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Old 12-01-2013, 11:42 AM   #1
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Question Looking at used vehicles and planning for the future

Ok well -- short story is this -- newly separated single mom. We have always camped as a family and I want to continue this with my kids. I need to purchase a used vehicle and I am planning on it lasting me awhile. I would be looking a a very small popup trailer like a Coachmen clipper sport 106. I contacted my local camper dealer and they said anything rated to tow 3500lbs would be fine. I have read some of the forums with all the charts and frankly Im a little overwhelmed. I would like something that gets decent mileage as it will be my everyday car also. I do not forsee going long distances at most maybe to Black hills or minnesota we live in Iowa. Most of the time it would be less than 50 miles. I dont think I can get a truck that will get the mileage I would like but I am open and it would have to be a 4 door. I have been considering these crossovers -- all are rated at 3500 or above. Hyundi santa fe, chevy equinox, Ford edge, ford escape(really like this one), kia sorento, Nissan Murano(really like this one) Jeep liberty also dodge Journey but havent heard good things soooooooo! anyone out there have any thoughts or ideas!? Also need to keep in mind cost of maintaining and repairs. Its me my 11 yo daughter and 8yo son and maybe the dog. The info out there is so overwhelming and it seems you hear bad about all of them. A local car dealship has the camper listed for $6800.00 its new but they arent a dealer so being sold as used. I would like to spend on the car 20,000.00 or less is possible and I am considering buying the extended warrenty if needed. Sorry for so much info but wanted you to have it all. Thanks for input AnnA
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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I live in Korea now so I can't comment on any but the Korean brands, but I have some advice - check insurance rates first. Some cars are significantly more expensive than others to insure. Also how many and how old are the munchkins? Are they going to get big? (my son is 13 and 6'2").
Extended warranties on cars are a scam, on trailers they are highly advised IF the warranty is from the manufacturer.
PM sent regarding trailers...
Baron
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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We bought a 2011 Escape earlier this year... Hated it. We got the 4 cylinder which was woefully under powered and had a 4-speed transmission. The 6 cylinder may be better. I don't think you will get the new Escape with your budget.
For the 3500 towing capacity, you need a 6-cylinder.
We almost bought a Sante Fe but took too long deciding and missed it. I did like the car and believe the Sorento is essentially the same car.
I like the Edge but a good one is also likely out of your budget.
We just bought an Equinox and really like it. Gets about 18mpg. We bought it for the towing capacity, room in back for a large dog and it can be flat-towed (not one of your requirements).
I've never been a Jeep fan (many love them) and would avoid the Journey for the same reasons you mention.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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This setup works for us We had a 2006 Escape Hybrid and it just wasn't enough car, so if you can't afford to go to the newer EcoBoost engines the Escape really isn't the right answer. An Edge would work though.

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Old 12-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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theberrys - what's the weight of your pop-up?
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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theberrys - what's the weight of your pop-up?

It's a 1977 Palomino Yearling and weighs in at 1400 pounds loaded. The 2006 Escape was only rated to tow 1000 Pounds and the 2013 Escape SE 1.6 EcoBoost is rated at 2000. If you buy the towing package and the 2,0 EcoBoost there rated at 3000 pounds.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Ford Eco boost
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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anna, I can put in a good word for the Hyundai Santa Fe. I traded my Mercedes S Class for my 2007 Santa Fe when I started training German Shepherds as a hobby and need a car that could carry the dogs, and I didn't have to worry about damage. I recently went out of warranty on a trip to Denver from California. The vehicle has 103K miles. I currently have 3 Hyundai's after the 2008 market drop I decided to forgo luxury brands. I traded a Mercedes E-Class for my wife's Sonata, and a Toyota for my Daughters Elantra. All three cars totaled less than a new E-Class. The Santa Fe has 103K, the 2008 Elantra 42K, the 2009 Sonata 30K. None have been problems. We have had warranty replacement of a fuel pump on the Santa Fe, and seat belt on the Elantra. The Santa Fe tows my 1995 Jayco 1207 very nicely. The current generation Santa Fe gets better Fuel economy than my 2007, but with roof basket, fully loaded with gear and dogs, towing the trailer, I see about 15 to 16 mpg. I did add Firestone air shocks to my vehicle to improve ride and take the pressure off the suspension. I have been very happy with the vehicle, and well the dealer doesn't give me a latte with my service, my service bill costs far less than my Mercedes did. The 5 year 60K mile bumper to bumper, and 10 year 100k mile power train, is hard to beat and they live up to it. Well I think you would be happy with the Fords as well, there is a reason that Hyundai just passed Toyota for lowest cost of ownership. It's a good product, fair prices, and services costs are modest.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #9
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I bet we all could save money and stay away from the luxury brands. Good idea.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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I bet we all could save money and stay away from the luxury brands. Good idea.

Depends on your needs and desires. I lost a butt load of money when the markets (housing / stock) tanked. I thought of how hard I had worked to save the money, and worked for high rates of return. I also realized I had been there done that. I have had the Cadillacs, Mercedes Benz, I currently have a Corvette, but the depreciation was huge, the ownership satisfaction wasn't what it used to be, in the days before leasing was common, and my pizza delivery guy litterally showed up driving a new 3 series.

I like luxury cars, I spent time this summer as a driving instructor teaching people how to dirve Ferrari's and Lambo's, and taking them on pro drives. There nice cars, despite the number of Volkswagen and Fiat parts visable, but my Corvette is every bit as fun. (it is race built however).

I used my competitive contracting experience to get best price, and the fact was i got my Santa Fe, Elantra, and Sonata for a combined $54K, which is less than a new E class would cost me. And they drive well, and I knew coming up on retirement, that I wouldn't be buying a car every 4 years anymore.

I think if a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus or whatever makes you happy, gives you features you like, and you can afford it well preparing for the future, then you should have it. If I had my way my tow vehicle would be a Cadillac Escalade, but my Hyundai does fine, it's paid for now, and it's very stylish inside. I can get a complete service on it for what I used to pay for an oil change on my S class.

For Mossy, something affordable, with a warranty, and capable of meeting her needs seems the best path. All brands are worth looking at. If she is financing, every dollar she saves on up front price is money saved + interest. However she has to balance that by what she really wants. If you want a iPod capability, buy it at time of purchase, the factory installed is almost always more satisfying than and add on, or the frustration of wishing you had it. I personally won't consider a car without seat heaters, or MP3 player capability anymore. I prefer climate control to air conditioning. If you can get more buying a Chevy than a Toyota because of competiton, it might be worth changing habits. Most brands are very good these days.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:05 PM   #11
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Well, saying it's a good ideas is true- "we" all waste money I think on luxury items; however, the loaded F250 I just purchased with all the bells and whistles is sure nice. Bottom line- get what you want and can afford... To each his own.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
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