View Full Version : If you had $18,000 what would you do

09/26/2007, 01:16 PM
You were a woman in your 50's.
You needed a automobile that:
- has cargo space not a lot but some
- has good traction (awd, 4wd etc)
- gets resonable mpg 20+
- reliable *

- She is comparing most all of the cars she has test drove or looked at to her two most recent autos (2004 and 2006 Escape).

I ask this becuase she lives quite a distace away and I cant be there to help her pick out a car at all times. Espcially when she knows the owner of a car lot that tries to lead her beliving that 4x4 autos are a waste when all you need a front wheel drive 2007 lumina to get through deep snow.

I complied a list for her to look at. I just ask if you all have any suggestions feel free to state them here and why. I think it would mean a bit if I can tell her. Hey mom even the VX guys say this one is good.

Please advise. Thanks.

09/26/2007, 02:37 PM
subaru impreza (wrx maybe?) sports wagon... my roommate just bought a 2007 wrx wagon.. lots of space.. amazing handling.. 22-28mpg and quick! there were a couple on the lot.. including a purdy yellow one w/ 50k that was in the 13-14k range... the dealership had complete maintenance records on it from the day it came off the showroom too

09/26/2007, 02:46 PM
Honda CRV, even one with a few miles on the clock...fits all the criteria, dependable as the day is long. You really do not need any type of four wheel drive, unless you have any kind of snow. We drove just fine for years without it. It's a gas sucker. Second choice is a Toyota equivalent ( I just find them a boring drive... not the balance of the Honda...most wouldn't notice). Third..with a great big bullet...the rising Korean Giant Hyundai/Kia...very good quality construction, nice interiors, good value/resale/insurance rates, fantastic warranty....just not quite a Honda yet, but a very good deal.(this is maybe the best choice for the most people...I find them too soft for my taste, but they drive nicely and carry the best content of anyone...air bags electronics, and other such niceties) I get to drive almost everything, because of my job, and see how they are built. For dependable,economical, comfortable, everyday driving chores, I truly feel your best choices can be found in these showrooms. Remember... they are built here...don't fall into the old us vs. them crap. Any way I can help, let me know. Wayne

09/26/2007, 03:26 PM
I'll second the Subaru wagon or Outback. Or even a Forrester.
Call it biased, but I've just had great experiences with Subies.

09/26/2007, 03:34 PM
For the price...I will agree with the subaru outback. They get great gas mileage, do crazy great in the snow/ice and they have plenty of room. They may not be the sweetest to look at but as far as a long lasting, reliable car, this one would be perfect. I've known a few people who've had them and LOVE them....

09/26/2007, 03:58 PM
For the price...I will agree with the subaru outback.

I also recommend a Subaru. They are super-predictable in snow and ice -- mine has saved my butt a number of times. They're relatively inexpensive to run -- they get good mileage, and I've had VERY few issues with mine.

09/26/2007, 04:06 PM
Subaru's are great. My wife is asking for an Outback for Xmas, already. I'm thinking Volvo C30...just gotta get her in it once. Subbies can be "quirky" which doesn't matter if a dealer is close.

09/26/2007, 04:11 PM
If ice is the big concern where she lives you could probably bypass AWD altogether if you just get some Blizzak tires. When I participated in the ice races outside Denver, vehicles equipped with those tires got their own class because they grip so well. If you put those on an AWD though, it is that much better. If it is deep snow you are concerned with, than that is a whole new ball game.

09/26/2007, 05:20 PM
Thanks alot guys. She is currently test driving a Freestyle. I hate that idea.

What you all mentioned included a few that I mentioned. Never really thought about the Subies though. Good one. I am going to relay this to her.

She personally really likes the CRV. So do I and consumer reports. But she is afraid of repair. Why? Because the dealship only in her mind services what they sell or american made autos.

As far as winter conditions. She lives here http://maps.google.com/maps?tab=wl . Between Borden and Pekin Indiana. Closer to David, IndianaVX. . She really just wants to feel secure and confident in an auto that can get around. Up and down mild to steep in/declines in sometimes bad condition. Most of the roads she travels are county owned and not salted or plowed regularly.

So are blizzak tires that good?

Anybody have any expierence with suzuki's?

09/26/2007, 06:53 PM

"Anybody have any expierence with suzuki's?"

Glad you mentioned Suzuki, because I really like the their new line of SUVs. My daughter has a 1996 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4. Albeit being underpowered....it's the car that has been in the shop the fewer times in the family, great gas mileage, and easy to maintain. I also like the new Saturn VUE and the Kia Sportage.

Go to Edmunds.com and read the review on all the choices. That might help your friend in deciding what to do.

09/26/2007, 07:17 PM
Oh shoot I guess I never said this was for my mom.

09/26/2007, 08:07 PM
Kia Sorrento hands down for a smoother ride and classy style. Suzuki Grand Vitara (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Suzuki-SUV-2007-Suzuki-Grand-Vitara-V6_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6468QQihZ010QQitemZ2 00156639257QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW).
Saturn Vue (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Suzuki-SUV-2007-Suzuki-Grand-Vitara-V6_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6468QQihZ010QQitemZ2 00156639257QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW) ,
Jeep Patriot or Compass also if you are looking for a brand new vehicle. What about the Honda Element (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Honda-Element-EX-2005-EX-2WD-AUTO-CARFAX-CERT-1-OWNER-30K-FACT-WRNTY_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ80742QQihZ014QQit emZ330168666189QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW)?

If you are looking for something pre-owned, there is always the Toyota RAV4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Toyota-RAV4-SUV-L-K-2007-RAV4-AUTOMATIC-2WD-ONLY-4-000-MILES-FL-SUV_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ31872QQihZ014QQitem Z330169824474QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW) a good mileage Jeep Grand Cherokee (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-Laredo-4X4-2006-06-GRAND-CHEROKEE-LAREDO-4X4-ONLY-29K-FACT-W-Y-SAV_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6947QQihZ019QQitemZ 290163348282QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW).

09/26/2007, 08:31 PM
As far as winter conditions. She lives here http://maps.google.com/maps?tab=wl . Between Borden and Pekin Indiana. Closer to David, IndianaVX. She honestly is not a great driver (but not terribly bad) and she is only in need of a new auto because this is her second auto she has totaled (niether her fault). So she really just wants to feel secure and confident in an auto that can get around. Up and down mild to steep in/declines in sometimes bad condition. Most of the roads she travels are county owned and not salted or plowed regularly.

So are blizzak tires that good?

My Subaru got me to work and back during the last two Colorado's blizzards. Once was 55+ miles. In both cases, I made it all the way to my driveway before I got high-centered. Until the snow got too deep, it was simply unstoppable. That's with regular all-season tires, too! Driving in bad weather is a pleasure in my Subaru, and never fails to put a smile on my face, especially when I'm the only car moving. The crash tests results are pretty good, too. Usually you trade-off between avoiding an accident in a small, nimble car against surviving an inevitable collision or rollover in an SUV. I think the Subarus have the best of both.


As for Blizzaks, I've never personally used them (or NOKIAN HAKKAPELLIITTA's -- the other strongly recommended tires), but I have seen them in action, and the power of good snow tires is absolutely undeniable. Although they help you start, the true power is that you can still STOP and STEER with good snow tires. If you can afford them, and can put up with the hassle of swapping tires, I can't recommend them strongly enough.

09/26/2007, 09:00 PM
So are blizzak tires that good? As a winter tire...? Oh yeah! I am not lying, the event organizers would check your tires before assigning you to a racing class. They specifically look for Blizzaks! Here is a snippet of what TireRack has to say about them:

Do Bridgestone Blizzak Tires Live up to Their Reputation?
The Tire Rack has been the largest single source of Blizzak studless winter tires in the United States since their introduction in 1993. We have tested them on ice and in the snow, as well as driven on them through South Bend, Indiana's "mild" and "wild" winters. We have found that no All-Season tire or other winter tire has matched the Blizzak's confidence-inspiring combination of deep snow, packed snow and ice traction.

Here is the link for more info so you can decide if they are biased salesmen: http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=116

A great 1997 read without bias: http://www.usroads.com/journals/aruj/9712/ru971202.htm

09/26/2007, 09:54 PM
How about a....


09/27/2007, 06:23 AM
Cant beat a used Forester for that price. Has all that and more. Females with them just have to get used to being labeled "lesbians". But as a huge Subie fan, I say whatever to that.

09/27/2007, 08:25 AM
I can't speak to the new Suzukis but I used to have a Samurai. It was a great little car & never let me down. I put over 200K miles on it before I gave it to my sister. She loved it & put another 50K on it before it died of old age.

I would assume that what I experienced would still be accurate with the current models though. Terribly underpowered - we're talking 81 cubic inches of raw power. On the other hand, that usually equals pretty good gas mileage. Rough ride - I could run over a dime and tell you if it was heads or tails.

It was a FUN car.