Author Topic: Vehicle help  (Read 1138 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Vehicle help
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:16:43 PM »
Hi all. Iím having some difficulty with a vehicle decision. Iím new to MMM and am working to correct some past mistakes. One of these is to sell my financed Jeep Wrangler. Based off of my autotrader/KBB instant cash offer I should end up with $24-25k once I retire the loan, maybe slightly more if I find a private buyer.

Iím not doing a good job in my search for a replacement. Looking around at used vehicles I keep finding myself looking at vehicles in the $22-25k range. While still better than I was doing before itís still not great. I know I am being influenced by my past experiences; I was raised upper middle class and my dad is a huge vehicle snob who will look down on anything he perceives as a step down.

Iím not so much worried with that but I have these huge fears that Iím going to purchase a lower priced vehicle and then lose out on the savings with large maintenance costs. I want to find something that I can keep for a long time which probably isnít as hard as I make it because I average less than 7k miles per year.

I just canít get past these fears and need some help to guide my thinking. Iíve got my first kid on the way so am concerned with safety and reliability. What is my best option? While not MMM worthy I would consider it a big win to find something in the $16k range.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 07:18:35 PM by Virtus3 »


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 07:24:29 PM »
What are your requirements for the vehicle? Have you read this post about Cars for Smart People?

I can strongly recommend something like a Honda or a Toyota, depending on the size of vehicle you need, you could look at what they offer. Recently purchased a 2011 Toyota Camry with 27,000 for under $13k, taxes and registration included. It can be done if you're patient.

Set up a search for things in your price range and the make of vehicle and any other parameters you want. You can buy at a dealership, not necessarily a used car only dealership, just a regular Honda or Toyota dealership or whatever, just look at their used vehicles instead of the new ones.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 07:38:56 PM »
I think part of my problem is separating my needs from wants. With a kid on the way and plans for at least one more I would like something a little larger without sacrificing fuel economy. Right now Iím really liking Subaru Outbacks and Foresters. I mountain bike, play hockey, and paddleboard so they would both easily accommodate all of my needs with 24-25 mpg city.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 07:45:24 PM »
My dad has a similar mindset to you - appalled when I was considering a Fit, or similar. (He's not a fan of small econoboxes.) And I was raised similarly. At the end of the day, you're an adult and can make your own choices. It's a car, not a life partner or something equally major.

I ended up with a Honda HR-V.

Plenty of "lower priced" vehicles have great reliability. The average Camry or Accord can easily accommodate your family, will be very safe, and very reliable.

FWIW, my parents have a 2016 Camry. You can easily find one in the $15k range, depending on mileage and trim level. It was a topic safety pick for its year: The 2015 and 2017 models are the same. This is just an example, but you can find PLENTY of new-ish, reliable, safe cars (or CUVs) that can fit your family and meet your needs for under $20k.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Location: NZ
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 09:38:42 PM »
If it helps, I drive my family around in a 2004 Mazda 6 wagon with 390,000 kms purchased two years ago for $2,000 USD. It's safe, reliable and does everything I need (will take a whole family camping with two kayaks on the roof and four bikes on the back).

This example is purely there to illustrate there are plenty of options between $2,000 to $20,000 to choose from. Set a max budget, find some car models you like, research their reliability, and start hunting.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3337
  • Location: UK
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 11:40:22 AM »
Just buy a Camry. Looks smart enough, but economical when you consider total cost of ownership.

Looks like there are two years to avoid per

A 2012-2014 would be pretty good, and below your budget.

mountain mustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 395
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 12:45:32 PM »
I mountain bike, ski, hike, camp, etc etc...and I own a Honda Element and it is everything I could want in a car and more. I have the "luxury" version with AWD, and all the silly extras like a moon roof and trim. It is a 2003, had 120,000 miles on it and cost me $6700.00 cash when I purchased it used. I have been driving it for 5 years now, put an additional 60,000 miles on it in that time (lots of driving for bike racing, skiing, camping) and literally all I have had to do is change the oil, one set of new tires, and a new battery. I plan to put another 100k miles on this vehicle, and see no reason why I shouldn't. I think it's a myth that a used or older car will cost tons of just have to do research and purchase the right one! I think an Element is a perfect vehicle for someone that is super active, wants the ability to haul a lot of bikes, skis, gear...and sleep in the car too! It gets pretty decent gas mileage (23-25mpg) for an SUV type car. I've taken it on gnarly 4x4 roads, to trailheads at 12k feet, is super capable! Especially with some solid AT tires.
This is the 3rd element that has been in my family, and we have had zero reliability issues, so I guess that's why I recommend it so heavily. My dad has owned two different ones since 2003, and never had a single maintenance issue beyond normal wear and tear.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Frederick, MD
Re: Vehicle help
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2018, 01:05:24 PM »
1999 lexus es300 with 100k for 3000...  . done