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Old 16th October 2013, 05:58   #3361
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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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
A friend of mine drove down from St. Louis to Chicago in a rental Charger R/T AWD a month back. I drove it around the block just for the heck of it - the burble and noise it makes is something to die for.
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Old 16th October 2013, 06:22   #3362
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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A friend of mine drove down from St. Louis to Chicago in a rental Charger R/T AWD a month back. I drove it around the block just for the heck of it - the burble and noise it makes is something to die for.
Yea the same reason I was so happy to start it, put on the Sport Mode, turn of traction, and manual matic. After a few miles I felt like being in a claustrophobic cabin inside a ship!
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Old 16th October 2013, 21:26   #3363
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Apparently there are quite a few of R/Ts on rental out here this week, saw atleast 3 in the hotel I was.

Here are the pics..

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Old 17th October 2013, 20:06   #3364
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I forgot to mention the first thing that struck me when i got into the TnC. All the seats have tremendous under thigh support!! I am yet to see such deep seats in an SUV.

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Apparently there are quite a few of R/Ts on rental out here this week, saw atleast 3 in the hotel I was.
Thanks for the pics.
From the pics, I can see what you mean by having trouble in parking
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Old 17th October 2013, 21:14   #3365
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Thanks for the pics.
From the pics, I can see what you mean by having trouble in parking
haha I knew someone would catch that
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Old 22nd October 2013, 05:36   #3366
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Winter Preparation

Guys - what all do you do for preparing for winter if living in the snow belt? Can someone list best practices? This year is going to be the first time I have at least one car parked out - one in the garage. My wife will have to do a lot of the snow cleanup as I maybe working out of town often. I just want to make her job the least painful.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 06:22   #3367
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Minivans were always in the equation.
That must be one hell of an equation. If you have small kids mini vans will be a super hit. I love it that they can jump out of the car and you don't have to worry about the door hitting your other car or someone else's car. the kind of storage that Odyssey and Siena have is simply nuts. They even have a vacuum cleaner now. They do rollover like a bus, get stuck in gravel and snow, and look hideous.

Thankfully, I did not fall into the minivan trap when my kids were small. Now they are old enough to care enough to not drop food and junk in their beloved vehicle.

Just curious: how many kids do you have? And, what are their ages?
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Old 22nd October 2013, 18:42   #3368
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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
Winter Preparation

Guys - what all do you do for preparing for winter if living in the snow belt? Can someone list best practices? This year is going to be the first time I have at least one car parked out - one in the garage. My wife will have to do a lot of the snow cleanup as I maybe working out of town often. I just want to make her job the least painful.
1, Snow tires
2, Snow brush and Ice scraper - Not the small wimpy one, the big long one. Helps in leverage and reaching the top etc.
3, Deicing fluid - Not much useful though
4, Shovel in trunk - to dig car out of snow banks, break up ice in front of tires
5, Bag of kitty litter- For some extra traction when spinning in Ice/ Snow

Now you are blizzard ready
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Old 22nd October 2013, 19:46   #3369
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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That must be one hell of an equation. If you have small kids mini vans will be a super hit. I love it that they can jump out of the car and you don't have to worry about the door hitting your other car or someone else's car. the kind of storage that Odyssey and Siena have is simply nuts. They even have a vacuum cleaner now. They do rollover like a bus, get stuck in gravel and snow, and look hideous.

Thankfully, I did not fall into the minivan trap when my kids were small. Now they are old enough to care enough to not drop food and junk in their beloved vehicle.

Just curious: how many kids do you have? And, what are their ages?
Kindda harsh isn't it? I have driven vans extensively (rentals/friend's vehicles) and while I will agree on the rollover part for a Dodge Grad caravan/ Town and Country, its definitely not so for a Sienna or an Odyssey. They drive very much like cars.
Yes, they don't look cool but some people prefer the space and the versatility over looks. The vacuum, they can do without though
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Old 22nd October 2013, 20:57   #3370
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Look at the heat sheilds on the body which covers the exhaust pipe under it. .
You da man . It was a small plastic clip that used to connect it to the exhaust, I couldn't figure it out when i had jacked the car up and checked underneath. Took it to a local mechanic and he fixed it in 5 mins and didn't charge me anything.

Thanks again bud.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 21:19   #3371
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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That must be one hell of an equation. If you have small kids mini vans will be a super hit.

Just curious: how many kids do you have? And, what are their ages?
I have two kids, aged 2.5 and 4.5. The elder one just toes my line when it comes to deciding whether we liked a car or not. The younger one couldnt care less

The hunt for a bigger vehicle is for the times when the parents come over. They normally intend to stay for 3 months or so.

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Yes, they don't look cool but some people prefer the space and the versatility over looks. The vacuum, they can do without though
Sigh. Couple of days back, we checked out Sienna, Odyssey (no TD though), Ford Explorer, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia (second attempt)

Am sad to report that Odyssey has replaced Acadia right now as the topmost contender. Sienna is nice but it is extremely boring to drive and its middle row is a 3 seater on paper only. If we do have to go for a minivan, then it should be able to seat 8 comfortably. Odyssey is able to do that somehow. TnC does not even come in an 8 seater configuration.

Explorer and Enclave do not provide as much head room as does Acadia for the third row, which gives a somewhat claustrophobic feeling at the back.

So, it all now comes down to between Acadia and Odyssey. My parents will most likely be coming to US next year only, so we have some time to decide.

I intend to take the Acadia on a really long test drive for about an hour or more so that we can fully assess whether a grown up can be comfortable in the third row or not. That will be my final pitch for an SUV before i cave in to the stupid practicality and ridiculous comfort of Odyssey

By the way, while at the Ford dealership, i checked out the Lincoln Navigator too, just for fun. If Odyssey is a house on wheels, Nav is a palace on wheels!! You press a button and the seats fold down into the floor!!

I am wondering if i should check out the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT too.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 21:33   #3372
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Am sad to report that Odyssey has replaced Acadia right now as the topmost contender. Sienna is nice but it is extremely boring to drive and its middle row is a 3 seater on paper only. If we do have to go for a minivan, then it should be able to seat 8 comfortably. Odyssey is able to do that somehow. TnC does not even come in an 8 seater configuration.
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I am wondering if i should check out the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT too.
Ford Flex Ecoboost - 365 HP/350Lb Torque. Insane people mover! Its lower to the ground so its more a wagon than a SUV - should help the handling a bit. Fully loaded, the pricing can shoot up pretty quickly though.

Why in the world are you even thinking of the Darth Vader car (the MKT). Whoever designed that front end needs to look at the Flex and learn how front ends should be done.

As far as minivans go, you can't get anything better than the odyssey.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 21:55   #3373
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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while I will agree on the rollover part for a Dodge Grad caravan/ Town and Country, its definitely not so for a Sienna or an Odyssey. They drive very much like cars.
Yeah, the steering feels like an old Camry, or an old Taurus. That is a problem too. People think they are driving a car, while they are not. At highway speeds it has too big of a side profile and too puny tires to be comfortable change lanes aggressively. There is too much of side to side roll. There was a time when most of my desi and asian friends with 2 kids were driving an Odyssey. I have tried to not the things that I dislike about the matador/van down below.

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I have two kids, aged 2.5 and 4.5. The hunt for a bigger vehicle is for the times when the parents come over. They normally intend to stay for 3 months or so.
Well, you are prime candidate for the Odyssey. You seem to be on the verge of falling into the Odyssey trap. Here is how I talked myself out of it.

My parents/in laws have visited us several times in the last 15 years. For the typical 8 years that desis own cars, these short trips from parents can very well be accommodated in crossovers. It is better for the kids to be in the last row where you cannot hear them. Parents can be comfortable in the middle row. You will need to be close to the kids when they are infants. Crossovers have lower ground clearance unlike a true SUV. Even with an SUV, with running boards they are very easy for elders to hop in. With the lower height of crossovers, you can mount rooftop cargo box only when needed. Even a bicycle rack. You will catch much less side wind during road trips. We also have a labrador that needs all the room in the back, so rooftop storage is mandatory. Bicycle racks and tow hooks will be at a good ground clearance with SUVs. At many campsites, I have seen the biclycles on van mounted racks scraping and bouncing while on uneven campground roads.

You end up renting a van every place you fly to with parents anyways. If you absolutely need a van for the occasional road trip when parents visit - you can still rent one. I had a 5 seater SUV 4Runner when my kids were small. I rented a van 2 times in 10 years that I had the 4runner.

I also have other relatives and friends visit us. If you have a 8 seater, even when others have a car you will cram them all into your bus and make a mess out of it. Your kids, others kids and other parents will certainly enjoy the utility of your van. You will end up feeling like a bus driver

Ofcourse you can make an argument that you can rent an SUV for that camping trip and drive a matador on a daily basis.

Last edited by prasadee : 22nd October 2013 at 22:01.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 01:23   #3374
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Am sad to report that Odyssey has replaced Acadia right now as the topmost contender. S
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Ford Flex Ecoboost - 365 HP/350Lb Torque. Insane people mover!
As far as minivans go, you can't get anything better than the odyssey.
+1 for Odyssey here but do take a GMC Acadia around. Compare the fuel consumption.

Also Ford Flex: I would stay away only coz it feels like a ship to drive. Small steering input results in massive change in the last row.

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Yeah, the steering feels like an old Camry, or an old Taurus. That is a problem too. ....
True. This debate is a controversial one. Lots of folks here did own a Minivan and will swear by it. Lets see who the ultimate winner is.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 01:51   #3375
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This debate is a controversial one. Lots of folks here did own a Minivan and will swear by it. Lets see who the ultimate winner is.
Seriously, can there be a debate or controversy? How can a van drive like a car? Although it begs to ask the question - what car. Lets say Odyssey Vs Accord. If a person who owns this minivan and this car - cannot tell the difference between the two in terms of the drive/feel - it makes it scary out there on the freeways.

What a person ends up buying depends on their lifestyle and needs. Nothing comes close to a minivan in real world day to day family use. I have fit a full size dryer in the back of an Odyssey. If not for the things I mentioned earlier I would have bought the Odyssey myself. Odyssey has way too many clever utilities that a person with a family will admire. I was just saying the car feeling is an illusion.
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