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New Car Possibilities

RootDKJ

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Background
I've been shopping around for a new car for a few weeks now. In the beginning of June, my 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid died while I was driving on the Garden State Parkway at 5:15 PM while I was in bumper to bumper traffic doing around 50mph. All of a sudden while I was driving, I got a message on the display to "Stop Safely Now!". I was able to restart the car after about 10 minutes and took it directly to Ford.

Apparently, the water pump that cools the battery system is not covered under the Hybrid Unique Components warranty. Needles to say, I think it's really shitty of Ford not to cover this. There are 4 other of my co-workers who have the same car that had the same problem. I'm trying to get Ford to recognize that there's a possibility of a design problem but that's not going very well. This doesn't really leave a very good impression with me, so I have decided to sell the car.

I've also been driving anywhere from 300-800 miles a week for work lately. The seat on the FEH isn't really all the comfortable on long drives and let's face it, hybrids aren't really that much fun to drive.

Test Drives

I drove a lot of mid-sized SUV's since then. Here's some of my impressions

Hyundai Santa Fe - A real surprise of all the cars I drove. Good driving position, handles well and decent acceleration. Controls easy to use. Seat has great upper support but the seat portion felt very flat and unsupportive (but not uncomfortable). Great use of storage compartments.

Nissan Murano - Great seat and driving position. Controls somewhat confusing and flashy. Sun roof was very noisy, but opening the rear windows a bit helps to lessen that. Fun to drive. My 2nd choice.

Subaru Tribecca - I really tried to like this car. There's something dash/console that looks very sharp to me. While the seat was overall comfortable, I just couldn't get comfortable driving it. A bit sluggish off the line.

Subaru Forrester - Overall a very nice ride. A bit smaller then I wanted.

Mazda CX7 - Very fun to drive. Way to small.

Mazda CX9 - Another surprise. Very comfortable, and great ride.

Audi Q5 - What a ride. So comfortable. Drives on rails. Rear visibility is really reduced because of the spoiler. Controls not intuitive. Most fun to drive.

Volvo XC60 - This is what I'm going to be getting. I really enjoy this car. And that brings me to my two options. Drive is almost as fun as the Q5.

Which Car?
So I've been working with 2 different dealers.

Dealer A - Has a 2010 XC60 that meets my minimum requirements. He's offering me better then X-plan pricing and is going about $2K below invoice. He's also offering me a fair price for my Escape. The only thing I don't need in this model is the built-in rear booster seats (at the expense of heated rear seats). If we ever decide to have kids, we'll use M's XC90.

Dealer B has a 2011 XC60 that has Volvo's BLIS. I like the how the BLIS system works, but it's not for everyone. He's offering me $240 over invoice. But there's some significant changes in the 2011 model in addition to the heated rear seats.

  • They put a much nicer set of rims on there.
  • Changed the power steering system to a electric/hydraulic system.
  • Increased hp from 281 to 300 (rumor of 1 MPG gain but not EPA tested yet)
  • Changed to the S80's steering wheel (nicer)
  • Cargo cover no longer standard.
I don't yet know what dealer is going to offer me on a trade in. I let him know what I'm expecting.

If things weren't confusing enough for me, one of my co-workers expressed interest in buying my Escape. He already has an Escape Hybrid, but no longer has personal use of it due to cutbacks. I told him I need a decision by Friday

So if you're still reading this :blink:, which would you go for, the 2010 or 2011? Why?
 

deadheadskier

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What kind of warranty does the Volvo offer? Will you potentially get screwed on something like you did with the Ford?

It's well documented here that I'm a big Hyundai fan; not because I think it's the most fun car to drive in the world. That's why I bought my wife a Mazda :lol:. but her cars only see 12K miles per year, so wear and tear is less of concern.

Any warranty issues I've had with my Hyundai have been handled incredibly well. Even covered a problem past warranty for me over 100K miles. That was at a dealership I didn't even buy the car at.

They're not 'fun' cars at all, but the build quality and reliability right now is on par with pretty much anything on the road for the price. Unless that changes, I think we'll always have one Hyundai as our high mileage people mover and then another more fun car for the 2nd car.
 

RootDKJ

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5 Years, 60K (same as the Ford, except for the Hybrid which is 7/100K). All standard maintenance are included for the warranty period.
 

meff

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Just a headsup, there is still a lot of Ford left in the Volvo's since the sale just happened in the last year. So some of the same issues might still be lurking around.
 

Edd

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I read the Forester is small for you but I have slowly fallen in love with my 2010 Forester. It's the Premium edition with a sunroof and winter package. Awesome in the winter weather and surprisingly roomy.
 

RootDKJ

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Just a headsup, there is still a lot of Ford left in the Volvo's since the sale just happened in the last year. So some of the same issues might still be lurking around.
The only real issues I've had with my Ford is with their hybrid system and the fact that they won't warranty a hybrid component under the hybrid unique warranty. That and the drivers seat on one side is starting to collapse inwards a bit making it very uncomfortable on long drives.

Have you given the 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD a look? I can get 3 pairs of skis thru the passthru and plenty of other luggage in the trunk. They are giving some awesome deals right now...
I thought about an AWD sedan, but I often have needs where I use the extra cargo space that suvs provide.

Any reason you didn't test drive an Outback?

Aha, I love ignoring your question and asking something you didn't want. :D
I wanted to, but there's currently a long lead time on delivery. Almost all the 2010's are spoken for so I'd have to order a 2011 from the factory. I really didn't want to wait a few more months.
 

Marc

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I wanted to, but there's currently a long lead time on delivery. Almost all the 2010's are spoken for so I'd have to order a 2011 from the factory. I really didn't want to wait a few more months.

No kidding. Didn't know they were selling that well. Subie giving some big incentives or something?
 

RootDKJ

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I don't follow buying a nice car and then chewing it to bits driving 300 to 800 miles per week for work. A 30+ MPG econobox with aftermarket seats and audio makes more sense.
My expense checks will more then cover the my monthly car payments, fuel, insurance etc...

No kidding. Didn't know they were selling that well. Subie giving some big incentives or something?
I'm not sure if they were or still are, but I went to two different Subie dealers and the both told me the same thing.

Interestingly enough, every car dealership I went had no shortage of people looking for a new car.
 

o3jeff

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I'm kinda with Geoff on this one. In 3-4 years you'll have a car with 100k on it that's depreciated pretty good. If you decide to sell after 2 years, you could be upside down on the loan. How long you plan on keeping it for?

Another thing to think of is say next year they offer/switch you a different job, then you'll be responsible for the loan payment.

I would stay away from the high end cars for what your using it for. As you know a vehicle is the worst investment you can make. Maybe consider a used one since someone already took some of that hit for you!
 

gmcunni

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my last 2 car purchases have been used.. i don't think i'd buy a new car again.. BUT.. if you are buying new, my 2 cents, get the 2011.. more newer is more better.
 

RootDKJ

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You get the standard mileage reimbursement? What is it up to now, like $0.45/mile?
$0.50/mile

I'm kinda with Geoff on this one. In 3-4 years you'll have a car with 100k on it that's depreciated pretty good. If you decide to sell after 2 years, you could be upside down on the loan. How long you plan on keeping it for?

Another thing to think of is say next year they offer/switch you a different job, then you'll be responsible for the loan payment.

I would stay away from the high end cars for what your using it for. As you know a vehicle is the worst investment you can make. Maybe consider a used one since someone already took some of that hit for you!
My current project is going to talk another 18 months to just to build. Even longer if we run into software problems during implementations (typical for us). Ideally, I'd like to keep it as long as possible.

Financially speaking, keeping the Escape make the most sense.
 

Geoff

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Depends on whether an Escape can take all those miles. An off-warranty American SUV can quickly get expensive. Even with a 100K extended warranty, you're off warranty in 3 years driving that much.

My personal experience with Exploders is that things start breaking. I've had a Navajo and 2 Mountaineers. I made my extended warranty money back easily on all three.
 

deadheadskier

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My expense checks will more then cover the my monthly car payments, fuel, insurance etc...

damn, your company must have a FAT car expense program.

For the record, I'm given a flat $500 a month (tax free) stipend for car expenses and I'm compensated $.23 a mile for any mile over 3K each month. The difference between the .23 and the federal mileage rate I claim personally at the end of the year on my income tax returns.

That package doesn't come close to covering my ownership and operating costs of a 22K Hyundai. I don't have it all figured out, but I'm figuring my out of pocket hit is in the neighborhood of $300 a month.

fluck, typing that just makes me angry and realize further that I need to start hunting hard for a new gig. :lol:
 

Warp Daddy

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Root : from the ole guyhere ----------------LIFE IS SHORT -- you work hard for your $$$ -- IF you r fortunate enuf to get a generous mileage deal from your firm , and you really want to get something that is both COMFORTABLE for your business travel and satisfys your other design criteria then by all means get WHATEVER THE HELL you want and don't obsess about it .

I will say this my buddy just got a new Santa Fe all tricked out and neither he nor i would have ever considered it. We were both upscale car guys

But after having taken several longer rides in it for golf outings out of the area -- its pretty damn impressive comfort wise and looks FINE with pretty fair MPG and THAT warranty is solid . Quality is very good so i will have it ON MY RADAR SCREEN next time around .

If i was sold on the Volvo i'd get the 2011

Have phun playin the game :D
 
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