Yet Another New Car Thread

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by CompUser, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. CompUser Guest

    Right now my dad has a 2003 Land Rover Discovery with 70,000 miles. Its A/C was not blowing cold so we made an appointment to bring it into the shop to have the A/C recharged. A couple days before the appointment the car went haywire with electrical problems. It turns out it needs a new battery, alternator, computer in addition to a new A/C compressor and some other A/C related parts. In total, the repairs will cost many thousands of dollars. So we are going to fix it and trade it in for a new car before anything else can break in it. My dad is going to take my moms Touareg and keep that until the warranty runs out in 45,000 miles I think- he has a 1998 crappy oldsmobile cutlass commuter car (used to be my grandmas- he drives 150 miles round trip everyday) so this would be his weekend/rain/snow car.

    My mom wants a car that can be fixed close to home (VW and Land Rover dealers are 45min away), a reliable car, a car that can be fixed without outrageous fees (*cough*vw,landrover*cough*), but still be nice. The closest dealerships in order are Chevy/GM/Cadillac, Nissan, Ford, dodge/chrysler, volvo, saab, and Subaru. All of these are within 30min. I would assume that the Nissan also would fix and Infinti, dodge/chrysler would fix a jeep, and that ford would fix a lincoln. Toyota, Acura, and Lexus are 45min away but there cars require little fixing from what I hear.

    Today we very briefly checked out Volvo XC70's and XC90's. A car with a good amount of storage space and AWD is preferable. I know she likes Murano's and my friends mom has one and loves it. We have a Grand Cherokee as well which as been a great car that has had very few problems.

    I was thinking...
    Nissan/Infinit: Maxima, G35x, Murano, FX35
    Ford: Nothing because my mom does not like ford
    Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep: Grand Cherokee
    Volvo: S60, XC70, XC90
    Saab: 9-5, 9-7x
    Subaru: Outback (she is not a huge fan of subarus)
    Toyota: 4Runner
    Lexus: ES330, all there SUVs are overpriced
    Acura: MDX, TL
    Chevy/GMC/Caddi: Yukon (little big though)

    Any recommendations and/or advice?
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Ok, I'll put it here instead:

    Dude, seriously stay away from dealerships for car repairs unless you really want to get screwed.

    Find a good mechanic and use them instead of going to a dealer for repair work.
  3. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

    Apr 16, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Go with the XC90. Cool, nice looking, lots of space. etc. I personally don't like wagons.
  4. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    If you are having reliability issues you should read reviews before you buy. Consumer Reports is good though you have to pay to create an account.

    I personally like Honda but doesn't look like you have that option though Acura is practically the same thing. My vote goes to the MDX (FYI: I believe there is a redesign planned for next year [2008 model year]).
  5. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    Why would you pay a mechanic when work on a car under warranty is free? :rolleyes: All new cars come with warranties.

    Why spend so much money on a gas guzzler? Go with a 2006 Toyota Rav4 or Toyota Highlander Hybrid which both get about 30mpg. The Volvo XC90 AWD gets friggin 15/21mpg!
  6. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Here is some stuff from Consumer Reports (There are a lot more information and ratings for each car on their website)

    Reliability Scale used: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor

    Nissan Maxima
    "The Maxima is quick and roomy, but isn't among the best upscale- or family-sedans. The powerful and refined 3.5-liter V6 gets high marks, but that power produces a fair amount of torque steer in this front-wheel-drive sedan, which causes a tug on the steering wheel. The ride is stiff and jiggly, and while handling has improved, the car still feels less agile than its competitors. A 44-foot turning circle hampers maneuverability. The interior lacks an upscale feel befitting a $30,000 car. The rear seating is very spacious, and access is easy. The freshened 2007 Maxima features a continuously variable transmission and the engine produces 255 hp." Reliability: Good

    Inifiniti G35 (CR recommended)
    "The G35 is a pleasant car but has some drawbacks. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine is strong, and the automatic is exceptionally smooth. Routine handling is fairly agile, but at its limits the tail slid out a bit too easily on our test car, even with the standard stability control. The ride is comfortable and quiet. The power-seat controls are poorly located and confusing to use, as are a few other controls. A coupe version with a six-speed manual is available. All-wheel drive on the sedan helps with snow traction. Infiniti has revised the interior with better materials and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. An updated 2007 model arrives this fall." Reliability: Very Good

    Nissan Murano (CR recommended)
    "The Murano is one of the better car-based SUVs we've tested. Its powerful 3.5-liter V6, backed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT), delivers strong performance and respectable fuel economy. Handling is responsive and secure with the optional stability control. The adjustable pedals help shorter drivers feel more comfortable behind the wheel. Roomy, comfortable rear seats and easy access are pluses. The interior is stylish and functional. But a stiff ride, limited rearward visibility, and the need for premium fuel are notable drawbacks." Reliability: Very Good

    Infiniti FX (CR recommended)
    "Our tested FX35 drove more like a sports sedan than an SUV. The strong, smooth V6, coupled with an excellent five-speed automatic, has impressive performance. The FX45 features a gutsy V8. Handling is nimble and remains stable and secure at its limits. A stiff ride that transmits bumps to the passengers is one of its drawbacks. The pronounced exhaust note can be tiresome. The cabin feels snug, partly because of the high door sills and low roof. Rear visibility is poor. The wide turning circle makes parking cumbersome. Cargo volume is modest. The multi-function control system shared with the M35/M45 sedan is new. A rear-view backup camera is standard." Reliability: Excellent

    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    "The Grand Cherokee was redesigned in 2005 and received an independent front suspension and modern rack-and-pinion steering. Handling is a bit more precise, and the ride is much improved but a bit unsettled. The rear seat is too low and unsupportive. The base engine is a lackluster 3.7-liter V6. A stronger 4.7-liter V8 and the powerful 5.7-liter Hemi V8 are also available. The 4.7-liter is no more energetic than some competitors' V6s. Fit and finish is disappointing and the driving position is too high, limiting head room. Stability control is standard for 2006. Reliability has been well below average." Reliability: Poor

    Volvo S60 (CR recommended)
    "Although a good car, the S60 falls short in its highly competitive class. It's neither very luxurious nor sporty. The turbocharged engine in the 2.5T model we tested delivered quick acceleration, especially in midrange. The interior is fairly quiet, and the front seats are comfortable. The ride is quite stiff and handling is secure, though not particularly agile. The rear seat is cramped. Rear vision is compromised by the coupelike styling and rear head restraints. The previously confusing radio controls have been improved. All-wheel-drive versions are available, including a very quick R model." Reliability: Very Good

    Volvo XC70 (CR recommended)
    "Essentially a wagon version of the S60 sedan, the V70 is spacious and useful with large, comfortable seats and an optional small, rear-facing third-row seat. The previously awkward audio system controls have been improved. The XC70 model has all-wheel drive and a raised ride height. Its ride is less comfortable than the regular V70's, and the steering feels vague and imprecise. The turbocharged 2.5-liter engine is quick, but acceleration and fuel economy suffer in the all-wheel drive XC70. A very quick all-wheel-drive R version tops the range." Reliability: Good

    Volvo XC90
    "The XC90's best features include a flexible and comfortable interior, seven-passenger seating, and impressive safety features. But heavy weight hampers the five-cylinder turbocharged engine. A new model with a smooth, refined Yamaha-built 4.4-liter V8 and a six-speed automatic adds significantly more power, yet achieves the same fuel economy as the discontinued six-cylinder. The ride is a bit stiff at low speeds. Handling is responsive and secure, because of the effective standard stability control. The curtain air bags cover the side windows of all three rows of seats. Reliability has been much worse than average. Along with a freshening for 2007, a new 3.2-liter six cylinder will replace the five-cylinder engine." Reliability: Poor

    Saab 9-5 (CR recommended)
    "The Saab 9-5 has sound and secure handling but it is not very agile. The ride is stiff and unsettled. Road and wind noise make the 9-5 relatively noisy for this class. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has spirited performance but sounds coarse and unrefined. The front seats are comfortable and the rear is quite roomy. The wagon is competent and well-rounded but doesn't offer a third-row seat or all-wheel drive, unlike the Volvo V70. Excellent crash-test results are a plus. A mild face-lift and more horsepower arrived for 2006." Reliability: Good

    Saab 9-7x
    "Saab's first SUV is based on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer/GMC Envoy. The five-passenger Saab has an upgraded interior that includes traditional Saab cues, such as an ignition switch between the front seats and Saab dash vents. The 9-7X has a stiffer ride but much more responsive handling than the TrailBlazer. The all-wheel-drive system lacks a low range. Six- or eight-cylinder versions are available. But the TrailBlazer's below-average reliability and its unimpressive offset-crash-test results raise concerns for the 9-7X." Reliability: NA

    Subaru Outback (CR recommended)
    The all-wheel-drive, SUV-like Outback is a Subaru Legacy sedan or wagon with added ground clearance that's suitable for the dirt or snow. The 2.5i is a bit sluggish; the 2.5-liter engine gets a horsepower boost for 2006. The XT with the turbo engine is quick, but fuel economy suffers. Handling is agile and the responsive steering has good feel. The ride is supple, controlled, and quiet. The Outback tends to slide its rear end at its cornering limits. Stability control would help this, but ESC is only available on the costly 6-cylinder VDC model. Reliability: Very Good

    Toyota 4Runner (CR recommended)
    "The 4Runner is our top-ranked SUV under $40,000 that is fit for serious off-roading. It's a big improvement over its predecessor and even rides better than some car-based SUVs. Our tested V6 model delivered lively acceleration. Fuel economy was an unimpressive 16 mpg. The V8 is smooth and refined and offers permanent all-wheel drive. Handling isn't nimble but it is sound and secure with standard stability control. The interior feels substantial and is well made. The power rear window and interior mirrors for reversing are nice touches. A small third-row seat is optional." Reliability: Very Good

    Lexus ES
    "The Lexus ES has always been a solid and sedate sedan, and there is no reason to think the redesigned 2007 ES350 is any different. It offers more room, more horsepower, and potentially better fuel economy than the old ES330. The ES350 uses a 272-hp, 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission. A power-adjustable steering wheel and standard stability control correct two of the ES330's shortcomings. Other standard safety equipment includes front, side, curtain, and knee air bags. Rear-side air bags are optional, as are adaptive headlights and a back-up camera integrated with the optional navigation system." Reliability: Very Good

    EDIT-fixed Infiniti FX description
  7. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Acura MDX (CR recommended)
    "One of the better three-row, car-based SUVs, the MDX has a strong, refined powertrain and pleasant ride, though road noise is pronounced. The interior features a 50/50-split third-row bench that increases passenger capacity to seven or stows easily into the floor. The MDX feels agile but does not inspire confidence in emergency handling, even with its standard stability control. Braking distances in our tests were also unimpressive. The similar Honda Pilot is less costly and a shade roomier. The optional navigation system works well and incorporates a rear-view camera to assist when backing up. Expect a redesign for 2007." Reliability: Very Good

    Acura TL (CR recommended)
    "Acura's TL, based on the Honda Accord, is among the highest-scoring vehicles we've tested in the upscale-sedan category. The TL is one of a few models in this class that provide a near-ideal blend of comfort, convenience, and some sportiness, all at a reasonable price. It delivers taut, agile handling, though it's not as nimble as some European sports sedans. The car is very quick yet attains commendable fuel economy. The TL has a firm but comfortable and quiet ride. A wide turning circle and poor snow traction from the standard tires are two of the few negatives. Interior quality is impressive." Reliability: Very Good

    GMC Yukon
    "A redesigned 2007 Yukon is now on sale. Handling is more agile, and the steering and brakes feel better than its predecessor. The ride is supple and controlled. Interior quality and the seats are much improved. It retains impressive trailer-towing capability. The 5.3-liter engine is powerful, but the redesigned Tahoe we tested delivered only 14 mpg overall. The Yukon typically seats seven or eight but offers little cargo space behind its cramped third-row seat. Four-wheel-drive models have a selectable full-time system that can remain engaged indefinitely. Electronic stability control is standard. A rear-view camera is available with the optional navigation system." Reliability: NEW
  8. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    i currently have an 04 ES 330. Very nice car. highly recommend it. Its toyaota so its reliable. Make sure to get the navigation and mark levension package :D
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Well for one thing, warranties only cover **** that is faulty when it leaves the factory. It certainly doesn't cover your ordinary wear and tear, tune ups, or the occasional worn out part. :rolleyes:

    And after my recent experience getting warrany work done on my Tacoma I'd almost have been better off paying to have it done right the first time by a competent mechanic what with all the time I had to spend dealing with the problems.
  10. CompUser thread starter Guest

    My dad does not like hybrids and he makes some good points. First off, they cost roughly $10,000 right off the bat. You have to do a lot of driving to have the car pay for itself. Additionally, when the battery dies in the car, that will cost a lot to replace. It also takes more energy to make a hybrid car than a conventional car.

    His Discovery averages like 14mpg :)

    I've been annoying my mom with pictures of cars- she really likes the Jaguar X-Type. Its pretty cheep, has AWD, and she loves its styling. However the nearest dealer is around 45min away. Does anyone know how reliable modern jaguars are now that they are owned by ford?
  11. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    From Consumer Reports:
    Road Test

    The X-Type is the second Jaguar model to be developed on a Ford-shared platform. It accelerates well, handles nicely, and rides comfortably, but overall it doesn't quite measure up to its competitors. There is too much cabin noise, and accommodations are a bit tight. One of its unique features is standard all-wheel drive.


    The X-Type's ride is fairly supple and well controlled, and it's smooth on the highway. A fair amount of road and wind noise penetrates the cabin. Quick and well-weighted steering helps give a feeling of agility. It demonstrated stable and balanced behavior at our track and threaded our avoidance-maneuver test at a commendable speed. AWD adds a measure of confidence, especially in slippery conditions. The 227-hp, 3.0-liter V6 delivers lively performance. Expect to average 19 mpg on premium fuel--not a good showing. The five-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but we found the J-shaped shift gate a bit awkward. A five-speed manual is available. Braking performance was very good.


    The elegant interior is fitted with wood trim and leather, but some of the switches and controls feel cheap. We found the cockpit to be a little tight, but it's easy to find a good driving position. The front seats are firm, but should be comfortable for most people. The rear is cramped, with little thigh or toe space and fairly tough access. Most controls work well and are positioned for easy use. The center console houses a confusing array of audio and climate knobs. The gauges could use a bit more contrast, but are usually legible. The automatic climate-control system works well but is a little noisy. An optional DVD navigation system is available but requires the extra-cost Premium Package of equipment. We passed it up because our Jag was already quite expensive. You'll find a good selection of pockets, pouches, and bins, but the optional CD changer is located in the trunk. The front has a single sturdy cup holder; the rear, a shallow recessed pair. The shallow trunk can hold three suitcases and three duffel bags, or a folding wheelchair with room left over. The split rear seatback folds for more space. The full-size spare is mounted on a steel rim.


    Side-impact air bags housed in the front seatbacks, and curtain-type head-protection air bags that extend to protect the heads of front and rear occupants are standard. Front safety belts have adjustable anchors, and pretensioners limit belt slack in the event of a crash. Sensors in the front passenger seat monitor passenger weight, and sensors in the driver's seat detect seat position. They determine at what level the dual stage air bags deploy, and if pretensioners activate. Front passenger air bags will not deploy if the seat is unoccupied. Three-point belts protect each of the three rear passengers. Adjustable and locking head restraints in the front and rear outboard seats are all sufficiently tall, even when fully lowered, to limit head travel in a rear collision, but the seatback in the rear center seat is too low. A glow-in-the-dark emergency T-handle release on the inside of the trunk lid helps prevent entrapment. Driving with kids: Installing rear-facing child seats in the rear center position may be difficult due to a rigid buckle and tang assembly that interferes with the restraint's belt path and the seat hump. Rear-facing seats should be secure in the rear outboard seats, though infant seats may require some additional padding to keep them correctly reclined. Front-facing seats should be secure in any of the appropriate passenger positions. There are three tether anchors on the rear parcel shelf and LATCH anchors are installed in the rear outboard seats.


    We expect reliability to be worse than average, according to our latest subscriber survey.
  12. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    You're sick of cars that break down like Land Rover and VW, so you're thinking of getting Jaguar? You're going to be in the same situation as the Rover in 70,000 more miles. Buy a Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus. They'll go 200,000 miles with oil changes and regular service.
  13. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2005
    I know you said no Fords. However, me and my girlfriend just bought a new Ford Fusion and we love it. We got the SE model, with leather, moonroof etc. Very nice, we got it $500 under invoice(Ford invoice, edmunds was actually $300 higher than that)

    There is also the Mercury Milan, which is the same car but a little more luxury. Then the Lincoln Zephyr which is the top end and much more expensive.

    I'll get some pictures of our Fusion up on the forums in a few days.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You missed the Toyota Camry/Avalon and the Honda Accord -- enough said about reliability. Probably only need to stop by the local tire shop or quick lube place.

    And one SUV most wouldn't think of the Saturn VUE with its Honda V-6 engine.

    If you pick the right Ford, after the first year to fix some bugs, it is doubtful that you would ever see the dealer again -- of course the Crown Vic is probably too old folks for your folks. And the reliability sucks -- oil, tires, and brakes year after year with an occassional plug wire replacement over 200k miles ...
  15. CompUser thread starter Guest

    I know, we probably won't be getting that but my mom was attracted to it. Around here everyone and their grandma has a MDX, Volvo, subaru, or an extremely overpriced (IMO) lexus RX. There are quite a few toyota 4Runners too.
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Don't ignore FWD and some RWD vehicles with traction control, for some people it works just as good as AWD without the nagging repair problems some SUVs require.

    FWD with traction control should make a decent snow vehicle, but actually waiting til winter is a good time to test them out.
  17. CompUser thread starter Guest

    Don't FWD cars do much better than rwd wheel cars in general because FWD have the weight of the engine thus more traction. The RWD cars only have the weight of the back of the car and what ever is in the trunk. My neighbor has a lincoln LS and a steep driveway, it doesn't really work when he tries to get up.
  18. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    How about Acura TSX? I am pretty sure your mom will like the red one. A friend of mine just got a Lexus IS 350. Now that's a really nice car with a very powerful engine.
  19. CompUser thread starter Guest

    Tanglewood: I am a little confused, why did CR rate the FX35's reliability Excelled and the Murano Very Good.

    They are the exact same car with very minor styling differences.
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    FWD does better, a FWD with traction control may go most anywhere in snow.

    A damn good alternative to a AWD if the FWD has decent traction control, less mass to worry about/stop in bad weather.

    A RWD with traction control, will do OK in snow. Some makes have really decent RWD vehicles with traction control, some don't.

    Both vehicles will still require 4 winter tires though, while the FWD can be very dangerous with less than 4 winter tires.

    But a steep icy driveway, is something that is best left to actual testing and decent tires -- since even some AWD cars will perform like crap with all season tires.
  21. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Here is some screenshots from CR comparing the two cars though a lot more detailed.


  22. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
  23. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    The new Audi Allroad is supposed to be really rather good indeed.

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