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Cars


50 replies to this topic

#1
Destiny Skywalker

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How long do you keep them for? Do you love a specific brand? Do you like tiny cars or big cars?

I currently drive an 11-year old Toyota Highlander. It was the first car I ever bought myself. I loved the 2001-2007 Highlanders and was horrified with the 2008 body style. We were looking at a Honda Pilot originally, but I felt like there were a ton of blind spots and was not comfortable driving it. I decided to test drive the Highlander and loved it. I decided I liked it on the inside and that was where I was going to be most of the time, so I could deal with it being ugly on the outside. Its grown on me since.

It's been reliable as heck (2 repairs in 11 years, but the most recent was a month ago) and has taken us on various road trips over the past 113,000 miles. That said, she's gotten a little slow in her old age and the gas mileage seems to get worse every year. I planned on driving it into the ground (200,000+ miles), but I don't put a lot of miles on my car compared to a lot of people. My husband has a Volvo S60 and its decidedly much more fun to drive. But I love not having a car payment, either.

Last month my stability control suddenly went out and my dash lit up like a Christmas tree. I took it in and the air-fuel sensor had gone bad, and was a $1000+ repair. Not thrilled. It got me thinking that I need to be prepared to replace it if something goes really bad. Then, this week, my mother-in-law got in an accident while driving it and informed us that she does not carry collision insurance. We tried to file a claim with the other driver's insurance, and the other driver, realizing there was no witnesses or evidence, claimed she was not at fault (by the way, Safeco insurance is the shadiest company I've ever dealt with). Safeco said to go file with your own company. I decided to not repair it or do it out of our own pocket instead of filing with insurance because our rates have gone through the roof the last few years, and I'd rather not pay even more for something that is mostly a paint problem (no major structural damage).

So the damage isn't that terrible, but I really hate driving a dinged-up car. I take really good care of my stuff, and it really bothers me when other people don't respect that (a whole nother thread about people breaking your stuff when you lend it to them). The biggest problem is there's a good scratch from the other person's side mirror where it gouged into the door.

So I looked at new and new-ish cars today since my car is 11 years old and has lousy gas mileage. I have my eye on the Volvo V60 Cross Country, the BMW X1, or the Mazda CX-5. The BMW is obscenely overpriced when I start adding options, plus they do stupid stuff like I can't have this color leather with this color car (its PAINT). The Volvo is cute and we already have one. We rented a CX-5 once and really liked it, and it would be significantly cheaper. Ultimately, I need to go test drive these because that's always been the deciding factor, regardless of what I think is cute. My husband once convinced Volvo to give us a XC60 as a loaner when his car was in the shop instead of an S60 and I ended up hating it (felt cheap, way under powered).

That said, not buying anything until my mother-in-law goes home in September when the kids start school. Or even fixing the damage if we keep the car, for that matter. I already knew she was a terrible driver, not letting her wreck another one! Also we have 2 soccer tournaments the next 2 weekends and I'm not sure I'm ready to give up the 3rd row seat, even though I really do want something smaller.

#2
Odine

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My wife and I have a little black Honda Civic. It's serviceable. The dash has a big swoop design and the drivers seat feels a little like a cockpit, so it's pretty much like a tie fighter. Or at least I tell myself. It's also a manual (stick shift for you North Americans) which is fun. As far as cheapish cars go i like it. But I'm certainly not a car enthusiast.

Edited by Odine, 27 July 2019 - 01:05 AM.


#3
Ms. Spam

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I do not like Toyota's new redesign for this year at all. I am a Toyota snob. The moment they totalled my PT Cruiser I went running back to Toyota because any repair in other cars costs more than it would a Toyota (although I really feel you on that $1000 dollar repair for that sensor. The Yaris had some sort of computer unit go out on the thing that talks to the drive shaft about gears and the dash was randomly showing different driving states as it would flash all the numbers 1 to 3 and D when driving it and that computer module cost me $480 dollars). The thing I learned with Toyota compared to US cars is that I was spending less on random maintenance needs which earned my loyalty. I don't want to do brakes every 30K or an oil change every 3K in miles.  The Yaris went 160K without ever needing a brake job. Seriously. It still hadn't had a brake job and my brother drove it for Uber another 30K before it aged out and my sister wrecked it recently.

 

I have a 2013 Prius now. 54 miles to the gallon and super comfortable and only oil changes every 10K and a brake cleaning has been done. We're at 92,300 miles. I bought it in 2016 for $15,000. It's a base model so I don't have back up camera and no GPS but I have my reliable commuter car. I will pay it off next year and plan to use it until it doesn't go any more. When the battery has to be replaced I am going to replace it and keep the car. The one thing I regret love is I have a cream interior. That light fabric is great in the hot summer but keeping it clean is the WORST. Also it seems to be a bad driver magnet car as someone at HEB drove into the back of it parked in the back of the parking lot and drove off so it has a slightly sagging bumper and I don't want to go through insurance hell again. My brother Matt is ordering clips for the bumper and he's going to reattach it where it is sagging and I will live with the issue because I hate people. Get out of a car without hitting another car for the love of god or learn to back out your truck with ranch handler bumpers without donking a car. This car had two small rock dents and a scratch when I bought it though. I think that's why the price for a Prius with only 33K in miles was so awesome.

 

For me it has to honk in Japanese. If it doesn't do that I don't want it. I want reliability and a fair price and good gas mileage.

 

My friend had a CX-5 and loved it. Her kiddo graduated this year from high school so she traded it in for a Miata.

 

I really like the Volvo CX90. But repairs to the Volvo and the Beamer will be expensive. If you want to try something new look at the new Buicks. Seriously. Really comfortable and highly rated. 



#4
Ms. Spam

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OH and if you want to join the Subaru ranks you might want to test drive the Ascent. I hear good things about their third row seat. You do get free maintenance for a couple of years so if you do not like them you can trade it for something else. 



#5
Ms. Spam

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Soo I am at Saturday extra job and keep coming back to this topic.

My brother really hates Volvos and Beamers for repairs. His hobby is fixing up cars he buys at action and reselling them. That's a weird hobby but it comes in handy and earns him lots of extra cash. He usually bids on Honda Civics with front end damage that are a few years old and redoes them and works on the damage as long as the frame is not bent. Mostly cars that had more body damage than they were worth so the insurance company totalled them out or repos. So I asked him his opinion on your question. 

 

My brother is currently working on a 2015 BMW 750i he got for $10,000 by bidding on it at Auction on a fluke. He didn't think he'd win the auction because his bid was so low. So he also bid on an 2014 Civic and won that. The BMW was bid on sight unseen. Turns out some bitter ex-wife had trashed the interior by spray painting the complete inside including windows and dash and all the leather with multiple colored spray paints and also driven it up on a curb and busted out the oil pan and the transmission. He says he's going to have to sell it once they get it fixed up because the costs for all the parts he needed to fix the transmission and the busted oil pan along with all the man hours required to delicately clean the interior has cost more than the 10K he paid for the damn car. The oil pan alone was $1300 and had to be shipped from some foreign place. He and his girlfriend have been detailing the dash board with swabs and turpentine with linseed oil for 3 months. He hates that car with a passion. 

 

He loves driving Volvos and is currently working on one as a project car too. It's the same one your husband has and it has a oil leak and some body damage. He might keep that one once he gets the car painted. But he says it was super super expensive to deal with fixing the car. Labor goes into it because of the weird places they put things engineering wise and because many of the parts have to be imported. He's had to wait for some of the parts up to 6 weeks. 



#6
NumberSix

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How long do you keep them for? Do you love a specific brand? Do you like tiny cars or big cars?


I keep my cars till I've run them into the ground. Once my 15-year-old Chevy Cavalier's engine turned into an oil sieve back in 2011, I bought a new Kia Forte with 12 miles on the odometer -- my first new-new car -- that'll be crossing 100K soon. I've no no intent of trading in if I can help it. It's had far, far fewer maintenance issues than any other car I've ever owned. When my wife's '98 Saturn finally got the death sentence in 2017, we put her in that year's Forte.  It's not quite the same car, but so far, no worries for her.

 

I'm not a fan of car payments and I don't get people who pay off a car loan and then can't wait to go get a new car and rush right back into debt.

 

My driving style depends on maneuverability, so I'm a fan of small cars as long as they have the horsepower to accelerate when I demand them to. The Forte's short, light body totally gives me all that and more. 

 

But for our road trips I rent SUVs because the luxury of extra leg space makes those driving hours much more bearable.  Favorite so far was the Toyota RAV4, which was awesome on multiple levels.

 

If a semi ever turns the Forte into a dinner platter and I have to get a new car someday, I do love the idea of one day owning something in an electric or hybrid car...but the idea of paying over $18K for a car is absolutely alien to me, so that dream's null and void.



#7
Brando

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I drive a 2008 Prius that my wife bought new before we got married. She drives a 2014 Honda Odyssey that we bought last year. We plan on driving them until they die. I had a 2003 Saturn sedan that I sold when we got our van, which we needed in order to have three car seats.

#8
Destiny Skywalker

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I test drove a couple of used Volvos today, a 2016 V60 R-Design and a 2017 XC60 (but with the bigger engine this time). The V60 was definitely more fun to drive, and the R-Design styling was nice (the seat was so comfortable). The XC60 felt cheap inside despite having all of the same options as my husband's S60. Not sure if I'm ready to drop $30k for a few scratches on the Toyota, though. Also not sure it's quite time to give up the third-row seat. So I may just stick with the original plan to drive it into the ground and buff out the scratches as best as possible.

There's a 2018 BMW X1 with less than 7,000 miles nearby, I'm definitely tempted because it seems like a fabulous deal. But everyone I know complains about the maintenance costs. I wouldn't buy a new one, they are super overpriced and their options structure is terrible. Admittedly what I love about Volvo is their packages are attractive, super reasonable pricing, and they really do let you do anything a la carte if you really want. This is one area where I think they excel. My husband thinks we should just get a new one for all of the technology upgrades, but the cheapest V60 on the lot right now is 50k. For that much, I would want to custom order. If I look at the Mazda CX-5, though, it would be a new one.

Spam, I admittedly love my Toyota but it doesn't seem like they have anything that really fits us right now (maybe a Rav4? I'm disappointed they got rid of the Venza). It is so reliable and I've only had to put maybe $2k in repairs. And let's face it, water pumps only last 100k miles max, anyway. Mine is also kind of a magnet for bad drivers. We have a good scratch already on the rear from some jerk in a parking lot that's been there for 8 years. My husband hit a parked car with it at work and we got ours fixed (and obviously the other person's car, too, we aren't jerks who drive off).

If I got a Subaru, I would have to stop making fun of Seattle hippies in their Subarus. But we have rented a Legacy and really liked it, we were considering it when we bought the Volvo. I kind of like the Forester. But I rode in my boss's WRX and the road noise was terrible (and he said he added some aftermarket noise dampening. Eek.

#9
Destiny Skywalker

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I miss being an admin and being able to delete duplicate posts.

#10
David

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I have a 2015 Volkswagen SEL TSi 2.0 turbo. i bought it used in 2016 when and it had 3k miles on it. Right now its sitting on 52k. Ive had zero issues. Zero complaints. I love the turbo. Its a zippy, roomy mid size car.

#11
Ms. Spam

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I like the Atlas. But I dunno about Volkswagen anymore. I'm waiting hopefully for them to rerelease their hippy van!



#12
Metropolis

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I still drive my 2009 Nissan Altima coupe. I've kept to the maintenance and don't really drive it anywhere other than to work. If I'm driving fat I'll rent a car. When my wife and I go out we take hers. I thought about a new car when I finished payments, but liked not having a car payment anymore.

I was looking at an Audi A6 when I learned about the truth of owing a luxury car. It's one thing if you can afford payments. It's another thing to afford "owning" the car. It isn't just paying extra for simple maintenance like an oil change. Wheel alignment was the times as much. New tires, battery, spark plugs, Gas, etc. It makes more sense to lease a luxury vehicle.

My wife wants a new car and it's looking at the Lexus Rx350. She wants to buy instead of lease. She likes not having a payment as well so is hesitant. Plus she wants to give her car to my step daughter so there is no trade in.

We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

#13
Tank

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I have very complicated feelings about cars.

 

I too come from a family/region of the US where you get a car and you drive it until it dies, or if maintaining it costs more than a car payment.

 

I bought my first car for cash in college for a couple grand. It was an 87 Sentra. I killed it cause I never checked the oil level. After that I got my mom's old car (an 88 Mazda) when she bought a new one. I drove it for a couple years then traded it in for another 6-7 year old used car for a few grand upon moving to LA. (A 92 Tercel)

 

It too died because the owner before me never checked the oil and at some point the engine case had a crack that got worse.

 

There is something about the feeling of driving a used car and knowing you probably can't afford to get something big fixed. It's a level of anxiety that is almost unrivaled. Every road trip, every odd sound-- the pit fills your stomach.

 

After the last car died I decided I wanted a new car with a warranty to never feel that again. I got a new VW Jetta in 99. I loved that car. It was great. I should have stuck with it. Instead, when I found out we were going to have a kid, I traded it in for a 2002 Jetta Wagon a couple years later.

 

Trading in so early was idiotic and I was super upside down on the loan for a car I didn't really need. We would have been fine with the sedan. Especially since that Wagon ended up being a lemon. I had YET ANOTHER CATASTROPHIC OIL ISSUE. This one wasn't my fault, I was careful about oil then... but at the same time, no one could explain how my oil plug just fell out while I was on the freeway. Volkswagon said it HAD to have been some sort of debris, or whomever changed the oil last. My oil change people were very trustworthy. My insurance company refused to admit it was debris without damage or proof. (To echo Nicole above, this was Safeco. **** Safeco). So no one would pay to replace the engine.

 

VW was able to put it all back together, and it worked, but it would occasionally lose oil pressure and cause a stupid alarm to sound. Around then my ex's old Saturn died, so I gave her the wagon, and took (again) my mom's old car as she upgraded, now getting a 97 Acura.

 

Later my ex would be able to trade her way out of that cursed Lemon car thankfully, and I will say that the 97 Acura was amazing. Best car I have ever owned.

 

At 200k miles it was still running perfectly... but everything else was falling apart. 

 

Also, and here's where it gets gross... I live in a town where you are judged by your car. Show up with a janky car for a meeting, person who might hire you sees your beater and thinks "This guy has no money, this guy hasn't been hired, I shouldn't hire this guy either."

 

So, when I landed Leatherface, my first real big, I bought a new car. Now, this wasn't a big studio movie so I couldn't go insane, but I put a lot down on a 2014 Scion TC.

 

I chose that car because I LOVE driving two dour coupes that are sporty. I love driving manual (even in LA). I genuinely enjoy driving, and I like a zippy car. I don't drive like an ***hole, but I like the option of leaving any traffic stressing me out in the dust. The Scion was the only car that fit this bill that also wasn't a six figure sports car. America has lost interest in the sporty, manual coupe (which is what the Acura was as well).

 

This is what I am still driving, and I have paid it off. It's relatively new, it has a perfect maintenance record, I've had exactly ZERO issues with it. There is no reason for me to sign up for more debt and trade it in or get anything else.

 

...but I can afford to... and I have a materialistic streak... and I firmly believe in rewarding myself with things that bring me joy for as hard as I work. I want to get a Jeep. I rented one in Hawaii and had so much fun driving it. Also, to be honest, as much as I love driving zippy little cars, I have never been super comfortable in them because I am tall, and I always have to get DOWN into them. And I KNOW as I get older this will be a thing.

 

That's where I am now.



#14
Destiny Skywalker

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Yeah, I admit my husband likes nice cars and it probably has a lot to do with growing up in So Cal. His dad drove luxury cars but they were always lease returns and he would drive them into the ground. His mom drove little tiny fun cars that she couldn't handle and usually wrecked them. That was how we ended up with a Mercedes SLK 230. She spun out on US-1 in the rain because she didn't want to buy new tires and my husband warned her that they were bald. After that she drove a Saturn.

We owned precisely one luxury car growing up, a 1990 Audi 100, and it was actually a lease. My parents did it because the doors opened super wide, which was a necessity for my mom's wheelchair to transfer her. It was an absolute piece of crap and my dad despised it. Something was always breaking and he had to pay for all of it. Our Volvo is much more reliable but maintenance is more expensive than my Toyota (but much less frequent).

I grew up in a Chrysler-Dodge family and my first car was a 2000 Dodge Avenger. It was a piece of crap, and I'll never buy a Dodge again. I traded it in for the Highlander at 108,000 miles and all the seals in the engine had failed and the cost to repair was half the price of the car in labor alone. See ya! My dad killed me because we could've bought one with only 3,000 miles on it and saved 20% and gotten the color I really wanted, but my dad never bought used and was always worried something was wrong with used cars. Ughhh. I felt like my mom's Grand Caravan was always in the shop, too, with minimal mileage on it.

Tank, I hear ya, admittedly I would hang onto the Scion but I get you on not being comfortable. I guess can you still get a lot for a trade? The Mercedes was super fun but the moment that thing had an electrical problem I was done because I did not fit it well at all. It was made for a 6 foot German guy (so basically my husband), and I am 5'3". The clutch was super loose, and I learned to drive on a really tight truck clutch. It also had 2 seats and we had 1 kid and were planning on kid 2. So a Volvo it was. Ultimately, my husband picked it because he was ridiculously comfortable in the driver's seat.

Also, maybe you should consider something that doesn't use oil?
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#15
NumberSix

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I had to learn about oil the hard way with my first car, too.  Oil is STUPID.



#16
Brando

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Tank, as soon as I saw your name I thought "he can't afford to drive a car until it dies," so it was funny to read pretty much the same thing.

As for the insurance, I'd be willing to bet that it was the maintenance guys who messed it up. It happens frequently, no matter how great they are. If it was road debris, you would have massive obvious damage to the oil pan. But Safeco does suck. So does Allstate. I'd rather not drive than go with either of them, and that goes for everyone I've talked to in the insurance industry, including people who work for those companies

#17
Destiny Skywalker

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Back to the Jeep thing, Tank, do you want a Jeep Wrangler or something else? I always wanted a Jeep, too, growing up. My friends always said that was the kind of car they saw me in (because I'm still an overgrown tomboy). But we rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee once (in Hawaii, coincidentally), and I was so disappointed and my dream was broken. We also live in Washington, so a Jeep Wrangler is only practical some place warm and with a beach or something. Maybe Arizona or Utah. But I bet it would be fun in that environment.

The Mercedes was also a convertible. It was so fun in Florida but such a waste up here. Also rear-wheel drive in snow is a terrible idea. If we moved back to Florida, we would have such different cars. Wouldn't bother with All-Wheel Drive, obviously, but it's a necessity to here because I go skiing weekly in the winter, and I can't stand putting chains on to go over the pass (especially when its bare pavement like going over Siskiyou Pass grumble grumble). I would definitely be inclined to get a little sports car or convertible.

Do any of you have more cars than adults? I'm always amazed when people have say, 3 or 4 cars and only 2 drivers in a household. I do have a few friends who have big trucks for horse trailers and 5th wheel campers, so that kind of makes sense, but I'm always blown away because cars are so expensive I can't imagine having extra ones. One of my coworkers has a stay-at-home spouse, and they have 3 cars (2 for the stay-at-home dad), and they are mostly nice ones. Maybe they have a trust fund I don't know about.

#18
Metropolis

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We almost had 3. My son bought a 2006 Audi A6 when he was stationed in Germany. He needed a cat because he couldn't drive his motorcycle in the winter. When he came back he didn't want it anymore. We were close to buying it off of him until u drove it one day. It had an electrical issue. I thought there might be more issues creeping up and sure enough it did. We paid for repairs so he could sell it. We wanted an extra car to take there issue off of ours, but seeing as the car was older that mine and my wife's it didn't make a ton of sense.

#19
Ms. Spam

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NO JEEPS. You will feel it like the Dodge pain you had. Worst put together vehicle ever. It's rated so low.

 

Now that RX350 you will not regret that. At alllllllll. A friend of mine recently saved up enough coin to buy with CASH plus the trade in of her Malibu which was paid off to get a fully loaded Lexus. She's had it a year and does not regret it at all. Runs fantastic and has everything she needs in it. They will also be around a long time and still look good. They're one of the longest lasting cars on the road.

 

My Dad has three vehicles for two people. They own a Acadia and love the crap out of it for long trips. It's leather interior with all the bells and whistles. They just paid it off and basically use it for long trips from Atlanta to Texas or to drive to visit family from one side of Atlanta to the other because when they go out to eat they can pack 8 people into the car as it has a third row seat. I think my step-mom's only complaint is that she had to have a lightbulb in the back for reading replaced and it cost her $250 which she thought was ridiculous because she didn't have the tools to open and replace the bulb herself. They bought WeatherTech floor liners and it's been a pretty good car. I will say it handles like a boat though to me but I drive econoboxes.

 

My Dads other car is his commuter. He still works as a project manager for AT&T. Mostly he works from home but he has to drive about 60 miles a few days a week to his job and he bought a Hyundai Elantra with black leather and a sun roof. It's sporty as sporty can be and I've driven it a few times. I don't get the appeal of heated seats but it has heated seats in front and back. It rides low. My Dad went to Hyundai because Honda had developed a bit of a reputation for bad transmissions. He had an Accord previously and it was constantly getting issues with the transmission. He hasn't had a single issue with the Elantra and plans to ride that one til it dies much like the Acadia. I think he likes Hyundais now. It's not his 69 Corvette but it fills his need for speed at his age.

 

His other car is a pick up. It's a  02 GMC SIerra double cab that is in good condition if you don't count the boneheaded moves that his sons have done borrowing the truck with the trailer attached and jackknifing it. He just got the two dents caused by the trailer on the outside truck bed fixed and will not let people borrow it any more if they want to attach a trailer. My parents have two acres of land and my step-mom is funny about the yard so they're always going to need a truck for mulch, dirt, cement blocks as they recently resculpted the yard for a drainage issue and built a retaining wall. It runs great. My Dad says he won't let anyone use it now because if it is wrecked they won't be able to replace it because trucks with four wheel drive and double cab capacity won't be under 40 grand. 



#20
David

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I had a Jeep for 8 years and put 280,000 miles on it. Best vehicle I ever had. Most expenses were just routine mainteance. Had a tirod replaced and a couple other things, but thats because of all the mikes I was able to get out of it. My mom had a grand Cherokee for 8-9 years and I know she had over 200k miles on it, no major issues.


Now, I did have a for fusion for about 3 years after my Jeep, and got rid of it for my VW because it had transmission issues, which after doing some research, come to find out, Ford Fusions are notorious for transmission issues.

#21
Tank

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Forgot to mention we also have a Lexus ES hybrid, but my partner usually has it cause she's the one with a commute. It's very dependable and really comfortable... but it's boring AF to drive.

Back to jeeps-- I want a Wrangler. I kinda want the MOAB, but they don't cone in manual, which means prop a high end Sahara. It's ratings are upper middle zone-- safety, reliability, and performance are fine, most of its lower marks are attributed to the fact that they are keeping to their roots and there's not a ton of comfort and luxury options compared to other vehicles in their class.

#22
Ms. Spam

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My brother does the order a jeep in a box and puts them together for fun. But we've owned 6 jeeps between all of my family and all of them have developed some kind of issues. Liberties and Cherokees and the Wranglers. Wranglers were by far the best and most fun to own. But it was actually a break in magnet. People would steal the seats out of it.



#23
Tank

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You think there's a correlation between your brother building the Jeeps and them having issues?

Stop ruining my dream.
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#24
Brando

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I wouldn't worry about it, Tank. Not for your situation. You're not going to drive any vehicle until it dies, slasher long as you keep up on basic maintenance it isn't going to be a real problem for you.

#25
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We drive cars into the ground as well. Trevor fixes them cheaply (parts only! yay!), so we have no reason not to. 

I, too, LOVE driving zippy little manual cars, but, alas, kids. Right now I drive an 06 Explorer because my grandmother gave it to us after we had that big accident while I was pregnant with Luke and Trevor was unemployed. (Also, **** Allstate)

 

My biggest dream right now is to have a minivan. Yup. I've become a minivan mom. I want minivan doors that can't be slammed into other cars in the parking lot. I want minivan space for roadtrips. I want tons of cup holders and individual air vents. And I want 3rd row seating that folds down or is otherwise removable. I can't afford any of that right now though as we're still recovering from The Great Harvey Financial Disaster of 2017, but OH MAN DO I WANT ONE.

And Trevor needs a new truck. Actually, he needs a work van. He needs something he can outfit with shelves and toolboxes so that he can carry his standard stuff around with him and not have to constantly be loading and unloading different toolboxes and equipment. 





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