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Car for Son moving to Tacoma, WA

rhathawayrhathaway Member Posts: 3
edited November 2015 in General
My son is graduating from College in southern California and my wife and I would like to buy him a reliable used AWD/4WD vehicle with a budget of around $14,000. Looking at CARMAX and wanting to buy it outside a rust belt state to avoid corrosion problems. Any specific vehicles that anyone can recommend. What about the Kia Sportage? Your timely response is greatly appreciated as he is graduating in the middle of December.

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    MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 243,198
    rhathaway said:

    My son is graduating from College in southern California and my wife and I would like to buy him a reliable used AWD/4WD vehicle with a budget of around $14,000. Looking at CARMAX and wanting to buy it outside a rust belt state to avoid corrosion problems. Any specific vehicles that anyone can recommend. What about the Kia Sportage? Your timely response is greatly appreciated as he is graduating in the middle of December.

    Hmmm. Surprisingly, $14K is not that large a budget when you are talking about AWD/4WD vehicles.

    I'd suggest looking in SoCal as AWD doesn't command as much of a premium as it would in the Pacific NW.

    You can use the "Make / Model / Year" pull downs at the top of the page to get you started on your research of specific vehicles.

    I'll see if I can round up some other experts - some of whom live where your son is going - to offer their opinions.

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    carboy21carboy21 Member Posts: 760
    Used Subaru Forester.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,030
    Does it need to be an SUV/CUV? Because an AWD car can be a far better deal in most cases. 

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,738
    Forester if it is 2011 or newer. That's when the went to a timing chain and better head design. 
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,556
    texases said:

    Forester if it is 2011 or newer. That's when the went to a timing chain and better head design. 

    Would be hard to find a Forester that new for $14K, I would think.

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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,763
    An escape, though that would be old square body style.

    Used subes are crazy priced in the north. Maybe not so bad in SoCal!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

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    28firefighter28firefighter Member Posts: 9,420
    I second the Escape. CR-V and the Forester command silly money up here in the Seattle-Tacoma area. 

    You might be able to find a late model Mazda CX-7 that fits the bill. 
    2018 BMW M240i Convertible, 2015 Audi Q5 TDI
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    MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 243,198

    I second the Escape. CR-V and the Forester command silly money up here in the Seattle-Tacoma area. 

    You might be able to find a late model Mazda CX-7 that fits the bill. 

    Yes the CX-7 would be in that price range. I would look for one with the 2.5L engine rather than the 2.3L turbo, however.

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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,738
    kyfdx said:

    texases said:

    Forester if it is 2011 or newer. That's when the went to a timing chain and better head design. 

    Would be hard to find a Forester that new for $14K, I would think.
    You're right. If they'd go to $15k I found 4 on cars.com in the LA area.
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    xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,836
    City dwelling but wants AWD? I would have to suggest a 2012+ Impreza (hatch - gotta go versatile w/ a youngling out on their own and single vehicle). You should be able to find one of those in the 14K range, particularly if you aren't looking for a lot of bells and whistles.

    As far as bang-for-the-buck goes, Hyundai crossovers probably aren't a bad bet. I'm not all that familiar with them, though my brother has had a few of their sedans and they were always rock-solid in the reliability department. Plus, they tend to depreciate more quickly than some other options (aside from the Escape mentioned earlier). You might look at the Tuscon as opposed to larger options, again, considering your son's new environment.

    A side note: My grandmother just sold a 2011 Ford Escape (AWD) with less than 50,000 miles on it. She received $13,000 private-party in Alaska. While she sold it for a great deal to the buyer (not unreasonably low, but she probably could have managed another grand or so), it was also a total cream puff. So, I would think you could find something like that in your area without too much trouble. That generation Escape feels somewhat truckish (similar to a Ranger in size and feel), but space is really good and mileage is okay (on par with our 2010 Forester, about 24 average).

    If he drives heavy city, he's probably looking at maybe 20 mpg in any of these cars save for Impreza, which might be upwards of 24-25.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    CarMax has a good reputation, but being a big outfit, they have been reported to move cars around the country to maximize prices. But you can check the AutoCheck or Carfax to learn where the car lived most of its life.
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    MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 243,198
    stever said:

    CarMax has a good reputation, but being a big outfit, they have been reported to move cars around the country to maximize prices. But you can check the AutoCheck or Carfax to learn where the car lived most of its life.

    That's part of their business model .. move the vehicles to where they command the highest selling price. Even amongst the 5 stores in Colorado they do this (about 1500 cars total, I'm told).

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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I knew I'd hear that factoid from a reliable source. ;)
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