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Old 03-17-2021, 08:06 AM   #61
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Having recently bought a 2018 SUV with 17k miles after researching 5+ models and test driving every one of them, I'll tell you what my best internet tools were, should you decide to shop.

For a given model, I first go to Wikipedia and understand the "generations" of the model, the major re-designs, and the "facelifts". Also might look at sales by year to see if the vehicle was trending up or down. Also, learn, or Google, the trim levels to see what trims come with what options. Come can get pretty complicated.

Then, I used to go to cars.com (see below) and search on the model and year range for the generation I was interested, and specify a stupid range from my zip code like 500 miles or more. Then use the filters, and cut down price limits, and mileage limits that are important to you. You can sort by price, mileage, distance, etc. Very useful to see what is out there. If you see things you like, pull in your distance to see if there are some near you. Depending on what you are looking for, you may or may not find them.

I was looking for a very particular trim and (trim) upgrade level, PLUS an option for towing package. Someone at a forum pointed me to autotrader.com as a better site with better search options. And I found that I could search on make, model, trim level AND upgrade, AND individual options (like towing). I started at 200 miles, then spread out to 400 and found EXACTLY what I wanted 390 miles away, for close to the price I wanted.

Rented a car last week, drove out, and drove my new SUV home. VERY happy with it.
I like Carfax. Not only can you filter all the things you mentioned but they also include the free carfax report on every listing.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:27 AM   #62
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Great Thread. Do or do not. DW says she will never give up driving when I point out 'the Lofties' downtown who don't own/gave up cars and use Uber in town or a rental when they go on vacation.

My U Tube research says we are on the cusp of 'driverless'. DW says I'm premature to put it mildly.

Heh heh heh - when she was little they kept Bill and Barney the draft horses to the end even though the tractor did all the work. In ER still lusting for a Tesla pickup or electric Tractor (Fendt). But 168k Honda and 84k Silverado will soldier on. ? Buy or not to buy. Good Thread. ?
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:58 AM   #63
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I like Carfax. Not only can you filter all the things you mentioned but they also include the free carfax report on every listing.



I hadn't used them, but checked them now. While they do list the upgrade packages (on top of the trim level) in the description for a particular car, you can't filter on it. Nor can you filter on all specific options (like Tow Package). Autotrader was the only site I found that would let you do that and it is the only reason I was able to find the particular SUV I wanted.

I also was given a link to an FCA site in a forum that allowed you to run VIN numbers and get a "build sheet" to see what options a particular car had. This was good for backchecking listings on cars.com and the like, but this was available from this particular manufacturer, not sure if others do it.

CarFax reports are very good for checking the ownership and maintenance history of cars.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:05 AM   #64
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For a given model, I first go to Wikipedia and understand the "generations" of the model, the major re-designs, and the "facelifts". Also might look at sales by year to see if the vehicle was trending up or down. Also, learn, or Google, the trim levels to see what trims come with what options. Come can get pretty complicated.
Model generations are often overlooked. Many people are unaware that a 2015 car could be exactly the same as a 2018 model and will buy the 2018 thinking that it's more advanced when in reality it just rolled off the exact same assembly line 3 years later. But the 2015 will be a lot less expensive.

Use that knowledge to your advantage.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:09 AM   #65
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My U Tube research says we are on the cusp of 'driverless'. DW says I'm premature to put it mildly.
Your DW is much more on the mark given all the edge cases that driverless cars can't handle today, much less in the near future. Plus there's no regulatory or legal liability framework at the fed level that I know of.

The EV industry has been saying this is just around the corner for at least five years now, and it has been demo'ed in limited areas. But I'd bet on driverless semis on longhaul highway routes way before I'll see driverless cars on the roads around the ATL. Longhaul trucking is so obviously good for BigCos that it's coming a lot faster IMO.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:14 AM   #66
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Model generations are often overlooked. Many people are unaware that a 2015 car could be exactly the same as a 2018 model and will buy the 2018 thinking that it's more advanced when in reality it just rolled off the exact same assembly line 3 years later. But the 2015 will be a lot less expensive.

Use that knowledge to your advantage.

So true, and buying a "one generation old" model often get's you the best deal. The year the new generation comes out, the values of the previous one all seem to drop. So if they meet your needs, you win....
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:26 AM   #67
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DW's Honda HR-V died suddenly on her while on the interstate the day before yesterday, and today we found out the exact reason. Essentially, the transmission simply disintegrated. The repair will cost about $2,000 less than the car is worth, so she's going to get rid of it and go shopping. She's super frustrated because she hadn't planned on getting a new car for at least another year or two.

Since she'll be driving my Volvo for a while until she gets her own new car, I gave her a quick test drive in it, and had to smile. Her reaction was "Wow, I can really see why you love this thing so much; it's a pure pleasure to drive!"
She's not likely to get one, but you never know.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:38 AM   #68
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DW's Honda HR-V died suddenly on her while on the interstate the day before yesterday, and today we found out the exact reason. Essentially, the transmission simply disintegrated. The repair will cost about $2,000 less than the car is worth, so she's going to get rid of it and go shopping. She's super frustrated because she hadn't planned on getting a new car for at least another year or two.

Since she'll be driving my Volvo for a while until she gets her own new car, I gave her a quick test drive in it, and had to smile. Her reaction was "Wow, I can really see why you love this thing so much; it's a pure pleasure to drive!"
She's not likely to get one, but you never know.

Rented a Volvo S60 last year, it had 1500 miles on the clock when I picked it up. Amazing car. The T6 engine is incredible. And the tech in that car, wow. Drove it from New England to FL and back, turned it in with over 5000 miles on it.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:38 AM   #69
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DW's Honda HR-V died suddenly on her while on the interstate the day before yesterday, and today we found out the exact reason. Essentially, the transmission simply disintegrated. The repair will cost about $2,000 less than the car is worth, so she's going to get rid of it and go shopping. She's super frustrated because she hadn't planned on getting a new car for at least another year or two.
How old is it and how many miles? $2000 might be a good investment if she can get another 2, 3, or 4 years out of it.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:49 AM   #70
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How old is it and how many miles? $2000 might be a good investment if she can get another 2, 3, or 4 years out of it.
No doubt, but she has lost confidence in it and wants to replace it now. Not my decision, but I understand. With 90,000 miles on it the chances of something else going bad are increased.
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:46 PM   #71
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Yes, pickup trucks are a whole different animal. I have bought a few, but my needs/budget at the time dictated 8-12 year old ones.

Had a friend once who bought a brand new Golf GTI R (they only make 5000 of them every 4 years). He kept it and drove it for 8 months. Then sold it.


For $5k more than he paid for it.
You can say that again. I was looking for a used FORD F150 work truck (need the 8' bed) for my rentals and handyman work. I wanted something with less than 50k miles. Looked for two years and everything I found was all bells and whistles (lift kits, chrome rims, crew cab, dually, 4WD, Eddie Bauer, etc.) and they wanted over $25k. So finally, I bought a pretty much bare bones 2016 F150 work truck brand new (only option was power windows/locks) for $26,600. Yes, it has the crappiest engine, vinyl seats, and rubber floor mats...but that's ok with me. I've now had it 5 years and love it. I'm sure when I sell, I'll get a pretty good recovery on what I paid.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:33 PM   #72
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DW's Honda HR-V died suddenly on her while on the interstate the day before yesterday, and today we found out the exact reason. Essentially, the transmission simply disintegrated. The repair will cost about $2,000 less than the car is worth, so she's going to get rid of it and go shopping. She's super frustrated because she hadn't planned on getting a new car for at least another year or two.
I'm hearing a lot of bad news about Honda reliability in the past few years. Oil dilution problems in turbo engines seem persistent.

While automatic transmissions were never a strong point for Honda, a failure before 100K miles in a vehicle with a small engine is shocking.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:42 PM   #73
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While automatic transmissions were never a strong point for Honda, a failure before 100K miles in a vehicle with a small engine is shocking.
I agree, but the warranty was only 3 years/60,000 miles so we just had a bit of bad luck. I was a fan of Hondas (owned three CR-Vs in a row) and DW bought her HR-V based partly on my good experience and her belief that Honda was a very reliable brand. Now she wouldn't buy one under any circumstances (rightly or wrongly). Most likely the replacement will be a Toyota.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:55 PM   #74
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I agree, but the warranty was only 3 years/60,000 miles so we just had a bit of bad luck. I was a fan of Hondas (owned three CR-Vs in a row) and DW bought her HR-V based partly on my good experience and her belief that Honda was a very reliable brand. Now she wouldn't buy one under any circumstances (rightly or wrongly). Most likely the replacement will be a Toyota.
It's clear that three adults driving two cars at our house will stop working as we come out of COVID, so a replacement is on our minds.

It's my wife's turn for a car, and she is favoring Mazda. My car is newer, but has high mileage, and I'm at a loss as to what I would buy.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:57 PM   #75
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Kind of a two edged blade these days. The good side is that there is an incredible variety of choices available. The bad side is that there is an incredible variety of choices available.
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Old 03-18-2021, 02:49 PM   #76
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Kind of a two edged blade these days. The good side is that there is an incredible variety of choices available. The bad side is that there is an incredible variety of choices available.
I have a few extra issues in that I really don't like the styling or the mechanical complexity of most recent cars. I also like to drive with my legs fairly straight, rather than knees bent, so small SUVs don't suit me very well.

So, when visiting a showroom or car show, I either end up sitting in a 7 passenger SUV, or a VW/Audi, and not the Toyota Rav4 that fits my budget or immediate needs.
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