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Need + Reward: Another Car Thread

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  • Avatar mapplebum 
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    As WCI notes many of these compact “suvs” are actually no higher than cars and are built on car frames. The AWD will help of course but just depends on how much volume you’re having to plow through. Bought 4wd Tacoma for said purpose though infrequent here

    Click to expand…

    Interesting! Are they heavier? It looks like we average just over 50 inches of snow a year. I’m in an urban neighborhood / midsize city. Weekdays are fine with salt & plowing, city driving just becomes problematic when the snow has been pushed to the sides of the street it becomes packed in and icy. My car rides so low to the ground I’ve gotten stuck going 10MPH and more times than I can count can’t get out of parking spot when the ice /snow is so small I can’t even see why I’m stuck. What happened this winter was by far the exception but as @mpmd so aptly put, when you live in the great north you don’t need AWD until the moment you do. I’m pretty that comment is the reason I started taking seriously the idea that I really need to make a switch. Husband drives a Subaru Forester. It’s a fantastic car but I’m a little person. I’ve tried all the different settings and it’s just too big of a car for me to drive comfortably.

    #222774 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I prefer the Subaru to the Rav 4 or crv. Those bigger SUVs are a different class of vehicle.
    I guess I should have suggested the snow cat

    https://images.app.goo.gl/aveHmHPWzJVx16ZG6

    Click to expand…

    Oh heck yea! Someone in my neighborhood drives a SmartCar and every winter I wonder “how?”

    #222776 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis
    Avatar RDB 
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    I know you are not looking for other recommendations, but the Volvo XC40 looks pretty cool and is in that size range. At this point I would buy what you want, but maybe a couple years old if it is a significant savings vs new.

    #222786 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    1) Snow tires
    2) Ground clearance
    3) Weight
    4) AWD

    None will help with whiteouts nor ice nor stopping . Size constraints you need to try the six way electric adjustable seats. Pedal extenders? Custom heated booster seat?
    Seriously, remote start and do you want cloth or leather seats? Any vehicle is freezing the first 5 minutes, a 3 minute warmup makes a huge difference.

    For heavens sake, keep the instrument and the jewelry. I doubt you will feel much gain dropping much more on a car. You can peek at the Porsche, too much for the teachers lot?
    Honda Fit to ??? RAV4 or CRV-EX or CRV-EXL should work out fine. They drive a little different. See which interior loaded fits your taste.
    Remember, you will have plenty of room for the “instrument and jewelry “ in back!
    Btw, driving in -16 in a polar vortex is a different question. You could drive a Civic or a Hummer with the same results. Try the cars on, see which one fits your style. You deserve it. My guess is the CRV fits best.
    My wife is your size, She keeps her 2007 CRV. Drove a RAV4 and a new CRV. I trimmed the dash with a wood kit, makes her feel pampered. Frugal? Nope, makes it feel a step above. What I don’t know, it worked.
    Enjoy your shopping. Definitely drive more than once, get used to it. What instrument?

    #222811 Reply
    Jaqen Haghar, MD Jaqen Haghar, MD 
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    If you want something to get you though city driving on some snow and ice (50 inches per year isn’t too bad) any AWD SUV will do the job.   What about the Subaru Crosstrek?  It’s smaller, and Subarus are generally decent goat-like on road vehicles for the snowy cities and mountain roads.   Also a CRV in AWD would get the job done, is pretty nice and is big inside and small outside.  You can get heated seats, remote starter, navigation and all the warning bells and whistles with it.

    If you have to drive off-road a little and through 18 inches of unplowed snow regularly, get a 4-Runner, but it’s probably overkill and too big for you.

    Here’s my junk-car wildcard though….  2-door Jeep Wrangler!   Get the hard top, pop on your own rims and upgrade to some bigger soft rubber tires like Goodyear DuraTracs and enjoy your new go-kart.  If you get stuck in the parking lot, just lock up the differential, shift to 4WD, and drive over the barriers, sidewalk, and car-stops to freedom.  Expect 14 miles per gallon, a dental filling loosening suspension, and little annoying parts to start malfunctioning after 5-6 years though.

    Whatever you get, get good snow tires.

    #222861 Reply
    Avatar youngbuck39 
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    https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/testing-the-benefits-of-winter-tires.html

     

    Winter tires are MUCH more important than AWD. It’s likely not *that* cold where you are. I’m from one of the coldest areas of the USA (think Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois) and winters average about 20 degrees F with it dipping down under 0 degrees at times. Even in my home town you really are fine with almost any FWD car.

     

     

    #222894 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    I know you are not looking for other recommendations, but the Volvo XC40 looks pretty cool and is in that size range. At this point I would buy what you want, but maybe a couple years old if it is a significant savings vs new.

    Click to expand…

    We have our second Volvo. It is an XC60, my wife’s car and her choice and replaced an Acura MDX that she drove for 10 years. While the Volvo drives well enough, it has all of the panache of a Chevy Lumina, with the repair costs of a BMW. If I had to do it again, I would have steered her to the Acura RDX, the last car on the list to be eliminated. Nothing screams “safe mom” louder than a Volvo XC, so if that is your vibe…

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #222962 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, mapplebum
    Avatar hightower 
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    Background: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/topic/losing-resolve-a-polar-vortex-story/

    Summary: it took several months to get here but I’ve accepted that I need to buy an AWD vehicle. I live in one of the coldest cities in the country (it’s June 17th and I’m wearing wool socks and a sweatshirt) and even more, after ^ experience every time I got behind the wheel of my Honda Fit I was terrified.

    We’re coming up on one year DWT (done with training). These numbers are a month old but in the year we have gone from $ – 241,000 NW to $ – 70,000.  Shocked and delighted reading the recent Net Worth thread: including all assets (jewelry and instruments) we actually have a $0 Net Worth !!!!!

    A handful of instruments and earrings won’t do much for me in this situation so I’ll stick to my old method. September 1st several things will align

    1. I’ll have the cash to purchase a gently used compact SUV
    2. debts + savings ONLY we’ll be at $0 NW
    3. I turn 33
    4. He’ll receive his first bonus, all of which will go towards accelerating student loan payoff and saving for retirement.

    (I already have an EF established and with bonuses will exceed 20% savings rate)

     

    Here is where I seek wisdom from the frugal chiefs and finance wizards of this forum. I’ve owned two cars, both of which were given to me. I do like cars, probably more than most women, but the expense has always pained me enough to accept whatever was bequeathed to me for free. I’ve done a fair amount of research / navel gazing. I want to choose a car that will last a long time, and not cost an arm and a leg to maintain. My frugal side says to buy a CRV or Rav4. The newest models are pretty slick. But you know what’s slicker? Acura RDX and Lexus UX. Somewhat status vehicles. (The X1 is cool as hell and the perfect size but I’ve all but ruled out BMW and Audi for maintenance costs.) OTOH I’ve always looked forward to the moment when I could buy a car that I want.  The CRV and Rav4 are neither cool nor sexy. Do I deserve to upgrade to a luxury(ish) vehicle? $0 NW isn’t much to write home about. But then, if I drop the cash on a car I’m not all that jazzed about will I want to make another purchase in a couple years?

    Continue delaying gratification or place my bet that if I buy what I want I’ll keep it longer?

    Click to expand…

    Having spent my entire life in a hilly city that snows fairly often during the winter, I’d feel far safer driving in the snow in a Honda Fit (or any other small front wheel drive car) than an SUV, even with AWD.

    If I were you and still 33 (I’m 37), I’d spend the next 4 years not buying anything and saving, saving, saving…instead of spending money on a car, spend it on a trip overseas.  I always felt a sense of buyers remorse after buying a new car, but I’ve never once regretted spending money on travel.

    #222973 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Joined: 01/21/2016
    I always felt a sense of buyers remorse after buying a new car, but I’ve never once regretted spending money on travel.

    Click to expand…

    I am going to save that one!

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #222996 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Background: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/topic/losing-resolve-a-polar-vortex-story/

    Summary: it took several months to get here but I’ve accepted that I need to buy an AWD vehicle. I live in one of the coldest cities in the country (it’s June 17th and I’m wearing wool socks and a sweatshirt) and even more, after ^ experience every time I got behind the wheel of my Honda Fit I was terrified.

    We’re coming up on one year DWT (done with training). These numbers are a month old but in the year we have gone from $ – 241,000 NW to $ – 70,000.  Shocked and delighted reading the recent Net Worth thread: including all assets (jewelry and instruments) we actually have a $0 Net Worth !!!!!

    A handful of instruments and earrings won’t do much for me in this situation so I’ll stick to my old method. September 1st several things will align

    1. I’ll have the cash to purchase a gently used compact SUV
    2. debts + savings ONLY we’ll be at $0 NW
    3. I turn 33
    4. He’ll receive his first bonus, all of which will go towards accelerating student loan payoff and saving for retirement.

    (I already have an EF established and with bonuses will exceed 20% savings rate)

     

    Here is where I seek wisdom from the frugal chiefs and finance wizards of this forum. I’ve owned two cars, both of which were given to me. I do like cars, probably more than most women, but the expense has always pained me enough to accept whatever was bequeathed to me for free. I’ve done a fair amount of research / navel gazing. I want to choose a car that will last a long time, and not cost an arm and a leg to maintain. My frugal side says to buy a CRV or Rav4. The newest models are pretty slick. But you know what’s slicker? Acura RDX and Lexus UX. Somewhat status vehicles. (The X1 is cool as hell and the perfect size but I’ve all but ruled out BMW and Audi for maintenance costs.) OTOH I’ve always looked forward to the moment when I could buy a car that I want.  The CRV and Rav4 are neither cool nor sexy. Do I deserve to upgrade to a luxury(ish) vehicle? $0 NW isn’t much to write home about. But then, if I drop the cash on a car I’m not all that jazzed about will I want to make another purchase in a couple years?

    Continue delaying gratification or place my bet that if I buy what I want I’ll keep it longer?

    Click to expand…

    Having spent my entire life in a hilly city that snows fairly often during the winter, I’d feel far safer driving in the snow in a Honda Fit (or any other small front wheel drive car) than an SUV, even with AWD.

    If I were you and still 33 (I’m 37), I’d spend the next 4 years not buying anything and saving, saving, saving…instead of spending money on a car, spend it on a trip overseas.  I always felt a sense of buyers remorse after buying a new car, but I’ve never once regretted spending money on travel.

    Click to expand…

    I really wish. After the incident I basically begged to drive my husband’s car whenever I was scared of conditions. I’ve driven the Fit since 2012. If I lost faith in it now there’s no way I’ll gain confidence back. But I agree. I would much rather keep my ride and put the money elsewhere.

    #223015 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 312
    Joined: 04/17/2018

    If you want something to get you though city driving on some snow and ice (50 inches per year isn’t too bad) any AWD SUV will do the job.   What about the Subaru Crosstrek?  It’s smaller, and Subarus are generally decent goat-like on road vehicles for the snowy cities and mountain roads.   Also a CRV in AWD would get the job done, is pretty nice and is big inside and small outside.  You can get heated seats, remote starter, navigation and all the warning bells and whistles with it.

    If you have to drive off-road a little and through 18 inches of unplowed snow regularly, get a 4-Runner, but it’s probably overkill and too big for you.

    Here’s my junk-car wildcard though….  2-door Jeep Wrangler!   Get the hard top, pop on your own rims and upgrade to some bigger soft rubber tires like Goodyear DuraTracs and enjoy your new go-kart.  If you get stuck in the parking lot, just lock up the differential, shift to 4WD, and drive over the barriers, sidewalk, and car-stops to freedom.  Expect 14 miles per gallon, a dental filling loosening suspension, and little annoying parts to start malfunctioning after 5-6 years though.

    Whatever you get, get good snow tires.

    Click to expand…

    I know this is an emotionally based prejudice but I think it’s stupid for a couple to own two cars by the same maker. I really like the CrossTrek, even more the Impreza hatchback but my husband drives a Forester.

    I tried uploading a pic of my neighbor’s 2-door Jeep Wrangler but it got lost somewhere in the interwebs. Why purchase that when I can get this?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=bronco+2020&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=SKW2Pr6jUnITSM%252CoEzBpurPJM6u6M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRpeqOhC7PGK3glzfdeuQItJCNsZQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjXo7OKpPPiAhVKR60KHVQdDcwQ_h0wFHoECA0QCA&biw=1440&bih=726#imgrc=SKW2Pr6jUnITSM:&vet=1

    #223019 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I’ve done a fair amount of research / navel gazing. I want to choose a car that will last a long time, and not cost an arm and a leg to maintain. My frugal side says to buy a CRV or Rav4. The newest models are pretty slick. But you know what’s slicker? Acura RDX and Lexus UX. Somewhat status vehicles. (The X1 is cool as hell and the perfect size but I’ve all but ruled out BMW and Audi for maintenance costs.) OTOH I’ve always looked forward to the moment when I could buy a car that I want.  The CRV and Rav4 are neither cool nor sexy. Do I deserve to upgrade to a luxury(ish) vehicle? $0 NW isn’t much to write home about.

    Click to expand…

    Buy them if you like them, if you think they look good, if you like the features/options, if it makes you feel good, but not because you think they will impress anyone else.

    Generally speaking, entry-level luxury is about as non-status/anti-status as it gets.  IMO, the Acura RDX in particular just screams middle-middle class.  With luxury cars, buying the small one looks like, if anything, you cheaped out, or, worse, you couldn’t afford the bigger one.  Of course that’s ridiculous, and you may not even want a bigger car, but that’s the perception nevertheless.

    Keep in mind that as doctor’s wife, especially now as an attending, the people you are trying to impress all likely now have more money than you, or at the very least have been used to spending a lot more money than you are for awhile now.

    However I wouldn’t say that the Acura and Lexus aren’t good vehicles.  And you may be able to shop hard and buy one for a decent price compared to, e.g., a loaded Rav4.

    If you get the Rav4 with the options you want, it’ll last as long as you want it to.  Once you have the net worth to be able to easily justify the “luxury” purchase, chances are you probably won’t be that impressed by it anymore.  Personally I think a new Rav4 is more impressive than a Lexus UX or NX.

    Click to expand…

    I’ve put some more thought into this. My major reservation with buying either Acura or Lexus (leaning towards Acura) is optics. Last year there was an article posted on here about the psychology of money. How when you buy that big ticket item, like a sports car, you think “ah, now they will know I am successful.” But in truth when anyone sees the expensive item they aren’t thinking about you or your success. They are comparing how close / far away they are from achieving that. Most of my friends are in poverty. During training I was able to hide the difference in income but there’s just no way I’ll be able to now. The first friend who came over once we were settled in our new apartment stopped dead in his tracks and said “wow. This looks just like my rich cousin’s house.” I was mortified. He’s tactless. What I like about both Acura and Lexus is you have to be *really* into cars to know how old or new the vehicle is. They’re not on the roads as much and to me, a 10-15 year old car looks pretty similar to a 2019. the CRV and Rav4 are everywhere. As are Subarus. It takes very little attention to recognize which models are older or more recent. Not saying it’s reason to dish out the extra cash but basically, I want a car that will age gracefully.

    #223023 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2487
    Joined: 08/01/2016

    I want to choose a car that will last a long time, and not cost an arm and a leg to maintain. My frugal side says to buy a CRV or Rav4. The newest models are pretty slick. But you know what’s slicker? Acura RDX and Lexus UX.

    Click to expand…

    The CRV and Rav4 are neither cool nor sexy

    Click to expand…

    I think the new CRV and RAV look quite cool. I drove the loaner RDX for a couple of days and I did not think it was all that great.

    Regarding bigger SUV’s. My wife insisted on buying an Acura MDX and we did not test drive it  much. We got the first hybrid MDX in our state ( and among the first made) in 2016 and it is massive. My wife is similar in height to you and she hated it after a few drives. I now drive it primarily, and she loves driving the 2007 Camry Hybrid that I used to drive.

    One thing I have noticed in the MDX. The front hood is quite high up and when you drive up an incline ( like those parking garages ) you literally cannot see what lies in front of you and taking a right or left turn at an incline is a blind leap of faith. I am not a short person and yet I have to lift my butt from the seat in these inclines and crane forward trying to see above the hood trying to catch a glimpse of the asphalt ahead. I now hate that so much that I wish I had gotten a vehicle with a little lower hood.

    Make sure you test drive in inclines of a multistory parking lot to see if you like that experience of any SUV you plan to buy if it has a high front hood.

    #223029 Reply
    Liked by mapplebum, Tim
    Avatar Nysoz 
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    Joined: 10/23/2017

    I trained in an area that got 50-100 inches of snow yearly and were terrible at salting roads. I now live in an area that gets maybe 2 inches of snow a year

    snow tires + awd > snow tires + rwd > all season tires + awd > all season tires + rwd. in addition to this, smart driving a lot of times trumps all the above.

    I like the look of the new rav 4 and probably would have gotten one of those or a Subaru outback if I still needed to drive around in snow.

    #223056 Reply
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor 
    Keymaster
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 05/13/2011

    I prefer the Subaru to the Rav 4 or crv. Those bigger SUVs are a different class of vehicle.
    I guess I should have suggested the snow cat

    https://images.app.goo.gl/aveHmHPWzJVx16ZG6

    Click to expand…

    Now we’re talking. You don’t even have to stop at the ski resort parking lot with that.

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #223075 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis

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