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Old 14th January 2013, 18:00   #1726
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I was initially tempted with Lexus IS250 and the likes, but didn't want to stretch myself too much.
As long as you don't ever have to make adults sit in the back seat, the IS250 is a good little car, the keyword being little . Obviously expect a little higher maintenance costs than mainstream economy brands, but Lexus's are never that high as let's say any of the German trio.
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Old 14th January 2013, 19:33   #1727
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

The detroit motor show is on. The big reveal is already out, but am sure there is a lot to come up. I think the mainstreaming of diesel engines in the US is going to start with GM and Chrysler group bringing diesel engines in their mass market cars. The Jeep GC with the 3.0 diesel has been announced, and the Chevy cruze with the stonking 2.2 motor is expected this year as well. What are you folks looking out for at the auto shows through the year?
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Old 14th January 2013, 20:55   #1728
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Another what car question

Any reviews on GLK350? I drove it this weekend, 2010 with 35k miles, 4Matic. The dealer quoted 31k(OTD)
I liked the car, it has good power(3.5V6) comes with S mode too.
Handling was spot on for my liking, little on the firm side(I like it that way) so was not a con. Excellent interiors and robust feel.
That said, my budget is around 20-25 (pretty firm if I decide on German, considering the 3~4k for extended warranty.)
I haven't tested the X3 yet or for the matter any other car yet.

Suggestions on other models I must consider in this range? Probably PathFinder? Grand Cherokee? Explorer?

Not a big fan of Accura, Infiniti or Lexus atleast in the SUV category.
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Old 14th January 2013, 21:06   #1729
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Suggestions on other models I must consider in this range? Probably PathFinder? Grand Cherokee? Explorer?

Not a big fan of Accura, Infiniti or Lexus atleast in the SUV category.
Are you really planning to do a lot of off road driving or is this just a comfortable city/highway vehicle? If you want to be off road then the Grand Cherokee is a good bet. You can also look at the Land Rover LR4 - but then, those have a not so stellar reputation of reliability. I'm not suggesting anything from the Japanese trio. If you are looking for a 2-3 year old German SUV, I think they might be pricier than let's say American or Japanese (non luxury) choices.
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Old 14th January 2013, 21:12   #1730
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Are you really planning to do a lot of off road driving or is this just a comfortable city/highway vehicle? If you want to be off road then the Grand Cherokee is a good bet. You can also look at the Land Rover LR4 - but then, those have a not so stellar reputation of reliability. I'm not suggesting anything from the Japanese trio. If you are looking for a 2-3 year old German SUV, I think they might be pricier than let's say American or Japanese (non luxury) choices.
No Vineeth, the vehicle wont see much offroading, but if did pick a dedicated 4X4 I may surely make use of it by taking it to the dunes around. It will primarily be a daily drive.
Yea I surely like LR, but reliability is a huge concern.
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Old 14th January 2013, 22:12   #1731
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

@kraft;

If a midsize SUV will do, take a look at the Mazda CX7s. They're discontinued. You should be able to get a brand new one close to your budget. They're a hoot to drive and good looking too to boot.
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Old 15th January 2013, 01:04   #1732
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Another what car question

Any reviews on GLK350? I drove it this weekend, 2010 with 35k miles, 4Matic. The dealer quoted 31k(OTD)
I liked the car, it has good power(3.5V6) comes with S mode too.
Handling was spot on for my liking, little on the firm side(I like it that way) so was not a con. Excellent interiors and robust feel.
That said, my budget is around 20-25 (pretty firm if I decide on German, considering the 3~4k for extended warranty.)
I haven't tested the X3 yet or for the matter any other car yet.

Suggestions on other models I must consider in this range? Probably PathFinder? Grand Cherokee? Explorer?

Not a big fan of Accura, Infiniti or Lexus atleast in the SUV category.
I'm a big fan of Toyota SUV's. There is a reason why they are popular with Taliban and all 3rd world countries.. Reliablity.

In a Top gear episode , they tried to kill a Hilux Pickup and they did not succeed.

"The Hilux has gained a reputation for exceptional sturdiness and reliability, even during sustained heavy use and/or abuse, and is often referred to as "The Indestructible Truck". This was further reinforced on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, when a 1988 diesel Hilux with 305,775 km (190,000 mi) on the odometer was subjected to extraordinary abuse (in series 3, episodes 5 and 6). This consisted of driving it down a flight of steps, scraping buildings, crashing headlong into a tree, being washed out to sea, and being submerged in sea water for four hours, driving it through a garden shed, dropping a caravan onto it, hitting it with a wrecking ball, setting its cabin and bed area on fire,[19] and, finally, placing it on top of a 73 m (240 ft) block of apartments that was next destroyed by a controlled demolition.[20] Although it was now suffering from severe structural damage, the truck was still running after being repaired without spare parts, and with only typical tools that would be found in a truck's toolbox, such as screwdrivers, motor oil, and an adjustable wrench. The Hilux currently rests as one of the background decorations in the Top Gear studio.

"

The toyota 4runner SUV is built on a Hilux platform or so.
Topgear also used a Hilux for theor north pole expeditions.

I don't know much about creature comforts on a Toyota SUV though.
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Old 15th January 2013, 01:40   #1733
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Another what car question

Any reviews on GLK350? I drove it this weekend, 2010 with 35k miles, 4Matic. The dealer quoted 31k(OTD)
I liked the car, it has good power(3.5V6) comes with S mode too.
Handling was spot on for my liking, little on the firm side(I like it that way) so was not a con. Excellent interiors and robust feel.
That said, my budget is around 20-25 (pretty firm if I decide on German, considering the 3~4k for extended warranty.)
I haven't tested the X3 yet or for the matter any other car yet.

Suggestions on other models I must consider in this range? Probably PathFinder? Grand Cherokee? Explorer?

Not a big fan of Accura, Infiniti or Lexus atleast in the SUV category.
I like GLK350. Its a pretty decent ride. I prefer it to X3 but i like Q5 better though it is still a newbie in used car market. My rating would be GLK350=Q5>X3.

Since you don't want the japanese trio, i will stay away from names like RDX, RX350 and FX35.

With GLK/X3/Q5, please be prepared to spend time visiting dealerships for repairs. My neighbor got a X3 pre-owned that was just a year old and it had transmission problem within a week of ownership. Not the best experience when spending $30k even though it was covered by warranty.

So its simple, if you want reliability, look at RDX/Murano/Highlander/FX35. If European flair is all you want, get GLK/Q5/Toureg.

Apart from this, in your budget, you can get Ford Edge,CX-5,CX-9, Acadia, Durango, 4Runner and FJ Cruiser.

Try back to back test drives of these SUV and let us know which one you like. If you do on separate days, you won't be able to know which one is best for you.

Just for fun - How about a 2008-2011 corvette for $30k as your daily driver?

Last edited by chevelle : 15th January 2013 at 01:43.
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Old 15th January 2013, 03:07   #1734
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Installed this myself today on the charger:
Attachment 1037740

This is an intake from LegMaker Intakes, called Frankentake IV.

Also, installed 93Octane Performance tune from Diablosport using Trinity:
Attachment 1037741

Took the car out for a spin and I am still grinning
Congrats, looks like 370 Horses are not good enough for you

Can you shed more light on the Performance Tune? Is it an add on box? How do you control it, the image shows some kind of LCD display?
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Old 15th January 2013, 03:28   #1735
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Congrats, looks like 370 Horses are not good enough for you

Can you shed more light on the Performance Tune? Is it an add on box? How do you control it, the image shows some kind of LCD display?
Hehe. Most of those 370 horses are huffing and puffing trying to move the behemoth.

Regarding the performance tune. It is delivered through a device that plugs into the car's OBD-II port and can be used to reflash the PCM with your custom tune, or one of the canned tunes that come with the device, or to just change some parameters like rev limiter etc.

Right now, Trinity comes with three canned tunes for 2012 Chargers (only for 5.7 and 6.1 engines):
1. 93 Octane Performance Tune: For use with 93 Octane fuel. Gives better throttle response and more low end torque. They claim gains of 15HP but take that with a pinch of salt.
2. 91 Octane Performance Tune: Same as above, except that it is to be used with 91 Octane fuel.
3. Stock Tune: Everything same as factory tune but you can change parameters like speed limiter, rev limiter, turn off MDS (use all 8 cylinders all the time) etc.

It has some logging capabilities too using which you can send the logs to a professional tuner who will then send you back a custom tune. You load that tune from your PC (doesnt work on Mac) to the device and from the device to your car. Its used when you have some serious mods on your car though.

You dont need to keep it plugged in unless you are into logging or have set up customised gauges on the device. I have not yet played around with the gauges mode.
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Old 15th January 2013, 05:07   #1736
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Regarding the performance tune. It is delivered through a device that plugs into the car's OBD-II port and can be used to reflash the PCM with your custom tune, or one of the canned tunes that come with the device, or to just change some parameters like rev limiter etc.
Do you lose warranty on it? Is it possible to go to factory tune or you do the stock tune? will a dealer not know you had a tune?
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Old 15th January 2013, 05:11   #1737
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Do you lose warranty on it? Is it possible to go to factory tune or you do the stock tune? will a dealer not know you had a tune?
The device takes a back up of the factory tune. Before taking the car to the dealership, or for state inspection, you are supposed to reinstall factory tune. The reinstall of factory tune erases all evidence of a custom tune.
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Old 15th January 2013, 06:00   #1738
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I meant a used mazda6, I could get many options within the budget I had set for myself.

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Mazda6 or you meant Mazda3? Mazda6 is same size as accord & altima.
Would you mind telling me how much you paid for the focus? You can PM if you want, Thanks amitoj.

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I had gone to them to get another loan actually, for my wife's Focus
Yeah, its mostly going to be for my personal usage and hence size isnt a constraint. How much is a decent mileage that I can look for (are 70, 80k cars Ok)? Also what do you think about mitubishi lancer?

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As long as you don't ever have to make adults sit in the back seat, the IS250 is a good little car, the keyword being little .
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Old 15th January 2013, 06:55   #1739
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Would you mind telling me how much you paid for the focus? You can PM if you want, Thanks amitoj.
That's ok. I had mentioned the price etc on this thread only. I paid 14K for a certified 2011 Focus sedan, SEL trim.
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Old 15th January 2013, 08:20   #1740
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Yeah, its mostly going to be for my personal usage and hence size isnt a constraint. How much is a decent mileage that I can look for (are 70, 80k cars Ok)? Also what do you think about mitubishi lancer?
Bala, I think you are pretty safe with Lexus's at 70/80k miles also. You should just make sure periodic maintenance has been done and prepare to pay regular maintenance for a high mileage vehicle.
Are you thinking of the Lancer Evolution or the regular lancer? If the latter, there are so many better options out there.
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