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Seeking Tanelorn
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21,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The '91 T-bird is on its last legs. Some connector under the hood broke, something to do with the tranny, and now O-drive is shot, and 2nd sometimes waits too long and slams into gear; I'm essentially driving it like a manual shift now to nurse a little more time out of it. :banghead The mechanic at two different shops said that whatever that connector was, when it goes, it can burn up a tranny within 5 minutes!

Ah well; there were other issues with the car as well, so it's really not worth putting another couple of grand into it; the heater vent actuator wasn't working, and it's buried all the way inside the dash ($600+ to remove dash and fix problem - if they could even find the obsolete part) so no heat, and no defrost; and something about the upper suspension bushings(?) that wasn't critical and not cost efficient to fix if I wasn't going to keep the car forever.

It was already a fair weather driver; in inclement weather, my wife took the S-10 and I moved into the Bronco. Unfortunately, I still haven't fixed the worn ball joints (the job sorta' intimidates me), and I've let the registration lapse due to smog requirements, so that plan doesn't fly right now. :duh Now I need to shop under pressure. Damn!

We'll both will miss the V8 though. :thumbup

So, here's my considerations. We still need to seat more than the two of us comfortably, so another truck is out; the wife's gotten to like being higher up since driving the S-10 so much, and I really hate sitting low after driving a FedEx truck for years, so a sedan/coupe is out; we travel up to Oregon periodically, and we hope to do some traveling around the northwest in the next few years looking at perspective relocations, so the MPG/power ratio is important. That all kinda' leaves us in the small SUV category.

I picked up a Consumer Reports book on cars, and between my reading and my wife's asking around at work, two cars seem to to be attracting our attention right now - the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. I like the RAV4 because, while the 4-bangers are comparable, and they both have AWD, it also has a V6 that boosts the power from 166 hp to 269 hp while only dropping 1-2 mpg. ... option. :toothless

We're open to other suggestions though. I've never bought an actual new car before, so I want to get it right. I figure a collection of car guys will probably give me ideas I haven't though about yet. What do y'all think?
 

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Designated Tranny Killer
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6,958 Posts
what about a highlander? we got one of those as a rental and liked it
 

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Seeking Tanelorn
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21,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
what about a highlander? we got one of those as a rental and liked it
I was looking at one of those in the lot, and something about its styling didn't appeal to me - like it screamed "Mom's car" or something to me. :toothless Aside from that, according to the specs, it's got the same V6 hp, but weighs 1000lbs more, and it's base price is $5000 higher (25-37); we're trying to stay in the 20-30 grand area.

How about a JK Wrangler?
That was one of the first cars I looked at (wanted to "buy American" and all that); but according to CR, it's good for off-road, but on-road handling and ride suffers, and "the 3.8 liter V6 engine lacks punch and delivers dismal fuel economy" (16/19).
 

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Designated Tranny Killer
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6,958 Posts
did you look at the jeep liberty at all?
 

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Seeking Tanelorn
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21,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
did you look at the jeep liberty at all?
No I hadn't, but I just looked it up. Keep in mind also that I'm 6'2" and wide shouldered, so I'm going to be pushing the limit in anything under a full size as it is. Here's what CR said: "cramped interior...jittery ride...thirsty (15mpg)...cabin rather narrow, and access is awkward." in spite of all that, they still said "recommended;" what's up with that?:scratchhe
 

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Man with a Golden ticket
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4,003 Posts
This is what my wife wants. Wish I had the money right now.
I would love to get a rig like this that gets great gas mileage.
I think the Hybrids are getting 40 miles per gallon?



Ford Escape 4x4 SUV
 

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Seeking Tanelorn
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21,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This is what my wife wants. Wish I had the money right now.
I would love to get a rig like this that gets great gas mileage.
I think the Hybrids are getting 40 miles per gallon?
Ford Escape 4x4 SUV
Hmm. I hadn't looked at that. Specs say it gets about 17/22 which is kind of on the low side (34-ish for the hybrids) and the V6 only pushes about 200 hp. I can keep it in mind though. I'm still window shopping; I haven't actually gotten into any of these yet, so "fit" might be a factor that overrules all my preconceptions.

I'm off to the NAMM show right now; I'll talk at y'all later.
:beer
 

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Sway Is My Fan Club.
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11,912 Posts
I like those Ford Escapes. A guy my dad knows at work is a BIG fella and he has one, I guess he fits in it ok.

I don't see a lot of them in the shop either, Dustin could maybe tell you more about how reliable they are. :shrug
 

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Man with a Golden ticket
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4,003 Posts
Hmm. I hadn't looked at that. Specs say it gets about 17/22 which is kind of on the low side (34-ish for the hybrids) and the V6 only pushes about 200 hp. I can keep it in mind though. I'm still window shopping; I haven't actually gotten into any of these yet, so "fit" might be a factor that overrules all my preconceptions.

I'm off to the NAMM show right now; I'll talk at y'all later.
:beer
If we were to buy one I would definitely get the Hybrid. It's only a 4 cylinder but with the additional electric motor it has the power of the V6 with great mileage. Plus it would qualify for the Tax Credit offsetting the additional $3000 for the Hybrid model. It is only a 3 year return on the cost of Hybrid which is great compared to some of them which is up to 20 years.

If you are looking for a Off-Road monster this is not the rig, but if it's a clean little SUV grocery getter that can handle any weather conditions all while getting great gas mileage this is what I will get one of these days for my wife.
I like knowing that she is safe in any weather. She currently has a Expedition with AWD and traction control but it gets about 13mpg around town and 18mpg on the highway. We are just getting tired of paying $3.25 a gallon to get groceries.
:beer
 

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Premium Member
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7,395 Posts
That was one of the first cars I looked at (wanted to "buy American" and all that); but according to CR, it's good for off-road, but on-road handling and ride suffers, and "the 3.8 liter V6 engine lacks punch and delivers dismal fuel economy" (16/19).
The only down side I see with the Wrangler is the mileage. But after driving Blue as a daily driver for years, 18-20 mpg compared to 12-13 was a significant carbon footprint increase. Mine rides pretty good but I haven't driven anything but Broncos, ford trucks and my wifes Rodeo in the past 10 years or more. :toothless

Mine jeep is a 2-door so it maybe that the extra weight of the 4-door wrangler makes a big difference. I think where people hammer the power is with the 37" tires etc.

I wouldn't have suggested it if it wasn't something I wouldn't do myslef.

My Wrangler is my daily ride so I'm not going to get rediculus with tires. Did I mention a life-time powertrain warranty? I still have Blue and 2 other FSB in the yard along with Brutus (460 crewcab F350).:shocked:thumbup

BTW, go test drive a Porche Cayenne and Toureg!:shocked
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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8,190 Posts
We rented an Escape (Not hybrid) in 03 for a school trip all over Ca & into Nevada & Idaho. We liked the Escape. It was the chase car for the tour bus, & at times had to catch up to the bus after a delay. It'd run almost a buck before the rev limiter kicked in. If I was looking for something smaller, it would be on the list for sure.

Renting is a good way to try a car for a few days before buying. You may not notice things during a short test drive, that'll stand out after awhile. Banging your head on the "A" pillar in a Dakota, a backache from the seats in a Chevy, & the lack of an engine going up hills in a PT Cruiser all come to mind. The Escape was much better on the hills, back, & head, btw.
 

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search, you #$%@! noob
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9,995 Posts
i really tried to like the ford escape, but one pull on the door handle and i said forget it. it's so flimsy, and when you shut the door, it sounds like a tin can. i just couldn't get past that, and the el cheapo interior. the engine, despite the v6, is buzzy too.

i haven't checked out the rav4 or the crv lately, but the ones i see on the road look pretty stylish. i would also check out the kia sorento, which is available with a 262 hp v6.


http://www.edmunds.com/new/2008/kia/sorento/100956560/prices.html

i was pretty impressed with the '07 i test drove.
 

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Roller rockers are gay
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19,192 Posts
i agree with jackhart. take a look at the kia's. digger has a sportage, and he fits fine in it. just be ready to pay to have that timing belt changed if you don't do it yourself.
 

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Surrounded by Assholes
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2,879 Posts
My wife drives an 06 Rav4. It's a nice sport ute. Lots of room, head and width, even for me. Plenty of cargo area as well. It's peppy for a 4 banger and decent on gas. The steering feels very touchy for me, and I find it to be a noisy vehicle at highway speeds (wind wise). Other than that, no real complaints.
 

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Yar
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1,440 Posts
theres some cross over car/suvs that i have driven recently that i loved and was thinking about doing more research on

one was the subaru Tribeca 5-Passenger starts at $29,995

256-hp 6-cylinder standard
247 fpt


heres more info: http://www.subaru.com/shop/overview.jsp?model=TRIBECA&trim=5PASS



also the mazda tribute altho its a little low on power with a 200hp v6
its a nice ride, we rented one to go to tahoe and had no problem in the snow

also another mazda the cx-7 244hp turbo charged 4 banger

it was an amazingly fun car and its one id be willing to check out in the future because of how well mazdas last and perform
 

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Registered
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My cousin has a Rav-4 and I must say it is a tight squeeze if you are 6' or higher. Its a nice car, I just found it a little small for me.
 

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Seeking Tanelorn
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21,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks. I didn't realize Kelly does indepth reviews as well - well, at least on some cars.

The Escape Hybrid is intriguing, but it only comes with a 4 cylinder at 133 hp, and the gas-only version is at the low end of the class' mpg spectrum (17 - 22). The various Kia Sorento models are even worse - in the 15-20 range! ...and they lose a ton of their resale value in the first three years - like 60% - so I figure their longevity probably isn't a strong point.

The Ford loses over half its resale as well, but both the CR-V and the RAV4 only lose about a third. ...not that I plan on resale/recycle - I'm not a "turn-over" type of owner - but I think a high resale value reflects the life expectancy to some extent.

I hadn't really thought about the Subaru line, but the Forester looks interesting. It's got a turbocharged 4 banger that pushes 224 hp, and it has a standard tranny; although the lower (19-24) mpg is something to consider, it's just a bit off from the Honda and Toyota.

You know, when its hypothetical, picking cars is fun; it's not quite as much fun when you have cash riding on it. :banghead
 

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Man with a Golden ticket
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4,003 Posts
Thanks. I didn't realize Kelly does indepth reviews as well - well, at least on some cars.

The Escape Hybrid is intriguing, but it only comes with a 4 cylinder at 133 hp, and the gas-only version is at the low end of the class' mpg spectrum (17 - 22). The various Kia Sorento models are even worse - in the 15-20 range! ...and they lose a ton of their resale value in the first three years - like 60% - so I figure their longevity probably isn't a strong point.

The Ford loses over half its resale as well, but both the CR-V and the RAV4 only lose about a third. ...not that I plan on resale/recycle - I'm not a "turn-over" type of owner - but I think a high resale value reflects the life expectancy to some extent.

I hadn't really thought about the Subaru line, but the Forester looks interesting. It's got a turbocharged 4 banger that pushes 224 hp, and it has a standard tranny; although the lower (19-24) mpg is something to consider, it's just a bit off from the Honda and Toyota.

You know, when its hypothetical, picking cars is fun; it's not quite as much fun when you have cash riding on it. :banghead
Just FYI - I was reading the reports on the Escape and I'm not sure how they got the 133hp numbers. The report I read had them around 200 for the Hybrids. Maybe it's the gas engine plus the electric motor combined? :shrug

When I was looking at those gas mileage numbers for a lot of these small SUV's being anywhere from 15-20 mpg I was not impressed. If I can't get at least 25 mpg city then there is no point giving up the room, luxury, hauling and towing capacity of my wifes Expedition which gets a steady 13 city and 18 highway mileage. And those are our real world mileage numbers not the fudged numbers car makers put out. :twak

Not sure where the resale numbers come from either. I have been looking at Escape Hybrids and the cost of used had me thinking that I would be better off buying new as the used 2006 models I looked at were in the low to mid 20's.
 
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