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Old 7th September 2010, 12:38   #346
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Well, I'm still not sure. But let me share an experience of mine. It used to snow upto a a foot in Michigan. I used to be driving a Civic & once I was following some 4WD vehicle & he was clocking like 30mph & I was following him safely; when he braked his vehicle halted & I was unable stop like him; I severed left inorder to prevent an accident & fortunately the vehicles on the opposite side were able to sense my position & they stopped. Only God saved me that day & it was then I realized the importance of 4X4.
Very valid input - Thanks aargee. On a recent trip I happened to drive a Scorpio (rental, ill maintained) and the difference in handling of the Scorpio on highways against my Elantra was stark - that's my only worry in moving away from a Sedan. But the point you've made actually overweighs my worry.
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Old 7th September 2010, 14:39   #347
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KESriram - How about a pre-owned Mazda, Lancer or a Subaru?
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Old 7th September 2010, 15:16   #348
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well it is not as cold & snowy as it should be (from the location ) in Seattle, and I trust that you can make do with a nice sedan.
If you insist - try and get a 4wd sedan.
And try to stick to Asian imports or American domestic cars. European imports are expensive to maintain in US.

Speaking of maintaining/driving a car in snow - have a look:

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-dsc01568.jpg

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-dsc01577.jpg

Late February 2008 snowfall in North Jersey
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Old 7th September 2010, 15:46   #349
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@Sriram - Just another tip from my side; you need to be using non freezing coolant on your car; it doesn't cost too much, but just thought of giving you a tip.

From a slightly different perspective, I'm not sure if your company has a rental agreement with some company in US. If it does, then I would suggest you taking a rental car rather than buying a new one. This way you don't need to buy insurance, keep changing cars, no maintainance required as you can simply swap the car, enjoy driving different cars, if you're lucky, you can get a free upgrade or get to ride an exotic in the absence of your choice of car. You need to really bargain for a good pricing since you're taking it for an year. Pls ignore this if its not applicable.

@Blackasta - Tks for the pics; that's the same amount of snow in MN/MI. Will try posting some of them.
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Old 7th September 2010, 15:48   #350
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Comparing a ill treated, rental Mahindra Scorpio and a pre-owned Luxury SUV is a NO NO.
PS: It snows in Seattle. Have heard stories and seen pictures of cars getting stuck. So prefer an SUV.
Go there, test drive a few cars and then decide.
Getting a BMW for 16k is Ok, but its maintenance will be the same as for a new 50k one.
You can also probably find a MDX in that range.
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Old 7th September 2010, 16:53   #351
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Originally Posted by KESriram View Post
I'll be relocating soon to the US, Seattle area. I'll obviosly need to buy a car there are am looking at the forum to suggest if there are 'hidden gems' in the US - by which I mean great used cars at cheap prices
The only hidden gem I can think of in the US for a family man is a Subaru!

The Subaru has all you are looking for. All wheel drive for when it snows or rains, a slightly higher ground clearance and great stability.

I am sure you will find one within your price range. It is difficult for me to comment on great deals on models because you have to be there yourself to find that out.

My friend, an American, had a Subaru in Denver and more over lots of people drove Subarus in Denver. It snows a lot in the Mile High City so I am sure a Subaru will not be a problem in snow. Any way if it snows 3 feet of snow all cars equally get 3 feet of snow and you have to dig out your car regardless of whether it is an SUV or a sedan and parked on the street. Days like those are few every year. The only solution: Covered parking, which you might have if you are staying in an apartment complex.

Pls read reports on Subaru at the New York Times and other places. They always get glowing reviews and there is a huge fan following in the US for these cars.

I can't help you more as I never owned one myself and it is something I regret.

By the way, for a first-timer I would not suggest a BMW. What akshaymahajan says is spot on. The maintenance cost of these cars is the same as one that's new.
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Old 7th September 2010, 18:05   #352
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OT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee
Well, I'm still not sure. But let me share an experience of mine. It used to snow upto a a foot in Michigan. I used to be driving a Civic & once I was following some 4WD vehicle & he was clocking like 30mph & I was following him safely; when he braked his vehicle halted & I was unable stop like him; I severed left inorder to prevent an accident & fortunately the vehicles on the opposite side were able to sense my position & they stopped. Only God saved me that day & it was then I realized the importance of 4X4.
Don't judge by this.
A lot of technicality is involved with braking. 4x4 has very little to do with braking.
Tyres have the MOST to do with braking and I can't stress it enough.
His tyres and your tyres might have been radically different.
Infact, with higher gross weight, the SUV should have a longer stopping distance than a FWD sedan which is a civic.
ABS also adds to the mix. With lesser traction, the civic's abs would have kicked in early while the SUV could possibly not have had ABS or must have had fresh, performance snow tyres.
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Old 7th September 2010, 18:27   #353
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Tyres have the MOST to do with braking and I can't stress it enough.
Absolutely respected your comments Nitrous. But that's not all, another experience of mine (see below) attributes to primary reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
On the other hand, when I was driving in MN on Xterra on snow filled road, I was clocking more than 60mph on the snowy highway & was able to overtake most of the sedans easily.
From my previous experience of embarassement, I decided to take it slow with Xterra on MN. But just 2 brakings were more than sufficient to understand what a 4X4 is all about. MN was equally snowy to MI, however, pushing the Elantra/Civic was giving a sense of fear, on the other hand, Xterra was like driving on regular road. I don't know how to put the feel in words, but I would say, I felt way too confident with Xterra than the regular one. I suppose, the Xterra had stock tires as it was a regular looking rented.

Here's the pic I promised
Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-p1.jpg

Last edited by aargee : 7th September 2010 at 18:39.
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Old 7th September 2010, 18:43   #354
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When 4 wheels are driven instead of 2, there's always more grip.
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Old 7th September 2010, 18:57   #355
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The auto website Edmunds.com once labeled the Ford F150 pickup as the Honda Accord of pickup trucks.May be you could settle for the same ,it something of a workhorse and get's the job done.Also it's one of the largest selling models so it could be a easier to find one that suits your budget and since it's a truck/suv type of vehicle most probably won't have trouble in the snow.

Last edited by sumeethaldankar : 7th September 2010 at 18:59.
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:01   #356
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Here's the pic I promised
The snow is just an irritant. It usually happens when you park your car out on the street overnight and then you find in the morning that your car has been snowed in.

The amount of snow in both the pics is really not much. It hardly takes 15 minutes to half an hour to clear it up. After all, snow is like powder. We are not talking about ice which is a different story altogether.

Some times the snow is so much that you might have to use a shovel and dig the car out. But I have never encountered that even once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Speaking of maintaining/driving a car in snow - have a look:

Late February 2008 snowfall in North Jersey
If you look at the 2nd pic in blackasta's post you will see that all cars including the sedan have equal amount of snow except the 1 car that has been cleared of snow.

Driving with all 4 wheels (4WD or AWD) will help as blackasta said.

End of the day, you have to drive gingerly if the road is covered in snow. Actually if it is fresh snow it is quite easy. I used to jog in the snow and never fell even once.

The problem really is ice and when the deicing salts are put on the road, it makes the snow thaw into water which now turns into ice if left for some time.

Last edited by nowwhat? : 7th September 2010 at 19:19.
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:12   #357
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Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
The snow is just an irritant. It usually happens when you park your car out on the street overnight and then you find in the morning that your car has been snowed in.

The amount of snow in both the pics is really not much. It hardly takes 15 minutes to half an hour to clear it up. After all, snow is like powder. We are not talking about ice which is a different story altogether.

Some times the snow is so much that you might have to use a shovel and dig the car out. But I have never encountered that even once.



If you look at the 2nd post in blackasta's pic you will see that all cars including the sedan have equal amount of snow except the 1 car that has been cleared of snow.

Driving with all 4 wheels (4WD or AWD) will help as blackasta said.

End of the day, you have to drive gingerly if the road is covered in snow. Actually if it is fresh snow it is quite easy. I used to jog in the snow and never fell even once.

The problem really is ice and when the deicing salts are put on the road, it makes the snow thaw into water which now turns into ice if left for some time.

Black ice is very dangerous. Its when the thawed snow reforms into ice on the road - which is super slick.

And on that day - we had to dig out sizable quantities of snow from the parking to get the car out!
Another tip while parking in the open while its snows is to pick up your wipers (as in pic #2) while you park for the last time. This will help by not letting the wipers freeze and stick to the glass. Anyway deicing solution (not talking about cold weather wiper fluid) is poisonous and should not be used much.
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:18   #358
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The only hidden gem I can think of in the US for a family man is a Subaru!
I was wondering why no one had mentioned 'Subaru' yet.

All the models they sell in US have 4x4 standard. Easy to drive and are very reliable. If you are looking for a small SUV, they have Forester and Outback (current Gen, previous generations were station wagons). If you remember, Subaru Foresters were sold as Chevrolet Forester in India for some time. This was when GM ha a stake in Subaru. If you are looking at sedan, they have Impreza and Legacy. Styling wise, their cars are more on the bland side and utilitarian but they are solid and hassle free.
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Old 7th September 2010, 20:53   #359
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A lot of options available:

Hyundai Sonata (2008 or later) should be available for 9-10k.

Nissan Versa (hatchback) - You should be able to get a new one for around (or less than) 10k.

Ford Fusion (2007+) should be available for 9-10k.

Honda Accord (4 Cyl, 2005/2006) should be available for around 10k. Most reliable (out of the used ones) of the options available.

Nissan Xterra (2004 or 2005) should be available for 10k. More reliable than Ford/Jeep SUVs.

.

Check the auto section in the craigslist website for your city. You'd get an idea of what's available for what price.
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Old 16th September 2010, 02:13   #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KESriram View Post
I'll be relocating soon to the US, Seattle area. I'll obviosly need to buy a car there are am looking at the forum to suggest if there are 'hidden gems' in the US - by which I mean great used cars at cheap prices This forum showed me Elantra CRDi and I've been hooked to it for the past 1 year. Here's what am looking for:
  1. We're a small family - me, wife and 1 kid. So thinking Sedan should do. Am used to highway cruising on Elantra, so prefer stability and handling to SUVs.
  2. Am looking for a used car, budget will be betn $9k-$10k depending on how much I'll get for my Elantra here
  3. Might sound politically incorrect - but do not want to be associated with typical desi cars like Honda Civic/Accord, Toyota Corolla/Camry - though these are great cars nevertheless.
  4. It gets cold and snows in Seattle for a few months. I know US cars are built for this, but the one I identify should be best in handling these weather conditions.
Pl suggest! Thanks!

I would suggest a Nissan Altima or Maxima. Its common, but they have good resale, nice spacious sedan
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