Author Topic: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?  (Read 3014 times)

kimmarg

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New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« on: March 21, 2019, 08:43:03 AM »
Face punch me I'm considering purchasing a new vehicle. (new-to-me)
We own 2 vehicles from the MMM suggested list:
2013 Honda Fit 80k miles
2008 Suzuki SX4 75k miles

We've done ok with these vehicles with 1 kid, often folding down 1/2 the backseat to transport camping gear, paddles, etc for family canoeing/camping/skiing adventures.  Well now the other half of the backseat will be occupied with kid #2 and a rear facing car seat and it seems like up-sizing the vehicle is the logical choice. While we *can* get 2 car seats in both vehicles, it requires someone eating the dashboard with their knees and leaves us no space to tote much in the way of extra stuff to feed our outdoor adventure habit.  So what say you mustacians?

Option A: Face punch. Eat your knees your stash will thank you. Figure out how to tie stuff to roof rack under canoe

Option B: Purchase new-to-us vehicle such as Honda CRV or Suburu Outback (sell Suzuki). Thinking $15k, <50k miles 2016ish vintage

Option C: Somehow find something on craigslist for $5k that is both reliable and more spatious - suggestions?

Option D: none of the above (your ideas?)

RWD

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 08:57:52 AM »
I don't know your financial situation but I think something between options B and C would be reasonable.

kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2019, 09:03:41 AM »
I don't know your financial situation but I think something between options B and C would be reasonable.

Currently have $12,500 cash in a dedicated 'new car fund'.

Maxing 2 401ks, $20k emergency fund,  only debt is mortgage $130k @ 3.625%

teltic

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2019, 09:06:39 AM »
Option B seems fine.  I think a 3-5 year old, ~50kish miles car works.

I bought a 2013 Hyundai Elantra in 2015 for $9300 (I think blue book was $12k).  I bought it at an auction.. Big scratch on driver side windshield, small crack in bumper.  Perfect discounts for me! 4 years later I'm still rocking the bumper and windshield. I just got used to the scratch.  I don't see it anymore.

It sounds like you plan to drive 2 cars whenever the family goes anywhere?  If I'm reading that right... I'd buy a van where you could throw the kids in the back, and drive one car with leg room.  Depending how often you drive, it could make sense.

kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 09:16:40 AM »
It sounds like you plan to drive 2 cars whenever the family goes anywhere?  If I'm reading that right... I'd buy a van where you could throw the kids in the back, and drive one car with leg room.  Depending how often you drive, it could make sense.

No, the goal would be to drive 1 car (the yet-to-be-purchased bigger one) for family camping/road trips. New car would also be primary for one driver with the shorter commute and around town/errands.  The Honda Fit would stay on as the second car with main use being the longer highway commute for second driver with the occasional 2 carseat daycare pick up/drop off.

Better Change

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 09:29:26 AM »
Can you haul a small trailer for the few times you go on camping trips?  Presumably you've got both seats in one of the cars now and are doing just fine with local trips?  Is this mostly a comfort thing?  How many times a year do you road trip?

LOL at finding a 2016 Subaru Outback with < 50k miles for $15k.  At least from a dealer.  Maybe the craigslist market is better.  Here (mid-Atlantic) they're about $20k.

JLee

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 09:54:47 AM »
Minivan?

Broadway2019

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 09:57:09 AM »
LOL at finding a 2016 Subaru Outback with < 50k miles for $15k.  At least from a dealer.  Maybe the craigslist market is better.  Here (mid-Atlantic) they're about $20k.

I was thinking the same. I have been looking for a Subaru Outback or Legacy <50k miles for around $15k for months. I have found nothing except ones in accidents or severe damage. Most are $18k-$21k.

BeanCounter

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 10:09:40 AM »
We've been through this exact situation. And yes for the safety (and comfort) of the front seat passengers you probably need to upgrade.
We went with the slightly used CRV. Now, five years later I wish I would have just done a van. Carpooling with friends for extra curriculars happens faster than you might think.
Oh, and you'll never find a slightly used Subaru Outback. And my mechanic informed us that the 2010-2012 (the exact years escapes me) burn oil so he warned me that if we did find any used Outbacks to check that. They have an issue with some kind of a ring or something that deteriorates. (sorry, not a car person)

I'd consider going with a slightly used mini-van it'll make your life easier in the long run.

JLee

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 10:15:31 AM »
We've been through this exact situation. And yes for the safety (and comfort) of the front seat passengers you probably need to upgrade.
We went with the slightly used CRV. Now, five years later I wish I would have just done a van. Carpooling with friends for extra curriculars happens faster than you might think.
Oh, and you'll never find a slightly used Subaru Outback. And my mechanic informed us that the 2010-2012 (the exact years escapes me) burn oil so he warned me that if we did find any used Outbacks to check that. They have an issue with some kind of a ring or something that deteriorates. (sorry, not a car person)

I'd consider going with a slightly used mini-van it'll make your life easier in the long run.

Piston rings - they're the little metal sealy guys that go between the piston and the cylinder walls. They keep combustion gases and oil on the appropriate side of the cylinder.

https://www.cars.com/articles/2011-15-subaru-oil-consumption-update-1420683845519/
http://www.subarucomplaints.com/oil-consumption/

charis

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 10:33:08 AM »
We were in the same boat (with basically the same new car budget) and previously rented cars occasionally to accommodate travel/outdoor gear.  We looked at Subarus, and yes, the used inventory seemed overpriced for the mileage and year, plus we wanted the third row, just in case we need it and for the extra cargo space.  Also looked at used CRVs.  Ended up finding a 2014 60K mini-van for 9K and very glad we did not pay more or go with a CRV and the like.

Ecky

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 10:54:56 AM »
I think I'd be inclined to just deal with it until one of the kids is out of a seat. How much longer would that be?

Car Jack

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 11:01:36 AM »
As much as it pains me to suggest this......because I really hate them......and cue the top gear episode here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F04MXepYiBs

I would recommend a Prius.  Why?  They have a ton of back seat leg room.  Yes, they are squished in width, but that's not your problem.  Put the crap on the roof and buy yourself a trailer hitch (2" square receiver) and install a rack to put on even more crap to take with you.

An Outback will do what you want from a space perspective but will cost much more to buy and to operate (I have owned a dozen Subarus and have 2 right now).  Especially if you don't need the all wheel drive.

BeanCounter

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2019, 12:12:01 PM »
We were in the same boat (with basically the same new car budget) and previously rented cars occasionally to accommodate travel/outdoor gear.  We looked at Subarus, and yes, the used inventory seemed overpriced for the mileage and year, plus we wanted the third row, just in case we need it and for the extra cargo space.  Also looked at used CRVs.  Ended up finding a 2014 60K mini-van for 9K and very glad we did not pay more or go with a CRV and the like.
I do love my CRV, but this is what I wish we would have done. Smart move!

south of 61

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 01:19:58 PM »
I'm going to jump on the mini-van band wagon too. I've spent 15 years saying hell would freeze over before I would get a minivan ... but guess what, adding a second dog to our family has sold me on the idea. Oh and this is after going from a toyota matrix to a subaru last year .... 

kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 06:06:40 PM »
Yea, ok looking around at prices, the Suburu would either need to be more miles or more $$. Probably is overpriced.  No, I guess I don't really need AWD. <sigh> I'd like it but I've made it to work in a blizzard with snowtires and FWD. The Suzuki has AWD you can turn on and off with a button which is wonderful because you can get better mileage all summer and turn AWD on for those snowy days. (We've had snow cover in our yard since Nov 12 and just saw the first patch of south facing grass yesterday so snow is a factor)

For the trailer option - currently neither vehicle is equiped to tow. I'm not sure what kind of towing capacity a Fit has? We usually go canoeing a few times a month in the warm season. Canoe goes on the roof rack on the fit and we had been folding down the backseat for the paddles which isn't going to work anymore.


kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 06:09:23 PM »
Can you haul a small trailer for the few times you go on camping trips?  Presumably you've got both seats in one of the cars now and are doing just fine with local trips?  Is this mostly a comfort thing?  How many times a year do you road trip?

LOL at finding a 2016 Subaru Outback with < 50k miles for $15k.  At least from a dealer.  Maybe the craigslist market is better.  Here (mid-Atlantic) they're about $20k.

We only go camping probably 5 times a year but I fold down a seat a lot more often than that. Paddles for Canoeing, transporting beehives, assorted larger items. Probably fold down a seat averaging 2-3 times a month. So not a LOT but more often than I want to rent a vehicle.

You're right (sadly) about the suburu cost vs mileage. darn.

kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2019, 06:11:18 PM »
We've been through this exact situation. And yes for the safety (and comfort) of the front seat passengers you probably need to upgrade.
We went with the slightly used CRV. Now, five years later I wish I would have just done a van. Carpooling with friends for extra curriculars happens faster than you might think.

Hmmm this is great info. We had tossed around the mini van idea but I feel like it's more car than we need right now. I was thinking in about 5 years when the kids were bigger we could re-asses and get a van if needed. Maybe worth going right to a van?

Ecky

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2019, 07:55:07 PM »
I have a first generation Insight (1850lbs) and I pull an 8x4 utility trailer with some regularity. With over 1000lbs in the trailer, stopping distance is adversely affected, but driving a little slower basically mitigates this - your stopping distance goes up with the square of your speed. Or, in other words, my 1850lb car towing 1000lbs can stop quicker at 55mph than the car alone can from 70. Just take it a little slower and you can reasonably tow anything you want.


csprof

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2019, 08:02:56 PM »
We did the CR-V option. No real regrets a year later. I wish it got a bit better gas mileage, but we drive so little (3k mi/year, only one car) that it basically doesn't matter. Safety options, reliability, comfort are all good. 2 kids (6.5 and 1.5) + two rather tall adults (I'm 6'3").  I like that it's still smaller than a minivan for city parking. It wasn't the most mustachian option available, but we're higher-income and it seemed like a pretty good trade off.  I'm planning on it being our car for the next 14 years.  Previous one was a Ford focus that lasted 12 or 13.

(Edited to add: it's very possible I am naive about not needing a minivan in 5 years. I'm pretty stubborn about not driving, though. We'll see. :-)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 08:07:20 PM by csprof »

MilesTeg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2019, 11:44:00 PM »
I have a first generation Insight (1850lbs) and I pull an 8x4 utility trailer with some regularity. With over 1000lbs in the trailer, stopping distance is adversely affected, but driving a little slower basically mitigates this - your stopping distance goes up with the square of your speed. Or, in other words, my 1850lb car towing 1000lbs can stop quicker at 55mph than the car alone can from 70. Just take it a little slower and you can reasonably tow anything you want.



This really, really bad advice. Use a proper tow vehicle to tow. Doing stuff like the above is dangerously stupid. You're one hiccup or unexpected situation (anything from weather to pot hole) away from catastrophic loss of control of the towed load because that vehicle isn't remotely suited to that job.

Just like an F-150 isn't remotely suited to hauling just your butt from home to your cubicle desk.

Use the proper tool for the job at hand. -- always

Ecky

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2019, 11:59:13 PM »

This really, really bad advice. Use a proper tow vehicle to tow. Doing stuff like the above is dangerously stupid. You're one hiccup or unexpected situation (anything from weather to pot hole) away from catastrophic loss of control of the towed load because that vehicle isn't remotely suited to that job.

Just like an F-150 isn't remotely suited to hauling just your butt from home to your cubicle desk.

Use the proper tool for the job at hand. -- always

The pictured camper was an accessory specifically meant to be pulled by compact cars, so at the time that VW *was* considered a proper vehicle to tow. It's all relative. I hear you didn't have to wear seatbelts either.

Yes of course use common sense with what you pull behind your car. Follow the ratings on the hitch. Be aware that you can cook your automatic transmission if you abuse it. Also be aware that if you adjust your speed you can generally tow what you (reasonably) need. Many vehicles which do not have tow ratings in the US have them in Europe, or have higher ratings, and it isn't because they get specially reinforced Priuses or Civics.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 12:10:27 AM by Ecky »

RWD

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2019, 06:48:59 AM »

This really, really bad advice. Use a proper tow vehicle to tow. Doing stuff like the above is dangerously stupid. You're one hiccup or unexpected situation (anything from weather to pot hole) away from catastrophic loss of control of the towed load because that vehicle isn't remotely suited to that job.

Just like an F-150 isn't remotely suited to hauling just your butt from home to your cubicle desk.

Use the proper tool for the job at hand. -- always

The pictured camper was an accessory specifically meant to be pulled by compact cars, so at the time that VW *was* considered a proper vehicle to tow. It's all relative. I hear you didn't have to wear seatbelts either.

Yes of course use common sense with what you pull behind your car. Follow the ratings on the hitch. Be aware that you can cook your automatic transmission if you abuse it. Also be aware that if you adjust your speed you can generally tow what you (reasonably) need. Many vehicles which do not have tow ratings in the US have them in Europe, or have higher ratings, and it isn't because they get specially reinforced Priuses or Civics.

The higher tow ratings in Europe are not because the US is too conservative in rating the same vehicles. It is because the difference in tongue weight limitations which consequently also reduces the speed you are allowed to drive while towing. You absolutely can not say, "My vehicle is rated for 4,000 lb in Europe so that totally means I can tow that here in the US too". The assumptions are all different. If you hooked up the trailer the same way as in Europe (trades stability for increased towing capacity) and greatly limited your speed then you get close to equivalency. But you'll still run into legal problems if you crash while towing above the rated limit for your car.
https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611
Quote
Compared to the US, UK drivers can tow less weight and size without a special license and the max motorway speed is 60 versus up to the legal limit (or the trailer tire speed rating, which ever comes first).

Tester

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2019, 09:27:57 AM »
We've been through this exact situation. And yes for the safety (and comfort) of the front seat passengers you probably need to upgrade.
We went with the slightly used CRV. Now, five years later I wish I would have just done a van. Carpooling with friends for extra curriculars happens faster than you might think.

Hmmm this is great info. We had tossed around the mini van idea but I feel like it's more car than we need right now. I was thinking in about 5 years when the kids were bigger we could re-asses and get a van if needed. Maybe worth going right to a van?

I would say as the kids grow you need less car.
A van is good with newborns because you can change diapers really easy, you don't need to bend to get the chair in and out (although it should be the same with a suv).
When you will test drive bring a stroller and carseat with you and see how it feels.
Also try to test how you would change diapers.
Test this in a minivan too ;-).
Minivan will get less mileage though...

MilesTeg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2019, 01:21:10 PM »

This really, really bad advice. Use a proper tow vehicle to tow. Doing stuff like the above is dangerously stupid. You're one hiccup or unexpected situation (anything from weather to pot hole) away from catastrophic loss of control of the towed load because that vehicle isn't remotely suited to that job.

Just like an F-150 isn't remotely suited to hauling just your butt from home to your cubicle desk.

Use the proper tool for the job at hand. -- always

The pictured camper was an accessory specifically meant to be pulled by compact cars, so at the time that VW *was* considered a proper vehicle to tow. It's all relative. I hear you didn't have to wear seatbelts either.

Yes of course use common sense with what you pull behind your car. Follow the ratings on the hitch. Be aware that you can cook your automatic transmission if you abuse it. Also be aware that if you adjust your speed you can generally tow what you (reasonably) need. Many vehicles which do not have tow ratings in the US have them in Europe, or have higher ratings, and it isn't because they get specially reinforced Priuses or Civics.

I'm not speaking directly about the VW, but your general advice which boiled down is "if my car can make it move, it's fine to tow if you drive slowly". Horsepower is not the limited factor in tow capacity -- never has been and never will be. The ability of the tow vehicle to properly anchor and control the towed load is the limiting factor. Primarily that means qualities like weight ratio of the tow vehicle to towed load, gear ratio, transmission performance, wheel base, axle width, suspension capacity, frame strength, etc.

But, on the subject of that vw camper. That's a death trap. One good gust of wind and that VW Bug turns into a rag doll getting mauled by a vicious dog. "official rating" be damned. A compact vehicle has zero ability to control a towed load with that kind of profile, regardless of weight.

kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2019, 06:16:57 PM »
We did the CR-V option. No real regrets a year later. I wish it got a bit better gas mileage, but we drive so little (3k mi/year, only one car) that it basically doesn't matter. Safety options, reliability, comfort are all good. 2 kids (6.5 and 1.5) + two rather tall adults (I'm 6'3").  I like that it's still smaller than a minivan for city parking. It wasn't the most mustachian option available, but we're higher-income and it seemed like a pretty good trade off.  I'm planning on it being our car for the next 14 years.  Previous one was a Ford focus that lasted 12 or 13.

(Edited to add: it's very possible I am naive about not needing a minivan in 5 years. I'm pretty stubborn about not driving, though. We'll see. :-)

Thanks! sounds like you're about 1.5 years ahead of us so that's a good outlook.

Will definitely bring a stroller, etc with us when we test drive.  Someone suggested changing the stuff. I like the theory and there are certainly paddles that come apart if that was truly our only scenario with needing seats folded down but generally the tent, sleeping bag, life jackets, etc etc (plus baby gear mentioned above) means we were already running close to capacity on the Fit.  I'm very proud of the fact that before kids I once got 2 bikes, a canoe and all our camping gear in the car, but yea at some point you need more space.

We're going to test drive a used CRV on Tuesday when I take the Fit into the Honda dealer for an airbag recall so we'll see what we think (and no, I'm not planning to BUY from the dealer but I'm happy to let them try to sell me one while i was stuck there for 2 hours anyways. Easier than test driving on Craigslist. )

Thanks for the advice!

cincystache

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2019, 03:09:56 PM »
I vote van. Subarus are overrated and overpriced IMO. CRVs are good cars (we own a 2002) but have much less cargo area than a van with the third row folded down.

My brother has two young kids and they love their used minivan, automatic sliding doors, tons of cargo capacity and extra seating for grandparents when needed. Gas mileage is crap but if you're not doing a long commute every day probably not a big deal.

Go test drive a few different options and see what you like. I like the suggestion of bringing your stroller and carseats along as well.

Good luck!
 

WSUCoug1994

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2019, 04:23:00 PM »
At 6'3" and 230 lbs we ran into a similar issue as I couldn't drive due to the lack of space in our old car.  I did a bunch of research - although it was not really conclusive on which was the best set-up for double car seats (especially one rear-facing) but this website (https://thecarseatlady.com) was pretty helpful.


kimmarg

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Re: New Vehicle- facepunch, or what?
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2019, 08:19:40 AM »
Just a follow up. We did end up going with a 2016 Honda CRV. Found one with only 25k miles for $18k and were able to pay cash so I feel ok about it. Only been a week but I like it so far. It feels like a bus compared to the Fit but being able to have the stroller, balance bike AND groceries and carseats in easily is really nice. And my knees don't hit the dashboard!

For anyone looking for cars with kids defintely use thecarseatlady.com  for example the Rav4 is a similar vehicle and price but it's impossible to use all 3 spots in the backseat if you have carseats! I'm not paying for 3 seats if I can only use 2!