Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

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Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

I think I have it narrowed down to a small SUV/wagon. Family of four. Wife, two kids (5 and 6) and myself. I am the only driver.

I was trained to buy used cars. You know, let someone else pay the depreciation and all that. But looking at the prices out there, a new car is practically the same price as any used I would consider. So I am looking at buying new.

The infotainment tech stuff doesn't mean much to me. Safety tech is important but the vehicles I am considering are all pretty much equivalent, as are fuel economies. I am looking at probably the most popular cars in America so of course there are basically no cash/finance incentives I can find.

I am not in position to test drive these cars yet. And anyway just the thought of test driving 4 or 5 different makes/models at different dealerships makes me dizzy. Not to mention the dread of spending time with, and being a mark for, all the sales people.

I am definitely not an experienced car buyer. But, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. After this I plan to not buy another car for a long time if I can avoid it.

So, I would like to gather any thoughts experienced Boglehead car users/buyers would care to share. What more information would you need to comment?

Cars in the running are right now are:

Honda Civic Hatchback EX - $26,309 as built on line. AWD, turbo. But I am afraid the Civic is too small with our family and kids growing. Fine for now but the kids are growing like weeds.

Honda CR-V EX $29,360 as built on line. AWD, turbo. Obviously more room inside than the Civic. $3k difference over the Civic seems worth it, but that would also pay for my wife's wisdom teeth extraction. :)

I like the turbo option on the Hondas. And I like the looks of both.

Mazda CX-5 Touring $33,100 as built on line. Exterior looks don't thrill me, but the interior is superior to the Hondas. But then my kids will probably have it all smeared with gunk in no time anyway. Sportier performance than the CR-V, or so I've read, which I like.

Subaru Outback - This one gets close to $40k with the powertrain and amenities I would like so likely not a real contender, but only for comparison.

Nissan Rogue - Not crazy about the 2021 redesign. I liked the previous generation better. No turbo option. Lower fuel economy. About $31k as built on line.

Toyota RAV4 - AWD - $32k as configured on line.

There are multiple dealers within 100 miles of my purchase area with these cars in stock, so once I settle on something specific my intention is to start a price war among the dealers to the extent I can. I have no experience with that either.

What other options or strategies should I be looking at?

Thank you very much!
Last edited by FOGU on Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BlueCable
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by BlueCable »

We have a civic hatch and slightly older CRV. Leg room in the back is more similar then you'd expect.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Normchad »

I personally owned a Mazda CX-5 Touring, and recommend it without reservation. I actually think it was so good, that it was a bargain. I found it be very comfortable, good looking, and feature complete.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

BlueCable wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:48 pm We have a civic hatch and slightly older CRV. Leg room in the back is more similar then you'd expect.
Thanks.
Between the two, which do you prefer to drive?
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by er999 »

If you can wait a few months for delivery consider a RAV4 prime SE trim. This is $41,090 MSRP (and with current demand you won't get below MSRP and may need to shop around to get it at MSRP). You get a $7,500 tax credit so the total would be $33,590 so similar to other vehicles you are looking at. Your state may have an additional tax credit too which brings the price even lower. We just got the higher trim after a few months wait and it is awesome. We were thinking about getting a Subaru (many were available locally) but are glad that we waited and got the prime. We didn't test drive it first as there are usually aren't any available. It is a plug in hybrid. You have a 42 mile electric range and then gas. Basically you have an electric car for around town and a gas car for long distance trips.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Kenkat »

Honda Odyssey EX, Toyota Sienna. A minivan may not be the vehicle you want, but it is probably the vehicle you are going to need over the next 10 years.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by adamthesmythe »

Buy a Lincoln Town Car.

Seriously- your list consists of cars that are very well regarded, each of which has known but rare problems.

(By the way- some won't buy turbos because they think they can't possibly last 100K miles).

You might as well choose between models based on the aggressiveness of the grille or the number of cup holders.

Best wishes with finding stock and negotiating with the dealers. You can expect that you have less leverage than usual.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by sport »

Here is a contrary opinion: If you buy a sedan instead of an SUV, you will save some money. You can get a Camry for less than the models you have listed. Speaking from experience, it would be fine for a small family. Just something to consider.
I would also avoid a turbo engine. You plan on keep the car a long time and a turbo is something that can cause expensive repairs down the line. Others may disagree with this assessment.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Watty »

FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm So, I would like to gather any thoughts experienced Boglehead car users/buyers would care to share.
There is a long ongoing thread about how to get bids for a car online but with the car chip shortage that may not work so well right now but it is work a try.

viewtopic.php?t=124638

I have bought four new cars pretty much using that strategy and by the time I actually went into a dealership I already had a "done deal" and could be out in an hour or two. Prior to getting the bids I would go to one dealership o do test drives so that by the time I was ready to get bids I knew exactly what I wanted.

Here is a post that I did a few years ago when I bought a new car online using this strategy.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=239526

With all the car shortages you may need to be flexible with things like the color.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm two kids (5 and 6)
It may be a scary thought but here is a good chance that your kids may learn to drive on whatever car you buy. :shock:

In addition to the safety features you might want to consider how your kids will fit in the driver's seat if they are likely to be on the short side. My wife is short, but not abnormally so, and there are cars she just cannot drive because they will not adjust far enough for her to drive safely.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm What other options or strategies should I be looking at?
Be sure to get quotes for car insurance before you buy. The cost can vary by more than you might think.

When I was car shopping I paid the $10(?) to get one months online access to Consumers Reports and that was worthwhile. You may be able to access it for free through your local libraries website.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm I am looking at probably the most popular cars in America so of course there are basically no cash/finance incentives I can find.
Subaru has zero percent financing through the end of the month.

I recently bought a Subaru Forester and of course everyone thinks their car is the best thing since sliced bread but you might want to consider that too and it should be a bit less than a similarly equipped Outback.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm Safety tech is important but the vehicles I am considering are all pretty much equivalent,
Some of the safety options will be different with different trim levels so it is more complicated than that. For all the fancy electronic features headlights have improved a lot and they are important so also pay attention to those too when comparing different models safety features.
Last edited by Watty on Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:13 pm Buy a Lincoln Town Car.

Seriously- your list consists of cars that are very well regarded, each of which has known but rare problems.

(By the way- some won't buy turbos because they think they can't possibly last 100K miles).

You might as well choose between models based on the aggressiveness of the grille or the number of cup holders.

Best wishes with finding stock and negotiating with the dealers. You can expect that you have less leverage than usual.
I already have a purple 1977 Town Car that I use for my night job. I am looking for something to tote the family around in the daytime hours.
I am not terribly concerned about shaving the price. I'll do the best I can and live with the reality of the circumstances. My research indicates there is local stock for the vehicles I listed in my post.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by HyperCat »

sport wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:17 pm I would also avoid a turbo engine. You plan on keep the car a long time and a turbo is something that can cause expensive repairs down the line. Others may disagree with this assessment.
I'd just add the qualifier that modern turbos are very reliable, so any potential for future repairs comes from adding one more electrical/mechanical system to the car, not because turbos are troublesome. The proverbial one more thing that can break.

I'd probably go with the Civic hatch. Lower price and better aerodynamics than the SUVs without completely sacrificing hauling capacity.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by zeep »

Check out the Suburu Forester
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

Watty wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:21 pm
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm So, I would like to gather any thoughts experienced Boglehead car users/buyers would care to share.
There is a long ongoing thread about how to get bids for a car online but with the car chip shortage that may not work so well right now but it is work a try.

viewtopic.php?t=124638

I have bought four new cars pretty much using that strategy and by the time I actually went into a dealership I already had a "done deal" and could be out in an hour or two. Prior to getting the bids I would go to one dealership o do test drives so that by the time I was ready to get bids I knew exactly what I wanted.

Here is a post that I did a few years ago when I bought a new car online using this strategy.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=239526

With all the car shortages you may need to be flexible with things like the color.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm two kids (5 and 6)
It may be a scary thought but here is a good chance that your kids may learn to drive on whatever car you buy. :shock:

In addition to the safety features you might want to consider how your kids will fit in the driver's seat if they are likely to be on the short side. My wife is short, but not abnormally so, and there are cars she just cannot drive because they will not adjust far enough for her to drive safely.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm What other options or strategies should I be looking at?
Be sure to get quotes for car insurance before you buy. The cost can vary by more than you might think.

When I was car shopping I paid the $10(?) to get one months online access to Consumers Reports and that was worthwhile. You may be able to access it for free through your local libraries website.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm I am looking at probably the most popular cars in America so of course there are basically no cash/finance incentives I can find.
Subaru has zero percent financing through the end of the month.

I recently bought a Subaru Forester and of course everyone thinks their car is the best thing since sliced bread but you might want to consider that too and it should be a bit less than a similarly equipped Outback.
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm Safety tech is important but the vehicles I am considering are all pretty much equivalent,
Some of the safety options will be different with different trim levels so it is more complicated than that. For all the fancy electronic features headlights have improved a lot and they are important so also pay attention to those too when comparing different models safety features.
Thank you very much for the input.
Thanks to others for the suggestions and advice too.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Kagord »

Kenkat wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:05 pm Honda Odyssey EX, Toyota Sienna. A minivan may not be the vehicle you want, but it is probably the vehicle you are going to need over the next 10 years.
+1, better and more enjoyable for family car trips, that Home Depot run is covered, and sometimes you have to haul 3-4 of their friends around.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by NMBob »

Honda and Lexus seem to have some fairly nice warrantees on their certified pre owned used cars.

https://www.hondacertified.com/certifie ... d-benefits
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by azanon »

I'm a VW fan so if it were me, I'd put the just released VW Taos on the short list. 2WD is already out, and I think the AWD variant is coming in a month or so?
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Sandtrap »

Honda Passport?

j :D
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by jabberwockOG »

Smallish SUVs are popular for a reason - they pack a lot of flexibility in a decent sized affordable package that is still semi fun to drive. I'd suggest RAV4, Subaru Forester, Honda CRV in that order. It's important to recognize that the purchase price of a car is just one part of its total cost - insurance, maintenance, repairs, and depreciation/eventual resale value are also very significant costs.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by kleiner »

I just bought a Honda CRV EX-L mainly because I need the utility ( i.e. the the U in SUV :happy).

I have the opposite problem of the OP: I sometimes have to drive my parents or in-laws who now find it hard to get in and out of low-slung sedans. I also often need to carry a fair bit of luggage. I looked very hard but ultimately it came down to the Honda CRV or the Subaru Forester. Both are excellent vehicles and met our requirements perfectly. We went with the Honda as availability is better in my area and I was able to get the exact color I wanted.

I would have dearly loved to buy an EV but I am simply not satisfied with what's currently available. Thanks to swoopy styling, the utility of the available cars is several limited - for my needs at least. I am expecting things to improve in the next few years. If Honda were to make an EV with the current CRV body shell, I would have been first in line to buy it!
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by chipperd »

Kagord wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:22 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:05 pm Honda Odyssey EX, Toyota Sienna. A minivan may not be the vehicle you want, but it is probably the vehicle you are going to need over the next 10 years.
+1, better and more enjoyable for family car trips, that Home Depot run is covered, and sometimes you have to haul 3-4 of their friends around.
+2. So much more comfortable and yes, you will be carpooling to sports practices, lessons and events..., thus necessitating more seating.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by theplayer11 »

If you like driving at all, the CX-5 wins hands down(get the turbo). If your philosophy is a vehicle is just supposed to get you from point A to point B, then any will do.
Last edited by theplayer11 on Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by SmileyFace »

Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm Honda Civic Hatchback EX - $26,309 as built on line. AWD, turbo. But I am afraid the Civic is too small with our family and kids growing. Fine for now but the kids are growing like weeds.
The Civic is front wheel drive, not AWD.

If you're considering something that small, look at the Subaru Crosstrek for around $23k after you negotiate. Or go back and consider the Outback with the 4 cylinder engine instead of the 6. It's more than enough for the car. We have a Legacy with that engine and it's more than enough. That drops the Outback's price nearly $8k.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by stoptothink »

chipperd wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:06 am
Kagord wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:22 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:05 pm Honda Odyssey EX, Toyota Sienna. A minivan may not be the vehicle you want, but it is probably the vehicle you are going to need over the next 10 years.
+1, better and more enjoyable for family car trips, that Home Depot run is covered, and sometimes you have to haul 3-4 of their friends around.
+2. So much more comfortable and yes, you will be carpooling to sports practices, lessons and events..., thus necessitating more seating.
I'm posting this from Moab, where I am with my wife and 2 kids (9 and 6), hiking and biking for 8 days. We got here in out VW jetta; it's our only car and we have no problem whatsoever packing a week's worth of camping gear and food in the car. We do it multiple times a year. My kids (and my wife and I) play sports year around, never once been in a situation where we didn't have room. Buying a huge car because there is a slight chance someday you might be in a situation where you might prefer (it is not "necessary") to transport multiple people not in your family is such an odd perspective to me, but prevalent in the U.S. We're in a similar situation as OP and never once been in a situation which necessitated more seating (we've taken a 3rd kid or 3rd adult, comfortably, in our car more times than I can count) and the jetta is actually quite a bit larger than our previous car (hyundai accent 3-door hatchback).

If OP likes the civic, I have a hard time believing they'll ever be in a situation where it isn't enough space unless they have another child or purposely put themselves in a situation where they want to transport a few others. At least they aren't being told they need a 3-row mega-SUV.
Last edited by stoptothink on Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by lazydavid »

HyperCat wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:32 pm I'd just add the qualifier that modern turbos are very reliable, so any potential for future repairs comes from adding one more electrical/mechanical system to the car, not because turbos are troublesome. The proverbial one more thing that can break.
This. My car has a complex sequential twin-turbo setup, and is from a brand typically known for unreliability and high repair costs. When the smaller turbo stopped spooling after 115k miles (many of those "hard" miles), replacing the leaky vacuum hose that caused it cost me $25. I did choose to replace a vacuum actuator and two pressure converters that were NOT bad while I was in there, because it took no additional time. That raised the total cost to $200.

The vast majority of people will have no trouble whatsoever with their turbos over the vehicle's useful lifetime, particularly in a Japanese family car.

As to OP's question, CX-5 would be my choice, followed by the RAV4/CR-V if you prefer an SUV formfactor, or Civic if you prefer a sedan.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by chipperd »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:57 am
chipperd wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:06 am
Kagord wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:22 pm
Kenkat wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:05 pm Honda Odyssey EX, Toyota Sienna. A minivan may not be the vehicle you want, but it is probably the vehicle you are going to need over the next 10 years.
+1, better and more enjoyable for family car trips, that Home Depot run is covered, and sometimes you have to haul 3-4 of their friends around.
+2. So much more comfortable and yes, you will be carpooling to sports practices, lessons and events..., thus necessitating more seating.
I'm posting this from Moab, where I am with my wife and 2 kids (9 and 6), hiking and biking for 8 days. We got here in out VW jetta; it's our only car and we have no problem whatsoever packing a week's worth of camping gear and food in the car. We do it multiple times a year. My kids (and my wife and I) play sports year around, never once been in a situation where we didn't have room. Buying a huge car because there is a slight chance someday you might be in a situation where you might prefer (it is not "necessary") to transport multiple people not in your family is such an odd perspective to me, but prevalent in the U.S. We're in a similar situation as OP and never once been in a situation which necessitated more seating (we've taken a 3rd kid or 3rd adult, comfortably, in our car more times than I can count) and the jetta is actually quite a bit larger than our previous car (hyundai accent 3-door hatchback).

If OP likes the civic, I have a hard time believing they'll ever be in a situation where it isn't enough space unless they have another child or purposely put themselves in a situation where they want to transport a few others. At least they aren't being told they need a 3-row mega-SUV.
Just to correct the misunderstanding, I'm sure brought up to emphasize a point, no one is suggesting a "3 row mega SUV". I'm thinking more minivan. Ours got and still gets, 25 mpg combined, so much better than the "Mega SUV" suggested by no one.
Carpooling with your kid and a few other team mates to/from a couple practices per week and a two hour drive to a game or two on the weekends wasn't infrequent for us, about 10 months out of the year for a total of 10 years for our kids. Also great for moving in and out of the college dorm.
If the OP follows Boglehead car usage, all the above events will be taking place for him/her with this next vehicle purchase.
Added bonus, the bonding and conversations that took place in our Sienna between sibs and friends were, and always will be, priceless memories. But yeah, one could just drive their own kid, just less fuel efficient, worse for the environment and a very different peer experience.
Last edited by chipperd on Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by hi_there »

In my opinion, if you are shopping in the segments mentioned above, you are really just looking for practicality and utility. Even the most dynamic compact mainstream SUV is still going to handle, accelerate and have NVH roughly in line with its class. The difference you notice during test drive is going to fade away as time goes by. It's not the most inspiring advice to just "check the boxes", but that's the way I would go here.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by MrBobcat »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:09 am
FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:29 pm Honda Civic Hatchback EX - $26,309 as built on line. AWD, turbo. But I am afraid the Civic is too small with our family and kids growing. Fine for now but the kids are growing like weeds.
The Civic is front wheel drive, not AWD.

If you're considering something that small, look at the Subaru Crosstrek for around $23k after you negotiate. Or go back and consider the Outback with the 4 cylinder engine instead of the 6. It's more than enough for the car. We have a Legacy with that engine and it's more than enough. That drops the Outback's price nearly $8k.
Either of those would be great. My first thought was the Crosstrek looking at the list, and I agree we have 4 cylinder Outback, it's plenty of power. My older son has a new Crosstrek and my younger son has a 5yo Forester, which IMO should also be on the consideration list.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

SmileyFace wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 am Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
No test drives yet. We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive. This is pre-arrival intelligence gathering. I really do not want to test drive 5 different makes and models. So I am trying to discern as much as possible from thrifty and experienced boglehead consumers as part of the winnowing process.

The way I feel about cars, and the loathing I have for the purchasing process, if someone put me in any one of the candidates and said "this is your car now" I would likely be perfectly happy and not give it another thought while driving it until the wheels fall off. And I gotta say, the prospect of dropping $30k+ on a car purchase does not really thrill me.

That makes me want to just pick one, bite the bullet and buy the one that "checks the boxes" as one commenter suggested, as economically as possible, and have it waiting in my driveway when I arrive. Anyone ever done that? Bought a car without even driving it one time?

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments and discussion.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Normchad »

FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm
SmileyFace wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 am Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
No test drives yet. We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive. This is pre-arrival intelligence gathering. I really do not want to test drive 5 different makes and models. So I am trying to discern as much as possible from thrifty and experienced boglehead consumers as part of the winnowing process.

The way I feel about cars, and the loathing I have for the purchasing process, if someone put me in any one of the candidates and said "this is your car now" I would likely be perfectly happy and not give it another thought while driving it until the wheels fall off. And I gotta say, the prospect of dropping $30k+ on a car purchase does not really thrill me.

That makes me want to just pick one, bite the bullet and buy the one that "checks the boxes" as one commenter suggested, as economically as possible, and have it waiting in my driveway when I arrive. Anyone ever done that? Bought a car without even driving it one time?

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments and discussion.
It sounds like you hate the process of buying a car. If by chance you are moving to the DC area, there is a Carmax dealer in Laurel Maryland that sells New Toyotas. So you can check it out online, and buy it with no haggling, shenanigans, etc. if nothing else, their website will give you a reasonable price, and you could take that to other Toyota dealers and just ask them to match it. I have never shopped at that Carmax, and have zero experience with them but it might be a good idea for somebody who just hates the process of buying a new car.
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Tingting1013 »

FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm
SmileyFace wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 am Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
No test drives yet. We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive. This is pre-arrival intelligence gathering. I really do not want to test drive 5 different makes and models. So I am trying to discern as much as possible from thrifty and experienced boglehead consumers as part of the winnowing process.

The way I feel about cars, and the loathing I have for the purchasing process, if someone put me in any one of the candidates and said "this is your car now" I would likely be perfectly happy and not give it another thought while driving it until the wheels fall off. And I gotta say, the prospect of dropping $30k+ on a car purchase does not really thrill me.

That makes me want to just pick one, bite the bullet and buy the one that "checks the boxes" as one commenter suggested, as economically as possible, and have it waiting in my driveway when I arrive. Anyone ever done that? Bought a car without even driving it one time?

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments and discussion.
In your OP you said you want to start a price war, now you don’t even want to negotiate at all, which is it?

And you’re not “dropping $30k on a car”, that $30k doesn’t disappear, it’s just converted from dollars in your checking account into four wheels on your driveway. The real cost question to consider is, how much will those four wheels lose value over the time that you own it?
gac1979
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by gac1979 »

Did you say you are currently driving a 1977 Towncar? And now you want to buy a car nearly 45 years newer? Go test drive some of the vehicles on your list. That should be your number one priority.
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Watty
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Watty »

Someone mentioned CarMax. When I have looked at their cars I thought the prices were way too high even in normal times and a least to me at that price it would be better to buy a new car instead if you were looking at a late model car.
FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive.
Something to look into is if the car dealers will allow you to take a car for a test drive if you do not have a US drivers licence.

Be sure that you have your funding set up before you go car shopping. I once did a cross country job relocation and I bought a car in the new location instead of moving my old car. I was paying cash but one problem I ran into is that the dealership had a firm rule about not taking an out of state check, even though they would have taken an instate check just fine. I had to shift some money around to get a check they would take.

You should also start researching car insurance. There have been posts where expatriates returned to the US and had a hard time getting reasonable car insurance rates. The problem was they did not have any US driving history so the insurance companies had no way of knowing it they had a bad driving record while living overseas. If you are not familiar with US car insurance then be sure to get a high insurance limit. The state minimum required insurance is usually so low that it is worthless.
7eight9
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by 7eight9 »

FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm
SmileyFace wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 am Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
No test drives yet. We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive. This is pre-arrival intelligence gathering. I really do not want to test drive 5 different makes and models. So I am trying to discern as much as possible from thrifty and experienced boglehead consumers as part of the winnowing process.

The way I feel about cars, and the loathing I have for the purchasing process, if someone put me in any one of the candidates and said "this is your car now" I would likely be perfectly happy and not give it another thought while driving it until the wheels fall off. And I gotta say, the prospect of dropping $30k+ on a car purchase does not really thrill me.

That makes me want to just pick one, bite the bullet and buy the one that "checks the boxes" as one commenter suggested, as economically as possible, and have it waiting in my driveway when I arrive. Anyone ever done that? Bought a car without even driving it one time?

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments and discussion.
A few years ago I bought a Toyota Camry. Didn't take a test drive. Didn't look at any other vehicle brands. Just emailed some dealers, got the best price on a new Camry then went down and picked it up. I recommend you do the same for the Toyota vehicle of your preference.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
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FOGU
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:55 pm
FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm
SmileyFace wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 am Have you test driven all these vehicles? That's how I usually narrow it down.
No test drives yet. We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive. This is pre-arrival intelligence gathering. I really do not want to test drive 5 different makes and models. So I am trying to discern as much as possible from thrifty and experienced boglehead consumers as part of the winnowing process.

The way I feel about cars, and the loathing I have for the purchasing process, if someone put me in any one of the candidates and said "this is your car now" I would likely be perfectly happy and not give it another thought while driving it until the wheels fall off. And I gotta say, the prospect of dropping $30k+ on a car purchase does not really thrill me.

That makes me want to just pick one, bite the bullet and buy the one that "checks the boxes" as one commenter suggested, as economically as possible, and have it waiting in my driveway when I arrive. Anyone ever done that? Bought a car without even driving it one time?

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments and discussion.
In your OP you said you want to start a price war, now you don’t even want to negotiate at all, which is it?

And you’re not “dropping $30k on a car”, that $30k doesn’t disappear, it’s just converted from dollars in your checking account into four wheels on your driveway. The real cost question to consider is, how much will those four wheels lose value over the time that you own it?
I'm going to start a price war, via email and phone, as taught by denovo and Watty and others in those threads. That's why I said "as economically as possible." I'm just not looking forward to the process. What I meant is that I would settle on the car I want without test driving a bunch of different ones and doing the face to face with sales people. In other words, buying the car without seeing it or driving it. Once make/model/trim and specs are decided a price war will commence, to the full extent I can instigate one.

And thanks for the perspective on the downstroke cost of the asset. In my recent learnings on "cost of ownership" of cars, often measured over the first 5 years, depreciation is the largest component.
Last edited by FOGU on Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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FOGU
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

gac1979 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:16 pm Did you say you are currently driving a 1977 Towncar? And now you want to buy a car nearly 45 years newer? Go test drive some of the vehicles on your list. That should be your number one priority.
I was just kidding about the purple 1977 Towncar. I fled that life years ago. :)
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by FOGU »

Watty wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:20 pm Someone mentioned CarMax. When I have looked at their cars I thought the prices were way too high even in normal times and a least to me at that price it would be better to buy a new car instead if you were looking at a late model car.
FOGU wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:58 pm We will be relocating to the USA from abroad in early July, so I am not in a position to test drive.
Something to look into is if the car dealers will allow you to take a car for a test drive if you do not have a US drivers licence.

Be sure that you have your funding set up before you go car shopping. I once did a cross country job relocation and I bought a car in the new location instead of moving my old car. I was paying cash but one problem I ran into is that the dealership had a firm rule about not taking an out of state check, even though they would have taken an instate check just fine. I had to shift some money around to get a check they would take.

You should also start researching car insurance. There have been posts where expatriates returned to the US and had a hard time getting reasonable car insurance rates. The problem was they did not have any US driving history so the insurance companies had no way of knowing it they had a bad driving record while living overseas. If you are not familiar with US car insurance then be sure to get a high insurance limit. The state minimum required insurance is usually so low that it is worthless.
There are 3 Carmax stores within 20 miles of my new US address. I looked through the inventory on one today and the prices on anything 2018 or newer were so close to new car prices that it doesn't make much sense to buy used. I'm seeing that all over the place, really. That is why I am shopping new for the first time ever. Seems to me buying used right now is useful for moving up a trim level or two, but that's about it, and those trim levels go out of date quickly.

I have maintained my state driver's license all through the years, just renewed in 2019, so I am current. Also maintained bank accounts at the local/national bank in the area where we will live. I piggy backed onto family member addresses so as to maintain a "permanent" US address.

Looking into insurance all the online portals asked all manner of questions about my current insurance (lack thereof), past insurance, etc., and they all gave me a quote. State Farm has so far been the leader with quite reasonable premium cost for liability limits of 250/500, and even better rates when combined with very inexpensive renter's insurance. Plus the local State Farm agent is just blocks from my new address. Like a good neighbor, right? Progressive's quote seemed wildly out of line expensive compared to others. I used a 2021 Civic to pull the insurance quotes. I don't suspect the quotes will change that much with a different 2021 car in the same class.

If you have suggestions for an auto insurance company to ask for a quote please fire away.

Thank you!
vfinx
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by vfinx »

I would look at the offerings from Kia and Hyundai (Tucson, Sportage, Niro, Kona, etc). They are excellent.
Armani
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by Armani »

Here is a vehicle in the class you describe. I think you would be very happy with this:
https://www.bentleymotors.com/en/models/bentayga.html
nura
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by nura »

Checkout the corolla cross, same price as Civic hatchback, but with CUV form factor
https://www.toyota.com/upcoming-vehicles/corolla-cross/
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tvubpwcisla
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by tvubpwcisla »

You should buy the vehicle that you can afford to cover the cost of repairs.

For example, I can afford a Porsche; however, I don't own one because I would be crying the blues if I ever had to take it in for a repair.
Stay invested my friends.
BlueCable
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by BlueCable »

FOGU wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:52 pm
BlueCable wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:48 pm We have a civic hatch and slightly older CRV. Leg room in the back is more similar then you'd expect.
Thanks.
Between the two, which do you prefer to drive?
I prefer to drive the Civic, no question. But sometimes the CR-V is what I need: throw toys on the roof, or big stuff in the back when the family travels. I dislike driving the CR-V, but I'm partial to a "sporty" ride.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Another thread on "Which car should I buy?"

Post by tennisplyr »

We currently lease a Honda Civic Hatchback 2020 and a Mazda CX-5 2019….love them both, no problems. This car site might be useful to you.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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