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Considering a Vibe...which route is the best to take in your opinion?
-I have owned a 1999 Dodge Durango for 8 years and have loved it, aside from the 12mpg.
-The cargo area is my most beloved aspect of the Durango
-I love the clearance of the vehicle.
-Conversely, mostly due to the clearance, I get nervous about the high center of gravity as I have driven over 14,950 miles in the past 5.5 months on the highway.
-The V8 giddy-up.
I have been mentally sold on getting a Pontiac Torrent for over 3 years. The features I loved about it was, of course, the better mpg (19-24), the clearance, and the cargo space + cargo management system. I also fell in love with the moonroof/sunroof and the premium audio package.
After experiencing the awful gas prices as of this past summer, I started trying to consider other smarter (better mpg) alternatives to the Torrent. After fighting long and hard trying to find a Pontiac Torrent with better mpg and losing...I then submitted to the idea that in order to increase mpg, I need to decrease physical and engine size...thus began the saga of my looking for small-midsize SUVs.
Next topic is financial resources. Having a spending cap of around $16,000, I realize I wasn't able to get a Torrent if I wanted to. Also, with "average" credit, I'm not bad off, but I'm not sure of what I could qualify for.
So, after searching for vehicles like the Toyota Matrix, Honda Fit, and the like, I rediscovered the Pontiac Vibe. I loved the look of the Matrix, the mpg and the cargo management of the Fit, and the AWD capacity and name pep of the Vibe GT. And thus, I am left in a bit of a situation....
While considering a cap of around 16k, I have already come to grips with the fact that I will likely end up with the newest certified used vehicle I can find. I have found Torrent's available for well under 16k across the country...but then I began thinking of the mpg again...which brings me back to mpg mindful vehicles like the Vibe...which I have found considerably good deals for well under 16k as well...even in 2009 models.
Lastly, I will need to roll with a Vibe GT if I end up Vibin'. I also think I would need it in AWD on the account of living in Southwest Michigan. Having said that, I have a couple of questions and scenarios for you all and I would love some productive and helpful input.
1) AWD vs FWD: What's the real-persons mpg difference? Engine performance? Is there a considerable mpg/engine lag difference between a 2008 and a 2009?
2) What do you feel is a respectable price to miles ratio on a certified used Vibe GT (2008-2009)?
3) Should I try and get a 2009 for the price under 16k with some miles on it or should I stick with an '08? Is there considerable differences between the models?
4) Should I attempt to take advantage of the 0% financing if possible on a newer 20k+ Vibe GT or keep the price down with a "used" and forgo the 0%?
5) Considering the 16k cap, and the vehicle preferences, what would you do at the end of the day?