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Please help me decide between...

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  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    It has to be new. My twin boys are 14. The best part about Honda’s rear entertainment system is not the video; it is the radio signal coming through the headphones. This way my kids can listen their Metal and (c)rap, and we can listen to something else. Regardless, only Honda makes this type of system, and since she doesn’t want the Odyssey or Pilot, we are going to have to live without this luxury.

    I swear I am about to strangle my wife. We just spent four ours on Edmunds researching SUVs. She doesn’t want midsized ones because they are too big. Small ones don’t have enough leg room. CRV is great, but it won’t work because it is a 4cyl. RAV4 has 6cyl but the spare tire on the rear door is ugly. RAV4 without the rear tire has run flat tires, she doesn’t like that either. I should unleash her on some salesmen; I bet she would generate some stories from the sales frontiers.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Right now is really not a good time to be getting into a new car loan unless it's absolutely necessary. Now, if the 07 is being bought back as a lemon, or similar, just get them to swap it for a similar condition 07 or 08 identical vehicle and call it a day. Of if you really did get all your money back, perhaps just buy a slightly used model for cash and no longer have payments.

    I'm driving a 22 year old 4Runner for precisely that reason. It runs, it works, and it's paid for. If I had to make payments and have full coverage on a vehicle right now, it would cripple me. If the Honda is paid off, drive it and laugh at the people who are paying for new cars. That's exactly WHY you used to buy a Honda or Toyota, in fact - because you could drive it another decade once it was paid off and really come out ahead.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    CRV is great, but it won’t work because it is a 4cyl.

    Why is that? My mechanic has been telling me for years that if I want uncomplicated long life, a Japanese four-cylinder is the way to go. The sixes aren't bad but are more complicated. I'd have loved a strong four (and manual transmission) in our Sienna, which of course wasn't available. So six new spark plugs are two-three hours of labor. Oh well.

    Honda arguably builds the best four-cylinder engines in the world. They were years behind Toyota when they stuffed a six into the Accord, and C&D wrote about it, saying it was basically a waste of money, the four being so good and the car more balanced.

    I subscribe to the theory that we drive much more powerful engines than we need because American drivers, especially women, are conditioned to never floor or flog an engine. IOW, the car needs to accelerate great with 1/2 throttle or less, and not sound like it's working hard.
    The few times you really need close to 200 hp, just open up the CRV and it'll get the job done. Maybe you can get the missus to try it out on a test drive; just warm up the engine well beforehand. With your parameters, the CRV should be about perfect.

    Good luck,
    -Mathias
  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    Look a little closer! The HONDA 4 cylinders run much like others' 6 cyl, and the 6 runs like others' 8. Ever notice that Honda doesn't even offer ANY 8 cylinder, not even for their truck nor the former NSX... I have a CR-V, an Element, and an Accord, all 4 cylinders; -- and while they are not barn-burners or drag strip heros, they do a very nice economic job of getting us around!!
  • I'm in Los Angeles and currently looking to purchase my first car (I'm 25, female, and have had my mom's hand-me-down Cavalier since high school). Right now I am trying to get the best deal on a car, not just go with the newest, most flashy vehicle. I don't want to throw money away -- albeit steep depreciation, APR, etc. I have done quite a bit of research but it helps to get perspectives from people who have been in my situation and have experience with the cars I'm interested in.

    My top cars are Lexus IS250 (number 1 choice), BMW 328i and MB C300. I absolutely love the Lexus, but the APR on a purchase is about 7.7% (729 Auto Fico, but first-time buyer) and all that money is a total loss, and not worth it in my opinion. BMW and MB are higher priced, but both have potential APR of 0.9% (both say I would qualify but I don't know until I run credit.. I have already run at Lexus) for 60 and 66 months respectively. On the Lexus I'm interested in the premium and navi packages (POSSIBLY not navi, depending on the deal) with auto tranny, on the BMW just the premium package with auto tranny and on the MB just automatic tranny (possibly prem 1 package). What is the best car to hold value? Obviously the 3 series and C-class were both completely redone in in the past 2 years, Lexus had a last major redo in 2005 so it will likely have another one in the next 2 to 3 model years which concerns me on resale (no, I don't want to lease). BMW also pays first 2 months payments and has 4 year/50000 mile maintenance which is a plus, though Lexus already threw in 2 years maintenance and I'm sure MB would do the same.

    On the CPO side there is '06 or '07 IS250 (though I much prefer the '08 and '09 because of the grey wood trim), the '06 325i (0.9% APR) and the C230 (unknown APR?).

    I'm looking for opinions on whether the depreciation factor is high enough on the new models that I should look at going with the CPO instead or if a new vehicle is worth the extra ~$12K more. Also, is the CPO program on these vehicles any good (include maintenance, thorough inspection, etc?) because I've seen some posts that make me wary on other threads. Basically, I'm looking for your thoughts on NEW vs. USED (purchase) and then from there what vehicle out of the 3 as far as reliability, cost of ownership, etc. Thanks so much all! I've learned so much from you all already and am looking forward to your informative responses! :blush:
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    I have no problems with the CR-V, my wife does. She read Edmunds review and it says:

    "The CR-V's Achilles' heel continues to be its four-cylinder engine, which simply can't compete with the V6s available in rival models. With a full load of passengers and cargo, highway merging can be harrowing, and the automatic transmission hunts more than Teddy Roosevelt on an African safari."

    It is my fault, I introduced her to Edmunds. :) I usually shop for vehicles for her, give her two options and she picks one. However, I always get blamed for anything that goes wrong with her vehicle. This time she is doing her own research.

    I think I will steer her toward the CR-V LX. My kids are going to get their licenses in two years. If she doesn't like the CR-V, she can give it to the kids.

    Do you think CR-V is safe for teenager drivers? I know that SUV are not recommended for teenagers for the risk of roll over, but how likely is that?

    Another question is AWD vs. FWD. We live in Northern VA and we don't really need AWD, however, I am worried about the resale value. In my area, for some dumb reason, majority of SUVs are sold as AWD, even sedans with that option are more popular. If I get the FWD, how bad do you think I will get hit at trade-in time?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Ouch! Best of luck. I can see a really pleasant weekend at your place....

    Fortunately my wife has a much shorter "I hate that" list. I think it came from here dad being in car sales. She never got used to one car for any length of time.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    Do you think CR-V is safe for teenager drivers? I know that SUV are not recommended for teenagers for the risk of roll over, but how likely is that?

    Depends on how inclined your boys are to be idiots... I don't even know anyone who's rolled a car; it seems to be pretty avoidable for most sane people.

    Disconnect the radio and make them keep their cell phones off, and you're 90% of the way there...

    -Mathias
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    Right now I am trying to get the best deal on a car, not just go with the newest, most flashy vehicle. I don't want to throw money away -- albeit steep depreciation, APR, etc.

    Your post if confusing. If you want to save money the cars you listed are not cheap. Buying new is also not cheap. It sounds like you brain is competing with your heart. Buy what you love and understand it will be expensive, or buy what is economical.

    If you want the Lexus and are willing to drive it a long time then Lexi have good resale values and are very reliable. You're going to pay more for maintenance on the German cars, also read Edmund's recent experiences with the MB C series reliability. If you are only going to keep the car a few years and under 80k miles then all three are going to be very expensive because you will eat the depreciation and they are all expensive, even though they hold their values pretty well they start with a high price so the depreciation (in absolute terms) is a lot.

    If you want a nicer car and want to save some money then buy a car that is a few years old and somebody else can eat that depreciation. CPO may buy some peace of mind but you will get a much better deal if you go private party. I'd personally buy a few year old car and have a trusted private mechanic look the car over. With the money you save you can pay for your own repairs or buy a maintenance contract.

    The other option is to buy new but buy a cheaper car. Since it appears you like sportier small cars, look at fully loaded Honda Civic or Mazda 3, or Acura TSX or VW Jetta. But of course the Jetta has the high German repair costs and low reliability.

    Best of luck and tell us how you do!
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    See the following Edmunds article:
    http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/121373/article.html

    Rollovers are a common problem with teen drivers and account for about 25% of fatal accidents. Teens do this more than experienced drivers because they swerve to miss something, then oversteer and overcorrect. They also have the lowest rate of seatbelt use and thus are more likely to be ejected from the vehicle if they do roll it. For this reason the typical SUV is not as safe for a teen driver as it would be for more mature drivers.

    I have had 3 kids through the teen years and from my experience with them and their friends, I say big, safe, and slow. Buick or Toyota Camry or something like that.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    . They also have the lowest rate of seatbelt use [..]

    Well, that issue has an easy engineering solution...

    My point is that the fix to rollover issues is not a lower center of gravity but a higher level of responsibility.

    There are a very few vehicles that are prone to rolling over, and they were duly noted by Consumer's Union. The Tracker/Samurai twins, a couple others... I forget, it's been a while. But any car-based SUV is going to be just fine.

    My point of view is that of a bicycle commuter. I'm scared *of* them, not *for* them.

    -Mathias
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Mathias makes good points but I don't think I would put my kid in most SUVs. Things like the CRV or RAV4 are different. They don't have the rollover tendencies of, say, early Explorers.

    You can have rollover woes with cars, too, when they are badly engineered. VW Beetles were like that. Early Corvairs. The sad thing with the Corvairs is they were nice cars and once the problem was corrected they were as safe as most things on the road - but the damage had been done.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    If you truly don't want to throw money away, stay away from high-end vehicles, especially those of German manufacture - period.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I'm replying to two posts here to save space, so bear with me...

    I subscribe to the theory that we drive much more powerful engines than we need because American drivers, especially women, are conditioned to never floor or flog an engine. IOW, the car needs to accelerate great with 1/2 throttle or less, and not sound like it's working hard.

    Unfortunately, this leads to poor ring seating, carbon build-up, and other ills. Engines need to be regularly run at 2/3 - 3/4 of their maximum RPM to remain healthy. Every time I hear someone lugging a 4 cylinder engine I cringe. Americans need to un-learn these habits as they lead to premature wear, poor mileage, and buying a much more expensive vehicle than you need. A manual 4 cylinder Accord will go quicker in actual driving as the 6 with automatic just because of the driving style and one using the engine versus the other lugging it all the time.

    *****
    As for the poster who is looking for a small luxury sport sedan, I have a couple of recommendations, since my best friend recently was in the same scenario.

    1: You want a car with RWD and proper handling. Front wheel drive is not any safer than RWD except in very tiny cars with poor weight distribution. Since a tiny Yaris, for instance, is about 60% front-heavy, it makes sense to make it FWD. But a sporty European type car with almost 50/50 weight distribution that weighs over 3000lbs is far better off as RWD. Case in point - my 2 ton SUV with RWD and rock-crawling tires is easier to steer than a rental FWD Cobalt I got recently.

    2: You want a couple of year old certified car. Let the other person eat the initial tax and depreciation. You can, for instance, get a 4 year old C class for nearly 15K. That's a TAD better than a Corolla, in my book.

    3:You want manual. Every car that's sold in Europe to people outside of maybe luxo-barges like the S-Class and taxis is manual. If you want a reliable car, therefore, manual is an absolute must. Mercedes, for instance, has terrible quality on its automatic transmissions because they're basically Chrysler units that they toss in for rental fleets in Europe(or technology borrowed from Chrysler) - and bring over pretty much as-is to the unwashed masses of yuppies in the U.S.(they really do look down on us when it comes to vehicles, and quite often, it's deserved)

    The Lexus suffer from the miserable 5 and 6 speed automatics that are really expensive to fix and not very reliable as they are pretty new technology that Toyota is working the bugs out of. In Asia, the vast majority of vehicles are also sold with manuals, and a Japanese manual transmission is fantastic. Because it's what they sell at home. Again, they tend to toss any old automatic in it, call it a day, and ship it over to the U.S.

    The best automatic transmissions, btw, are made by... GM. Because it's all GM does and has done for 95% of its fleet for nearly 40 years. GM also makes good manuals in their upper-end vehicles when you can find them.

    The typical manual transmission repair is $600-$900. The typical automatic is now $4000. As a young driver, learning manual is not only a good skill to have, but it's the most frugal long-term option. Oh - and the cars have much higher resale value when you do decide to sell it in a few years.

    My recommendations would be to look at the IS300, the C230K, and a first generation Cadillac CTS. The IS300 is by far a better vehicle than the IS250. Better handling, engine, and power. It's not an IS350, but the IS250 honestly drives like a GM or Ford car because it has far too little power for the weight.

    The C230K - the sedan model with the 4 cylinder supercharged engine is capable of getting 35mpg highway, is agile, and extremely fun. The C class with manual was and still is the most popular model sold in Europe to real consumers that's made by Mercedes. Hardly anyone over there buys the E or S class except for fleets. The normal C230 is about the same in terms of performance, but it gets about 5mpg worse highway mileage and weighs a couple of hundred pounds more.

    The CTS is a notable exception to the typical GM car. It's quick, has a great transmission that you could learn on it 15 minutes, and most of all, sells for really low prices used. The 3.6 is the one to get, because it's as advanced as anything Toyota or Honda make - and really transforms the car. The first generation ones are a bit smaller and more attractive to me as well. While I like the manual the most, I would buy a CTS with automatic, because it's a good and inexpensive unit to replace.(half the cost of the transmission in the Lexus)

    People went on and on about how the interior on the CTS was bad, but honestly, it's better than a Civic. Was it price-competitive when it was new? Hardly. But as a used deal, I'd spend $12-$15K on a CTS a few years old over a new economy car without thinking twice about it. My parents did this same thing as well - bought a used higher end car instead of a new budget model. In every case their better built, better equipped and larger vehicle was better to drive and lasted longer than the ones their friends bought.

    Lastly, new VS used - used has lots less sales tax, is less money per month, has less initial registration, and you can usually drive cars like this for about a 2K a year depreciation since the initial 3-4 years took out 40-50%. Buying a car for $12-15K and selling it 5 years later for $6K is a lot better than Buying new and eating $6K in the first year.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I'm absolutely with you on that last point. Let someone else take the depreciation hit on a new car. A two year old low mileage car has a ton of depreciation wrung out of it and is likely fine for a good decade.
  • cliffsrcliffsr Posts: 3
    I've already posted this in the Porsche forum but I thought I might get a little more visibility here. So....I'm looking at buying a new car. Here's my situation. I filed bankruptcy almost 10 years ago. The bankruptcy will come off of my credit history in June. My credit score right now is 734. Is it going to make much difference if I wait until July for that bankruptcy to clear on my credit report when applying for a loan? Will my score go up much? I'm just trying to decide whether to buy now or wait until July. Thanks for the help ahead of time.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    Well it was a fun weekend shopping. On Saturday we went to a Toyota store to look at RAV4 and Highlander. The Highlander was dismissed before the test drive, because it is as big as a minivan. RAV4 V6 Sport was dismissed after the test drive, because it has a “bumpy ride of her father’s Subaru Impreza”. Next was the Toyota Venza. It was dismissed after the test drive because it looks and rides like an “overweight pig”. By this time kids started calling us because they were hungry. The salesman asked us to come back today, Sunday, to test drive the RAV4 Limited because it has softer suspension and nicer ride.

    Today we drove the RAV4 Limited. Yes, suspension is softer, which means that it doesn’t handle as well and it has more body lean. However, one can still feel every road imperfection. Next, we test drove CR-V EX-L. What an amazing vehicle! It looks very nice inside, very comfortable with very good handling. It absorbed bumps better than the RAV4, while it corners with less body lean. Interior and ride reminds me of the previous generation Acura TSX. If RAV4 has interior and ride of a subcompact, CR-V is like an entry level luxury sedan. Oh, and the acceleration is normal. It’s not fast, it’s not slow, it’s just normal.

    We were so excited about the CR-V that we took it home to show to our kids. They poop-pooped all over it. There is not enough leg room in the back, which is true, I am 6 1 and I couldn’t sit there without my knees touching the front seat. No DVD, no XM, no sunshade, seats don’t lean back far enough. They only want the minivan. :cry: :cry: :mad: :cry:

    To make the long story endless, after all this drama we are back to were we started from, another Odyssey. However, she told me that in four and half years after kids go to college we are shopping again. Can't wait :(
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    We were so excited about the CR-V that we took it home to show to our kids.

    I hope that the adults had some issues with the CR-V along with the kids. Otherwise, we'd wonder who was in charge of the family. ;)
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,078
    Also, the new CR-V and RAV4 both have standard stability control, which greatly reduces the likelihood of a rollover.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    LOL, sometimes I wonder too.

    In all honesty, because of all the issues with our current van, we had to take my Acura TL on a seven hour road trip. By the end of the trip the kid behind me was in tears because he was so uncomfortable that he developed cramps in his legs.

    I know our kids are spoiled, but if we can “buy” some piece and quiet on our many long distance trips, might as well.
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