The Truth About Cars » Late model http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Late model http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com New Or Used? The $25,000 Question http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-used-25000-question/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-used-25000-question/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=860633 Michael writes: This August, we will have a 23-year-old German au pair coming to live with us. She will be taking care of our three boys – ages 6, 4, and 1. I am looking for transportation for said au pair that fulfills the following criteria: accommodates 2 boosters and 1 car seat– i.e. older […]

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2012 Toyota Sienna

Michael writes:

This August, we will have a 23-year-old German au pair coming to live with us. She will be taking care of our three boys – ages 6, 4, and 1. I am looking for transportation for said au pair that fulfills the following criteria:

  1. accommodates 2 boosters and 1 car seat– i.e. older boys need to be able to access the seat belt buckles with the car seat in place (presumably in the middle?)
  2. reliable and low maintenance
  3. safe
  4. good in snow and ice (we live in Cleveland); preferably AWD
  5. under $25,000

My wife drives a 2013 AWD Toyota Sienna. It fulfills all the criteria but number 5.

My first thought was a used Volvo wagon, but a quick internet search revealed a very limited selection under $25k with less than 150k miles on the odometer. Used minivans are similar… not a great selection, and those under $25k are generally high-mileage specimens.

Currently, I’m thinking along the lines of a used Grand Cherokee, but I’ve never owned or driven one. I just know that there are a buttload of them on on the road and in used car lots.

My other thoughts: Escape/CRV/RAV4/CX5/Cherokee, but might be too small in the back. Forester, also might be too small, and seems overpriced right now.

I’m not a car guy and I’ve never bought a used car… so please, any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. And yes, having been a loyal TTAC reader, I realize that the car I’m looking for is a used rear-wheel drive sport wagon with a set of snow tires, but no. We both work 40+ hours a week (hence, au pair) and barely find time to get oil changes. (I know, I know. I don’t change my own oil… THE HORROR!)

Steve says:

You are dead to me. But really, even us emerging middle-aged enthusiasts let others change the oil every now and then.

As for your next issue, none of the crossovers you mentioned can easily seat three children across. Even the old school Volvos that offered real space aplenty back in the ’90s could never accommodate three super-sized child seats and/or boosters of the modern day. Today’s side impact technologies put an even tighter squeeze on middle-row seating. So long story short, since you have the Sienna, I would keep that and get your wife a third car.

If you absolutely must have all-wheel-drive and a new vehicle, my top pick would be a Kia Sorento. You are going to be $2,000 to $3,000 over on the $25,000 budget before tag, tax, title, and the inflated doc fee. But the Sorento has received outstanding reviews, and you should be able to make it a keeper for a long time given the third row.

Another good option would be a front-wheel drive vehicle that comfortably handles three adults and three children with proper restraints which also offers a solid safety record. If you chose this path, investing in a good set of snow tires would make a far greater difference in inclement weather than all-wheel drive. I happen to love the Ford C-Max. A small army of owners prefer the Chrysler minivans, and I’m inclined to think that the extra space for the full-sized minivan would come in handy for your family.

A Chrysler minivan will likely be a great fit if your au pair is comfortable driving something that big. I would encourage you to rent out both of these vehicles and see whether your au pair is comfortable with them on the road if, and only if, your wife is resistant towards offering her the Sienna.

All the best!

You can reach Steve Lang directly at carselect@gmail.com

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Monday Mileage Midget: 2011 Honda Accord LX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/late-monday-mileage-midget-2011-honda-accord-lx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/late-monday-mileage-midget-2011-honda-accord-lx/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 13:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467470 Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings. Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again. This 2011 Honda Accord LX has only 8,900 miles on it. […]

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Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.

Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.

This 2011 Honda Accord LX has only 8,900 miles on it.

But it is the automotive equivalent of a heffalump at a retail lot. Because it also comes with…

1) A five-speed manual transmission.

2) Carfax confirmed accident & frame damage history.

3) A new generation that has just been released to the public.

The Honda dealer down the road from me needed well over six months to sell all of two manual equipped Honda Accord sedans that were allocated to him for this year. They each sold for $18,500 out the door.  A minor loss on paper and more than likely also in the perception of the Accord as a premium vehicle to a limited extent.

Let me explain the dealer perspective on this. Manuals can do fine on the seemingly fun and sporty midsized vehicles… so long as you keep the sticks spec’d towards sportiness.

Toyota and Nissan can get away with selling SE branded models as sticks because there is at least a passing glance towards sporty driving. The Altima SE more so. The Camry SE less so.

However, big boring base models don’t have near the level of market acceptance when it comes to all things stick  The larger the car. The more comfort oriented the interior. The less you can sell this stick.

This Accord happened to fit all three pre-requisites for flying off yet another depreciation cliff. Big. Boring. Base.

The minor accident history and the buzz on the new Accord all but closed the coffin like interest in the Accord today. Still, it is an Accord and rarely is there a vehicle in the marketplace more popular and well-regarded as one with this hallowed name. So it will sell. Somewhere. Somehow.

Your question for today is this. How much? As a measure of value for all things Accord, let me just say that I bought a silver 2005 Accord LX sedan for $7300. Mid-level. No sunroof. But owned by one family with dealer records and no accident history.

You want a better yardstick than one? Check Autotrader, Craigslist, or even the values given by Edmunds, KBB and NADA.

Then check your gut. Make a guess, and perhaps throw in a nice story of a stick bought for cheap. Did that car equipped with a handshaking theft deterrent system meet my critieria? Or was it that rare good deal that is as common as this Accord?

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