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Old 15th April 2021, 11:38   #1
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Default Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Summary

The pandemic called COVID-19 has been a killer, but equally an educator and facilitator. This is an account of how the pandemic, and its effects facilitated a good decision on giving away an as good as new Kia Optima, living without a car for sometime, almost getting a used Lexus RX330 and finally settling for a great 2010 Acura MDX in the United States. These posts would help readers

1. appreciate the wide, reasonably priced options available in the United States
2. examine the same logic in India and elsewhere too given that commuting is next to Nil now

Introduction

Mar-2020 was mayhem worldwide – almost the whole world locked down, people dropping dead like nine pins, businesses shut, jobs lost, future uncertain for most !!

A close one, Mr.X, in the United States was fortunate to hold his job, work from home, but realized that his almost new Kia Optima LX was just not being used, and he was paying close to USD 350 a month for an unutilized asset. Was this justified especially when happy motoring was nowhere in sight for the next several months?

How did the Kia Optima LX come in to his life?

Aug-2018 @Arizona

Mr.X was getting married and wanted to ensure that he had a good ride when his bride came home. He wasn’t too confident of going the used car route since he had seen folks land lime n lemons. While he was looking for the right car, he saw an irresistible offer on a 2018 red Kia Optima LX. The car fit his bill, and his wallet perfect, as a lot of discounts were being offered as part of inventory clearance.

He sealed the deal at USD 18,502 (MSRP $24,500 minus Cash rebate $3,500 minus dealer discount $3,000 plus misc. expenses $502) and was offered a 5 year 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 10 year 1,00,000 mile power train warranty. Just as a comparison, he was getting a used 2017 Nissan Altima with 40,000 miles on the odo for USD 15,600.

The 2018 Kia Optima LX
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_frontleftview.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_frontrightview.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_sideview.jpg

Sample pictures of the interior
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Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 22:06.
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Old 15th April 2021, 11:53   #2
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Default re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

2018 Kia Optima LX - ownership experience

Barring a service every 6,000 miles, Mr.X incurred no other expenses on the Optima.

Likes

• Powerful motor(engine)
• Acres of boot space that can be converted – was able to fit in a 29 inch mountain bicycle in the boot with rear seat down
• Apple car play, blind spot monitoring, reverse camera with pedestrian alert

Dislikes

• Nothing, except that a V6 would have been better

On the road
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_doggie.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_rearview.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_sideview.jpg

In the snow
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-optima_rearleftview.jpg

Jul-2020 and 26,077 miles later @North Carolina

Meanwhile, Mrs., Mr. and poodle X moved on transfer to North Carolina and took the Optima along, and a few months down the line, COVID-19 played havoc. Post Mar-2020, Mr.X wasn’t using the Optima to the optimum, but continued to pay USD 350 a month for the loan and for insurance. This might not seem like a huge amount, but there was always this threat of his job being on the line, and he therefore wanted to be lien-free.

An idea can change your life

Mr.X had an idea - "What if I sell this car and get a better and bigger used one?"

Arguments For

1. The used car market in the US was looking up post COVID-19, and this Optima would fetch a good price
2. Freedom from lien
3. Opening up older but better used car options

Arguments against

1. A few months down the line, will the same car of same vintage in similar condition with similar miles be available for reasonable money?
2. Will a good used car be available with the cash in hand after sale of the Optima?

Decision making

When Mr.X contacted a used car company, he was told that the sale price minus loan outstanding would mean he would get USD 3,548 cash in hand. Enough to get himself a decent equivalent car? NO. He went ahead, nevertheless, and sold the car as he wanted no financial liability on himself given the uncertainty looming large all across.

What did he lose by selling the car in just under 2 years?

A: Purchase price USD 18,502
B: Sale price USD 14,658
C: Loan outstanding USD 11,109.96
D: Net cash in hand = B-C = USD 3,548.04

What he paid for the car over 2 years can be seen as negligible because a) the resale value offered was excellent, and b) he got handsome discounts at purchase.

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 18:59.
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Old 15th April 2021, 12:21   #3
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Default re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Next car now or later?

With USD 3,548 in hand, Mr.X had the following options:

1. Pull in some money from savings and go get a used car right away
2. Defer purchase of the next car by a few months until just before winter

Since Mr.X was working from home, he didn’t need a mode of transport to move to convenience stores close by. He had a mobike for commuting, so being without a car was no downer for him. He, nevertheless, examined option#1 just to test what options were available for an outer limit of USD 5,000, but I told him that he wouldn’t get a worthwhile large car for that money.

Examples considered under Option#1

Here were some examples that we found for a budget under USD 5,000 and odo reading 1,50,000 miles.

1. Facebook marketplace : 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara silver - one owner done 1,51,000 miles listed for USD 3,800. Mr.X reached out to the owner for the VIN and more details but got a reply in 4 hours that the car was sold.

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_151k_1.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_151k_2.jpg
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Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_151k_4.jpg

2. Facebook marketplace : 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara silver - one owner done 1,35,000 miles listed for USD 4,995. Here, although the car was available, Mr.X found the price a tad too high.

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_135k_1.jpg
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Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_135k_4.jpg

3. Facebook marketplace : 2002 Toyota Highlander white - one owner done 1,35,000 miles listed for USD 4,500

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_135k_1.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_135k_2.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_135k_3.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_135k_4.jpg

4. Facebook marketplace : 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara white - one owner done 82,000 miles listed for USD 5,000

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_82k_1.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_82k_2.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-gv_82k_3.jpg

There was also a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe with 1,31,000 miles and another 2005 Toyota Highlander with 1,70,000 miles but those were not considered. You will find three Grand Vitaras listed here and all of them with V6 engines – this was my recommendation to Mr.X since I know the Grand Vitara rather well, and could advise him on any maintenance should he decide to get one of these.

Mr.X eventually settles with Option#2

In a few days of examining Option#1, Mr.X eventually took the deferment route viz. Option#2 since

1. he really didn’t have a pressing need for a car immediately
2. the potential USD350 that he would have otherwise been paying for the Optima could be considered as going into his piggy bank for his next purchase, and that would give him more options with a better budget three months down the line

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 18:53.
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Old 15th April 2021, 13:03   #4
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Default re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Fast forward to Oct-2020

It was becoming winter time, and time to execute the next car purchase. Purchase considerations were re-set as follows:

• Full size (V6) UV or sedan
• No more than 1,51,000 miles on the odo
• Budget USD 7,300 max

It was again time to go hunting, and we did come across two fabulous Lexus ES330s, one in white and one in silver, both with under 90,000 miles on the odo. There was also a third Lexus ES330 which we will dissect a little later. Just for information, the 2004-06 Lexus ES330 and 2004-07 Toyota Highlanders came with the 3MZ-FE engine from Toyota with an output of 233PS power and 328Nm torque.

1. Private no haggle dealership : 2004 Lexus ES330 white - 1 owner done 88,000 miles listed at USD 6,995. This was clearly overpriced, was an NY state car and barring the first 15,000 miles, showed no service records.

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2. Facebook marketplace : 2006 Lexus ES330 silver - 2 owners done 75,000 miles, listed for USD 7,200. This one was, prima facie, great, but the owner never responded.

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-es75k_front.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-es75k_leftside.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-es75k_rightside.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-es75k_driverside.jpg

3. Facebook marketplace : 2006 Lexus ES330 blue - 1 owner 1,04,000 miles listed for USD 5,295

For starters, Mr.X took a look at S.No.3, and that is when he got his first lessons in used car evaluation viz. all that glitters is not always gold !!!

These were pictures of the car in the ad – pictures were just mind blowing

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_ad1.jpg
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Virtual evaluation of the Blue ES 330

COVID-19 taught the whole world to go virtual, and we did that too. He first sent me a video walkaround of the car, and then we came on a video call.

Observations:

1. Car had to be jump started
2. Inspection of the exterior threw up several blemishes, otherwise the car looked good

a. Pitting on the alternator body – clearly a case of being weather affected
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_alternator.jpg

b. Gash on the left rear Q panel
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_leftqpanelgash.jpg

c. Gash on the rear bumper
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_bumpergash.jpg

c. Wheels – wheel nuts missing on two wheels plus scoring marks on the rims
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_wheel2.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_lfwheel.jpg

d. Good observations

Smooth engine, coolant good, timing belt shown replaced at 60k miles

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_engine1.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_grille.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_inside1.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_inside2.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-bluees_frfender.jpg

A test drive showed the car to be smooth, but the ride and brakes were not just un-Lexus like, they were un-car like. It was getting increasingly clear that a one owner 1,04,000 mile run Lexus ES330 was being offered this low simply because something was wrong. Mr.X smelt something wrong and thus left this example as-is but benefited from the evaluation experience. I’ve always said this – as long as one doesn’t part with cash, go see as many cars as you can just for the experience. It pays !!!

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 13:20.
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Old 15th April 2021, 13:32   #5
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Default re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Oct-2020 (Contd.) – two Toyota Highlanders shortlisted

After three Lexus ES 330s, two Toyota Highlanders came up for consideration, both on Facebook marketplace.

4. 2005 Toyota Highlander white - 2 owners done 1,76,000 miles listed at USD 5,200. This was with the same 3.3L engine that powered the Lexus ES330. This car was inspected, drove well, and the owner seemed genuine, but by the time Mr.X went back to see the car the next day, someone else had just got the car off for cash.

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_176k_rightsideview.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_176k_engine.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_176k_interiorfront.jpg


5. 2008 Toyota Highlander blue - done 1,89,000 miles listed at USD 6,900. This came with the 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 with approx 60PS more power than the earlier 3.3L engines. This example wasn’t a killer since she had more miles than the rest this far, and so the car was put on standby

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_leftrear.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_engine.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_interiorfront.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_interiorfull.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_rear.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-highlander_189k_side.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 16:20.
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Old 15th April 2021, 14:03   #6
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Oct 2020 (Contd.) - a Lexus RX330 enters the fray

After the Highlanders, a Lexus RX330 came up as an option. This was listed by a good dealership, touted as a no-haggle set up. This meant no negotiations possible.

6. Private no haggle dealership : 2004 Lexus RX330 dark green –1 owner done 1,68,000 miles listed for USD 6,999

This one looked really good for a 16 year old example, was serviced all along at Lexus dealerships with Carfax showing 41 service records at regular intervals. Mr.X checked the car out and was just blown away at the way she drove. Just two defects – a corroded tailgate strut and a vertical gash on the tailgate due to a reversing manoeuvre gone wrong. This car was good to go but the price was a tad over limit. This was a no haggle dealership and the out-of-the door price was going to be USD 6,999 plus taxes and charges viz. close to USD 7,300, which was a little high for a 2004 Lexus RX330. This car, although good, went to the standby list on account of the high sticker price.

The great
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_driverdoor.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_frontseats.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_interiorfront.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_frontview.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_engine.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_wheel1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_wheel2.jpg

Points of concern:

This seemed like sludge at first sight but then we realised that the 3.3 V6 engine would come with some coating on the baffle in the tappet cover
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_oilfillerhole.jpg

Corroded tailgate strut
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_tailgate_strut.jpg

Gash on the tailgate
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_168k_tailgategash.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 16:23.
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Old 15th April 2021, 15:18   #7
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Oct-2020 (Contd.) - two more Lexus RX330s available as options

7. Private dealer : 2004 Lexus RX330 dark green – 3 owners done 1,70,000 miles listed for USD 5,999.

This was also evaluated by me over a video call, and was a classic case of what you see in the ad is not what you see in person. This car was rejected outright. The attached pictures will do the talking.

Pictures in the ad
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_170k_ad1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_170k_ad2.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_170k_ad5.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_170k_ad6.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_170k_ad7.jpg

Observations made on a video call (that's me in the inset)

Chaffed armrest
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_chaffedarmrest.jpg

Chaffed driver seat corner
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_chaffeddriverseat.jpg

Corrosion on the alloys
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_corrodingalloys.jpg

Discoloration on the driver door leather
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_discolouredleather.jpg

Corrosion
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_rustedbattholder.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_rustedtailgatedamper2.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_towhitch.jpg

8. Individual owner : 2004 Lexus RX330 silver 3 owners done 1,58,000 miles listed for USD 6,500

This was also evaluated but two cracks on the dashboard liner (similar issue as the 2006-09 Camrys in India) was the deal breaker as replacement of the dashboard would be expensive. I remember that there was a recall for this defect.

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_158k_1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_158k_2.jpg


Cracks on the dashboard liner
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_158k_3.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-rx_158k_4.jpg

So, after shortlisting eight examples, only the 2004 RX330, described in the previous post, seemed worth considering.

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 19:06.
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Old 15th April 2021, 15:57   #8
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Oct 2020 (Contd.) – the saga culminates in an Acura MDX

Mr.X was almost close to deciding on the 2004 Lexus RX330 that had done 1,68,000 miles when he chanced upon two Acura MDX listed on Facebook marketplace by a small dealer approx. 50 miles from Raleigh. Both were shown to have 1,55,000 miles on the odo but one was a 2007 silver listed at USD 7,050 while the second was a 2010 black facelift version listed at USD 7,650. The Acura MDX sports the 3.7L V6 J37A1 engine capable of 300PS and approx 366Nm of torque, and has 3 rows of seats.

The 2007 Acura MDX
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2007_1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2007_dash.jpg

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Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2007_2.jpg


The 2010 Acura MDX
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_frontrightview.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_leftsideview.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_enginebay.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-2010acuramdxwheel.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_insideview.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_doorpad.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_roof.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_interior_rear.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_interior_full.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_rearrightview.jpg

Another video call ensued and both the cars checked out good. While I was in favour of the silver for ease of upkeep, the 2010 black actually turned out to be the better of the two overall except for some marks on the hood due to hail damage. This car had service records, although at private garages which showed that the car had evidence of having been serviced periodically.

Since Mr.X was more inclined to the 2010 Acura MDX (understandably so since it was a younger car), I asked him to get the car evaluated by a local mechanic. He found a really good mechanic in that small town who did an almost 1 hour inspection for a mere USD 50. The mechanic, a veteran, had an Acura MDX that had done 3,50,000 miles and that gave Mr.X some reassurance that he had got the final seal of approval from an MDX expert.
The 2010 Acura MDX was finally his at an out-of-the-door price of USD 7,200 which actually was a very good deal.

At delivery
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_keys1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_keys2.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_delivery1.jpg

Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-acura_2010_delivery2.jpg

Four months and several examples later, the search ended in a great car, that has been keeping Mr.X and family happy for the last 6 months. The hidden satisfaction for Mr.X and family is that the car that he eventually got was one that he located, on his own effort. They’ve gone camping, and have done long road trips too, with the car not making any fuss at all.

Key learnings

1. Patience is key when it comes to used cars
2. All that glitters in ads is not always gold
3. Some of the best deals can come from some low profile sellers
4. Plethora of used car options in the United States at very good prices
5. Good Toyotas and Lexus at the right price in the United States get sold rather fast
6. Video calls do have quality issues but major tell tale signs can be easily spotted in the car(s) during virtual evaluation

Mr.X thus moved from a novice to intermediate level on evaluation of used cars through these four months of hunting.

While I wish Mrs., Mr. and poodle X many happy miles with the Acura, I also wish I'd been part of this hunt to experience all these cars in flesh and blood. Wishful thinking indeed !!!

Last edited by vigsom : 15th April 2021 at 20:41.
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Old 16th April 2021, 06:33   #9
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Default re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th April 2021, 09:37   #10
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Puzzles me no end how Toyota/Lexus manage to outsell Honda/Acura in every single segment. Looking at your maytes MDX, it has much better interiors than a Lexus and that flat rear floor is so unique to Honda's Man Maximum Machine Minimum design philosophy. A 3.7l with vtec must be epic.
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Old 16th April 2021, 10:12   #11
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Congras, Mr. X on the Acura. I do have a soft-corner for the Acura's since I had a TL 3.2 for a year. I loved the Legend, but was not sure of the used car route since I was new in the US back then. They are beautiful cars !

The 2010 is another example of the beautiful designs they have. THough I dont quite like the large chrome lip at the front.

Wishing you a long happy ownership. And good that you were able to land a 2010 instead of the 2004's that you had come across.
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Old 16th April 2021, 11:06   #12
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Congratulations on the Acura. I owned an Acura 3.2TL in US for 5 years. I was the 3rd owner and the odo was 102,568 miles when I bought it in 2009. The year of manufacture was 2000 and the car was immaculately maintained. I paid $5k for it, which was a steal. I did some preventive maintenance on it though, changed the timing belt, left front lower arm bush and changing 2 tires. Drove it for 60K miles across the length and breadth of East Coast and sold it for $3K in 2014.

Acura won't disappoint you. It is excellent on power, space, mileage and reasonable yearly maintenance costs. I have many fond memories driving the Acura and wishing you the same!
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Old 16th April 2021, 14:33   #13
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post

Key learnings

1. Patience is key when it comes to used cars
2. All that glitters in ads is not always gold
3. Some of the best deals can come from some low profile sellers

Wow, wish I had followed this while getting my first car in Germany. Last year when the lockdown started, we couldn't travel or spend much money for few months and that escalated my car purchase big time. I bought the first car(Mini Cooper S) I saw and so far no complaints about it but I sometimes feel I could have gotten a big car for that money.


Agreed on all other points, most of the ads are fake and just to entice you into seeing their more expensive inventory. I remember asking for too good to be true deal for a 3 series and the dealer was like "oh it just got sold, here's another one for little more price".
However the used car market is really organised in Western Countries and there are less chances of getting fleeced if you know what you are doing.
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Old 16th April 2021, 21:30   #14
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Nicely written chronological report. RDX and MDX are beautiful cars to own, luxurious as well as reliable.

I had a similar search for the my two cars -

1. Searched 4 months to settle for a 2015 Honda Civic (one in the 20 cars I saw over that period) back in 2018 (ODO: 28K, 2 Owners) for $11K from a small independent seller. it is serving well and is still my primary ride.

2. In 2020, searched for 2 months and bought a 2011 Impreza with 60K on ODO for $6.5 directly from the original owner, and had to spend almost a grand for detailing and repairs. Its not niggle free as the civic but fine for a secondary and local errands.

Moral of the story - Not all cars bought from Independent owners are good and not all cars bought from dealers are pricey!
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Old 16th April 2021, 23:19   #15
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Wow! 7200 USD is about 5.34 lacs in Indian rupees!
The prices of used cars in US is a relevation.

As usual, an extremely detailed thread with pointers for all of us, dada. Few questions though - some things seem to be repairable/correctable - lug nuts missing or alloy wheels having rust - say, we can choose to go with new wheels; So when do you suggest backing out?
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