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Thread: Shopping for a New Car

  1. #1
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Shopping for a New Car

    So, due to some rather unfortunate (and extremely frustrating) circumstances, I'm finding myself suddenly in the market for a new car.

    I really dislike the entire process of car shopping, and I'd place the experience as one slightly below total-mouth root canal in terms of stress and pleasure. However, I'm not about to start catching a bus to work, so a car is kind of a requirement.

    I'm pretty settled on wanting / needing a crossover-SUV type model -- I don't work in a job that lends itself to calling in for snow days, and having a non-4WD / AWD car the past 4 years hasn't been the best experience. I'm also pretty tall, so the sedan lifestyle isn't exactly for me.

    I was wondering if anyone on RZ had any experience with the following cars that they'd be willing to share (either positive or negative):

    1. Ford Escape
    2. Jeep Patriot
    3. Honda CR-V
    4. Subaru Forester

    I've looked at all four models, and there are things about each that I like and dislike. I'm lukewarm on the notion of buying a Japanese / non-American car (old jingoistic feelings die hard), but I'm open to the possibility this go around.

    So, if anyone has owned any of these cars and would be willing to share thoughts one way or the other, I'd really appreciate it. If not, carry on!
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  3. #2
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    I have a 2009 Jeep Patriot and I like it. It gets good gas mileage and is fun to drive. I have the 4 cylinder model so it is more of a grocery go getter than anything else.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    My father works for a GM dealer and has had nothing but good things to say about the Terrain and Equinox in that class. But I can't help you with those names.

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    I recommend going to a dealer for each and test driving each vehicle. Find out which one fits you best. Every driver is different and some things that bug one person might not be an issue with another. I seem to recall you mentioning that you're tall, so things like how much space you have and how the instrument panel and driver controls are laid out might be a factor. After you've tested each vehicle, use the internet to find deals.

    The last car my wife and I bought, we test drove a number of different vehicles and then my wife decided which one she liked best. The dealer where we test drove the car was really pushing to get her to buy, but we held off and contacted about 5 other local dealers over the internet requesting info on that particular model. Within a day, we had another dealer not only offer us a better deal, but, just so that my wife could check the car out before we bought it, they dropped it off at our house and let her drive it for a few days before she made her decision. This wasn't some luxury model either, where this type of customer service might be expected, but a GM dealer and a Pontiac G6. We ended up buying from that dealer and getting an incredible deal on the car that we wouldn't have gotten had we just bought one by just dropping in on one dealer and making a purchase there.
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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Caveat, this isn't an answer to your questions, and you may already know about these sites, but the following are valuable to anyone shopping for a new car:

    http://www.truecar.com/index.html

    http://www.carbuyingtips.com/

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

  7. #6
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Thanks for the tips Y -- and, mac, I've seen both those websites during the course of my research prior to hitting the various dealerships. I feel pretty comfortable going into negotiations on buying when the time comes (or leasing, I decide to go that route with Honda or Subaru).

    Really, right now, I've looked over each of the car's and am just trying to see if anyone has good/bad experiences with the individual models -- bad repair trips, chronic problems, things they discovered 6-12 months in to owning the car that they wish they had known when they were on the lot originally. That sort of thing.

    I crossed off a lot of cars to get to this point (Equinox was an early cut due to the popularity of the line -- tough to get dealers down to my price when the cars are moving off the lot regularly), and I'm left with these 4. I'll probably end up just getting the one that I get the best deal on, but a little real-owner feedback might sway me one way or the other.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 09-26-2010 at 02:46 AM.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I crossed off a lot of cars to get to this point (Equinox was an early cut due to the popularity of the line -- tough to get dealers down to my price when the cars are moving off the lot regularly)
    I was going to recommend an Equinox or Terrain but you make an excellent point. GM can't make them fast enough, and dealers are selling them at or above MSRP.

    When was the last time GM had a vehicle with that problem?
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  9. #8
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    I was going to recommend an Equinox or Terrain but you make an excellent point. GM can't make them fast enough, and dealers are selling them at or above MSRP.

    When was the last time GM had a vehicle with that problem?
    It's been a while -- I looked at an Equinox the last time I was in the market for a new car (around 4-5 years ago), and it was a hideous mess. More like a minivan with no sliding door than any SUV I'd ever seen.

    Good for GM finally getting something right in this segment!
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    So, due to some rather unfortunate (and extremely frustrating) circumstances, I'm finding myself suddenly in the market for a new car.

    I really dislike the entire process of car shopping, and I'd place the experience as one slightly below total-mouth root canal in terms of stress and pleasure. However, I'm not about to start catching a bus to work, so a car is kind of a requirement.

    I'm pretty settled on wanting / needing a crossover-SUV type model -- I don't work in a job that lends itself to calling in for snow days, and having a non-4WD / AWD car the past 4 years hasn't been the best experience. I'm also pretty tall, so the sedan lifestyle isn't exactly for me.

    I was wondering if anyone on RZ had any experience with the following cars that they'd be willing to share (either positive or negative):

    1. Ford Escape
    2. Jeep Patriot
    3. Honda CR-V
    4. Subaru Forester

    I've looked at all four models, and there are things about each that I like and dislike. I'm lukewarm on the notion of buying a Japanese / non-American car (old jingoistic feelings die hard), but I'm open to the possibility this go around.

    So, if anyone has owned any of these cars and would be willing to share thoughts one way or the other, I'd really appreciate it. If not, carry on!
    You've got that list upside down as far as quality of vehicles.

    The Subaru is built in a plant in Indiana, the first all-green plant ever built in the United States. (You mentioned buying "American".) Every piece of waste is recycled at that plant to the extent that it's a wildlife sanctuary on the outside of the plant.

    However, because you mentioned "pretty tall", that may be the most important reason for your car purchase. You don't want to go around being uncomfortable while driving, especially if it's any kind of long distance/vacation/off-road type of driving. The Forester may not be the car for you as it's limited to someone about 6',2" being "comfortable" while driving. I've seen many 6', 5" driving them, but they are generally crouched down. If you get the unit with the sunroof (the biggest sunroof of any car made), you'll lose another 2" of headroom. There aren't many vehicles that accommodate people over 6', 2" "comfortably, but Chevrolet probably does the best job, while at the same time making the best auto's (next to Honda, with the SUV's the exception with Honda where they just don't cut it physically, as it's more of a City Car with off-road aspirations), with the exception of all-terrain vehicles, where Subaru dominates that section of the industry (unless you want to spend 2-3 times as much for an Audi).

    As far as "off-road", the Subaru is in a class all by itself to those other three you have listed. For comfort, you might consider the GM that was mentioned, as it's probably the most comfortable of them all, even over the Jeep. Jeeps are notoriously in the shop all the time. They are mechanic's dreams.

    The Honda CR-V is poor at climbing, if you're going to be doing any real off-road driving, as well as not so good at taking corners.

    The Ford has the worst and cheapest frame of any SUV you can find. It's not a dependable off-road vehicle.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 09-26-2010 at 03:52 AM.

  11. #10
    Miami Redhawks Redhook's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    You might want to consider adding Hyundai's Santa Fe to your list. We have two Hyundai's, Sonata and a Sante Fe, and they're great cars with the best warranty. Very affordable too compared to Honda's and Toyota's.
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    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Some tips here. Since you hate car shopping, if you are buying new, go through a dealership that has an internet sales department. Most of them are no-haggle pricing, and the price they quote you is usually MUCH better than you'd get from a sales guy working the floor. The reason it works that way, at most dealers the person/people assigned to the internet dept aren't the typical sales guy on commission. I bought my car though the internet dept, and it turned out the guy in charge of the sales was the GM for the dealership. I sent and email and told them what I was looking for, he replied back with a quote (which was far less than I had gotten then in person negotiations), and I setup a time to go test drive. After the test drive, I was out the door in an hour with my new car. No BS, pretty straight forward.

    On the Honda, although it's a Japaneese company, most Hondas are made right here in Ohio.

    As for the Jeep, I have never had any luck with Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep automatic trannys. They are HORRIBLE.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post

    As for the Jeep, I have never had any luck with Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep automatic trannys. They are HORRIBLE.
    I have had 4 Jeeps and have never had any problems what so ever. I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with 98k miles and not one issue, ever.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

  14. #13
    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfanmia View Post
    I have had 4 Jeeps and have never had any problems what so ever. I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with 98k miles and not one issue, ever.
    Consider yourself lucky. My cousin is on his 3rd in his Wrangler. My other cousin has a Ram pickup, he's on his 5th, 2 of them were out of warranty.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

  15. #14
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    I was going to recommend an Equinox or Terrain but you make an excellent point. GM can't make them fast enough, and dealers are selling them at or above MSRP.

    When was the last time GM had a vehicle with that problem?
    Buick Enclave. The WSJ journal had a cool article during GM's troubles about the mass production and subsequent excess inventory that GM was experiencing. So they changed their logic with the Enclave and I think the Acadia as well. But before that, I'd bet it was a long time.
    Last edited by edabbs44; 09-26-2010 at 12:24 PM.

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    Re: Shopping for a New Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhook View Post
    You might want to consider adding Hyundai's Santa Fe to your list. We have two Hyundai's, Sonata and a Sante Fe, and they're great cars with the best warranty. Very affordable too compared to Honda's and Toyota's.
    True.


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