YACT (yet another car thread)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Leila Dougan, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I'm going to be in need of a new car soon since my '98 Cavalier is starting to really flake out. The problem? I have NO idea what to buy.

    A couple of things:

    - I don't much care for sedans though I'm willing to consider one if necessary. I wouldn't mind a BMW 3 series or Jetta, though.

    - I'm a truck person, really, and have wanted an F-150 for a long time. But am willing to consider other trucks if they are a better value or more reliable.

    - My husband and I are trying to have a little one. The biggest rule is that anything I get must accomodate a carseat safely. I don't like the 4-door trucks, though. I think this pretty much rules out trucks for me. And for cars, I've heard the BMW and Jetta are too small in the back. Anybody have personal experience with this?

    - SUVs, the obvious choice. I do like the Explorer but somehow feel it's overpriced. In fact a lot of SUVs seem to be. I don't want anything big like an Expedition, something Explorer-size would be nice. How is the Chevy Equinox? It's new so I couldn't find much (besides dealer propoganda) about it.

    - Price. I'd like it to be under 30K, but obviously the cheaper the better. I'm not interested in the super-deluxe package or anything like that and am willing to take a base model. My only requirement is tilt wheel. I'm only 5'0" so height adjustable seats would be nice, but I can make do by sitting on a pillow (which I do in my current car). Oh, and cruise control definitely. Anything else is just extra.

    - Safety. I want it to be fairly safe. I don't want anything that got miserable scores on the crash tests. I'm already in a death-box and would like something a little meatier.

    Any suggestions or advice? I haven't actually test driven any of these yet so that's the next step. I just want to be semi-intelligent about the offerings before I step foot in a dealership.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Have you considered a Subaru Outback? I had one for awhile and really liked it. It would be big enough to carry kids around and also give you all-wheel drive, but without the inflated size, cost, and gas prices of an SUV. Lots of people don't like the way they look, but if you think they look OK you should really go test drive one.
     
  3. DrewSmith

    DrewSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    Honda CRV Or Honda Pilot
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Other than being a "truck person" I see no reason there that the SUV is an obvious choice. Wagons and sedans are plenty safe for your kid and shop around, you'll find sedans with backseats that are larger. Outbacks are good, or even something like a Escape, Highlander, Rav4, etc.

    I know two folks who have rolled an Outback (black ice in the Adirondacks) and they both walked away unscathed. That's enough to satisfy me. You probably saw my thread on the '05 Outback. The base and XT sell and invoice under $30k (mostly) and only the H6 models really extend into the $30k+ range.

    Most of the smaller SUV like the Escape would fall under the same range, mid to upper $20ks.

    Philip mentioned too, Subaru is clearing out '04 Outbacks too, nice prices and promotions, if you're not into the more powerful 2.5l turbos in the '05s..

    Jay
     
  5. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I hadn't really considered the Outback but now I'm looking at them.

    Jay, yes I saw your thread and just posted to it. I'll have to see what the current incentives are for the 2004s. Or maybe wait to the 2005s.

    I say that SUVs is the obvious choice because I really dislike how low to the ground I sit in sedans. Since I'm so short, my torso is a good 6" shorter than most people so I sit even lower. My husband drives and Explorer Sport-Trac and I find sitting in that to be much more pleasant than my car. I guess that's my main problem.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The Mercury Mountaineer with its power adjustable pedals seems pretty interesting for that. They come pretty loaded(leather and all the goodies) and you should easily be able to get a gently used one for under $30k(more like 24k).
    I wouldn't touch one for various reasons:
    1. New model means bugs especially with a GM product..
    2. Reliability concerns as its a Gm product..
    3. To me its lacking in the power department for the $$. I prefer the Nissan Xterra(new model coming in 2006) over it.

    Others to consider:
    Toyota 4-Runner. These things last forever it seems. Will probably have to go dealer demo/used but its possible to get one under 30k.

    Lexus RX. Reliable, Safe and oh so comfortable. You really have to drive one to realize how good it is. Will definitely have to go used. Regardless these things last forever.

    Honda Pilot: I like it quite a bit but compared to the above 2 I don't like it as much. If it were about 5k cheaper I'd be more interested...

    Acura MDX: a pricier Pilot and while worth it, you probably won't be able to get one for the $$ you are willing to spend.
     
  7. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    If you would like a truck I can suggest the Toyota Tundra. You should be able to get an Access Cab (extended cab) for just under $25. I bought one shortly before my daughter was born, and have been happy. It was kind of a pain with the carrier, but no problems at all now that she's in the regular seat. I bought it based on reliability, the ride, and safety.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    subaru forrester XT [​IMG]
    works great, lasts long time, and it's turbocharged.
    oh wait, that's what *I'd* buy [​IMG]
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    We have six Ford Econoline fullsized vans at work to transport people to-and-fro.

    given the trouble and maintence of these vehicles I will NEVER buy a new American vehicle for the rest of myt life.

    I'm perfectly happy with my Mitsubishi car and Kawasaki motorbike (I also have owned an American bike which was worse than the American vans).

    In your case I'd consider:

    Full-sized truck: Toyota Tundra

    SUV: Subaru or Honda

    Compact 2 or 4 door: Any japanese

    As for the Jetta: I personaly like the looks of the Golf more. My friend is going to buy a new jetta however and I'll be sure to keep track of anything that gos wrong with it.

    Same friend now has a Hyundai that just got a $500 brake-job [​IMG]. This is the reason he's getting the Jetta, and such i wouldn't recommend a Korean vehicle based on their terrible maintenence costs.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm..not sure which car to recommend, but definitely check out these websites.

    for safety and crash-test ratings:

    insurance instittue for highway safety

    nhtsa

    for car reviews, pricing and purchase strategy:

    edmunds

    edit: my number one tip for new car buying? get your financing approved *before* you hit the lot. that way you can negotiate just the price of the car. it's what i did and believe me, it will make your life much easier. edmunds has some great info on this type of stuff....

    double-edit: congrats on getting a new car. color me jealous! [​IMG]
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Leila,

    As I pointed out in the Subaru thread, the Outback is an amazing car, especially with the H6 engine. Take one for a test drive, and make sure to consider gas mileage of whatever you buy since gas prices are so high. That will probably rule out the bigger SUVs right away, plus Subarus are really fantastic vehicles. Test drive one and see if the back has enough room for you. Even with the somewhat troublesome 2.5L engine the 2004 clearance Outbacks present a really exceptional value. With the new model coming into showrooms now the dealers -really- need to get rid of the old ones.

    If you like manual trannies, Subaru offers a really nice 5 speed.

    Oh, and take the time to test drive the regular Subaru Legacy wagon. It surprised the hell out of me when I tried one, I didn't expect to like it, but I did, and I took it home. Same interior room as the Outback but more comfortable ride, better appearance, and a much cheaper price. You can get home for under $20K easy, nearer to $19 after all is said and done. But if you do any light duty off-roading or dirt roading the Outback is your beast.
     
  12. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    Dodge Magnum wagon or Chrysler 300C sedan, both start in low $20's with V6 engines

    I am in the process of buying a VW Passat sedan, they also have a wagon, highly rated by Consumer reports, only drawback is that they require premium gas unless you find the super rare (only been out 1 month) TDI version like I did

    Toyota camry's are always good cars, and the 4 cyl version is only slightly slower than the V6 and gets much better milage

    also you could consider the Ford Crown Victoria, very safe car and pretty reliable, that goes for the Mercury version also
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Jettas are too small in the back? Maybe for full sized adults, but it should be fine for you to lean in and strap a kid in. Reliability is pretty good on Jettas too, the main problems I know of have been taken care of, and were typically minor anyways. If you want good mileage the Jetta TDI would be one of the best ways to go other than a hybrid, which would also be smaller and require you to change your driving habits to take advantage of. The Jetta should be available with all the features you want. If they put the power seat in the TDI, which I imagine they do, it will fit you nicely, also it has a telescopic and tilting steering wheel.

    I don't know much about your other choices. But with current gas prices I'd imagine that you should be able to swing a good deal on a truck, although it'll cost a lot in the long run.
     
  14. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Leila,

    Here's one car I recommend: the Honda Accord LX sedan with the 160 bhp four-cylinder engine.

    Don't scoff--it's a really nice car that has surprising amount of power and gets really nice fuel efficiency (24 mpg city, 34 mpg highway). Here in California, many dealers sell the car for around US$18,800. [​IMG]

    Besides the obvious good reliability of Hondas, the Accord has a good amount of interior space and a surprisingly big trunk.
     
  15. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    The Accord is an easy recommendation. If you get the model with the side airbags, you get some of the best crash protection in any car on the road.
    I'm about to turn 130k on my '95 Accord EX, and I've put exactly $100 in corrective repairs into it, during my entire ownership. I couldn't have found a more reliable car, IMO.

    The Jetta TDI would likely be a decent choice, too. Diesel with nearly 50mpg highway. Diesels aren't what they used to be. I'm surprised at how refined this car feels, and the power delivery is good, too. It's got that "fat diesel torque curve" feel at low RPM- real nice for "regular" driving. Plus, if you have the "internet-geek-chic/library chick" vibe/look going on, I'm pretty sure it's a requirement to own one of these.[​IMG]

    Todd
     
  16. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Leila,

    I'll throw in my (biased) recommendation for a VW. I have a GTI, which is just a quicker Golf with some trim updates. The Golf and Jetta (and Beetle, and Audi TT, and...) share a platform, so they're almost identical as far as back seat room. I'll agree that they're a bit small for adults in the back, but that's because I'm 6'5" and my wife's 6' and we always have the front seats pushed all the way back. With your height, the back seat room shouldn't be as much of an issue for potential passengers. You'll also want to get a 4 door (only applies to the Golf/GTI), since the 2 door models are a bit difficult to get into and out of the back.

    I'd second the recommendation to look at the turbo diesels (TDI) or the 1.8L Turbos, which are loads of fun.

    -Brett.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Look at VWs reliability ratings - they're pretty awful on the current Jettas, though my wife's old '96 is still going strong with 160K miles (we no longer own it).
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Look at VWs reliability ratings - they're pretty awful on the Jettas, though my wife's old '96 is still going strong with 160K miles (we no longer own it).
     
  19. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    lol ... it's funny how short people like big cars. I am 6'7" and drive a MINI [​IMG]

    To recommend something for you, I would go for the new Dodge Magnum wagon, great looking car, lots of interior space, great engine options and still has an SUV like stance, not to mention that I bet it has more room than most SUV's
     
  20. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The 2 reasons I wouldn't recommend one are:

    1. Suspect reliability. It's a Dodge after all...
    2. This is a new model. Usually its best to wait for all the bugs to be worked out.

    Otherwise I LOVE the car.
     

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