April 10, 2009, 5:00 am

Looking to Buy a New Car

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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With GM and Chrysler having serious financial difficulties and the car market sales going down from months to months, the price of new cars have been dropping faster than the market 😉

I have been tired of my car (Mazda Protégé 5) for about a year now but I was keeping it since it was paid and it drives well. I actually have nothing but good words for Mazda cars actually. My car is a 2002 and I never had any major problems with it (and God knows how I kicked her the first two years… I was young and didn’t have kids!).

But now that we are thinking of having a third little angle, a car seems too small to pack 3 kids (and their awfully huge seats!) in the back. This is why I am going for SUV’s car hunt. I know, I should get myself a minivan and everybody will be comfortable. But I just hate minivans 😉 I guess I am just not ready yet for a full family car!

So I am currently looking for 3 SUV’s (I had the Lexus 400RXh as a fourth choice but there is no room for 3 kids and a Lexus at the same time in my budget…).

mazda-tributeMazda Tribute

This is probably my favourite in term of look. I really like the design both from inside and outside. It is quite comfortable and I heard good things about the V6 AWD model. The great thing about Mazda is that you can fully equip the car (heated leather seat, V6, AWD, sunroof, etc) and it doesn’t cost much (you get it below 40K CDN dollar with taxes and everything else). I also like the fact that I can get 84 months financing with low interest rate (2.9%). I don’t plan to pay it over 7 years, but I rather keep my required payment lower in case of financial trouble. If we are going to have a third child, it is definitely not the right timing to get $800/month payments for a car! The major negative point is that I don’t know if 2 baby seats and a child seat would fit on the same row… I will have to try it out at the dealer!


Toyota Rav4

This one is a little bit more expansive than the Tribute (and they don’t offer financing for more than 60 months). However, Toyota has proven that they can make quality cars that last. My wife once had a corolla and she sold it when it reached 325,000 kilometres and the car was still running smoothly! The most important point of the Toyota Rav4 is that there is an option of adding a third row in the back of the SUV. You obviously have to sacrifice your trunk space, you are able to get enough space for everyone. In fact, it is just a matter 2 years until Amy can sit on a child seat instead of a baby seat. Since we are not going to have our 3rd one before 10 months at least, we could use that third row in the meantime.

mitsubishi-outlanderMitsubishi Outlander

This one looks to be a great combination of the Mazda Tribute and the Toyota Rav4: It offers low rate long term financing (2.9% over 84 months) and it also offers the third row options. While the Outlander is probably the cheapest of the three, the third row looks kind of cheap (those are not “stow-and-go bucket seat”). So I wonder if William would really be comfortable. On the other side, it is only for a short period of time.

I have yet to try the three of them (I only look on the internet and sit in the Mazda Tribute while doing my oil change). I guess that playing with my baby seats and driving them will help me making the right choice. Do you have any other suggestions or thoughts about these SUV’s or other that I didn’t think of?

image source: auto123.com, CarBodyDesign, RoadFly

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by: Traciatim | April 10th, 2009 (7:00 am)

If you are looking at the Mazda Tribute, why rule out the Ford Escape?

Also, I find it funny how you’ll also avoid minivans because they are for families but then switch to pick an SMV (Soccer Mom Vehicle) instead 😉

You should check out a piece of software called Decision Oven. You pump in weighted criteria for any question you have, you fill in all the choices and the details of the criteria and it spits out your decision for you. For instance, in my settings I weighted Price, Horsepower, Rear Leg Room, City MPG, Assembled in NA, Highway MPG, Front Leg Room, and Weight.

I was really surprised when I used it and the Nissan Altima came out as my car of choice and the Toyota Camry second. I’ve been looking to replace my ’02 Ford Taurus with a slightly newer model so I’ll be sure try out an Altima and Camry to see what they are like.

You should also through the CRV into the mix. I believe that they currently have a manufacturers rebate… around $4k.

by: The Financial Blogger | April 10th, 2009 (7:40 am)

SMV… that’s a great one 😉 Actually, my wife will drive the car most of the time as I’m taking the bus to work.

looking for a SUV because I want 4wd (we have a lot of snow in Quebec during winter 😉 ).

As for the Ford Escape, it’s exactly the same thing as the Tribute but it seems more expensive when I went on their website. I don’t say I won’t try it though…

do you think I can fit 3 baby/child seats in the CRV? I’ll try in the Tribute and if it works, I’ll go see the CRV as well 😉

This is going to be a long shopping adventure!

FB, you spelled “3rd angel” as “3rd angle” 😛

I’d agree, why rule out Ford Escape
Toyota Venza?

heck, you could even wait for the new Honda Insight hybrid, although it still is a sedan with a hatchback style

My buddy just bought a Toyota Rav4 and is in love with it. I really like it too, almost no downside on this thing.

The Rav4 is always ranked high with Consumer Reports.

by: Traciatim | April 10th, 2009 (11:22 am)

Hmmm, I went to Mazda.ca and Ford.ca and ended up with similar equipment (V6 AWD, no accessories) that the Ford was about a grand cheaper than the Mazda. I suppose it depends on what options you pick though.

by: The Financial Blogger | April 10th, 2009 (5:11 pm)

The fact is that Mazda is offering 6 years financing at 0.9% (which would be 0.4% for me since I’m a Mazda owner). Ford only offer 5 year financing at 0%… that makes a great difference in the payment…

I suggest being a bit less quick to discount the minivan, and have a closer look at the advantages:

sliding doors & tailgate (auto available) make it easier to enter, fasten seatbelts, etc.
floor height
entertainment systems?

The minivan is also easier for the grandparents to enter & exit should you be traveling with them as well.

Good quality winter tires add far more advantage than four wheel drive, especially on a front wheel drive. The reduction in stopping distance, and increase in manoeuvreability is far more important the the apparent increase in acceleration the 4×4 gives.

As your kids grow, and you are transporting them all around to events, you may find the minivan even more advantageous.

(not a mini van owner)

[…] The Financial Blogger presents Looking to buy a new car […]

I’ve done lots of comparison between CRV RAV4 and FORESTER, so far the best of all is the forester in terms of safety standard (best in it’s class), the symmetrical 4WD system great for the winter season, and cargo space.
I am not sure if the cost on the long run to maintain a Subaru will be higher, depreciation bigger and due to the 4×4 kicking in all the time, gas consumption will be higher…
I heard the parts are more expensive as well. Honda and Toyota have the best reliability, resale value and consumption.
I don’t want to shovel snow to get my car out of the driveway. Subaru drives better and is more stable on the road than Crv and Rav4