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Old 11th October 2013, 22:44   #3346
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I will be checking out the CX-9 today. Is there anything in particular that I should pay attention to? Good or bad?
My wife has a CX-9, and it is a lot of fun to drive. When you test drive try to do a U turn on the same street. Compared to similar cross overs, Highlander, and Pilot, it feels a lot more grounded, and has a very good turning radius. The steering wheel itself is smaller giving a feeling of sporty drive. Lots of things standard in the touring version, grand touring has the blind sport warning that I really liked.

Watch out for all the extras they sell and lookup the prices for the extras. Roof rack, cargo mat etc.
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Old 12th October 2013, 00:55   #3347
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Watch out for all the extras they sell and lookup the prices for the extras. Roof rack, cargo mat etc.
Thanks!
I wont be talking about the pricing yet. This is just the preliminary elimination round. So far, we have eliminated Pilot and Highlander. Traverse and Pathfinder have made it to the second round, with Pathfinder slightly ahead because of its more versatile seating arrangement. Today, in a few hours, we will see how the CX 9 holds up!!
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Old 12th October 2013, 05:44   #3348
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I will be checking out the CX-9 today. Is there anything in particular that I should pay attention to? Good or bad?
So, we test drove the CX9 today. While its steering was definitely the sharpest and most responsive (even more than my charger!) it was also its biggest disadvantage. My wife sitting in the third row was able to feel every minute input to the steering, magnified 10 times!! Also, its low slung roof gave a somewhat claustrophobic feeling. If i were to use only two rows, I would have surely opted for this one. But since FTD is not a very high priority for this purchase, it gets left behind. More so because right after TD'ing CX 9, we tried out the GMC Acadia.

Obviously, its steering felt dead to me after the CX9 but it was more roomy and somehow more comfortable for my wife and 2 kids, all of them sitting on the 3rd row.

So, Acadia also clears the preliminaries to enter the second round.
CX9 will have to join Pilot and Highlander.
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Old 12th October 2013, 12:46   #3349
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Sorry Amitoj,

I'm on vacation and just saw your email. I can't think of anything in particular, really. Take it on a few twisties, or if that's not possible, try some quick lane changes on the highway and compare how the vehicle reacts and its feedback with other the other ones that you tested so far. Hopefully, the new model behaves like the older model which I think is pretty decent for an SUV.

Good luck with your search. Hope you're having fun.
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Old 15th October 2013, 04:58   #3350
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I had a chance to drive three different mid/full size sedans recently on rent - with some different type of powertrains - thought I'd write some feedback on each of these.

2013 and 2014 Ford Fusion Ecoboost - The 2013 had a 1.6 ecoboost, the 2014 had a 1.5 ecoboost, I believe. Both engines struggle in the 20 - 50 mph range - so if you are in a lot of traffic light regions, get used to a rough engine note and not the greatest NVH. The interiors are top notch - well put together and stylish. The Sync system is highly capable, yet very buggy! We were in temperatures in the less than 50 F range and the air conditioning decided to switch on at 60 F on its own, and would refuse to turn off. Had to pull over, do a couple of restarts and random things to make it to go back to heating!

2014 Dodge Charger SXT V6 - the 8 speed automatic on this car meant that on the same route as I went with on as the 1.5 ecoboost Fusion at steady 75-80 mph speeds, I got the same fuel economy numbers. Of course it was much smoother, more relaxed and comfortable than the fusion. I don't like the all black interior theme of the charger, but the 8.4 Uconnect screen is awesome. No bugs to report of, and great performance.

This week I have a 2014 Jetta with a 1.8 TSI engine. I think Ford should learn from the Germans on how to do turbo engines. Beauty of an engine and transmission combo. The engine is supremely relaxed, and has a torque curve like a plateau. No roughness, no harshness, nothing. The cars interiors are unremarkable after being in the Fusion/Charger. VW really needs to up their in car tech if they want to remain competitive in the US. They Americanized their cars, but the technology on offer is way behind times.
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Old 15th October 2013, 22:24   #3351
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

So this is the list I came up with(considering that I buy new)

Ford Mustang GT
Nissan 370z
Infiniti G37
Subaru WRX
Challenger RT
Camaro
VW GTI
Mazdaspeed3

Test drove Subaru WRX last weekend. Can't say anything wrong, its a great car to drive. The steering felt heavy(just how I like), powerful and fun to drive. Price was around $32-$33k OTD for premium model. Subaru believes in true pricing and hard to negotiate.

Driving a Challenger RT this week as a rental. Initially was excited, but that was short lived. The car is way too long, tough to park in a normal spot it ends up outside and am worried no one hits it. Lacks visibility esp while checking for blind spots, handling not the best. That apart, the 5.7L V8 growls and is powerful like expected, comfortable seats, and a super spacious trunk. I'd rather pick the Mustang to this.

Have another list am working on with the list of used cars that I must check out

Last edited by kraft.wagen : 15th October 2013 at 22:35.
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Old 16th October 2013, 00:51   #3352
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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
So this is the list I came up with(considering that I buy new)

Ford Mustang GT
Nissan 370z
Infiniti G37
Subaru WRX
Challenger RT
Camaro
VW GTI
Mazdaspeed3

Test drove Subaru WRX last weekend. Can't say anything wrong, its a great car to drive. The steering felt heavy(just how I like), powerful and fun to drive. Price was around $32-$33k OTD for premium model. Subaru believes in true pricing and hard to negotiate.

Driving a Challenger RT this week as a rental. Initially was excited, but that was short lived. The car is way too long, tough to park in a normal spot it ends up outside and am worried no one hits it. Lacks visibility esp while checking for blind spots, handling not the best. That apart, the 5.7L V8 growls and is powerful like expected, comfortable seats, and a super spacious trunk. I'd rather pick the Mustang to this.

Have another list am working on with the list of used cars that I must check out
Subaru pricing is definitely negotiable. I got my BRZ for below invoice. (Though
I did order online from a dealer in another state.)

Are you not considering the FR-S/BRZ?
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Old 16th October 2013, 01:12   #3353
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I will be checking out the CX-9 today. Is there anything in particular that I should pay attention to? Good or bad?
Did you check out Toyota Highlander ?
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Old 16th October 2013, 01:28   #3354
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Sorry Amitoj,

I'm on vacation and just saw your email. I can't think of anything in particular, really. Take it on a few twisties, or if that's not possible, try some quick lane changes on the highway and compare how the vehicle reacts and its feedback with other the other ones that you tested so far. Hopefully, the new model behaves like the older model which I think is pretty decent for an SUV.

Good luck with your search. Hope you're having fun.
Thanks! I did check out the CX9 and loved its steering feedback and response. However, my wife sitting in the third row did not like the sharp response from steering!

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Did you check out Toyota Highlander ?
Rejected because of its 3rd row unsuitable for anyone else but Oompa Loompas.

We checked out the Town and Country yesterday. It comes in only a 7 seat configuration. But has a ton of space and versatility thanks to its Stow N Go seats. I am told that this is a Chrysler specific feature where the second as well as third row seats fold flat into the floor. In other minivans, only the third row folds flat into the floor. Its 3.6L V6 engine was responsive and peppy.

I am told that Odyssey's middle row middle seat can be removed and it can switch between a 7 and an 8 seater. Also, this house comes with a built in vacuum cleaner!! Next thing you know they will be putting in a small backyard too.
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Old 16th October 2013, 01:32   #3355
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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
We checked out the Town and Country yesterday. It comes in only a 7 seat configuration. But has a ton of space and versatility thanks to its Stow N Go seats. I am told that this is a Chrysler specific feature where the second as well as third row seats fold flat into the floor. In other minivans, only the third row folds flat into the floor. Its 3.6L V6 engine was responsive and peppy.
Did you consider Durango?
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Old 16th October 2013, 02:41   #3356
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Rejected because of its 3rd row unsuitable for anyone else but Oompa Loompas.

We checked out the Town and Country yesterday.

I am told that Odyssey's middle row middle seat can be removed and it can switch between a 7 and an 8 seater. Also, this house comes with a built in vacuum cleaner!! Next thing you know they will be putting in a small backyard too.
Vaccum Cleaner

I thought you were inclined towards the Midsize SUV, It would be interesting to see what you will settle for, as you have Minivans in the equation now.

Happy hunting though
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Old 16th October 2013, 03:06   #3357
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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
So this is the list I came up with(considering that I buy new)

Ford Mustang GT
Nissan 370z
Infiniti G37
Subaru WRX
Challenger RT
Camaro
VW GTI
Mazdaspeed3

Test drove Subaru WRX last weekend. Can't say anything wrong, its a great car to drive. The steering felt heavy(just how I like), powerful and fun to drive. Price was around $32-$33k OTD for premium model. Subaru believes in true pricing and hard to negotiate.

Driving a Challenger RT this week as a rental. Initially was excited, but that was short lived. The car is way too long, tough to park in a normal spot it ends up outside and am worried no one hits it. Lacks visibility esp while checking for blind spots, handling not the best. That apart, the 5.7L V8 growls and is powerful like expected, comfortable seats, and a super spacious trunk. I'd rather pick the Mustang to this.

Have another list am working on with the list of used cars that I must check out
Where did the Miata go??
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Old 16th October 2013, 04:38   #3358
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Where did the Miata go??
moved it to the probable Used cars list.
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Old 16th October 2013, 04:53   #3359
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Did you consider Durango?
Not really. One Dodge is enough in the garage. I am still not in the "Mopar or No Car" camp. I did consider the Town and Country purely because of its VFM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otomobil View Post
I thought you were inclined towards the Midsize SUV, It would be interesting to see what you will settle for, as you have Minivans in the equation now.

Happy hunting though
Minivans were always in the equation. It is a question of what will best meet the requirements without going for an overkill. No doubt the space and utility factor of a minivan is unbeatable. But do i really need that much space and versatility? That is something that will become more clear in a month or so.

By the way, Buick Enclave is also now in the list. I am going to save it for last though, after the minivans. In fact, now that we are trying out minivans, I think we will first finish off the Siena and Odyssey as well so that when we go back to trying out mid size SUVs (Explorer, Enclave and another shot at Acadia) we have a better sense of whether a mid size SUV will be good enough or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
So this is the list I came up with(considering that I buy new)

Ford Mustang GT
Nissan 370z
Infiniti G37
Subaru WRX
Challenger RT
Camaro
VW GTI
Mazdaspeed3

Driving a Challenger RT this week as a rental. Initially was excited, but that was short lived. The car is way too long, tough to park in a normal spot it ends up outside and am worried no one hits it. Lacks visibility esp while checking for blind spots, handling not the best. That apart, the 5.7L V8 growls and is powerful like expected, comfortable seats, and a super spacious trunk. I'd rather pick the Mustang to this.
A V8 Challenger as a rental is hard to come by!! Usually they have the SXTs or SEs only as rentals. Is it an R/T that you are driving?

Would be interesting to see what you end up with

Last edited by amitoj : 16th October 2013 at 04:56.
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Old 16th October 2013, 05:18   #3360
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Not really. One Dodge is enough in the garage. I am still not in the "Mopar or No Car" camp. I did consider the Town and Country purely because of its VFM.

By the way, Buick Enclave is also now in the list.

A V8 Challenger as a rental is hard to come by!! Usually they have the SXTs or SEs only as rentals. Is it an R/T that you are driving?

Would be interesting to see what you end up with
It just stuck me yest while watching the new Durago ad that it could be a good contender and you are a Dodge guy already

Enclave is surely a good addition to your list

Yep it is the V8, it is the R/T unless they have just put stickers around.
I will click some pics today and post it.
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