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  • How much to spend on used SUV?

    Our paid for 08 Lexus GX was just totaled. It is a bummer the car is gone but everyone walked away without a scratch- which is beyond amazing and I am thankful that SUV kept everyone safe. It was great SUV and we never had any problems with it. We are getting an insurance settlement for $21K. Is it unreasonable to put another 13K into getting a used 2014 GX? The one we are looking for is impeccably cared for and has a plethora of safety features that another 08 would not have. We have no other debt, we are saving 20%+ of our income ,and our other car is a paid for '07 4Runner (love that one, too). We have the cash reserves and it will not touch our emergency fund.  On one hand it seems to be a ton of money, yet we have the chance to let someone else have taken the hard depreciation hit and end up with a SUV that we know we like, and respect, and that we plan to have for another 10 + years. TIA.

  • #2
    You are getting a newer car for 13k.  You have the cash and no other debt.  I would do it.  I did a similar thing recently after totaling my SUV.

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    • #3
      Thanks, hatton1, for the insight. Very appreciated. I pray all were safe in your accident.

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      • #4
        I loathe SUV's because most people don't actually use any functionality of an SUV, they just burn extra gas becuase why?! Buy only what you need. (this might be it -- not the point of this discussion though).

        That said, get it inspected by your mechanic, not theirs. $100-200 is worth the peace of mind you'll get.

        That said, uh, yeah, you get an upgraded same car and 8k in cash? Sounds like a deal to me. Drive (even) more carefully this time! (even if it wasn't your fault at all! Always a good reminder to stay safe!)

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        • #5
          I'm a bit partial to lexus/toyota SUVs. These cars tend to be better values when purchased with higher mileage. I would rather buy a well kept GX with over 100k miles than a newer one with less miles. These engines are way more reliable than you would expect.

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          • #6
            I think only you can make this decision.  While I see and understand that most people see cars as a constantly depreciating mode of transportation, I actually get a great deal of enjoyment with cars.  As such, I don't mind spending a little more.  It depends on what you want and need the car for.  Do you really need a large luxury suv?  Would you be just as happy in a Honda Civic (or insert any smaller, more economical, more green car here)?

            If you decide to go for the '14 GX, I totally agree with adventure on getting an independent PPI (pre purchase inspection).  I even got the dealer to drive it to my independent mechanic for me.  There are also 2 types of PPI, one for the mechanical/electrical side of things (done by a mechanic and should include computer diagnostics to look for any fault codes) and one for the cosmetics of the car (done by a professional detailer-checking paint condition, body panels, interior condition).

            Good luck with whatever you decide!

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            • #7




              I loathe SUV’s because most people don’t actually use any functionality of an SUV, they just burn extra gas becuase why?! Buy only what you need. (this might be it — not the point of this discussion though).

              That said, get it inspected by your mechanic, not theirs. $100-200 is worth the peace of mind you’ll get.

              That said, uh, yeah, you get an upgraded same car and 8k in cash? Sounds like a deal to me. Drive (even) more carefully this time! (even if it wasn’t your fault at all! Always a good reminder to stay safe!)
              Click to expand...


              Um...the functionality of an SUV is higher mass and more space=more safety. That is 100% of the reason I go for SUVs. What are the other functions? We haul the fam, have a tow hitch for bikes and a rack for surfboards.

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              • #8
                So you have the money and you're saving plenty for retirement but you're asking if you should spend it on something you want? Um...yes. What would you tell someone else asking you that question?
                Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                • #9
                  I just bought a new (brand new) Toyota Highlander LE AWD for 31k...used ones on craisglist were around 33k though with more options.

                  So I cant comment....

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                  • #10




                    Thanks, hatton1, for the insight. Very appreciated. I pray all were safe in your accident.
                    Click to expand...


                    Thanks.  No injuries.  My dog has PTSD from it.

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                    • #11







                      I loathe SUV’s because most people don’t actually use any functionality of an SUV, they just burn extra gas becuase why?! Buy only what you need. (this might be it — not the point of this discussion though).
                      Click to expand…


                      Um…the functionality of an SUV is higher mass and more space=more safety. That is 100% of the reason I go for SUVs. What are the other functions? We haul the fam, have a tow hitch for bikes and a rack for surfboards.
                      Click to expand...


                      More mass does not equal more safety. It does equate to longer stopping distances. Stronger materials, crumple zones, along with airbags, stability control and an alert driver all help from a safety perspective. But more mass? No.

                      You can put a tow hitch on any vehicle for bikes and a rack on the top of any vehicle for surfboards/kayaks/etc. In fact, it's easier to load a surf board on top of a car because it's lower to the ground.

                      As for interior space, people are always amazed that my 'wagon' can hold as much stuff as their Highlander.

                      I know WCI loves his Sequoia(s) though. All my Oil & Gas stock thanks all of you SUV lovers.   Please continue to drive larger vehicles than necessary so I can send my kids to college and take nice vacations like all you Doctors (btw - this is all friendly. Please don't take anything personally)

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                      • #12










                        I loathe SUV’s because most people don’t actually use any functionality of an SUV, they just burn extra gas becuase why?! Buy only what you need. (this might be it — not the point of this discussion though).
                        Click to expand…


                        Um…the functionality of an SUV is higher mass and more space=more safety. That is 100% of the reason I go for SUVs. What are the other functions? We haul the fam, have a tow hitch for bikes and a rack for surfboards.
                        Click to expand…


                        More mass does not equal more safety. It does equate to longer stopping distances. Stronger materials, crumple zones, along with airbags, stability control and an alert driver all help from a safety perspective. But more mass? No.

                        You can put a tow hitch on any vehicle for bikes and a rack on the top of any vehicle for surfboards/kayaks/etc. In fact, it’s easier to load a surf board on top of a car because it’s lower to the ground.

                        As for interior space, people are always amazed that my ‘wagon’ can hold as much stuff as their Highlander.

                        I know WCI loves his Sequoia(s) though. All my Oil & Gas stock thanks all of you SUV lovers.  ???? Please continue to drive larger vehicles than necessary so I can send my kids to college and take nice vacations like all you Doctors (btw – this is all friendly. Please don’t take anything personally)
                        Click to expand...


                        All other things being equal, in a collision a heavier vehicle will push back the lighter one resulting in less energy transferred to the occupants. Again, this is usually a bigger sized vehicle as well (since materials are similar) providing more space to absorb collision damage before encroaching on occupants. This is highly documented material. Death rate in smaller cars is three times as high. Just think about the physics and what really does the damage when we're talking about injuries. What does the damage is total energy imparted to the victim. In vehicles they all go similar speeds, have similar build regulations, so mass is the other main factor. Size important but kind of linear with mass so makes sense.

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                        • #13




                          All other things being equal, in a collision a heavier vehicle will push back the lighter one resulting in less energy transferred to the occupants. Again, this is usually a bigger sized vehicle as well (since materials are similar) providing more space to absorb collision damage before encroaching on occupants. This is highly documented material. Death rate in smaller cars is three times as high. Just think about the physics and what really does the damage when we’re talking about injuries. What does the damage is total energy imparted to the victim. In vehicles they all go similar speeds, have similar build regulations, so mass is the other main factor. Size important but kind of linear with mass so makes sense.
                          Click to expand...


                          Following that logic at what point does it end? As other SUV's become bigger than yours, you need an even bigger one to feel equally safe. GM needs to revive the H1!  :lol:

                          Speed is a much bigger factor in crashes than mass. E(kinetic) = (0.5)m*v^2

                          There is also the control factor. SUV's are less forgiving in emergencies maneuvers due to their greater mass and higher center of gravity. If you can prevent/avoid an accident, isn't that the ideal scenario? Lots of sedans get 5 star crash test ratings. And part of the reason fatalities are higher in the USA than other first world countries are due to that extra mass from all those vehicles transferring more energy into the car that it impacted.

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                          • #14







                            All other things being equal, in a collision a heavier vehicle will push back the lighter one resulting in less energy transferred to the occupants. Again, this is usually a bigger sized vehicle as well (since materials are similar) providing more space to absorb collision damage before encroaching on occupants. This is highly documented material. Death rate in smaller cars is three times as high. Just think about the physics and what really does the damage when we’re talking about injuries. What does the damage is total energy imparted to the victim. In vehicles they all go similar speeds, have similar build regulations, so mass is the other main factor. Size important but kind of linear with mass so makes sense.
                            Click to expand…


                            Following that logic at what point does it end? As other SUV’s become bigger than yours, you need an even bigger one to feel equally safe. GM needs to revive the H1!  ????

                            Speed is a much bigger factor in crashes than mass. E(kinetic) = (0.5)m*v^2

                            There is also the control factor. SUV’s are less forgiving in emergencies maneuvers due to their greater mass and higher center of gravity. If you can prevent/avoid an accident, isn’t that the ideal scenario? Lots of sedans get 5 star crash test ratings. And part of the reason fatalities are higher in the USA than other first world countries are due to that extra mass from all those vehicles transferring more energy into the car that it impacted.
                            Click to expand...


                            Speed is very important, but since speed is relatively low and in a defined small range, the only other factor that matters is mass. Dont see how that changes anything, you dont get to choose your speed of crashing. At any same speed, I'd still rather hit or be hit by something smaller than me since m still ends up being an integer multiplier. I feel we are getting hung up on mass alone. Obviously if this mass were made up of whip cream it wouldnt matter, but we know its structural mass, and its really a proxy for a bunch of other things. Mass is also important, but a smaller part overall.

                            Yes, it is indeed a relative risk trade. You are simply putting the risk onto smaller cars, I have said this many times before, once more SUVs/bigger cars are on the road this advantage goes away. This is pretty obvious but doesnt change the situation until its fully developed. If you want to argue government should think about these things and decrease the discrepancy in sizes of vehicles to improve overall safety thats a whole other thing, but interesting and have thought about it.

                            Sure, it'd be ideal to avoid crashing, but its not realistic. Also, >95% of people dont know how to handle cars or what theyre actually capable of anyway, so it doesnt matter what kind of car theyre in, they wont be able to maneuver out of it. As someone who has taken high performance driving courses, Im very comfortable with what even my SUV can accomplish (and the biggest lesson I learned was no one knows how to drive or what their car can do). Its really drivers that are the problem. No sense in using the exception to the rule in such situations.

                            5 star ratings only apply to same size/weight/class, it is not comparable across vehicle types. What would you rather be in, a 5 star fiat 500 or a 5 star sequoia if they collide (have no idea real ratings, just thought exercise)?

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                            • #15
                              I have become a small car convert over the years. My 16 year old daughter will probably assume possession of my 7 year old Prius this spring. I might have to get a car next year, but it will probably be something small and electric, like a Leaf.

                              As for the OP, yeah, he can do what he wants without losing sleep.

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