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New car recommendations wanted! (1 Viewer)

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
The lease on my Explorer expires in three months. I'm leaning towards purchasing my next vehicle because I don't put many miles on them, average 9k-10k mi annually.

I've owned several SUVs and have been relatively pleased with them until my current Explorer. Its a 2001 and is a POS. With 16k miles it rattles like a 10 year old yard truck!

I need something with four doors that will seat a minimum of four ADULTS comfortably. It does not have to be an SUV. Cost is not a major concern, but I would like to keep it under $40k. I would like to keep the vehicle a minimum of four years.

I plan on test driving the following vehicles soon:

2002-3 Acura TL Type S
2002-3 Acura MDX
2003 Ford Expedition

My wife already owns an MDX. We have been very happy with it. It seems to be the perfect blend of minivan/suv while remaining very comfortable.

Any other recommendations? Keep in mind four doors and four adults!
 

Peter Kline

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 9, 1999
Messages
2,393
Dennis,
Test drive a 2002/2003 Passat. I have a 2002 and the quality is highest rated. Seats 4 comfortably and comes with safety features most other cars have as extras. You can get a 4 cylinder GLS with Tiptronic (auto/manual), a 6 cylinder GLX with Tip or an 8 cylinder with auto (manual coming in September). Price is from appx 24,000 to 35,000. All-wheel drive is available on the GLX and 8 Cylnder. A GLX wagon is also very nice and available with all-wheel. Now the question of relability. I've had my Passat for a year with absolutely no problems. These cars are bargins compared to Audi (a cousin) or BMW/Mercedes. Build and parts quality are exemplary.

Peter
 

ikiru

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 1999
Messages
138
Nissan Pathfinder. My wife owns one (actually we both do, but if you ask her, its her's) and it is a very nice vehicle. I like it because it has plenty of power, comfortable ride, and handles like a car (stiff suspension, not bouncy all around like a truck).

Good Luck!

-ikiru
 

Tony_Faville

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 1, 2000
Messages
519
I would recommend the Passat as well. Whether it be the sedan or the wagon. I am a big guy and my wife and I comfortably ride in the back of my buddies wagon quite frequently.

Not only that but they are just quite luxurious all the way around.
 

PatrickM

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 10, 2000
Messages
1,138
Look at the new A4 3.0. The back seat has decent leg room but the overall car is a little bit narrow but not uncomfortable and it handles very well. I'd also recommend looking at the S60 in either T5 or AWD form. I own the S60 AWD and its great. As an aside, Volvo came in 5th on the most recent JD Power's Initial Quality Survey. It was the first European make after four Japanese ones. (Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Toyota then Volvo in that order.)

Another vehicle is the G35. Very nice vehicle and cheaper than the A4 or the S60.

Patrick
 

Derek Williams

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
58
I would recommend a VW Passat wagon if need the utility of an SUV. The Passat sedan is nice, for a little more sport/luxury go with the 02 Nissan Maxima SE (255 HP + 6-speed trans) is the best bang for the buck. If performance/AWD is important go with the WRX available in both wagon and sedan.
For luxury brands the Audi A6 wagon/sedan is slightly larger than the Passat, but the build quality, interior pieces and service tend to be better than a VW. I like Lexus at this price range based on the fact you get a lot of car for the money but they donÕt really have anything special out right now.

Derek Williams
01 IS300
86 Shelby GLHS #476
 

Jared_B

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
580
If you like the MDX, try a BMW X5 3.0i. While the MDX is a blend of minivan/suv, the X5 is the perfect blend of sport sedan/suv. Deals are easier to find now, and you should be able to snag one for under 40K.

If you’re thinking about the TL-S, at least test-drive the BMW 330I. It is comparable in size with the TL, but is faster, more luxurious and handles better. If the 330i and TL are too small, try the 530i. It’s very luxurious while still being sporty, and holds 4 people with lots of room to spare.

If squeaks and rattles annoy you like they do me, you should steer clear of anything domestic. They just haven’t figured out how to build cars like the European/Asian companies.
 

Todd Hochard

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Jan 24, 1999
Messages
2,312
I have a 2002 TL-S, and I love it. The power is quite nice, and it can seat four 6'+ people comfortably (I did this just last week, going to see SW:AOTC). It is a very nice, quiet road car, that has an abundance of power when you need/want it. As you know, you get 4 year/50000 mile bumper-to-bumper with any Acura.
The Audi A4 and BMW 3xx series don't have the room you're looking for, IMO. My friend's A4 leaves me (6'1") feeling a bit cramped in the back. I guess you could say that the BMW handles better than the TL-S under track conditions, but in the real world, is it necessary? It's not like the body roll or understeer is excessive, and the VSA (anti-lock brakes and Yaw control) might actually be useful up North in the winter. Not sure I'd want a RWD in Michigan, either.
I've owned it a year (11K miles), and I've had no issues with it. You should be able to pick one up in the $29xxx range, and the car comes one way- loaded. Navi is the only option (but no self-respecting real man would need that;) ).
Todd
 

ShawnF

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 5, 2001
Messages
70
I purchased a a Passat GLS Wagon last week. Drives great. Couldn't be happier. You get alot of car for your money. Good luck!
 

Scott Merryfield

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Scott Merryfield
If you have a $40k budget, you may want to look at the new Volvo sedans. If you have access to a Ford employee discount plan, you can also get a break on the price. The new Volvos were tempting, but I didn't want to spend that much money on a new vehicle. I went with a 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5SE. For $23k, I think the car is a good value.
 

Peter Kline

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 9, 1999
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2,393
We Passat owners shouldn't really be recommending the car. Right now it has one of the best resale in its' price class. If VW sells too many, resale will suffer. Forget we mentioned it Dennis. :D
 

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
:laugh:
Too late Peter! There is a VW dealership less than 10 minutes from my house. I'm calling to see if they have a W8 available to test drive on Saturday!
Keep the recommendations coming...
 

Justin Doring

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 9, 1999
Messages
1,467
If I had $40,000 to spend on a vehicle, I would, without hesitation, get a BMW 330. The 330 comes in sedan, coupe, and wagon configuration, but regardless of which configuration you chose, it's a superb automobile. The BMW 3 Series has been on Car & Driver's 10 Best list forever, and it's the fifth most reliable brand (after Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, and Nissan), according to a prominent survey which slips my mind right now. Resale is also superb. The BMW 3 Series, however, is a pretty small car (probably about the size of a Honda Civic or Accord), and its sportiness may not be for everyone.

If you want a bigger, yet still sporty car, the Infiniti G35 at $30,000 is an excellent buy as well. Build quality, handling, braking, etc. isn't what the BMW is, but it is cheaper, faster, and gives you more room.

If you want an SUV, I'd recommend the Chevy Tahoe.
 

Mike Lenthol

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 28, 2000
Messages
322
Since we are on the subject, anybody know of decent reliability data sources on different models? i.e. not skewed (carreview.com), or any other source that has a financial stake behind ratings, or is simply known to be incompetent(consumer reviews).
 

Peter Kline

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Feb 9, 1999
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MIke,
Consumer Reports has a annual car issue where reliability is rated. It's available on newsstands now, I believe. Also the National Highway Safety Adminstration has various tests. They're the ones you see on news channels crashing cars into posts, etc. You can find them here:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/
 

PatrickM

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 10, 2000
Messages
1,138
Mike, check www.jdpower.com they have some good info. And, according to JD Power the BMW was actually 6th or 7th this year behind Volvo. Still excellent though.
Patrick
 

Philip Hamm

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Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
2002-3 Acura TL Type S
2002-3 Acura MDX
2003 Ford Expedition
Test drive the Expedition. I had a friend who used to own one and we carpooled. I swear that POS had the worst ride of any vehicle I've ever been in. I would literally get sick to my stomache every time he drove it in the carpool. It was the most awful POS vehicle I've ever had the displeasure of riding in. I absolutely hated it.
The TL should suit your needs nicely. Look at the Lexus whatever competes with the TL and the Infinity I35 or whatever also. Since your wife already drives an MDX you may want to look at something complimentary. I'd get a car.
Also, look a the VW Passat. It is an exceptional automobile and very big inside. My fiance just got one and we love it. Also, take a good look at the Audi A6. It's going to be bigger than the others so it will seat four better than anything else that anyone has brought up yet. It's a -very- nice automobile and very beautiful and the safety and security of AWD is nice to have.
Lastly, take a look at the Mercedes C-Class.
And all these cars are available as wagons which add a great deal of utility to the package.
 

Steve Zatkoff

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 1, 1999
Messages
77
We have had our 2001.5 Passat 1.8T for a year now and fall deeper in love with it everyday. No major problems to report and it is among the safest cars to drive in terms of survivability in a collision.
Check out the vwvortex Passat(B5)forum for more information:
http://www.vwvortex.com
Steve
 

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