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Car Buying Research Help

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pete Incaviglia, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Yup, I'm still looking for a new car. I'm doing it right this time. Taking my sweet ass time, for one. Considering ALL manufacturers, too.

    So, anyone know of or swear by any websites that review cars, fuel consumption, etc? Please post.

    Anyone have their own two cents on makes or models? Toss them up here.

    Anything I can glean from anyone will help!

  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member


    Since I don't know what kind of vehicle you seek - sedan, minivan, etc. - I'll stick with vehicle manufacturers. It's tough to go wrong with anything by Toyota, Nissan or Honda.
  3. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Looking for something with room, now that we're "a family."

    First and foremost on our quest: Gas mileage (and hybrids are officially out because the cost up front, coupled with the risk of repair during an accident and cost of replacement batteries outweigh cars/CUVs/SUVs with four cylinder engines).

    Second: Storage. We have a four month old now. We want another baby by summer 2009. So, cargo space counts.

    Third: Cost. And what sucks is the fact Toyotas and Hondas cost so much more than the American crap. If I can keep them within reasonable costs, it's not bad. But the Big 3 are giving cars away. So if the difference is price is huge, then I have to go with a Dodge or Ford.

  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Check and double-check Consumer Reports. Maybe that's an obvious answer for where to find reviews, but they are damn good IMO with cars. Their car testing compound is not in the same place where they blow up microwaves and do all the other zillions of tests.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Except for the MoPar minivans, that's my sentiment on the rest of the Big Three. Awful crap they're pushing on the consumers.

    Sounds a lot like a minivan is in your future. My parents have a Honda Odyssey, and it has been a superb machine. To boot, it doesn't handle too badly for a big ol' chuckwagon.

    Some will wince at the price of the Odyssey, and I hear you about the cost differences between the imports and domestics. But many people here have endorsed on this board that the extra cost upfront has been worth it and usually leaves the buyer coming out well ahead. I cannot emphasize enough that I feel the same way - to the extent that a 3-year-old Honda, Toyota or Nissan would probably get a look before settling for a new GM CrapBox.

    But if the Odyssey can't be swung financially, I think the MoPar vans are worth a look.

    Playthrough is on the right track with Consumer Reports. But Edmunds pulls no punches with their reviews and preferences ... they're not scared that their gravy train of vehicles will disappear by blasting a crap car. Car and Driver is still the best automotive magazine by a bunch, though I thought Automobile was catching up when David E. Davis, now retired, was at the helm.
  6. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    The in-laws have an Odyssey. We borrowed it for our vacation. I loved it. But damn it's expensive.

    I understand the more money up front is worth it train of thought.

    However, I also figure, let's say the difference in price between a Toyota and Chrysler in a similar category is $4,000. Am I REALLY going to have $4,000 of repairs that aren't covered by warranty?

    I plan on owning whatever I buy for eight years. I suppose resale value of Toyotas are much higher than Dodges, but by how much in eight years?

    I fucking hate buying cars.
  7. lono

    lono Active Member

    Look at a Honda CR-V. A lot less than the Odyssey, but still very family friendly.
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Maybe the repairs aren't worth $4,000. But how many times might the domestic piece of junk leave you stranded? Would a couple of those repairs require the hassle of finding alternative transportation - or having to do without - while the hunk of junk sits on a dealership hoist? Not only will the resale value also be higher with the import, but the import might also last a couple of years longer - or more - before repairs start becoming throwing good money after bad.

    The other possibility is seeing if there's a reputable dealer in your area that has a 2- or 3-year-old Odyssey on the lot. I'd still do that before buying most of the competitors brand-new. Besides, the other consideration could be that buying brand-new anything ends up quickly lost in depreciation.


    Lono's suggestion has some merit. But my mother has one of those, and I don't think as much of it. The positive is that it's a Honda and will probably get slightly better gas mileage, but the negatives (to me) are that it's an SUV and, more objectively, that it doesn't possess the extra seats and storage space that a minivan does.

    Worse, my mother traded a late-model Infiniti G35 for that CR-V (OUCH!). As wise a woman as my mother is, her automotive sense isn't too sharp.
  9. Wenders

    Wenders Active Member

    Kelley Blue Book is another good site. Also, autos.msn.com is a good site that will let you compare cars side by side, to see prices and gas mileage and all that fun crap.

    My aunt drives a Honda CR-V and she really likes that, but I would say it might be just a little too small for two kids.

    Even though it's uncool and might be more expensive, vans are the way to go with small kids. You'll have enough storage space that everyone will be able to be comfortable on long car trips and you'll have enough storage space for all of your stuff and all of their stuff as well. Plus, a lot of vans now come with DVD players in the back, which is another good addition if you're planning on using it for family time.

    Personally, I just bought a Chevy HHR six months ago and I love it. It gets really good gas mileage plus, when I moved 700 miles a month ago, I could haul a LOT of stuff in it because I could lay down all the seats.

    I think it really just depends on what you're going to use it for primarily. And yes, car buying does suck. I wouldn't have done it if my parents hadn't insisted as part of my graduation gift (something about not wanting me to drive my car, which had recently stranded me on the side of a godforsaken Nebraska highway, while I was traveling with the basketball team all around the Big 12).
  10. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    RE: Minivans

    The wife is pushing HARD for a Dodge Journey. I like them, but they're a) Dodge and b) not the best on gas.
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Consumer Reports does a great job and it also provides an invoice price.

    Tell the dealer you want the extended warranty added to the deal at no additional cost. If you're serious about going elsewhere because they won't give you what you want, they'll do it. Dealers are in no position to bargain.

    Be firm.
  12. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Two babies under two years old? Are you trying to KILL your wife?
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