Monday, June 5, 2017

Car Shopping

Spent Saturday test driving cars. It’s been almost seven years since our last car purchase (my 2010 Nissan Xterra), and the car we’re replacing was bought 12 years ago, used (2003 Ford Ranger). Hubby loves his convertible (2008 Toyota Solara), but considers it our “fun” car. He wants it to last so he tries to only drive it during nice weather (like when he can put the top down). The Ranger is horrible in the snow, though, which forces Hubby to drive the Solara when he doesn’t want to (since it has front-wheel drive). Plus, Hubby hates (HATES) my Xterra on long trips (you know, when we drive to ports for our cruises and such, which is usually during the winter, so—possible 4WD), because you can feel every bump in the road (plus he hates the seats). Which means he wants a car that can drive in the snow, gets good mileage, holds our luggage, AND is comfortable.

Prior to our test drives, we narrowed it down to three: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forrester. All in AWD. According to Consumer Reports, these were the best small SUVs and they got the best gas mileage.

After our test drives, we narrowed it down to two: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V. The Forrester just didn’t meet our comfort needs. Those seats were kind of hard! We were comfortable in both the RAV4 and CR-V. Even in the back seat.

Now, the plan was to figure out what we want and buy next year. But now I’m not so sure I want to wait that long. We’re driving to Florida in December for a cruise and I wouldn’t mind having that new car. I told Hubby it was his decision, though (since this will basically be his car) and that I didn’t want to hear him complain if we have to drive the Xterra to Florida. For 18 hours. Only getting 18mpg (The RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V both get about 30mpg on the highway).

Right now (in June) Toyota is offering 0% financing for 60 months on the RAV4. Will they offer that again next year? Who knows? Honda isn’t offering any such deal (and probably never will), but the CR-V is about $5,000 less than the RAV4. Finance charges would have to be over 5% (which I don’t believe they are) to make the RAV4 a better deal.

Still, I’m leaning toward the RAV4 Hybrid. Man, that car was QUIET! Even while running. The CR-V has a totally digital dash, which I’m not fond of (I like my speedometer to have a needle, since I’m visual that way). I could get used to it, though, if Hubby decides he wants to go cheaper.

As for the Ranger… our mechanic at Goodyear doesn’t think we’ll have any problems selling it (even though it’s manual everything (stick shift, windows, door locks), it’s got low mileage (80,000) and we’ve kept it in good shape). I wouldn’t mind getting rid of it now (I hate driving that thing). Of course, when we do get the new car, my Xterra has to give up the garage spot (we don’t want to park the convertible outside and the new car gets dibs). I could live with that, though.

Tonight is Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Penguins and the Predators. I don’t know if you watched Saturday’s ugly game, but man, are the Predators fans rude or what? I just don’t ever remember hearing that kind of crap from other teams’ fans. Not even from Columbus, and they’re pretty bad. I certainly hope our fans don’t stoop to that level when the game goes back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 (and hopefully a final winner, since we’re up 2-1 now). Let’s go Pens!!

So… Do you like car shopping? Hubby hates it. I like test driving cars, but don’t necessarily like negotiating the price at the end (which you have to do or else you’re paying too much, right?). Do you think there will ever come a day when the price on the car is non-negotiable? I mean, you don’t negotiate the price on your groceries. If you find it cheaper elsewhere, you just go elsewhere. Right?

Happy Monday!



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Saturday's game was ugly. They've not played well in any of the games despite the scores.
Toyota and Honda vehicles both last. Warranty would decide it for me. And yes, I'd want it for that long trip to Florida as well.
And I hate car shopping.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Alex - Warranty would be a deciding factor, but they're the same for these two vehicles. I have a feeling it will come down to which is cheaper. As for the Penguins... I sure hope they get their stuff together tonight and play a more focused game. They do so much better when they put the pressure on the other team!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I don't mind car shopping, but every time I've done it, I've gone in knowing exactly what I want (down to color and options), and what I'm willing to pay. Of course now, I can see who has what online, so that's even better. Good luck finding something both of you will love!

Maria Zannini said...

That sounds like a fun task, as long as you can negotiate a good price.

We're pretty good with that. We know what we intend to pay before we ever hit the dealer. Occasionally, we run across a salesman that wants to play hardball. That's when we walk out.

One dealer was so shocked, their manager actually ran out after us and took over the negotiation. He accepted our offer and even sweetened it.

Toyotas tend to be over my price limit, but I love the styles of their vehicles.

I'm with you about comfort. I told Greg the next car I buy might be a Cadillac or Mercedes (used). They're reputed to be the most comfortable cars on the road. The few I've been in attest to that. It was like riding on a pillow.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jennette - I'd love to pick a color, but by the time the cars are on sale, you don't get much to pick from.

Maria - This is why I love Consumer Reports. They let me know what's a good deal. We go in armed with that information. And yes, we're willing to walk if they won't negotiate. I just wish we didn't have to play these games, though.

JeffO said...

Bad news: I thought Pittsburgh played better the last two games than the first two games, but Rinne really got his game back tonight. Nashville looks really good out there. Tough to predict how the next game will go.
Nashville fans are certainly creative and enthusiastic. Crude, yes, but Rangers fans started chanting "Potvin sucks" in 1979 (and they're still chanting it, even though Potvin hasn't set foot on the ice since like 1985), and it seems like fans in almost every arena now chant "Ref, you suck" whenever their team doesn't get a call. I would not be surprised to see variations of this spread to other cities
What kind of downpayment is Toyota looking for to get that 0% deal?

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jeff - If you have good credit (and we do), you don't have to put anything down. I just wish the RAV4 was priced more like the CR-V.

Sandra Cox said...

We've got a RAV4 and LOVE it!
The safety features are wonderful, which was really important to both of us.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Sandra - I like that RAV4, too. And the awesome gas mileage.