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Topic: Adventures in Car Buying, USA  (Read 2196 times)

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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2020, 02:37:55 PM »
Because of your location, I'd consider small SUV's. The winter tires will matter more than the height of the vehicle, unless you're somewhere that isn't well plowed. Snow can come down fast, but the roads usually end up closed if its faster than they can reasonably plow to keep it to 1-3" depth. I'm guessing subaru's are out of your budget, but that is what all of my friends swear by these days for snow life (since it has AWD).


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2020, 02:41:53 PM »
I know this may not be 'cool' but a Toyota Prius? Very good fuel economy, Toyota so will be reliable, hatchback trunk, roomy inside for a small (US standard) car. Due to the electric engine it will be able to shift when needed to. I have a Lexus CT200h which is effectively a Prius with a body kit and it's never skipped a beat! If you take it to a dealer every year for its service they guarantee the batteries for you for another year.

However, will perform in snowy conditions no better than any other ordinary car.
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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2020, 02:46:44 PM »
I know this may not be 'cool' but a Toyota Prius? Very good fuel economy, Toyota so will be reliable, hatchback trunk, roomy inside for a small (US standard) car. Due to the electric engine it will be able to shift when needed to. I have a Lexus CT200h which is effectively a Prius with a body kit and it's never skipped a beat! If you take it to a dealer every year for its service they guarantee the batteries for you for another year.

However, will perform in snowy conditions no better than any other ordinary car.
I have a friend who managed with a prius in the snow belt of Buffalo, it just needs winter tires and a couple sandbags in the trunk like all small cars.


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2020, 03:11:02 PM »
I have a friend who managed with a prius in the snow belt of Buffalo, it just needs winter tires and a couple sandbags in the trunk like all small cars.

True, the Prius's are front wheel drive so would perform better than rear wheel drive cars (which most are in America)
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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2020, 06:06:13 PM »
So just a tiny amount of specific criteria  ;)

Can I just ask, will this be bought in the UK or US? That changes things.

Edit:- just noticed your title says USA

Yep.

Reliable. Prefer a valid warranty, but that's unlikely.
Environmental system absolutely must work, particularly the AC system
Affordable.
Preferably not older than 5 years old.
Automatic tranny.
Not high-miles.
Hatchback, but it's not a deal-breaker.

It'd be hella easier in the UK - used cars are ridiculously cheap over there.  8)


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2020, 06:10:53 PM »
Because of your location, I'd consider small SUV's. The winter tires will matter more than the height of the vehicle, unless you're somewhere that isn't well plowed. Snow can come down fast, but the roads usually end up closed if its faster than they can reasonably plow to keep it to 1-3" depth. I'm guessing subaru's are out of your budget, but that is what all of my friends swear by these days for snow life (since it has AWD).

Yep, well out of our budget.  Also, the Daughter says that Toyota now owns a majority stake in the company that makes the Subarus, so the new ones (according to her source) are not of the same quality as the old ones were.  Would love to have one of the old ones - one of the kid's friend's moms used to drive them around in an old Suburu battle-wagon and it lasted forever. 


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2020, 06:19:06 PM »
I know this may not be 'cool' but a Toyota Prius? Very good fuel economy, Toyota so will be reliable, hatchback trunk, roomy inside for a small (US standard) car. Due to the electric engine it will be able to shift when needed to. I have a Lexus CT200h which is effectively a Prius with a body kit and it's never skipped a beat! If you take it to a dealer every year for its service they guarantee the batteries for you for another year.

However, will perform in snowy conditions no better than any other ordinary car.

Won't be in the snow that much - I don't have to be. If the Daughter is commuting, it needs to get through. We are not far from very main roads, so if they are not plowed most of my neighbors aren't getting to work either. That would be the point when I think we'd call "The Flex Bus" which is run by the local bus company and functions very much like an uber. Or she would call in and say she can't get there and is working from home. (Which she could well be doing anyway - no job yet.)

Price of a relatively recent vintage Prius is an absolute killer. (Reminder, I'm keeping this under my $14K cash price. I'm not going into debt for a car.)  Plus, charging facilities would be problematic here (we live in an apartment complex) and a lot of the places we would tend to go are both well outside the car's driving range and would have the same problem - nowhere to power it up.

Appreciate the suggestions, though. Both are nice-looking vehicles.


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2020, 06:24:56 PM »
True, the Prius's are front wheel drive so would perform better than rear wheel drive cars (which most are in America)

I haven't seen a rear-wheel drive car in ages. I really like the idea of All-wheel-drive. We drove, as a rental, a Mitsubishi Outlander and I really like it. BUT, way too expensive for us even as a used car. And it actually is a lot bigger than I need.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 06:27:26 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2020, 06:58:11 PM »
I had no issue with low to the ground, front wheel drive in Colorado. But Colorado snow is powdery.  Both were Acura’s (glorified Hondas).

I’d have a look at Hondas but suspect they will be over budget if you are only looking at 2018 or newer.

Only thing I would have changed (and had budgeted to do before I found out I was being transferred to England) was have a remote start!  I was always Sooooooooooooooooo envious of friends who would go to the window and start their cars to melt the snow and get them warm!  Luckily I had a garage at home but not at work or the dance studio.

I have only owned rear wheel drives in the U.K.  Meaning during the rear snowstorm, I am home bound. A couple of years ago I got my car stuck in our cul de sac and it took my husband an hour of shovelling to get it back in the garage. Oppsies!


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2020, 09:01:51 PM »
I had no issue with low to the ground, front wheel drive in Colorado. But Colorado snow is powdery.  Both were Acura’s (glorified Hondas).

I’d have a look at Hondas but suspect they will be over budget if you are only looking at 2018 or newer.

Only thing I would have changed (and had budgeted to do before I found out I was being transferred to England) was have a remote start!  I was always Sooooooooooooooooo envious of friends who would go to the window and start their cars to melt the snow and get them warm!  Luckily I had a garage at home but not at work or the dance studio.

I have only owned rear wheel drives in the U.K.  Meaning during the rear snowstorm, I am home bound. A couple of years ago I got my car stuck in our cul de sac and it took my husband an hour of shovelling to get it back in the garage. Oppsies!

Yeah, I'm looking at cars no more than 5 years old, so since the 2021s are out, we're talking 2016. If I found a decent Honda in my price range I'd probably go for it. But I haven't seen anything even remotely close.

Ewwwwww about getting stuck in the cul-de-sac!   :o

I had a little RWD car (Mazda GLC) that I used to put big bags of kitty litter into the trunk every winter - and cement blocks in the years I didn't own a cat). It made all the difference. With the kitty litter, if I got a problem with being on the equivalent of an ice rink I could also spread a bit of the kitty litter around to get out of it, too.... Wish I still had that GLC.


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2020, 09:37:27 PM »
Sigh.

Two different sets of exchanges with two more dealerships today.

One salesman wanted to bring the car to me tomorrow to test drive. I wrote back we'd rather go there, as I wanted to be able to start the car when it was cold (hadn't run yet) and also because we preferred to not be in the car with a salesman. Both for Covid and for privacy while we discussed the car as we tested it out. Took six, count 'em six emails to get the guy onboard with our going there next Tuesday and him not bringing the car here tomorrow, and not bringing it here next Tuesday, to sort it all out. Lots of "I don't mind, I'll wait at your place while you drive it" etc. (Um, out on the curb it would be!)  Missed the point about cold-starting the engine - or maybe not!  Whatever. It's set for next Tuesday afternoon. Finally. We will go there.

People do not freaking read.

So another dealership up in Saratoga Springs. They have a 2019 Kia Soul.  Sent a note of interest in that particular car, and asked if they could send us the info on the car (Carfax, etc.). Also asked if we could arrange to drive it next week on Wednesday.  Got back a long string of URL that I think probably eventually would have gotten to a Carfax report if it hadn't cut off. And a very enthusiastic confirmation of our appointment at 10:30 tomorrow morning. Had to write back and say next week was not tomorrow. Got a short "oh, ok, that's fine."

WTF.  Again, people do not read.

Smartphones have made people "stupider".  ::)


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2020, 08:48:17 AM »
Won't be in the snow that much - I don't have to be. If the Daughter is commuting, it needs to get through. We are not far from very main roads, so if they are not plowed most of my neighbors aren't getting to work either. That would be the point when I think we'd call "The Flex Bus" which is run by the local bus company and functions very much like an uber. Or she would call in and say she can't get there and is working from home. (Which she could well be doing anyway - no job yet.)

Price of a relatively recent vintage Prius is an absolute killer. (Reminder, I'm keeping this under my $14K cash price. I'm not going into debt for a car.)  Plus, charging facilities would be problematic here (we live in an apartment complex) and a lot of the places we would tend to go are both well outside the car's driving range and would have the same problem - nowhere to power it up.

Appreciate the suggestions, though. Both are nice-looking vehicles.

Hi Nan,

The Prius's are hybrid. That means they don't need charging. They get charged by the engine and braking and will run as an electric car when conditions are met (eg. cruising around at 30mph). If you put your foot down or run out of battery charge the engine will kick in :).

I feel you're asking for too much. Something has to give. For instance, high AWD cars tend to not be fuel efficient. You could have a hybrid AWD but that's over your price range. You could have a cheaper hybrid but it's not AWD.

What are your orders of priority?
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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2020, 11:59:24 AM »
At least with the first instance, I dont think it's a lack of reading but perhaps something dodgy they are trying to cover up (whether with the car or at site). They are salesmen. They likely think if they press hard enough you'll cave (especially being a woman - unfortunate to say) but they haven't a clue who they're dealing with ;) second one might be down to system error? While smart phones don't help in certain areas, i dont think  reading comprehension or these issus you're flagging is one of them lol

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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2020, 02:53:23 PM »
Hi Nan,

The Prius's are hybrid. That means they don't need charging. They get charged by the engine and braking and will run as an electric car when conditions are met (eg. cruising around at 30mph). If you put your foot down or run out of battery charge the engine will kick in :).
I feel you're asking for too much. Something has to give. For instance, high AWD cars tend to not be fuel efficient. You could have a hybrid AWD but that's over your price range. You could have a cheaper hybrid but it's not AWD.
What are your orders of priority?

1) Affordable. If we can't afford it, none of the following matters. Prefer a valid warranty, because repair costs over the next five years are something I consider in determining "affordable."

2) Reliable/safe.  Must start and run reliably.  No tin-cans-on-roller-skate cars.

2) Tied at #2 with Environmental system absolutely must work, particularly the AC system.

(If we don't have working A/C, the car is worthless to us in the hot months. One of the reason in getting a car is to not be exposed to excessive heat/cold when traveling. It's a medical issue, not a "comfort" issue. We need to also not be worried it's going to strand us on the road in hot weather for that same reason. It's got to run when we need it to run. So I need to choose wisely to minimize that risk. And also the cost of repairs on those systems - if they take special parts only that model uses, etc.)

3) Preferably not older than 5 years old and not high-miles.  I am uncomfortable with a car with more than 50K miles on it. Had plenty of those in my life and they start nickle-and-diming you to death on repair costs and it's not nice living with a car that you have to say a small prayer to just before turning the ignition key in hopes it's going to turn over.

(Cars older than that tend to have much higher miles and no chance of warranty. Also, there is a point at which even a very low-miles car will need repairs because parts, such as hoses and electricals, will simply start to fail due to age. Like tires. Per my very reliable mechanic of 25 years, previously. I inherited a car a few years back that had under 15K miles on it and had literally been driven by a little old lady only to the store and church. It was a top of the line car from it's year, but it was older and cost me a small fortune to keep running due to needing to replace the original wiring, etc., that was starting to crumble away. Every couple of months it'd leave me sitting by the side of the road with something else gone wrong. NOT doing that again.)

4) Automatic tranny.

(Not a make or break, although the Daughter doesn't know how to drive a stick. Yet. She can learn if she wants to drive it. There are days when it would be more comfortable for me to not have to be moving my leg to run a clutch pedal, too. Also, I slightly prefer a mechanical transmission over a CVT due to the difference in the cost of repairing the CVT down the line, if it's ever needed. A warranty would take care of that, though.)

5) Hatchback, but it's not a deal-breaker.

6) Fuel efficient. We aren't going to be driving that much and fuel is cheap. It'd be nice if it was very fuel efficient as I'd like to be as non-damaging to the environment as possible, but at this point we need transportation, so if it'll get over 20mpg I'd take it if it ticks all the other boxes.


NOT required - I like  AWD, but I've been long resigned to not getting that because, as you say, it adds to the cost. A used Outlander is over $17,000 and the insurance is much higher than the smaller cars I've been hunting.  It also has too many bells and whistles on it anyway. Nice to drive, though.

NOT wanted - a lot of tech. Blue-tooth, touch-screens, lane warning alerts, automatic stopping tech are all actually negatives in my book. (I do like backup cameras, but I've been backing cars up for decades just fine without them. Just one more thing to have to repair if it breaks.) Seriously, if I could find a vehicle comparable to a 1960s Datsun (terrorist) pickup truck, with A/C.... :)

DON'T REALLY CARE - sound system, colors, interior other than the seats really do need to have some support in them. Would be nice if they were heated, but, again, all the cars I've owned did not have heated seats, so I can manage just fine without that perk. It just feels really good when one has a sore back to have that heat on it.

I did not know that about the Prius! That's cool. They are also out of our price range, until you start talking quite old models. I would assume they are probably more expensive to repair than a "normal" car would be, given their unusual components and the need to source parts from only that manufacturer and have the work done at a dealer? The Daughter is also saying that there are a lot of  jokes about Priuses not being able to accelerate well enough for you to survive on a LA freeway. Not sure if that's true or not (and I no longer live in LA, but it's not out of the question that we might again soon).

I did another search last night, and things are looking a little better for the Kia Soul. (The market does fluctuate wildly, been watching for a while. They are starting to do massive sales on brand new cars, so perhaps people will trade in their older cars and there will be more to choose from in a few weeks.) Anyway, last night I found the following:

2019 -  $13,997 34K miles,  (will be renting a car to go see this, it's about 90 miles from here) warranty would be good for another 4 years, I believe. A little more tech in it than I'd like, but I could deal with it.

2018 -  $14,999, 10,511 miles, comes with a warranty that would be good for almost 7 years on the powertrain and one year on everything else as a "certified used" car. One owner, NY garaged its whole life. I could bend the budget a bit for that warranty.

2017 -  $12, 860 about 34.5K miles, not too far from us (the place that kept wanting to bring it to us) Powertrain warranty good for another 15K miles or 2 years, whichever came first.

2016 -  $12,500 and about 30K miles (also about 90 miles away, will see it on the same trip) Powertrain warranty good for one more year or 29K miles....


All of the above would be acceptable, although 2018 and older are slightly better because they have less touch-screen stuff and tech in them. (And thus no future repairs on it.) The insurance on them would be around $80 a month for full coverage, $250 deductible. One thing that is annoying with the Soul is that you do not get a spare tire. Not even a donut tire with it. They are available aftermarket as a kit that comes with a jack and a lug wrench, but it's still pretty annoying. The little "patch it" kits don't handle shredded tires and AAA will only change a spare, not do the temporary patch thing on the road.

The one we drove (with the malfunctioning AC) was just under $14K, so it appears I may have some leeway for bargaining, given the above. Assuming they'd bargain at all. And assuming they fixed the AC. (Which, apparently from my research is a cheap resistor that has failed.)

Sill looking at Nissan Versa Notes, though, as the Daughter really wants one of those. I am getting older, and I imagine this will be the last car I buy "for me". I don't think I'll still be driving in five years, and so she'll probably end up with it. So I'm still checking those out. They get really amazing gas mileage, too.
 


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Re: Adventures in Car Buying, USA
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2020, 02:58:48 PM »
I think you'll struggle to get many 5 year old max cars with no tech - especially if they hsve heated seats as that's usually the luxury bit of tech. Good luck though! Hope you find the right one for you soon

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My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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