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    Hey all, new attending just starting in private practice. I drive a 12 year old 2 door Honda Civic, and it no longer works with a 9 month old and another on the way. We need a bigger car and looking at SUVs (need AWD). Went and looked at Tesla yesterday, convince me a model Y is a bad idea. Married, combined income $375k. Student loans are $325k and in the process of refinancing. Thinking about 10-15 year refinance at 2.6%, which is less than price of inflation. Not in a huge rush to pay more than the minimum a few years until making partner money then can pay off quickly. Own house, $150k equity. No other consumer debt. Other car paid off and have probably 5 years left in it. Looking at Y with 3rd row, will be around $53k. Have $60k in the bank, would put maybe $25k down and keep payments around $500 a month. Have solar panels on the house, charging probably close to free. Dumb idea? Other car recommendations in the midsize SUV range? Used cars are awful right now as we all know.

  • #2
    Since your statement is 'convince me a Model Y is a bad idea', I think you're coming into this with a heavy bias. Consider that Tesla is a technology company and not an an auto manufacturer. I believe they are usually last (by a long ways) on Consumer Reports on quality and problems.

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    • #3
      Since you’re coming from a civic, try out a top trim Honda Pilot. I love the feel of the Pilot (on my second now) and came from a 15 year old civic. Will be cheaper than a Tesla.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
        Since your statement is 'convince me a Model Y is a bad idea', I think you're coming into this with a heavy bias. Consider that Tesla is a technology company and not an an auto manufacturer. I believe they are usually last (by a long ways) on Consumer Reports on quality and problems.
        Sorry, didn't mean to phrase it like that. I meant that more in the sense of spending $50k on a car. I hate spending money on cars and usually keep them 10+ years. Just need something bigger that handles the bad winter weather, and with starting to look around $35-50k is about that range for most decent size SUVs that are within a few years old.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dewangski1 View Post
          Since you’re coming from a civic, try out a top trim Honda Pilot. I love the feel of the Pilot (on my second now) and came from a 15 year old civic. Will be cheaper than a Tesla.
          Thanks, I'll take a look. Took one for a test drive a while ago (we thought about a new car a year ago), and it just felt kind of big. Will circle back and take a second look.

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          • #6
            3rd row is a joke for a SUV the size of a Tesla Y. Fuel cost/savings are nominal. It's not going to offset spending >$50k on a new car.

            What does your spouse drive? Assuming you are a two car family makes sense to keep the Civic as a commuter car and the 2nd car be a larger family-size vehicle. I would get a minivan as the 3rd row is not compromised like most SUVs. Sliding side doors are great for small kids and access to the 2nd and 3rd rows. The Sienna comes in a AWD.

            I have AWD on my Acura RDX. I've owned it for 5+ years and have never used it. It has not been worth the additional cost and maintenance expense. Would think over how well your roads are treated in winter and whether you need to drive in that weather.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zlandar View Post
              3rd row is a joke for a SUV the size of a Tesla Y. Fuel cost/savings are nominal. It's not going to offset spending >$50k on a new car.

              What does your spouse drive? Assuming you are a two car family makes sense to keep the Civic as a commuter car and the 2nd car be a larger family-size vehicle. I would get a minivan as the 3rd row is not compromised like most SUVs. Sliding side doors are great for small kids and access to the 2nd and 3rd rows. The Sienna comes in a AWD.

              I have AWD on my Acura RDX. I've owned it for 5+ years and have never used it. It has not been worth the additional cost and maintenance expense. Would think over how well your roads are treated in winter and whether you need to drive in that weather.
              Just curious why fuel cost/savings would be nominal? My wife drives a BMW X3 and filling $4.15 premium gas these days is like $75 for a full tank. We have solar panels, so energy costs are minimal. Not to mention maintenance, as electric cars really don't have maintenance which adds up over 5 years. AWD is definitely necessary, we get blizzards often and the roads are not well taken care of at all. Will look at some minivans also.

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              • #8
                Even though it will put more money in Nysoz's pocket ( and he comes across as a genuinely nice guy that I want to put to more into his pocket) I recommend the Y. I had the Model 3 SR+ and now the Y. Love the car, and I am not a car guy. The only things I can see

                1. Elon has been raising the prices from March 2021, it is now >54K for even the 5 seater so it might be more for the 7 seater.

                2. I am not sure how practical the 7 seater is, even with 2 young kids. Even a 5 seater will do.

                3. Home charging is fine and with your solar you will save $100 or more per month.

                4. It is still an extra effort to plan long drives of 500+ miles.

                5. In reality you will get a bigger vehicle for the money going with a SUV like Honda Pilot but do you need it.

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                • #9
                  I know this is not the point of the post but I'm trying to do the math on your overall situation.

                  Where do you live with a family of three/four and have a house that will fit you that costs 150k? You also said you were just starting private practice and usually that takes some time and money to get off the ground, no? You seem quite confident you're not going to have employment problems which is great, but it's not always the attitude that I expect.
                  ​​​​​​ I am suddenly fascinated by your situation.

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                  • #10
                    Have $60k in the bank, would put maybe $25k down and keep payments around $500 a month.

                    Buy a car for 25,000 and keep 35 in the bank and have no payments, would be a better financial choice. The question is whether you need a new car for 53,000 or want a new car that costs 53,000. I dont think it is going to break the bank, for you.

                    Growing up , we had a toyota starlet, which makes those tiny chevy's look big. I was one of three and my brother was 250 lbs sitting in the back seat next to me. Some how we didn't need a new car, because that was our new car. My dad also didn't like paying extra for air or windows with little buttons when you could roll them down yourself just as easy. The point is, figuring out what you need and what you want and how it fits into your financial plan. Putting that extra 35 in a retirement plan and brokerage account now , may make a substantial difference in 20 years

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                    • #11
                      I read it as the house has 150k equity, not that it cost 150k.

                      We got a used 2019 Highlander in June 2020. We have a 7 year old and near 7 month old. It works well for our family. We just went on a 3 hour road trip. Back area with seats folded down had a mid sized cooler, a pack and play (collapsed) plus mattress, 3 carry on suit cases, and a full set of adult golf clubs. Stuffed a bag of snacks and baby stuff between the middle seats (they're captain's chairs). Leather seats, AWD, some assisted driving capability (their 2020 model had a couple more advanced things). 33k with only 10k miles on it (we paid 18k after 15k trade in).

                      IMO, you're doing the thing that is anti-WCI. Taking on a bunch of debt while not being totally established and hoping things work out. So, I'm just gonna put that out there.

                      But, I realize you're probably here to get confirmation that the purchase is ok (it's what a lot of people do). So, my recommendation- if you can save 20% of gross to retirement, whatever you do with the rest is your business. If the model Y can fit into this budget, then you do you.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RheumMD View Post

                        Just curious why fuel cost/savings would be nominal? My wife drives a BMW X3 and filling $4.15 premium gas these days is like $75 for a full tank. We have solar panels, so energy costs are minimal. Not to mention maintenance, as electric cars really don't have maintenance which adds up over 5 years. AWD is definitely necessary, we get blizzards often and the roads are not well taken care of at all. Will look at some minivans also.
                        You are trading in your Civic which takes regular and gets ~30 mpg. Assuming you drive 10k miles/year and it's $3.65 for regular it's ~$1k in fuel savings.

                        It's going to cost a lot more to insure a Tesla Y vs your Civic. Civic needs oil changes but your Tesla will be chewing through tires at x2 speed because of it's weight. Your Tesla will need tire rotations every 6500 miles (free at Discount Tire).

                        Makes more sense for your wife to trade in the Bimmer.

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                        • #13
                          I head that the wait list for the y is till December. Not sure if it's true or just a rumor.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
                            I read it as the house has 150k equity, not that it cost 150k.
                            They also said they own their own home which makes me believe they don't have a mortgage but their wording is confusing. My guess is the bank owns the home and they have $150k in equity.

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                            • #15
                              So what are your priorities? Utility? People mover? Cost efficiency? Value over years? Green? Badge?

                              AWD = weather/driving vs really need AWD - rural - high clearance.

                              3rd row mid-SUV = worthless beyond kindergarten sized kids.

                              You have a X3. Use that as your litmus test of size of car.

                              The mere mention of 3rd row speaks that you're best suited for Minivan land if Pilot is deemed 'too big'.

                              If minivan: Honda/Toyota would be my suggestion (still own our Odyssey 2004). or hybrid chrylser pacifica if you really want an electric option.

                              If purely midSized and really not needing that 3rd row beyond the rare occasional; you may get away with Y or highlander or Mitsubishi. -- just be cautious on this.


                              We love our Y. Drove up from San Diego and staying in Monterey this week with the family, dog, and the Y. Plenty of room and comfortable. Even did autopilot yesterday on hwy 1 to test it out -- that was an E-ticket ride

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