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$30,000 for an SUV/wagon - thoughts?

Mr. Moo

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The family is expanding and we are looking for a lightly used (still under factory warranty) or new SUV or wagon for, preferably, $30k and under. We test drove a 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (leather, navi, etc.) and loved it - that is probably the front-runner for now, and it is a hair over $30k. We recently adjusted our price from low $20k to $30k, so now we are looking at what else may be out there. We prefer leather/navi over rock-crawling, and it must be baby safe.
Any ideas/thoughts would be appreciated! P.S. our other car is a 2006 330i, so we have the "sporty, but still family hauling/safe/etc." segment down. Just need a larger/go almost anywhere comfortably type of car.
 

runner-guy

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I'm in the same predicament as you. My wife and I are having our first baby in February and need to find something bigger since we both drive compact cars right now. Not sure what I'm going to get yet.

The Acura MDX is really nice and has outstanding ratings for reliability. I'm sure you could find a 2008 or 2009 model used for under $30,000. The Volvo XC90 is incredibly safe, but not quite the same reliability ratings as Acura.
 

Pilot

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Passat Wagon, Volvo XC60 (don't know if you can find one under 30), The GMC Acadia is nice, if large, and I'm sure they can be had fairly cheap.
 

pscolari

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Originally Posted by Mr. Moo
The family is expanding and we are looking for a lightly used (still under factory warranty) or new SUV or wagon for, preferably, $30k and under. We test drove a 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (leather, navi, etc.) and loved it - that is probably the front-runner for now, and it is a hair over $30k. We recently adjusted our price from low $20k to $30k, so now we are looking at what else may be out there.

We prefer leather/navi over rock-crawling, and it must be baby safe.


Any ideas/thoughts would be appreciated!

P.S. our other car is a 2006 330i, so we have the "sporty, but still family hauling/safe/etc." segment down. Just need a larger/go almost anywhere comfortably type of car.


You should be able to get the '11 Subie with your stated options for under 30K. Amex Zag is showing me 3 dealers in my area who will sell this car for 29.7k based on MSRP of 32.2 right off the bat. My wife and I looked at this same car over the summer when we were looking to replace our 2000 Outback Ltd. We ended up going in a different direction as we felt this was a big car for the city as we don't have kids. I felt for the price it was a lot of car and a leader in this class.
 

Dewey

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We live in a snow belt (it is essential to have at least one car with AWD or 4WD) and are on our second Outback. We might look at something else if it was not for the three months of snow and ice. They are solid for regular baby/kid use, long-distance trips, and bad weather. Lots of interior space, easy to drive, and a beast through the snow.

Also we have learned that the interiors on the non-deluxe models are cheap, and the interior plastic gadgetry (little doors here and there, etc.) breaks immediately. Kids are especially rough on such things. So if the interior upgrades with the leather seem durable, I think they are worth the extra money.
 

globetrotter

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we have a grand caravan, fully loaded for under 30K. we live in chicago and this is our 4rth winter with it, still in good shape, no major problems. the automatic doors are great with kids, and so is the entertainment system. leather seats with warmers.
 

EL72

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Honda Odyssey: Best minivan evar. Good speed/HP, amazing storage & passenger space.
 

Jbreen1

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Both of these are cool. If only Audi would bring the Avant Allroad to the U.S.

 

Pilot

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Originally Posted by EL72
Honda Odyssey: Best minivan evar. Good speed/HP, amazing storage & passenger space.


X2 Love my mom's. Take it to Colorado every year when me and my friends go on a ski trip. Awesome van.
 

foodguy

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have you looked at a volkswagen tiguan? awesome car. my bil works for vw, has his choice of the fleet, including audi. my sister's favorite is the tiguan.
 

HomerJ

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Seems like a good choice. Full-time AWD, 8.7" ground clearance but drives like a car, top IIHS crash test rating, top resale value. We bought a Forester Limited last week for the same reasons. Interior is a bit plasticky, boxer engine runs a little rough, not as quiet as a Toyota but otherwise no complaints.
Originally Posted by pscolari
You should be able to get the '11 Subie with your stated options for under 30K. Amex Zag is showing me 3 dealers in my area who will sell this car for 29.7k based on MSRP of 32.2 right off the bat. My wife and I looked at this same car over the summer when we were looking to replace our 2000 Outback Ltd. We ended up going in a different direction as we felt this was a big car for the city as we don't have kids. I felt for the price it was a lot of car and a leader in this class.
It's $28.5k here right off the bat
 

jenlain

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I see many different cars through my job (part of my job is handling our corporate auto fleet). The outback is a superb choice. We have many in the fleet and virtually no issues (although fingers crossed for the CVT). I would avoid the volvos (and any dodge right now) for reliability reasons.

I also suggest considering the Jeep grand cherokee laredo (just at your budget). If you can swing a slightly higher budget, the Audi Q5 is excellent. Everyone in our fleet who drives one raves about it and we have not had any quality issues yet (although it is still quite a new model).
 

Mr. Moo

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Thank you all for your comments and ideas!
No minivans, please. Not quite there yet.
I looked at some more cars today and found that the Infiniti EX35, lightly used 2008 model, is also a contender. It has a million gadgets and almost 300hp/AWD, and seems like a good choice. The downside is legroom in the back (not a big issue in the foreseeable future) and smaller cargo hold (bigger issue). Sadly, the one I was interested in is a few $$ too much and the dealer won't back down (as of yet). The Subie is definitely still high on the list. I was told by a local dealer that if we order one (instead of buy one off the lot), the price would go down to $29,700 with the $3,000 navigation package included. The lowest price I have seen on the lot is about $31,000 for a similarly equipped car, so that's a good savings. Does anyone know why the car would be cheaper if I ordered it instead of buying it off the lot? Doesn't make sense...
 

Interzone

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Originally Posted by runner-guy
I'm in the same predicament as you. My wife and I are having our first baby in February and need to find something bigger since we both drive compact cars right now. Not sure what I'm going to get yet.

The Acura MDX is really nice and has outstanding ratings for reliability. I'm sure you could find a 2008 or 2009 model used for under $30,000. The Volvo XC90 is incredibly safe, but not quite the same reliability ratings as Acura.


+1 on the MDX. We've owned both generations of that car, and never had any significant problems.
 

jenlain

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Originally Posted by Mr. Moo
Thank you all for your comments and ideas!


No minivans, please. Not quite there yet.


I looked at some more cars today and found that the Infiniti EX35, lightly used 2008 model, is also a contender. It has a million gadgets and almost 300hp/AWD, and seems like a good choice. The downside is legroom in the back (not a big issue in the foreseeable future) and smaller cargo hold (bigger issue). Sadly, the one I was interested in is a few $$ too much and the dealer won't back down (as of yet).

The Subie is definitely still high on the list. I was told by a local dealer that if we order one (instead of buy one off the lot), the price would go down to $29,700 with the $3,000 navigation package included. The lowest price I have seen on the lot is about $31,000 for a similarly equipped car, so that's a good savings. Does anyone know why the car would be cheaper if I ordered it instead of buying it off the lot? Doesn't make sense...


Cheaper pricing through ordering could be for several reasons, but likely a factory to dealer incentive related to their year-end. Normally the opposite would be the case as you correctly note. Check out fitzgerald auto mall online. They are pretty transparent in their pricing (they are a subie dealer) and I have had good dealings with them in the past when working from a distance. I like the EX, but the cargo room is tiny (a CR-V dwarfs it). Keep us posted.
 

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