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Time For A New Car

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OK fellas, the time is coming to replace the 4Runner. She's been simply FANTASTIC, and I cannot say one bad thing about it. Issues I've had with it lately are simply due to its locations in its life, mostly NJ and IL. That being said, I'm having a very difficult time accepting the Buick Enclave as its replacement, especially given how expensive they are ($30k+) for a used loaded model with 50k miles. It might say Buick on the hood, but it still says GM under it. In my mind, it's more of a gamble if you're getting a good one, or a bad one, when it comes to GM products. Factor in my used car preference in general, and it begins to lean more towards getting a bad one in general. So, we're thinking of others to look at as well. Here is the criteria that must be met:

AWD - seat 6 on rare occasions - no less cargo room than the 4runner (when not using the back row seats of course) - not a tank to drive in suburbanite-ville, or urban-ton on occasion - and be family right, with black tie appeal when I need it for business. Price needs to be $30k, before factoring in 4Runner trade, which has a few grand of equity. Here are the choices:

#1: Toyota Highlander Limited 09/10

#2: Acura MDX Technology

#3: Buick Enclave CXL

#4: Chevy Traverse, but wife isn't wild about the looks.

Wife likes the Buick the best. HOWEVER, she also likes the fact that our little Tommy Toyota has been through hell and back with ease, and knows the Buick probably wouldn't be able to say the same. So..

My pick is the Highlander Limited.

A new 4Runner is an option, but I'm a little tired of a truck-based ride, and quite honestly, fearful of my wife having a blowout while driving it, and it rolling. I've had experiences with a tall suv blowing a tire, and able to react safely (but no doubt lucky too). I've also been in one that rooled completely over back to its wheels. It hurt, is all I'm going to say about that. Lucky to be alive, and walking. Anyway...

The Acura intrigues me too. I think the interior is very sexy, and I hear they're a hoot to drive! I'm sure just as dependable as the Toyota too, and very reasonably priced.

So.... Opinions? Anyone have experience with the higjlander and/or Acura and/or Buick? I want to do this in the next several weeks to take advantage of the end of the year timing. Then, my big ticket days are done for a while.

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Let's see. You want to be able to seat six. You want AWD. You're tired of a truck-like ride. Would you also like TPMS, DVD player, HID headlights, memory seats, etc.?

Ta Da! Toyota Siennna Limited AWD. This one currently on eBay has about 8,000 miles on it and is in Florida.

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Hey you will have to join Toyota Nations site....I am there too giving and learning...

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No minivans, wife is never going to budge ;-(

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No minivans, wife is never going to budge ;-(

Hmmm... but she's OK with the disguised minivans on your list?

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How come Honda Pilot is not in your list

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Yeah I just got done looking at all these vehicles.

I really wanted to like the Highlander, but found the interior too cheap...really bad materials in that vehicle. Have you driven the new 4Runner? A little too "Hummer-esque" for me.

The Pilot is one worth looking at, don't care for the styling of the new one. The Traverse is the same vehicle as the Enclave, if she likes the Enclave I'd cross that off the list. Honestly...I wouldn't be worried about reliability with the Enclave overly much.

The MDX is an interesting choice actually, have you guys driven one?

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That MDX is really small.....I have heard the Pilot is a dynamite vehicle....

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I didn't think it was that small...not as big as some of the others but its big on style for his "black tie" needs...

Yeah I have a buddy who just got a new Pilot and a neighbor that has the previous generation.

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Took a look at the Highlander on Sunday, and I agree with you SW, completely. I was expecting a SUV Camry, but instead it gave me an impression of an SUV Carolla. High end Carolla, but still Carolla. For that kind of money, I think there are better options.

Haven't had a chance to put our eye and hands on the Acura yet. It's next on the list. Tried Sunday as well, but the visit to the hellashish North Pole via the Dulles Towne Center Mall damn near killed us. By the end of that 3 hour wait, it was "ho-ho-ho, you bearded fat !Removed!!" for me..

Honestly, I think we're on the path to the only real choice that fits all category requirements for us... A Chevy Traverse LTZ. Same set up inside as the Buick, but trade the wood steering wheel for lower miles. I like every angle on the Traverse more than the Enclave, except the back. I think it looks more athletic and modern than the Enclave. Wife doesn't like them, but might have to sweeten the offer. I think once she actually drove one, and had some time alone with one, she'd like it. You do recall my Mazda 3 story right? It was to be her car. We searched for months. She didn't like anything, including the Mazda, until the salesman said one phrase..... And this is where you plug in your iPod... After that, she was ALL ABOUT a Mazda 3.

Sooo....

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Hahaha, I can just see you in line to see Santa at the mall...like that scene from A Christmas Story!

Yeah the Traverse is a nice vehicle, very spacious. I think you'll like the MDX too, but the Traverse is going to be bigger.

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Might I suggest a new Dodge Durango? The new ones are exquisite. :)

Available Lifetime Powertrain Warranty...:D

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Well, I decided to investigate replacing my beloved GTI today for a 2010 Passat CPO with nav. Price was right, car was right. But, the trade was wrong, way wrong, and here's why:

Apparently shortly before I bought the GTI in August of 2010, it was involved in a little fender bender, or now says the carfax on it. The trade value tanked on it. The carfax report even identifies as a "very minor incident" with footnotes of that category being exclusively cosmetic, like a scratch or minor dent somewhere, nothing mechanical. Said it was in the front end.

Now, I'm thinking there is an error here somewhere, and I'm thinking it's on Carfax's side, and here is why:

The car was certified by VW when I bought it, which comes with their absolute bumper to bumper warranty to 75k miles and 2013. I've used this warranty on a couple of minor issues already, one being most recently for a headlight clip that had fallen off "my fault actually". I had the dealer today do a full check in their system for any signs of a VW repair around that date of the alleged accident, nothing found. The guy even said that VW wouldn't certify a damaged car in general, and if it were truly just a parking lot kiss type accident, it would at a min have to be repaired by VW and noted in the system for acceptance. I had it put on their rack, and walked all over the car to try and see any signs of any repair (clips that look newer than the others, screws newer than others, repair signs in the sheet metal, ect).. Nada, zip, nothing found. They even took some kind of black light type gadget over the paint, nothing found, and on a black car, that'd be about impossible to hide. But, since everyone goes by carfax now, any signs of anything negative like this kills the value. They weren't willing to give me more than $12k for the car, which is about $3,500 below what it should be on a high trade (it has all options).

So - anyone have any experience with questioning Carfax and their accuracy? I note a contact form to file with them to contest an entry on a report, but have no idea if they take it seriously or not. I would assume they would, given the somewhat liable position theyve put themselves in within the auto world, but have no idea. Anyone know anybody who's had to do this before? If that car has been wrecked, then Jesus must've been the mechanic who fixed it, because it's the best repair job in the history of earth.

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So what's the current chapter? Just wanted to check in.

Found some information about Carfax as it pertains to its accuracy:

Information sources Carfax has access to eight billion records from more than 34,000 sources, including motor vehicle departments for all 50 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces. The company's information sources include U.S. state title and registration records, auto and salvage auctions, Canadian motor vehicle records, rental and fleet vehicle companies, consumer protection agencies, state inspection stations, extended warranty companies, insurance companies, fire and police departments, manufacturers, inspection companies, service and repair facilities, dealers and import/export companies.[6]

Although Carfax continuously expands its database and resources, some information is not allowed to be provided. Under the 1994 U.S. Drivers Privacy Protection Act, personal information such as names, telephone numbers and addresses of current or previous owners are neither collected nor reported.[7] Carfax does not have access to every facility and mistakes are sometimes made by those who input data. In the event information is disputed but cannot be verified, Carfax allows consumers and dealerships to add information to its reports.[8]

This may not help, but the following talks about the lack of veracity of the Carfax report. In other words it really is incredibly fallible.

What can I do to dispute or correct a Carfax report?

I bought a car in 2006 with a clean Carfax report and now 2 1/2 years later when I'm trying to sell it, it turns out Carfax shows an accident that happened in 2005 (a year before I bought it!!) and that they started reporting it in March, 2008. How crazy is that? They also don't offer a case number on the report so I can't even verify that it actually happened. I trusted Carfax when I was buying the car and now it looks like they screwed me over big time! I've been e-mailing them and I keep getting an automated answer that they are not responsible. What can I do? Has anyone had a similar experience with these crooks? I'm not a sue happy person, but it *BLEEP*es me off that their post with unconfirmed info will cost me money.

3 years ago Report Abuse Additional Details

And I also had the vehicle inspected before I bought it - apart from some minor scratches on the hood it was fine. I just don't understand how they can post smth like on their report without a case number - no one would be able to find an accident report without the case number Carfax is supposed to make available.

3 years ago

by Ansrgeek Member since:

May 13, 2006

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Hey if an accident occurs in the woods and nobody reports it, did an accident really happen? Too many people believe Carfax has ALL accidents - that is just impossible. Think about it - there are millions of accidents every year reported to thousands of different police departments and many are not even reported!

That's why you also have the mechanic's inspection done. This is what it says on each report "A CARFAX Vehicle History Report is based only on information supplied to CARFAX. Other information about this vehicle, including problems, may not have been reported to CARFAX. Use this report as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car." On the reports I have seen it also says "Not all accidents are reported to Carfax."

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Spam removed by LEXIRX330

Haha, I'm sorry but can we laugh at this? :rolleyes:

"Her" name is supposed to be "Sales02", and she drives a "2009" Rx330...

Can spammers at least make an effort to make themselves look real? :lol:

And as far as Carfax reporting accidents YEARS after they happened, this happened to me with my Rx400h. Checked the carfax at purchase, totally clean. I checked it again a year later and it now reads it "hit an animal" and had to be "towed", in a spot of the timeline that was empty before.

There is a disclaimer on Carfax that indicates that info might be late... Kind of defeats the purpose though, don't it?

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OK fellas, the time is coming to replace the 4Runner. She's been simply FANTASTIC, and I cannot say one bad thing about it. Issues I've had with it lately are simply due to its locations in its life, mostly NJ and IL. That being said, I'm having a very difficult time accepting the Buick Enclave as its replacement, especially given how expensive they are ($30k+) for a used loaded model with 50k miles. It might say Buick on the hood, but it still says GM under it. In my mind, it's more of a gamble if you're getting a good one, or a bad one, when it comes to GM products. Factor in my used car preference in general, and it begins to lean more towards getting a bad one in general. So, we're thinking of others to look at as well. Here is the criteria that must be met:

AWD - seat 6 on rare occasions - no less cargo room than the 4runner (when not using the back row seats of course) - not a tank to drive in suburbanite-ville, or urban-ton on occasion - and be family right, with black tie appeal when I need it for business. Price needs to be $30k, before factoring in 4Runner trade, which has a few grand of equity. Here are the choices:

#1: Toyota Highlander Limited 09/10

#2: Acura MDX Technology

#3: Buick Enclave CXL

#4: Chevy Traverse, but wife isn't wild about the looks.

Wife likes the Buick the best. HOWEVER, she also likes the fact that our little Tommy Toyota has been through hell and back with ease, and knows the Buick probably wouldn't be able to say the same. So..

My pick is the Highlander Limited.

A new 4Runner is an option, but I'm a little tired of a truck-based ride, and quite honestly, fearful of my wife having a blowout while driving it, and it rolling. I've had experiences with a tall suv blowing a tire, and able to react safely (but no doubt lucky too). I've also been in one that rooled completely over back to its wheels. It hurt, is all I'm going to say about that. Lucky to be alive, and walking. Anyway...

The Acura intrigues me too. I think the interior is very sexy, and I hear they're a hoot to drive! I'm sure just as dependable as the Toyota too, and very reasonably priced.

So.... Opinions? Anyone have experience with the higjlander and/or Acura and/or Buick? I want to do this in the next several weeks to take advantage of the end of the year timing. Then, my big ticket days are done for a while.

I'd probably opt for the Pilot or a Sequoia. I would also look at the Mercedes RL-series too, since it's like the Enclave but pricier.

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And as far as Carfax reporting accidents YEARS after they happened, this happened to me with my Rx400h. Checked the carfax at purchase, totally clean. I checked it again a year later and it now reads it "hit an animal" and had to be "towed", in a spot of the timeline that was empty before.

There is a disclaimer on Carfax that indicates that info might be late... Kind of defeats the purpose though, don't it?

Yeah, that's why I don't trust either Carfax or Autocheck. Had to do my own research before I bought the ISF and the Subi. You're best bet is to make sure you look at a car in the natural sunlight and comfortable humidity and temperature conditions. This prevents metal from contracting or expanding and the paint looks and feels closer to its natural state and you're less likely to miss the obvious ones.

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You gotta sell her on a Subaru man.....You know it's the right thing to do. The new ones are even looking nice!

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You gotta sell her on a Subaru man.....You know it's the right thing to do. The new ones are even looking nice!

I like the Subaru. Turbo charged, AWD, decent clearance and a wagon. I would have bought another Toyota or Lexus if they offered a wagon option. Sigh!!! :cries:

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She won't budge on the Subbies either. Basically, we're down to the Enclave and MDX for her.

For me, I'm not sure, and not in a big hurry to replace the GTI, as I love the car. Although I can start to tell the accelerated age of 4 years in the upper Midwest on the car. I'm thinking this might be the time to finally scratch that BMW itch I've had for 22 years. If I found an 06' 330 xi with respective miles and solid service records, I'd be tempted on the spot. Now that I'm driving more (1,200 miles a month +/-), I need to keep my eye on that depreciation valuation slide a bit more. I'm not afraid of BMW at all, especially the normally aspirated engines, the 2.8 and 3.0 specifically. The 3 is Europe's version of our Honda Civic. They're everywhere over there.

What we end up with for my wife, will influence what I end up with as well. But right now, we've decided to slow down a little and just catch our financial breath for a couple of months. We've spent a lot of money over the past 90 days, with more to come soon on the home. The cars are being bumped down a notch or two right now.

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She won't budge on the Subbies either. Basically, we're down to the Enclave and MDX for her.

For me, I'm not sure, and not in a big hurry to replace the GTI, as I love the car. Although I can start to tell the accelerated age of 4 years in the upper Midwest on the car. I'm thinking this might be the time to finally scratch that BMW itch I've had for 22 years. If I found an 06' 330 xi with respective miles and solid service records, I'd be tempted on the spot. Now that I'm driving more (1,200 miles a month +/-), I need to keep my eye on that depreciation valuation slide a bit more. I'm not afraid of BMW at all, especially the normally aspirated engines, the 2.8 and 3.0 specifically. The 3 is Europe's version of our Honda Civic. They're everywhere over there.

What we end up with for my wife, will influence what I end up with as well. But right now, we've decided to slow down a little and just catch our financial breath for a couple of months. We've spent a lot of money over the past 90 days, with more to come soon on the home. The cars are being bumped down a notch or two right now.

That's not a bad idea. Gives you more time to look at alternative cars. I personally stay away from the Germans since they're expensive to maintain; I was considering an Audi A6 avant before the Subi. The car is huge, but the mileage and my budget kept me from reaching out on it. BTW what's your future budget on this purchase?

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I'm prepared to spend around $50k to replace both cars, with a budget of $30k for my wife's car, and $20k for mine. Hers will be first, as mine is still covered under the CPO warranty for another 18 months and 23k miles. Hers, the 4Runner, is not, and at 110k miles, is due for the expensive stuff.

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Carfax is only 50% accurate I believe. When I was looking at a low mileage 01 RX300 back a year ago, Lexus provided a carfax report which said there was an odo rollback. Looked at the service history and they claim that the service advisor must have typed the wrong mileage. I think it said

42,5** Service Done

42,1** Service Done

So there was a drop of about 400 miles from the first service noted to the next one. I was interested in the vehicle but I didn't want the headache of a red flag on the carfax report. The dealer's solution? They talked to the carfax rep who drops by the dealership weekly and she changed it up... It then read

42,5** Service Done

43,1** Service Done

Now how accurate is that second reading?

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Carfax is only 50% accurate I believe. When I was looking at a low mileage 01 RX300 back a year ago, Lexus provided a carfax report which said there was an odo rollback. Looked at the service history and they claim that the service advisor must have typed the wrong mileage. I think it said

42,5** Service Done

42,1** Service Done

So there was a drop of about 400 miles from the first service noted to the next one. I was interested in the vehicle but I didn't want the headache of a red flag on the carfax report. The dealer's solution? They talked to the carfax rep who drops by the dealership weekly and she changed it up... It then read

42,5** Service Done

43,1** Service Done

Now how accurate is that second reading?

Very nice. Would have done the same thing especially at a Lexus dealer.

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