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Car Advice Wanted


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I've reached the point where I've decided I need a new vehicle.

 

The criteria I have is:

 

  • Economical, as most of the time I'll be using it for going to the city and back, a round trip of about 100km.
  • Not big, as I'll need to park it in a variety of locations, depending on where I'm working on any particular day.
  • Capable of pulling a 7'x5' trailer carrying up to 300kg of weight (one or two dirt bikes, canvas tent, and assorted camping gear).
  • Some off road capability, as when we go camping once a month it's on country properties and there's no made roads, only tracks.
  • Capable of sitting four people, with good leg room for the back seat. My boys are growing up fast and they need space.
  • Not too pricey. I've got a current budget of up to $35K, though if I have to, I can push that higher.

 

To me, that sounds like the compact SUV market, of which the current contenders in the new vehicle market are:

 

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Nissan X-Trail
  • Honda CRV
  • Ford Escape
  • Mazda CX-7
  • Holden Captiva
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Subaru Forester

 

I may end up having to go for a used vehicle because of price, which opens up some more options as far as vehicles, but for now I'm going to go with the above. Any comments?

 

I started looking around last night, looking at the Toyota, Ford and Holden options. I'm not that impressed by the Holden Captiva (though that may have been the saleswoman, who kept pushing me to buy the more expensive Captiva 7 when I said the Captiva 5 fitted my needs better), and the base Toyota RAV4 is only just within my budget. The Ford Escape is currently on special, but the dealer told me that the 2010 model is the last one -- they're not going to sell the Escape in Australia any more. I've been searching and I can't find confirmation of that. Does anyone know if this is the case?

 

Any comments on the above models, or other suggestions that would meet my needs will be gratefully read (don't suggest the BMW -- that's really, really outside of my budget).

 

Graeme :D

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  • Site Administrator

Honda CRV.

LOL -- thanks, Tommy, but I don't suppose you can expand on that a little? :D

 

To be honest, the idea of what type of vehicle to get solidified when I took notice of a Honda CRV Sports in the traffic a couple of weeks ago. It was the right size for what I was looking for, and I thought it was a good looking vehicle, too. Price may end up being the killer, but I've always got the option of a second hand vehicle, rather than new.

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LOL -- thanks, Tommy, but I don't suppose you can expand on that a little? :D

 

To be honest, the idea of what type of vehicle to get solidified when I took notice of a Honda CRV Sports in the traffic a couple of weeks ago. It was the right size for what I was looking for, and I thought it was a good looking vehicle, too. Price may end up being the killer, but I've always got the option of a second hand vehicle, rather than new.

 

My family has owned Toyotas, Nissans, Fords, GMs and Honda.

 

Honda was (and is) by far the best we've had, better than my mom's Lexus, most reliable, least maintenece.

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  • Site Administrator

Stay away from Mitsubishi. They go berserk and try to crash into aircraft carriers.

:P Both of our current vehicles are Mitsubishi's and we've had them both for well over 10 years. Mine has been very reliable and the only reason I'm getting rid of it is that it's just too small.

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Graeme - If you're towing, then either the Mitsubishi Outlander or RAV-4, either with a V6, would do you nicely. The new Outlander GT would be hot.

 

 

Steve³

 

 

 

OH! Forget about the Forrester with the Turbo. Good choice, plus 4-wheel drive. Also excellent reliability

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by The_FNG (Steve3)
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  • Site Administrator

Graeme - If you're towing, then either the Mitsubishi Outlander or RAV-4, either with a V6, would do you nicely. The new Outlander GT would be hot.

 

 

Steve

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You mention off-roading. The Forrester has good ground clearance, and it can tow a 2400lbs with trailer brakes, w/o brakes 1000lbs. Your 380kb is about 660lbs, so you'd be good there.

 

The CRV, RAV4 are "pretend" Suvs, designed for the SUV era. Honda or Toyota designers never really intended them to do hard work.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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  • Site Administrator

Thanks, everyone!

 

My wife wants me to get a Subaru, so that's definitely something I need to have a close look at. Unfortunately, reluctantly, I've decided I can't afford a new vehicle. For our American friends, vehicles here in Australia tend to be at least 50% more expensive in Australia, and sometime the price difference approaches 100%. While there is a special on at the moment where I could get a Ford Escape for $30K, more vehicles in the list above start at about $33K and some start from $35K. With some annual expenses coming up, I've decided to cut back on my budget, and that's eliminated all of the new vehicles.

 

Regarding 'pretend' or 'pseudo' SUV's, that's actually fine for what I want them for. I don't intend to do any serious off roading. It's just that where we go camping on a monthly basis is in a field on a private property, so there's a risk of getting bogged, especially in winter. An AWD or 4WD is useful in that situation though, honestly, if I did get stuck, there'd be other vehicles around that would be able to pull me out.

 

The Subaru Forester and Honda CRV are currently at the top of my prospective list, though I haven't had a chance to have a close look at either one so far. Based on one of the premier Australian car websites (http://www.drive.com.au) there are plenty of both in my new price bracket that are 2006 or later models.

 

And on a completely unrelated topic, there are apparently no Ferrari's in my price bracket... :(

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