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Financial / Car Advice

  1. #1
    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Financial / Car Advice

    I own a 2009 Jetta TDI free and clear with 140k on the clock. If I choose to keep the car and get whatever DieselGate fix VW comes up with I will (eventually) receive $5,100. If I turn it in, right now I'm looking at $11,825. It's been a good car but I'm leaning towards turning it in for a couple of reasons. One, something bigger would be useful. I can't justify a truck or an SUV but more leg-room and utility space in the back would be good. Strapping stuff to the roof of a small sedan gets old quick. Two, while the Jetta doesn't have crazy miles yet, I'm expecting the wear and tear expenses to start kicking in pretty soon.

    The way I see it I have three options:

    1. Keep the car and take the cash, hope nothing breaks any time soon.
    2. Turn it in and pick up something older, cheap and reliable. Keep most of the cash aside for a rainy day.
    3. Turn it in and buy something a bit newer, but what?

    I'm leaning towards 3, but I haven't really started looking.

    Must have's:
    - Manual transmission.
    - Decent gas mileage. Coming down from an easy 45 highway mpg is going to suck; I'd like to think somewhere around 30 is possible.
    - Not suck to drive. Wooden steering and slow throttle response on a 2011 Camry I used to have was the pits.

    Nice to have's:
    - Towing capability. I can't imagine needing more than 2-3k. If a factory installed option was available that would be sweet, I don't want to install a hitch if I don't have to. I'd like to be able to go to the track without riding there.
    - AWD.

    Crossovers come to mind, a Subaru Outback was the first thing I thought of but like I said, I really haven't started to look yet. Whatever it is, my mechanic has access to several auctions so market value, while a factor, may be higher than what's actually available to me.

    What say Ye, NESR?

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    As much as I like TDI's it would be awfully hard for me to walk away from such a strong offer on buyback. If I recall 09 was also the first year for the CR motor in the Jetta. That might get expensive quick.

    If you value fuel economy and fun to drive look at the Mazda 3 Hatch. You would compromise on AWD and towing but the 6 speed is sweet and I averaged 35 mpg. You can get 40+ out of it but I can't drive that slow for long. You can also put a hitch on it. They're not rated for it in the states but they have a 2k limit elsewhere. I towed a bike on landscape trailer with it. You shift a bunch but it gets the job done.

    Outbacks are bland and handle like shit. They're also rare in manual transmission models.

    Also of note....gas VW's are taking a bath at the auctions right now. Maybe pick up a used sportwagen or let VW buy back your car and see if your mechanic can find a used TDI at auction. Some of them must be ending up there. You could get a newer one with less miles and still pocket some cash.

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    Last edited by e30addict; 09-22-16 at 09:00 PM.
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    Hand Bra Designer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    3rd gen Impreza 2008-2011 had the 2.5l 4 instead of the 2.0 in the earlier and later cars. Many were sold with manuals. Available as a hatch or sedan. Plenty of hitches available. But they are pretty small.

    CrossTrek is roomier, available with manual, but has the direct injection 2.0. While rated to tow 3,080 (1,400kg) elsewhere they are rated 1,500 lbs here. Believe that is what Ken Condon has been towing with.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 09-23-16 at 03:24 AM.
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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Go drive a Subaru before you seriously consider one. If you think a Camry sucks, you'll barely survive the test drive in a Subaru (unless it's a WRX).

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    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    I must be the exception, I test drove a bunch of comparable cars to the outback (Mazda, Honda, jeep) and thought THEY all handled like shit. Took the standard transmission outback for a test drive, pinned it on a circular on ramp and pretty much told my wife I was buying it. I think the standard has a different traction management deal, felt very planted to me and not much body roll, for what it is. Didn't disappoint in the snow for snowboarding trips at ALL, either.

    I have the small four cylinder. It's not fast, by any stretch. But it's good enough. Tows my bass boat or motorcycle trailer and ok on gas, around 25-27 mpg usually. Drove the wrx too, in some snow. Fun as shit but more expensive to buy, expensive to insure, and expensive to fuel. Probably expensive in tickets, too. Went all adult and got the outback. Love it...

    So Subaru called me up a couple weeks ago to offer me a trade on my 2013 towards a new one. Conversation ended when they said they don't make the standard transmission in the new outbacks! Not a fan of anyone's cvt, at least not of the limited ones I've driven.

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    I must be the exception, I test drove a bunch of comparable cars to the outback (Mazda, Honda, jeep) and thought THEY all handled like shit.
    I am one of these "exceptions" as well. Unless you get into sport performance cars, they all handle like shit. We are just debating between the consistency of it at this point. My last three cars have been Subarus: Outback, WRX, and now the Crosstrek. I didn't buy the Outback or the Crosstrek for handling, I bought them for utility. I have a motorcycle for that.

    I would turn it in and get an older model Outback. I actually feel like they handle much better than the new ones.

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    IWOK - Vice President LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    It would be hard to turn down a buy back offer like that... take the money before the maintenance starts to creep up on your car.

    You kind of want three separate things... utility for hauling to the track, fuel economy, and sportiness. That can be had, but usually at a high cost.

    If manual transmission and fuel economy are the most important, then a Honda accord is tough to beat. But it won't check off any boxes for fun to drive or hauling.
    A CRV or RAV4 might be a good compromise.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    I was going to suggest an Accord too. It's really quite a solid car. But it's not something you'll see mid 40mpg's in.


    Anything AWD isn't going to get above maybe 34mpg. Especially with a stick. Auto's these days are more efficient than their manual counterparts.

    You have FWD now. If you can stay with that, then the world is your oyster. If you want AWD, your fuel efficiency criteria is going to suffer.


    I guess I'll be the odd man out and say I did NOT like either of the Subaru's I've owned. But I don't trade them in at 60k. If you are a high mileage person (looks like you are), then keep in mind the head gasket issue that they said they have fixed 3 different times now.

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Lots of input so far, much appreciated. I'm at work so I'll be brief but I'll hit a couple of points.

    AWD isn't a must. I do pretty well during the winter with FWD and I'm happy to continue doing so. If I was looking at two otherwise equal options it might tip the scale but I'm not jumping up and down over it. I know there are maintenence issues to consider with an AWD vehicle as well.

    Fun to drive, I'm not looking for a sports car, but for a daily driver the Jetta has been pleasant and you can get some giggles out of it if you like. On the Camry you would hit the gas... Ok, there's some noise... And now we're moving. A fine car, but boring.

    I plan on doing some research and comparisons this weekend but as of now have no particular vehicle in mind. I mentioned the outback because it was the first thing that popped into my head.

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  10. #10
    Satans Donkey Uncle Snake's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    2.5 liter 5 speed Sportwagon seems like a good compromise. It was for me and I have a 118 mile round trip four days a week. Tows my small trailer with one bike just fine, sometimes I forget it's even there.... So far I've put 25k miles on the car and my AVERAGE mpg's are 36.4 but it's mostly highway. Stock stereo sounded horrible and no USB ports but those were the only down sides.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by -Dutch- View Post
    Lots of input so far, much appreciated. I'm at work so I'll be brief but I'll hit a couple of points.

    AWD isn't a must. I do pretty well during the winter with FWD and I'm happy to continue doing so. If I was looking at two otherwise equal options it might tip the scale but I'm not jumping up and down over it. I know there are maintenence issues to consider with an AWD vehicle as well.

    Fun to drive, I'm not looking for a sports car, but for a daily driver the Jetta has been pleasant and you can get some giggles out of it if you like. On the Camry you would hit the gas... Ok, there's some noise... And now we're moving. A fine car, but boring.

    I plan on doing some research and comparisons this weekend but as of now have no particular vehicle in mind. I mentioned the outback because it was the first thing that popped into my head.
    You clearly didn't have the Camry with the V6. Those modern ones are a hoot. I drove one from NJ to the Outer Banks. Went into it thinking "oh great, going to be a snore fest". Thing was docile and smooth as glass, until you mashed the skinny pedal. Something like 280hp. Hot damn!

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    You are correct.

    I love the torque on the TDI.

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    Last edited by -Dutch-; 09-23-16 at 10:09 AM.

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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    I guess I'll be the odd man out and say I did NOT like either of the Subaru's I've owned. But I don't trade them in at 60k. If you are a high mileage person (looks like you are), then keep in mind the head gasket issue that they said they have fixed 3 different times now.
    I've decided to drive my 2013 Outback into the ground rather than trade it, just because I like it and it's one of the last standard, and it already has a trailer hitch and known history, etc.

    It has around 75,000 on it and I haven't done much except oil changes. Salesman told me it had a timing chain, not "the belt"...any of you folks who keep up on this stuff know what I should anticipate as far as routine bigger stuff to do before I hit 150,000? Do I need to worry about head gaskets or timing chain or anything else on 2013 4 cylinder outback?
    I already know to keep on top of the oil consumption

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    Hand Bra Designer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by -Dutch- View Post
    Lots of input so far, much appreciated. I'm at work so I'll be brief but I'll hit a couple of points.

    AWD isn't a must. I do pretty well during the winter with FWD and I'm happy to continue doing so. If I was looking at two otherwise equal options it might tip the scale but I'm not jumping up and down over it. I know there are maintenence issues to consider with an AWD vehicle as well. /
    The issue is that towing a substantial trailer with FWD blows.

    We had a 3.5L Intrepid and have an Odyssey minivan rated to tow 3,500 lbs. We moved our boat trailers with them at times, which are just about 3,000 lbs. The Odyssey has a long wheelbase and relatively short overhang for what it is (and we have air bag helpers), and it still dances around on the bumps.

    Bag the towing requirement [of "2-3K"] and the Mazda 3 punches way above weight.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 09-23-16 at 01:47 PM.
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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman
    Bag the towing requirement and the Mazda 3 punches way above weight.
    The Mazda tows just fine if the mission is just not ride to the track. Enclosed trailer? No.

    Sport bike and your gear to do a track day? No worries.

    Financial / Car Advice-fb_img_1474654663803-jpg

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    That picture sums up my goal, I went as far as installing a hitch on the Jetta this summer but never got around to wiring the harness. If anyone wants a tow hitch and unopened harness in the near future, hit me up.

    Maybe a small u-haul trailer the next time I move but I don't foresee any major hauling any time soon.

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    What I've learned today is that looking for cars sucks. A 30 highway mpg manual crossover is easily had, but they're just top-heavy barebones versions of their sedan counterparts with extra weight and no bump in power to accommodate. Want a little extra oomph in your life with an economy sacrifice? Sure thing, but that manual is going out the window at the same time. Fucking why!?! Why can't I keep the manual? I hate everybody.

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  18. #18
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    I was also going to suggest the Mazda 3 hatch. Drinkingmymilk had one with a skyactive engine and regular towed 1-2 bikes on an open 5x8 trailer.
    I have a sorta rare Mazda 6 hatch and love it, have a hitch on it. Only 25-28 mpg though. After having a hatch, I can't see going back to a regular sedan.

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    I actually came across a nice little article a few minutes ago and am using it as a starting point to dig a little deeper into a few options.

    Right now my short-ish list consists of:

    • Ford Focus
    • Honda Accord
    • Jeep Renegade Ugly.
    • Mazda 3
    • Mazda 6
    • Mazda CX5
    • Subaru Crosstrek
    • Subaru Forester
    • VW Golf / Sportwagen
    • VW Passat

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    Last edited by -Dutch-; 09-25-16 at 12:24 PM.

  20. #20
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by -Dutch- View Post
    • VW Golf / Sportwagen
    You spelled GTI wrong.

    I loved my Sportwagen. But mostly because it was a 1-year special that had the 2.0t + 6MT drivetrain out of the GTI in it.

    They don't make 'em like they used to.

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  21. #21
    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    What year? I'm not interested in brand new, probably looking at lease turn-ins at the newest.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Mine was an '09. SEL model. I was told they were fairly rare. S and SE models were the 2.5L. TDI was the TDI, obviously.

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  23. #23
    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    Right on. The VR6 is one hell of a motor as well. I was looking at a wagon a few years back but they were asking stupid money for it at the time.

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    Permanent N00b -Dutch-'s Avatar
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    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    I'm adulting so hard right now. I know I should get something practical that will last for ten years but slightly drunk me can't help but think about the opportunities that are available with a healthy down payment.

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  25. #25

    Re: Financial / Car Advice

    adapting to "being an adult" was never any fun

    buy what you want

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