Author Topic: Advice on car buying  (Read 3090 times)

87tweetybirds

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Advice on car buying
« on: December 04, 2015, 12:04:12 PM »
So my husband and I have been discussing a move to be closer to my parents. This has many advantages aside from being closer to grandma and grandpa, this area is rural and provides back door access to all kinds of fun recreational activities we love, but have been a little far from since we live in the "city". However the move would potentially require one or both of us to have transportation capable of navigating a mountain pass with as high as 10% grade. It is an area that tends to have high snow fall and frequently needing to traverse roads with as much as 1 foot of fresh snow. The majority of people who live there either have trucks/SUVs or Subarus to be able to manage the seasonal and terrain demands. I'm asking for ideas on other vehicle options that might be more fuel efficient while still having the umph to be able to get over the mountain and handle the high snow fall.

MsPeacock

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 06:05:43 PM »
Do you know people in the area that you can ask about other car options? I live in an extremely hilly neighborhood, at the bottom of all the hills, on a street that the plows skip. FWD cars get stuck here (not a super snowy part of the world, just unable to cope with more than about 4" of snow on the road). Pretty much every snow fall I have a couple cars stuck outside my house from hapless people trying to short cut their way through the neighborhood not knowing how hilly and inescapable it is.  A very hilly and snowy place is going to make it hard to avoid a AWD car. There are smaller Subarus that are AWD and might be a good choice. Getting stuck in the snow sucks. An older highlander hybrid is fairly fuel efficient, but will cost significantly more than a non hybrid.

JLee

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 08:35:00 AM »
For driving through that much snow, I would definitely stick with AWD/4WD.  You might be able to plow through most situations moderately well with a FWD car and good snow tires, but likely not uphill with a foot of snow.

So everyone has 4X4 or AWD do they also have winter / studded tires?

We live in Saskatchewan so awful roads / lots of snow is a norm around here typically for over 6 months of the year.  However we don't have to many hills.

I would challenge you to look into the options of just sticking with a car and buying a pair of winter or studded tires for your car.

The real mustachians on this website might get mad at me for saying this... However it might be a good idea to have one 4X4 vehicle between the household for those really really bad days...  Or perhaps you have jobs where during really bad weather you can stay at home and work for the day? 

I lived at the lake for a year and during super bad snow falls, where I could not get my car in or out, I was extremely extremely happy to have a 4X4 vehicle...

But like I said above winter tires / studded tires on a car make a big difference!

Don't ever buy snow tires in pairs - always install them in sets of four, otherwise you'll have wildly different levels of grip on either end of the car.  :)

SnackDog

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 08:41:30 AM »
You can do very well with studded snow tires and/or chains. Where I grew up we had massive snow and mountains and the US Postal Service had those weird little oxy trucks (like the one on "Borat"). They just put chains on the tires and did just fine.  I guess all the mail in the back helped.  Our family had a steep icy driveway and made do with under-powered 2WD cars for over a decade.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 09:29:04 AM »
Echo Snackdog.  Learn how to use and install chains.

JLee

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 09:55:33 AM »
You can do very well with studded snow tires and/or chains. Where I grew up we had massive snow and mountains and the US Postal Service had those weird little oxy trucks (like the one on "Borat"). They just put chains on the tires and did just fine.  I guess all the mail in the back helped.  Our family had a steep icy driveway and made do with under-powered 2WD cars for over a decade.

In 10+ inches of unplowed snow?

I'm not saying it's impossible...but given the option I would absolutely go AWD/4WD for those conditions.

87tweetybirds

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 09:22:39 PM »
*to clarify the snow 10+ inches usually would be on the flats before getting to the mountain pass. If there was 10" unplowed on the pass they'd close the road until it was cleared.
Thanks for all the advice. I am hoping that we can get away with one awd/4wd and the other be one of the cars we currently have with snow tires and keeping chains in the trunk, with down the road changing out out not so efficient car for something more efficient.

@MsPeacock-i have spoken with some people who live there and the answers vary depending, but most of them said awd/4wd is practically a requirement to work on the other side of the mountain, which is what I'd have to do. One person did say on bad days you can make it with a good v6 and chains, but I have yet to see a v6 that gets good gas mileage.

@Dmy0013-Those who drive the pass have at least snow tires, if not studded tires & I am a nurse so no staying home for me unless the roads are closed.

So that's the snow/tire part of that, how about any vehicles with good mileage and the ability to get up and go up a steep graded mountain pass?

canadian bacon

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 09:46:19 PM »
dmy003. "We live in Saskatchewan so awful roads / lots ...  However we don't have to many hills."

I almost peed myself reading this.  Not counting the Cyprus hills saskatuwsn is the flattest place on earth. 

With that being said... dmy003 knows what he is talking about when it comes to bad weather and vehicles for bad weather. 

I have driven mustangs in bad Canadian winters.  You learn that you can only go as fast as the guy in front of you and are only as safe as the person behind you.  Slow down early for turns and carry momentum through hills/deep snow.  Avoid ice.  With traction/stability control these days, most vehicles are remarkably versatile.  Buy what you want and adjust your driving to the conditions.

lbmustache

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Re: Advice on car buying
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 01:29:16 PM »
The newer Subarus get good fuel economy. I think people think SUV = 8mpg.

Outback: 28mpg combined
Forester: 32mpg combined
Impreza: 31mpg combined

The Impreza is a small hatch or sedan, depending on what you prefer and if you decide you don't need/want the higher clearance of an SUV.