Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

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Topic Author
Bob Sacamano
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Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Bob Sacamano »

I have a 2017 Forester that i am just not fond of. the main issue is the comfort of the driver's seat. i am in discomfort after 20+ minutes that doesn't go away no matter how much i adjust.

additionally the CVT is bothersome, the infotainment is awful and the car is just incredibly sluggish.

it's not a BAD vehicle by any stretch, but not one i can see myself driving into the ground either.

that said, let's talk finances. i was lucky enough to have a trade in gifted to me to purchase this vehicle (my first new car purchase ever).

i got ~$4K for my trade and left the dealership paying $27K out the door, not including the trade in that i used as a downpayment.

i financed the balance for 72 months at 0% and currently owe ~$15K.

the vehicle is in great shape and has 22K miles. the "Subaru Guaranteed Trade In Program" says they will give me ~$21K today if i trade in on a new Subaru.

The two vehicles I am currently contemplating:
  • Subaru Outback 3.6R
    Toyota 4Runner
i KNOW that trading in so soon is an absolutely awful idea but i do wonder if perhaps i am not as bad off as many others who do so seeing as how i am not underwater and am only contemplating switching into another vehicle that will retain value, relatively speaking.

i await your feedback
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Financially, it's a bad idea. But if you absolutely hate the vehicle or the seat, then perhaps you need a change. Have you considered just changing the seat? There are specialty shops who mostly cater to enthusiasts who have showrooms with aftermarket seats. A replacement seat is a heck of a lot cheaper than swapping to a new car. From what you to your guaranteed trade in, you lost $10k in 2 years. If you go for another new car, you're going to take a similar hit again.

As to the CVT and sluggishness, doesn't the 3.6R stlill use a CVT? I get that it's annoying (we have a Crosstrek with the 2.0L and a CVT and it is waaaaay more sluggish and annoying than your forester). I do find that the newer CVT is much better. We have a 17 Legacy 2.5 and the CVT isn't bad at all, compared to the Crosstrek.

I don't know where you're located, but HMS Motorsports is a shop I have used and their showroom typically has over a dozen seats on display to try out.
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Topic Author
Bob Sacamano
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Bob Sacamano »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:43 am Financially, it's a bad idea. But if you absolutely hate the vehicle or the seat, then perhaps you need a change. Have you considered just changing the seat? There are specialty shops who mostly cater to enthusiasts who have showrooms with aftermarket seats. A replacement seat is a heck of a lot cheaper than swapping to a new car. From what you to your guaranteed trade in, you lost $10k in 2 years. If you go for another new car, you're going to take a similar hit again.

As to the CVT and sluggishness, doesn't the 3.6R stlill use a CVT? I get that it's annoying (we have a Crosstrek with the 2.0L and a CVT and it is waaaaay more sluggish and annoying than your forester). I do find that the newer CVT is much better. We have a 17 Legacy 2.5 and the CVT isn't bad at all, compared to the Crosstrek.

I don't know where you're located, but HMS Motorsports is a shop I have used and their showroom typically has over a dozen seats on display to try out.
Thanks for the response. I'll look into that.

However I've lost closer to ~$6k which averages to ~$250/mo. to drive the vehicle for 2 years.

Also truly out of MY pocket is really just about $2-3k.
Balefire
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Balefire »

The car is a mistake. You probably drive it every day. You shouldn't suffer.

I just checked cars.com.
Comparable 2017 Forester with high mileage are selling for 19k and up.
So the Subaru guaranteed trade in at 21k is a very good one, esp considering you reduce your sales tax.

I say go ahead and get the Outback
Topic Author
Bob Sacamano
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Bob Sacamano »

Balefire wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:59 am The car is a mistake. You probably drive it every day. You shouldn't suffer.

I just checked cars.com.
Comparable 2017 Forester with high mileage are selling for 19k and up.
So the Subaru guaranteed trade in at 21k is a very good one, esp considering you reduce your sales tax.

I say go ahead and get the Outback
I am going to kick the tires this weekend.

I am also going to see what the numbers look like on a certified pre-owned 4Runner. If I can grab one for ~$30k it might not be too big an impact to my monthly premium.
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wander
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by wander »

njfastlife wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:48 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:43 am Financially, it's a bad idea. But if you absolutely hate the vehicle or the seat, then perhaps you need a change. Have you considered just changing the seat? There are specialty shops who mostly cater to enthusiasts who have showrooms with aftermarket seats. A replacement seat is a heck of a lot cheaper than swapping to a new car. From what you to your guaranteed trade in, you lost $10k in 2 years. If you go for another new car, you're going to take a similar hit again.

As to the CVT and sluggishness, doesn't the 3.6R stlill use a CVT? I get that it's annoying (we have a Crosstrek with the 2.0L and a CVT and it is waaaaay more sluggish and annoying than your forester). I do find that the newer CVT is much better. We have a 17 Legacy 2.5 and the CVT isn't bad at all, compared to the Crosstrek.

I don't know where you're located, but HMS Motorsports is a shop I have used and their showroom typically has over a dozen seats on display to try out.
Thanks for the response. I'll look into that.

However I've lost closer to ~$6k which averages to ~$250/mo. to drive the vehicle for 2 years.

Also truly out of MY pocket is really just about $2-3k.
Jack FFR1846 meant $6k plus $4k and more on the gifted trade-in. The dealer made good money on the trade-in too.
Olemiss540
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Olemiss540 »

What's your Networth? How about trading your horrible decision in for a less bad decision for around the same money?

Maybe try for a 3 or 4 year old car around 20k dollars? If you want to chase the rabbit hole for newer better cars, it will have a long impact on your fanancial future.

Maybe try a used Lexus? Should be able to get one for that price range and haven't heard many folks bad mouth the comfort aspect.

Or are you just trying to justify another new vehicle for the latest infotainment gadgets? Good luck either way, just another opinion from a random stranger!
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.
Nissanzx1
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Nissanzx1 »

Sorry to hear the car isn't your favorite.

Can we get net worth and income figures? Single/married. Other debts?

Might be able to answer better with that additional information...
bob60014
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by bob60014 »

I wont comment on the financials but is there a reason for looking at the 4Runner? That's a big jump from a Forrester in size and ride. A 4Runner is solid offroad but it is more trucklike and handling on road may not be to ones liking. In similar class, have you looked at a Highlander or Pilot?
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Nate79
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Nate79 »

Perhaps try and do an extended test drive because seat comfort is not always easy to judge during a short test drive.
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Kenkat
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Kenkat »

Here’s how I would look at it: if you paid $27k for the Forrester, kept it 10 years and got $4k for it when you sold it, it cost you $2300/yr. Trading it in after two years is costing you $3000/yr., so you basically are taking a $1400 hit for trading early. Offsetting that is you will get a new car that doesn’t make you hurt when you drive it. Assuming you are not flat broke, I would go ahead and make a change.
Topic Author
Bob Sacamano
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Bob Sacamano »

Nissanzx1 wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:05 am Sorry to hear the car isn't your favorite.

Can we get net worth and income figures? Single/married. Other debts?

Might be able to answer better with that additional information...
32

Recently married

NW incl. retirement accounts: ~$125k

Salary: ~$115k/year

No other debts other than car note.
retiredjg
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by retiredjg »

I had a great little Outback. After a few months, I just didn't like it, particularly the CVT transmission which I found very annoying. Sold it (in less than a year) and got a lightly used Toyota Highlander. It's perfect for me in every way the Outback was not.

Outback is definitely not in the same class as 4Runner. Highlander is in between. Take a look and see what you think. And it would be a GREAT family car.
Cycle
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Cycle »

I find my back gets soar in any vehicle, from the big mitsubishi suv with the front seats that fold down into a bed to the little economy rentals in Europe. On longer drives, my ankle gets soar as well. For me what works is avoiding driving.

I'd recommend renting your ideal vehicle for a long weekend road trip and see how you feel after a few hours of driving.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
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jimb_fromATL
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by jimb_fromATL »

njfastlife wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:31 am I have a 2017 Forester that i am just not fond of. the main issue is the comfort of the driver's seat. i am in discomfort after 20+ minutes that doesn't go away no matter how much i adjust.

additionally the CVT is bothersome, the infotainment is awful and the car is just incredibly sluggish.

it's not a BAD vehicle by any stretch, but not one i can see myself driving into the ground either.

This time around I think it would be money well spent for you to rent a vehicle of the type you're considering and drive it a lot before you trade.

Here are a couple of excerpts from older threads that explain why I think it's a good idea:
jimb_fromATL wrote: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:49 pm
  • ... We buy new cars and keep 'em a long, long time, and have rented several for as much as a week at a time to make sure it's something we will want to keep.

    There are some peculiarities about any car that might not show up in a test trip around the block. For example, you might find that the seats aren't comfortable on a long trip, or that you can't see out the back or rear sides comfortably for merging into traffic on a freeway or backing out of a parking space, or it's a pain to put children in carriers in the back.

    For what it costs to purchase one, IMO it's worth a few hundred bucks to rent one and drive it everywhere in every type of driving you do, including long trips, to work, and shopping. Much better to spend a little money to make a good decision rather than have a car that you find doesn't feel comfortable after you've bought it and will be stuck or have to take a loss to get rid of it too soon.
jimb_fromATL wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:23 pm
  • ... You can learn a lot about little things that might be irritants, such as road or wind noise, hard ride, uncomfortable seats, or visibility problems that you might not notice or realize in a trip around the block. In this case a few hundred bucks is cheap compared to buying a car and then learning that you don't like some feature -- which might cause you to trade it a lot sooner than optimum for minimizing the higher depreciation in the first few years of ownership.

jimb
maroon
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by maroon »

Perhaps trade it in on a 2019 Forester (when available)? The new Forester is redesigned, so maybe the seats will be different?

I agree the seats in the current generation Forester are not super comfortable. I like the seats in my older Forester better. Of course this is a personal preference issue.
Nissanzx1
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Nissanzx1 »

njfastlife wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:32 am
Nissanzx1 wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:05 am Sorry to hear the car isn't your favorite.

Can we get net worth and income figures? Single/married. Other debts?

Might be able to answer better with that additional information...
32

Recently married

NW incl. retirement accounts: ~$125k

Salary: ~$115k/year

No other debts other than car note.
In your situation, I would not be looking at a $30K plus car unless you could pay cash. It's just too much money in a depreciating asset in relation to your net worth IMHO. Especially if you don't own a home currently (didn't see that info but I forgot to ask for it)....

The Subaru is uncomfortable, sell it for fair market. Get it all shined up and you should get more than you owe. Luckily you bought a vehicle that is marketable. Buy a comfortable used Lexus or similar that you have extensively test driven. Get a small (around $10K) loan on it and drive it until the wheels fall off. Buy something with a few miles, but have a simple pre-purchase inspection done. Stay out of dealerships other than to test drive. They can't offer you real value because of their overhead and fees. Buy a one-owner car from the actual owner. Maintain a small "car fund" with $50-100 each paycheck for small repairs.

A car payment is the biggest threat to middle class wealth behind someone choosing not to participate in a work sponsored 401K type plan with a match. You have no other debts and a good start a retirement, keep the momentum positive.
Good Luck in your car search!
CurlyDave
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by CurlyDave »

I have a 2017 Outback. I compared it to the Forrester before I bought, and agree about the seat. Also the Outbacks are much nicer riding than the Forresters.

The 3.6 does not have enormous acceleration, but is definitely better than the 2.0 engine.

It is a very nice car -- be sure to get the Eyesight. Best safety features on the market.
obgraham
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by obgraham »

With cars it is not always about the dollars. Sometimes we just don’t have the correct vehicle for whatever stage of life.

I am opposite to OP. I traded a 6 year olf Nissan Altima with only 14k miles on it for a 2018 Forester, mostly because I LIKE the seats in the Forester much better and found the entry/exit in the Nissan very difficult.

People buy upscale cars all the time because they like them. Getting the one that is comfortable is not a lot different, so long as a person can afford it.
badger42
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by badger42 »

Keeping in mind that no car is perfect -

Seat: You can get VERY nice aftermarket seats. Likely much nicer than anything you would get in another Subaru or a Toyota.

Sluggishness: We have a 2010 Forester (4EAT not CVT, EJ25 motor), and there are two things that really help.
- Put the transmission in "sport" mode. This prioritizes being quick off the line over being smooth.
- Run a higher grade of gas. I know it's sacrilege by Boglehead standards, but it doesn't like California 87 (89 is ok). In its original non-CA state is was fine on 87, but CA 87 (closer to 86.5 according to an enthusiast friend) is no bueno.
stimulacra
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by stimulacra »

I would cast a wider net with cars you are considering… outside of target demographic, there isn't a whole lot of overlap between a Subaru Outback and Toyota 4Runner. They're two different classes of vehicles (IMHO)

Also would consider renting the cars on your short list, a 15-20 minute test drive don't do a great job at conveying long term comforts with car seats.

Infotainment is usually on the bottom of my consideration when looking at cars. Very few do a good job in my opinion. They're the first thing to get dated or feel obsolete (perhaps by design). I try to avoid ones that have unnecessary startup animations and am biased towards uncluttered simplicity.

Not that it would have helped with the seating or infotainment issue but did you test drive the Forrester 2.0XT? I test drove it last time I was looking and really found it to be pretty zippy. About 2 seconds quicker to 0-60.

Subaru Forresters are relatively popular in their segment (compact crossover), you still take a depreciation hit but will fare relatively better than say someone who is unloading a Ford Escape.

One thing I hear about the Outback 3.6… the real world MPG is abysmal.
WhatsIRR
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by WhatsIRR »

I had a 2012 Outback 2.0 for 5 years. By the last year I just didn’t like it any more. Sold it and a 2003 truck I had as a second vehicle and bought a 2014 F150. I spent more on the new truck than I should have but I have been happy since the purchase. I can also get 6+ hours in the Ford without back pain where I was at 3 hours in the Subaru.

If you have the funds and it won’t hurt your budget get what you enjoy. I wouldn’t buy something if it would limit your savings but if there is negligible impact on your budget I’d go for it.
Dottie57
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by Dottie57 »

Cycle wrote: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:53 am I find my back gets soar in any vehicle, from the big mitsubishi suv with the front seats that fold down into a bed to the little economy rentals in Europe. On longer drives, my ankle gets soar as well. For me what works is avoiding driving.

I'd recommend renting your ideal vehicle for a long weekend road trip and see how you feel after a few hours of driving.
+1
delamer
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Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Post by delamer »

I sympathize; the driver’s seat in my car isn’t comfortable either.

If you have a CarMax nearby, you can get a free appraisal with a trade-in value good for a week. Plus you can check out a wide variety of alternative vehicles.

Good luck.
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