New car shopping for the wife--looking for ideas

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by BikePilot, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    We are looking for a new vehicle for my wife. She is currently in a 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon and loves it, but it's getting old and approaching 200k miles. I'd like to freshen things up. She hates car shopping and it's up to me.

    We live in Colorado at 7,400', so lots of snow and every time the car is driven it'll be going up/down a ~2,000 of elevation. We play in the mountains most weekends, year round, so it'll see a ton of mountain driving

    I've got a V8 LR4 which is great for hauling lots of people (seats 7 in reasonable comfort), driving through bomb-cyclones, jeep roads, and toting my dirt bike(s) around. Gets fairly bad fuel economy (lifetime avg of 18.xx on premium) and isn't exactly a canyon carver. Still, we both love it and I'm tempted to buy another one for her.

    Requirements:
    • Able to fit 2 car seats (one convertible, 1 infant seat) must fit easily and leave room for a passenger to be comfy
    • Able to fit a big stroller and various baby gear in the back
    • Not a mini-van (wife's only mandate)
    • Exceptional snow manners (we do run snow tires, but still much prefer AWD and a bit of ground clearance)
    • Enough power/torque to climb steep, long grades without undue drama or having to slow down (turbos are a godsend up here at altitude)

    Nice to haves
    • $30,000-ish price point, love to buy used, a few years old, with low miles (~30k), happy to pay more or less if there's a good reason to
    • Native bluetooth and apple car play
    • 5,000 lbs towing capacity
    • Decent handling as all the roads, even the interstate, are curvy
    • Decent fuel economy
    • Light off-road capability (bumpy dirt roads)
    • Excellent visibility (she loves my LR4 in this respect)
    • Split tailgate--awesome platform for keeping dry while getting kids in/out of ski gear, changing diapers, etc.
    Leading considerations
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel in Summit trim. Fits the carseats and strollers, gets reasonable mpg, should be exceptional in the snow, tows more than we need. Less than sporty in the turns though. Maybe questionable reliability. Easy to find one with 30k miles for $30k or less. Maybe less than great rearward visibility.
    • Another LR4, awesome in all respects except mpg, corner carving, and probably reliability. Easy to find one with less than $30k with less than 30,000 miles.
    • Cayenne Diesel or S E-Hybrid. Basically like the Jeep but more sporty in the corners and appearance and a bit more expensive. We both love Porsches in general.
    • Q7 TDI, like a softer, cheaper, stretched version of the Cayenne.
    • X5, sporty, great visibility (older ones), tech seems to be behind the Jeep.
    • V90 T6 Cross Country. Hits most points other than towing and since they just came out used ones are still fairly expensive
    #1
  2. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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  3. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Thanks! Thought about a truck and the ram would likely be the top choice for her, but it's a big bigger than she'd like. Not totally ruled out though. Generally she'd like something no bigger than the LR4. If a truck we'd need to add a water tight camper top to the bed for secure and clean/dry stroller/baby-stuff toting. The SUV/Wagon format seems to work really well for our needs.
    #3
  4. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    You forgot the Touareg TDI. Better than the Jeep, all of the guts of the Porsche at a fat discount. Get a '16 and enjoy an emissions warranty until 2027.
    #4
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  5. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Thanks, definitely one we will look at. I didn't know that about the emissions warranty, definitely a plus. Can you still find them with air suspension? Not a must but I sure do like it!
    #5
  6. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    I think 2010 was their last air suspended model. I've ridden in my friends GC High Summit with air and other than the ability to go into aero mode on the highway I wasn't really impressed. when you lift it all the way up there is basically no downward travel left in the suspension so thats really no good for off road. Could also see expensive repair bills as time and mileage adds up...
    #6
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  7. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Thanks, I've head that about the Jeep. My LR4 has air and it works awesome, but it's got around a foot of wheel travel so even in off road mode it has plenty of droop. I mainly like air because it keeps the vehicle level when I hook up a trailer or put my bike on a hitch hauler.
    #7
  8. peoples1234

    peoples1234 Adventurer

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    Subaru Ascent....everything but the split tailgate. Seriously, look at one.
    #8
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  9. gweaver

    gweaver NorCal is Best Cal! Supporter

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    If you like the idea of a truck but the Ram 1500 is too big, what about the GM mid-size offerings? The Chevy Canyon has MSRP of 35K for the LT trim (4x4, crew cab), 38K for the Z71 off-road package. Both will tow 6K with the V6, but diesel is an option. Not sure what's available on the used market.
    G
    #9
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  10. sro99

    sro99 one odd owl

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    Explorer with ecoboost?
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  11. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin' Supporter

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    How about the Honda Ridgeline?
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  12. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Buick Regal Tour X.

    Stylish wagon, all wheel drive, turbo motor for the thin air at altitude. You'll be just about the only ones driving it in your neighborhood.
    Keep the LR4 for the trucky stuff.
    #12
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  13. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Ding ding ding
    #13
  14. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin' Supporter

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    #14
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  15. Tytan

    Tytan Been here awhile

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    Toyota 4 Runner, the limited models are AWD.
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  16. deadzed

    deadzed Meat Popscicle

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    The new Bronco is due out next year.
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  17. Dogscout

    Dogscout Wow why and adventure

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    Evoque.

    I owned a 2012 until last week. Bought new. Better than the Discovery it replaced.
    #17
  18. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Scratch an X5 off that list if you want your sanity. My wife bought one with 20k miles on it 2 years ago. Was basically in almost new condition. It has less than 40k on it now. This spring, oil was leaking out of every orifice, big repair bill. Last week the rear air suspension broke, big repair bill.

    It replaced a long series of Lexus SUV which were 100% reliable. And when I mean 100% I literally mean they all went to 130-180k miles with nothing more than routine maintenance. Corner carvers they were not.

    The BMW is decently sharp and fun to drive but all the problems (other cheap crap like interior trim randomly popping off etc) overshadows anythign positive about the car to me and I hate it.
    #18
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  19. SRG

    SRG Long timer

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    The Madza CX5 is well worth looking at.

    Or Porsche - Macan too small or $$$?
    #19
  20. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Mazda CX-9 and Subaru Ascent are turbocharged and would be perfect for what you describe. The Mazda only tows 3,500 LB but the Suburu is rated for 5,000.

    Mazda's interiors are fantastic and I have no doubt about their reliability. Subaru seems to have put their decade-old head gasket issues to bed and I would expect that resale is as crazy on them in CO as it is here in MN.
    #20