Author Topic: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?  (Read 4207 times)

Pete799p

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Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« on: September 01, 2014, 05:24:30 PM »
I am relocating back out west and will be selling my current vehicle to find a replacement. I will be getting about $10k in proceeds from the sale of my current vehicle. I am an avid outdoorsman, spending as much time outside as possible, and i have a side business doing small constructions projects. I am trying to avoid the typical truck/suv purchase so I have been looking at the Subaru Outback or Toyato Prius, although I am leaning towards to Prius because of the mpg.

Option 1- 04-08 Gen II Prius with 70k-100k+ miles or similar 04-08 Outback for $7-$10k.

Option 2- 10-11 Gen III Prius with 30k-50k Miles or similar 07-09 Outback for $12k-$15K. Both newer vehicles have marginally better mpg etc but the Gen III Prius seems to be unanimously better then GenII. The difference in price I will either put in the extra couple grand or take out a small loan with a low interest rate.

I am currently debt free and I have had good luck over the years buying newer used cars, option 2, and driving them for several year to the option 1 milage and selling. I have noticed that the repair bills tend to start showing up right around the option 1 range and although I have had some good luck buying high milage cars on the cheap I have also had a few bad ones, with either large repair bills showing up quickly into ownership or even a total car death. The other thing to note is that the Prius's have a 100k mile warranty on their batteries, and although it doesn't seem to be a major problem it could still costs about $5k to replace if things go south and the Subarus typically need a new timing belt near 100k that can cost +or- $1,000 or more if not caught in time.

I typically drive 10k miles per year, although I am losing the commute I figure the milage will be close as I will have more road trips and I still use my vehicle quite a bit for my business etc. That being said the option1 car is about 3-7+ milage years older then the option2 and the last thing I want to do is lose $8k trying to save $4k. 

I appreciate all your thoughts and input.

DarinC

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 06:25:00 PM »
I'd get a Gen III Prius.

http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfly/aircraft_carrier.html

A Gen II can tow as well, but it dumps more gas in at high loads rather than cooled EGR, so you'll get better mileage with more stuff.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 12:19:46 PM »
I'd get a Gen III Prius.

http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfly/aircraft_carrier.html

A Gen II can tow as well, but it dumps more gas in at high loads rather than cooled EGR, so you'll get better mileage with more stuff.
+1.  See my message in another thread (today) about my Jetta TDI vs. Prius GenI vs. Prius GenIII results.

Also owned a Subaru 10 years ago - the all-wheel drive is great for snow, but with good chains, have had no problems with the 2010 Prius

Spec7re

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 03:32:32 PM »
I'm pretty much in the same boat.

I'm in the process of selling my 1999 Jeep Wrangler, and I think I can get around $8k for it.  I'm seeing a lot of Gen IIs in the 7-10k range.  The Gen IIIs seem to be above $12k, which would require a loan.

Is the Gen III really that much better?  Towing would be a factor in the decision.  As a recovering clown-car-aholic, I pretty much told myself that I could buy any car I want, as long as I pay cash, and I think this keeps me from making poor car decisions.  Is there a purely practical case that can be made for taking out a loan to get a Gen III over the Gen II?

Honestly, I should probably just keep the Jeep.  It's got 120k on it, it's in great condition, and it's probably appreciating.  My commute is only 9 miles round trip.  However, I live in Austin, and I have a lot of friends who live in Houston and Dallas that I like to visit, and I really hate having to budget $80 in gas to make the trip.  Also, the Jeep is not the ideal car for highway trips.  Stupidly, I put 33 inch tire on it so it would "look cool" when I was pre-mustachian, and now I'm worried that the vehicle actually repels the type of girls that I would like to meet, lol.

jmink

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 03:49:56 PM »
I'd be nervous of a Prius.  It depends on what type of outdoors stuff you like to do.  I say this because at least earlier gen Priui are very protective of their CVTs and will refuse to move if they lose traction.  I mostly bummed rides in a Prius last summer and the owner wasn't willing to drive it through puddles on a dirt road for fear of getting stuck.  We also frequently had to get out of the car so it could have a bit more clearance to make it down well maintained forest roads.  On the flip side the gas was very cheap.

If you're moving the the desert-y parts of the West that isn't an issue, but if you're thinking of going to the mountains or the parts with rain (Western Oregon/Washington) I'd steer clear or at least research that issue a lot more.

In terms of Subarus watch out for the current oil burning issue: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/07/18/subaru-oil-burner-lawsuit/12859865/  It looks like you'll just miss it with the dates you're stating there, but something to be aware of.

Good luck!  I'd go with the Subaru.


Pete799p

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 09:48:19 PM »
Thanks all for the responses. I do plan on spending a ton of time in the mountains. I am an avid flyfisherman, backcountry skier, mountain biker, rock climber, hunter, camper, backpacker...you get the idea. I have owned 3 jeeps so far with a Wrangler Rubicon+ Warn winch being my last. That Wrangler was a real tank, the only time I got it stuck was when I was trying and even then some good recovery gear, a winch, and you were free to roam about the country. That being said, like others have mentioned, I hated the gas. I have friends all over the west and would like to be able to visit them more often without the trip breaking the bank. Also when looking back I only used the full capabilities about 10% of the time, maybe more, and the area I am moving to will be more civilized then where I lived previously so I am hoping to be able to cope with the Prius/Subi.

I do have concerns over ground clearance etc. and I will definitely be spending time on forest service roads. I have also read about the traction issues that I am a little concerned about, I hate traction control on any vehicle. It does seem that the Gen III might have at least semi fixed the traction problems, among others which is why I am reluctantly swaying towards spending the extra.

It is good to hear others having used the Prius in the great outdoors successfully. I am still torn between the two, given the Subaru is a natural choice for the outdoors. But the Prius gas mileage is so enticing and I am pretty dang good at getting vehicles unstuck. I would also love to hear from others who have had some rugged Prius experiences, good or bad to help me make sense of it all.

Thanks again

knutsoza

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 01:47:08 AM »
Volvo v70xc/xc70. Lots of haulage space, can tow a lot, good ground clearance, awd. Same or better economy as the subies.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 04:02:47 AM »
At your miles per year the difference in gas is probably going to be about $500-700 a year.

I'd go the older Outback. A 2004-08 car is hardly ancient, and the Outback seems better suited to your needs.

RWD

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 09:38:56 AM »
Volvo v70xc/xc70. Lots of haulage space, can tow a lot, good ground clearance, awd. Same or better economy as the subies.

Are you sure about the fuel economy? I'm seeing 19 mpg vs 22 mpg combined for the XC70 vs the Outback respectively on fueleconomy.gov (comparing 2006 model years). That's about 18% more fuel consumption by the Volvo.


At your miles per year the difference in gas is probably going to be about $500-700 a year.

I'd go the older Outback. A 2004-08 car is hardly ancient, and the Outback seems better suited to your needs.

This. I would recommend at least getting the 2005+ Outback as it is rated for slightly better fuel economy than the 2004 Outback and I believe they improved its crash worthiness. I've owned a 2005 Legacy wagon for several years now which has been a great car.

knutsoza

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 09:45:07 AM »
You won't see a 3mpg difference in the real world except maybe, maybe long highway drives. Too much driver influence in economy. Accelerate a little slower at stop lights and you've made up the difference. Trust me I do this for a living.
Volvo: http://www.fuelly.com/car/volvo/xc70
Subie: http://www.fuelly.com/car/subaru/outback
Looking at 2000-2010 models.

The Volvo is heavier so I won't argue potential, but unless you're a hypermiler 3mpg shouldn't be a purchase changing decision.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 10:02:25 AM by knutsoza »

DarinC

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2014, 10:22:13 PM »
My cousin has a Gen III Prius and he's beat the crap out of that thing. You'll probably be OK with traction and you can install a switch inline with the speed sensor. Open the circuit and you can spin the wheels as much as you want, just don't overdo it or you'll burn up one of the motors (I think MG2).

Ground clearance is the biggest issue, but there are ways around that.

http://priuschat.com/threads/lifting-the-suspension-for-more-ground-clearance.110257/

Reddleman

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Re: Upcoming Car Purchase Advice?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 05:41:56 AM »
Volos are nice, and I've owned a few myself.

Careful with the xc models, though.  The awd transfer cases are the weak link, and known to fail much more regularly than others.  In order of stoutness:

Manual transfer cases (pickups, jeep 231, suzuki sidekick/tracker)
Primarily mechanical cases (Subaru/Audi Quattro/BMW ix) with Long history
Electronic/light duty awd (Volvo xc, bmw xi)

Of course, you're not buying a car only for the transfer case, but keep it in mind.  Whatever ou do, don't buy something with fancy pants options like "ride leveling user adjustable suspension" like an all-road.