New car or not?

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Pharmacist
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New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:23 am

I have a 2010 Chevy Cobalt with 50k miles. Bought it when I started college with 8k miles on it from a dealer. The power steering went out one time while I was driving it, I restarted the car and it worked fine. This was 1-2 years ago, I've never had a problem since and believe that this was electrical. Never had it looked at but like I said I haven't had this problem since, some fluke I guess. Other than this the car is in mint condition.

I will be starting a job soon where I will be driving anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours one way to work. I will be sent to a different location every single day in areas that I am not really familiar with in term of roads/driving. For me personally this will be kind of stressful and I do live in a region where snow is a huge factor.

Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather. When I am driving my parent's SUV in heavy rain it doesn't worry me at all, but when I am on the highway in my car in heavy rain I am honestly scared driving it. I will be going in 45-55 mph in a 70 zone while other cars fly by me like I'm sitting still. I can feel the car being pulled around by any water sitting on the road. It's terrible in snow as well. I've managed to get the damn thing stuck in our driveway. I have all season tires on it that are new but the car is just so light and small that it worries me. I had another cobalt before this, and totaled it driving on a newly paved wet road (this was 6 years ago). Part of this was my inexperience in driving but at the same time this wouldn't have happened in another vehicle. I have been driving my current car ever since, which is the same car except 1 year newer.

Am I worrying about nothing here? Is a midsized sedan going to be significantly different? The only vehicles I can really compare it to are our family SUV and truck, which are are world of difference in my opinion. Am I the only person who even feels this way about compact cars? Is it just the Cobalt in particular?

Financially it is a no brainer to keep the car but I've been pretty concerned. I will not have access to any other vehicles, and my parents believe that I should get rid of it. If I had the same drive to work every day it wouldn't be as bad but the inconsistency in my daily destination, potentially long commutes, and winter driving worry me.

dbltrbl
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Re: New car or not?

Post by dbltrbl » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:25 am

Spend money on good set of SNOW Tires and you will be fine. You want new car and your mind is using these excuses. Suck it up. :)

camaro327
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Re: New car or not?

Post by camaro327 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:20 am

Yes a mid-size car will be more stable due mostly to the added weight. However, it does mostly come down to tires and dedicated snow tires would help in the winter. Otherwise just get an SUV for the additional ground clearance in the winter weather.

triggerfish10
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Re: New car or not?

Post by triggerfish10 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:37 am

Why don't you invest in a good set of winter tires for this coming snowy season, and see if they give you the performance you are looking for. If they work, then you've solved your problem. If not, plan on trading in the car and getting something else like a small SUV. My wife drives a RAV-4 and it is excellent in the snow, and she has all-season's on it. It would be even better with dedicated snow tires.

It is commendable that you want to make the intelligent financial decision and stick with this vehicle, however, if doing so makes you unnecessarily nervous/can potentially put you in danger while driving, then perhaps making the switch to a new vehicle would be a wise one, if only for the peace of mind.
I will be starting a job soon where I will be driving anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours one way to work
. Based on your username and this quote I am going to guess...Walgreens? In what area?
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TheOscarGuy
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Re: New car or not?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:25 am

Pharmacist wrote:
Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather. When I am driving my parent's SUV in heavy rain it doesn't worry me at all, but when I am on the highway in my car in heavy rain I am honestly scared driving it. I will be going in 45-55 mph in a 70 zone while other cars fly by me like I'm sitting still. I can feel the car being pulled around by any water sitting on the road.

Based on this comment only I would say snow tires will not help here. I know the feeling of driving a small car in heavy rain, and nothing but a heavier car will make your experience more comfortable in this situation. You will also feel safer here with a larger car.
However I would also question the reasoning behind buying new car just for this reason. Heavy rains on interstate is not that frequent -- I have had this experience on just a few occasions in my driving a small sedan. So why invest money in a new car just for heavy rains driving condition, which does not happen often?

For snow I agree with others that snow tires will help. However if it were me, and I was concerned with heavy rain, snow performance, at your stage (starting a new job where you have to go to unfamiliar places every day), I would get a small SUV and be done with it.

It's terrible in snow as well. I've managed to get the damn thing stuck in our driveway. I have all season tires on it that are new but the car is just so light and small that it worries me. I had another cobalt before this, and totaled it driving on a newly paved wet road (this was 6 years ago). Part of this was my inexperience in driving but at the same time this wouldn't have happened in another vehicle. I have been driving my current car ever since, which is the same car except 1 year newer.

Am I worrying about nothing here? Is a midsized sedan going to be significantly different? The only vehicles I can really compare it to are our family SUV and truck, which are are world of difference in my opinion. Am I the only person who even feels this way about compact cars? Is it just the Cobalt in particular?

Financially it is a no brainer to keep the car but I've been pretty concerned. I will not have access to any other vehicles, and my parents believe that I should get rid of it. If I had the same drive to work every day it wouldn't be as bad but the inconsistency in my daily destination, potentially long commutes, and winter driving worry me.[/quote]

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DaftInvestor
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Re: New car or not?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:26 am

I will take a contrary view to others as I know how you feel - when I was an intern I was driving a 12 year old car and was always worried about if I would make it to work (and a couple of times I didnt). When I secured my first job after college the first thing I did was buy reliable transportaton. Financially it might make sense to keep the car but you want to sleep at night too not worrying about if you'll have a problem. If you can afford it treat yourself to a new car and plan on keeping it for 10 years. If this is a full time somewhat secure job why not. Folks are suggesting just getting snow tires - personally I tired of dealing with tire changes seasonally so I eventually bought a subaru - with good all season tires and a great AWD system I drive confidently in all conditions.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: New car or not?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:34 am

One add to my comment above. I know right now subaru is offering 0% financing. There may be other manufacturers that are as well.

Cigarman
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Cigarman » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:09 am

This may be a bit off topic but something you need to be aware of from a tax standpoint.

I'm guessing your company will reimburse you for mileage and/or pay you a flat amount each month. You MUST keep detailed records of your mileage (a spreadsheet will do) for IRS purposes and understand that commuting from your home to your office at the start and end of each day is not an allowable write off. No big deal if you are only travelling 20 minutes each way but the 2 hour commute could be very expensive for you.

Similarly, you should keep a record of all expenses (gas, snow tires, oil changes, etc.)

I drive 150 - 200 miles a day and office from home. My first and last stop is a supplier of mine who is <5 miles away so my mileage starts when I leave the supplier each morning and ends when I return to that supplier each day. At most I only lose about 10 miles of those 150-200. Here is what the IRS allows as a standard deduction for 2016 for business purposes: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/2016-s ... -announced

You may find that at the end of the year your reimbursement from the company is WAY UNDER your expenses and you are either coming out of pocket for your job or have expenses that can be written off at the end of the year. Now is the time to understand this before you begin driving for them and have to recreate your travels and expenses later on.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:58 am

You don't need a heavy suv or car to drive in rain or snow. Look at racecars that run in any weather. 24 hours of Daytona. Even Formula 1 cars will put on rain tires. A good set of snow tires that have good rain ratings is the best starting point. I've run snows year round on a few of my cars with great results.

Back when I owned a 91 Honda CRX-Si, I ran 4 snows in the winter and drive 110 miles round trip to work and also visited customers. I can't even tell you how many times I drove around Explorers and 4x4 pickups stuck on the road because they had on no-season tires (all season tires are a compromise....they're bad in dry, bad in rain and bad in snow). I also had a number of ego-heads who thought that since they were in their "king of the road" luxury SUV, as I passed them on the snow covered highway, they'd move over a lane and attempt to follow me. The fishtailing and skidding that ensued on their part would have made great Youtube videos.

If you REALLY want to increase your rain and snow capabilities, go slightly narrower in size. If you buy performance snows, the sidewalls are much stiffer, so handling will match a good performance tire. Hard core snows like Blizzaks, Dunlop Graspic and the like have a much squishier sidewall. I tend to run these tires and then go to max pressure to retain as much handling as possible.

There's no need to replace the car if you haven't equipped it with proper tires yet.
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david99
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Re: New car or not?

Post by david99 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:16 am

Try snow tires for this winter. If you still do not feel comfortable, then you can get a new car. Snow tires are a lot cheaper than a new car. You can probably get another 50k miles out of your current car.

tim1999
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Re: New car or not?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:57 am

If you have a Pharmacist's income I'd say just suck it up and buy a SUV or car with AWD. Peace of mind is worth something. If you are legitimately scared driving this car and you will be doing a lot of driving for work, at your income it's not worth any "savings" by driving the current car. I realize few people will agree with this post.

TRC
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Re: New car or not?

Post by TRC » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:00 am

dbltrbl wrote:Spend money on good set of SNOW Tires and you will be fine. You want new car and your mind is using these excuses. Suck it up. :)
+1. get some blizzaks on a separate set of steel rims and run them during the winter. I don't put mine on till I see snow in the forecast as warm roads can wear out the tread fast.

Imbros
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Imbros » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:00 pm

What brand and type of tires do you have on your car? How old are they?
There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. -L. Tolstoy

bdpb
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Re: New car or not?

Post by bdpb » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:48 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:If you have a Pharmacist's income I'd say just suck it up and buy a SUV or car with AWD. Peace of mind is worth something. If you are legitimately scared driving this car and you will be doing a lot of driving for work, at your income it's not worth any "savings" by driving the current car. I realize few people will agree with this post.
Agree 100%.

But, you do not have to buy a "new" car, just a different car. If you don't want to spend on a new car, you can buy used.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:52 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote: Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather. When I am driving my parent's SUV in heavy rain it doesn't worry me at all, but when I am on the highway in my car in heavy rain I am honestly scared driving it. I will be going in 45-55 mph in a 70 zone while other cars fly by me like I'm sitting still. I can feel the car being pulled around by any water sitting on the road.

Based on this comment only I would say snow tires will not help here. I know the feeling of driving a small car in heavy rain, and nothing but a heavier car will make your experience more comfortable in this situation. You will also feel safer here with a larger car.
[/quote]
Feeling safe is not the same as being safe. I know the feeling of driving a Honda Civic in heavy rain. I also know the feeling of picking up my neighbors on the side of the road and driving them home to get a tractor to pull their SUV out of a ditch.

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Kenkat
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:23 pm

Imbros wrote:What brand and type of tires do you have on your car? How old are they?
I had the same question. If you just got tires based on price or tried to replace the OEM tires (typically not always the greatest tires), you might be driving on crap tires, new or not. Go to tirerack.com and look at the tire reviews. Then buy one of the top rated tires and see if that makes a difference. If you will be regularly driving in snow, dedicated snow tires are another good idea as mentioned above.

That said, if you hate your Cobalt and you have the financial means, buy something you like. I've had Cobalts as rentals and let's just say when offered them now, I ask "what else have you got"?

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Watty
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Watty » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:02 pm

bdpb wrote:
Cherokee8215 wrote:If you have a Pharmacist's income I'd say just suck it up and buy a SUV or car with AWD. Peace of mind is worth something. If you are legitimately scared driving this car and you will be doing a lot of driving for work, at your income it's not worth any "savings" by driving the current car. I realize few people will agree with this post.
Agree 100%.

But, you do not have to buy a "new" car, just a different car. If you don't want to spend on a new car, you can buy used.
+1

I would think that being late to work or missing a day because you had trouble getting to work would not go over very well since people are depending on you.

Leasing a car is usually a very poor choice but just like a broken clock is right twice a day this could be a situation where the way the taxes work could make the lease a good choice. I don't have a clue it the numbers would actually work or not but it would be worth looking into.

Before getting a different car you might want to wait a month or two to make sure that the new job is working out well.

Pharmacist
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:05 pm

triggerfish10 wrote:Why don't you invest in a good set of winter tires for this coming snowy season, and see if they give you the performance you are looking for. If they work, then you've solved your problem. If not, plan on trading in the car and getting something else like a small SUV. My wife drives a RAV-4 and it is excellent in the snow, and she has all-season's on it. It would be even better with dedicated snow tires.

It is commendable that you want to make the intelligent financial decision and stick with this vehicle, however, if doing so makes you unnecessarily nervous/can potentially put you in danger while driving, then perhaps making the switch to a new vehicle would be a wise one, if only for the peace of mind.
I will be starting a job soon where I will be driving anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours one way to work
. Based on your username and this quote I am going to guess...Walgreens? In what area?
Not Walgreens but close, lol. Midwest.

Pharmacist
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:12 pm

Cigarman wrote:This may be a bit off topic but something you need to be aware of from a tax standpoint.

I'm guessing your company will reimburse you for mileage and/or pay you a flat amount each month. You MUST keep detailed records of your mileage (a spreadsheet will do) for IRS purposes and understand that commuting from your home to your office at the start and end of each day is not an allowable write off. No big deal if you are only travelling 20 minutes each way but the 2 hour commute could be very expensive for you.

Similarly, you should keep a record of all expenses (gas, snow tires, oil changes, etc.)

I drive 150 - 200 miles a day and office from home. My first and last stop is a supplier of mine who is <5 miles away so my mileage starts when I leave the supplier each morning and ends when I return to that supplier each day. At most I only lose about 10 miles of those 150-200. Here is what the IRS allows as a standard deduction for 2016 for business purposes: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/2016-s ... -announced

You may find that at the end of the year your reimbursement from the company is WAY UNDER your expenses and you are either coming out of pocket for your job or have expenses that can be written off at the end of the year. Now is the time to understand this before you begin driving for them and have to recreate your travels and expenses later on.
I'm glad you brought this up. I think the mileage is around 50 cents per mile

The tax code was never clear to me and I always figured I'd just take the standard deduction, but if I itemize you are saying that I would write off the difference between my pay for mileage and the actual cost if I come out on the losing end? This is opening up a whole new can of worms but would I have to itemize to do this? Do you have to itemize to write of mortgage interest and that sort of stuff as well? I was reading that I would get some sort of deduction for student loan interest or something as well but again I wasn't sure if they would apply if I just took the standard deduction.

Pharmacist
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:21 pm

Imbros wrote:What brand and type of tires do you have on your car? How old are they?
Honestly I'd have to check. I have a set of parellies that came on the car but switched those out within the first year for all season tires. Right now I'm on the third set in 6 years, they are some kind of all season michelin or goodyear. I just took the car to a local shop and they put on what they said were the best for the winter. I know my car doesn't have stock rims, though I'm pretty sure they are not third party. The dealer said they are upgraded rims but that's really all I know, I wasn't there and never looked into it. The guy at the shop acted like there weren't many options for the rims I have either but said that these are the best tires for winter. I never looked into it myself and as you can tell attributed the poor weather driving to the small size and light weight of the car. I guess the only thing I can say for sure is that the tires are certainly not worn out/too old.

jlawrence01
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Re: New car or not?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:39 pm

OP,

Your situation sounds almost identical to someone I know who just graduated from pharmacy school at ONU.

I do NOT think that you need a new car. But you DO need TWO things fairly quickly. First, I would invest in a good set of snow tires if you are in an area where you get a lot of snow. If I lived in the snowbelt in the US or a mountainous area, I would get the snowtires. If I did not,, I woulod get a good set of new tires. That will keep you from sliding around.

A larger vehicle is NOT going to help you as much. In fact, they are much more likely to roll due to the high center of gravity. I midsized car is not going to do much better.

While I am not excited about the Cavalier/Cobalts, millions of people drive them in the snow with no issues.

Second, you need to develop confidence driving in snow. You can take a defensing driving class that will help you in that area. Or you can head to a mall parking lot after closing and practice driving in the snow to get the feel of how a car feels in driving in the snow. Driving in the snow is an acquired talent.

Since you will be putting a lot of miles on the car each year, it is to your best interest to hold onto the car until said time that it is unreliable. You will be chewing up cars until you get to a permanent location.

You will need to track your business mileage to claim anything for your taxes as well as to fill out expense reports and the like.

As for reliability, if you ever get into a situation where your car is down, MOST repair shops have special rates with either Enterprise or Hertz and can have the vehicle delivered to you. When I had an older car, I had a special deal with Enterprise of $16 per day as long as I would take any car that he had. Sometimes, I would get a tiny vehicle and sometimes a full sized pickup truck.

jlawrence01
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Re: New car or not?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:44 pm

Pharmacist wrote:I'm glad you brought this up. I think the mileage is around 50 cents per mile

The tax code was never clear to me and I always figured I'd just take the standard deduction, but if I itemize you are saying that I would write off the difference between my pay for mileage and the actual cost if I come out on the losing end? This is opening up a whole new can of worms but would I have to itemize to do this? Do you have to itemize to write of mortgage interest and that sort of stuff as well? I was reading that I would get some sort of deduction for student loan interest or something as well but again I wasn't sure if they would apply if I just took the standard deduction.

When you graduate with a degree in pharmacy these days, you become a high income earner immediately. It would be very profitable for you to sit down for an hour with a CPA or other professional who can help you understand what you can do to reduce your income tax liability.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: New car or not?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:03 am

Epsilon Delta wrote: Feeling safe is not the same as being safe. I know the feeling of driving a Honda Civic in heavy rain. I also know the feeling of picking up my neighbors on the side of the road and driving them home to get a tractor to pull their SUV out of a ditch.
So because your neighbor managed to get their SUV in ditch, you are proposing non-AWD is safer than AWD? I can understand if you are making an argument for snow tires *only*, but if you are stating because your neighbor got stuck, that all SUVs are unsafe, and have a tendency to get into trouble in bad driving conditions, you are mistaken.

This goes to driving habits. Snow tires and AWD will mean jack if you don't pay attention to driving conditions and change your speed accordingly. All things equal, SUV *is* safer than a sedan.

Imbros
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Imbros » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:19 am

Pharmacist wrote:
Imbros wrote:What brand and type of tires do you have on your car? How old are they?
Honestly I'd have to check. I have a set of parellies that came on the car but switched those out within the first year for all season tires. Right now I'm on the third set in 6 years, they are some kind of all season michelin or goodyear. I just took the car to a local shop and they put on what they said were the best for the winter. I know my car doesn't have stock rims, though I'm pretty sure they are not third party. The dealer said they are upgraded rims but that's really all I know, I wasn't there and never looked into it. The guy at the shop acted like there weren't many options for the rims I have either but said that these are the best tires for winter. I never looked into it myself and as you can tell attributed the poor weather driving to the small size and light weight of the car. I guess the only thing I can say for sure is that the tires are certainly not worn out/too old.
Sounds like they are not too old and from a known, decent brand.

IMO, Cobalt is a light, flimsy, throwaway type of car. So it makes sense that you don't find it substantial, especially compared to newer SUVs. If you can, you may want to wait couple of months and buy a new car/SUV at the end of the year to get the best deals.
There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. -L. Tolstoy

Jack FFR1846
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:48 am

It sounds like you have aftermarket wheels. They are likely wider than stock. Get some stock size wheels and tires. Traction in wet is reduced with wider tires. That is certainly cheaper than buying a new car. It could be why there were limited choices in tires too.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:21 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote: Feeling safe is not the same as being safe. I know the feeling of driving a Honda Civic in heavy rain. I also know the feeling of picking up my neighbors on the side of the road and driving them home to get a tractor to pull their SUV out of a ditch.
So because your neighbor managed to get their SUV in ditch, you are proposing non-AWD is safer than AWD? I can understand if you are making an argument for snow tires *only*, but if you are stating because your neighbor got stuck, that all SUVs are unsafe, and have a tendency to get into trouble in bad driving conditions, you are mistaken.

This goes to driving habits. Snow tires and AWD will mean jack if you don't pay attention to driving conditions and change your speed accordingly. All things equal, SUV *is* safer than a sedan.
No because my neighbor ends up in a ditch his judgment on what is safe is suspect.

Unless you routinely push vehicles beyond the limit (which should only be done on a track) you really do not have a good reason for feeling if a car handles well or not. Most of what people mean by "handles well" is based on sound and the comfort of the seat and is completely unrelated to how the vehicle would do in extremes. For that matter a vehicle that handles like it is on rails right up until it flips over is not safer than one that shows it is about to lose it, although most people would feel the first is much safer.

There is zero reason to believe that mass matters for snow or rain handling. Mass matters if you hit something, but it can't stop you hitting something.

Finally "all things equal an SUV is safer than a sedan" is rot. Mass matters. SUVness does not. A RR Ghost is safe. There is no reason to believe an updated Crown Vic would be less safe than an SUV of the same weight and technology. In the 90's people were raving about how safe their SUVs were despite the fact that objectively they were death traps. Of course that's also a case of all other things not being equal, but it does show how the roof line has little to do with safety.

Kyle R
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Kyle R » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:09 pm

I'll echo the same advice many have submitted. I'd consider changing your tires before purchasing a new car. I daily drove a 350z with snow tires through many winters in Chicago and rarely ran into problems. Also, I have two sets of tires for my weekend car. One for street use (Kumho) and the other for mountain runs (Advan A048). With the Advans, I can take turns aggressively under boost and have very few traction issues. If I tried to repeat the same turn on Kumhos, the car would be in a ditch. Proper, purpose built tires make all the difference.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:03 am

Epsilon Delta wrote: Unless you routinely push vehicles beyond the limit (which should only be done on a track) you really do not have a good reason for feeling if a car handles well or not. Most of what people mean by "handles well" is based on sound and the comfort of the seat and is completely unrelated to how the vehicle would do in extremes. For that matter a vehicle that handles like it is on rails right up until it flips over is not safer than one that shows it is about to lose it, although most people would feel the first is much safer.

There is zero reason to believe that mass matters for snow or rain handling. Mass matters if you hit something, but it can't stop you hitting something.

Finally "all things equal an SUV is safer than a sedan" is rot. Mass matters. SUVness does not. A RR Ghost is safe. There is no reason to believe an updated Crown Vic would be less safe than an SUV of the same weight and technology. In the 90's people were raving about how safe their SUVs were despite the fact that objectively they were death traps. Of course that's also a case of all other things not being equal, but it does show how the roof line has little to do with safety.
I would like to think handling has to do a little more than "sound and comfort of the seat" :) And I disagree that to know a car handles well, you have to push it to the limit. Yes, you have to make it do things that you ordinarily will not do, or probably have no reason to do (going faster through the corners for instance) but that isn't pushing the limit.

Things have changed a lot since the 90s. I agree initially SUVs were a death trap as they had extremely high rollover risk. Today's SUVs are much more safer than their earlier counterparts.
You are right Mass matters. However, how many sedans are in the same category weight wise to SUVs, you think? I know volvo sedans are heavy, and maybe rolls royce as you pointed out. But its also a question of affordability, not everyone can afford these sedans, but they can, SUVs.
Finally most all SUVs have the option of AWD, while as sedans don't always have that option.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by mmmodem » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:21 am

A lot of good advice here but before you choose to follow them, do yourself a favor. Start your job and work for at least a month, preferably longer. It would be unfortunate to purchase a brand new SUV only to realize you hate your job and find something local instead.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by sixtyforty » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:17 am

Safety would be #1 in my book. My recommendation would be to look at a used Subaru Forester, Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4. something like that that is AWD. Also make sure they have good all weather tires, with enough tread. I can think of a couple of horror stories of people that I knew that got into bad accidents with cars that weren't safe because of poor tires and handling. It's not worth it.
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:18 am

TheOscarGuy wrote:/quote]I would like to think handling has to do a little more than "sound and comfort of the seat" :) And I disagree that to know a car handles well, you have to push it to the limit. Yes, you have to make it do things that you ordinarily will not do, or probably have no reason to do (going faster through the corners for instance) but that isn't pushing the limit.
I'm not saying safety depends on sound and comfort, I'm saying perception of safety depends on sound and comfort.

I used to terrorize unsuspecting Americans by picking them up at Heathrow in a Citroen 2CV. The high RPM and interesting body roll were unlike anything they'd ever experienced. Most would absolutely refuse to drive it, even after I'd demonstrated that handling normal traffic was well within it's capabilities. While I did max the acceleration I'd taken it easy on the corners. If I took the corners at anything close to the limit I'd have had to clean the seats. And these were people that drove Pintos and Pacers.
TheOscarGuy wrote: You are right Mass matters. However, how many sedans are in the same category weight wise to SUVs, you think?
A Prius weighs more than an CX-3. A Chrysler 200 is similar to a RAV-4, CR-V or Forrester.

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Post by 6bquick » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:41 pm

100 mile round trip to work for last 25 months in Ohio, here.

a new car to you? maybe. a new, new car? not unless you're paying cash. car payments suck.

proper tires and common sense go a long way in making one feel comfortable.

paid $7350 cash for my current, and only automobile. it's nut'n fancy, but with decent rubber in summer and snow tires in winter, there's no commute i wouldn't feel comfortable making. call me debt-averse after ~200k in pharmacy school debt, but if it were me, I'd buy a couple good sets of tires and put the rest towards my millstone student loans. best of luck, whatever you decide.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by F150HD » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:33 am

Pharmacist wrote: I do live in a region where snow is a huge factor.

Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather.
This says it all. Assuming you stay with this job, get something w/ 4WD or AWD without question. Sometimes its not just about the 'cost', but the piece of mind when you're driving in blinding snow (at night).

I live in MN/WI....so have some idea here :happy

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Re: New car or not?

Post by just frank » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:52 am

Having driven a bunch of cars of different ages, I suggest the OP look at his/her tires closely.

I came to this realization too slowly...driving on worn tires impairs performance as described by the OP. Years ago I would 'blame' my cars poor handling on the car...when in fact I had been remiss with my tire maintenance.

You can estimate the tread depth using a penny (or get a cheap gauge) (google it). Then make sure that the power wheels (i.e. fronts) are in good shape (i.e. tread depth, not unevenly worn), and all the tires are properly inflated. Get your lube shop to ROTATE the tires periodically (like 10k miles or 1/yr), or immediately if the fronts are more worn than the backs.

I would rather have a compact with new tires than an SUV on worn tires any day of the week.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:53 pm

mj13f150 wrote:
Pharmacist wrote: I do live in a region where snow is a huge factor.

Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather.
This says it all. Assuming you stay with this job, get something w/ 4WD or AWD without question. Sometimes its not just about the 'cost', but the piece of mind when you're driving in blinding snow (at night).

I live in MN/WI....so have some idea here :happy
It looks like the cheapest AWD car is Subaru or Buick Regal, neither of which I can say that I'm in love with. Aside from those it seems like I'd be jumping into a higher price range with "luxury" lines or looking at an SUV, not thrilled about those options either. I see
the Chevy Impala comes with AWD but again at that price point I might as well just move up to a Caddy.

I like the Mazda 6 but of course no AWD in that.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:02 pm

sixtyforty wrote:Safety would be #1 in my book. My recommendation would be to look at a used Subaru Forester, Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4. something like that that is AWD. Also make sure they have good all weather tires, with enough tread. I can think of a couple of horror stories of people that I knew that got into bad accidents with cars that weren't safe because of poor tires and handling. It's not worth it.


This . You need to drive every day for your new job in all kinds of weather including ice and snow. Safety and reliability should be your primary and secondary concern. One alternative is to find and buy a well maintained low mile 2-3 year old used 4wd subaru, honda, or toyota. Buying used at the right price is not for the inexperienced so if you do not feel comfortable buying used at a good price go ahead and buy a new car - get a model suggested in the above post.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by drkathryn » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:22 pm

My kids will but me a new car this year, and the funny thing about it is my 2012 car has, seriously, 12,000 miles on it! They worry an older, even without many miles will breakdown. I would leave it in Florida for anyone who fly there for use, but it is a manual transmission and NONE of them feel able, or conformable, with a manual transmission.

Have had luxury car with automatic transmission, but once I was very retired, meaning very inactive, i purchased a small Ford Fiesta with only liability insurance. My thought were I would bet on favour of me, and if the car was totaled, just buy another one. Now, i may end with a new one when the car i have has less use than most one year old.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by rbaldini » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:51 pm

I don't know about car mass - except that A = F/M, which means a bigger car is harder to start, stop, and change direction. I guess that means you are less likely to get knocked off track in a large car, but will be harder to come to a quick stop, too.

But, in terms of traction, it's better to have a front-wheel drive with snow tires than a 4-wheel drive with summer tires: http://jalopnik.com/lets-settle-the-win ... 1462180324

More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elP_34ltdWI

So I'd say go with snow tires.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:18 pm

rbaldini wrote:I don't know about car mass - except that A = F/M, which means a bigger car is harder to start, stop, and change direction. I guess that means you are less likely to get knocked off track in a large car, but will be harder to come to a quick stop, too.

But, in terms of traction, it's better to have a front-wheel drive with snow tires than a 4-wheel drive with summer tires: http://jalopnik.com/lets-settle-the-win ... 1462180324

More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elP_34ltdWI

So I'd say go with snow tires.
Do you think winter tires would also prevent you from being drug around the road in very wet conditions? Or just help with braking?

With my all seasons any amount of water my ride feels very unstable; like I'm being pulled around the road at speeds of only 50-60 mph.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by soboggled » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:30 pm

Pharmacist wrote:
mj13f150 wrote:
Pharmacist wrote: I do live in a region where snow is a huge factor.

Obviously the Cobalt is a compact car and from my experience is completely worthless in any sort of weather.
This says it all. Assuming you stay with this job, get something w/ 4WD or AWD without question. Sometimes its not just about the 'cost', but the piece of mind when you're driving in blinding snow (at night).

I live in MN/WI....so have some idea here :happy
It looks like the cheapest AWD car is Subaru or Buick Regal, neither of which I can say that I'm in love with. Aside from those it seems like I'd be jumping into a higher price range with "luxury" lines or looking at an SUV, not thrilled about those options either. I see
the Chevy Impala comes with AWD but again at that price point I might as well just move up to a Caddy.

I like the Mazda 6 but of course no AWD in that.
A Caddy? What's wrong with a Suburu? Sounds to me you are looking for an excuse to buy an expensive new car.
I would buy the most reliable car in which I feel safe THAT I CAN PAY CASH FOR, USED OR NEW. How about a Mazda cross over vehicle? Consumer Reports says the CX-5, among others, is a solid new or used car choice.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by rbaldini » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:47 am

Pharmacist wrote: Do you think winter tires would also prevent you from being drug around the road in very wet conditions? Or just help with braking?

With my all seasons any amount of water my ride feels very unstable; like I'm being pulled around the road at speeds of only 50-60 mph.
I couldn't say. The second video shows better breaking in wet conditions due to better traction. I assume this would mean less likely to lose control in general.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by F150HD » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:52 am

Pharmacist wrote:
It looks like the cheapest AWD car is Subaru or Buick Regal, neither of which I can say that I'm in love with. Aside from those it seems like I'd be jumping into a higher price range with "luxury" lines or looking at an SUV, not thrilled about those options either. I see
the Chevy Impala comes with AWD but again at that price point I might as well just move up to a Caddy.

I like the Mazda 6 but of course no AWD in that.
FORD Escape....? Just takes some research.

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Re: New car or not?

Post by Toons » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:54 am

DaftInvestor wrote:I will take a contrary view to others as I know how you feel - when I was an intern I was driving a 12 year old car and was always worried about if I would make it to work (and a couple of times I didnt). When I secured my first job after college the first thing I did was buy reliable transportaton. Financially it might make sense to keep the car but you want to sleep at night too not worrying about if you'll have a problem. If you can afford it treat yourself to a new car and plan on keeping it for 10 years. If this is a full time somewhat secure job why not. Folks are suggesting just getting snow tires - personally I tired of dealing with tire changes seasonally so I eventually bought a subaru - with good all season tires and a great AWD system I drive confidently in all conditions.

+1 :happy
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Re: New car or not?

Post by Pharmacist » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:35 pm

mj13f150 wrote:
Pharmacist wrote:
It looks like the cheapest AWD car is Subaru or Buick Regal, neither of which I can say that I'm in love with. Aside from those it seems like I'd be jumping into a higher price range with "luxury" lines or looking at an SUV, not thrilled about those options either. I see
the Chevy Impala comes with AWD but again at that price point I might as well just move up to a Caddy.

I like the Mazda 6 but of course no AWD in that.
FORD Escape....? Just takes some research.
I was trying to look at sedans

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