can have added expense in repairs. That being said, Consumer Reports has consistently rated the Forester a "Best Buy". A friend of mine has a Forester (a 2001, I believe, bought new) and have had no problems with it. And they can haul a ton more than they look like they can, especially with the seats folded down. And Subarus are noted for their safety, in crash testing, as well as the AWD, and the flat engine has a lower center of gravity than "normal" engines, making it less likely to roll over (a concern with SUV's - even smaller ones).

That being said, with rare exceptions, I don't think you can really ever go wrong with Honda or Toyota, although they tend to cost a bit more due to their stellar reputation.

You'd also do far better bang-for-the-buck-wise getting a 2-year old pre-owned vehicle. With any of the three brands you mention (and I'd throw Nissan into that mix), you also are less likely to be buying someone else's problem given their consistently good reliability ratings. If you are concerned, get a $1000-ish warranty (only from the vehicle manufacturer) up to 100k miles and that should counter your fears in that regard, and you still come out ahead money-wise. Most of any car's depreciation is in the first two years, so let someone else eat that, rather than you.

Finally, I'd highly suggest getting the annual Consumer Reports car-buying guide for $10 or $12 and see what they suggest. Most bookstores carry them. That way you can rule out a particular model, or even particular year for a model, if they're known to have specific problems that might be really expensive (e.g., transmission, electrical problems and those sorts of uber-expensive problem areas).

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 12:58 PM
Rusty, this is in your area. I would have bought this in a second. Some great deals on cars there. The link is below with pics.
2004 Nissan Murano - $3860 (birmingham)

Reply to: sale-884026075@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-10-18, 12:07PM EDT



This Murano with 55941 miles is an amazing find! It is the SE model with AWD and all of the trimmings such as Leather, Navigation, Sunroof, Power equipment, and even a Rear Seat DVD entertainment system. This car has it all and attractive styling to boot!


biankablunt8@aol.com
http://bham.craigslist.org/cto/884026075.html

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 04:24 PM
^ bump for Rusty.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 05:55 PM
VOLVO!

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 06:13 PM
Come on guys this is America buy American!!! My last four have been GM products I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado I love to death. And we wonder why the economy has gone to the crapper.

[Edited on 10/18/2008 by phillybob]

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 06:25 PM
Thanks for the advice! Mulehead1, I might contact the guy in the ad you sent. It's a used car, but I guess it woudn't hurt to look.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 07:18 PM
Hey Rusty, here's the link to my dealership. www.jimskinnerhonda.com
If you see something you like let me know.

[Edited on 10/19/2008 by ClayPelland]

 

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 08:05 PM
quote:
2004 Nissan Murano - $3860 (birmingham)


I suspect there's a number missing in there.

[Edited on 10/19/2008 by Zambi]

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 10/18/2008 at 08:06 PM
quote:
Come on guys this is America buy American!!! My last four have been GM products I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado I love to death. And we wonder why the economy has gone to the crapper.


There are many "imports" that are more "American" than many so-called "American" cars. Not saying your Silverado is imported, but a Toyota Camry is more American than a Chevy Malibu.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 12:10 AM
If you have the Honda CRV on your list you should check out the Honda Element. I have owned one for three and a half years and love it. It is very durable, has no carpet and is very tall and can handle all of your gear much better than those other models can. The rear seats fold up to the side very easily giving you plenty of cargo space and the back opens like a clamshell making loading and unloading very easy. The rear passenger doors open up the oppisite way than normal cars giving you even more packing convenience. It has the same exact drivetrain that the CRV has. I was actually shopping for a CRV but changed my mind after checking out the Element at the dealer. A really cool and fun car and cheaper than the CRV too!!! I have never met an Element owner who wasn't totally happy with their choice. If you are a truck man than I think you would love the Element. Happy shopping!!!

RBQD0o-JyoAAGOdn1EAAAAD:20081019051201" target="_blank">http://automobiles.honda.com/shop/?modelName=element&ef_id=1097:3:s_978 298ddd8ae02df8b0ca56b6e9e6186_753090300RBQD0o-JyoAAGOdn1EAAAAD:200810190512 01



[Edited on 10/19/2008 by sixty8]

 

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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 05:14 AM
I've had 2 (turbocharged) Subarus - not a single problem in 12 years. I've kept them maintained by the book. The extra power from the turbo's for overtaking is nice to have up your sleeve, and helps uphold good resale value (if you're a suburban Dad type like me).

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 10:26 AM
quote:
VOLVO!


I second that.

the rear wheel drive turbo charged models of the 90's are a great value.

740 and 940 models. Easy to work on, engine can last over 500,000. and they are cheap to buy.

Need to change the timing belt? simple, plenty of room to get to under the hood.

you can pick one up for less than two grand, and use the extra money on cheap booze and expensive women.

or the other way around.

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 10:42 AM
I'm willing to sell one of my Volvo's cheap. I agree on the the motor. Don't get the turbo though. It's a 2.3L ,4 cylinder, big block, truck motor. they this motor in their cars for 10 years, proof of it's dependability.
I have a classic 1985 740GLE doesn't burn any oil, gets 24 mpg, and is a standard transmission, 5spd. 250,000 miles.
My other is 1993 940 Same motor, Automatic, only difference in the twois the '93 has ABS brakes. This has over 240,000 on it. Both are still going strong. I'd let the '85 go cheap. The '93 at bluebook.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 03:01 PM
Toyota is my pick. Best quality, best resale.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 03:17 PM
Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad you are OK.

Buy used. Loads of cars have been re-po'd and are being offloaded by banks and dealers. People also regularly and mistakenly upgrade their vehicles even though they don't have the money to upgrade. Other people lease ("fleece") new vehicles for 24-36 months. All this makes good used ones available.

You didn't say you were borrowing any $$ to buy new. But, I'm still a fan of the used route even if you have the cash. I've been brainwashed by Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, Thomas Stanley, Charles Givens et al....

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 04:36 PM
Have you thought about a Honda Fit? My wife and I are looking for a "newer" used car, and we have looked at them. Tons of space inside, great fuel economy. More space inside that you would think from a smaller car.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/19/2008 at 11:37 PM
quote:
Finally, I'd highly suggest getting the annual Consumer Reports car-buying guide for $10 or $12



i agree..the toyota rav 4 is a great autp..i bought it after consulting CR

 

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