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  mowermutt

Wow, all of you are a wealth of information! Search is still continuing with all your suggestions. Hopefully by the end of June I will have a new used car!

Best Guess Out Of Three
  AcuraT

It seems you want a durable vehicle but need to determine what kind that will be. Best of luck on your search, and determining what is important to you.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  AcuraT

Consumer Reports only reports on cars they can get over 100 responses. On the Entourage, that is only for one year as it did not sell great back then and as Lectrofuel states, they had not figured out quality yet with modern six sigma practices.

In any case for that one year, as further evidence, the Entourage in 2007 scores below average overall - far worse than the Toyota Sienna. No matter what the year, the quality of those cars is higher than any year from Hyundai back then (the last year the Entourage was made was 2008).

Challenge: 7 PAX for driver with long legs and 4 feral boys; max $5k
  LectroFuel

If this is your last car, you should just get an enjoyable one imo. That is, what is considered enjoyable TO YOU.

So sporty vs. luxurious vs. stylish.... whatever you like. Perhaps reliability should be of lower importance if you are not keeping it for long.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  LectroFuel

Thought I would leave this here since it is also a Corolla.

Bought a 2014 Corolla on 2/10/19, been to the dealer 21 times since. Driving about 22 miles back and forth totals to about 460 miles of driving to and from the dealer. They said they would replace a broken radio (constant reboot). Took over 3 months for the part to arrive. Once they fix it, I notice the screen calibration is way off. Unable to touch the bottom half inch of the screen. The A/C has also never worked for an entire drive.

Also, they told me they would give me a warranty on it for free (90 days, 4000 miles). Took a pic of the "buyer's guide" window sticker as proof because I knew that if something was wrong they would lie about not having a warranty. The sticker says that A/C repairs are covered 100% in parts and labor. I knew that the compressor needed to be replaced because the exact same symptoms were displayed in our car as the TSB. I gave them several papers for the TSB, they lost all of them. They say my car is not covered under warranty. I have to go up there 7 more times to show them that the A/C is not working and fought with them to accept my warranty claim. Once I told them they would have to pay for an arbitrator (as part of their contract I signed), they quickly said they would look into the situation.

They never returned our calls for a few weeks. Hence why I had to drive there 21 times in total so far. They said they would replace the compressor if we pay half. I said no because the warranty covers 100% parts and labor. They agreed we had a warranty and they "made a mistake" in their computer system. Still, I bring up arbitration again and they they say they will recharge the freon despite me saying that I know that the problem is the compressor. They recharge it and the A/C still doesn't work all the time. I have to come back several more times to replicate the symptoms. I show them that it doesn't work and they they tell me, "You know, the only reason we are helping you is because you took a picture of the warranty sticker on the car. We are going to spend $2000 on this car, which completely blows off our profit on this car!" If they diagnosed it correctly the first time and followed my advice they wouldn't have had to spend $2000, see my face again, and lose my business.

This past week I went in because they said they had the compressor in stock and they would replace it. When I get there they say it will take a week to ship. They replaced the expansion valve instead and the A/C still doesn't work and the screen is still not calibrated. Now I have to prove to them again that the A/C doesn't work. It's too bad the lemon law doesn't work with used cars. It isn't the car's fault when the owner knows what to replace; it's the dealer.

The dealer also replaced the bald tires from the previous owner with ultra-high performance summer tires from a brand I have never heard of until now. 30,000 mile warranty and IT'S A COROLLA. What Corolla needs summer tires? When my teenage son drives this car in the rain, I don't want him to lose control because the dealer put on summer tires on "the epitomy of an economy car."

Don't ever buy a car from any AutoNation dealer, let alone service the car. They are crooks. The fact that AutoNation is a huge corporation means they have the money for warranty repairs.

Also I agree that the CVT is dreadful and the car just is not enjoyable to drive at all.

In the end, my son likes the car, it's reliable, and safe, so that's all that really matters in a first car. The dealer is the real problem here.

Teenage daughter car
  LectroFuel

I wouldn't buy an Entourage. Those were made before Hyundai quality was up to par. They were not really good. Same goes for the Kia Sedona. The newer Kia Sedonas are good, but are out of budget.

One of my neighbors got one when they were new and I believe it was qualified as a lemon. This is only one example so take it with a grain of salt.

I think the 2007-2010 Siennas were a little more reliable than the 2004-2006. I don't think the Previa was a very good car in terms of maintanance. Mid engine, some had superchargers, hard to work on. It was pretty cool though.

Challenge: 7 PAX for driver with long legs and 4 feral boys; max $5k
  mowermutt

I appreciate all your suggestions and help. This is a difficult decision since it will be the last car I will buy. I have taken one of my mechanics advice. Life is too short to not love what you are driving stuck in traffic. Hence, all my options I am now changing to what I like with some restrictions. Clearly if what I decide only has awful reviews I will knock that one out. Otherwise once I come up with my finalists I will come back and see what you all think.

PS easier to get a date than find a durable vehicle!

Best Guess Out Of Three
  crac0018

Ok, that's two confirms for a Sienna. I'm rather pleasantly surprised actually. If you told me a Toyota minivan in my range was doable I would have thought you were referring to the old Previa. I checked out Truecar and Autotrader and there are several examples well in my range that are relatively close. I like the idea of one of these older Sienna's!

And I'm prepared to have to spend some money on maintenance on one of these aging beauties. I also understand there's no guarantee something catastrophic won't happen. I'm fine with the risk.

A neighbor had a Hyundai minivan (Entourage, maybe?) which she said she loved for several trouble-free years. I haven't been able to find much info on these. Anyone have an opinion?


Challenge: 7 PAX for driver with long legs and 4 feral boys; max $5k
  AcuraT

What Norm says about that Buick is true. However, you did not mention it as an option so I did not bring it up. That car is heavily based on the Saab 9-3 before it went out of business. It has the same transmissions as the Saab did (Asian from Toyota for the FWD, Halidex for the AWD both are reliablie). It uses a very simiilar engine to Saab that has GDI addded to it from GM Powertrain and is reliable. The electronics are pretty good as well. Most who have owned it like it and so far no issues, particularly the last model years before the redesign since it was made for about 8 years with the same powertrain (and why it essentially shares the powertrain with the Saab 9-3 which was made through 2011).

Best Guess Out Of Three
  AcuraT

To answer Lectrofuel's question I went to Consumer Reports which is the only service i trust on reliablity even though it does have its issues as Michael (who runs this site) points out from time to time. I liked this site the best but the reliablity is no longer updated.

On engines from 2008 the Honda Accord only scores average on severe engine problems through 2010. On drive system (dealling with the transmission, not absolute failure) it also scores less than perfect through 2010 (usaully slightly above average or average). Not stellar reliablity compared to the Toyotas and why I would stick with Toyota in this case. That 2011 is better but it is also slightly younger. There is no guaranttee it won't fall into the case of the 2008-2010 situation in the next year or two. The Toyota has no such issues in its immediate history right before the year picked.

The Infiniti on the other hand the powertrain on that is pretty solid. It has other annoying issues. Brakes, suspension, body integrity (squeeks and rattles) are high on the list with issues, all scoring well below average. Since major components are relaible, it is overall not bad at all for a luxury car - particularly on the years 2011-2013. I just don't like all those annoyances but if you are okay with them, it actually is better in prospects than that Honda most likely going on Consumer Reports alone. I think it is a pretty close call for second place behind those Toyotas.

Best of luck.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  AcuraT

Almost totally agree with Lectrofuel. Your best bet is a minivan, full stop. Even those may not be in your price range without going tp a high mileage car. A good site to try is Truecar.com. If I use it in my area, a Toyota Sienna does not go below $5000 until you go back to 2008 and 175,000 miles and FWD. Toyotas do last a long time, but even at that point, rubber seals need replacement on the engine which will cost a few hundred dollars each time you replace one unless you do it yourself (I should know, every car I have owned at this milegae around this point needs them unless I do it myself, then the valve cover engine seal I did myself one time cost me about $60 in parts). For some reason, at that mileage there are a few cars available and all have about the same mileage and price.

If you raise that ceiling to $7000 you can get a much lower mileage Sienna that will be more reliable. For $6495 you can get in my area a 2006 7 passanger AWD Sienna with only 104,000 miles. This car will at this point would probably not need as much effort to keep on the road for at least a few years. A 2005 FWD 8 passenger Sienna goes for $5600 with 94,000.

So while I agree with Lectrofuel, for $5000 you are going to have to go pretty old and high mileage to get what you want which brings other issues. If you go up a litlte on price and are willing to go a little older on the model year, I would stick with Toyota for the most reliable option and get a lower mileage car.Unfortunately, for really long life unless you know what you are doing I would stick with Toyota still in this day and age.

Challenge: 7 PAX for driver with long legs and 4 feral boys; max $5k
  LectroFuel

Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Highlander, or 2006 and newer Honda Pilot. The Land Cruiser hasn't lost much of its value and won't be the best choice for you.

The minivan does a better job at hauling things around in comfort compared to an SUV. Therefore I think the Sienna is the best car for you. After that probably the Sequoia. SUV prices are inflated. Minivan prices are not.

Challenge: 7 PAX for driver with long legs and 4 feral boys; max $5k
  NormT

There are 2017 Buick Regal sedans for under $15,000 with 30,000 mile range that are still under 4-year, 50,000 mile warranty on autotrader. Plus you get a 2.0T engine that can see almost 40 mpg at highway speeds. Regal also offered a torque vectoring AWD as an option.

This was the last year for this model before being redesigned and most of the bugs worked out.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  LectroFuel

I think you would be fine with any of these cars. The Toyotas will be the best if you care most about reliability. The 2012 Avalon has a floaty boat-like ride while the 2013-2015 Avalon has a stiffer ride. This was turned back into a floaty ride for 2016 and newer. Avalon has the most spacious interior and the worst handling.

The Infiniti will be the sport sedan of the bunch although it isn't that fast. It handles better than the others. Has a nice interior like the Avalon. The Avalon interior still beats it a little. I don't think Renault had any influence on the G25 at all. It had a 7 speed auto that was pretty reliable as far as I know. The 4th gen G goes back to 2007 and had good driving dynamics. One of the last good Nissans IMO. Since then I've heard 80% bad news and 20% good news about their newer cars, both in terms of reliability and overall how enjoyable the car is to own. Consider stepping up to the G37 for more power.

The Accord is just an Accord. Does everything pretty well. I don't see anything in terms of transmission problems for 2008 and newer. I don't know where AcuraT got that. The two generations before the 2011 had bad transmissions.

Since you are only looking at reliability, I would go with the 2012 Avalon, then the 2013-2015 Avalon, Accord, and then the Infiniti.

Compare the Infiniti to the IS350. IS250 powertrain is not efficient or quick. IS350 should be a little more reliable.

"x" was Infiniti's way of saying AWD. Journey means it is more well-equipped compared to the base model.

None of these cars are even average. You will likely get a long life from any of these cars.

Personally, if I had to only choose from these cars and considered everything I'd probably get either an Accord EX-L V6 or G25 Journey (G37 is better). I care about driving dynamics more than the average person I think. If ride quality was more important it would be 2012 and older or 2016 and newer Avalon hands down.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  AcuraT

Just in order of reliablity in general, the Toyotas are your best bet by a decent margin. The Honda Accord comes next although some had automatic transmission issues that year, and the Inifinti comes in last as it is partly owned by Renault and ever since they merged their transmissions have not been good and neither has their overall reliablity.

Toyota will be a softer, nicer ride than the Honda which is more sporty. The Nissan/Renault is more of a luxury car in comparison.

If I were you, I would go with those Toyotas and not the other choices, but that is my take on it. Best of luck.

Best Guess Out Of Three
  Member5176

They didn't have a Taurus in 2007; they had a "500" in 2005-2007, then an updated version of that was called a Taurus in 2008-2009, with largely the same body.

Would you clear that up? Were you speaking of a Ford 500?



Thanks.

Member Vehicle Review
  danlisahall

Both the Civic and the Golf are fine cars.
Having owned a number of iterations of the Civics -- mostly hatchbacks - I can say none of them have disappointed whether it be utility or reliablilty. However, now owning a 2017 Golf Wolfsburg, I can say that it more than matches the utility with a flair for comfort and driving dynamics that the Civics never achieved. I realize that a Golf is unlikely to match the Civics reliablity, but its other attributes have convinced me that if necessary I can tolerate the reliablity risk. Relatively low mileage 2015 Golfs (latest generation) are readily available (at least in the Seattle area) in the $15K range.
Have fun deciding!

2015 Civic Si
  AcuraT

If going used and you want an SUV that is most reliable then you have basically no choice - the RAV4 is the way to go from Toyota. After that close behind is the Honda CRV and Subaru Forrester with the comments from above on Subaru still holding true. Those Japanese brands are pretty much better in reliablity compared to everything else.

Note, at $25 dollars you want to spend you are not going to get anything but a used bike. If you up that to $25,000 you can get a three year old (2015) RAV4 with 44,000 for $13,000 - way below that price and it should give you about 160,000 miles without too many issues.

Best of luck.

What reviews to believe? Just trying to buy a crossover or SUV
  LectroFuel

If you like the Civic Si, then you should get it. I wouldn't get the Maxima. The Jetta GLI or Golf GTI will have the features you are looking for and provide a more premium and refined experience than a Civic Si, but you will be paying for repairs more often.

2015 Civic Si
  mowermutt

Thank all of you for the input. I do not want a new model anything so with advice here I have eliminated some of the ones I wanted and starting over. This is whole SUV thing can be frustrating. The ones I really want have reviews that make mange look good.

What reviews to believe? Just trying to buy a crossover or SUV
  AcuraT

The Civic Si is what is called a "sensible" Sports Car. It is relatively reliable, especially with a manual transmission although this automatic is not bad. It is fairly sporty with over 200 hp on hand and a 0-60 in the upper 6 seconds, so it is not slow (but the Type R is faster with 306 hp and a 0-60 time in the 5 second range).

Nissan's are not as reliable as Hondas anymore because of the close alliance with Renault these days. They are not the worst on the market but they are not as good reliablity as they were 15 years ago when they were not sharing part design with anyone. If you are looking at the Maxima and the Civic Si that is not a contest and I would get the Civic Si.


Audi TT is far more expense but a luxury sports car that is fun to drive. Since not in your price range I look at that as a dream of yours.

Best of luck.

2015 Civic Si
  LectroFuel

It doesn't seem like you need a new car. Why get the latest technology with a newer car when you hate technology? I think an older RAV4 V6 is your best bet. Fast, reliable, and it is an SUV without much in terms of tech.

For reviews not involving reliability, I go to YouTube to watch Alex on Autos, Redline Reviews, KBB, The Fast Lane Car, Engineering Explained, Throttle House, Driven Car Reviews, Matt Maran, and savagegeese. The YouTubers are rarely biased and it is entertaining for someone that loves cars. These people typically review new cars only. The more informative channels are Alex on Autos, Redline, KBB, Engineering Explained, and Driven.

For used cars and reliability, you should go to Consumer Reports, TrueDelta, and maybe CarComplaints.com. There isn't one website that has 0% error, so I would try to find a trend with what cars are good and bad. Every website has their problems. As AcuraT said, tracing powertrains back to their roots helps you identify what powertrains are reliable and trusty.

What reviews to believe? Just trying to buy a crossover or SUV
  qblitz

My friend, if you are on a fixed income, i would suggest you stay with companies that put their money where their mouth is. Look at the warranty. if they won't bear the risk of something going wrong after 36 months, why should you.

What reviews to believe? Just trying to buy a crossover or SUV
  AcuraT

Lectrofuel, no, that was the Enclave I had previously and it was recalled at 50,000 so that if it leaked, it was replaced for free. That happened at about 70,000. I kept the car beyond that and sold it for a lot at close to 100,000 as I did not need it anymore.

The new (2018) Envision I bought last April has had no problems. Sorry about the typo earlier, that probably confused the situation. :-)

Our Next Exellent Ride
  AcuraT

Thanks for that Lectrofuel, I should have been specific about the "newer" CVT with the first gear, I was not talking about about the older one which Asian/Toyota has more experience with - appreciate the clarification.

Empty nester
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