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Thread: New (to me) vehicle purchase coming in 2019

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    New (to me) vehicle purchase coming in 2019

    I currently have a 2014 Ford Focus sedan (bought new) with nearly 90K miles on it. It will be paid off in the spring. I'd keep it, but the danged dual clutch auto transmission is a problem. The whole clutch assy was already replaced by Ford back in early 2016 or so. Starting to have some trans issues again. I had originally considered getting a Focus hatchback, but the hatchback appears to have less cargo space than my sedan.

    I need a small SUV with more cargo capacity for scuba gear. I've only ever bought Ford. Period. I'm a Detroit area native and dad worked at Ford for more than 30 years. I've refused to buy foreign badged vehicles.

    SUV would probably be a used one. 2-3 years old, probably. New ones are a bit more than I want to pay. Current car payment is only $330 a month and I got a very low interest rate. Around $20K is my limit.

    I drive a LOT during dive season (early April to early November). It's nothing for me to drive 200-300 miles in a weekend to get to dive sites, plus several longer trips of 6-8 hours each way. So good mileage is an absolute necessity. Focus gets 34 mph/highway. My daily work commute is 30 miles roundtrip, almost all highway. With the current car, I can go a week on 1 tank of gas if I'm just commuting to work and a few nearby errands. Focus tank holds 12 gallons.

    I'd like heated seats if I could get them! Current Focus came with a winter package of heated seats and heated side mirrors, and damn, do I love the heated seats. Wonderful for my sciatica.

    I had only been considering the EcoSport and the Escape, but the EcoSport doesn't have a spare tire at all, and I keep running into people with Escape horror stories.

    An Explorer, for instance, is too big, too expensive, and mileage is bad. It's just me, and maybe one other person and our diving gear.

    Someone suggested I consider the Toyota RAV4. One of my dive buddies drives one. She let me drive hers around the parking lot at the location where we met to dive today, and poke around inside. This was invaluable because I got to see how her gear fits inside.

    I looked at the website of the Toyota dealership very close to me. A number of RAV4 models available, many 1-2 years old with less than 40K miles on them, and right around $20K. Maybe lease turn-ins. Interest rate is is 3.4% and comes with 2 years/25K miles of basic maintenance (oil changes and such). I've never seen anything of the like offered on a Ford! Everyone tells me the resale value on Toyotas is good, plus with the RAV4, there are plenty of used ones to choose from.

    Anything else I should consider? Any new vehicle will get driven a lot.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I would check out the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson, too, as the closest matches to what you're looking for.

    You might be hard-pressed to match 34 mpg around town with one of these, though, since they're larger and heavier than your Focus and some models have all-wheel drive, which will penalize fuel mileage further. A two-wheel-drive model will get somewhat better mileage and be less expensive to maintain, too.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    I've had 2 Toyotas and had good experiences with them. Right now, I'm driving a Subaru Forester (it has heated seats! I'll never not have them again!). I love this car more than I should love an inanimate object.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Subaru Outback or Forester.

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    No matter what model you choose, there will be people that either love or hate it. I currently have an Outback and have had so many problems with the car and the dealership that I will never buy another Subaru. The only brand of car that no one I know complains about is Hyundai. Several people I know have them, including my husband. One of my sisters has a newer Tucson Sport and it looks really nice. Another sister had a new CRV for a year and sold it. I'm not sure exactly why but she said she just didn't like it. Her SIL had a RAV4 and sold it because she had a lot of problems with it. Not sure which problems because I don't talk to her that much. I'm considering replacing the Outback with a Santa Fe, but I would prefer a minivan.

    The problem I am having is finding a larger vehicle with good gas mileage and no odor complaints. I had decided on a Pacifica, then rented one for a week and the smell coming from the AC vents gave us all headaches. The rental company replaced it with a Cherokee, which was my 2nd choice to buy, and it also had the smell but not as bad. It was a horrible foot odor/strong vinegar smell. I have had read that the Explorer has odor complaints and there is class action suits against Mecedes and Toyota. I'm thinking of just waiting a year or two to see if the problems get fixed, but I really hate the Outback.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    We also have a 2014 Ford Focus that we bought new. Was planning to drive it until the wheels fall off, but maybe will drive it until the transmission falls out???

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    At one time The Escape was the most sold vehicle in America. That may still be true, not sure. There will be complaints that come to your ears because there are more of them on the road than anything else.

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    We just bought a 2008 Kia Sportage. Look into a used Kia, Tradd, you might like it. It's a nice size and has 4wd.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    We also have a 2014 Ford Focus that we bought new. Was planning to drive it until the wheels fall off, but maybe will drive it until the transmission falls out???
    Rosa, if you’ve not had any transmission issues so far, I doubt you’ll have any. From everything I’ve read, the problems showed up by 25K miles or so. I think mine showed up around that point.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
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    I LOOOOVE my 2015 Ford C-max hybrid. Get 41 mpg with mostly city driving. I actually liked it better than the Prius I test drove at the same time, and it was about 5k cheaper.

    They won't be making them in the US any more but you might be able to still find a new 2018 model, or a low mileage used one from earlier years.
    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

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