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My Car is DEAD. Please Help w/ Advice on SUV / Minivan Purchase

submitted on April 29, 2010 by pablos17 in "Member's Lounge"
On my way home after work the old clunker decided to die without any notice and would not restart. I've had so many problems with that old car here lately that my family has decided that we should seriously start looking for a new vehicle. Time to upgrade to a bigger auto for the wife so that she can more easily transport the young'ins around.

I'm looking for advice from the rest of you regarding your experiences (good or bad) with SUVs / minivans. We're not looking to buy a monster vehicle. We were thinking about something like a Honda CR-V or Element, but we're not sure.

I appreciate and value the opinions of my fellow Buxrites and know that good advice will be given. Are there any particular makes / models you've had in which you've had really good luck? Any advice on the transaction side of this dilemma?

Taking the bus tomorrow should be interesting. Neutral
     

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  • 60793
    tiny2009
    master
    9 3 1
    Posted by tiny2009 on April 29, 2010
    [reply] 6 0
    Look into VW Routan. Someone I know has it and is very happy with it. Great deal for the money (the entry model S), family and young'ins' friends transportation. They also have 0% APR for 60 months...

    Bus trips ARE interesting. Hopefully, you don't have to do it for long.
  • 60805
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on April 30, 2010
    [reply] 6 0
    Sorry to hear about your problem. We had Mazda MPV for several years and were very happy. It is not too big and not too small, just the right size for a family of 4 with small kids.

    After it got totaled in an accident, we got worried about road safety and got ourselves the bigger and safer Mazda CX9. So far so good, no mechanical problems of any kind after 2 years. The only complain I have about CX9 is that the rear window is a bit narrow and it is hard to see where you are backing up.

    We bought both cars used around 1.5 - 2 years old, the perfect age to buy a car IMHO.
      60808
    • pablos17
      deity
      2 4 6
      10 8 2
      Posted by pablos17 on April 30, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      Thanks Yan. I've heard good things about Mazda and once we rented a Mazda 3 and didn't want to give it back because it was so fun and easy to drive. Along with Honda and Nissan, this is a make we're greatly considering.
  • 60814
    Solstice
    professor
    1 6 2
    11 4 1
    Posted by Solstice on April 30, 2010
    [reply] 5 0
    Assuming the rest of the Honda line is like their Civic model, it would make it an easy choice for me. I would not even consider the price range and just buy the Honda CR-V. My manual transmission 1998 Honda has been going strong with nothing major going wrong since the day I bought it.

    Since 1998, here is what I've had to repair. It now has 130,000+ miles on it.
    - Clutch Master Cylinder (Very easy to fix yourself for $85 + 1 Hour Time)
    - Exhaust "B-Pipe" Section (However, this is more due to road wear and elements than anything else.)

    That pretty much it, outside of the normal maintenance you would expect, such as lights, brakes, tires, and the serpentine belts.
  • 60871
    deathbynosleep
    teacher
    7 1 1
    Posted by deathbynosleep on April 30, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    I bought a trailblazer almost 7 years ago, and love it. i haven't had one major issue with it. A few minor issues that were all fixed under warranty. Only downside is mileage sucks. I didn't buy an suv to get great mpgs though.
  • 60872
    HouTex
    admin
    Posted by HouTex on May 1, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    I can add a web site for research - http://www.samsclubauto.com/default.aspx .
    We've used this site for quotes and information in the past, even before we were Sam's Club members. The request forms don't require a membership number, and they sent us a special contact person at each dealership (like the fleet manager) who didn't earn a commission like a regular salesman, and saves some $$ if you decide to buy from one of them. There's even a green page http://www.samsclubauto.com/GreenPage.aspx and info on new and used cars, model comparison, and the top 15 cars sold through this program. Hope that helps you gather some facts without having to look at each model site individually.
      60877
    • tiny2009
      master
      9 3 1
      Posted by tiny2009 on May 1, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      HouTex, great mention of fleet manager. Also, if dealership has an online department (Internet managers, etc.) all the paperwork is done and price is agreed on before you set your foot into the door.
    • 60906
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on May 1, 2010
      [reply] 3 0
      Ah, you are right! We have also dealt with the Internet Sales Manager before and gotten a very good price. I had forgotten about it. When we looked online for a vehicle, we saw several identical ones and the prices were different. We learned later that this was only because some arrived there before a price increase. We were able to choose the cheaper one, and all negotiation took place before going to the dealership.
  • 60926
    pablos17
    deity
    2 4 6
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    Posted by pablos17 on May 1, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    Thanks for your help and advice everybody. We bought a car today (2010 Honda Civic). Turns out the wife doesn't need anything larger. She's definitely very happy and we got a terrific deal with an excellent interest rate.

    I was not aware that the new civics got such good mileage (40 - 45 mpg). Honda even has an extended warranty that we were able to purchase for $20 extra on our monthly payment that extends the transferrable warranty to 8 yr/180,000, and includes 24 roadside, rental car, tire and rim repair (5yr), and more.
      60929
    • tiny2009
      master
      9 3 1
      Posted by tiny2009 on May 1, 2010
      [reply] 4 0
      Congratulations!
    • 60932
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on May 2, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      Wow! That is a good deal!
    • 60951
    • pablos17
      deity
      2 4 6
      10 8 2
      Posted by pablos17 on May 2, 2010
      [reply] 2 0
      Congrats goes to the wife. She gets to drive it and I get the old Civic. Sad
    • 60956
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on May 2, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      You can drive it on family outings, right? At our house, the newest vehicle that goes to the wife is also the one we drive on weekends when we're all together. Big Grin
      You must have had good luck with your first Honda, if you chose to buy another one. I'm impressed by the new higher mileage! When we tested a Honda, we thought it was great fun to drive.

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