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Help me pick my next car - Page 7

post #181 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

Years ago I read a report in C.R. magazine criticizing my '93 Toyota MR2 for having a small trunk. It is a 2 seater sports car, so it is not supposed to have a trunk the size of a '60s Cadillac! In fact the MR2 has a small rear trunk and a tiny front trunk (engine is in the middle) so it has better trunk capacity than most sports cars.

 

IMO, if you want an evaluation for a car, go to a car magazine written by car guys, not Consumer's Report.

 

Well, the tiny trunk thing is kind of "duh" moment - I just skip over stuff like that when I'm reseaching.  The thing about CR auto reviews is that they do head-to-head tests that cover things that are important to me like reliability and service history.  But I don't often buy (or avoid) anything based on one source's recommendation - CR has some good info, forums have some good info, blogs and articles have some good info, and I usually know what qualities I'm looking for so I check out the info available on those qualities and try to ignore info that isn't directed toward my interests.  

 

Do people buy skis or boots based strictly on Ski magazine's reviews?  Or Blister Gear's?  Or Epic's?  I'd suggest that they should look at many sources and balance what they find against their own preferences and prejudices?  

post #182 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 

down to about 20 or so cars.....  :D


Well, considering the amount of cars that are in the running, that's something.

But seriously, If I ask a question on EpicSki about a ski car and am thinking about  three or four aspects that are important to me in a ski car I know I'll get some good feedback based on other Bears experience.  

  • How long is the cargo area with seats down? (can we fit a 180cm set of skis in it)
  • How many passengers can you get in the car when you have a few pair of skis in it? 
  • How good is driving in mountains? 
  • Fuel Economy? 

 

If 50 Bears give me 50 different cars to fit those needs I can quickly tick off the ones that don't make the cut for me (personally) and narrow it down to 3 that I may like to go test drive.  I may even use my own brain to sort that out :D 

Like even with skis or many products, you have to consider not only the recommendation, you also have to consider the source. Are they recommending something that is actually good for you or are they trying to validate their own decision? 

post #183 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
 

 

Consumer reports is hardly reliable they are extremely biased and not many people treat anything  besides their appliances recommendations as a good info 


Eagles drives a prius - it is the same as an appliance...

post #184 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 


Eagles drives a prius - it is the same as an appliance...

Oooooh burn!

post #185 of 208

The best ski car is a used Pontiac Vibe.  It's the perfect combination of Toyota reliability and Pontiac resale value.  Take the difference in price between that and a brown Jetta TDI manual wagon and fly to Aspen for a week.  Twice.

 

BK

post #186 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

Why not take both into consideration?   I look at the car magazines to review the car guy/gal stuff and Consumer Reports to review the reliability and utilitarian aspects of a vehicle.  JD Powers and MSN autos also has interesting reliability info.  I'll also look at all the safety and crash test info.  Why not take all into account?

 

This approach has served me well.  I've had several vehicles that were both on Car and Driver's ten best list and had top reliability ratings from Consumer Reports.   My 1979 Mazda RX-7 and my current G35 are examples.... at which point I'll throw in the most fun ski car is a rear wheel drive sports car with a high horsepower/weight ratio and four studded snow tires.   I had nearly as much fun driving (mostly sideways) over Berthoud Pass in my RX-7 as I did skiing the Jane (my passengers might disagree :eek).   @DanoT your MR2 would have awesome too!

 

yep, you also need to look how a vehicle is categorized.  Light truck vs passenger vehicles have different requirements and standards.  

 

Ahhh, yes, so we now have sports cars added to the list of qualified Ski-vehicles....  This reminds me of James bonds Lotus in "For Your Eyes Only"

 

post #187 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

I think my days of serious off-roading are on hold for now but I do need something that can handle mild terrain so I am ruling out sedans. I would also like the ability to transport a couple of downhill mountain bikes which is why I have been looking at trucks.

 

I have a downhill mountain bike with a through axle. I dealt with that with a hitch-mounted Thule bike rack on my Outback. So if that's the only concern, as long as you can install a hitch, you don't need to limit yourself to trucks.

post #188 of 208

SOLUTION:  FWIW, most  mtn bikes are Through axles now.    Yakima Holdup 

 

post #189 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

@NayBreak
 -  A jeep is a jeep!  

Always.

Big engine + greater low range gearing reduction than typical + half ton drivetrain = Boom.

And the reason our OP wants help for picking his new car.

I think he would find the build quality, design, and longevity of things like Toyota axles/carrier housing, bearings, and other stress failure points enlightening (at least on certain models), but you have to pay to play.

Reliability is more than failure to me. It is also how long a vehicle still feels solid after years of use and drives like it always did with basic maintenance. Jeeps in my extensive experience don't fare too well here, but again, there is a price to be paid for a focus on weight reduction and use of light duty components. That's true for cars and trucks, and is a significant factor in ownership experience unless you turn cars on a leasing type schedule every few years and pay the big premium to always drive new and under warranty.

I care much more about this than things like first 90 day warranty claims ratings, because none of that has anything to do with years 5-10. 90 days is short. How the vehicle feels in middle age, even if nothing actually fails, is long....

Of course, I just spent 8 hours changing the f'ing alternator on my Nissan minivan, including The Impossible Bolt that accompanies every bit of work on that thing. Truck engine bays are pure nirvana.
post #190 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuller View Post
 

Not to derail this thread too far but after a lengthy decision making process I've pretty much settled on a 2015 Outback. So the question is whether to stick with the 4 cylinder or pay an extra 3K for the six? You lose about 3-4 mpg with the six but it definitely will go up a mountain with more style and less noise. This will be a flatlander's car for 10 months out of the year but needs to pull it's weight in the mountains for the other two.

 

I'm sure there's quite a few 4 cyl Outback owners here at Epic, any horror stories with underpowered Outbacks or am I just looking for an excuse to spend more and go faster?

 

I have a 2008 Outback XT with just about 97k miles on it. It's a 4 cylinder 2.5L with turbo. The turbo makes a huge difference on uphills on I-70. I'd probably prefer it to a V6 without turbo. But I don't think they're doing turbo anymore ... so ... V6. But then I've always preferred power to not power.

 

My 2004 WRX has a 4 cylinder 2L turbo. It was a pain on steep hairpin turns. Always lugging or whining.

 

Both of these are/were stick.

post #191 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Truck engine bays are pure nirvana.

You should take a peak in the engine bay of a 2011+ F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost. Not nearly as roomy as the truck of yesteryear. I can stand in the engine bay in front of the motor of my grandpa's '91 Chevy 1500, but in mine you have to try to even see the ground. Radiators, hoses, and intake ducting fill the gaps very well. Still better than most vehicles though.
post #192 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Truck engine bays are pure nirvana.

You should take a peak in the engine bay of a 2011+ F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost. Not nearly as roomy as the truck of yesteryear. I can stand in the engine bay in front of the motor of my grandpa's '91 Chevy 1500, but in mine you have to try to even see the ground. Radiators, hoses, and intake ducting fill the gaps very well. Still better than most vehicles though.

My 92 Miata's engine bay has a ton of room to work in it. 

post #193 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post


You should take a peak in the engine bay of a 2011+ F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost. Not nearly as roomy as the truck of yesteryear. I can stand in the engine bay in front of the motor of my grandpa's '91 Chevy 1500, but in mine you have to try to even see the ground. Radiators, hoses, and intake ducting fill the gaps very well. Still better than most vehicles though.


It is not so much the space it is that i need a step stool to be able to reach it......:eek

post #194 of 208

I think the engineers must stay up late at night figuring out how to make things more difficult for the do it your self guys and gals.  I have seen things go from dead easy (1960's staight six in a full size ford = room to work on things) to downright nasty.   Even something as simple as changing a tail light can end up costing you if you don't do a little research first, with hidden tabs and incredibly high friction fitting, to say nothing of that GM mini van that had you partially remove the engine to change a spark plug,  You had to jack up my '92 chevrolet to reach some spark plugs, but at least you could reach them.  The '83 was better.  I think things started going downhill around the mid 1970s, but it was compensated for by things like more widespread electronic (pointless?) ignition, and longer mileage between tune ups. 

 

Perfect ski car, depends on how much you can afford for gas, where you live (local road and hill conditions).  My mom has a 4x4 Vibe, and while it's not as roomy as an old Wagon, it's not a bad ski car.  Reliability has not been bad either.   Here in Ontario Canada I could get by with a Charger.  Heck, for the money, I'll just make do with the cheapest car on the road.  Anybody know where I can find some good hearing protection?

post #195 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Truck engine bays are pure nirvana.

You should take a peak in the engine bay of a 2011+ F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost. Not nearly as roomy as the truck of yesteryear. I can stand in the engine bay in front of the motor of my grandpa's '91 Chevy 1500, but in mine you have to try to even see the ground. Radiators, hoses, and intake ducting fill the gaps very well. Still better than most vehicles though.

My 92 Miata's engine bay has a ton of room to work in it. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post


You should take a peak in the engine bay of a 2011+ F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost. Not nearly as roomy as the truck of yesteryear. I can stand in the engine bay in front of the motor of my grandpa's '91 Chevy 1500, but in mine you have to try to even see the ground. Radiators, hoses, and intake ducting fill the gaps very well. Still better than most vehicles though.


It is not so much the space it is that i need a step stool to be able to reach it......:eek

You talking about the Miata? 

post #196 of 208
I think it is fine that deciding to change your front struts at 90K miles yourself instead if paying $900 to some shop that employs three year olds with hands small enough to do major automotive work means taking on a 50/50 chance of having to amputate your arm with a pocket knife like that dude in the Utah desert.
post #197 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

 

You talking about the Miata? 


ROFL!  No, the F150.  i may be short but even i can reach the engine bay of the Miata......

 

Now replacing the plugs on the 997 is a different issue....being smaller actually helps when crawling underneath and trying to get a 3/8 socket with 3 extensions and 2 universal joints onto the plug....

post #198 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I think the engineers must stay up late at night figuring out how to make things more difficult for the do it your self guys and gals.  I have seen things go from dead easy (1960's staight six in a full size ford = room to work on things) to downright nasty.   Even something as simple as changing a tail light can end up costing you if you don't do a little research first, with hidden tabs and incredibly high friction fitting, to say nothing of that GM mini van that had you partially remove the engine to change a spark plug,  You had to jack up my '92 chevrolet to reach some spark plugs, but at least you could reach them.  The '83 was better.  I think things started going downhill around the mid 1970s, but it was compensated for by things like more widespread electronic (pointless?) ignition, and longer mileage between tune ups.
I think it boils down mainly to the consumers wanting smaller, lighter vehicles with more features and better gas mileage, without sacrificing interior size. Engineers are forced to cram as many features in the smallest space possible and the result are cars that are very difficult to work on. Add in the dizzying array of electronics that are used to control every thing and the DIYer has got their work cut out for them. It is actually getting to the point where many small mechanic shops are finding themselves in hard times because even they can't keep up without investing large amounts of money or time. Working for the #1 professional tools company, we are benefiting from the constant need for new tools. In a matter of years, nearly everyone will need a diagnostic platform to fix anything on a vehicle. Some new BMWs require one to reset the computer after replacing a headlight bulb.
post #199 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I think the engineers must stay up late at night figuring out how to make things more difficult for the do it your self guys and gals.  I have seen things go from dead easy (1960's staight six in a full size ford = room to work on things) to downright nasty.   Even something as simple as changing a tail light can end up costing you if you don't do a little research first, with hidden tabs and incredibly high friction fitting, to say nothing of that GM mini van that had you partially remove the engine to change a spark plug,  You had to jack up my '92 chevrolet to reach some spark plugs, but at least you could reach them.  The '83 was better.  I think things started going downhill around the mid 1970s, but it was compensated for by things like more widespread electronic (pointless?) ignition, and longer mileage between tune ups.
I think it boils down mainly to the consumers wanting smaller, lighter vehicles with more features and better gas mileage, without sacrificing interior size. Engineers are forced to cram as many features in the smallest space possible and the result are cars that are very difficult to work on. Add in the dizzying array of electronics that are used to control every thing and the DIYer has got their work cut out for them. It is actually getting to the point where many small mechanic shops are finding themselves in hard times because even they can't keep up without investing large amounts of money or time. Working for the #1 professional tools company, we are benefiting from the constant need for new tools. In a matter of years, nearly everyone will need a diagnostic platform to fix anything on a vehicle. Some new BMWs require one to reset the computer after replacing a headlight bulb.

 

If the manufacturer could figure out a way to weld a hood shut, they would. Not limited to the auto industry the there is little or no consideration with the designers disconnect and the end user. I hate paying 4 hours labor to get to a 50 cent part. I do think the need for more safety consideration/laws are making less room for the engine and other design aspects. This is now of the things that impressing me the most with the new Miata, they are keeping the weight of the 2015 within 100lb of the 1990 model and still have all the additional structure, airbags and creature comforts that the majority of the people demand..waiting for @Rossi Smash to chime in...

post #200 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post


I think it boils down mainly to the consumers wanting smaller, lighter vehicles with more features and better gas mileage, without sacrificing interior size. Engineers are forced to cram as many features in the smallest space possible and the result are cars that are very difficult to work on. Add in the dizzying array of electronics that are used to control every thing and the DIYer has got their work cut out for them.

 

I prefer more features and better gas mileage over ease of home-wrenching. Actually I'd prefer to never work on my vehicles at all -- not my cup of tea.

post #201 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

I prefer more features and better gas mileage over ease of home-wrenching. Actually I'd prefer to never work on my vehicles at all -- not my cup of tea.

Me, too, although wrenching is hands on productive in a world of digital nonsense, so I will admit some satisfaction in the greasy hands result.

The problem I have is having to remove half the front end of the car to replace a common failure part like an alternator, so I can not only pay exhorbitant prices for the new part, but also shop labor for a radiator flush, radiator removal and reinstall, drive belt removal and reinstall, alternator removal and reinstall, which turns what is a $50 part into a $1K repair.

Too many other checks to write for that one to head to the shop, but most people are screwed in trying to do that kind of work as a shade tree mechanic and it drives TCO way up over time to pay somebody else. Or you sell the car because there is no longer any such thing as a small repair job.
post #202 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post

I think it boils down mainly to the consumers wanting smaller, lighter vehicles with more features and better gas mileage, without sacrificing interior size. Engineers are forced to cram as many features in the smallest space possible and the result are cars that are very difficult to work on. Add in the dizzying array of electronics that are used to control every thing and the DIYer has got their work cut out for them.

I prefer more features and better gas mileage over ease of home-wrenching. Actually I'd prefer to never work on my vehicles at all -- not my cup of tea.

I'm not a big fan of wrenching, but I pull them out because it pisses me off to pay over $100 to have someone change my spark plugs. I'm okay with having someone change my oil though - it's a pain to get rid of the old stuff.

Generally, I've got more time than money.
post #203 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


I'm not a big fan of wrenching, but I pull them out because it pisses me off to pay over $100 to have someone change my spark plugs. I'm okay with having someone change my oil though - it's a pain to get rid of the old stuff.

Generally, I've got more time than money.

 

In British Columbia every place that sells motor oil is required to accept used oil. Don't you guys have something similar in the USA?

post #204 of 208
Our auto parts stores have free used oil disposal...
post #205 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'm not a big fan of wrenching, but I pull them out because it pisses me off to pay over $100 to have someone change my spark plugs. I'm okay with having someone change my oil though - it's a pain to get rid of the old stuff.

Generally, I've got more time than money.

In British Columbia every place that sells motor oil is required to accept used oil. Don't you guys have something similar in the USA?

Hmm, I don't know.
post #206 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Hmm, I don't know.
Pretty sure there is a law that any place that sells oil has to take the used stuff back free. I keep empty oil jugs and put the used oil in them, then return them after I have a bunch filled.
post #207 of 208
Thread Starter 

Well I got a new truck. Ended up getting a Silverado, went in looking for a Colorado but got everything I wanted in the Silverado for only 1k more and I didn't have to order it.

 

They ended up giving me 19500 for the Jeep. Not too bad considering I bought it for 25 and spent 4 years beating it up off roading.  

post #208 of 208
That's a good trade-in. Those unreliable Jeeps sure do hold value nicely biggrin.gif
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