New Or Used: The Weekend Warrior Edition

new or used the weekend warrior edition

Anonymous writes:

I’m in my early twenties, and I’m looking for a car that I can efficiently commute in (about 20 miles round trip) but also take to skiing and camping on the weekend. Efficiency is more important than price, but AWD is a must because I hate messing with chains. Also, I only need room for two people and gear, so no need for a big SUV.

Steve Lang: Most vehicles in the Northern country are not All-Wheel-Drive. In fact, today’s front wheel drive models come with a long list of safety and ‘grip’ features that make them just about as safe as the all wheel drive models of the prior decade. Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control….We’re going to assume that you can’t buy new being in your early 20’s. If you’re looking for something that’s about five years old, all wheel drive, and affordable, my top choice would be the Mitsubishi Outlander. I regularly see these vehicles with 150k+ at the auctions and I’ve yet to find one with an engine or tranny issue. The powertrains are excellent and owners have routinely rated them as just as good or better than the Subaru Forester at owner review sites (Edmunds, Carsurvey, MSN). You can also buy them about three grand cheaper than the overhyped Subie and parts cost should be far lower over the long run as well.

Sajeev Mehta: Stick with small CUVs in your price range, that’s the best way to have your cake and eat it too. Finding a low-mile RAV4/CRV/Escape/Equinox with four-corner, four cylinder motivation is the best for your lifestyle. Drive them all and see which ones fit in your budget. I’d avoid a used Outlander because reselling an old Mitsubishi (versus a Honda, Toyota or even a Ford) as an individual is like pawning a set of WalMart’s finest silverware. You might as well set it on fire instead. That wasn’t an endorsement of insurance fraud, even if it sounded so.

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  • Bimmer Bimmer on Jan 22, 2010

    Since you like to go camping, you can get of of GM's 'deadly sins' - an AWD Aztec. It even has a tent for the back.

  • Accs Accs on Feb 08, 2010

    Jesus.. How bout any decent front driver... any wagon.. going back 5yrs.. would be fine **SCREAMS ---With a SET of SNOWS!** Ya not going to get TRACTION with a set of all seasons!

  • Theflyersfan I remember this era had Camrys and Accords getting thicker on the ground, but I don't recall seeing many Maximas of this generation. At least with my fuzzy recollection of the mid-80s (I was about 10), it took the next generation before seeing more of them on the roads.But the car TALKED. And especially seeing that the only other talking car you knew of was KITT, it was cool as crap to sit in a real talking car. Now we can't get our nav systems and Android Auto to shut the hell up without going through menu after submenu after settings change.
  • Rolandoblomblando I’ve stopped reading Matt Posky articles because of how cynical and ignorant they often are. When I read this headline though I just couldn’t help myself. I mean, really?!Here’s some economics 101 Matt:Demand HIGHSupply LOWmeans price INCREASESSeriously man, this isn’t complicated.
  • Irvingklaws Always wanted to try building a dune buggy (most were originally sold as kits). The Manx's are nice looking, especially when they have the 'side pods' that fill outside the tub. My favorites however were made by another manufacturer, the lesser known Bounty Hunter and subsequent derivative Deserter GT body styles. All were intended to be street legal, at least by the standards of the time. I agree it's an ideal application for EV technology.
  • AndyinMA I like these a lot, of course they will sell.
  • KOKing My parents bought 2 new Datsuns By Nissan during this time, albeit neither was a 810 (81 510 2dr 4sp and 82 720KC 5sp). A schoolmate's dad had the 810 diesel. Nowadays the crankshaft from one is the most valuable at $1-1.5k as they're used to make strokers for Z cars.