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Keep my Leased Outlander?

qdogg29qdogg29 Posts: 4
edited July 24 in Mitsubishi
Hey guys,

The lease for my 2007 Outlander will expire in July and I must make a decision by Wednesday. At this point one thing is for certain: I will be driving an Outlander in July. That being said, the questions remains whether I'll buy my '07 Outlander out of the lease or lease a new one.

I currently have a FWD LS model with just over 31,000 miles on the odometer. As everyone here must know, 2007 was the only year where the V6 engine was standard on all trim levels. The buyout is around 13,700 before tax, just beneath the TMV. However, the Sun and Sound package should boost the market value considerably. And I presume that, were it time to move this car, a straitened youth would naturally be my target buyer and the Rockford Fosgate sound system would be a big selling point. My car hasn't had any issues -- I take it these cars on reliable, despite J.D. Power putting them in the same class as VW -- but I'm an individual and won't heed their potentially prejudiced findings. Another criterion that I should ignore but can't, is that my car has overwhelming sentimental value. It is my first car and I have had great experiences with it and I feel it has a lot of life left in it. I would finance the car for 5 years and finally gain equity of the car with about 20k miles remaining on the powertrain warranty. Hopefully, I'll come into money and buy the car out before that.

On the other hand, I can lease new one. Unlike my '07, the '10 will be sparing on features. Although mated to a commendable CVT, I'll be stuck with a torpid four cylinder, comparable to many competitive vehicles in the compact SUV category. I wouldn't have the great sound system either. Aside for slightly better fuel economy, the biggest pluses would be aesthetically. I'll really fond of the new Outlander exterior styling. I would also not make the mistake of beige cloth upholstery. Sure, it looked like a classy complement to the black when I got the car, but I quickly regretted that decision. As someone once told me, every manner of stain will cling to the beige cloth and boy could anyone have spoken more prophetic words. And were I to lease another one, Mitsubishi would cover all stains and nicks as part of the Mitsubishi loyalty program. It would be nice to support Mitsubishi, b/c they move far too few Outlanders from the lot. There is an air of futility in my local Mitsu dealership and, the two times I have dropped by, I have not seen another customer in the show room. As much as I try to promulgate the virtues of the Outlander, it is all for naught. Mitsubishi's reputation is a blight on Outlander sales and that is unfortunate.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I know I should provide a little bit more info.

Comments

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,253
    I don't lease myself; I've never seen a benefit that would apply to my situation & I simply hate the idea of perpetual payments. So I don't know if being a lease customer qualifies you for things like the loyalty rebate should you choose the '10 Outlander. The $1000 loyalty rebate + general $1000 rebate might help sway you towards the new car. There is also, in my area at least, a $239/month, 48 month lease offer on the 2.4 FWD ES.

    The ES would be a step down in power and doesn't get the RF stereo but it does get 21/27 MPG on regular gas. The 2010, IIRC, has better crash test scores and may be cheaper to insure. The 2010 has pushed oil change intervals on both 4 & 6 cylinders to 7500 miles so there's another reduction in operating cost. That said, the I4 in 2010 still uses a timing belt so that bit of maintenance is still needed (in the V6 it's a chain which doesn't need replacement).

    Does the '07's V6 require a timing belt replacement @ 60K? That's not a cheap maintenance item (a few hundred dollars). If you're planning to compare costs over the next 4-5 years to see which option makes the most sense, don't forget to factor in anticipated maintenance costs.

    On leasing v. buying: You leased the '07 for 3 years and would finance the remainder for 5 years. That's 8 years of payments (and interest) which is pretty long. Opinions will vary but I personally believe up to 5 year financing is fine, but once you start getting into 6+ years it should really be telling you that you can't afford the vehicle. Not a personal comment; just a financial reality. You say this is your first car. How will you feel about it in 3, 4, or 5 more years (once it's paid off)? Will you be tired of it or willing to hang on for longer? The car itself, if well maintained, should be fine from a reliability standpoint.

    Most people, especially those of us who like cars enough to come to the forums, do get emotionally attached to our cars. So I can understand the sentimental value. Don't ignore your feelings - it's important that you like your car - but don't let those emotions sway you into making a decision you'll regret emotionally or financially later on.

    All of that is a long winded way of saying do the numbers. Fire up a spreadsheet and estimate what the '07 will cost to buy & operate over the next 5 years. Compare that to the '10 and include in the '10's numbers that you'd be in another lease so zero equity when it's done. Include payments, gas, maintenance (oil changes, brake jobs, 30 & 60K service intervals, etc.), insurance, and factor in a little for repairs. Don't forget to include replacement tires & battery at some point (it's hard to estimate when they'll need replacing but they will). You're decision is easier since you're only looking at Outlanders v. including other options. But should you decide to look at other options ('08 and up Lancer, for instance), just add more columns to your spreadsheet.

    I'm going to guess the '07 comes out ahead in the calculations.

    My Mitsu history: I bought a '99 Galant LS V6 and had it for 152K miles until I replaced it with a '10 Outlander GT. Mitsu was the first car brand I liked enough to remain loyal to; the Mazda, Toyota, Mercury, and Nissan cars that I owned previously didn't earn my loyalty.

    My car philosophy: Cars are an expense, not an investment. I buy loaded cars to provide me with more features. I do this because I'll hold on to my cars for a long time and still want to enjoy the ride 6, 8, or 10 years later. I enjoy going for years with no payments and also enjoy the option of dropping to liability only insurance. As long as my car is reliable and I'm not tired of it I'll keep driving it 'til it falls apart. That maximizes value & minimizes cost. Sure, I won't always have the latest thing but I'll always have more cash in my pocket.
  • qdogg29qdogg29 Posts: 4
    edited June 2010
    Thank You! I am, in fact, eligible for the customer loyalty benefits if I lease a new Outlander. I believe the deal is 280-290 for 48 months with nothing down, all the bank fees and taxes rolled into the monthly payments. To finance it for 5 years, which I'd have to do through a bank, it would cost about 260-something a month. I totally concur -- that leasing is not worth it. The problem is that I can't make 400+ monthly payments. Had I wanted to buy this Outlander, I should have financed it and saved money in the long run. But, at this juncture, it wouldn't be a terrible decision to buy it out of the lease. It is essentially a used car purchase -- a used car whose mechanical history I know. Another plus for buying it out would be that I changed the tires within the last year.

    I still have my concerns with the I4..it would be peppy enough for sedan/coupe..but a small SUV is kind of pushing it. The salesman said after 20 miles per hour they are both the same. Even if that is true, sub-20mph acceleration is vital. For instance, say you are crawling onto a semi-congested highway at 15mph, you see a small window to get on -- in that situation you damn well would want a V6. I mean I wouldn't roll up to an EVO at a red light and rev my engine, but there is a functional and practical horsepower/torque difference between the two engines, and the faster engine could extricate one from a dangerous situation. By the way, the GT is so nice, unfortunately it's beyond my budget.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    for me it was an easy decision up front. I bought my V6 2007 LS 4X4 with a low finance rate over 4 yrs. I always drive my cars into the ground (several years use anyway) and figured the Mitsu warranty matched up nicely. I believe the user manual says the timing belt calls for a change at 106K -which works out nice for the 10yr/100k power train warranty. I didn't know the V6 changed to a chain (a bit surprised.) I got the Sight and Sound package figuring I'd have good sound over the life of the vehicle. (As I've said many times I love the RF sound, but hate the red LED display that can't be read in daylight...teach me next time when to view radio packages!!!) ;-) So far no cost to me. I had the recall on the brake switch and replacement of a front strut for a broken spring at around 20K miles (it suddenly was pulling to one side and making noises over bumps when I went out one morning) Service was great with dealer courtesy van ride from/to when I had to leave it for the overnight part shipment of the strut. (initially thought maybe the tie rod bent on a pothole or some such and the Tech found the defective spring instead.)
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,253
    To put your mind at ease I'd suggest test driving the 2010 I4 to see if you could live with it. After all, in vehicles with both 4 & 6 cyl options, usually 80-90% of the sales are I4s. They are adequately powered. Of course, adequate probably won't be exciting but I4 engines do have benefits, including they use less gas and overall are a little cheaper to maintain.

    In the long run, though, I think the better solution is to buy your current car, maintain it well, and run it for at least two years after it's paid off. During those two years, keep making payments but make them to a savings account and when you're ready for the 2017 Outlander :shades: you'll have a decent down payment saved up with no budget hardship.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,253
    Hmm, I may be wrong on the timing belt. I'll have to check my manual but the Edmunds maintenance guide is showing a replacement at 105K. If that's the case I'll be mildly annoyed as I thought it had a chain. But at least the replacement interval is nearly twice that of my Galant, which wanted a new one every 60K.

    As to the LED display, I hear you. I've seen that disp[lay in the Lancer and wasn't too overly fond of it. Seemed functional but a bit busy. My GT has the navi so the LEDs are replaced with a screen (pics 2, 9, and 11 at http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/outlander/10/index.do?loc=en-us#/?page=in- terior_gallery ). The RF stereo is awesome. It's the first factory unit I've heard where I actually can't stand it with the volume all the way up. :D

    I also drive mine into the ground. Cars are an expense, not an investment, so it's best to get the most out of them before you move on to the next great thing.

    BTW, does the '07 require or just recommend Premium? On the '10 it's recommended but not required so I burn midgrade.

    My dealer offers courtesy rides if I can't stay wait while a service is performed, including just for oil changes. But they now have free WiFi so I just bring my laptop for short stays.
  • qdogg29qdogg29 Posts: 4
    edited June 2010
    Thanks for the responses! As far as I'm concerned, premium is not recommended with my V6, well, at the very least, I know that regular is fine. I'm leaning heavily towards buying my car out of the lease. Although it would be nice to have clean seats for a change, but I can't imagine a periodic shampooing would be that costly. My car also smells faintly of Beer, McDonalds, and BO, and some weirdo at the gas station with a stethoscope slung around his neck admonished me that car trees are carcinogenic. A red '10 looks mighty stylish, but I can't harp on trifling matters, all things considered.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    I believe the change to recommend premium on the V6 is only since the power increase of the 2010. I know my '07 is regular and using premium gains you nothing (as opposed to with the '10 you can run regular, but lose some HP when doing that).Yup, I put up with the LED display for the sound quality of the RF sound system. I rarely crank it up, but appreciate the very clean base of the sub-woofer (vs very boomy of some speaker systems). My '07 is just right for me in the big picture trade off (price paid and features for an economical V6 4X4 that I can live with for several more years and a warranty that won't expire till way past my loan payoff date)
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    ooops make that bass, not base. (funny how the fingers type one thing while thinking another altogether as our brains age to mush!!!) :blush:
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,253
    All your bass are belong to us. :D

    I proofread my posts but things like that still get through on occasion.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,253
    Give your interior a good cleaning. Use upholstery shampoo. You can get some in a can that has a scrub brush on the lid. That'll work on the seats. Spot Shot ( http://www.spotshot.com/ ) might get up stains that the upholstery cleaner can't; we use it and it works wonders for pet accidents & spilled drinks. For the carpets & mats, a portable carpet cleaner like the Green Machine ( http://www.bissell.com/little-green-deep-cleaner/ ) does wonders. Buy it or something similar. You can use it on indoor carpet stains & to clean other stuff so it's got a lot of uses beyond the car. Again, use Spot Shot on what the shampooer misses. Once everything's dry, use some Febreeze to get remaining odors.

    Clean the doors, dash, and hard surfaces as well. You can buy fancy cleaners but in the end Windex + a couple of rags will probably do everything you need. Plastic absorbs smells so just cleaning your upholstery & carpets might not get everything. Besides, I'm sure there's dirt on the center console & window edges where you rest your arms. There always is on my cars after a while.

    After a thorough cleaning, you'll feel good about your car again. It won't feel so much like you've been living in it the past three years and should make it easier to live with the decision to keep it.

    Of course, you can pay a shop to detail it for you but they don't have a vested interest in doing as complete a job as you would yourself. And there's a sense of satisfaction from doing it yourself that will bolster your "pride in your ride".
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    edited June 2010
    Cleaning up the Outlander should be OK unless it's as bad as Seinfeld's car!!

    (sorry for the Bose commercial first and wish I had a better section link as the episode is pretty funny)

    http://www.tbs.com/video/index/0,,46206%7C%7C,00.html
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 905
    I can relate to that Seinfeld clip. A few years back I used to pass a hippie looking guy hitchhiking as I went to work every day. One day in the summer it was raining and I felt sorry for him walking in the rain, looking bummed, with his finger out.

    I had a standard cab Ranger at the time, I picked him up, the BO was so bad it was intolerable. I drove him maybe a mile, told him I had to go the other way, and dropped him off. My truck stunk for days, my wife and I finially scubbed the interior to get the odor out.
This discussion has been closed.