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Old 5th May 2017, 21:55   #5791
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Why is Chrysler 200 such a bad option? I was driving a rental for a week and actually liked it better than a Mazda 6. Both were brand new cars (2016) and while the Mazda was a little more driver oriented it was very noisy and felt very light. I hated the little screen and its interface. Car felt under powered and no where close to any luxury car. The Chrysler felt well built and had a Jaguar style gear selector and lot more friendly interface compared to the Mazda. Me and my wife liked the well designed center console and the touch screen. The engine felt a lot smoother and fun to drive and the HID's made a huge difference.
Do you remember what trim were the two cars you drove? I remember driving a brand new 200 over a week and thinking - this isnt bad. Another time I got a 200 with 10k miles on it and everything in that car felt disjointed. I thought maybe I got a junk car once. Another 20k miles driven 200 a few weeks later and the same story. I guess it just ages badly and is not put together well. Have been in a few Mazda 3s - and would personally pick them ahead of the 200.

The Chrysler 300 on the other hand is a completely different story - beats the heck out of competition (other full size cars like the Taurus and Impala). Very good fit and finish, smooth and very comfortable.

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Old 5th May 2017, 23:00   #5792
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Do you remember what trim were the two cars you drove? I remember driving a brand new 200 over a week and thinking - this isnt bad. Another time I got a 200 with 10k miles on it and everything in that car felt disjointed. I thought maybe I got a junk car once. Another 20k miles driven 200 a few weeks later and the same story. I guess it just ages badly and is not put together well. Have been in a few Mazda 3s - and would personally pick them ahead of the 200.

The Chrysler 300 on the other hand is a completely different story - beats the heck out of competition (other full size cars like the Taurus and Impala). Very good fit and finish, smooth and very comfortable.
I had Chrysler 200s for rent more than once. My biggest problem with that car is the transmission - wow it just is always gear hunting and then the combo with the rather old engine makes the driving experience very lackluster. I'd pick any other midsize car over the 200. Also, the cars I had were not very old, so I cannot talk about how it withstands use (and abuse, in case of rental cars).
But here is the thing, the cure for the above is the V6 200. And they are being given away at rock bottom prices. Our nanny's son picked one up for under 20k - a new car that was stickered at over 30k.
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Old 10th May 2017, 19:38   #5793
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Anybody has any experience with swapalease.com? Looks like a good option to enjoy a nice car for short term (10-12 months) and change again. What are the things to look out for while assuming someone else's lease and what kind of costs can I expect at the end of the lease? Quite a few dealers (esp. Lexus) also advertising 10-12 month leases on 2015/16 models. Not sure whats going on there.
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Old 12th May 2017, 06:06   #5794
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Anybody has any experience with swapalease.com? Looks like a good option to enjoy a nice car for short term (10-12 months) and change again. What are the things to look out for while assuming someone else's lease and what kind of costs can I expect at the end of the lease? Quite a few dealers (esp. Lexus) also advertising 10-12 month leases on 2015/16 models. Not sure whats going on there.
A guy in my previous workplace used leasebusters (Canadian equivalent of swaplease) twice (Civic S, BMW 335xi) to try out various cars for short term and had no issues. Each time it took approx. one week for transaction to complete. Things to watch out for are:
1) Who pays the lease transfer fee? Typically $500+tax and usually borne by the seller.
2) Does the vehicle come with excess wear and tear coverage? Does the vehicle require any repairs / replacements before lease return is due? Run through the lease return inspection checklist for the manufacturer.
3) Is servicing history available? Was the car serviced as per the requirement (if not, it may void the warranty)?
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Old 18th May 2017, 22:54   #5795
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I did an LED lighting upgrade recently. I have super dark tint in my rear glass which I think are like 5%, and the standard reverse bulbs were just not cutting it. I wanted to upgrade to LEDs without making the car look too "Ricer".

JDMAstar makes good quality ones. Available on Amazon

I upgraded the reverse lights and they are night and day! SO much brightness and distance and I can actually see through the window, not just the backup cam (where the image is much brighter btw) In addition, LEDs generally consume lesser power, run cooler and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

Here are some comparison pictures. Installation took just 5 mins and there are tons of guides available online for almost every make and model.The yellow tint is the standard halogens and the white (6000K) is the LEDs. Anything more than 6000K gives out a blue hue which I didn't like.
Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-20170518_114503.png

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-20170518_114522.png

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-20170518_114442.png



I also upgraded the trunk light, the door "welcome light" and the license plate light with lower power LEDs. I didn't upgrade the cabin map lights as I liked the warm glow of the standard halogens.

Here's an informative post from one of the forums that shows additional details featuring Diode Dynamics- They are also another highly rated LED supplier and they have all colors/brightness combos for pretty much any bulb and vehicle.

https://www.myg37.com/forums/lightin...-easy-mod.html

Last edited by VPSuchin : 18th May 2017 at 23:04.
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Old 25th May 2017, 00:47   #5796
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Either of those cars with 70K kms should be fine if you kept them for only 5 years, but I would strongly recommend that you go the Certified Pre-Owned route because you will have peace of mind with extended warranty coverage even if the car proves less reliable than expected.
BMW/Audi have a pretty good CPO program in Canada:
http://www.bmw.ca/en/fastlane/preowned.html
http://www.audi.ca/ca/web/en/cpo.htm.../benefits.html

In any case if you buy a 2013 CPO vehicle this year it would be covered till 2019. But be prepared for expensive repairs if something does go wrong beyond that.

Like Jeroen mentioned, the forums are a wealth of knowledge on the specific model and even engine. So checkout Bimmerpost for the best, most comprehensive information on the 320i and Audiworld and Audizine for the A4.

Generally, comparable Japanese models are more reliable overall so you could consider an IS 250/350 or Infiniti G or Acura TL. Test drive them and you be the judge on quality/tech/interiors/looks etc.


I would avoid the Chrysler 200 if I were you. There are way better options out there even among American sedans.

The Mazda is a whole different class altogether but the interiors are almost Audi level IMO and Audi Interiors> BMW interiors.
Thanks a lot for the advice.
Going the CPO route is way better for Audi/BMW, because I'm someone who enjoys his peace of mind.
I'll be making a purchase once i join my new job, and me first choice would be a Bimmer, but my wife's more inclined towards the Audis!
I guess I'll test drive the Japanese cars too especially the Rogue (it being a CUV/SUV but still), but i know I'm going to fall for the Bimmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
BMW 320i may be more reliable (and easier to drive for your wife) than A4. You may even be able to get a 328xi for under $25,000.

Have you considered 2013/2014 Hyundai Genesis sedan or 2013/2014 Lexus ES350 or 2015 Chrysler 300 (very capable cruiser)?

P.S. I am located downtown Toronto too. PM me your specifics if you are interested to catch up sometime.
My wife loves the way Genesis looks, but I'm more curious about the Chrysler 300. The previous gen especially in Black, has the 'Executive Business Class' demeanor IMHO.

I'll send you a PM right away, looking forward to catch up.

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Originally Posted by v1kram View Post
I would suggest you to go with CPO "Certified Pre Owned" way for the Audi and BMW, just to make sure the maintenance is under control.
Try to avoid Chrysler 200, there are many other option for your price range.
Lexus IS/ES/GS range, Acura TL, Mazda 6, Chrysler 300 can be added on your list too.
Just make sure that you get either FWD or AWD.
Noted. And I guess the general opinion is don't touch a Chrysler 200 with a barge pole! No wonder there are big discounts on the pre owned ones.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
You canít go wrong with a 3-4 year old BMW/Audi with only 70.000 kms on it. You might want to check the respective clubs, they usually have good and practical buying tips, what to look for, weak points etc.

You want to make sure they have always been serviced properly by their respective authorised dealers and a properly stamped dealer service history is a must. At this age and mileage you should be able to find a one owner car, that has been properly serviced.

Another five years on the road at 15-20.000 km on these cars shouldnít be a problem really. You might want to check if the four wheel drive requires anything special in terms of maintenance.

Not sure how things work in Toronto, but in Europe and the USA both BMW and Audi offer something along Ďcertifiedí pre-owned cars. You might pay a little more, but you get more peace of mind as the car will be properly serviced and they typically also offer additional warranty on it as well.

Good luck,

Jeroen
Yes, CPO is as popular here in Toronto as it may be in the States. There are some dealers here who offer their own warranty on their cars, but are not backed by the manufacturer. Some of these dealers have really good ratings, but I'm not sure to go this route, just to save on a thousand bucks.
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Old 26th May 2017, 19:44   #5797
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I'm shifting base from Finland to Troy, MI.

About choices - I currently drive a CR-V and my first instinct is to look for the same in US too. Yet to explore beyond. Any advice? I have a toddler and therefore space and practicality is a must. I totally love a Lexus NX but then, it has space and practicality issues.
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With Michigan winters, I am assuming you are looking for something with AWDThe current CR-V with the AWD and Turbo 1.5 (EX trims and above)has been getting some really good reviews. Looks like they have drastically improved the looks and quality of materials in addition to driving dynamics. You cannot go wrong with a CR-V.


I would ask you to test drive the Subaru Forester. It's spacious, practical, reliable, very safe, has great resale value and has a fantastic AWD system. Go for the 2.0 Turbo with 250HP if you need more performance.
It has a CVT but so do many modern cars,and if you hate CVTs it restricts your choices. The interiors have been improving steadily but won't match a Mazda CX-5 etc. but I would highly recommend it.
It's rated very high by Consumer Reports and many many other publications. 2.5i CVT starts at $23,595. 26 mpg city / 32 highway
Definitely check it out!
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Imported cars ( Jap, Korean , Euro) are only popular among Immigrant communities. And absolutely for no reason,all cars are more expensive in Michigan than neighbouring states. Given the rarity of Imports and high prices of cars, you'll spend a premium to buy cars in Michigan. CRV/RAV 4 is one of the hottest selling cars among Immigrants, so chose your car Wisely, Persian!!!
in continuation of my search, I have a question - is it a bad proposition to buy a Volvo XC70 in US? have used it extensively here and I love that car. one quick search and a found a few around US. what is your take? does servicing ask for a premium price just because it is a rarity in US?

About other suggestions - I drove the Lexus NX for 2 days and have now rejected it.

RAV4 is still in the radar. it was comparable to the CR-V.

Forester is good too for practicality and space but the CVT is a bummer. now I know what the rubber band effect of a CVT is. However, I drove to non-turbo version. the Turbo has a 250bhp and should be better.

haven't checked out the rest.
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Old 26th May 2017, 21:00   #5798
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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in continuation of my search, I have a question - is it a bad proposition to buy a Volvo XC70 in US? have used it extensively here and I love that car. one quick search and a found a few around US. what is your take? does servicing ask for a premium price just because it is a rarity in US?
It is not a rarity. Let us know the budget and you probably can swing something even nicer.

Like this Stick shift Cayenne with a carmax warranty

https://www.carmax.com/car/14248655

Or this unique V60 - In Chicago

https://www.carmax.com/car/14485633

Or this Pathfider
https://www.carmax.com/car/14348020

so on and so forth
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Old 26th May 2017, 21:31   #5799
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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It is not a rarity. Let us know the budget and you probably can swing something even nicer.

Like this Stick shift Cayenne with a carmax warranty

https://www.carmax.com/car/14248655

Or this unique V60 - In Chicago

https://www.carmax.com/car/14485633

Or this Pathfider
https://www.carmax.com/car/14348020

so on and so forth
I was having a 20-25k budget in mind when I bumped into this :

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used...ting=170458770

at 26k and 32k miles, this, to me, seems quite attractive. what do you say? about the Porsche Cayenne. I'll stay far. A friend bought a used one from Germany to Finland and is suffering since he brought it a year ago. Frequent niggles and expensive maintenance.
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Old 26th May 2017, 22:02   #5800
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I was having a 20-25k budget in mind when I bumped into this :

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used...ting=170458770

at 26k and 32k miles, this, to me, seems quite attractive. what do you say? about the Porsche Cayenne. I'll stay far. A friend bought a used one from Germany to Finland and is suffering since he brought it a year ago. Frequent niggles and expensive maintenance.
Volvos' have crazy depreciation. Other than that I have great respect for Volvos.

On the Cayenne, Carmax extended warranty would take care of the maintenance and niggles. There is a Porsche dealership close by which would honour the carmax warranty.

Now if you want a 25K CUV

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...6789/overview/

How many times can you say, you car is in Grand Tourismo?
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Old 27th May 2017, 01:27   #5801
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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post
I was having a 20-25k budget in mind when I bumped into this :

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used...ting=170458770

at 26k and 32k miles, this, to me, seems quite attractive. what do you say? .
Volvoís tend to be very reliable. They are also boring as hell and this particular model is popular with the mums on the school run.

Check the price here https://www.kbb.com

Iíd say itís on the high side.

Do note this is a lease/rental car. I would never ever buy an ex lease/rental ever!

Quote:
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Volvos' have crazy depreciation.
At 26K quite a bit of the depreciation has already happened!
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Old 30th May 2017, 04:31   #5802
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Do note this is a lease/rental car. I would never ever buy an ex lease/rental ever!
I would disagree. My 2015 Altima is a rental and I can't be happier. I got it for much cheaper than I would have for an otherwise year old car. Its not given me a single issue in the one year I've owned it. I did get it certified pre-owned. Leases are usually in good condition since the owners know they'd be paying hefty fines if their car is damaged at the end of their lease. Just make sure the rental/lease you buy is backed by a warranty or CPO and you ought to be alright. Nothing beats their price.
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Old 30th May 2017, 04:37   #5803
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post
in continuation of my search, I have a question - is it a bad proposition to buy a Volvo XC70 in US? have used it extensively here and I love that car. one quick search and a found a few around US. what is your take? does servicing ask for a premium price just because it is a rarity in US?

About other suggestions - I drove the Lexus NX for 2 days and have now rejected it.

RAV4 is still in the radar. it was comparable to the CR-V.

Forester is good too for practicality and space but the CVT is a bummer. now I know what the rubber band effect of a CVT is. However, I drove to non-turbo version. the Turbo has a 250bhp and should be better.

haven't checked out the rest.
Have you checked out the new Ford Edge? It seems like a nice car. Ford's are typically fun to drive. Then again, the greater Detroit area is 98% GM/Ford vehicles so if you want to stand out I'd suggest not buying American. I'm actually in Detroit over the long weekend visiting college buddies for the long weekend and Ford/GM vehicles are everywhere.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:00   #5804
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I would disagree. My 2015 Altima is a rental and I can't be happier. I got it for much cheaper than I would have for an otherwise year old car. Its not given me a single issue in the one year I've owned it. I did get it certified pre-owned. Leases are usually in good condition since the owners know they'd be paying hefty fines if their car is damaged at the end of their lease. Just make sure the rental/lease you buy is backed by a warranty or CPO and you ought to be alright. Nothing beats their price.

Very happy for you your car works out well. This topic has been beaten to death on many car forums.

Sure, you can see what a car looks like from the outside. But you donít know how a car was treated. Was it thrashed to an inch of its life on every single journey. Did the previous owner let it warm up properly before giving it the beans etc.

You just donít know. In a country that has more second hand cars than you can shake a stick at, why risk it at all?

But at the end of the day itís a personal choice. I have bought dozens and dozens of second hand cars. (or even third-, fourth-, fifth-hand etc), but Iím not keen on rentals or lease. Usually rental is even worse then lease. Many different owners.

Itís something we just have to differ on!

Jeroen
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Old 30th May 2017, 20:07   #5805
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Found out over the weekend that EZ pass transponders dont work with cars with heated windshields. Rented a Jaguar XE over the long weekend and drove through the EZ pass express toll lane on PA turnpike. When I exited the turnpike through the EZ pass lane I did not get a green light. A few hours later while entering the NY thruway I got a 'call EZ pass' message at the toll booth. Paid rest of the tolls in cash and called EZ pass today. Was told the inside mounted transponder doesnt work with these cars and I would need an outside mounted one.

Since I had more than enough balance in my EZ pass account when I drove through the toll booth they told me I can raise a grievance if I am assessed a violation fee and they will then reverse it. I am sure it will be a mess to get this sorted because of a rental company involved and everything being auto billed.
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