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345 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 228691 17-Jan-2018 16:11
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After our first trip away, it has hit home how much stuff / space a newborn baby occupies in a car. As such a bigger car is under consideration.

What we are considering is swapping our corolla for an electric car for most city stuff (wide doesn't want to park bigger car in city). And to get another car for out of town trips / towing, and when we need two cars at once. As such I think I will only do around 5000km a year in it, as such fuel cost isn't such a big deal.

As such we are looking at the bigger end of the spectrum, what should I buy for $10k - $20k (prefer bottom of range)

Seen as this is planned to be my last non-electric car, I want something somewhat interesting (I have done the prudent thing with the corolla).

Ultimately looking for a nice, comfortable high way cruiser. If it's an SUV i would like 4wd / awd to drive the likes of 90 mile beach. Also would like 1.5T+ Tow rating. I don't really mind high mileage as long as condition is good.

Prudent choices:

2008 - 2010 Commodore sports wagon (3.6L)

$10k - 14k

+ Decent performance
+ Decent interior space
+ Common for parts etc

- Wife doesn't like look / brand.

2010 era Subaru Outback (3.6L) or Legacy (turbo)

$10k - 14k

+ Reasonable space
+ Great performance (especially Legacy GT)

- Subaru reliability issues (especially the GT, prob would go Outback for that reason)

2010 era Toyota Highlander (3.5L)

$15- 18k

+ Biggest so far.
+ My current toyota has been very reliable so I respect the brand. 3.5L engine has a good reputation.

- Relatively higher cost
- Higher spec levels (electronic seats etc) are harder to find than in the Subaru's

Riskier choices:

2006 era Jeep Grand Cherokee. (5.7L petrol or 3.0L diesel)

$12k - $17k

+ Wife likes looks.
+ Powerful engines (petrol 250kW, Diesel 160kW)
+ Diesel available for lesser fuel costs than everything else on the list.
+ Decent off roader,
+ Easy to find high spec models (memory seats, preimum audio etc)

- Jeep Reliability
- Fuel costs of Petrol model (14L/100km even with cylinder deactivation)
- Cheap looking dash etc.

2001-2002 era Lexus LX470 (4.7L petrol) basically a 100 series landcruiser with a petrol engine and nice interior. (diesel landcruiser is outside of budget)

$17 - 20k.

 

+ Massive interior space
+ I have always wanted a full size landcruiser
+ Wife likes Lexus branding
+ Legendary Land-cruiser durability and off road ability (when not cramped by massive vehicle size).
+ Very comfortable vehicle to travel in.

- Fuel consumption (15.7L/100km highway, 21.4 L/100km in city)
- Weak engine for vehicle size, and fuel consumption. (170kW, 434 Nm)


Any comments? - I'm leaning towards the jeep, but haven't been inside one yet.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1941643 17-Jan-2018 18:12
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Take a look at the Mitsubishi Outlander - my boss picked up a pair for our use at work, and they're bloody good at what they do. Unsure on what the price or year is off the top of my head, however they're mid-late 2000, as the jap import head unit in mine lacks AUX/Bluetooth, while his one is the next year on (and maybe trim level) and does have it.

 

Otherwise, former co-worker got a Highlander, and it was quite nice too.


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  Reply # 1941657 17-Jan-2018 19:30
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I was impressed by a mates Mitzi ASX. Not a big car but the boot seemed yuge.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1941658 17-Jan-2018 19:36
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Out of your choices I would go the Toyota/ Lexus for SUV otherwise the Subaru. The Holden mainly has value partly due to Bogan appeal. If you are serious about the Holden, look out for timing chain issues. They stretch and are very expensive to replace.

If going for the Subaru, definitely get the 6 cylinder version, as it is a far better engine that the 4 cylinder versions. Unless the turbo is a must have. Although not much power difference between turbo and 6 cylinder unless you modify the turbo. The Subaru 5 speed automatic gearbox is also far better than the 4 speed if you are getting the automatic.

Highlander - some are only front wheel drive. Make sure you check. Although the FWD ones will use a little less fuel.





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  Reply # 1941659 17-Jan-2018 19:37
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How often to you do out of town trips?

 

Can you just rent something when you need the large vehicle?

 

$20k on a vehicle to sit in the drive 90% of the year doesn't seem like good value..





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  Reply # 1941660 17-Jan-2018 19:41
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Also, how important is long term resale value? As SUVs will hold their value better than a wagon. As Telsa currently make the only electric SUV. And suitable battery technology doesn't yet exist to make an electric SUV suitable for long distance towing.





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  Reply # 1941669 17-Jan-2018 20:17
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I have a subaru 2006 legacy 2l non turbo which I paid $6000 for 2 and half years ago.  Runs fine efficient on the open road.

 

I have towed 1000kg with it unbracked and while I wouldn't recommend it it ran fine and stopped okay.  Handles great on snow and I imagine with a bit more wheel clearance (aka the outlander) would handle beaches fine (I have driven on sand no problem).

 

Had an issue with the fuel pump that cost $600 to fix (including pickup from home and delivery to work) other than that no problems.

 

Think about how often you will need to carry a large load.  Perhaps a cheaper car and trailer might be a better option?


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  Reply # 1941672 17-Jan-2018 20:32
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@Scott3 Do yourself a favor and get a DEMO outlander 7 seater. Far better than getting old car.

 

It is also fun to drive.






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  Reply # 1941740 17-Jan-2018 23:10
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I know what I would pick :)

 

Toyota Avensis for less than 20K

 

Go with a Toyota or Lexus SUV if you want a bigger car.

 

I would avoid the Jeep like the plague, it will eat up your money and time in things you will have to get fixed.







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1941760 18-Jan-2018 00:30
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Thank you everybody for your responses. No love for the jeep yet...

toejam316:

 

Take a look at the Mitsubishi Outlander - my boss picked up a pair for our use at work, and they're bloody good at what they do. Unsure on what the price or year is off the top of my head, however they're mid-late 2000, as the jap import head unit in mine lacks AUX/Bluetooth, while his one is the next year on (and maybe trim level) and does have it.

 

Otherwise, former co-worker got a Highlander, and it was quite nice too.

 



My farther has owned one of the early previous generation Outlanders since new, And I have spent quite a bit of time in it. Looks like I could get one for $6k - 10k.

While it is a good car, I am keen for something different.

 

Pluses are the interior space to cost ratio, and negatives are the overly soft rear suspension, and uncomfortable rear seat, and road noise.

 

kryptonjohn:

 

I was impressed by a mates Mitzi ASX. Not a big car but the boot seemed yuge.

 



I haven't been in one, but my general impression of cars in this class is that they have the interior space of a hatchback (perhaps this comment is false in regards to the ASX). Want at least double the boot space of my corolla hatchback, ideally more.

Aredwood: Out of your choices I would go the Toyota/ Lexus for SUV otherwise the Subaru. The Holden mainly has value partly due to Bogan appeal. If you are serious about the Holden, look out for timing chain issues. They stretch and are very expensive to replace.

If going for the Subaru, definitely get the 6 cylinder version, as it is a far better engine that the 4 cylinder versions. Unless the turbo is a must have. Although not much power difference between turbo and 6 cylinder unless you modify the turbo. The Subaru 5 speed automatic gearbox is also far better than the 4 speed if you are getting the automatic.

Highlander - some are only front wheel drive. Make sure you check. Although the FWD ones will use a little less fuel.

 

I have a Toyota at the moment, so it does seem like a safe bet to go that way for the SUV.

I don't think I will get the Holden as my wife doesn't like the styling. I included it on the list as it seems to be the best value for for large interior space and decent performance.

The four cylinder Subaru engine in general seem's inferior to the 6 cylinder. Have driven a legacy GT before, and it went like stink (but drunk fuel like anything when towing - like 25 L/100km when towing a large boat on the open road). Legacy wagons do seem to be cheaper than outbacks though. Would get auto. Manuals seem rare anyway. Also a little put off manual legacies after seeing somebody really struggle to pull a light trailer out of our steep driveway with one. Driver was doing the right things, but computer would take power away from the engine about half way up for some reason.

Regarding the highlander. Probably would get the AWD one. Have heard that the 200kW FWD is a bit loose in the wet. As with most people I don't really need AWD, but it would be nice to have it if I launch a boat of the beach or a dirt ramp, or want to take it on the sand. I understand the highlander AWD system isn't as good as the other AWD cars on the list.

 

mentalinc:

 

How often to you do out of town trips?

 

Can you just rent something when you need the large vehicle?

 

$20k on a vehicle to sit in the drive 90% of the year doesn't seem like good value..

 



Number of out of town trips varies, but not terribly frequent. Hoping to do a bit more this year given that babies grandparents and great grand parents are out of town. Car would probiably also get used twice a week for short trips when me and my wife want to drive to different places.

I could rent, but generally rental of larger vehicles is quite expensive. Also the larger vehicle often sell out at holiday times & long weekends, and very few companies have ones with tow-bars.

I do get your point though. Ignoring capital cost & depreciation it probability costs $1400 plus per year to keep a vehicle insured, maintained, warranted, and registered a year before any use. 

 

Aredwood: Also, how important is long term resale value? As SUVs will hold their value better than a wagon. As Telsa currently make the only electric SUV. And suitable battery technology doesn't yet exist to make an electric SUV suitable for long distance towing.


Ultimately total cost of ownership is what is important. That said, I am used to owning cars that depreciate down to nearly zero (Japanese sedans and hatchbacks).

Partially diesel full frame vehicles seem to have the lowest depreciation, but modern ones of those (fortuner etc) are out of of my price range, and you are right, as a general comment suv's (partially ones with more seats) do seem to depreciate less. Probably another reason to stay away from the Holden. I figure the Lexus is near the bottom of their depreciation curve (allthough may be very difficult to offload if we end up with $3/L petrol).

I would love the Outlander PHEV, even though it doesn't meet the tow rating I want. Unfortunately it is out of my price range, and the facelift one (which is the only one my wife likes the styling of) is even more out of my price range.

At the moment I think a city EV, and a thirsty larger car is the best combination this two driver household.

 

blackjack17:

 

I have a subaru 2006 legacy 2l non turbo which I paid $6000 for 2 and half years ago.  Runs fine efficient on the open road.

 

I have towed 1000kg with it unbracked and while I wouldn't recommend it it ran fine and stopped okay.  Handles great on snow and I imagine with a bit more wheel clearance (aka the outlander) would handle beaches fine (I have driven on sand no problem).

 

Had an issue with the fuel pump that cost $600 to fix (including pickup from home and delivery to work) other than that no problems.

 

Think about how often you will need to carry a large load.  Perhaps a cheaper car and trailer might be a better option?

 



Yours is tow generations back right? (floating roof at rear) If I went for a legacy, I would get the previous generation one (latest they made in wagon shape), I think it's bigger. 

I have driven the 2.5 non-turbo wagon (2010 era) as a rental car. Fount drive train lacking compared to the 2.4 CVT outlander (we did have 5 adults in it though). When I drove a GT it had power in excess.


Regarding trailers, I have thought about this.

I have done a lot of driving with trailers in the past, the obvious downsides are the lower speed limit, and needing multiple parking spaces. Also you are restricted to towing only one trailer behind a car. Also cheaper cars (with the possible exception of the ford falcon) generally can't tow heavy.

 

Also we already have multiple trailers here (boats), any further trailers would end up on the lawn which I am keen to avoid.

 

nakedmolerat:

 

@Scott3 Do yourself a favor and get a DEMO outlander 7 seater. Far better than getting old car.

 

It is also fun to drive.

 

 

They seem to run at about $32k, quite a bit more than budget (although a new car warranty is worth something).

I have never driven the current generation out lander, but I have heard that they have fixed most of the bugs in the old generation.

If I went this route, I would be really keen on the the plug-in variant that is even more expensive.

Might swing by a dealership and look at one in person.

 

jarledb:

 

I know what I would pick :)

 

Toyota Avensis for less than 20K

 

Go with a Toyota or Lexus SUV if you want a bigger car.

 

I would avoid the Jeep like the plague, it will eat up your money and time in things you will have to get fixed.

 



We had new Avensis at work a job I did something like 8 years ago. Really put me off them. Despite having a decently large engine, it felt really under-powered to drive, and the air-conditioning was really weak. I think this car is euro designed and built.

That said, hopefully they have come up with a better product in the latest generation. (and unlike the SUV's my budget could buy the latest generation)

Frankly a car like that would meet my transport needs, but I am looking for something a bit more interesting.

Also they seem to depreciate really fast. $38,190 base RSP, and I could buy one under 4 years old for $15k...


There is a lot of love the the Toyota built cars on here :)

Regarding that Jeep, they seem like awesome value. I would probiably go for the diesel. the mercadies built 3.0L diesel engine seems to have a good reputation, and ample power.

This one for example this one seems to have heaps of features, and good engine / transmission for not much money. 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/jeep/auction-1512961851.htm?rsqid=56c88ebd8c1a4d8baee7ff0de4ff0699

On the other hand, the austrialian product review page dosn't make it look like a car I want to own.

https://www.productreview.com.au/p/jeep-grand-cherokee-2005-present/m/wh-wk-2005-2010.html

Previous generation Toyota highlander for comparison:

https://www.productreview.com.au/p/2014-toyota-kluger/m/xu40-2008-2013.html



One final car for comment. Would an old 5 series BMW wagon be a good idea?

They are cheap as chips, and would make a very nice highway car.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1517689579.htm?rsqid=35bca23537104a70b6b550e5055c046c


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  Reply # 1941778 18-Jan-2018 06:58
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I’ve just went through the same mentality now got myself an engine I love with a brand wife approve. Though slightly above 20k for a 2011 Volvo XC90 V8. Yamaha engine and aisin transmission.

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  Reply # 1941782 18-Jan-2018 07:23
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alliao: I’ve just went through the same mentality now got myself an engine I love with a brand wife approve. Though slightly above 20k for a 2011 Volvo XC90 V8. Yamaha engine and aisin transmission.

 

Just googled it and WOW. I want one! Does it break?


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  Reply # 1941784 18-Jan-2018 07:41
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Scott3:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

I was impressed by a mates Mitzi ASX. Not a big car but the boot seemed yuge.

 



I haven't been in one, but my general impression of cars in this class is that they have the interior space of a hatchback (perhaps this comment is false in regards to the ASX). Want at least double the boot space of my corolla hatchback, ideally more.

 

 

I think the ASX has a lot more boot than a Corolla hatch. We fit 4 dudes and 4 sets of golf clubs in with ease. With 1 baby you can also split the rear seat with 70% down flat. I recon it's worth taking a look at one.

 

I would be scared of buying an older or more complex car as you are more likely to be spending money on it. The Lexus is reliable but you will have to fill it after driving to the dairy and back. The Mitzis have long warranties.(5/10 year).

 

 


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  Reply # 1941785 18-Jan-2018 07:56
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I have rented Highlanders a number of times for decent periods accross a few years worth of revisions and I have always thought they fulfilled their brief brilliantly.

 

The later ones especially handle much better than older models, they have enough power, they are comfortable, acres of practical space, credible off-road/snow/wet performance and in theory, should be as reliable and hold value like any other Toyota.

 

For the purposes you want, I would certainly put this at the top of your list to test.

 

  • IMHO the Outbacks are great cars but woefully underpowered in 4-cylinder form as mentioned above
  • I have driven one Outlander and hated it - just a joyless, turgid experience all round, though granted it was one of the older models - it may be better now. That said, I have never driven a Mitsubishi that I liked!
  • I didn't see it on the list, but just in case it comes up: Stay well away from the Holden Captiva - rented one recently and it was junk.
  • Jeeps are a real roll of the dice in terms of reliabilty and running costs, but the Grand Cherokees are a nice SUV with genuine off-road cred if you get a good one...

For Wagons:

 

  • Avensis sold, safe choice but Zzzzz
  • BMW 5 or 3s are nice, comfy, good to drive, practical but do your research with regards to engines, models, known issues and history - BMWs in general always top any survey of "Highest cost of ownership"
  • E-Class or C-Class Merc. See "BMW"
  • The Holden SV6 is Okish - not spent much time in it. Can get a bit tail-happy in the wet...or maybe that was just my driving.
  • A lot of nice options in the Volvo world XC90, XC60, V60 etc etc but same applies here as to the BMW with regards caution...

Other thoughts:

 

  • Subaru Forester XT? Bit basic inside, but nice blend of SUV practictality and safety with more car like handling and decent poke.




.

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  Reply # 1941786 18-Jan-2018 07:59
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Probably a really bad idea in terms of running costs, reliability and risk, but if you wanted something interesting I have always had a soft spot for the Passat R36 Wagon.

 

 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/volkswagen/auction-1451409525.htm?rsqid=9aaebd8c428d483ca5b6b5ebb328c612

 

 

 

Came very close to buying one in Dubai, but change of plans and job put pay to that!





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1941787 18-Jan-2018 08:02
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Batman:

 

alliao: I've just went through the same mentality now got myself an engine I love with a brand wife approve. Though slightly above 20k for a 2011 Volvo XC90 V8. Yamaha engine and aisin transmission.

 

Just googled it and WOW. I want one! Does it break?

 

 

I'm sure it breaks... but coming from a UK engined 4 potter bmw nothing fazes me.

 

The idea is to get one after 2008 so it's got that dodgy transmission valve bug fixed. Otherwise it's the usual maintenance for cars this size and age? Looking at the maintenance schedule big one's around 120k so either get one way before or way after I'd say so you know it's got some expensive suspension stuff fixed or still some life in them.


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