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Old 25th April 2013, 16:59   #2476
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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
Amongst the above listed, the Xterra is a body on frame truck - a capable one at that - unless there are real plans to go offroad, you won't really need it. The Traverse is a 3 row crossover and it is huge, really huge. The Murano is the big brother of the Nissan Rogue - you get a larger engine and more space than the Rav4 segment 5 seater. Consequently, you have better refinement because of the 6 cylinder. Of course you take a hit at the pump with that. The Venza is actually a jacked up Camry. When I saw it last back in 2010, it had some horrible plastics for interiors. The RAV4 is the creator of the small crossover segment - you won't go wrong with most things - reliability, resale etc. with that. However, I also think the current king of the segment - in terms of sales, reliability, resale value - is the CR-V.

Also, to be very honest, all you would need in winter is a good set of snow tires and traction control on most modern vehicles will do the rest. But people buy AWD/4WD so that its easier without changing tires.
I think I compared apples to oranges here. What options would she have if she's looking at 3rd row seats and not a 5-seater, because that's one requirement I missed from the list.

They don't plan on going off-roading but a 3rd row of seats would help in case they plan on going on vacation with some guests/friends or family.

Also, kbb.com shows some very limited models, which AWD/4WD SUVs with a 3rd row seat would be recommended for a year, with decent resale?
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Old 25th April 2013, 17:11   #2477
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I think I compared apples to oranges here. What options would she have if she's looking at 3rd row seats and not a 5-seater, because that's one requirement I missed from the list.

They don't plan on going off-roading but a 3rd row of seats would help in case they plan on going on vacation with some guests/friends or family.

Also, kbb.com shows some very limited models, which AWD/4WD SUVs with a 3rd row seat would be recommended for a year, with decent resale?
There was some discussion earlier on in this thread - a friend of mine was looking for a 3 row vehicle. You might want to read that up. He bought a Toyota Highlander eventually. The lower priced options that come to my mind are - Now there are more choices, in the luxury segment etc. but for them to be in the price range you are hoping for, the car would have run 100k miles- so I would suggest you stay away from those if peace of mind is important. Some of the other cars you listed earlier don't have a third row.
Btw - how often will the third row be used? Once or twice a year? Please suggest to her consider buying a smaller vehicle and renting a larger car only when needed if it is once or twice a year.
  1. Toyota Highlander
  2. Toyota RAV4 (some have optional 3rd row)
  3. Dodge Journey
  4. Mitsubishi Outlander
  5. Chevy Traverse
  6. GMC Acadia
  7. Dodge Durango
  8. Honda Pilot
  9. Mazda CX-9
  10. Ford Explorer
  11. Ford Flex
  12. Buick Enclave
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..
Jomz - I think Illinois has clearly much lower sales tax for private party sales. So the difference is huge. I wonder what other states have a similar structure in terms of sales tax. I know a friend of mine got a lower price on a sale certificate written by the guy he bought his car from so that he could pay a lower tax - this was in Connecticut. The sale certificate is what would be used to register in the new owners name, I suppose - and if you write a lower price (than paid) on that, you pay less tax.

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 25th April 2013 at 17:17.
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Old 25th April 2013, 18:17   #2478
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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

Jomz - I think Illinois has clearly much lower sales tax for private party sales. So the difference is huge. I wonder what other states have a similar structure in terms of sales tax. I know a friend of mine got a lower price on a sale certificate written by the guy he bought his car from so that he could pay a lower tax - this was in Connecticut. The sale certificate is what would be used to register in the new owners name, I suppose - and if you write a lower price (than paid) on that, you pay less tax.
I've bought and sold cars only In Indiana and Michigan, so I'm only aware of tax laws there.

In both Indiana and Michigan (Upper peninsula) Sales tax is 7% and 6% respectievely whether it is private party sales or dealer sales.

People do write a lower sales price on the title for both MI & IN, but there is a book with the BMV, which has expected prices for the car in that model year. The tax is calculated based on whichever is highest of

1, Price written in title
2, BMV book value.

So, In these states there is no point in writing a really low used car value. And you don't save anything on tax by going for private party v/s dealer - which is maybe a step to promote car dealers in each state.

And I think that is a sensible move by those states. More people to the dealer means more jobs, more revenue to the state by taxes on dealer profits etc.

In comparison chicago has almost 6.25 (state)+ 0.75 (county)+1.25 (Chicago) taxes from dealers, and almost 2-3% tax on private sales cars. There you have a case for buying from a private party. Maybe one of the old city mayors was screwed by a a sour car deal at a dealer .
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Old 25th April 2013, 18:21   #2479
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Thanks guys for your responses. I did some search on kbb.com yesterday and found out the following options (based on top 5 ratings) within 75 miles of Allentown, PA.
1. Toyota RAV4 (8.6)
2. Nissan Murano (8.6)
3. Chevrolet Traverse (8.5)
4. Nissan Xterra (8.8)
5. Toyota Venza (8.7)
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
  1. Toyota Highlander
  2. Toyota RAV4 (some have optional 3rd row)
  3. Dodge Journey
  4. Mitsubishi Outlander
  5. Chevy Traverse
  6. GMC Acadia
  7. Dodge Durango
  8. Honda Pilot
  9. Mazda CX-9
  10. Ford Explorer
  11. Ford Flex
  12. Buick Enclave
Totally agree with Vineeth, I had TD'd most of SUVs in market to make a purchase recently in the past month. Venza though gives a spacious feel, its way too bumpy(chevelle and I had a long discussion bout this i'm sure he can give some inputs too).

I recently drove a Acadia rental, and I must say its an amazing machine, good handling, and power. But then it was a gas guzzler.

Based on your preference I would probably narrow my choices to
1. GMC Acadia
2. Ford Explorer
3. Ford Edge(this was the car I finally chose for myself, but it doesn't have 3rd row seats)
4. CX9

Not sure, but have you thought of Sienna or Odyssey?

Last edited by kraft.wagen : 25th April 2013 at 18:39.
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Old 25th April 2013, 19:11   #2480
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And I think that is a sensible move by those states. More people to the dealer means more jobs, more revenue to the state by taxes on dealer profits etc.
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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
I recently drove a Acadia rental, and I must say its an amazing machine, good handling, and power. But then it was a gas guzzler.

Not sure, but have you thought of Sienna or Odyssey?
I guess it maybe a tax wise sensible + business lobby driven move .

If I have to pay the same $ irrespective of dealer/private party, more sales will definitely goto dealers - with an implied warranty etc. when you buy from them. The benefit of buying from a private party significantly shrinks in that case.

You cannot expect a large 3 row crossover with All wheel drive to be very fuel efficient. So I guess the expectations on fuel mileage out of the Acadia etc. should be lower. If you want higher FE 3 row vehicles, you have to look at minivans.

I'm renting a car every week. I will write brief reviews on each car that is a totally new model that some of our forum members are interested in as well. This week I have Ford Escape 2013 SEL Ecoboost AWD. Will write something about it on Saturday or Sunday.
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Old 25th April 2013, 19:27   #2481
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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
I guess it maybe a tax wise sensible + business lobby driven move .

If I have to pay the same $ irrespective of dealer/private party, more sales will definitely goto dealers - with an implied warranty etc. when you buy from them. The benefit of buying from a private party significantly shrinks in that case.

You cannot expect a large 3 row crossover with All wheel drive to be very fuel efficient. So I guess the expectations on fuel mileage out of the Acadia etc. should be lower. If you want higher FE 3 row vehicles, you have to look at minivans.

I'm renting a car every week. I will write brief reviews on each car that is a totally new model that some of our forum members are interested in as well. This week I have Ford Escape 2013 SEL Ecoboost AWD. Will write something about it on Saturday or Sunday.
Yep can't ask much from a 3.5L V6 truck

Ford Escape is a great car, I'd prefer it to CRV/RAV any day. BTW does it have that feature where you can open boot with your legs
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Old 25th April 2013, 21:05   #2482
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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
I'm renting a car every week. I will write brief reviews on each car that is a totally new model that some of our forum members are interested in as well. This week I have Ford Escape 2013 SEL Ecoboost AWD. Will write something about it on Saturday or Sunday.
That would be an intersting writeup. But I don't know whether rental cars are the same as production cars. I know that the rental chargers used to come with a lower displacement & fitted with crappy tyres- so that they can extend tire life.

But it will be intersting to see a comparison.
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Old 25th April 2013, 21:10   #2483
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Wow! Lots of awesome discussion about a segment i should be in market shortly for.

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Yep can't ask much from a 3.5L V6 truck

Ford Escape is a great car, I'd prefer it to CRV/RAV any day. BTW does it have that feature where you can open boot with your legs
I had the Ford Escape SEL rental recently. I wouldn't say its a great car. Its a good car that does most things in a good way and some in very bad way. I plan to write a short report soon. And no, in rentals, you can't open boot with your legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I guess it maybe a tax wise sensible + business lobby driven move .

If I have to pay the same $ irrespective of dealer/private party, more sales will definitely goto dealers - with an implied warranty etc. when you buy from them. The benefit of buying from a private party significantly shrinks in that case.

I'm renting a car every week. I will write brief reviews on each car that is a totally new model that some of our forum members are interested in as well. This week I have Ford Escape 2013 SEL Ecoboost AWD. Will write something about it on Saturday or Sunday.
If the prices are right, i don't mind buying from dealers. But there is huge and significant price difference when buying from private party and dealers.

Just think, if the tax is same for both and you get similar or same vehicle for $3k-$4k less from private party, won't you buy it from them? You get less tax, lesser price and if its a new vehicle, obviously warranty is transferred without any issues. The good thing with dealer is the process is easy, you can do financing and stuff. But, if you are buying a car with a budget of <$10k, it is best to go private party - more room for negotiation, better price, huge saving on tax, no possibility of dealer cheating, no higher rates.

An example - I got 99 camry from a private party for ~$3800. I paid IIRC, $100-$150 in tax and registration. Same car, from dealer with similar miles was $5500 + tax and registration from local small dealers. Clearly a difference ~$3000 considering everything. Why in my right mind would i do that? These small time dealers don't provide warranty and so you are on your own once you drive off the lot. I have been in that situation too with my friend's elantra which popped up 5 engine error codes after driving 3 miles after she bought it.

As for Escape, i hope you are not driving it up hill. It is a pain to drive it on hilly roads. Do write your impressions. I plan to do it soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post

Based on your preference I would probably narrow my choices to
1. GMC Acadia
2. Ford Explorer
3. Ford Edge(this was the car I finally chose for myself, but it doesn't have 3rd row seats)
4. CX9

Not sure, but have you thought of Sienna or Odyssey?
If one is considering a SUV - a 7 seater and a v6, no point looking for a FE vehicle. In that case, its better to buy a minivan or a Tesla Model S.

I have driven all the four you have mentioned and yes, all of these are good SUVs.

Venza is a disaster IMHO. Horrible to drive, horrible to live in with plastics like that of $15k car and not much fun to drive.

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Originally Posted by Jomz View Post

In comparison chicago has almost 6.25 (state)+ 0.75 (county)+1.25 (Chicago) taxes from dealers, and almost 2-3% tax on private sales cars. There you have a case for buying from a private party. .
It is similar practice in West. I did the same thing. On my pink slip, it was 3 times less than what i bought it for. Needless to say, i saved a lot.

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
T
Btw - how often will the third row be used? Once or twice a year? Please suggest to her consider buying a smaller vehicle and renting a larger car only when needed if it is once or twice a year.
  1. Toyota Highlander
  2. Toyota RAV4 (some have optional 3rd row)
  3. Dodge Journey
  4. Mitsubishi Outlander
  5. Chevy Traverse
  6. GMC Acadia
  7. Dodge Durango
  8. Honda Pilot
  9. Mazda CX-9
  10. Ford Explorer
  11. Ford Flex
  12. Buick Enclave
Stay away from Flex and Outlander. Outlander because of service issue and Flex because of a being a boat. Rav4 will be too underpowered if you get 7 seater with a i4. Better to get it with v6 but since new one is not available that way, old ones would be hard to find and if you find it, its gonna be lot expensive because of its strong resale value.

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Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
Nice, I wonder how much a difference is there in sales tax. Indiana is flat 7% whether private party or dealer- which I think makes sense. Because that promotes local businesses rather than private party. higher tax rates on dealers makes the business to go somewhere else.
Honestly, i don't care how much is the difference. I buy private party or dealer depending on my requirement. When i required a beater car at low cost, i went private party. When i wanted to spend $35k, i ended up buying at dealer. Simple economics. Either ways, local DMV is bound to make money of me that includes registration, tax, custom license plates that costs me a cool $50 for a year and other taxes in form of tolls.

I think, even if they make it even, there are people who will still go private party. I know many of my local friends who buy $30k-$40k cars/SUVs in cash or large DP from private party just so that they can save on additional charges from dealer. And i have to appreciate that because when they show me the comparison, they end up saving approx $5k-$10k when buying same vehicle private party.

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
3. The vehicle shouldn't also have a very bad resale value so that they end up losing a lot when coming back, my sister quoted that a damage of about $5-6k sounds about ok but anymore than that wouldn't make sense.
4. vehicle should have ample space to put in her pram or trollies or big boxes out of shopping etc.
7. The mileage of the vehicle also shouldn't be so bad either that though they get a good vehicle, they end of spending a whole lot more on fuel only.
3. When time comes to sell your vehicle in a low demand season for that vehicle, you will have bad resale unless you get something Japanese.

Eg: if you are selling a 4X4 SUV in summer and expect great resale, you will be not get much because that is the time for drop down motoring unless you sell a Wrangler in Desert like Nevada or Utah when it goes up. Similarly, if you try to sell a sports car in winter when there is snow, you will get ridiculously low resale as no one wants it during winter and that is the advantage i took.

These is in areas where it snows. In Nor-Cal, where it is great to drive all year round in any car, the resale is always strong.

While you may lose $6k in resale and is ok, you also have to consider the maintenance cost that may come during that period and that you may have to take out of your pocket or spend $3k while buying an extended warranty. Also have to consider insurance too. I think if you get larger SUV, the insurance will go up compared to say CR-V. I haven't considered fuel costs as that is bound to happen.

4. All 5 or 7 seater SUVs will have ample room for both. So don't worry about it.

7. If you are expecting great FE from these huge, porky SUV, you will need a reality check. With a 7-Seater SUVs like Pilot or Traverse, expect max of 20 mpg with light foot on road trips especially when driving on hilly area. Been there done that. Leave all that stuff to soft crossovers like CR-V.

Last edited by chevelle : 25th April 2013 at 21:14.
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Old 25th April 2013, 21:19   #2484
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

AWD will not be of much help on Black Ice. Only the man upstairs can help you if you hit black ice and lose traction. All drive systems require traction and as the name suggests, that's the one thing you'll not have if you hit ICE, Black or White.

Another misconception; AWD reduces stopping distances, it does not. AWD together with ABS etc, will help you better maneuver a vehicle where there is low level of traction.

AWD will not magically make a bad driver into a good one. It might probably save him from some mishap by default, however.
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Old 25th April 2013, 21:38   #2485
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That would be an intersting writeup. But I don't know whether rental cars are the same as production cars. I know that the rental chargers used to come with a lower displacement & fitted with crappy tyres- so that they can extend tire life.

But it will be intersting to see a comparison.
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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Wow! Lots of awesome discussion about a segment i should be in market shortly for.



I had the Ford Escape SEL rental recently. I wouldn't say its a great car. Its a good car that does most things in a good way and some in very bad way. I plan to write a short report soon. And no, in rentals, you can't open boot with your legs.
Jomz - no, if you are a frequent renter and you are signed up on some of the loyalty programs, you often get little in class upgrades or a single class upgrade. I have got cars with full leather, satellite radio, sunroof etc. a lot of times, while I only booked an intermediate car at a corporate rate.

This particular Ford had just 800 miles on it when I got it, so pretty new. Like Chevelle said - it does most things well. So far the drive has been on flat lands (I live in the midwest, remember?), so the engine does alright. However, driving it at 75-80 mpg negates all fuel efficiency advantages of the 1.6 liter engine. Truly, YMMV. I prefer a v6 to a turbo 4 if the gearing is not good. If you are always going to be in the boosted zone in the normal driving speeds, you would rather be driving a refined car. I think only BMW/VW/Audi have got that piece right, every other turbo 4 in the market seems to under achieve their stated FE numbers. I had a Nissan Altima with the CVT a couple of weeks back, say what you want about the CVT, the car is quiet and at steady highway 75 mph, it was running some 2000 rpm. I do the same trip every week, and the Altima beat a Cruze Turbo, a Sentra and a Fusion handily in terms of efficiency and refinement.

Chevelle - getting a big ole' SUV? What is in your target list?
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Old 25th April 2013, 22:07   #2486
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Jomz - no, if you are a frequent renter and you are signed up on some of the loyalty programs, you often get little in class upgrades or a single class upgrade. I have got cars with full leather, satellite radio, sunroof etc. a lot of times, while I only booked an intermediate car at a corporate rate.
I agree, what I'm woried about is the fleet sales engine tuning & tires v/s actual model. The same reason why I advice people not to base their purchase decision on rental cars.

I know for a fact that rental chargers were given the 178Hp 2.5l engine, but the actual base one for sale was a ~240ish Hp 3.5l engine. If somebody drives a rental charger and says that base chargers are sluggish ( A lot said that) -that maynot be the case when you go to buy a car.

@ Chevelle, I was talking about tax savings compared to private party v/s dealer. Everybody knows that private party is cheaper than the dealer -even it is in Kbb. My point is sales tax has to be paid whether dealer or not. There are some changes state to state, but in some states you might not save anything in sales tax for the same priced vehicle.

I bought my convertible while it was snowing from a dealer. He sold it to me at less than private party kbb value. Now who saved money?? If I had waited for summer when the private party cars showed up the prices would have been more expensive.

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Old 25th April 2013, 22:07   #2487
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That would be an intersting writeup. But I don't know whether rental cars are the same as production cars. I know that the rental chargers used to come with a lower displacement & fitted with crappy tyres- so that they can extend tire life.

But it will be intersting to see a comparison.
Its not longer true. I have been in many a rental cars (since 2007) and most are not the base ones. You can find those in compact and intermediate sedans. But not in Standard car/ Intermediate SUV.


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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
This particular Ford had just 800 miles on it when I got it, so pretty new. Like Chevelle said - it does most things well. So far the drive has been on flat lands (I live in the midwest, remember?), so the engine does alright. However, driving it at 75-80 mpg negates all fuel efficiency advantages of the 1.6 liter engine. Truly, YMMV. I prefer a v6 to a turbo 4 if the gearing is not good. If you are always going to be in the boosted zone in the normal driving speeds, you would rather be driving a refined car. I think only BMW/VW/Audi have got that piece right, every other turbo 4 in the market seems to under achieve their stated FE numbers. I had a Nissan Altima with the CVT a couple of weeks back, say what you want about the CVT, the car is quiet and at steady highway 75 mph, it was running some 2000 rpm. I do the same trip every week, and the Altima beat a Cruze Turbo, a Sentra and a Fusion handily in terms of efficiency and refinement.

Chevelle - getting a big ole' SUV? What is in your target list?
The one i drove had around 6000 miles on odo. The dashboard had squeaks. I agree with regards to FE at 75-80 mpg. That is what i was driving at all times and i got just 24 mpg with 250 miles of freeways. Overall, i averaged around 21-22 mpg on 350 miles total i got the Escape for.

I haven't driven the new Altima with CVT but i have heard good things about Accord's and Altima's CVT from my friends who owns these. The rubber band effect is almost gone and compliments the engine nicely.

I will be renting out plenty of standard/full size sedans and SUVs in next 2-3 months so i am gonna do a report on those. It should be fun.

As for the SUVs, the list is not long so it hopefully should be easy. Once i am ready and in market, i will come up with the list, requirements and obviously will like everybody's opinion here.

On the plus side, i have started test driving domestic SUVs already and few are already out of consideration including Edge and Escape. Needless to say, CR-V, Rav4 and such are also out of race.

So for now, its pretty much luxury segment is all i can say. A lots gonna change in next 2-3 months and its gonna be very very interesting.

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Old 25th April 2013, 23:14   #2488
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As for the SUVs, the list is not long so it hopefully should be easy. Once i am ready and in market, i will come up with the list, requirements and obviously will like everybody's opinion here.

On the plus side, i have started test driving domestic SUVs already and few are already out of consideration including Edge and Escape. Needless to say, CR-V, Rav4 and such are also out of race.

So for now, its pretty much luxury segment is all i can say. A lots gonna change in next 2-3 months and its gonna be very very interesting.
Thank you very much for doing my homework for me!
I will also be potentially looking for a 7 seater in the coming months so all reviews/suggestions will come in handy.
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Old 25th April 2013, 23:22   #2489
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Thank you very much for doing my homework for me!
I will also be potentially looking for a 7 seater in the coming months so all reviews/suggestions will come in handy.


Sorry to disappoint you, but chances are, its gonna be a 5-seater unless some 7-seater blows my head off. Still i would be considering plenty of 7-seaters too in my budget so its gonna be fun fun time.

Summer looks fun for me, not too good for the dealers and their salesmen though as i am gonna bite their heads off with constant pressuring.

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Old 26th April 2013, 00:16   #2490
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@ Chevelle, I was talking about tax savings compared to private party v/s dealer. Everybody knows that private party is cheaper than the dealer -even it is in Kbb. My point is sales tax has to be paid whether dealer or not. There are some changes state to state, but in some states you might not save anything in sales tax for the same priced vehicle.

I bought my convertible while it was snowing from a dealer. He sold it to me at less than private party kbb value. Now who saved money?? If I had waited for summer when the private party cars showed up the prices would have been more expensive.
I talked about tax saving WRT to PP and Dealer only. A cheaper price through PP will help you pay less tax even if tax is same at dealers and PP. And a Huge difference in states that don't have same tax for both. But i agree if same price, same tax would obviously mean no saving. But have you considered that dealers also include doc fees and other misc fees when they make a sale?

You just confirmed from my previous post(#2483) that buying a sportscar in winter is a great way to save lots of money. And it would be fool hardy not to buy it from dealer if you get a private party value at dealer especially if it has a extended warranty from the start. I did the same thing and as i said, given an option, i buy from dealer or PP depending on who gives me the best deal then. Also don't even for a minute think that if you got a private party value of KBB, you made a good deal unless you a great condition car for fair or below prices of kbb. The correct pointer for a good price is nada guides or manheim auction in west and similar bigger auction sites on east.

Again, you sway from the main point about not waiting. Lets says, the similar 'Vert you bought was available from PP at $1k-$2k less than at dealer, at the time you were buying, why wouldn't you buy it? You save in the price of the car and also save on the tax overall. Simple math i guess. Also the reason he gave you at PP price was something to do with him not wanting it on the lot in snow and already having made lots of money through a trade-in or rebates.

Another sample, say you get the 'Vert at same price from PP and dealer but after taxes, financing and everything, when you total everything, i can assure you that PP will still be a little cheaper. Its because of many hidden fees that all dealers don't mention.

I learned the above the hard way when i bought my first car through dealer. I paid him $240 more in doc fees which i saw after signing the docs. Manage to save $450 amount in next purchase. It is $80 for all dealers in CA State. Again this doc prep fees varies by state. Again dealers charge you more to do the registration, smog, visit DMV and various other things so that is also extra. No such issue when buying PP.

My friend who was about to buy a Hyundai Veracruz late last year may have ended up paying $3500 more if he hadn't read the fine prints. That is how this dealers make money and that is why i call them STEALERSHIP.

Last edited by chevelle : 26th April 2013 at 00:23.
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