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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!

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  • SteelByDesignSteelByDesign CincinnatiPosts: 1
    I'm currently driving a Toyota Rav-4, and just am not a fan. I'm pretty tall, about 6'2" and I just feel cramped in it.

    I drive a lot of miles to/from work so not looking for a gas hog. I need to get 2 car seats in it to pick the kids up from the sitter but my wife drives a mini-van so we use that on weekends, road trips, etc. so don't really need a 3rd row. I'm leaning towards a mid-size SUV or possibly hatchback. Not really concerned with trunk space. AWD would be nice but not a must have.

    My dad drives a Ford F150 where the center console flips up and can be another seat. I LOVE driving that thing because it's so roomy and comfortable. Now, I know it's a giant truck but I'm just wondering if there's anything out there that's more fuel efficient than a pickup but gets me closer to that kind of interior comfort.

    Looking to spend like 20/25K. Could go a little higher if I found everything I wanted. Probably looking for a low mileage used vehicle, but possibly new if it's in my price range.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    I find a Forester very roomy, with good visibility, I'm 6'5". You might go to a CarMax and try sitting in LOTS of vehicles, see which meet your needs. I find some large ones surprisingly cramped.
  • LDGGLDGG Posts: 4
    Hello! I've been researching on this site for a while but haven't posted before. My husband and I are looking to purchase a used vehicle at a max price of around $15,000. Our first step was to "try on" different vehicles that would be comfortable for either of us because our heights are very different (hubby is 6'3" and I'm 5'5"). We don't want a huge vehicle so not interested in trucks or big SUVs. So far we've found a few makes/models that can work for us both (in no particular order):

    2014 Honda CRV (though admittedly, this one was technically above our price range)
    2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
    2017 Jeep Renegade Sport
    2016 Toyota Camry
    2009 Subaru Forester

    I know the Honda, Toyota and Subaru's are generally more reliable, but curious if there are any general thoughts about any of the ones I've listed. The years here are more incidental - they just happened to be ones we found to try on. I'd just like to narrow it down a bit more before looking for some good deals.

    We'll certainly have our mechanic look over anything we're considering, but even with that we really don't want any big repair surprises if we can help it. Yes, we have considered leasing, but want to drive more than most leases allow plus we'd like to hang onto the car for a while. Thanks for any thoughts.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    Forester has been redesigned a couple times since then, so bigger and nicer. so if you liked the old one, should like a newer model even more!

    wanting to keep it for a long time changes the equation a bit, since you are taking LT durability into account. But at the same time, makes depreciation a bit less of an issue, so easier to just buy what you like.

    I think you are also finding out that some cars just cost crazy money used. CRV (especially) and Forester among them. So for same $ will get older and/or higher mileage.

    I personally don't care for the little Jeeps that much, and make sure to really research reliability. But, lots of people love them. VWs as they age can also be a bit temperamental, but the sportwagon does drive nice.

    If you don't need a wagon style, usually a Sedan can be your best bang for the buck. Purchase price, better MPG, and nice to drive. Can't go wrong with a Camry like that for cheap, comfortable, reliable transportation. And if you are looking at the Camry, give the prior generation (up to I think 2017) Accord too. Great cars, very reliable. Camry and Accord probably cost a little more than some of the competitors (like a Fusion) but they are really good cars.

    Might also look at a Legacy. All the Subaru goodness (and AWD) but in a sedan style, and move better deals than a comparable Forester.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,659
    I think the Camry will be the most comfortable for both of you, and reliable too. You might also check out a used Nissan Altima as they are similar in size but cheaper to buy.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    Of that list, the Camry also jumps out at me as the best choice if it fits your needs.

    For better value in something similar, check out the Ford Fusion.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • LDGGLDGG Posts: 4
    Sooo helpful. Thanks! I'm leaning toward the Camry. We did try the Altima but didn't quite fit as well as the Camry.
  • LDGGLDGG Posts: 4
    stickguy said:



    I personally don't care for the little Jeeps that much, and make sure to really research reliability. But, lots of people love them. VWs as they age can also be a bit temperamental, but the sportwagon does drive nice.

    Yeah, the Jeep was my least favorite. And I've always heard they're kind of squirrel y.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    can't go wrong with the Camry, if you are not interested in sports car like handling. But I would try out the comparable Accord too if you haven't (and the Legacy) because they are both really nice.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,659
    Accord always feels smaller inside than the Camry. I say that as one who prefers Accords myself.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,192
    LDGG said:

    stickguy said:



    I personally don't care for the little Jeeps that much, and make sure to really research reliability. But, lots of people love them. VWs as they age can also be a bit temperamental, but the sportwagon does drive nice.

    Yeah, the Jeep was my least favorite. And I've always heard they're kind of squirrel y.
    The Renegade is a Fiat, through and through. You couldn't pay me to take that one.

    I like the VW wagon, if you still want that utility of having a hatch.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • LDGGLDGG Posts: 4
    I really appreciate all the advice. I'll let you know what we end up with.
  • What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!

    Price Range: $10,000 - $15,000
    New or Used: Used
    Buying or Leasing: Buying
    Must haves: ABS, Low maintenance, reliable, good gas mileage, cargo space.
    Car or Truck: Car
    Preferred Year: 2010-current
    Mileage: Under 50,000
    Sedan/No convertible

    Any suggestions would be great. Thank you for your time.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 165,523

    What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!

    Price Range: $10,000 - $15,000
    New or Used: Used
    Buying or Leasing: Buying
    Must haves: ABS, Low maintenance, reliable, good gas mileage, cargo space.
    Car or Truck: Car
    Preferred Year: 2010-current
    Mileage: Under 50,000
    Sedan/No convertible

    Any suggestions would be great. Thank you for your time.

    What is your location?

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    lots of options there. depending on if you want a compact to midsize, or larger midsize +, can easily do 2015+ on a Sonata or Elantra. Mazda 3 or 6, Civic. Domestic could do a fusion, malibu or Cruze.

    in this price range for a sedan, I would stick to that 2015 or above range because the technology is a lot more modern than back in 2010.

    sedans are the best buys these days IMO. SUVs cost a lot more for the same year/miles usually.

    just a few pulled from Carvana

    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1308815
    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1291335
    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1287215
    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1297976
    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1301774
    https://www.carvana.com/vehicle/1324562


    and thousands more!

    https://www.carvana.com/cars/sedan/filters/?cvnaid=eyJmaWx0ZXJzIjp7InByaWNlIjp7Im1heCI6MTUxNDgsIm1pbiI6NjEwMH0sInllYXIiOnsibWF4IjoyMDE5LCJtaW4iOjIwMTZ9LCJib2R5U3R5bGVzIjpbIlNlZGFuIl0sIm1pbGVhZ2UiOnsibWF4Ijo1MDAwMCwibWluIjowfX0sInNvcnRCeSI6Ik1vc3RQb3B1bGFyIn0=&page=3

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • enf10582enf10582 Posts: 6
    edited November 2019
    I have the following offers from Dealers on various Sedans. I am somewhat indifferent, but prefer the Accord, all things being equal.

    2019 Honda Accord EX $24,300
    2019 Hyundai Sonata Limited $21,700
    2019 Kia Optima EX $21,000
    2019 Ford Fusion SEL $21,500

    What are your thoughts on the best car to purchase? I know that the Kia, Hyundai and Ford appear to be great values but am worried about resale, ect.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    edited November 2019
    So, looking at those as 2017 models, you actually could fare better with the Koreans. a 2017 Accord EX and Sonata Ltd with 35k miles are each worth $15k at dealer auction. The Optima is $14,250. Forget the Focus. That's not even close. Did you mean Fusion??

    A friend of mine has a 2015 Optima. Pretty nice car.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • Yes. I meant the Fusion. I am leaning toward the Kia, but want to make sure I am not making a mistake.
  • The Kia, Fusion and Sonata are all $3,000-$4,000 below KBB fair price while the Accord is about $750 below.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    I had a sonata. Excellent car, loaded with features. Kia is same basic car. Accord is excellent too. Can buy by price, but mostly get whichever you like best.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    Make sure you drive them for a good distance. I recently rented a new Accord, I found the seat uncomfortable, others find the Accord seats great.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,696
    Check the latest Consumer Reports reliability ratings. There are some surprises.
  • NYCWingsNYCWings AtlantaPosts: 10
    2005 Suzuki xl7
    2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor
    2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    2004 Honda Pilot
    2005 Nissan Murano

    Would you put those in that order or what advice of which stands out and why.
    I love the Pilot but reluctant about transmission issues and unsure about Murano.

    Thanks in advance.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    edited December 2019
    NYCWings said:

    2005 Suzuki xl7
    2005 Mitsubishi Endeavor
    2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    2004 Honda Pilot
    2005 Nissan Murano

    Would you put those in that order or what advice of which stands out and why.
    I love the Pilot but reluctant about transmission issues and unsure about Murano.

    Thanks in advance.

    I would cross off the Pilot and Murano, as both have higher than normal transmission failures. I personally don’t trust Mitsu. Which engine is in the JGC? I’d take a 5.7, no doubt. I only know one XL7, and they had a good experience, but that’s not much of a sample size. Would need more research.

    So...
    1. JGC if the 5.7
    2. XL7, pending investigation

    Are you trying to hit a pricepoint? What about a 4runner?

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • NYCWingsNYCWings AtlantaPosts: 10
    edited December 2019
    The JGC is a v6 so is not the 5.6 .All this vehicles are more or less near the same price. More or less the same mileage being the Pilot with the most mileage at 178k. The 4runner of course I would love but the prices are higher for it.It would have to be an older model.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    NYCWings said:

    The JGC is a v6 so is not the 5.6 .All this vehicles are more or less near the same price. More or less the same mileage being the Pilot with the most mileage at 178k. The 4runner of course I would love but the prices are higher for it.It would have to be an older model.

    What price are we talking about?

    178K? Hope this is a (very) temporary vehicle.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    my opinion is, when you are shopping in the well used and cheap aisle, condition and maintenance history is way more important than what the nameplate is. If anything made it 15 years and 150K miles, it must have been a good car. Only question is, how much life is left? IOW, but the best shape one.

    And unless you have a really specific need for AWD or a trucklet, stick with simpler cars. Less to go wrong. Plus SUVs sell at a premium, so for the same price as one of these you could likely get a much nicer sedan.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,192
    NYCWings said:

    The JGC is a v6 so is not the 5.6 .All this vehicles are more or less near the same price. More or less the same mileage being the Pilot with the most mileage at 178k. The 4runner of course I would love but the prices are higher for it.It would have to be an older model.

    If there was a transmission issue, it would certainly have surfaced by now..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    kyfdx said:

    NYCWings said:

    The JGC is a v6 so is not the 5.6 .All this vehicles are more or less near the same price. More or less the same mileage being the Pilot with the most mileage at 178k. The 4runner of course I would love but the prices are higher for it.It would have to be an older model.

    If there was a transmission issue, it would certainly have surfaced by now..
    I wouldn't bank on it. A big factor with these was HOW they were used. So you could have owner 1 drive it for 175k easy miles with no trans issues, then owner 2 buys it to tow his 10k-lb boat to the river before passing it along to owner 3 with a live hand-grenade on board.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,192
    qbrozen said:

    kyfdx said:

    NYCWings said:

    The JGC is a v6 so is not the 5.6 .All this vehicles are more or less near the same price. More or less the same mileage being the Pilot with the most mileage at 178k. The 4runner of course I would love but the prices are higher for it.It would have to be an older model.

    If there was a transmission issue, it would certainly have surfaced by now..
    I wouldn't bank on it. A big factor with these was HOW they were used. So you could have owner 1 drive it for 175k easy miles with no trans issues, then owner 2 buys it to tow his 10k-lb boat to the river before passing it along to owner 3 with a live hand-grenade on board.
    I was referring to the model specific transmission problems that occurred in low-mileage examples. I think every automatic transmission with over 125K is a time bomb. Which is why I only buy sticks in that mileage range.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    kyfdx said:



    I was referring to the model specific transmission problems that occurred in low-mileage examples. I think every automatic transmission with over 125K is a time bomb. Which is why I only buy sticks in that mileage range.

    yes, but I am referring to this problem in particular as well. The issue with these is that the 2nd gear was not getting sufficient lubrication. The fix implemented by Honda was to first inspect the trans with a scope, and those that showed wear were replaced, in those that did not, they were to drill a hole in the gearbox and install an aux oil jet over 2nd gear. They were finding (obviously) that those seeing heavier duty were more likely to need replacement. IIRC, they extended the warranty to 100k. Maybe it was 80k. This was a long time ago for our 2003 model. Ours was deemed OK and just got the jet installed.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • NYCWingsNYCWings AtlantaPosts: 10
    edited December 2019
    There's always a number of concerns for high mileage vehicles but there's still a market for the life left off of them.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    Why not a Highlander? I'd pick that before any on that list.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,192
    texases said:

    Why not a Highlander? I'd pick that before any on that list.

    It would be helpful to know what price range we are in..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • NYCWingsNYCWings AtlantaPosts: 10
    edited December 2019
    It comes down to MDX 2004 168k VS Suzuki xl7 2004 156k
    2,000
    Input please and sorry but I'm still shopping! 😅
    Thanks in advance
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    NYCWings said:

    It comes down to MDX 2004 168k VS Suzuki xl7 2004 156k
    2,000
    Input please and sorry but I'm still shopping! 😅
    Thanks in advance

    Why do you need an suv? $2k on one is not going to take you far.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    Yep, either could be a disaster. You're looking for BASIC transportation at that price.
  • NYCWingsNYCWings AtlantaPosts: 10
    Yes I AM looking for basic transportation. Not everyone can get a car off the lot or have it their way like in McDonald's.Your opinions are turning personal geez...Y'all should take a look around of what can people get this days for 2gs. Yes limited but not impossible. Thanks either way
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,192
    This is the first time you've given us your budget. We were just guessing until now. ;)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    I didn't see any personal comments whatsoever. You are reading more into it.

    And nobody said $2k is impossible. What we are saying is that you may want to consider something other than a largish SUV. If you need the room for people, you'll do better with a minivan. We just got a Nissan Quest with 110k miles a couple of months ago for my brother for $1800. If you are just looking for transportation, you could do even better with a simple car.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    Exactly. You’ll get more for your money if it’s a simpler vehicle. Sorry if my comments came across the wrong way.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    Says Atlanta next to your username, so I took the liberty of doing a quick search and pulling up the first several that caught my attention.

    2003 Focus

    2002 Corolla

    Couple of Impalas

    Can you drive stick?

    Some people like these

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • sburressburres DallasPosts: 1
    Price Range: $15,000 - $25,000
    New or Used: Used
    Buying or Leasing: Buying
    Must haves: reliable, good gas mileage, 3rd row
    Car or Truck: Car - SUV
    Preferred Year: 2010-current
    Mileage: Under 70,000
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,348
    Toyota Highlander.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    price range is high enough to get most anything, but as always, want something fancier, you get older and/or higher mileage.

    And might need to temper expectations on "good gas mileage". Not many 3 row SUVs really get good mileage.

    that being said, other good options are Hyundai Santa Fe (the 3 row V6 version). Won't have to go too far back for one of those, and can be under warranty. Kia Serento another possibility. Can also fit a Pilot into the budget, but will be older most likely.

    Explorer has 3 rows.

    I really like the Santa Fe.

    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/795955447/overview/

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    Been going through this exercise with a friend lately. You can actually get a recent CPO Infiniti QX60 in that budget. Also CX9.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • luisilloluisillo Posts: 9
    edited January 10
    Hi everybody a noob on this leasing calculations, trying to get a 3 row SUV on what would be my first lease. I'm wobbling between the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, 2020 KIA Telluride, 2019 Mazda CX-9 and the 2020 Subaru Ascent. We already test drove them, we liked them and after getting the January figures (MF, residual and incentives) from @Michaell and @kyfdx (thank you guys) I tried to do my best calculations and I can tell these are not vehicles where I can get a good deal from.

    Palisade and Telluride are impossible to get under MSRP due the low inventory, Subaru salespeople doesn't want to give good price and we are not sure yet about the cargo and 3rd row space on the CX-9.

    Is there any other 3-row SUV that leases well this month? I'm trying to get a good deal on a $35k-$38k car.
    Is it possible to get a monthly payment between $350 and $450, zero down, for a vehicle like that?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,299
    CX9 is leasing OK this month.

    Your number will depend on the options. For example, a CX9 grand touring is going to be the very upper limit of your budget, while a Touring with Premium is nearly $50/mo less. A Honda Pilot EX-L? Yes. A Honda Pilot EX-L with Nav and RES? Less likely. And, of course, the number of miles you need will change the price, too.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • zzmmmommyzzmmmommy Posts: 66
    edited January 22
    Hi, I could use some help. I have been driving a minivan for the last 15 years. I used the lemon law to get rid of 17 Pacifica and then got an 18 Pacifica. No comments :(. Now my Pacifica has been in shop for 40 days and they can't figure out why the battery keeps dying and I keep getting engine failure light. So, I am going to have to lemon law the 18 also. I love the car and realize that the Odyssey or Sienna do not have the same features in the same price point. Maybe it is time I look at an SUV- but within my budget. I want to stay under $45k (high end). I have a fully loaded Pacifica so will I be able to find anything under $40k that has all those bells and whistles AND has room for 4 kids? And, I am not even 5 feet so a yukon or any large size SUV is not an option. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,710
    none of the SUVs short of a Suburban will have the combo of cargo room with the 3rd row up, or room in the back row for passengers. But, you should be able to get away with something like a Traverse or Enclave (the one that is still jumbo sized). Just check out the cargo space to see if it is big enough. Price wise you should be OK.

    there are other options in that size range. I think the Explorer is pretty big still in the back. Might be some option in the foreign brands. VW Atlas is pretty roomy.

    might have an issue on the sticker price, depending on if you can live with something that is not the total top end. If nothing else, go check one out for size and comfort.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

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