Ask The Best And Brightest: Tribeca, Compass, Santa Fe, Highlander, CR-V Or…?
Sharon found TTAC via a Google search, read our Tribeca and Compass reviews and freaked. "We are pretty clueless on car shopping and have spent way too many hours already. I would like someone's opinion that gives it to me straight." Here's the deal… She's buying the vehicle for two college-bound children. They'll be driving it in Fort Collins, CO, commuting back to Mom and Dad some six hours away in Santa Fe, NM. "One of them will keep the car as long as they can hold onto it and ensure proper maintenance." She's leaning towards the Tribeca, from a safety POV: "good test ratings, side bags, overhead curtain." Current vehicles: 2003 Tahoe (love it); 1996 Pathfinder (good condition); 1999 Honda Accord ("the transmission blew out and that's why were are in the market") and 2002 Nissan Frontier. Sharon's looking to spend $18k – $22k for this, their first used purchase. "We got a good offer (or we think it is good) on the Tribeca that happens to be fully loaded. The gas cap says 'premium preferred', but they tell us that it is not required. A Jeep salesperson just told me that Jeep is not going to make Compass in 2009 and just stick to the Patriots. His dealership in Santa Fe does not have a Compass to test drive new or used." OK guys, she asked for it: give her the inside dope. (Lateral thinking allowed.)Click here to vote on the B&B's recommendationsClick here to view voting results.
I repeat my recommendation of investigating public transit/greyhound for the kids' needs. If secure on-campus parking is either expensive or non-existent, a car can be a big headache. Among the vehicles discussed, I'd vote for putting the new transmission in your Honda if you decide to let them have a car at school. You know that car's shortcomings--any "new" used car would have all sorts of "X-factors" to deal with from 6 hours away.
Uh-oh. Just got this email from Sharon, who said she couldn't handle the logging-in part of the program... "Bottom line, we caved this weekend and landed up purchasing a 2006 Grand Jeep Cherokee that was in pristine condition had 38K miles. They were having a sale and with trade-in $3,500 off our Honda, landed up paying $14K. They have offered a $2,600, 4-year or 50K mile bumper to bumper warranty that we will probably land up buying because this is the first used car we have ever purchased and did not want to get a lemon. We all appreciated your reader's comments, particularly on the compass. I am afraid to ask what they would think of a Jeep Cherokee, but the deed has been done! Thanks again. I would respond to each one individually, but am having difficultly understanding the process." Horse. Water. Lead. Drink. Not.
WHAT? Was that even one of the choices? Oh well people don't have to take the advice given. The worst part is I don't even romotely think that was a good deal. There was a local place selling a virtually idential one that she decribed with a price of $13,800 on the window and that was over a month ago before SUV's values dropped off a cliff. Oh well I hope they enjoy their new/old car and get many trouble free & safe miles out of it.
seoultrain, I'm actually working with VW to answer questions about the Tiguan. I offered the suggestion because they were originally comparing three similar crossovers and given some of the VW's advantages, it's worth looking into. While we can offer up a million different alternatives, it seems as if they are fairly set on a type of car and a price range, to which the VW clearly applies. In terms of reliability, VW has made tremendous improvements over the last several years. In addition, the Tiguan's warranty covers virtually anything that could possibly arise in the time frame of a lease. So long as the driver properly maintains the car, it will be fine. While overall the hyundai would come out to be a few thousand less, there is a lot to be said for the overall refinement of the VW's amenities, as well as its superior performance.