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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Need a new car - 5K budget

    So I need a new car...like yesterday. Mine is dead. I have been using my friend's car for a week in hopes mine would be fixed, but it is done.

    I have 5k to spend. No more, and I do not want to finance. I know NOTHING about cars, reliability and stuff and my husband is no help either. I really wanted a Jeep, but can't find any that fits my criteria.

    I only have one child, and she will probably be my only. I do nanny for a family with 2 kids ( they all have to fit in whatever I get), and in June will be moving to a family with 3 kids, but they own a van, so I don't necessarily need all the seating space, although I do babysit for many people and it would be nice to have the seats all installed and ready to go, and have the option of having whatever seats I want ( right now I have 2 radians in hand so I am able to do 3 across, but I would love to have a frontier 90 plus a FF and rf seats). However I am a photographer and travel to clients houses so open trunk ( SUV style) is a must so I can drop down the seat and have the space. Part of me thinks a van would be overkill, but part of me thinks if I am going with a small SUV, might as well get a van if I can find some in my price range.
    Main things I am looking for:

    -3 point seatbelts in all positions
    -at least 3 top tethers ( if I go with a van/SUV with 3rd row)

    All the jeeps I can find are older and have a lap belt in the center and I 100% do not want that. My daughter and the kids that ride with me will be in boosters before I know it, so having all useable seats are a must.


    Of course it will be an older car. What should I be looking for as far as mileage goes?
    I know Toyotas and Hondas are the most reliable and there are a ton of sedans in my budget, but I absolutely do not want a sedan and all bigger cars I can find as far as Honda and Toyota goes have 150k+ miles.

    What models/years should I be looking for?

    I am trying to find a 2006 or newer Sedona, but there are none around here, they are all in Brooklyn and Queens, and I would like to avoid driving all the way there.
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

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  3. #2
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    For 5k, you can pick up a 1999ish Lexus RX 300, which is one of the safest vehicles you can buy based on driver death rates despite being more than a decade old. That's an SUV. Regarding minivans, you could pick up a 1st generation Sienna, which would be just as reliable as the RX 300 and more versatile from a kid and stuff hauling perspective.
    Last edited by CarSafetyGuy; 03-27-2014 at 10:55 AM.

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    Jeeps are very very expensive. I don't think you'll find a Jeep Unlimited (Unlimited model means it has 4 doors and a backseat for 3) for 5K.

    5K will be tough to get what you are looking for. If you only want to spend 5K, I would look more for sedans like a Taurus, Impala, or Malibu.

    If you decide to spend 10K and finance part of it, I think you may open up more choices.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Definitely not doing sedans. I have a Pontiac sunfire and packing that thing to go on photo shoots makes me want to quit photography. I def need something open so I can pack is better. And I can't finance. My job in june is totally up in the air and so is my husband's and I Iam having a hard time commiting to a 5 year not knowing If we can swing it.

    Originally I wasn't going to buy a car until the the end of of the summer when my friend will be upgrading to a van. She has has a 2009 sorento with 80k miles on it that that she was going to sell me. But my car had other plans and decided to totally crap out on me so now I am scrambling.
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

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  6. #5
    CPS Fanatic 1mommy's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    Not sure on if its cheaper, but an idea to look into, but if your friend is going to give you a great deal at the end of summer you could look into a short term lease from a dealer?
    Mommy to Jake, a.k.a Booger Breath #1- born March 2012 and Sawyer, my little "Soy Bean"- born May 2014

    Playing the Car Seat Shuffle between a True Fit Premier, Guide 65, Graco MySize, Graco Milestone and a Maxi Cosi Pria

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic Brianna's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    What about a hatchback- would that work for your gear?

    The godkids are growing!
    J 9/09 and J&A 1/15

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1mommy View Post
    Not sure on if its cheaper, but an idea to look into, but if your friend is going to give you a great deal at the end of summer you could look into a short term lease from a dealer?
    Or use public trans and rent when needed? Typically car rentals are very inexpensive on the weekends.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy vmmatula's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    I've been shopping and researching in a similar budget for about a month now with mpg, cargo space, and people hauling abilities as my priorities and, where I live anyway, vans are probably more likely to not be ancient and high miles in that budget than suv's...though a couple ford escapes came up on Craigslist that were great deals and they've got raving reviews. another option might be a sportier wagon...you could get a 03 Matrix or Outback but that's getting pretty old, you might be better off wiht a newer Focus wagon or an Elantra one maybe...not the trendiest things out there, but they serve their purpose.

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T4K View Post

    Or use public trans and rent when needed? Typically car rentals are very inexpensive on the weekends.
    I am nanny, 5 days a week, i do school drop offs and pick ups. And on weekends I travel for shoots so I do need a car full time.
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianna View Post
    What about a hatchback- would that work for your gear?
    Yeah that would be fine also. As long as I have the option to put down the seats to have have a flat cargo space, it would be ok.

    How is the Honda Scion xB? Anyone jake experience with it? There are a few 2004/2005 around here that I could look at.
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy vmmatula's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    Quote Originally Posted by lovemybabybug View Post
    How is the Honda Scion xB? Anyone jake experience with it? There are a few 2004/2005 around here that I could look at.
    I looked into those a bit too and they sounded perfect other than safety ratings until after 06, I think it was.

    The PT cruisers and HHRs seemed to go very low priced around here with lower miles...might be worth checking into...

  13. #12
    CPS Technician msg221's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    I looked up the "best used cars" on Consumer Reports and this is what it said about the Scion Xb (which I think is actually a Toyota product, not Honda).

    "Scion xB 2004-05

    The first-generation xB is an extremely roomy and practical small wagon. The low floor and high roof give it near-minivan levels of access. Visibility is very good, and the nimble handling makes it a fine choice on the highway and in the city. We got 30 mpg overall with an automatic transmission."


    If you don't mind the boxy look, it sounds like it would work for you.

    Marsha, Godmother to Nour & Zain (8) and grandparent (aka "Nanny Marsha") to Ethan (8), Katelyn & Owen (7), and Chase, (6)

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmmatula View Post
    I looked into those a bit too and they sounded perfect other than safety ratings until after 06, I think it was.

    The PT cruisers and HHRs seemed to go very low priced around here with lower miles...might be worth checking into...
    The PT was one of my top choices. I like all the space. Butmost everything I read about pre owned cars on line says to stay away from used Chryslers. I would totally get a pacifica also, but again back to the use Chryslers thing. Does anyone want to chime in on that?
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

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  15. #14
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    So I think the scion xb is my top choice right now unless I get lucky and find a mini van in that price range. I just talked to the rep and all models have 3 lap/shoulder belts and 3 TT. Also they have the same base engine as the camry, which is is a pretty reliable car and I like how fuel economic they are.

    For you toyota owners, how high mileage should I be looking for. Of course course the lower the better, but since it is a Toyota I would be ok with a little higher mileage. If you were spending 5k, what would I expect?
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

  16. #15
    CPS Technician msg221's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    Again, looking at Consumer Reports, for model years 2004-2007 for the PT Cruiser, it gets the rating of "worse" as far as engine problems. The Pacifica is a little better. If you want me to e-mail you these reports, PM me and give me your e-mail address!

    Marsha, Godmother to Nour & Zain (8) and grandparent (aka "Nanny Marsha") to Ethan (8), Katelyn & Owen (7), and Chase, (6)

  17. #16
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg221 View Post
    Again, looking at Consumer Reports, for model years 2004-2007 for the PT Cruiser, it gets the rating of "worse" as far as engine problems. The Pacifica is a little better. If you want me to e-mail you these reports, PM me and give me your e-mail address!
    Yeah, I think I am staying away from Chrysler altogether. I was even abke to rind a coiple of twon ame countries in thay price range which makes me think they aren't that reliable being so cheap compared to other vans in yhe same comdition. I don't need another headache lol

    I found a 2006 Scion with 120k miles on it for $4500. They are all about the same price around here for that year/mileage. I am going to do some more reading and maybe I will go take a look at it over the weekend. From what I've read here it doesn't play well with rf radians which blows because I have 2 of them but they don't have to be rear facing, I only need one rf seat in the car so I can use something else .

    Msg, is there a particular website I can look at the reports?
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

  18. #17
    CPS Technician msg221's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    I can see them because my brother has a subscription to Consumer Reports so he has online access and just gave me his login information. I can print the reports so if there is one you want for a particlular make/model/year, let me know and I can e-mail them to you.

    KBB.com and Edmunds.com are also good sources for vehicle research. I have frequented those sites quite a bit over the last 3 months between the two vehicles we bought!

    Marsha, Godmother to Nour & Zain (8) and grandparent (aka "Nanny Marsha") to Ethan (8), Katelyn & Owen (7), and Chase, (6)

  19. #18
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    The Scion is a great little vehicle - Toyota reliability. Nice amount of room and fun to drive.

    I would stay far away from the pt cruiser as they are full of issues. I would also be leary of the Pacifica as they are notorious for electrical problems.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    Well I am back to where I started.

    Looked at the scion, way to low to the ground, and with the amount of snow we got this past year, I don't think it would work.

    Drove a couple of vans. I thought I would want one but it is a LOT of car for my one child and I.

    Then I settled on a 2004 Jeep Liberty. it was perfect. L/S belts in all positions, 3 TT, 110k miles, good trunk room and the back row split, so I could put one side down for my backdrops and still leave the car seat installed in the middle. Talked with the dealer, settled on a price that would work for me and we were handing him our documents for paperwork he turns around and tells us he made a "mistake" on the price and it was actually more. Totally crappy move. We left without the car. Ughh. So I am looking again.
    My Baby Cakes
    6y 10 m - 46.5 inches, 42 lbs
    FF XTSL/Pioneer/Nautilus

    www.facebook.com/pollywallphotography

  21. #20
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    Re: Need a new car - 5K budget

    The 2004 Jeep Liberty has a pretty awful frontal crash rating; you ducked a bullet there. I'm looking into a couple of cases right now with the Liberty where people died who should not have, given the speeds of the crash and the vehicles the Liberty crashed into.

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