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Old 10-29-2012, 08:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default getting a new car...help?

Long story short: right now I'm leasing a 2010 Honda Civic. Good car, quality and reliable. I like it, but its not the car for me. My lease is up in June of 2013.

As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors and traveling to get to various outdoor locales, I've realized that I need a bigger car. HOWEVER, I do not want something huge like a Ford Explorer or other comparable SUV. MPGs are important to me as well, I'd like to save on gas.

My first choice right now is a 2008 or 2009 Ford Escape. Anyone have any opinions/advice on these? I like the body style, it gets solid gas mileage and its big - but not too big - for my lifestyle. I'm in my mid twenties right now and am planning for this car to last me at least into my early-mid thirties. I also have an interest in the Subaru Outback and POSSIBLY one of the low-mid tier Jeep models, but I know less about these.

I'm fairly certain I am going to buy - I'd like to build equity and actually HAVE something once my payments are gone. I like leases b/c its cheaper but a part of me feels like I'm just tossing money away each month.

Thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Long story short: right now I'm leasing a 2010 Honda Civic. Good car, quality and reliable. I like it, but its not the car for me. My lease is up in June of 2013.

As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors and traveling to get to various outdoor locales, I've realized that I need a bigger car. HOWEVER, I do not want something huge like a Ford Explorer or other comparable SUV. MPGs are important to me as well, I'd like to save on gas.

My first choice right now is a 2008 or 2009 Ford Escape. Anyone have any opinions/advice on these? I like the body style, it gets solid gas mileage and its big - but not too big - for my lifestyle. I'm in my mid twenties right now and am planning for this car to last me at least into my early-mid thirties. I also have an interest in the Subaru Outback and POSSIBLY one of the low-mid tier Jeep models, but I know less about these.

I'm fairly certain I am going to buy - I'd like to build equity and actually HAVE something once my payments are gone. I like leases b/c its cheaper but a part of me feels like I'm just tossing money away each month.

Thoughts? Thanks!
Leases are tossing your money away anymore. Before the recession hit when they were giving away cars on lease, it was a different story (I got a 2007 Grand Cherokee with nothing out of pocket/down for $300/month and now the same car would run me almost $500/mo).

Buy used, it looks like that's what you're doing. Best way to build equity, obviously, since a new car loses basically half its value in the first 2 or 3 years.

The lower end jeeps (Patriot/Compass) are built on car chassis, I think the same chassis as the Dodge Caliber. You can save a buttload on these if you get the FWD version but then what's the point of having a jeep if it's not 4x4??? Looks like Patriot 4x4s in the model years you're looking at are going for around $13k with about 50-60k miles on them. You can get Grand Cherokees a few years older for about the same price but they get worse gas mileage, maybe 18-20 mpg freeway from what I remember with mine. I would personally stay away from the lower tier jeeps and sacrifice the gas mileage for the nicer Grand Cherokee

Then again, when my lease was up I paid cash for a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. No car payments and the thing runs like a tank

I test drove a few Escapes and was just not keen on how they rode. Not that a jeep is the most comfortable vehicle in the world, but the Escape just rode "cheap" if that makes any sense.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll give a for the Outback.

They run forever. I am not especially fond of the newer ones as they've just gotten too tall for my taste.

You sacrifice a little on the MPG as you don't have the option to switch to 2WD but you can comfortably seat five (if the fifth can live with the hump). Good luggage capacity and a roof rack that doesn't take a ladder to get to.

It is hard to find one with "low mileage" but low mileage on a Subaru boxer would see most cars in the junkyard.

I loved the Outback when I had a family. And now I've got an Impreza (Saab-aru) that is pushing 110K and runs like a top.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

@david_z - can you explain what you mean by the Ford Escape rode "cheap"? Just curious. Do you remember what year it was? At this point, Jeeps are the last on my list BUT you actually hit the nail on the head - I think if I were to buy a used Jeep, I think I'd go with a Grand Cherokee. Thanks for the input.

FYI - I am looking at the Escape "Limited" models, which has a lot of bells and whistles (I can afford it). I'm not too picky on comfort - I really just need something that can get me from point A to B and handle snow and mud when it needs to.

@sangsters - can you recommend a year to buy a used Outback? Or is it a "you can't go wrong" type of thing.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

@david_z - can you explain what you mean by the Ford Escape rode "cheap"? Just curious. Do you remember what year it was? At this point, Jeeps are the last on my list BUT you actually hit the nail on the head - I think if I were to buy a used Jeep, I think I'd go with a Grand Cherokee. Thanks for the input.

FYI - I am looking at the Escape "Limited" models, which has a lot of bells and whistles (I can afford it). I'm not too picky on comfort - I really just need something that can get me from point A to B and handle snow and mud when it needs to.
Ehhhh this was like 5 or 6 years ago I don't really recall any of the specifics but it just seemed like everything rattled, it wasn't well put-together, etc. and maybe (not sure if I'm remembering this part correctly) the cockpit wasn't big enough for me, kinda like my wife's X3 which is a nice SUV/crossover, but it just ain't big enough for me to drive on a regular basis.
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Mt. Brighton - 13
Mt. Holly - 5
Hawk Island - 3
Mt. Bohemia - 3
Mt. Tolle - 3
Pine Knob - 2
Crystal Mountain - 2
Treetops - 2
Alpine Valley - 2
Caberfae Peaks - 2
Urban - 1
Slackcountry - 1
Boyne Mountain - 1
Sugar Mountain, NC - 1
Beech Mountain, NC - 1
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you considered a light pick up? Like a Nissan frontier or tacoma? If you are an out doors person the escape just doesent seem like it fits that bill well. As far as the jeep, the Cherokees especially are mechanical nightmares as it will be in the shop once every few months. I have heard bad bad reviews from a couple of mechanics I know. As far as the outback, they probably have name it better over the years, but my dad has an 02 with around 120k and it has certainly shown its age. Needed a ton of engine work done, tons of shit on the inside has broken. So high mileage car a Subaru is not. I don't typicialy hear subarus making it to 200k regularly and still running like new.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What about a RAV4 or CRV?

I'm Honda and Toyota all the way myself, plus you said you wanted it to last to your mid-30s.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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@Idaho - I'm not much of a truck guy. I need something like the Escape so I can either put people or gear in it, or both. I want the enclosed body, basically. Thanks for the input though.

@snowklinger - I have thought about the RAV4 and CRV. I actually looked at the RAV alongside the Civic but ended up going with the Civic b/c it was a bit cheaper. Call me shallow or naive but I'm not a huge fan of the RAVs body type - I'll look into it though - do you have anything to say about it (the car in general, not the body)?

Thought about the CRV as well but do not know much about it. I've tended to resist it bc a lot of my parents have "soccer-mom" type friends that drive these which have turned me off to the CRV for obvious reasons. Stupid, I know. Again, anything to say about it?
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well if the choice is between a jeep liberty or honda crv/toyo rav4, the choice goes to the japs hands down imo. for like a million reason. they also have mid size like the pilot and highlander, maybe too much $$.

nobody agrees with me and thinks I'm crazy, but I love my fwd 2d civic si with snowtires, back seat folds down, fits 3 with gear comfy and sticks to the road pretty good.

one of my best buds who drives to the mountains has a brand new pilot, that thing is saweeet.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=sheepstealer;532261]
@snowklinger - I have thought about the RAV4 and CRV. I actually looked at the RAV alongside the Civic but ended up going with the Civic b/c it was a bit cheaper. Call me shallow or naive but I'm not a huge fan of the RAVs body type - I'll look into it though - do you have anything to say about it (the car in general, not the body)?
QUOTE]

I do have a RAV4 , 2010 V6. Basically unchanged since 2006. I have nothing bad to say about it, except maybe for the mileage. It's not that bad for a V6 but the previous vehicle was a Corolla, so... If you get the 4, you should have better mileage.

I have the Sport version so it has good handling and all and is quite comfortable on long trips. It towed my popup trailer around 7 0000 miles all over the east coast without a problem.

My brother in law had an Escape (2009 or 2010) and just changed for a Sorento. Had many trouble with it and was often in the shop. It drove good and had more feature for the price than the RAV4. But it felt cheaper, material, quality of assembly, etc.

Also, I used to work for a Toyota dealership. Those were not often in the shop and there were not any recurring problem that I'm aware of (like the water pump on the Corollas).
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