New car shopping.. it's been 16 years

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After this last bout with the Focus I told my wife I can't remodel the house and keep the cars running along with everything else. Good or bad time to car shop?

It's been 16 years since we bought our Escape, it was 2 years old with 36k around $22k. Looks like the current Escapes are about the same price. That was the last time we were at a dealership, the RV we bought private. No idea if that's what she wants though. Thinking about starting at the Carmax's to figure out what she wants and go from there. It'll most likely be a couple year old Edge or Explorer. She thinks the current Escape seems smaller than our 04 hence the slightly larger models. Doesn't like the looks of the Rav4 or CRV, Kia and Hyundai's are a possibility.
 
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With all the crash stuff like side impact regs cars really are small inside for being giant outside. I guess that's a good thing, except for buying gas and parking.
 

Eric Smith

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With all the crash stuff like side impact regs cars really are small inside for being giant outside. I guess that's a good thing, except for buying gas and parking.
Yeah I drive the new Explorers at work sometimes. It feels like a cocoon compared to older cars. Guess I'll have to get used to our cars won't keep going forever.
 
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Yeah I drive the new Explorers at work sometimes. It feels like a cocoon compared to older cars. Guess I'll have to get used to our cars won't keep going forever.
Feel the same way. New vehicles are cramped and uncomftorable. The 2019 escalade i had for a very short while felt like a box compared to my 2005 Yukon and 99 suburban. The 2021 escalade I've had for 2 years is less uncomfortable but still inferior to my old suv yet I've kinda gotten used to it but not fully.

But geez the last gen escalade was just horrendous, hated it. I think you may want to shop around for a vehicle that is the most comfy to be in as it's worth to look at beyond other things in the long run.
 
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Good or bad time to car shop?
Well, bad time but sounds like you have not much choice. With the increased prices of used cars a 1 or 2 year old car might be as much as a new one. Of course, there are not much for new on the lot so you get to order and wait.

Things do seem to be getting better very recently - prices are dropping and interest rates are rising, so maybe it is a good time - if you happen to find something you want and the dealer needs to move it before it drops in value anymore.

FWIW were quite happy with our 2019 Rav4 - at least for size and comfort - it felt bigger than most others in its class - definately more so than the escape which we looked at then - not sure if they have changed. The only other one that felt as big was the CR-V. I wouldn't advocate there anything special quality wise - not a Toyo fanboy, I have driven just a bunch of brands over the years - but it works for our family of 4 and gets great mileage.
 

Eric Smith

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Feel the same way. New vehicles are cramped and uncomftorable. The 2019 escalade i had for a very short while felt like a box compared to my 2005 Yukon and 99 suburban. The 2021 escalade I've had for 2 years is less uncomfortable but still inferior to my old suv yet I've kinda gotten used to it but not fully.

But geez the last gen escalade was just horrendous, hated it. I think you may want to shop around for a vehicle that is the most comfy to be in as it's worth to look at beyond other things in the long run.
Very good point.. while we're not old we're not young either. While we could get something luxury wise we're both kinda on the cheap side. But most new vehicles will be more comfortable than what we have.
 
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CX-5 are ultra reliable and very affordable.

2.5L Skyactiv is a great NA engine with more than adequate power.
We looked at the CX-5 in 2019 and liked it - but it is actually one of the smaller ones in that category - we dismissed it pretty quick as not having enough interior space for our family. If it were just me and the boss I would look at it again - it was nice.
 
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Yeah I drive the new Explorers at work sometimes. It feels like a cocoon compared to older cars. Guess I'll have to get used to our cars won't keep going forever.
Subaru seems to be bucking the trend a bit, with functional windows and thinner pillars. A Forester is probably very close in interior dimensions, and windows to your old Escape, and still has real buttons and controls for HVAC.
 
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Very good point.. while we're not old we're not young either. While we could get something luxury wise we're both kinda on the cheap side. But most new vehicles will be more comfortable than what we have.
A true luxury vehicle is one that is comfortable and makes you happy to be inside. I find my old SUV to be more luxurious than my new one. It is what I choose for almost all of my long trips, comfy plush seats, nice folding arm rest none of that center console as an armrest bullsh-t, a nice soft plush up/down and forward/back adjustable headrest and adjustable pedals neither of which the new Escalade offers, just a hard flat non adjustable headrest and non adjustable pedals. I also love the larger circumference and thinner steering wheel which is just easy to lazy grip and it's so easy to look out the dashboard since it's low and the hood sweeps down. The AC vents in the new Escalade are borderline useless and the new flipper switch controls are junk compared to the buttons and knobs of before. I can't get the vents to fan my face since they're down below and not top mounted like the old suv so I have to pre cool the truck to not sweat in the first 10 minutes of driving. Truth is a luxurious vehicle is just one that's comfortable. Literally doesn't matter at all of it costs 30k or 100k, these new vehicles taught me that. Someone mentioned Subaru and I've been in one and it was rather roomy compared to the hamster cages of today. I'd look at one.
 
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I could buy a new car if I wanted. Just can't bear the thought of dealing with a salesman then the sales manager and then the F&I dweeb and his menu padding checklist. Too much for me it's always an unpleasant experience. I'd rather do a week's worth of colonoscopy preps.

F&I.jpg
 
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Alternately, may I ask if you I have considered using a new car buying service? I believe many credit unions offer this as a service to their members and AAA may also have something similar. If you use such a service offered by an institution that you bank with, you can always do your car financing through your institution and they can do a search and get you a competitive price on a brand new car and you never even have to talk to or see the dealership. (except for when you are researching and test driving any models that interest you ). Very often, the services will have the car delivered to you at your local branch.
 
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New forester base or premium around 26k-28k
is a pretty good value a rolling greenhouse easy to see out of.
30mpg.
 
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I could buy a new car if I wanted. Just can't bear the thought of dealing with a salesman then the sales manager and then the F&I dweeb and his menu padding checklist. Too much for me it's always an unpleasant experience. I'd rather do a week's worth of colonoscopy preps.

View attachment 123351
My last 2 new purchases were bought using an E-price. The first one I literally showed up and picked it up - everything was done before hand. The second one - in 2019 - was under 2 hours including the 30 minute test drive, and it only took that long because we changed what options we wanted after the test drive, which likely added an hour to our experience. I likely could have saved a couple hundred dollars spending hours negotiating both times, but I aint getting any youger and I only have so much time left.

What I can't stand is going to look at a supposedly "excellent condition" used car, and I get there and the 3 year old Lexus is in the same shape as my dad's 20 year old farm truck.
 
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With all the crash stuff like side impact regs cars really are small inside for being giant outside. I guess that's a good thing, except for buying gas and parking.

Preach it, brother. I hate this and won't play that game.

In the extended family there's a 2002 Lexus ES300, and a 2012 GS300. No one wants to be in the new one except the driver when the road is open and you can wring out the better engine hard. Ones comfy, one feels like a coffin.

My solution has been to get 2000-2007 Volvos. Already safe without modern mandates. Stick a larger take-off turbo and ECM tune on them and get modern (actually better) performance out of them as well as good mpgs. Also cheaper, and way better looking vehicles than most current ones.
 
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Good or bad time to car shop?

BAD.

The problem is right now it's a big time sellers market. There are A LOT of dealerships that simply don't have many cars to sell. Our local Toyota dealership parking lot looks barren. It used to be packed full of new cars.

It's much the same with Chevy, Ford, and Ram. The best selling car and truck models are all going for well over list price. It's totally nuts. I would hold off for as long as I possibly could.

Sooner or later this madness will settle down. And car shopping, (new or used), will get back to normal. It always does. And today, like most anytime, money is a lot harder to earn, than it is to spend. And you don't want to give those bandits anymore of it than you have to.
 

Eric Smith

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I could buy a new car if I wanted. Just can't bear the thought of dealing with a salesman then the sales manager and then the F&I dweeb and his menu padding checklist. Too much for me it's always an unpleasant experience. I'd rather do a week's worth of colonoscopy preps.

View attachment 123351
That pic is too small to see but I get the jest. Yeah I agree.. That's why I figured carmax would be a good start. Don't have to buy from there but at least won't be hassled. I remember looking at RV's those salesman made me chuckle, I knew more than them!
 

Eric Smith

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Alternately, may I ask if you I have considered using a new car buying service? I believe many credit unions offer this as a service to their members and AAA may also have something similar. If you use such a service offered by an institution that you bank with, you can always do your car financing through your institution and they can do a search and get you a competitive price on a brand new car and you never even have to talk to or see the dealership. (except for when you are researching and test driving any models that interest you ). Very often, the services will have the car delivered to you at your local branch.
I looked at Costco a few times. We could go that way if we buy new but probably stick with used.
 
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