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Old 1st October 2013, 02:59   #3256
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

The fun is in the hunt. For utility and value you will be hard pressed to find a better van than the Odyssey, and SUV's don't even come close to what the minivan can do when it comes to family hauling

That being said, if 'family' = 3 or 4, then don't bother with minivans, stick to cars. Seriously.
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Old 1st October 2013, 04:07   #3257
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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

I intend to check out the 2014 Traverse some time this week as well.
If I'm concerned about steering feedback and pickup, then I'll pass Traverse. This is based on my 3 day stint with a 2013 Traverse.

Even the storage space in the back is not that great if the 3rd row is occupied.

-- Jose
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Old 1st October 2013, 04:13   #3258
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by Superleggera View Post
Did you check out Toyota Highlander? An all-new model will be coming soon, so 2013 models are going a bit cheap. 4Runner is a nice option too.
You see, its a battle between minivan and suv. While an SUV wont be able to match the space of a minivan, it can still be considered as long as it has enough boot space with the 3rd row up to carry groceries. Highlander and Pilot failed to meet that criteria. On paper, Traverse shows just the right bit of boot space. That is why I am keen to check it out.

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Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
That being said, if 'family' = 3 or 4, then don't bother with minivans, stick to cars. Seriously.
Most of the year, it will be family of 4 or 5. When parents visit, it can go up to 7. For those trips, I am thinking a roof rack can be put to use. It was suggested on this very thread only some time back.

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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
If I'm concerned about steering feedback and pickup, then I'll pass Traverse. This is based on my 3 day stint with a 2013 Traverse.

Even the storage space in the back is not that great if the 3rd row is occupied.

-- Jose
Not really concerned about pickup and feedback. But your comment on storage space is a bummer :(

Last edited by amitoj : 1st October 2013 at 04:14.
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Old 1st October 2013, 04:20   #3259
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Arrow Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

If it's your budget look at the Mercedes Benz GL.

My F-I-L recently traded in his LR3 for a GL450. It's got a lot of space plus is a 7 seater, and you're saved the humiliation of being seen in a minivan.

I've been using it for the past couple of weeks to save mileage on my car.
It's pretty good. Steering is typical Mercedes - too light with no feel but power and fuel eco is decent for a big V8. Got good low end torque and stock gearing shifts about 1500-2000rpm on city runs.

The last row seats are good enough for short trips and adults under 5'8" or so.

Of-course luggage space is drastically reduced with the last two seats up but they have roof rails for a box.
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Old 1st October 2013, 06:04   #3260
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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
You see, its a battle between minivan and suv. While an SUV wont be able to match the space of a minivan, it can still be considered as long as it has enough boot space with the 3rd row up to carry groceries.
How about the New Tahoe/Yukon? They have announced much higher FE than now (though still not prius territory ), and a bucket load of features, several power outlets, entertainment screens etc.
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Old 1st October 2013, 19:35   #3261
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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
Yesterday my hunt for a family hauler started with a visit to a couple of dealers. .
My recommendation based on what I have driven

Under 35K
-Mazda CX 9 (Strongly Recommended)
- Ford Explorer

40-50K
- Acura MDX
- Ford Expedition

I know there are lots of cons against leasing, but i think its a great option and you should look that as a serious option.

If you were selling your Charger, how much of a depreciation hit would you be taking?
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Old 1st October 2013, 20:10   #3262
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
You see, its a battle between minivan and suv. While an SUV wont be able to match the space of a minivan, it can still be considered as long as it has enough boot space with the 3rd row up to carry groceries. Highlander and Pilot failed to meet that criteria. On paper, Traverse shows just the right bit of boot space. That is why I am keen to check it out.
(
If space is a concern, forget the highlander. Its even smaller than the pilot. Check the Mazda CX-9 as the luggage space was comparable to Traverse et all. Unfortunately, all these are good for carrying basic groceries and not much else when the third row is up. A trip to costco is out of the question! A roof box is a given for any trips where luggage needs to be carried.

Frankly, if your heart is set for a SUV and not a minivan, look at the image and feel aspect and not space. There's no way even a Yukon can win against a minivan on that front.
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Old 1st October 2013, 20:50   #3263
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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
How about the New Tahoe/Yukon? They have announced much higher FE than now (though still not prius territory ), and a bucket load of features, several power outlets, entertainment screens etc.
My main angle with going for an SUV instead of a minivan is that for most of the time, we can do without the extra space that a minivan provides. Tahoe and Yukon are massive even when compared to a minivan. And I would anyway take their FE claims with a pinch of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
If it's your budget look at the Mercedes Benz GL.
This vehicle will be used for ferrying kids! The amount of mess they will generate in a Merc will make me cry!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToroRosso View Post
My recommendation based on what I have driven

Under 35K
-Mazda CX 9 (Strongly Recommended)
- Ford Explorer

40-50K
- Acura MDX
- Ford Expedition

I know there are lots of cons against leasing, but i think its a great option and you should look that as a serious option.

If you were selling your Charger, how much of a depreciation hit would you be taking?
I would prefer to stay away from Acura for the same reason I would not pick Merc.
Yes I am seriously considering leasing this vehicle.
KBB and Edmunds value my car at around 27K. Thats a depreciation of 5K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit View Post
If space is a concern, forget the highlander. Its even smaller than the pilot. Check the Mazda CX-9 as the luggage space was comparable to Traverse et all. Unfortunately, all these are good for carrying basic groceries and not much else when the third row is up. A trip to costco is out of the question! A roof box is a given for any trips where luggage needs to be carried.
You are right. Highlander and Pilot are both out of question.
I have GOT to check out CX-9 I guess.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 06:06   #3264
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Is there any reason why you are not considering a Suburban?

EDIT: OK, I went up the page and realised you had already answered that question. But seriously, if it is family of 4-5 all the time and an occasional 7, and you need luggage space, you can't beat them for space. Used to know a lady in Houston - married, 5 kids - drove a Suburban. She was 4'10" and very slim.

Last edited by KiloAlpha : 2nd October 2013 at 06:10.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 06:48   #3265
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Suburban is huuuuge! I dont think we are ready yet for that big a vehicle.

I checked out the 2014 Traverse today. As is the usual dealer practice here, they showed me the topmost trim, loaded with all the goodies and leather everywhere! It's inside space seemed to be just the right amount. We sat in both the 7 and 8 seater versions. We preferred the 7 seater one because it gave the center 3rd row passenger plenty of leg space. Also, getting into the 3rd row is much easier with Captain seats in the second row. To check out space, we adjusted the driver seat for me (i am 6 ft 3) and then i sat in the second row. My wife sat on the third row. With this configuration too, she was not cramped. And then we opened the boot. It was not a "token boot" as in Highlander or a Pilot. It can definitely hold a week's groceries for an average family.

From the driving perspective, it is quite bland. Nothing too exciting, nothing too disappointing. The road noise is a tad noticeable though. The top most trim comes with blind spot detection in side view mirrors which was quite neat. Every time there is a car in your blind spot, a small yellow light will flash in the side view mirror to warn you. It also had lane alert feature which was actually annoying. If it detects that you are changing lanes without switching on the indicator, it will start beeping. The assumption being that you are sleepy and hence unintentionally changing lanes!! I found it annoying

Overall we liked the car. The dealer MSRP was 48K which is way too high though. We are looking for a trim lower than that but that would also be around 44K. Costco pricing would give us invoice + 500 USD. The sales rep did not seem to have the numbers handy though, which i somehow find hard to believe.

Anyway, i am in no hurry to decide. Plus, I still have the following to try out:
1. Traverse's twin, GMC Acadia
2. Mazda CX9 (on popular demand!! Even the Chevvy salesman agreed!)
3. Ford Explorer
4. Nissan Pathfinder
5. Toyota Siena
6. Honda Odyssey.

Did I miss anything?
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Old 2nd October 2013, 07:36   #3266
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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
1. Traverse's twin, GMC Acadia
2. Mazda CX9 (on popular demand!! Even the Chevvy salesman agreed!)
3. Ford Explorer
4. Nissan Pathfinder
5. Toyota Siena
6. Honda Odyssey.

Did I miss anything?
While you are at it, check out the Pathfinders Infiniti twin - The JX35 or Q60 - I got a call from the dealer saying if I would like to trade my car in - they are super aggressive with incentives. The pathfinder itself is rather nice inside and stuff, unless the negotiations bring the JX price down really low, I don't see why anyone would pay more for the same car in the Infiniti guise (except for some of the luxury items). I like it that you have the minivans at the end. Once you drive them, you would realize that they trump the SUVs/Crossovers in every respect.

Anyone heard much about the Pathfinder hybrid? It's only a small price penalty over the base pathfinder - similar power figures and performance and about 20 - 30% more efficient?
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Old 2nd October 2013, 12:34   #3267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Suburban is huuuuge! I dont think we are ready yet for that big a vehicle. I checked out the 2014 Traverse today. As is the usual dealer practice here, they showed me the topmost trim, loaded with all the goodies and leather everywhere! It's inside space seemed to be just the right amount. We sat in both the 7 and 8 seater versions. We preferred the 7 seater one because it gave the center 3rd row passenger plenty of leg space. Also, getting into the 3rd row is much easier with Captain seats in the second row. To check out space, we adjusted the driver seat for me (i am 6 ft 3) and then i sat in the second row. My wife sat on the third row. With this configuration too, she was not cramped. And then we opened the boot. It was not a "token boot" as in Highlander or a Pilot. It can definitely hold a week's groceries for an average family. From the driving perspective, it is quite bland. Nothing too exciting, nothing too disappointing. The road noise is a tad noticeable though. The top most trim comes with blind spot detection in side view mirrors which was quite neat. Every time there is a car in your blind spot, a small yellow light will flash in the side view mirror to warn you. It also had lane alert feature which was actually annoying. If it detects that you are changing lanes without switching on the indicator, it will start beeping. The assumption being that you are sleepy and hence unintentionally changing lanes!! I found it annoying Overall we liked the car. The dealer MSRP was 48K which is way too high though. We are looking for a trim lower than that but that would also be around 44K. Costco pricing would give us invoice + 500 USD. The sales rep did not seem to have the numbers handy though, which i somehow find hard to believe. Anyway, i am in no hurry to decide. Plus, I still have the following to try out: 1. Traverse's twin, GMC Acadia 2. Mazda CX9 (on popular demand!! Even the Chevvy salesman agreed!) 3. Ford Explorer 4. Nissan Pathfinder 5. Toyota Siena 6. Honda Odyssey. Did I miss anything?
Random thought: Q5 lease? If it works out to say, $600 per month or something?
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Old 2nd October 2013, 17:36   #3268
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Random thought: Q5 lease? If it works out to say, $600 per month or something?
Q5 is too small for his requirements - right? He needs the third row. The Q7 has a third row, but not really inhabitable - and he has already dismissed all luxury brands just because of the upkeep with the family won't be great, especially in a lease situation.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 18:51   #3269
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

This is what I suggested a friend last year & he agreed. If your parents are going to visit once a year, i think its would be cheaper to rent a minivan for that duration than have one all year long.

Or if you are still keen on an SUV then buy a mini suv/softroader & rent a minivan for those one a year excursions
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Old 2nd October 2013, 19:13   #3270
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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
Anyone heard much about the Pathfinder hybrid? It's only a small price penalty over the base pathfinder - similar power figures and performance and about 20 - 30% more efficient?
Even Nissan site does not say much about the Hybrid, except that it was supposed to be released in late summer 2013, which has come and gone already. But it sure is a very tempting option!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Q5 is too small for his requirements - right? He needs the third row. The Q7 has a third row, but not really inhabitable - and he has already dismissed all luxury brands just because of the upkeep with the family won't be great, especially in a lease situation.
Yes! That is exactly what i am thinking! Maybe after 3 years when the kids have grown up a bit AND ( thats a big and, btw) if i can afford it, I might consider one of these luxury brands.

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This is what I suggested a friend last year & he agreed. If your parents are going to visit once a year, i think its would be cheaper to rent a minivan for that duration than have one all year long.

Or if you are still keen on an SUV then buy a mini suv/softroader & rent a minivan for those one a year excursions
I dont really believe in the concept of a 5 seater SUV that will only see tarmac all its life. There are equally spacious 5 seater sedans in the market that will do the job pretty well and put a smile on your face. So far, in all our long distance trips, we have taken the Charger and it has served us well!

Now, when our parents come over, we will need a 7 seater almost every other day and definitely every weekend. Renting a minivan for each trip will not really work out. Plus it will be a bit of a hassle. Over a 3 to 4 month period, we will end up renting a minivan at least 7 or 8 times, and taking two cars for trips to malls etc!! But on the other hand, purchasing/leasing a minivan or an SUV the size of a Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon will really be an overkill. That's why i feel that an SUV the size of a Traverse/Acadia might fit my needs well.
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