Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
Considering buying a new car, now that Little Bits has made his entry into this world - 11/10/03, kicking and screaming for all he is worth.

The Volvo S70 meets most of our criteria:

color and interior we like
good looking car (minivans need not apply)
excellent safety rating
good reliability rating
doesn't pull a GM on resale value (see below)
some others that elude me right now

Volvo stopped making the S70 in 2000, so we would buy a used one, preferably a '99 or '00. Would run about $18-$22K

The other option is to use the X-plan I get through work and buy a brand new 850 for 4% over net dealer invoice. The 850 retails for about $35K, the X-plan would knock it down to around $30K. This is a "no-haggle, take it or leave it" plan, so no negoitating involved.

We currently have the following:

'01 Saturn SC2. Has been a good car for us, however we have been paying on it for almost 3 years (at 3.9%) and are about even on loan-to-value, even with only 16,000 miles on it. Will be paid off April '05.

'01 Mercury Cougar. Purchased through the X-plan in a rushed Sunday afternoon on August 26,2001. My old '91 Legacy was having electrical problems that never really went away (even after 5 trips to 3 different mechanics), needed a new starter, AC didn't work well (Miami in august without cold AC anyone?), tires and battery. Loan was at 8%. DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH DOH Had my old clunker made it three more weeks ...
We paid the loan off in July, to save on the interest charges, but I will not recommend Fix Or Repair Dailies to anyone (the Cougar already feels like it).

Someone familiar with cars will realize that these are both 2-door coupes; the easiest vehicle in the world to get a car seat in and out of -

it's NOT that difficult, at least while he's only 10 lbs.

What about when he is 25 lbs.? Should we start lifting weights to prepare? Buy prepaid hernia insurance? Just put him in the trunk?









For the worried people out there, I am only kidding (just don't tell his mother that thought ever crossed my mind ....)


Anyway, would like something more suited to have a little one around; without taking it in the shorts from a scum sucking, mouth breathing, ugly plaid pants wearing, car salesman. Why is it I always feel like taking a shower after visiting a dealership? DW feel even worse after visiting, BTW.

Our latest encounter

After we get out of car, lot lizard with about a quart of motor oil holding his hair in place quickly approaches and brilliantly observes that DW is pregnant (she was 8 mos) and we are driving a 2-dr coupe. He may have actually started drooling at some point. After kicking a few tires, we see a S70 that meets most criteria, except it is not a color we want and miles are high (60K) for a '00. Car is in good shape, but the sticker price is $3K over KBB value. Somehow we are persuaded into the office, while they appraise our car (we specifically had spare keys and a cell phone to prevent shenanigans on their part)

Part of conversation when things turned sour quick:

"What will it take to get you to buy it today" - Slick Salesman
"$175 a month payment for 36 months. No trade in" - Me
(acts offended) "Come on" - Slick Salesman
"You asked what it would take to buy it today, you didn't ask what a fair offer would be" - Me
(getting irritated) " Why don't I go talk to the sales manager to see what we can do" -Slick Salesman
"Why won't you believe me when I say 'we're just looking'" -Me

They were the focus you on price or payment (didn't matter which) type of guys and they started to HATE me when I brought a calculator programmed to calculate exactly what their interest rates were (was 15% pre-calculator coming out of pocket, fell to 9% afterwards).

End result - we didn't buy the car, and the whole experience turned DW and I off so much that we haven't looked since.

I'd like to hear from those that have dealt with the full spectrum of car seats - infant to 7 years. At least that's how old they have to be here before you can sit them on their hands and buckle them in so tight they can't hit thier sibling who encroaches 1 mm on "their" side of the seat. My mother NEVER had to do that with us ... we maybe 2 or 300 times.

Should we try to make things work with 2 coupes? Or should we bite the car salesman and get the 4-door sedan?

One final plug:
for those who have never heard of it, Car Talk RULES!!

Listen on Sat mornings @ 10 am on NPR to some of the best comedy, marriage advice, puzzlers and oh, yeah they also talk a little bit about cars (usually during the third half of the show)


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
2 door coupe is *bad* between 6 months and 4 years old (when they can do own seatbelt). You *will* hurt your back sooner or later. Don't do it

My advice...get a damn mini-van. Now you are parents you're not cool anyway, and the convenience makes up for it :)
Wheee
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
2 door coupe is *bad* between 6 months and 4 years old (when they can do own seatbelt). You *will* hurt your back sooner or later. Don't do it

I really HATE it when I'm right about something I don't want to be right about. We were hoping the 3rd door on the Saturn would help.

My advice...get a damn mini-van. Now you are parents you're not cool anyway, and the convenience makes up for it :)
Wheee


AAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

LA LA LA LA (cover my ears) I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA


Can't I get a Land Destroyer instead? - aren't SUV's really just a minivan in disguise?

Please, please, please?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
minivan-totally uncool, ten thousand dollars cheaper than a comparable size/capacity suv, ten miles per gallon better fuel economy, much cheaper to insure.

suv-totally cool, ten thousand dollars more expensive than a comparable size/capacity minivan, ten miles per gallon worse fuel economy, more expensive to insure, could tow a boat. do you have a boat?

about the most expensive minivan tops out around $40k-a chrysler town and country with all wheel drive, limited package. carries seven people and a bunch of junk in reasonable comfort, leather, dvd player for the kiddies, and if you were foolish enough to pull anything with a chrysler co transmission, i think the owners manual talks about a max capacity of about 3500 pounds.

to get similar passenger capacity, you give up considerable ease of entry/exit, because even with a navigator/suburban sized beast, to get into the rear seat the middle seat passengers have to get out. a suburban with leather and a tv set and all the other googa will set you back (im obviously talking list price here, not what you can buy it for) about $50000.

now it should go without saying that you can get a suv with less content for less money, but you can get a minivan with less content for less money too. im just trying to point out how much more expensive the suv is than the minivan. a two wheel drive suburban with cloth interior and power windows and locks is around $38000. a two wheel drive dodge caravan with four doors and power amenities is around $28000.

besides, yukons and explorers are so common with the soccer mom set that they're rapidly losing the cool advantage anyway.

buy whatever you want. but buy it from someone you feel comfortable doing business with. dont even go in the office, dont let your car be appraised, dont talk numbers if you dont feel reasonably comfortable with the dealership and the salesman. why put yourself through that crap, and why waste a salesmans time when you could just as well be planting flowers in your garden. much better for your heart and blood pressure.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I'd like to hear from those that have dealt with the full spectrum of car seats - infant to 7 years.

Most people colossally overreact in their decisions for transporting kidlets. My Camaro is perfectly adequate for Fireling and family. Once a kid is 20-24 months old, he/she will be big and strong enough to climb in and out of the car seat on his/her own, so your job is just seat belts from that point on. If trunk space is limited, you will need an umbrella stroller instead of a big one. Even with the rear well filled by a subwoofer box, the umbrella stroller still fits back there.

Neil
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I actually think you'd be fine with a Volvo S60 sedan, or even a V40 (soon to be restyled and become the V50) wagon, depending on your height and other concerns. I just have problems with many sedans now, because I'm 6'2" and a lot of vehicles won't work for me because after I get the driver's seat adjusted, nobody can sit behind me, not even a tot. But at my kids' daycare, there's a few moms with V40's and they work just fine.

The easy way out is the minivan...okay, quit covering your eyes and ears for a moment. That's all I'll say, minivans will do the job.

But getting back to a sedan, just do what I do. I took my daughter and her car seat and we went and visited various car dealerships to see if we fit with me driving and her behind me. The last time we did this was with a booster seat (not a toddler or infant seat).

I'll give you one other anecdote. I had a Volvo 850 which I loved, however, it would NOT fit an infant seat behind me if I was driving, only a toddler seat and even then it was tight. I'd like a new XC70, but they're too tight in the back seat.


Duck
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Drove the 850 in Denmark. Family friend had the big turbo version. Lots of power and nice cruiser. Even with 100,000+ miles they have had few problems with the car.

My father picked up the V70 CrossCounty because of driving in the 850 in Denmark. He has had quite a few problems with the car and less then thrilled with Volvo at this point.

The V70 he purchased is heavy for the middle turbo engine he purchased. Quite a few electrical and mechanical problems have shown up since the day he purchased it. If reliability is top on your list, you may wish to look at a manufacturer other then Volvo.

The most recent fix was broken motor mount and some electical problem that cost upwards of $1000. The car has around 80,000 highway miles on it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
They were the focus you on price or payment (didn't matter which) type of guys and they started to HATE me when I brought a calculator programmed to calculate exactly what their interest rates were (was 15% pre-calculator coming out of pocket, fell to 9% afterwards).

End result - we didn't buy the car, and the whole experience turned DW and I off so much that we haven't looked since.

<<<<<<<<<

Try putting money away for new/used one so U don't need finance costs. I have not ever bought a car on time. And by the time a new one is needed I have more than enough money. Do some real crunching to get the money ready for car. Look at credit unions for better finance deals than any dealer can honestly offer. All the zero's are paid somewhere else in higher fees, price and who knows what else.
Print the post Back To Top