- Aug 13, 2011
- New Bern NC
Got rid of my Hyundai last summer and realized I'll be needing some AWD soon. My work requires a lot of driving on shift in some neighborhoods and steep hills. Right now I've got it narrowed down to 3 choices based on what I'm looking for in a vehicle. I'm pretty much looking for luxury because I've been spoiled on my Hyundai Santa Fe LX and my Toyota Solara SLE which are both premium packages. Plus - ever since I drove a Lexus I can't get them out of my head. First one is a 2001 Lexus RX300 with 165,000 miles. Had its transmission replaced 2 years ago. I guess it's common for them to go out on these. Timing belt also looks good on this. Needs new tires though. Clean title. Good shape overall, price is $3,500. Main draw to this one is price. Second one is a 2007 Lexus RX 350 with 115,000 miles. Has remote start. Just had the spark plugs and coil packs replaced last week, which I understand is the most expensive job for this vehicle ($800). Runs on a timing chain not a belt so that's easy enough. This has a previously salvaged, restored title due to a front-end collision once upon a time. This vehicle does not have an auxiliary jack (or a tape player for a tape adapter) which is weird, but I'll have one installed aftermarket (as a rabbit trail, anyone have any opinions on one of those auxiliary plug in head units that use the FM transmitter that go straight into the back of the stereo head?). The condition is almost flawless. Seems to be very well taken care of. Price is $6,800. Main draw to this one is the condition and price for the mileage of this vehicle. Third one is a 2011 Honda CRV EX with 44,000 miles. This one is also previously salvaged - due to hail. There is some light peppering on the hood and a couple of good dents on the rear door frame as well as a couple top dents. Now granted, this doesn't have the heated leather seats I'm looking for, but the low mileage is extremely attractive to me and it has a tight feel. it does have a couple other features I'm looking for which is an auxiliary jack and a sunroof. I have heard that the air conditioning compressor can go out on these quite often and it can cost as much as $1,300 to replace. When I tested it the air conditioning was not working and he said he was going to recharge the refrigerant. obviously wouldn't buy this one unless the air conditioning was working, but the price on this is $9,000 with a tiny bit of wiggle room for haggling (thinking probably $8,700). Main draw to this one is the low miles and high mpg. Some extra thoughts : I know Lexus can be a pain in the [censored] to work on (even basic maintenance), and the CRV is attractive to me because generally Honda is easy to work on. The Lexus RX model line is honestly THE smoothest vehicle I've ever driven. The 2001 RX scares me to death that I'm going to end up without a transmission in two years. The 2007 RX still has over 100k for over $6,000 which is kind of a discomfort since I've never owned a Lexus (but a few Toyota) and I'm not sure how it's going to be when it gets up to 175-200k. Plus I'm thinking, there's a car with less than half the miles in my choices, perhaps it would be silly to go for one with this many miles with that being considered. The 2011 Honda I'm worried about the FOMO of not having the heated leather electric seats and buttery smooth ride like the Lexus does. I haven't checked with my Federal Credit Union yet to see if they would finance a previously salvaged vehicle. Also one final thought, how are Mazda/Infiniti for reliability? I've heard their AWD is pretty good. Just wondering if I could pick all your brains to see what you all thought.