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Old 10-21-2010, 07:31 AM   #41
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On a new $35,000 to $40,000 Odyssey, I'd cry if it got dinged!
That's what we liked about the low trim line Sienna (called CE at the time). You can get them for mid-$20k's + tax new off the lot. Dealers don't like to stock them, so you have to look around or order one, but there're a good deal. Same engine, tranny and mechanics as the models with fancier carpet, DVD players, leather, etc., but lots cheaper.

Since the interior of a van full of grandkids is going to get trashed anyway, why pay big bux for high tier deco items and electronics?
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:42 AM   #42
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Another possibility is Hertz Rent2Buy program.
We bought a one year old Sienna LE for $17k last year with 35k miles on it (as compared to $26k new we were able to negotiate with the dealers at this time)
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:01 AM   #43
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Between family business and personal vehicles I've had 6 Chrysler (as in Dodge and Plymouth or Chrysler) vans (caravans, grand caravans, voyager). While not extremely reliable (primarily transmission issues) these vehicles have generally given good, and relatively inexpensive service. We always new when a tranny was going out, so it wasn't a matter of getting stranded.
I played that game. My third Chrysler minivan was the final straw. At 17,000 miles, the rack and pinion went out. At 38,000 miles, I needed ANOTHER rack and pinion. At that point, even though I had an EXTENDED WARRANTY THROUGH CHRYSLER, they told me they would NOT authorize another rack and pinion if it went out, and I was "on my own"......

Bottom line, NO Chrysler products for me, and I hope they fail as a company, because they sell crappy cars. The only redeeming thing is Dodge truck. BTW, the van above was brand new with 33 miles on it, not a used one........
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #44
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Since the interior of a van full of grandkids is going to get trashed anyway, why pay big bux for high tier deco items and electronics?
Take those grandkids on a long road trip, and you'll appreciate DVD with wireless headphones, GPS, etc. Plus, leather cleans up a lot easier than cloth..........
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #45
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Take those grandkids on a long road trip, and you'll appreciate DVD with wireless headphones, GPS, etc.
Where is LBYM fun in these?
Or rather I would say incremental utility value for us would be very small.
So for these 5 trips a year you would spend additional few $k?
We probably do 15 long distance trips (lets say more than 4 hours) a year and
kids are happy to watch DVDs on my laptop plugged into a small inverter.
Incremental cost for me: $20 for the inverter.
As far as GPS goes, built in units are overpriced for what they deliver. DW got a GPS as a Xmas gift from her sister and it was less than $100.
Also a lot of new phones come with GPSes built in (and have real traffic info through the Internet way better than what FM receivers deliver).
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:09 PM   #46
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Most of our Chryslers went 150 K before replacement. A transmission job (average of one per vehicle) was $1600 to $2000.
Did this get you a swap out of a rebuilt trans? What kind of warrantly? Do you use Aamco? ( I mention this because when I lived in a smaller city the Aamco franchisee was excellent, much better than the non affiliated trans shops around.

Ha
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:34 PM   #47
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While AAMCO may be good their prices are double what other shops charge.

Someone has to pay for all that advertising.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:36 PM   #48
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Did this get you a swap out of a rebuilt trans? What kind of warrantly? Do you use Aamco? ( I mention this because when I lived in a smaller city the Aamco franchisee was excellent, much better than the non affiliated trans shops around.

Ha
Never a swap-out as I recall. Our regular (independent) mechanic always seemed to know what to fix. The big thing was labor as the tranny had to be removed, disassembled, "fixed" and put back in. If I recall, chrysler was "experimenting" with replacing metal parts with plastic ones in the tranny. They apparently didn't last. So, if we caught the problem early - by the noise or shifting problems, there was no other damage to fix. Again, our mechanic was an excellent diagnostician and was able to do all the repair work in house.

As I recall, we had one tranny out twice. The remainder were once or not at all.

Regarding warrantee, the 'official' was 90 days, parts and labor. Our mechanic always made things right and we never worried about a warrantee with him. Bizarre, I know - but that's the way it was (is).

Again, my only point was that you can fix a transmission a time or two for the difference in price between a used Chrysler and a new Honda. But, as always YMMV.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:58 PM   #49
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Take those grandkids on a long road trip, and you'll appreciate DVD with wireless headphones, GPS, etc. Plus, leather cleans up a lot easier than cloth..........
LOL...definitely. We skipped on the $4K built-in "entertainment system" and instead got a portable DVD player for the 4 year old for $40. Leather was non-negotiable however. I told DH that if I'm caving in and getting a mini-van, we'd need to get leather seats to keep me happy .
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:41 AM   #50
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I'm curious how you guys are arriving at your "buying new is a better deal than buying used" numbers.

Just for example, I just pulled up used a search for a used Camry LE and looked at a new one.
Used: 2 years old, 14k miles, $13,000
New: $23,000

The Sienna LE:
Used: 2 years old, 25k miles, $19,000
New: $32,140

Those new prices are sticker, but so are the used prices (all dealer prices). Have you guys found that you can get new cars so far below sticker that they make sense? (I've never purchased a new car - always gone the 2-3 year old route.)
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:23 PM   #51
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Generally you can get a new car around or below invoice price plus getting the dealer incentives. It can still be more expensive, but for 2 years more of use and brand new I consider it worth it.

Depending on dealer incentives you could probably get the Camry LE below around $18k and the Sienna around $27-28k as a wild guess. I use the Fax attack method but similiar results can also be found with other methods where you have dealers compete for your business.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:32 PM   #52
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So let's assume your price is right. $18k new or $13k 2 years old. And assume you'll drive the car until it's 10 years old.

That's either $1,800 / year for the new car, or $1,625 / year for the used car.

Even getting the new car way under sticker, you're still paying far more per month than you would with the used option.

You'd get a newer car for the first two years, but then you'd have the exact same aged car for the next 8. The price is pretty close, though, and I do understand the attraction to knowing exactly what a car has been through, though.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:41 PM   #53
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For me personally, $175 a year more for 10 years is worth having a car that's two years newer and where I've been the sole owner and got it new with the 2 years of newer features/safety/etc over the life of the car.

I also dislike buying cars so I get 10 years out of the new car and only 8 years out of the used car so saves some hassle there too.

It's at least close enough that it no longer is a no-brainer to buy newly used for the Honda/Toyota models.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:24 PM   #54
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I was just looking at the new car prices in the Chicago Tribune today, Northside Toyota is listing a 2011 Camry LE for $18,588. Includes 2 yrs of free scheduled maintenance. They have 99 available.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #55
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When I was recently car shopping I came to the conclusion that on the lower cost cars such as the Honda CRV it was such a small difference that it did not pay to buy used . However if you were interested in a more expensive car with all the options the price drop for a slightly used was certainly worth it . It almost swayed me to a more expensive car but who needs heated seats in Florida ?
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:00 PM   #56
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but who needs heated seats in Florida ?
I'll take your heated seats and raise you a bluetooth connection....
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:05 PM   #57
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For me personally, $175 a year more for 10 years is worth having a car that's two years newer and where I've been the sole owner and got it new with the 2 years of newer features/safety/etc over the life of the car.

]I also dislike buying cars so I get 10 years out of the new car and only 8 years out of the used car so saves some hassle there too.

It's at least close enough that it no longer is a no-brainer to buy newly used for the Honda/Toyota models.
Agreed, pretty much regardless of model (maybe some exceptions, I don't know). There might be some slight financial benefit to buying 2-3 year old, but it seems minimal and outweighed by the things you mention. Also consider that a 2-3 year old car is going to need tires & brakes in short order, other maintenance will be due sooner, and 2-3 years less under warranty. I'll find some other area to be frugal. But if it works for others, that's fine.


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Old 12-10-2010, 12:38 AM   #58
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When I was looking at Camrys and Accords I found that Honda's seats were made for smaller people than me, but the Camry fit me well. I wound up buying a used 2006 Sonata. I call that model "Honda on the outside, Toyota on the inside" as it is very much a copycat car. After 3 years of owning it I've replaced a bunch of light bulbs (most twice) and had a couple of other electrical issues like the windshield wiper and right door lock failing. But no major issues so far.
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