car shopping for son

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432
Location
ne atlantic coast & sw desert
Thread starter
oldest son in mideast right now and needing a daily driver in may. his wife drives their 2017 subaru outback limited and the second car will be his commuter in four season north. i.e. snow country but roads are plowed and drivers remain sane in white stuff. so i spent a pleasant three hours at carmax sitting in his suggestions, trying out many others and coming up with my own ideas. i didn't drive any, just wanted to learn how they feel, especially a few years old. my all over the map recommendations are based on internet research as well. he wants a nearly new, 2017+, preferably cpo. here they are in my randomly defined categories: suv: kia sportage hauler: kia soul econobox: hyundai elantra small sedan: mazda 3 large sedan: honda accord sport awd: subaru legacy. he doesn't want nissan, buick, vw, chevy, subaru with 2.0 engine, jeep; doesn't need a truck, audi, bmw, mb, lexus, infiniti, acura. i sat in a bunch of these anyway, but i won't argue with him, his money his buy. his no go list is based on dealer/service availability, reputation and his own experience. he isn't a car guy or shade tree mechanic but he is an aircraft pilot so he wants to feel engaged to some degree on the road. during my carmax sit in i found: toyota camry squeeky penalty box, corolla tinny; nissans, honda civic and crx tinny and uncomfy; fords creaky and uncomfy. uncomfy, knowing his size and driving position, means that knees rest on hard plastic, outside view difficult, head hits roof, etc. no mazda cx5 on the lot. i suspect that he will try to find a honda accord sport but end up with a mazda 3. their subaru outback already fills the suv, hauler and awd categories. random thoughts on my random short list? thanks all!
 
Messages
24,827
Location
Upstate NY
Decide if he needs AWD/4WD and how many passengers. Even when roads are plowed, having AWD/4WD is a good idea. Subaru Forester for AWD. Toyota Camry if no AWD.
 
Messages
16,695
Location
NH
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by jstert
random thoughts on my random short list?
Having your father pick out a car for you is like having him pick out your girlfriend of wife. It rarely works out well.
I thought arranged marriage was the norm in some areas of the world? Have to admit, in the end, we all get old and the hormones die off, should be able to get along with anyone. OP, I get that he's overseas and can't test drive, but in the end, it's his money and he has to live with it. I'd tell him to do it himself. By all means, have fun and test drive a bunch and write up some notes for him. But like everything else, if he has to tote the note, he might as well enjoy the "funness" of car shopping. Is he planning to own for 10+ years or is he 5&done? Lots of miles per year or little? If he plans to flip in short order then I'd go with whatever has better residual. If he drives a lot then larger vehicles tend to feel better out on the open road.
 
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4,634
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Originally Posted by supton
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by jstert
random thoughts on my random short list?
Having your father pick out a car for you is like having him pick out your girlfriend of wife. It rarely works out well.
I thought arranged marriage was the norm in some areas of the world?
Works in some cultures but OP not from New Delhi.
 
Messages
2,529
Location
wv
It is January... he needs a car in May.. That gives him plenty of time to think and make up his mind. Commuter cars mean different things to different people. One guy may want a frugal mpg car..the next will want luxury, the next will want fun and sporty. He may even want a diesel pickup rolling coal..by then..
 
Messages
178
Location
PA
Based on your list and his need to feel engaged with the vehicle, I would choose either the Honda Accord or Mazda 3. Of course there are other factors like does he have kids? how long of a commute will he have? What part of the NE does he live in? Philadelphia winters are very different than Syracuse winters. Don't discount the Camry esp. a CPO (not Carmax). Generation 7 Camrys (2015-2017) are extremely reliable and stupid easy and cheap to maintain for the first 120k miles. Get the right options and he can drive it to 150k miles with no problems.
 
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14,447
Location
...
This will be a good learning experience for the son. I would let him do all the work. Going by the list his choices are all over the board. He should narrow it down to sedan, crossover or whatever. With the interwebs today he can research and narrow it down to a few picks. Search and test drive when he gets back. The vehicle has to fit him and his needs.
 
Messages
597
Location
Georgia
Carmax is insanely overpriced. They generally specialize in sub-prime credit consumers and have a financing arm of their own that manages the risk of handling higher default rates. Carvana runs an excellent operation. I buy plenty of vehicles from both companies and don't get me wrong. Carmax also does a great job. They just have a different market focus although you will see the two of them compete quite a bit against each other on the wholesale side. I have my own car buying service as well with over 2,000 followers on Facebook. My name is Steven Lang and if you google my name or type 'long-term reliability' you'll know a healthy bit about my daily work. Here's my site. If it's a 2015 or newer vehicle I can usually find a healthy variety of vehicles without much of a problem, including all the vehicles you mentioned. At the moment I'm buying a small army of Elantras, Souls and Kia Fortes for a rideshare company here in Atlanta that received a $200,000 SBA loan. Most of my customers are commercial, but I do plenty of consumer purchases so long as that customer knows exactly what they want.
 
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2,027
Location
WY
Go ahead and surprise your son and have that car waiting at the airport when he gets home. 1974 Dodge Monaco is the ticket.
 
Messages
14,447
Location
...
Originally Posted by sloinker
Go ahead and surprise your son and have that car waiting at the airport when he gets home. 1974 Dodge Monaco is the ticket.
Crickey! Make sure it has all the door handles and side mirrors. Many left the factory with missing stuff.
 
Messages
13,322
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Because of all the restrictions your son has mentioned, I would have told him to pick out his own next ride. Does he get all his fussiness from you, or the wife?.... oops.... meant to say the mother. So many couples living unmarried these days.
 
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Messages
2,027
Location
WY
Originally Posted by PimTac
Originally Posted by sloinker
Go ahead and surprise your son and have that car waiting at the airport when he gets home. 1974 Dodge Monaco is the ticket.
Crickey! Make sure it has all the door handles and side mirrors. Many left the factory with missing stuff.
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Messages
840
Location
Texas, USA
Can't really say that the wife's Subaru already meets his need for AWD if the 2nd car is going to be his daily driver. Living in the NE, I'd make them both AWD. From your list, the Sportage or Legacy.
 
Messages
24,827
Location
Upstate NY
Living near Albany NY we would be stuck home a lot if we did not have AWD or 4WD. Snow and on town dirt roads mud. All vehicles are AWD/4WD and most have snow tires.
 
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