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Looking for quiet rides, convenience, some luxury, and reasonable cost of ownership

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


Looking for advice and recommendations around replacing my 2004 BMW X5 4.4i. I've owned this car for about 8 years, and have been quite happy with it most of the time. Liked the handling, responsiveness, and panoramic sunroof the best as its features. Didn't particularly care for the higher cost of repairs (when they were needed) or the requirement to use premium fuel all the time, though - but I guess that's what you should expect when purchasing those vehicles.

So far I've been looking primarily at used GM vehicles - The GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave 2012 models, to be precise. I have a preference leaning toward the Enclave, due to the quietness of the ride and nicer styling. I've also looked at the Acura MDX briefly but not really in any sort of depth. Could the MDX be considered a good substitute for the Enclave?

The main reason I'm not looking at BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, or similar brands this time around is primarily due to budget and the desire to move away from "luxury sport" type vehicles to something with a quieter and smoother ride with all (or most) bells and whistles. (At least as much as the budget can afford.)

I'm looking for recommendations here on something that will last as well as my last car - ideally I'd like this next purchase to last at least for at least 7 or 8 years (maybe longer). Cost and frequency of repairs are a consideration too - I expect that I'll be making visits to the shop every so often for things, but I just don't want to be put into the situation of solely financing the mechanic's kids' college educations.

Any thoughts? Buick seemed like a reasonable route, but I'd like to hear about other similar possibilities that others have experienced - and why people would (or would not) go with an Enclave.

Thanks in advance all.

Priorities: Interior styling / Quietness / Warranty, maintenance cost

Preferred Bodystyle(s): SUV

Car Needs: Errands about town / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 32000

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Response from mkaresh

10:25 am December 15, 2015

The main advantage of the Enclave over alternatives is it has the most passenger and cargo room. It is an old design at this point, though, dating to 2008. I think a complete redesign is coming for 2017. They did revise it a little for 2013, but this also increased the frequency of reported repairs a little (in our stats the 2012 and 2014 are a little more reliable than the 2013). Enclaves older than 2012 have been much less reliable than the 2013 and up in our stats, so it's hard to say how reliable the 2012 and up will be as they age.

I really like how the third-generation (2014 and up) MDX drives. You can find 2014 MDXs in your price range, but not very easily. Do you need all-wheel-drive? If not, one will be easier to find for $32k or less.

Another possibility, though one as old in design and technology as the Buick Enclave, is the Mazda CX-9.

With any car you want to own for eight years, newer is better. A five-year-old car will be 13 at the end of that run, and many cars become less reliable after they turn ten.

I'd thoroughly check out at all three and see which you like best. Let us know what you find!


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Acura MDX
Mazda CX-9
Buick Enclave

Response from Member885

3:27 pm December 18, 2015

I would do everything possible to avoid the GM Lambda platform trio. We own one and things break on it all the time, large (new engine....wish I was kidding, transmission issues) and small (seat controls, trim problems, i can go on). The car impressed when new and test drives of CPO models as well. Smooth, roomy, quiet, etc. Then stuff starts to break.

Literally anything else would be better. I like Michael's CX-9 suggestion. What we should have bought. A very underrated car.

Explorer? Grand Cherokee? Pilot?


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Mazda CX-9

Response from NormT

8:56 am July 27, 2017

You can't go wrong with today's Buick crossovers. At your $35,000 price range is the 2016 Buick Envision Premium l that is just as quick as your X5 4.4i, but with a more efficient 2.0T that we are seeing 32 mpg at 65 mph all highway.

The Twin Clutch AWD systems is just like Xdrive and the only two systems at the top of the heap in terms of efficency and performance.


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Buick Envision
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