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Old 21st October 2011, 15:27   #496
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Default Re: Which SUV to buy in US

I have driven Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, and in terms of drivability and comfort, I would go fo Ford Exlporer. But Toyota and Subaru has their own reliablity factor attached to it.

He can consider the Hyundai Tuscon which was introduced last year, which is really a VFM product.
Hyundai Santa-Fe is another good SUV.
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Old 21st October 2011, 16:18   #497
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Default Re: Which SUV to buy in US

Ford Explorer Hands down. Chevrolet Traverse will be a close second.

Subaru and Mazda Drive lighter if you looking for that truck experience. I love the Mazda design over the plaid but better than before Tribeca.

No experience with the Toyota.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 02:53   #498
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Arrow re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
So getting a BMW with warranty isn't much of help?
What is the average maintenance cost you have put in yours since ownership? Does the 3 series require timing belt change at 85k?
Hey, sorry I'm visting this thread after a few days.

No the 3 series doesn't require a timing belt change at 85k and if I'm not mistaken it should have a chain.

Average maintenance depends on who services / repairs your car.
If you do all work at the dealer you end up paying through your nose.
Other options include getting hold of a good independent shop that is familiar with BMW's, or DIY.
That saves you a bunch of money.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 04:21   #499
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
So getting a BMW with warranty isn't much of help?
What is the average maintenance cost you have put in yours since ownership? Does the 3 series require timing belt change at 85k?
i almost had a 2006 bmw 330ci(92k) for mouth watering price of just $20k. They were offering extended warranty for 2years for around $2k which they were including in above price. But horror stories on bmw forums made me stayed away from it since i can't afford to let car spend 2-3 days in garage. Also spent half an hour discussing 3-series with a BMW Mechanic with 18-yrs of experience who works on just 3-series. He said, 2006 is one of the most reliable engines since it was the last year of that particular generation. While his words were reassuring, most bmw members thought i was paying some $3k more than it deserved.

Result - ended up buying a 2005 infiniti g35 for $14k out-the-door with a year warranty and with only 90k miles. Also has premium entertainment package, sports package that includes sports suspension and stuff. (Pics in garage)

And i am one of the few who can't do much DIY apart from changing oil, coolant and windshield water. So any other changes will be costing a lot.

Agree with Aah78, Brake pads do last long, just recently changed front brake pads and caliper on 98 camry with 136k miles. Cost me $225 out-the-door from Les Schwab

Again aah78, you are right. 3-Series after 1992 all inline-6 had a timing chain. before that it was timing belt.

Last edited by chevelle : 22nd October 2011 at 04:23.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 04:26   #500
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
Hey, sorry I'm visting this thread after a few days.

No the 3 series doesn't require a timing belt change at 85k and if I'm not mistaken it should have a chain.

Average maintenance depends on who services / repairs your car.
If you do all work at the dealer you end up paying through your nose.
Other options include getting hold of a good independent shop that is familiar with BMW's, or DIY.
That saves you a bunch of money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
i almost had a 2006 bmw 330ci(92k) for mouth watering price of just $20k. They were offering extended warranty for 2years for around $2k which they were including in above price. But horror stories on bmw forums made me stayed away from it since i can't afford to let car spend 2-3 days in garage. Also spent half an hour discussing 3-series with a BMW Mechanic with 18-yrs of experience who works on just 3-series. He said, 2006 is one of the most reliable engines since it was the last year of that particular generation. While his words were reassuring, most bmw members thought i was paying some $3k more than it deserved.

Result - ended up buying a 2005 infiniti g35 for $14k out-the-door with a year warranty and with only 90k miles. Also has premium entertainment package, sports package that includes sports suspension and stuff. (Pics in garage)

And i am one of the few who can't do much DIY apart from changing oil, coolant and windshield water. So any other changes will be costing a lot.

Agree with Aah78, Brake pads do last long, just recently changed front brake pads and caliper on 98 camry with 136k miles. Cost me $225 out-the-door from Les Schwab

Again aah78, you are right. 3-Series after 1992 all inline-6 had a timing chain. before that it was timing belt.
Yea had a doubt on the timing belt. So true the BMW are such pleasure to own and horror to maintain unless you have a private garage or know to DIY
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Old 22nd October 2011, 04:36   #501
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Yea had a doubt on the timing belt. So true the BMW are such pleasure to own and horror to maintain unless you have a private garage or know to DIY
ya it is very true for most German cars. Also spare parts are a little higher in after market and some things are real very hard to DIY unless you have lift at in your garage. But most things can be done easily at home, like upgrading lights, putting fuse, changing oil, filter and stuff. But for some things its better to visit garage and that's when the expense go over the roof.

Most BMW owners say it is wise to save $200 every month in bank as a backup expense. If something comes to replace, it gets expensive very easily especially once it goes above 100,000 miles.

Last edited by chevelle : 22nd October 2011 at 04:38.
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Old 26th October 2011, 18:06   #502
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Say someone has to travel to the US for about 10-12 months (or for the duration of the project, whichever is earlier) , and absolutely cannot do without a car in a city that has no public transport or desi colleagues, how does one get a reliable vehicle as cheaply and reliably as possible ?
If one is willing to buy non-Japanese brands, how difficult is it to maintain, say a mid-90s Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac ? Asking because these 3 came with the reliable and refined (but not very powerful) GM "3800" V6 engine and some of them are available under 4k USD. Hows the resale ?

This is a typical example of what I was talking about, a '99 Buick Park Avenue, with a supercharged V6.

How expensive are cars like these to service (routine stuff, oil change, brake pads etc.) ? Is it better to stick to dealer cars (since they are presumed to be in better nick) or risk individual sellers ?
The reason for the low budget is that then for such a short assignment, the cost of the car can be covered with the small car advance that some companies give.

Last edited by sajo : 26th October 2011 at 18:15.
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Old 26th October 2011, 18:32   #503
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Default Re: Which SUV to buy in US

While the new Explorer looks nice, its not that great performance vise. Out of these, I will pick either the Highlander or the CX-9. Tribeca is nice too but being an AWD, will get poorer gas mileage.

If he is looking at Traverse, he should look at GMC Acadia instead. Same vehicle but much better looking with a better interior.

If he needs a Minivan replacement with 7 seats, CX-9 and the Traverse/Acadia are the only practical options here. Others are a bit small to be true 7 seaters with some space left for bags in the trunk.

Been going thru the same dilemma and am seriously contemplating getting the CX-9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
My BIL wants to purchase an SUV in US. He is looking for comfort, space and driveablity factor. He has shortlisted the following:-

MAZDA CX-9
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
SUBARU TRIBECA
FORD EXPLORER
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE

Please all bhpians who ahve experience of having driven them or seen them in action or exposed to them in general use kindly advise and give suggestions in helping him choose one of the above.

Thanks.
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Old 26th October 2011, 19:17   #504
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

@Mohit: thanks mate. he is looking at the CX9 or the Honda Pilot now. But I think I would tell him to go for the CX9.
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Old 26th October 2011, 20:43   #505
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
@Mohit: thanks mate. he is looking at the CX9 or the Honda Pilot now. But I think I would tell him to go for the CX9.
Yeah the pilot is a bit long in the tooth but is a fairly capable machine. Not as well appointed as the CX-9 though.
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Old 26th October 2011, 21:33   #506
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Say someone has to travel to the US for about 10-12 months (or for the duration of the project, whichever is earlier) , and absolutely cannot do without a car in a city that has no public transport or desi colleagues, how does one get a reliable vehicle as cheaply and reliably as possible ?
If one is willing to buy non-Japanese brands, how difficult is it to maintain, say a mid-90s Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac ? Asking because these 3 came with the reliable and refined (but not very powerful) GM "3800" V6 engine and some of them are available under 4k USD. Hows the resale ?

This is a typical example of what I was talking about, a '99 Buick Park Avenue, with a supercharged V6.

How expensive are cars like these to service (routine stuff, oil change, brake pads etc.) ? Is it better to stick to dealer cars (since they are presumed to be in better nick) or risk individual sellers ?
The reason for the low budget is that then for such a short assignment, the cost of the car can be covered with the small car advance that some companies give.
cars from dealers would be expensive. you can still get very low priced ones from dealer but you will still end up paying $1000-$1500 more than what you can get from a private party.

example: my friend bought a 2001 elantra for $4000 from a dealer. it has 125k and looks and drives real good.

For private party, you need a good eye for car, otherwise you may end up with a high maintenance car. usually oil change is $20-$25 for most cars. if it uses synthetic, then it will be $50-$70. you can do this on your own if you are into DIY.

Brake pads and its installation will cost a little more. i did replace brake pads and calipers recently on my 98 camry and it cost me $225.

Any major engine/transmission/suspension replacement/change/repair, and you are looking anything upwards of $300-$500 easily. My friend got his TL's transmission rebuild for $1600.

These are some of the figures to get you acquainted with costs here and will vary from car to car.

i would say, spend no more than 2500-3000 for a car preferably from private party, get it checked at any service station like pepboys for some $100. While you hunt for one, you can always get a rental.

Stick to cars which are less than 15 years old since parts will be hard to come by. I would say, the last model you should see is 1995. anything before and you will have hard time maintaining it.

if you are here for short term, i would suggest you to stick to japanese as it will get you high resale when you sell it a year later. don't get stick shift as it will be hard to sell.

Sorry for long reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
@Mohit: thanks mate. he is looking at the CX9 or the Honda Pilot now. But I think I would tell him to go for the CX9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit View Post
Yeah the pilot is a bit long in the tooth but is a fairly capable machine. Not as well appointed as the CX-9 though.
Soon, Honda is coming up with facelifted Pilot and a new CR-V which is suppose to come in 5 and 7 seater config.

recently there was a shootout in cars.com. and as i expected, pilot, traverse were top runners. i found traverse better to drive than acadia. pilot is good too, will be reliable, has robust architecture - tried and tested and while cx-9 is very capable, i find it more crossover-ish than SUV because of its similarity with cx-7

Last edited by chevelle : 26th October 2011 at 21:43.
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Old 26th October 2011, 23:13   #507
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Default Re: Which SUV to buy in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
My BIL wants to purchase an SUV in US. He is looking for comfort, space and driveablity factor. He has shortlisted the following:-

MAZDA CX-9
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
SUBARU TRIBECA
FORD EXPLORER
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE
I don't know why but I am a big fan of the Highlander. Its comfortable, spacious. Did you consider Venza? This is also a good, but would be less spacious compared to the highlander.

And like Superleggera mentioned, Hyundai has some amazing line up and are easy to maintain
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Old 27th October 2011, 12:14   #508
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Sorry for long reply.
Thanks for the reply sir!
Yes, rental is an option, but a very expensive one if getting with full insurance. I paid about $540 last time for renting a small compact (but got a free upgrade to a Pontiac G6 V6) without insurance for a month. For someone looking to live as thriftily as possible, may not be the best option.
I may not even be coming any time soon or even at all, but the reason I am not keen on Korean and Japanese and German cars because you can buy them anywhere else in the world...but American cars work only in America!
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Old 27th October 2011, 21:10   #509
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Thanks for the reply sir!
Yes, rental is an option, but a very expensive one if getting with full insurance. I paid about $540 last time for renting a small compact (but got a free upgrade to a Pontiac G6 V6) without insurance for a month. For someone looking to live as thriftily as possible, may not be the best option.
I may not even be coming any time soon or even at all, but the reason I am not keen on Korean and Japanese and German cars because you can buy them anywhere else in the world...but American cars work only in America!
I just meant to get the rental while you hunt for the car. I would strongly not recommend to get it for more than 10-15 days. it gets impractical.

You can get American cars for lesser priced compared to Japanese counterparts. So you have atleast the base price covered. Just make sure the car is in good condition. Whichever American cars i have seen, it has left a bad taste in my mouth. Somehow the private owners don't seem to keep it in best condition. If possible, get those from a little older people. They seem to keep it in best condition.

P.S: No Sir.

Last edited by chevelle : 27th October 2011 at 21:13.
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Old 28th October 2011, 11:58   #510
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

The new Elantra 2012 looks great and has got excellent reviews. Anybody tried this out yet?





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