Author Topic: How to convince my husband to buy a Fit and not a Fusion - Car Purchase Help  (Read 8969 times)

savingtofreedom

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So I need some help making a compelling case to purchase a new Honda Fit 2012/2013 versus the 2013 Ford Fusion.

Some background:

Husband and I both work from home and really drive a minimal amount.  He goes to sports at night a couple of times a week and we use the car locally on the weekends.  I had a 97 accord that I ran into a tree with (luckily I was fine and did not hurt anyone) but the suspension was messed up and we donated the car last year.  We have a 97 Chevy Malibu which is fine for getting around but not the best car.  We have been using one car for almost a year now and in most cases it is not an issue.  Both the Chevy and Honda were from my parents so we have been VERY lucky in not having any car payments.

We both have bikes - I just learned and finally went on the road  (will take me time to get comfortable).  Husband may be doing some more bike riding to sports at night in the future - I still worry as it is dark at night when he goes and where we live there isn't a bike lane.

End of last year we almost bought a 34K Ford Fusion Hybrid.   Luckily the dealer wouldn't budge on the last 400 we were negotiating so we walked away.

Now as I think about it more it makes me want to throw up that we almost spent that much on a car.  We could totally afford it - debt is only mortgage and total assets are good - we are probably 75% there to FI - I am 32, he is 34.

I hate driving so it ends up my husband is always driving us. The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is a beautiful car and I told hubby before that we can get one but now I am second guessing b/c we don't need it.  We really don't need a second car at all (from my perspective) but to appease husband and parents it may not be a bad idea.  Also we are hoping to start a family ASAP and I would rather have a safer car as the Chevy drives a little funky.

So what is the best logic that I can use to convince my husband that the Fit is a better choice.  We can fit our bikes is one nice thing.  The price differential is also big (he thinks I have become way too cheap) - Automatic Fit is 16,900 while the Ford Fusion Hybrid Loaded with all the neat whiz bang features is about 33,000.  If you have a Fit please tell me why it is awesome.

Any other ideas, I am open to.  We could buy a used car but a new fit for 16,900 seems like a pretty decent deal.  Or I could suck it up and buy the Fusion.

Thanks!


Dynasty

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There are a lot of used cars on the market for 25K or less that are a lot nicer than the Fusion...

amyable

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So what is the best logic that I can use to convince my husband that the Fit is a better choice.  We can fit our bikes is one nice thing.  The price differential is also big (he thinks I have become way too cheap) - Automatic Fit is 16,900 while the Ford Fusion Hybrid Loaded with all the neat whiz bang features is about 33,000.  If you have a Fit please tell me why it is awesome.

I have had my Honda Fit for a year now, and I love it.  It is extremely fun to drive.  My previous car was my mother's lightly used 2002 Nissan Maxima, and it was GORGEOUS.  When it died, I thought I could never love another car the same way, but I honestly prefer my Fit. 

FriendlyLibrarian

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All right, I'll let everyone talk to you about Used vs New; however, I will say that I'm a strong believer in buying used but it's also almost next to impossible to find a used Fit (at least in my neck of the woods, Fit owners latch on to them).  I was able to trade in my 07 Civic for an 07 Fit last year with only $1,000 out of pocket (list price of the Fit was $11k)

So, all of the reasons that I love my Fit:
-Gas mileage is great, hybrids obviously beat it though
-I've been able to pick up 99% of the landscaping materials that I've purchased over the last year (shrubs, bags of gravel/mulch, basically anything that wasn't a 7' tree)
-I've made several trips to Ikea with no problems in regards to storage
-Really when it comes to it the versatility of it's cargo capabilities are amazing
-It doesn't feel like a small car when you're in it, unless you're a stop light next to an F150 (but I've only ever driven compact cars so this doesn't bug me)
-It's fun to drive and zippy
-It's a Honda
-Taking my nephew's car seat in and out of the Fit is pretty easy too
-It handled being smashed in the side by a solidly built Chevy truck 3 months ago

Off the top of my head that is everything that I love about my car, I may come back with more later

Jack

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So what is the best logic that I can use to convince my husband that the Fit is a better choice.  We can fit our bikes is one nice thing.  The price differential is also big (he thinks I have become way too cheap) - Automatic Fit is 16,900 while the Ford Fusion Hybrid Loaded with all the neat whiz bang features is about 33,000.  If you have a Fit please tell me why it is awesome.

Any other ideas, I am open to.  We could buy a used car but a new fit for 16,900 seems like a pretty decent deal.  Or I could suck it up and buy the Fusion.

In my opinion, the most awesome thing about a Fit compared to a Fusion Hybrid is that you can get it with a manual transmission. Please don't get the wrong one.

I would also suggest a first-generation Scion xB (this one, not this one) or a Mazda5 -- both with a manual transmission, of course!

Skyn_Flynt

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The inability to agree on a single vehicle is a big piece of why couples end up buying two of them.

I think buying a "nice" car can be justified if you do plan to keep it for over ten years and wring maximum use from it, after paying off the loan. I'm driving a car that I bought new 13 years ago, so it can be done. It was a bit of a stretch at the time ... but worth it, because I liked the car (especially the driving position, handling, and visibility out of the windows) so I kept it. It's people who feel the need to "trade up" every 3 or 4 years and never really OWN their cars who get burned financially.

TN_Steve

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I'm 53, bought my first new car in July of last year--a 2012 Base Fit with Manual.  Love it.  (replaced my 1998 civic manual, which son took/bought).

1. Gas mileage.  Wow.  EPA rating is completely off if you give a little effort.  I average 40-42 mpg, depending upon traffic volume and temperatures, on a 41 mile round trip commute (8-10 of that is city driving), albeit I'm before and after rush hours during the week.  Even on long, 5+ hour trips with cruise control at 75, it gets 35-36 mpg.

2.  Low maintenance.  I am at 11,300 miles on odometer, and still have 10% of oil life remaining before my first oil change.

3.  It's a honda.

4.  It isn't a hybrid.  Our last new car (not "mine") was a '92 AWD Previa that we took to 360,000 miles (the imminent birth that we bought it for was driving it when it gave up the ghost).   If I had to bet (and I am), the odds are better for a non-hybrid to hit that high of mileage.  Fits with the concept that if you are going to buy new, you should plan to drive the car until it dies.

5.  As others mentioned, it is fun to drive (but "fun" can conflict with mpg!)

6.  If you have another couple for a night on the town, or for a 600 mile drive, it holds four comfortably--even with a week's luggage.  In fact, the back seat will fit three slender young men who are six feet tall for short (20 minute) trips when they are home for holidays.

7.  Can't personally compare with the Fusion, but the visibility is great.  (but, hey, I was driving a '98 civic . .. )

8.  N.B.--the 2012 base model does have cruise control.

9.  Great road car for a couple.  Wife likes riding in it better than her 99 Civic when we do weekends.


zhelud

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We bought our Fit in 2007 or 2008 (can't remember.)
It is awesome. We have never had a problem with it. It has plenty of room for stuff and people (we have 2 kids.) The back seats fold down all the way and you can put in a ton of cargo if you need to. It is easy to maneuver. It uses hardly any gasoline. My only small complaint is that the a/c is not powerful enough for a really hot day, but maybe they have fixed that.

We were rear-ended by a drunk guy in a pickup a few years ago as we were waiting at a stoplight. The back was smushed but our two kids who were in the backseat did not even get a scratch.

savingtofreedom

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Everyone with a Fit - thanks for the feedback.  I have shared this information with my husband but not sure if he really cares.  I made the mistake earlier of saying he can get a Fusion - this was before I knew that the approximately bi monthly trip 250 miles away  for work is likely going to not happen as much.  So that would mean we are buying a relatively fancy (in my mind) new car with MSRP of 35K (for all the bells and whistles) that he would use to go play basketball at night and for weekend use to our friends and maybe two other trips a year.

I love my husband so will see how I can continue to negotiate this further.  I like the following scenario -  getting the Fit now.  Keep our old Malibu until it dies.  Then buy a used Fusion later on.  This way b/c it is a redesign any issues they find will hopefully get addressed.




Dynasty

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The next suggestion would be to rent a 2013 Fusion for a three day weekend.

Pick it up on a Friday after work, and return it Monday sometime. This will give you and your husband three nights to really get to know the car. See how it drives on the freeway, how comfortable it is in town driving, how the seats feel, cargo capacity. Really get to know firsthand how TERRIBLE of visibility this car has sitting in the drivers seat.

The only magical thing about buying a car is the anticipation we build up in our minds prior to purchase about how great this new car is going to make our life.  And then after the fourth or fifth payment it is basically just a car again.

I don't know if you can rent Honda Fits or not, but it might be a good idea to rent one of those as well for a couple days. And put it through your normal routine to see if you even want to be making a payment on one of those.

savingtofreedom

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Dynasty, thanks for the recommendation - we have actually done that.  At least the husband has, he rented it for a work trip, and he loves the car.  We could buy it outright at this point so that doesn't bother me other than the total amount that will no longer be in our stash.  The fusion is almost double.  I am paying for nicer features/hybrid engine.

Right now we are at a standoff - we will see who folds. 

meadow lark

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Are you positive you really want a second car?  Obviously you can "afford" either one.  If this is primarily for a couple of trips a year, perhaps continuing to rent a Fusion for those trips would be less expensive, and just as fun.

savingtofreedom

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Yeah I don't necessarily think I need a new car. My husband and parents do (sounds like I am 12 but I am close to my parents and my dad still loves to lecture me about getting a master's degree and buying new cars - I typically ignore him).  I have been successful in not purchasing a car for a year and 2 months now. 

I told my husband we can rent a car, ideally a fusion, on any future trips.  We have been renting cars for my job when we go out of town. 


So worst case we continue this waiting game until the car really dies.  It is kind of amusing to me.  The only reason I was trying to move forward is we are trying to get pregnant and I would rather have a more reliable, safer car. 


Ego

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Because you can sleep in it. 

 

End of story.

savingtofreedom

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That is awesome!!!

Were you camping somewhere?

Ego

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Actually I just grabbed a photo from the web.  We haven't yet slept in ours.  But that's the whole point.  It's the frugal version of the guy who plunks down $75k on a giant SUV just because he CAN one day, maybe, if he ever had the desire, go off-roading.  The fact that you can (ahem) comfortably sleep in your future Fit in the ultimate selling point. 

KingCoin

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but to appease husband and parents it may not be a bad idea

Appeasing the husband should involve letting him hog the television on football Sunday without complaint, not hurricaning off 16k for "whiz bang" car features.

The best way to sell this may be in terms of opportunity cost. You say you're looking to start a family. 16k compounded for 20 years will buy the better part of a college education. It will buy a 1-bedroom vacation condo in Florida. It will buy 15 kick-ass vacations in your early retirement.

So, are some bells and whistles on a vehicle worth 15 vacations or a college education? That should be pretty easy to answer.

It may also be useful to draw up a pro-con chart for each vehicle. This can take some of the visceral emotion out of the decision and force you to ask whether a couple fairly inconsequential bullet points are really worth an extra 16k.

chucklesmcgee

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There are a lot of used cars on the market for 25K or less that are a lot nicer than the Fusion...

Heck, even if you aren't a Mustachian there are a lot of new cars on the market for less than 34k that are nicer-looking, more reliable, cheaper and safer than the Fusion. If you don't drive that much, why are you paying for a hybrid? Unless you're driving a really substantial mileage, the difference in economy between a cheap efficient car and a more expensive hybrid is such that it's quite possible you'll never see any savings over the life of the car.

I just can't stomach the price of new cars. I drive a 2000 Lexus GS300 I just bought for $5500. Recently needed a new engine, which was $3k, but it only had 400 miles on it, so I feel like I made out pretty well and am basically driving a new car. People complement me on it all the time because I guess Ls are way better than T's or H's for cars.  No one's going to think you're a cooler or better person because you drive either a new Fusion or a Fit versus a used car for half the price, so why get it?

Dynasty

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Dang!

How'd you get a Lexus motor for only $3K with just 400 miles on it?

That's small block Chevy territory.

P.S. Start saving up for a new transmission. I'm assuming your car is high mileage to have needed a new engine.

mm1970

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I like that photo.  I've slept in my Toyota Matrix...

Left

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don't know if you've just considered a different car :S But I'm looking for a cheapish used subaru legacy or outback myself :S

from my own preferences, I do like either the legacy or outback better than the fusion and fit (it's in between both on the price as well). Plus the subaru's make more of a "family" car space wise once you have kids, or "adult" kids. Good for holding bikes as well.

The only thing that's lacking is the mpg, newer ones have slightly better but no where near 40+ being that they are awd. The fun factor is there too but fun = bad mpg, especially if you tack on a turbo.

well that said, they do seem to hold their value really well so you can always sell/trade it off fairly easily

savingtofreedom

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Hi Eyem,

Thanks for the advice.  I have heard good things about subarus.  We are in the south and AWD really isn't needed.  I would prefer something with a better MPG.

Still playing the waiting game. Neither of us have folded yet.  We potentially have an upcoming vacation that would involve 7 hours of driving that may cause some action on our part. 


adam

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The Fusion is a great car, but you don't need to spend $35k on one.  My wife's 2007 was... I don't remember, but well under $20k, maybe $16k? in 2008 when she finally gave up on her Malibu (weird, right?).  She got it with 12k miles, and now it has 115k miles.  Its a 4cyl, fairly base model but comes with an auto (I think you can get a manual as well).  It averages 28mpg, and we've spent a total of about $800 on maintenance other than wear items (tires) in 5 years.

Its been amazing, really.

Would I rather have a Fit?  Probably, yes.  But thats more the car guy in me, not the Mustache.

Togoshiman

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I think car buying is frequently emotional - the logical justification comes after the fact.  The new Fusion is very pretty, especially in advertising.  I think most of us just click with a vehicle and then the justification begins later, which is how most of us end up with more car than we need.  This is probably what you're up against.  For non-Mustachians, it's a similar argument to eating rice and beans every night - you can survive on it, but you're not living.  I'm sure your husband knows rationally and deep down that the Fit will do everything he needs.  But it won't do everything he wants on a visceral level.  So I think the only real solutions are appealing to emotion in a way that trumps this (I lusted after ridiculous used BMWs until I lusted after only sort of unreasonable used Subarus) or get his own logic to overpower his emotion (get him to successfully make the argument for a more frugal car than the Fusion).

If you can't, maybe just get the smaller engine size and be done with it.  Can't win them all.

savingtofreedom

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Just bought a base automatic 2013 Honda Fit today.

Very excited.  The husband and I agreed after lots of negotiations and research that we get the Fit now. When our Chevy Malibu dies (we need to go take it in to get some work - brakes are funky and windshield wipers are not working) we will most likely get a Ford Fusion but not necessarily a hybrid and with time the % off MSRP should be much better.  I am hoping the Malibu lasts at least 2 more years without major repairs.

Thanks everyone for your help.  I am very excited for the car.  It is perfect for me and I plan on driving it a very long time.

I think it will also help in getting us to bike on some cool trails in the near future.  Next step is to see if we can fit 2 bikes in the back.

FriendlyLibrarian

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Welcome to the Honda Fit family! :)