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car shopping again


balthazar

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Bought the '11 Jeep Liberty i think it'll be 2 years in Feb. It just turned 75K, has had zero issues. Its not fancy but everyone here enjoys driving it.
Right now my older son is using it, he lives about 50 mins north of me & comes down to work w/ me during most weeks.

My younger son is about 2 hrs north of me, in school in NYState. He lives on campus, but will be interning nxt semester & will need wheels. We have not shopped yet & need to get on the ball. Have not set a budget, thinking recent CPO, small, efficient, AWD would likely be good where he is (the Hudson Valley is very hilly country). I prefer to buy from a U.S. brand only.

I welcome suggestions...

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Knowing price range would be helpful, but since you said CPO I am assuming the car will be only 2-3 years old.

Jeep Renegade, low mileage CPO is around 20k

Buick Encore - CPOs are plenty and even cheaper

So is Chevy Trax

Also, I know you said only US brands but Subaru Crosstrek is one to consider as well

 

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I can't say enough good about my Encore, as you my only complaint is it is low on power, but it is fuel efficient and has been reliable for the 67k miles we've had it.  The AWD system in them is excellent.  CPOs can be found in the $15k range, but they'll mostly have over 50k miles on them. 

They are not terribly exciting, but I bet you can pick up a previous generation Equinox or Terrain 4-cylinder AWD CPO for cheap.  If he can keep his foot out of it on the highway, it will do better than 30mpg. 

If a crossover isn't needed, the best deal on the planet for an AWD vehicle would probably be a CPO Chrysler 200C or 200S. AWD is only on the V6 models. They use a similar AWD setup to the new Twin-Clutch in the Buick Lacrosse and Ford Focus RS, which is supposed to be top of the line.  Most of the complaints about the 200's powertrain come from the 4-cylinder models, the V6 has enough torque to keep the 9-speed happy. Here's a CPO 2015 200S with 21k miles for $15,448

If you really wanna go wild, you can even extend this to the 300C which is probably the best deal on a full size with AWD that you'll find. Here's one for $19,000 with 16,917 miles on it. .. and another.  My experiences with the Chrysler 300 has always been positive. Stick with 2012 or newer to get the excellent 8-speed automatic (V6 Only). 

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Jeep Patriot Trail Rated are awesome, for a FWD bias system that has a 4wd flick of a switch system, it was bullet proof for the 80K miles my sone owned his before trading it in on his jeep GC.

Totally agree with Drew on his input for CPO auto's.

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

That would have been a great alternative to my Focus at almost the same exact price. 

It's really tough when all we really have to go by is that AWD would be preferred. Are you looking car/truck/suv? Compact or mid size? maximum amount of miles on the vehicle? 

To go with Drew's Encore I'd assume the Trax would slide in there as well for a cheaper price. I assume it also has the same nifty AWD system? I personally think the first gen of them was hideous but compact CUV's aren't much for looks anyway so it's more about the overall product than its looks. 

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No truck or full-size car. A CUV or small sedan is probably the target.
Vehicles were casually tossed out were Cruze or Malibu-size in a car, Liberty or next size up for SUV. Smaller is also possible. He's not going to have a lot of gear, but he is 6'1". I know he really loves the Liberty- perhaps a CUV/SUV is the most versitile/best direction to pursue.

I would not go with a Chrysler product, even tho I would go with a Jeep. No issue with FoMoCo.

What's the basic differences between a Compass & the BOF Liberty? And the Renegade?
 

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23 minutes ago, balthazar said:

 

What's the basic differences between a Compass & the BOF Liberty? And the Renegade?
 

The Liberty was RWD/4WD on a unibody platform, not BOF.  The Compass and Patriot were FWD/4WD on a Mitsubishi-origin platform, the Renegade is FWD/AWD on a Fiat 500X-derived platform... size wise, the Compass an Patriot were smaller than the Liberty, and 4cyl only. 

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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13 hours ago, ykX said:

Knowing price range would be helpful, but since you said CPO I am assuming the car will be only 2-3 years old.

Jeep Renegade, low mileage CPO is around 20k

Buick Encore - CPOs are plenty and even cheaper

So is Chevy Trax

Also, I know you said only US brands but Subaru Crosstrek is one to consider as well

 

Subaru would be my choice by a country mile here.

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2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Subaru would be my choice by a country mile here.

Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner.  My first thought was Subaru and I was surprised I read all the comments until now before it came up.

Used Subarus aren't too expensive, they run forever, get like 30 mpg, made in the USA, and aren't large either, have AWD and just enough power to not be slow, but not enough to be driving reckless.   I think around 2013 or 24 the Eyesight system got added on some of the top trim cars so they have lane departure warning, emergency braking, etc.

A used Legacy sedan would be the top of my list, or Impreza if the price point had to be lower, and no WRX or STi, those are just over boosted and will be unreliable, the 2.5 boxer 4 is tried and true.

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Screwed together location is immaterial to me; Subaru is Japanese.
That said, my sister is leasing an Outback- I've been in it a few times. Other than being rather plasticy, she loves it. I wasn't impressed, but very little knew is to me. My B-I-L has an older one, I know he passed 300K with it a few months ago.
But the brand is problematic- oil useage/burning issues to the point of a class action suit.

Edited by balthazar
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9 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

With what you've shot down so far, I'm back to Equinox/Terrain or Escape. 

The Renegade is likely too small. The Cherokee might be an option. The V6 is better than the 4 cylinder, but harder to find and more $$. 

Any FCA product will be unreliable, the Renegade is rather new if looking for a used car deal and they are made in Italy, with profits going to Italy.  Jeep is one of the most unreliable cars brands out there along with Land Rover and Fiat, some years Jeep ranks worse than those 2 so I would pass on those.

"CPO, small, efficient, AWD" fits Subaru to a T.

A 2011-2012 Lincoln MKZ with under 50k miles can be had for under $15,000.   Fusions are even less, I found a 2015 Fusion AWD Titanium with 48k miles for $14,793

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• It is not mandatory it's CPO. But unless I know the person, I'd prefer to buy from a dealer than privately.
• Land Rover has improved in recent years but is still deplorable for the price tags. In 2010 LR was dead last w 255/100 issues. Jeep for 2017 is much better than LR then; its @ 209 (tho still 2nd to last). Jeeps get used harder than LRs- wonder if that has something to do with the ranking.
• Subuaru's engine issues are a concern that I'll have to take into account.

Edited by balthazar
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I am never good with suggestions and sometimes I simply refuse to suggest.

Anyway...I thought about 2 GM cars that were not mentioned that maybe worth mentioning. Maybe price would be a factor for denying these?

Buick Regal 2.0T AWD

Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

Both are smallish cars...and stylish.

I would agree with Drew's Encore and CCAP's Fusion AWD suggestions

I will add another suggestion. A FoMoCo product. 

Escape 2.0T AWD.

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

• It is not mandatory it's CPO. But unless I know the person, I'd prefer to buy from a dealer than privately.
• Land Rover has improved in recent years but is still deplorable for the price tags. In 2010 LR was dead last w 255/100 issues. Jeep for 2017 is much better than LR then; its @ 209 (tho still 2nd to last). Jeeps get used harder than LRs- wonder if that has something to do with the ranking.
• Subuaru's engine issues are a concern that I'll have to take into account.

What is the price limit here?

Like OldsHurst says, there are ATS out there and gen 2 CTS AWD out there, but an ATS is probably expensive and Cadillac and Buick have an old person vibe.

Insurance rates could be a factor too on some cars.  Certain cars seem to get clobbered on insurance rates, like any 2 door, some turbos, probably Wranglers, etc, where as a Buick or MKZ might have low insurance rates.

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The reason why I refuse to suggest is exactly how the Caravan Hybrid thread has gone down.

One dude has never had problems with ΧYZ car, while the other guy had nothing but problems with XΥΖ car while the another guy swears he will never buy from XYZ's brand ever again because his entire family tree thousands of years before ALWAYS had problems with that manufacturer while another dude's entire family's heritage NEVER had any issues...

Who. To. Believe?

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45 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

The reason why I refuse to suggest is exactly how the Caravan Hybrid thread has gone down.

One dude has never had problems with ΧYZ car, while the other guy had nothing but problems with XΥΖ car while the another guy swears he will never buy from XYZ's brand ever again because his entire family tree thousands of years before ALWAYS had problems with that manufacturer while another dude's entire family's heritage NEVER had any issues...

Who. To. Believe?

Any car, especially used car is a bit of a crap shoot when it comes to reliability.  There are a thousand variables that could make one Chevy Malibu run for 200k miles with no problems, and another Chevy Malibu to have half the parts replaced at 100k miles.  You have to look at overall averages, but buying a used car just because you assume it is the most reliable car is a bad idea, because you never know.  

So you have to buy the car that best suits your needs.  Like in this case, if small, AWD crossover is what is needed, then you pick the best model in that segment that fits your needs.

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Sometimes fuel mileage has to be a secondary concern.  I'd go with another Liberty.  Your family already knows its attributes.  It's one of those simple, uncomplicated machines that run forever with proper maintenance.  Don't you want your son in something like that?

A Trax/Encore would also be a decent choice if he feels comfortable in the driver's seat at his height and doesn't haul a lot of detritus on a regular basis.

I took a chance on a very early build 2017 Jeep Compass, which I factory ordered.  I am not a Consumer Reports "believer", but I heard stories about the "Fiat Jeeps" from other sources.  I recently passed the 5 month point of ownership.  I have 8900+ miles on the clock so far.

I wanted a vehicle that my employer sells.  I love driving a manual transmission, and I feel more piece of mind in a 4X4... so a Renegade or new Compass was the only game in town.  Renegade with manual only comes in the 1.4L turbo.  My Compass has the 2.4L "Tigershark" 4 coupled with the 6 speed manual.

My impressions, good and bad at this point:  I am very impressed with the fuel mileage I'm getting.  Between 31-32, with highway tanks up around 33 +.  I find the seat more comfortable than my previous Chevy Colorado.  It feels like a wider seat, and I can sit squarely in it, where the Colorado seat had me sideways with constant pressure on my left thigh.  The Compass has a nice amount of cargo room for what I need, and it has a decent ride and handling setup.  I like the simple, intuitive center screen layout.  Lastly, I like the "baby Grand Cherokee" style and the green color.

As far as bad points:  more than half the time, the bluetooth drops calls.  I have keyless entry and start, which works fine all the time so far for the doors, except for the liftgate.  Sometimes, with the key fob in my pocket as required, it will not open unless I hit the unlock button... most times it's ok though.  And a couple of other issues that are only preferences, not actual problems... the engine cooling fan is very loud and moany.  And there is a clacking sound in the driveline that can only be heard at extremely low speeds, as when pulling into a parking spot in a parking lot.  At the time of my first oil change, I brought up these last two concerns to my service guy, but he insists they are both normal per Chrysler.  Since then, they've faded from my consciousness and I'm just driving the thing.  Also it is a little slow, but I can still wring a bit of fun out of it with the stickshift... 180 hp and 177 ft/lbs torque, I believe, with my version of this engine.  The brakes are also really touchy.

I don't know how soon from new other people are having the more debilitating electrical woes they describe with these new Jeeps, but so far my complaints are minor... except for the bluetooth thing, that gets on my nerves.

I am also with you on the anti-Japanese thing.  How they handle their home market, in a closed manner, while taking full advantage of our openness here in the U.S., rubs me the wrong way.  Reason enough for me to refrain from purchasing a Japanese branded vehicle.  Plus Subarus with their thirst for oil, etc., nah.

 

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With regards to Jeep, you cannot look at the entire brand as judgment against a single model or even a single powertrain in a single model. Jeep has one of the most convoluted lineups in terms of who engineered what in any brand I can think of today.

Wrangler - Basic platform goes back decades, Chrysler engine, Mercedes-Benz 5-speed automatic

Grand Cherokee - Daimler Chrysler developed platform with roots in the older M-Class, Chrysler Gas engines, VM Motori diesel engines (now FCA owned, but not when they were developed), ZF 8-speed automatic or Mercedes-Benz 5-speed automatic depending on age (If it has an E-shifter, it's an 8-speed, if it has a more traditional gated shifter it's a 5-speed)

Cherokee - Fiat Platform modified by Chrysler for Jeep, the 4-cylinder is a code-share Global Engine Alliance engine shared with Mitsubishi and Hyundai with each manufacturer adding their own smaller touches, the 3.2 is a 3.6 Pentastar V6 that's been de-bored, ZF makes the transmission (shared with Land Rover, Acura, and a few others)

New Compass - See Cherokee minus the 3.2 V6 option.

Patriot / Old Compass - a hodge podge of Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Daimler engineering. Uses the same 2.4 as the Cherokee and either a Hyundai 6-speed auto, JATCO CVT, or Asin manual.

Renegade - Mostly Fiat, can either have a Fiat engine or the Global Engine Alliance 2.4, the Automatic is the ZF unit, the manual is a Fiat developed one.

With so many variables, you have to drill down to a specific model in a specific year with a specific powertrain before you can get an idea about any average reliability. 

Aside from Jeep, the Regal depreciates rapidly, is very reliable, and can be had for a song.  In my view, it is one of the best built of the GM vehicles in the entire lineup, even more so than the trucks or 'Burban. 

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