Author Topic: Please Help With a new Car Plan  (Read 1382 times)

blinx7

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Please Help With a new Car Plan
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:37:53 PM »
Our current setup (family of four in the suburbs is):

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe (small commuter-style SUV) with approximately 70,000 miles
2000 Nissan Altima (dinged-up but well-loved econobox) with approximately 100,000 miles

The SUV is for hauling the kids around and the econobox is the spare car for errands.  (I take public transit to work and my wife is currently a SAHM with a preschool in walking distance so mercifully we don't drive much period even though we live in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs.)

My wife is inheriting a 2015 Nissan Murano (slightly larger, slightly fancier commuter-style SUV) with very few miles on it.  (Her mom got sick shortly after purchasing.)  :(

The best straight cash move would be to sell the Murano and keep our setup, but my wife would like to take the car and I don't want to go there. 

I don't really want another SUV, so we are considering selling the Santa Fe and keeping the econobox.  But apparently some people (i.e., bogleheads) think that these older commuter style cars are now less safe, particularly if we have a kid in it, compared to newer cars. 

Should we sell the econobox and just have two SUVs for a while, given that we won't be burning much gas either way and the cars are paid off / free to us?  Or should we sell both cars and just go out and get a more up-to-date commuter car, like a Nissan leaf?

The econobox runs fine and I am kind of attached to it (I'm a spendypants in other ways so it's one of my connections to mustachianism) so the only reasons I am considering ditching it is (1) it seems illogical to get rid of a newer, less banged-up car to keep this, (2) not sure how to assess the safety concerns and (3) it would be kind of cool to get a pure hybrid and never go to the gas station.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 06:47:22 PM by blinx7 »

ruraljuror

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 07:45:57 PM »
If I were in your shoes, I would keep the Santa Fe over the Altima. It doesn't sound like you drive enough for the gas mileage difference to matter.

Have you done the math on selling both and getting a Leaf?

lbmustache

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 08:03:40 PM »
I'm gonna ignore the size because while that plays into safety, people don't need to be in the biggest car to be safe.

Check IIHS. The Altima is too old to have been rated for newer tests like side impact (!), rollover (!), etc. but it scored a marginal in the moderate overlap, which is pretty depressing. Doesn't really bode well for any other type of impact. The Santa Fe got good in every category.

I'm going to also guess that the ESC was not on the Altima. Here's why ESC is important: https://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle-Shoppers/Rollover/Electronic-Stability-Control

The Santa Fe also appears to have side airbags, while the Altima does not. Side airbags generally help in any side collision. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/38/8/1

Plenty of people drive older cars and it's fine. However, in the case of an accident, with my kids, I know which car I'd rather be in, and it's not the Altima ;)

However, I also agree with selling both and getting a Leaf.

blinx7

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 07:05:44 AM »
Thanks @lbmustache.  Yeah I am aware that the Altima is behind the times in terms of safety.  Also @ruraljuror, gas mileage for Altima is actually probably the same as the SUVs because it's older tech. 

I have not done the numbers on a Leaf.   Is there a thread or spreadsheet or website that has a handy guide?  I actually have never bought a car before, I just married into them.  (The Altima is the first car my wife bought after college.)

The joy of the Altima is that it is sitting in my driveway and free and after a couple of years of big repair bills back when I lived in the snowy north, I've spent $0 other than oil changes in the last year and a half.  Who knows how long that will continue but I've been happy riding that out to date.  I'm assuming the numbers don't pencil out for the Leaf but would be interested to see.

We'd probably get $9k for the Santa Fe and $1k for the Altima. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 07:19:50 AM by blinx7 »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 02:04:10 PM »
Strictly for financial reasons:  Sell the Murano and keep what you have.

To update with financial consideration:  Sell the Murano (or less optimally, the Santa Fe) and the Altima, buy a Prius or Fit.

Car Jack

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 07:18:22 AM »
Keep the Murano (wife wants it so if you don't want to be forever resented, this is a no brainer)
Sell the Santa Fe (it's been replaced.....bye bye)
Keep the Altima  (it's the last resort extra car)

To the Bogleheads (I say it to them on their forum), if you really are that much of a safety Nazi, why are you not driving a Mercedes S class?  It is THE safest car on the planet and most safety devices and designs originated with Mercedes.

Alternatively, for the engineers and physicists, (I'm an engineer) who insist that weight is everything....why are you not driving a Mac Dump truck?  Huh?

blinx7

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Re: Please Help With a new Car Plan
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 07:35:26 AM »
Keep the Murano (wife wants it so if you don't want to be forever resented, this is a no brainer)
Sell the Santa Fe (it's been replaced.....bye bye)
Keep the Altima  (it's the last resort extra car)

To the Bogleheads (I say it to them on their forum), if you really are that much of a safety Nazi, why are you not driving a Mercedes S class?  It is THE safest car on the planet and most safety devices and designs originated with Mercedes.

Alternatively, for the engineers and physicists, (I'm an engineer) who insist that weight is everything....why are you not driving a Mac Dump truck?  Huh?

Thanks @Car Jack.  I think that's the plan.  I can't really tell my wife to sell her inheritance, particularly b/c it's no more costly than the Santa Fe, but since we rarely drive the second car it seems a waste to have a $10k SUV we don't really want sitting for nothing.

I think we'll just have a rule that the Altima is only for non-highway, no-kids driving unless in an emergency.  That should probably suffice.

Then at my leisure I am going to read up about the Leaf (my state still offers incentives), the Fit, etc. and develop a plan for the next time the mechanic comes trotting out with a $750 repair bill.  Might be a few months, might be a few yerars.