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  • Car advice - new attending - what to buy?

    I could use some advice/suggestions on a car to buy. I just finished residency in July. Here is some background financial info on me. Net worth ~300k. Paid off student loans. Stay at home wife with 1 young child. Unsure of a second. Expected income for first full year (2019) ~450-500k+. Currently own a 2016 Honda CRV. Our other car is coming off a lease in a couple months. I learned my lesson and will not be leasing again. Overall we're in very good financial shape relative to age (early 30s) and time out of training but need some help choosing a car to buy. The original plan was to buy an older family car but that fell through last minute. Other info...

    -I'm definitely NOT a car guy. Just looking for something safe and reliable with minimal maintenance. Not flashy at all.

    -We already have a CRV which will be used more for family trips so I was thinking a smaller vehicle and not another SUV, van, truck, etc...

    -We have one child and not sure about another kid in the next few years. Therefore, not sure if the super small vehicles make sense either...although I would love to hear people's opinions on Prius's or other small cars who are doing it with a family.

    -Commute is pretty short but good mileage is also still important. Tempted by the idea of hybrids or even complete electric vehicle as I've never owned one of them before and I like the idea of being more environmentally friendly.

    -Live in Mid-Atlantic area so hopefully decent in snow (although not super important since short commute and could always borrow wife's CRV if need be I suppose).

    -Was favoring a used over a new vehicle but wasn't sure how that would be impacted if I went with a hybrid or electric vehicle as the technology/range is much better in recent years than much older vehicles.

    -The hope is to keep the car until it dies.

    Without doing any research, a few vehicles crossed my mind... Toyota Camry (+/- Hybrid), Honda Accord, Toyota Prius (might be too small but curious other's thoughts), Nissan Leaf, etc... I'm sure there are LOTS of cars I'm missing so I'd appreciate any/all thoughts. Thanks!

     

  • #2
    We live in an area with snow, two kids ages 10 and 2 ( so never had 2 in car seats at the same time) and we share a car. It's a 2008 Toyota Corolla and I have loved it. Never been in the shop and we've taken it up the canyon in the winter to ski resorts, gone through blizzards to Jackson hole in the winter, etc. So I think for sure a Camry would suit your needs even if you had another kid and needed two car seats to fit. I personally would like a leaf ( but I don't want to own two cars) but that might be an option for you as well since you have the crv. A friend of mine commutes in his leaf every day and it seems to do fine in the snow on the highway/ in town.
    Congrats on having your financial house in order, I hope your first year goes well.

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    • #3
      Toyota is the way to go.
      Highly recommend 4Runner. It’s big. It’s safe. Great for family.
      And most importantly, 5 year resale value is 2nd highest amongst all cars at 65%. Whenever you sell in 10 years, you’ll get great value on the car.

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      • #4
        Genesis G80.  Nice AWD big sedan, fully loaded, and half price of BMW/MB/Audi.  10 year warranty and 3 years free service.

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        • #5
          #CamryLife

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          • #6
            I agree with a Toyota, I’ve owned 3 trucks (one 4Runner and 2 tundras) in the last 20 years, put a total of near 500,000 Miles on them, and have NEVER had a problem. I’ll never buy anything other than a Toyota.

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            • #7
              The Prius is bigger than it looks on the outside. It can hold a good bit with all of the seats up, and more still with the back row quickly laid down.

              I agree with looking at Toyota or possibly Subaru. If you get a Subaru, consider buying it from a less popular location. They go for top dollar in Colorado, Vermont, and Washington State. They tend to be less popular in Texas and the Deep South. Therefore, you could arrange an internet sale from a dealership in the south, do a road trip towards home (if you don’t already live in the south), and still come out a few thousand ahead.

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              • #8
                Used sedan, Toyota is a good bet.

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                • #9
                  I’d go Nissan Leaf or Prius. Decent amount of interior space since hatchbacks, and can’t beat the fuel economy.

                  The Prius will last you forever. Time will tell on the Leaf

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                  • #10
                    if i could do it all over again one of the tweaks i would make to my young attending finances would be to drive even less car.

                    i ended up having a payment on a used Prius ($18k purchase) and i enjoyed the car a lot. had quite a commute in those days so the hybrid feature was really nice for gas prices.

                    but if i could go back i probably would have tried to get 5 years or so out of a much cheaper vehicle like a $5k used Camry/Accord. especially in a big city with zipcar for backup it would have made sense.

                    as others have said, Toyota is the way to go. my 2011 4Runner failed to start a few times and had a check engine light on (103k miles). took it to the shop: 1) new battery, 2) rats chewed some wires out. the moral of the story is that even when a toyota fails it's not the toyota's fault.

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                    • #11
                      I'll be in a very similar place soon; home situation, commute, car needs, etc.  For a low-usage vehicle bought new and driven into the ground, the car could last 15+yrs, so the style, safety features, etc. may get outdated so that's something to think about, but it could also be a good way to pass down the car to child.  I'm looking at hybrids/evs as well, but not so much for environmental reasons but more so cost reasons.  The cost savings by using less gas or being pure electric isn't necessarily a slam dunk, depends on gas prices, car insurance premium differences, cost of car, etc.  With a low usage vehicle, these potential savings can be minimal or take awhile to accrue.  The cars I'm looking at are in the compact car to compact suv class (civic, accord, hrv), looking at brands such as honda, toyota, mazda, hyundai and kia.  Personally, I don't care for the toyota styling these days.  Hyundai seems to give good value and good warranty.  The cars that catch my eye: hrv, mazda3/6, kona or future kona ev, ioniq, niro.  I've been looking into the leaf too.  Though, looking at your list of cars, maybe the mazda6, sonata or optima would be more inline with what you want.  The prius I've ridden in didn't feel dramatically different in space than something like the crv, but I'm average height and on paper it would say otherwise.  I think buying new vs used may be a wash price wise, and the cars you're looking at aren't expensive compared to your income, and the fact that you'd want to drive it forever I think a new car is fine.

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                      • #12
                        Don't be boring and get a Toyota.  An alltrak VW sportwagen.  All wheel drive station wagon.  Chicks dig it.  Fun to drive.  Good in snow or mountains.  If that doesn't do it for you, get a volvo.

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                        • #13




                          Don’t be boring and get a Toyota.  An alltrak VW sportwagen.  All wheel drive station wagon.  Chicks dig it.  Fun to drive.  Good in snow or mountains.  If that doesn’t do it for you, get a volvo.
                          Click to expand...


                          This. Volvo is making some gorgeous wagons these days. No reason a practical/reliable vehicle has to be dull or uninspiring.

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                          • #14
                            Only, Volvo rated dead last in Consumer Reports reliability rating while Toyota and Lexus were again 1 and 2. Though, yes, Volvos are looking quite nice. I had a TDI Jetta in the day. Torquey and fun but full of electrical gremlins. We have moved on to 3 Toyotas in the family now with my wife and I and our teenager. Over 600k miles on those cars and zero issues outside of one water pump. I will not buy another brand at this point. Next car will be the new RAV4--maybe the hybrid, though that Adventure keeps catching my eye. Not bad for an AWD getting 40mpg. The new Camry hybrid hits around 50mpg and handles better than previous years.

                            The one trend I don't like is the use of turbos in cars. I am not convinced they are reliable. Better to get a bigger engine, a hybrid or an electric, IMHO.

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                            • #15




                              I could use some advice/suggestions on a car to buy. I just finished residency in July. Here is some background financial info on me. Net worth ~300k. Paid off student loans. Stay at home wife with 1 young child. Unsure of a second. Expected income for first full year (2019) ~450-500k+. Currently own a 2016 Honda CRV. Our other car is coming off a lease in a couple months. I learned my lesson and will not be leasing again. Overall we’re in very good financial shape relative to age (early 30s) and time out of training but need some help choosing a car to buy. The original plan was to buy an older family car but that fell through last minute. Other info…

                              -I’m definitely NOT a car guy. Just looking for something safe and reliable with minimal maintenance. Not flashy at all.

                              -We already have a CRV which will be used more for family trips so I was thinking a smaller vehicle and not another SUV, van, truck, etc…

                              -We have one child and not sure about another kid in the next few years. Therefore, not sure if the super small vehicles make sense either…although I would love to hear people’s opinions on Prius’s or other small cars who are doing it with a family.

                              -Commute is pretty short but good mileage is also still important. Tempted by the idea of hybrids or even complete electric vehicle as I’ve never owned one of them before and I like the idea of being more environmentally friendly.

                              -Live in Mid-Atlantic area so hopefully decent in snow (although not super important since short commute and could always borrow wife’s CRV if need be I suppose).

                              -Was favoring a used over a new vehicle but wasn’t sure how that would be impacted if I went with a hybrid or electric vehicle as the technology/range is much better in recent years than much older vehicles.

                              -The hope is to keep the car until it dies.

                              Without doing any research, a few vehicles crossed my mind… Toyota Camry (+/- Hybrid), Honda Accord, Toyota Prius (might be too small but curious other’s thoughts), Nissan Leaf, etc… I’m sure there are LOTS of cars I’m missing so I’d appreciate any/all thoughts. Thanks!

                               
                              Click to expand...


                              Go with a Chevy Bolt.  260 mile range, decent size, certainly big enough for 2 small kids.  You can still get the $7500 tax credit if you buy new.  I drive a BMW i3 and have been super thrilled with my car over the last year and a half that I've owned it.  If I were to buy another EV the Bolt would be a strong contender.  Nothing against Leaf's, but their range is not as good.  Tesla Model 3's are still quite pricey in comparison.
                              Keep in mind with EVs the cost of ownership is much lower.  You won't be buying gasoline anymore, you won't be changing oil anymore, brakes will wear much less, etc.  I estimate that my car is saving me close to 2k/yr in gas/maintenance costs based on how much I drive.  When you factor cost of ownership over 8-10 years and the tax credit, an EV is a very economical choice.  Plus I'm a fan of the environmental stuff too

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