Need Advice to Buy a Car

Hi guys,

I am looking to buy a new car. Doesn't have to be brand new, but this is a car that I plan to keep at least for the next 10 years, and it would be nice to be the only owner and knowing the full history of the car and also getting the new car warranty on it. However, I am open minded to used cars if it makes sense financially.

Budget:

Less than 40K - although this is not strict, I don't really want to spend much more as I would only be able to make an initial down payment of about 20K

Ideal use:

Work/city commuter (Sydney heavy traffic), with occasional weekend road trips to go camping/off-roading (read, unpaved, muddy tracks, but not tracks where you need offroad experience).

Must be Automatic Transmission. Ideally it would be nice and quick and a fun drive.

Cars I've looked into:

Note I had not driven any of these cars before. I drive a small ultra light at the moment.

Subaru Forester/Outback - I'm leaning towards the Forester XT

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Love the look of this car

I am open to any and all car suggestions. I would like to stay away from luxury brands as I hear that the maintenance/service costs for them are outrageously high.

I'd love to hear what you guys think as I honestly don't know that much about cars as I haven't looked around that much.

Edit: Cars removed: WRX Sti - silly, Jeep Wrangler - poor feedback, RAV4 - not exciting.
Budget changed from <60 to <40K.

Poll Options

  • 50
    <Subaru Forester XT>
  • 5
    <Toyota RAV4>

Comments

  • +32 votes

    buy a 20K car

  • +3 votes

    Forester XT seems like the closest midpoint to all of those cars, they are around $45-$55k drive away depending on the spec. Relatively sporty and high enough to be useful off road.

  • +2 votes

    With that budget you can buy a brand new Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV.

  • +3 votes

    A new mazda 3. You want to keep it for 10 yrs so I'd buy new and the mazda 3 is just big enough to fit a baby if needed within 10 yrs plus you still have 35k to spend or save on something with a better financial return later.

    • +1 vote

      Interesting suggestion given this:

      with occasional weekend road trips to go camping/off-roading (read, unpaved, muddy tracks, but not tracks where you need offroad experience).

      Or this:

      Ideally it would be nice and quick and a fun drive.

      Mazda 3 doesn't tick either of those boxes…

      • +5 votes

        Agree about the first one. Have you ever driven SP25 mate?

        •  

          Yep. Mazda don't spend money on sound insulation.
          They also basically force you to get the top of the range just to get specs that are standard on other makes.

          Also I personally hate how the entertainment screen sticks up like an after-thought.

          And a 3yr warranty.

        • +3 votes

          @Spackbace:
          Sound insulation is a problem - agree
          Nice and fun to drive - yes
          And I love the screen position - Ever seen Audi/BMW screens? Very muck alike

          You can choose to have extended warranty

      •  

        challenge accepted!?

    • +1 vote

      And how do you think that would go in the mud?

    •  

      Until you get a second baby…

  • +3 votes

    Jeep might look cool, but your friends are right, warranty/resale nightmares

    Dammit we need an updated Grand Vitara :( current one is a proper 4wd so can go anywhere as opposed to the AWDs you've listed), but given the age of the design it probably lacks the modern luxuries you'd want.


    Where do you park for work? Coz otherwise it might be worth looking at a dual cab ute. Ride/drive wise they've come along way and the new versions are really comfortable and easy to drive. Might open up options for the off-roading too.
    (but if you park in an inner-city carpark this might not be an option lol)

    •  

      Parking is not an issue, plenty of large spaces here.

      I do love the look of the Ranger, but I wouldn't know what to do with the tray. Would you be able to fit snowboards/surfboards in the tray bed or would I need to get roof racks?

      •  

        Silly. Haven't you seen the ads on telly? The only thing you are allowed to put in the tray of a dual cab ute is sporting equipment.

      •  

        You could fit it in the tray, or the surfboard would be angled up onto the roof of the cab

        • +3 votes

          This actually causes a lot of wind noise at speed. Also the added stress could affect the surfboard. I would not recommend this.

        • +2 votes

          @apple2016:

          Good point, racks it is!

        •  

          You are better putting it in with the front down and hanging over the tailgate. I'd be happy to do this in my ute for a short trip to the beach at 'residential' speeds. Not so sure about getting out on the highway though.

    •  

      I don't know much about dual cab utes. Are the 4x4 ones just as good for off roading than say, an actual purpose built 4WD car?

      • +2 votes

        The only disadvantage of a 4wd ute is they tend to be long with a large rear overhang. Otherwise, they are just as good off road as any other 'proper' 4wd.

      •  

        Definitely! Fit some all-terrain tyres and you'll be laughing :)

        • +1 vote

          and you'll also have to get a side awning, a winch, a bull bar, some spotlights, a high lift jack, a snatch strap, a shovel, a….

        • +1 vote

          @Euphemistic:

          … lift kit, led light bar, tow bar, extra battery, 12V socket in the tray, an Engel…

        •  

          @Euphemistic: Oh lord, this sounds like an expensive hobby…. with endless expensive accessories!

        • +3 votes

          @Smol Cat: Yeah, or you can test it out stock and probably go plenty of places. It's only when you get into really hardcore stuff that you NEED extras. As long as you are prepared to either abandon plans or have someone extract you then a stock 4WD (not SUV) will take you a lot of places.

  • +1 vote

    Lexus would be good - although not a fan of the interior at times. Though the exteriors are good.

    Check out the BMW/Audi SUVs - you are priced for a reasonably nice small and compact SUV with the usual things as needed. Can easily move into 40k range if you are willing to look at demo and pre-owned models. I'd say an Audi Q2 or Q3 is worth a look - even an older 2015 Q5 with 2.0L would be enough. X3 for the BMW - nothing else.

    As a fan of the Rangies - check out Evoques - 2015 models are available with about 20k on the clock in the 45k range (upper limit but not bad) - and it's a nice little car - small enough for daily commutes and still has some pedigree.

    Otherwise, I'd sense the Hyundai/Kia/Mazda ranges aren't bad either - they definitely warrant a look. They'd be right in the 30k to 40k budget - amazing value for money and relatively easy to service (although have heard Mazda's can get pricey - stand to be corrected on this).

    I'd say this - a minimum of 2.0L engine and above is needed - I'd say anything smaller is a waste of time.

    Also, check out the auctions - if you know what you are doing - a good deal to be had at times. Use the inspection services to have everything checked out - only downfall is the inability to drive the car - but if turning it over sounds like a mess - then probably not worth the buy.

  •  

    Out of those, I'd get Outback 3.6R

    Unbiased advice as I've never owned a Subaru.

  • +1 vote

    Out of those choices, I like the sound of the Subaru Forester XT. Definitely useful for your camping adventures and still has decent power

  • +7 votes

    Use half your budget ($30k). You'll get something that is near enough to new without the deprecation hit. Save the other $30k for a house deposit, or more holidays.

  • +1 vote

    Second hand rav4 with less than 40,000kms and less than 4 years old.

  • +4 votes

    DO NOT BUY ANY JEEP

    Outback 3.6R is the way to go

    •  

      Can you please go further into this? That does seem to be a sentiment I get after asking around. When did they get such a bad rep?

      • +6 votes

        cos they are unreliable, expensive to maintain out of warranty

        just google 'jeep reliability' or similar

        CJD sales are down about 50% this year - there is a reason for that…..

      •  

        Don't listen to him. Many cars are unreliable and Jeeps have a deserved reputation on some models, the Cherokee and Patriot are rubbish, but post '14 facelift Grand Cherokees are excellent and Wranglers generally have good reliability. Most of the poo pooers don't have any idea and just ride a wave of bad centiment. They certainly don't have an understanding of the brand, cars or ownership

        • +15 votes

          and there are those among us that stick to a brand, despite evidence to the contrary

        •  

          yeh teggy was a one off - move along, nothing wrong with Jeep

          https://www.choice.com.au/transport/cars/new/articles/the-ev...

        • +1 vote

          @oscargamer: despite them selling well and being loved by some, a vehicle make doesn't get a reputation for unreliability based on one or two cars.

        • +7 votes

          @Euphemistic:

          of course, then why would years of bad press (bad reliability) followed by plummeting sales, be anything to worry about?

          go ahead, buy a Jeep, you will likely have a good car, but statistically (across cars as a whole), you have a higher chance of getting a bad one

        • -1 vote

          @oscargamer: It's ignorant posts like this which show why you shouldn't listen to the masses. That Jeep was rubbish, you can't tar all the models with one brush.

          As an example, the BMW M5 E60 was an absolute piece of crap reliability wise, the engine will fail without a doubt, but does that make BMW an unreliable brand?

          The Mercedes C class W203 was a huge piece of shit, very unreliable, but the updated models were fantastic.

          Every brand has lemons, Jeep has had more than a few, but that doesn't make all Jeeps are shit. Stick with the Wrangler or WK2 post 2014 and you will have a reliable car.

        • -2 votes

          @Burnertoasty:

          ok … sure

        •  

          @Burnertoasty: Sure.

          When Hyundai first came on the market in Aus they were considered throw away cars, cheap, nasty and unreliable. It took a good 20 years for them to pick up their game enough that they are now considered reliable enough to provide the longest warranty around (It also took some Chinese rubbish to come in a take their bottom of the rung stigma).

          VW has gone from one of the simplest most reliable cars (beetle) to currently having a reputation that you don't want to own one out of warranty and they can't be trusted with emissions.

          Jeep will need to rebuild trust over time. Sure they build decent cars, but the stigma is there.

          At the end of the day it is personal opinion, I'm sure there are a lot of Jeep fans out there that have been turned off the brand for life after a bad experience.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty:

          As an example, the BMW M5 E60 was an absolute piece of crap reliability wise, the engine will fail without a doubt, but does that make BMW an unreliable brand?

          Yes. Compared to Mazda, Honda and Toyota, Suzuki, Subaru, Kia, Mitsubishi according to choice.

          http://www.motoring.com.au/australias-faultiest-cars-101691/

          And this is not my opinion, this is survey conducted by choice. So don't attack me ;D

        •  

          @tomleonhart: Notice something in common with all those brands? They all make rubbish cars. Literally every single one of those brands sells cars that are based on ancient designs with underpowered engines and generally uncompetitive drive trains. They better be damn reliable if they have been making the same damn thing for 20 years. Ie Toyota Corolla, same car for the last 20 years with cosmetic and safety upgrades and with this generation a shit CVT gearbox to replace the even shitter 4 speed auto.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty: so you agree that they're more reliable than BMW and Jeep. I guess ?

          Which is originally the whole point based on what oscargamer said.

        • +1 vote

          @Burnertoasty: some might say ancient designs, underpowered engines and uncompetitive drivetrains are a good thing. Some also might say that Jeep is really good at tarting up old stuff to make us think it is all new. I'm not saying that the current generation of Jeeps is that, but up until not long ago they were resting on their laurels with very old tech, which by rights should be very reliable and yet, they are very low on the reliability survey.

        •  

          @Euphemistic: Why would you talk about models that aren't on sale? The WK2 Jeep for example shares its Chassis with the Mercedes GLE and GLS, shares its gearbox with most of BMW range and Range Rovers, and uses a mix of engines from Chrysler and Motor Venturi. It's Infotainment system up until very recently was one of the best units on the market, much better than Mercedes Comand or BMW iDrive.

        • -1 vote

          @tomleonhart: What's the point in having a car with impeccable reliability if it's an utter piece of crap? Have you driven a Corolla? Do you have any idea how shit they are?

        •  

          @Burnertoasty:

          you are SO right

          http://www.caradvice.com.au/539050/april-2017-new-vehicle-sa...

          only the best selling small car in Australia last month

          http://www.caradvice.com.au/539050/march-2017-new-vehicle-sa...

          and the month before that……

          probably for a while, but i've stopped looking because I am wrong and you are right

          SHIT CAR that Corolla thing

        • -3 votes

          @oscargamer: Yes, it is a shit car.

        • +2 votes

          @Burnertoasty:

          What's the point in having a car with impeccable reliability if it's an utter piece of crap?

          the point is that it gets people from A to B reliably when they need it to

          Have you driven a Corolla?

          Yap. lot of times, hired car mostly.

          Do you have any idea how shit they are?

          They're boring to drive but last a very long time so again back to what oscargamer said, reliability is very important. Jeep built is crap (as shown in survey) and Jeep customer service is crap as shown in … many other articles.

          Oscargamer and I showed you enough surveys around how Jeep is built badly and unreliable. Can you come up with some concrete unbiased source to back up your claim that Jeep is well built please? Opinion doesn't really count. Would prefer real stats.

        •  

          @tomleonhart: Are you reading anything other than your links? Did you read my posts at all? Do you know what you are arguing against? I have agreed with some of your points, and Jeep do build shit cars, but not all their cars are shit.

        • +1 vote

          @Burnertoasty: I think the point being that Jeep make more than their fair share of bad ones. You are obviate a Jeep fan so anything other than 'Jeeps are awesome' is going to offend you. Hope your Jeep is one of the reliable ones.

          You should also note that I said that the current generation of Jeeps are a much better vehicle, but they still have a bad reputation which is going to take years to overcome.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty: I know what I am arguing against.

          That percentage wise Jeep make more shit car than good one hence pertange wise it's better to buy a Mazda, Toyota or Subaru.

          Purely based on reliability of a brand.

        •  

          @tomleonhart: I wouldn't confuse a shit car with an unreliable one. My old man has a car that is nowhere near as reliable as my mother's Mercedes, it's often at the dealership getting something repaired (last week it was the passenger window, which took too long to come down when you pulled the door open as it's frameless), it was also in the dealership a month ago because the AC started blowing only hot air, the car is a few months old, and there was something else minor wrong with it as well, when he first got it (can't remember what it was). All
          minor problems, but certainly reliability issues (nothing to do with the driving component though). Fixed in 20 minutes each time. But comparing the two cars, which are similar in price (RRP at least) and there is no comparrison, the old man's car is infinatley better. It's faster, better looking, handles better, more luxurious and way more high tech. It's an iPod to a Nokia. The lack of perceived reliability is worth it. I've never had a problem with my Grand Cherokee, it's exceeded my expectations. But I would never buy a Patriot, Cherokee or Renegade because they are prices of crap.

  • +1 vote

    Do you like the high seating position/looks of SUV?
    If you are not fussed about the this then you could consider Volkswagen Passat Alltrack / Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
    They have 4wd and a higher clearance but are not serious off road vehicles. But you gain the comfort\luxury and "quick and a fun drive".

    •  

      No I actually don't mind about the height. But I need some form of AWD/4WD and high clearance for some off roading and decent room for camping gear.

      Thanks for that, I'll have a look.

      • +1 vote

        Avoid Volkswagen at all costs. Seriously. Well atleast don't get a diesel one (diesel gate) If you wanna consider a Volkswagen, also consider the Audi A4 and A6 all road

        •  

          VW's aren't that bad. I've owned a Jetta for over 5 years before upgrading and never had any issues with the car. I seriously dont get all the hate for Volkswagen on social media. Everyone I know who own or have owned VW's never complained. They're great cars, comfortable and efficient, and its reflected in their sale numbers.

      • +2 votes

        From my (firsthand) experience, Golf Alltrack is not exactly "Alltrack".

        PS,My experience may or may not involved taking a new vehicle up the mountain during a wet winter afternoon for a spin,got lost,drove down the hill and got saved when the vehicle hit a dirt pile.

      • +1 vote

        Make sure you enjoy driving it.

        I have an xtrail, sure its practical but it's also the most boring car in the world to drive.

  • +3 votes

    Avoid the jeep if you dont want to be a joke.The Outback would be my pick!

    •  

      As in it's not reliable? Or is there some other undesirably stereotype that comes with driving a Jeep I'm not aware of?

      • +1 vote

        Both, Avoid the Jeeeep!

      • +1 vote

        I've never owned a Jeep but I have driven one for a few weeks, and I have done a fair whack of research. There is a pretty big stigma around Jeeps being terrible, the truth is, most of that is based on the fact that they are an American car, and people like to make fun of them. In terms of reliability, they aren't too different to other cars if you look after them (except Toyota, you can't beat their reliability), and in terms of maintenance cost, they are probably still cheaper than a lot of euro cars.

        Even though I am a bit of a Jeep fanboy, I would still definitely recommend a Subaru Outback or Forester for you. Jeeps are definitely not good city cars (big, and terrible on fuel). The Subarus are quick, fantastic fun to drive, spacious, and really capable off road (not a rock crawler, but good on the beach, dirt roads, etc.).
        Other good options for your use would be a Suzuki Grand Vitara (more capable than Subaru, but not as luxurious or as good to drive), Rav 4 (not as capable as Subaru or as luxurious, but cheap to maintain).

        •  

          Thanks for the insight!

          Yeah after doing some research over night and after reading all the comments and talking to people, I think my aim will be to go with an XT but will look further into the Rav4.

        •  

          My friend bought a jeep grand Cherokee. Brand new. Brought it home Saturday. Monday the car couldn't move as the transmission had packed it in. I don't have faith in jeep reliability.

          Happy to be proved otherwise because on paper I do really like the Grand Cherokee. It's looks. It's equipment list.

  • +3 votes

    Try Kia Sportage, just love mine - Sli Awd Diesel, and great looks for the current series. This was designed by a team with an ex Audi designer - now Chief Designer for Kia….Peter Schreyer. He designed the Audi TT.
    Also look at the JD Powers car survey in the USA, I think it was the 2016 review, they knocked Porsche off the top spot for reliability. And if you are intending to keep the vehicle for a long time the Kia 7yr warranty is a good thing. Manufacturers are not stupid, it indicates strong belief in their product. I was in the car design industry for many years with the blue team, and I have changed brand despite being still able to gain a retired employee special discount!!.

    •  

      You bring up a very good point about the 7 yr warranty. That is unprecedented from what I understand. Very impressive.

      Do you take yours off road much? How does it fare? I often hear that these SUVs aren't too good truly off road, lack grip and low end torque etc.

      •  

        Kia's aren't good for offload, i think the commenter didn't read that part

        • +1 vote

          Anything with AWD will do what is described in the OP, as will a lot of 2wd cars. A sport age should be able to cope with it. However, it's not suited to rock hopping, and probably not particlaury good in the sand.

  • +2 votes

    Not sure about other cars but I'll give you my thought on the jeep wrangler. I've got a 2 door and I'm always looking forward to driving it despite the cons.
    1. Fuel efficiency is bad - mine is around 12-13L/100km but I mostly travel on freeways so might be higher for city commuters.
    2. Ride - You can feel every bump on the road, and the ride is quite noisy (wind).
    3. Handling - I can't describe it but it's very different to 'normal' cars. I will never let my friends drive it the way they drive their cars. It has a short wheel base so if you turn too hard, the car feels unsafe. On the sun visor, it even has a warning saying this car may flip lol. Also, when I break very very hard, the steering wheel jolts side to side.

    So far my car has no problems - I bought my second hand (technically 3rd) with 36,000km and right now I'm at 65k. I do my own servicing and it's very straightforward. In terms of lemon cars, I think that's just the cherokee model, I haven't heard much about problems with wranglers…

    I also go camping every month or so and it's nice to have a 4WD option when the hill gets a little steep (nothing hardcore). It drives pretty well on offroad, just don't drive fast over 'washboards' because the car loses grip and goes out of control. A soft top is definitely nice for summer times.

    Go test ride a jeep and see how you feel about the handling. If you don't mind bad fuel economy and the handling, I'd say go for a jeep (i'm totally not bias).

  • +1 vote

    On the sun visor, it even has a warning saying this car may flip lol

    Haha OMG that is actually hilarious.

    Thank you for the insight though, always valuable coming from another owner. There really is something appealing about the Wrangler for me, despite the warnings. I will mull this over.

  •  

    Smol Cat, ….I am not much of an off road driver!, but look at the test reports by the motoring journo Paul Gover, he is very well respected in industry terms, and has many years of experience. Just google his Kia Sportage reports.

    As for the AWD with my vehicle, on normal twisty/hilly roads it is great, lots of "bite"!. If I recall correctly the AWD system is a Canadian design built under licence by Kia.

  • +1 vote

    X-trail?

    • +1 vote

      I agree. They're a good all rounder with plenty of space inside. The CVT transmission is not everyone's cup of tea, but the Op didn't mention anything about towing requirements.

    •  

      I have an 07, While practical it's the most boring car in the world to drive.

  • +2 votes

    Have you looked at the 2017 Mazda CX-5? I personally prefer it over the RAV-4.
    But if you want to keep it for ten years, may be the Toyota is a better idea

    •  

      I drive a Mazda 2 right now and it's been an amazing car the past 7 years. Couldn't be happier tbh. I will also look into the Cx-5. The Cx-3 is too small for me.

  • -1 vote

    Have you seen the new Toyota C-HR? Apparently, it stands for 'coupe high rider'. It's a great handling and well-built car, that's loaded with some awesome technology for the price, including radar cruise control in the premium variant (matches the speed of the traffic by speeding up and slowing down automatically), which is around 35k. It's A/C also moisturises your skin instead of drying it like a normal A/C - the only other car I know that has this technology is a Lexus GS costing almost 3 times as much.

    I personally also think it looks very cool, especially in some funky two-tone exterior colours.
    It's underpowered on paper but really surprised me when I took it for a test drive. Unless you need a lot of space, I'd pick it over it's bigger sibling RAV4 any day.

    •  

      Love the look of these personally. However the grunt to weight ratio is horrible. Also the interior seems a little cheap and the tech is out of date.

      I'd wait for some improvements.

  1. tomsco on 16/05/2017 - 19:52
  2. tuzii on 16/05/2017 - 11:47
  3. oscargamer on 16/05/2017 - 13:31
  4. trev likes bargains on 17/05/2017 - 17:26
  5. scubacoles on 16/05/2017 - 13:01
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