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  1. #21
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
    2006-
    Kia Sedona
    Hyundai Sonata
    Mitsubishi Galant
    Chevy Malibu
    Subary Legacy
    Honda Accord
    We now have a 2006 Sedona to replace our 2006 Odyssey after an accident. Although we are still a bit leary about longterm reliability for Kia we really like our new van. It has loads of bells and whistles, very comfortable to drive (the Odyssey was really too big for me) and it cost nearly $10k less than our Odyssey did. We were able to get a dealer demo plus the $4k rebate on 06 models when we purchased last month. Our price was thousands less than we saw anywhere else. It is a fiscal stretch for us but we needed to feel good about our family's car safety.
    DS1 9 yo 75+ lbs 5pt in a Frontier
    DS2 7 yo 65+ lbs in a Regent


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  3. #22
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
    On the finance topic:
    What do you think of a $400/month coushin? Does that seem way too small or does it seem reasonable?
    Can't really give you financial advice, but..... $300 isn't too bad of a cushin, but it all depends on what you are doing with that $300. Are you putting it in Savings, or are you using it as expendable income to buy odds and ends? <---retorical question..
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  4. #23
    Carseat Crazy beeman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    My mom loves here crown vic(1996), what can I say, we like our old fords. We've had it since it was just a yearling. It's now got over 200,000km, without too much trouble. I would recomend it. If you get the right colour too, it looks like a ghost car, which is fun to watch speeders faces as they pass you .

    As for the cussion, you don't need a brand new vehicle. A quality pre-owned vehicle works just as well at a fraction of the cost. Even if it does require some more repairs and maintenace, it will most likely still end up costing you less. Keep as big of a cushion as you can. Car payments are expensive, and interest can get expensive fast, especially on a depreciable item, such as a vehicle.

  5. #24
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Okay, I drive a Legacy wagon so I'm biased, but I'd push for the Legacy sedan, which is virtually identical. No electronic stability control on most models, but Subarus consistently top IIHS and NHTSA ratings for safety, plus Consumer Reports ratings for reliability. I'm on my second Subaru, and they are awesome cars, with especially outstanding side impact protection.

    I also test-drove a Passat wagon, and liked the Legacy much better. (I love to drive, and thought it handled better. Plus it was cheaper and had better crash test ratings.)

    Because Subaru doesn't have the market cache of VW, or even Honda, you can probably get a better deal on it. It will also cost you much less to repair than a VW and will likely be more reliable over the long run.

    One thing to consider: do you ever hope to be able to get three seats across? That would likely be quite difficulty in the Legacy, Accord, or Passat (though I know someone who did it in an older Passat. One was a booster, though.)
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

  6. #25
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Hey Southpaw, I thought you'd help me out on the Legacy here! Surely you're the kind of guy who can appreciate a Subie.....
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

  7. #26
    CPS Technician AdventureMom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by twokidstwodogs View Post
    I also test-drove a Passat wagon, and liked the Legacy much better. (I love to drive, and thought it handled better. Plus it was cheaper and had better crash test ratings.) ....
    One thing to consider: do you ever hope to be able to get three seats across? That would likely be quite difficulty in the Legacy, Accord, or Passat (though I know someone who did it in an older Passat. One was a booster, though.)
    ITA! We love to drive and have always preferred having manual transmission for that reason and getting cars that you can really *drive*... We have both had VWs in the past and loved them. And recently almost bought an older Passat sedan that a friend was selling. But when we drove the Passat wagon and then the Subaru Outback wagon, there was no comparison. The Outback handled better and seemed less cumbersome/heavy. But I agree about 3 in the backseat - there's no way that could happen in a newer Outback, not sure about the older ones. We had two seats back there at times and there was only about 8-10 inches between them. Granted, one was a Triumph, but still..

    OTH, my inlaws have an 06 Accord and I'm willing to bet that you could get 3 across in there. I think it was quite a bit wider than our Outback (same body as the Legacy).

    Good luck car shopping! Getting a new (or new-to-you) car is always fun...

    DS|2002|FF in Britax Frontier 85 and Graco TurboBooster
    DD|2007|FF in two Britax Frontier 85's

  8. #27
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Twokidstwodogs, I love your screen name!! We are one kid and 3 dogs, one reason we finally needed a bigger van. It was ridiculous trying to fit everything into the MPV with all of us. Today is our first trip with everybody loaded into the Odyssey and I can't wait!
    On topic, we had a new Accord before we moved to the minivan and we loved it. You can't beat Honda's resale value and reliability either.
    And I would feel comfortable with a 300-400 cushion every month, especially if you could put it into savings when you don't dip into it, so you're actually earning something on it.
    Jill

  9. #28
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by lovinwaves View Post
    Hey SPB, would you mind PM'ing some info on the reliability issues you have heard on the Passat? DH and I are curious since we have never heard of this. Also, would you assume though that the repair costs would be the same on the Honda's, Toyota's, and VW's?
    i'll try to dig that up... and no, i wouldn't say the repair costs are the same between the japanese and german cars... german cars have always been more expensive (for the same repairs). but i was referring mainly to the fact that the german cars fail more often than the japanese cars (especially electrical problems)... so more trips to the dealer and more out-of-pocket expenses during ownership (not to mention the headaches).
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  10. #29
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by AdventureMom View Post
    ITA! We love to drive and have always preferred having manual transmission for that reason and getting cars that you can really *drive*... We have both had VWs in the past and loved them. And recently almost bought an older Passat sedan that a friend was selling. But when we drove the Passat wagon and then the Subaru Outback wagon, there was no comparison. The Outback handled better and seemed less cumbersome/heavy.
    My current car is my first automatic transmission. It was so hard giving up the manual (sob!), but my commute now involves 26 miles of stop and go traffic, and it was driving me nuts. (It was actually impressive how well my old Forester's clutch held up to those conditions.) But the 5 speed automatic on my Legacy, which is the GT Limited, has a sport mode with a manual control as well. So I still get some of the advantages of a manual without killing my left leg, but it's not the same.

    I did *like* the Passat, but I was blown away by how nice the Legacy was, and how much fun it was to drive. DH had the same reaction. They've really refined it. (Even my WRX diehard friend was impressed when he drove it.) I've never actually driven an Outback, so I don't know how they compare, but I assume it's pretty similar, except for the center of gravity difference. (My dogs are getting a little too old to jump into the back of an Outback; we needed something lower for them.) I think people don't realize how sporty Subarus can be, or how well-regarded their AWD system is.
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

  11. #30
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by jmsherwood View Post
    Twokidstwodogs, I love your screen name!! We are one kid and 3 dogs, one reason we finally needed a bigger van. It was ridiculous trying to fit everything into the MPV with all of us. Today is our first trip with everybody loaded into the Odyssey and I can't wait!
    We have an Odyssey too, which I love. Being able to fit our dogs in the car is essential; in fact, when I was car shopping for wagons last summer, the first thing I did was open the cargo door and climb in to make sure there would be room for two 70 lb dogs in there. The salespeople thought I was nuts!

    Have fun on your trip!
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

  12. #31
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Growing up my mom and dad ALWAYS had Subarus. I will definitly check out the Legacy. DH nixed the Passat completely. He's really closed about the Accord, though he may just have to suck it up.
    He says he doesn't want another "car". I had spent months working on him to accept the idea of a mini van and to accept Hyundai and now I'm throwing all that out the window.
    He is open to the 2004 crown vic/grand marquis or the 2003 town car because "at least they're BIG"
    Last edited by Synchro246; 03-02-2007 at 08:06 PM.
    ~Laura™ mom to Seamus (6) in a Regent and Mickey (4) in a ff Myride. Due 6/26/11 with Abigail Tucker, patiently awaiting the install of her Myride.

  13. #32
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    FWIW we have an '02 Passat wagon (that we bought at the end of '01) that has had zero problems other than an initial recall issue with something that I can't even remember now (it was an engine thing...IIRC). Ours was fixed before it failed though so it wasn't really a big deal.

    I also test drove the Outback and preferred the way the Passat drove....plus it was roomier and I knew we'd be doing 3 across...it was my main car until #3 was 14 mo old and we bought a Sienna.

    Anyway, I know that VW doesn't have the best reputation for reliablity, but we haven't had any trouble at all with ours. Of course it has been very faithfully maintained.....

  14. #33
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    here are some JD powers reliability numbers for an accord, camry, and passat. i chose the 2002 model year and the highest trim level with V6 engines in each car. i chose 2002 just because the farther back you go, the more long-term data there is, which you will see below:

    2002 VW passat:

    Initial Quality Ratings (0-90 days)
    Mechanical Quality 3 / 5
    Body & Interior Quality 2 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Quality 3 / 5
    Performance 3 / 5
    Creature Comforts 3 / 5
    Style 4 / 5
    Long Term Dependability Ratings (4-5 years)
    Mechanical Dependability 2 / 5
    Body & Interior Dependability 2 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Dependability 2 / 5

    2002 honda accord:

    Initial Quality Ratings (0-90 days)
    Mechanical Quality 4 / 5
    Body & Interior Quality 4 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Quality 5 / 5
    Performance 3 / 5
    Creature Comforts 3 / 5
    Style 2 / 5
    Long Term Dependability Ratings (4-5 years)
    Mechanical Dependability 5 / 5
    Body & Interior Dependability 3 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Dependability 3 / 5

    2002 toyota camry:

    Initial Quality Ratings (0-90 days)
    Mechanical Quality 3 / 5
    Body & Interior Quality 2 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Quality 5 / 5
    Performance 4 / 5
    Creature Comforts 4 / 5
    Style 3 / 5
    Long Term Dependability Ratings (4-5 years)
    Mechanical Dependability 4 / 5
    Body & Interior Dependability 3 / 5
    Feature and Accessory Dependability 4 / 5

    btw, you can get all this data from edmunds.com. just go to the research used cars section, and for each car you select, there is a link to JD powers data
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  15. #34
    CPS Technician AdventureMom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Southpaw, you're great... Gotta have someone like you on here!

    DS|2002|FF in Britax Frontier 85 and Graco TurboBooster
    DD|2007|FF in two Britax Frontier 85's

  16. #35
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    here are some JD powers reliability numbers for an accord, camry, and passat. i chose the 2002 model year and the highest trim level with V6 engines in each car. i chose 2002 just because the farther back you go, the more long-term data there is, which you will see below:
    Gee Thanks SBP, now you just gave DH a reason to sell his '03 Passat...
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  17. #36
    CPS Technician strollerfreak's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    It is possible to get 3 across in a Passat...a friend of mine did it with a Radian/(Snugride/Marathon)/(UltraCargo/ComfortSport).

    Also if you are used to driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle then a Crown Vic/Towncar/Grand Marquis is a good choice...otherwise, if you're used to front-wheel drive and you live somewhere that gets alot of snow, you may want to consider shying away.

    My Dh loves to drive those three just for the "fun" factor in winter...oh the donuts he can do... He says it's much more fun than his Mustang in the winter.
    ~Mel, Ex-CPST, Triathlete & Mom of 5ReiKids + 1E!!!

  18. #37
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Thanks Southpaw!!!

    Ok, now I'm leaning toward the Accord, the Legacy, and the CrownVic/Marquis.
    I haven't had rear-wheel drive car in a while--since my '71 VW bug and I'm sure that's a totally different animal than a Crown Vic. I'm pretty adaptive to different cars though.

    We live in Florida, so there's no snow, but plenty of rain.
    Our subdivision floods pretty badly and sometimes it's very dificult to leave in the Civic. I've tried to look for ground clearance on vehicles before, but I've never been able to come up with anything. Anyone know a source for that type of info? Or does anyone know how to fabricate an exhaust snorkle that will get me thru less than a mile of knee deep water? Do mini-vans have a higher ground clearance than cars? It doesn't seem like it to me. . .How bout the CrownVic--do you think it's higher than the other cars? I know that's another point for the piolet(sp?), but I still can't afford it. . .
    ~Laura™ mom to Seamus (6) in a Regent and Mickey (4) in a ff Myride. Due 6/26/11 with Abigail Tucker, patiently awaiting the install of her Myride.

  19. #38
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    yes, minvans and SUVs DO have higher ground clearance than cars... so if knee-high water is a problem, i would go with an SUV...they have typically more clearance than minivans. i don't think a crown vic has any more clearance than most other passenger cars. i would worry about driving ANY car through knee-deep water unless it's an SUV... not so much because of the exhaust, but because of flooding the interior (once water gets under the carpeting, it'll never dry and you'll have permanent mold problems) and possibly the air intake for the engine. the engine sucks in huge amounts of air in order to burn the fuel, and if water gets into the intake, it can cause the engine to hydrolock, often destroying the engine!
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  20. #39
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    My 2 cents:

    I haven't seen anyone mention INSURANCE & Location. . .

    When I bought my '06 Camry last year, my insurance actually was lower than for my '00 Galant because of the safety features and reliablity of the Camry.

    Depending upon where you live, cost of insurance can really impact monthly costs. . .

    My new '91 Civic in MA (never move to MA with a < 6 month old car: sales tax, registration, license, insurance - scary) cost more than my brother's Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer AND a Buick Grand National for less in MN. Not to mention the male under 30 factor. When I moved back to NE, my insurance cost was cut by a 1/3 and I was able to INCREASE the coverage.

    Ditto for repair costs. If you live in a rural area, repair of "foreign" cars can be significantly harder to find and more expensive.

    Switching from a Civic to a Grand Marquis/Crown Vic or a minivan will be a driving (and parking) adventure.

  21. #40
    CPS Technician AdventureMom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide what to do~ to buy a car or not~

    Quote Originally Posted by flipper68 View Post
    Switching from a Civic to a Grand Marquis/Crown Vic or a minivan will be a driving (and parking) adventure.
    So true! I tried to park in Georgetown the other day to run into a store and grab something. It was rush hour and I was lucky enough to find two spots (although several blocks away) - but couldn't fit the Sienna in either one... So I ended up paying to park in a pay lot and the store didn't even have what I went to pick up. Yes, in an urban area, parking a minivan has not been easy.

    DS|2002|FF in Britax Frontier 85 and Graco TurboBooster
    DD|2007|FF in two Britax Frontier 85's

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