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Car for my son

MY 19 y/o son in college in Fl. wants a car and if hr makes the deans list my wife and I MAY get him one. He may actually make the deans list and he wants a Jeep wrangler.
<br/> 1. How unsafe are these cars?
<br/> 2. What other makes/models would be nearly as cool for beach and just around St. Pete riding that actually be safe?
<br/> Tom M.


  • edited October 2009
    When buying something for a 19 year old, I would forget COOL! Yes, Jeeps, and many other open 4 wheel drive vehicles, are very unsafe in the hands of a 19 year old, whether he makes the dean's list or not.

    The best combination of safe and reasoably cool is the kind of car my neighbor's son drives; a stick shift Chevy Cobalt Coupe in bright red. These cars look as good as any expensive sports car, are cheap to operate, insure, and don't tip over easily. They are also not high powered and will not invite racing.

    I can't recommend any safe vehicle for actually driving ON the beach!
  • edited October 2009
    I lived in St. Pete and cannot see the reason for a 4WD Jeep down there. They are noisy, uncomfortable on the highway, unreliable and get poor gas mileage. "Safe" is relative. Any late model vehicle with ABS, airbags and traction control is reasonably safe these days. I'd opt for a Honda Accord with good AC, but that's just me. If I really wanted a Jeep-like vehicle, I'd go for a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV-4. But let him get what he likes -- it's his car.

  • edited October 2009
    19 year old boys try to buy "coolness"..But with a Jeep, all you get is a leaky, unreliable, high-maintenance death trap...If he is spending HIS money, that's something else, but if he is spending YOUR money, then you get the final word..Is a Miata out of the question? or something like that? A 6 cylinder Mustang Convertible would be a better choice than the Jeep..
  • edited October 2009
    I had a boss that had a CJ5 and his son wanted this Jeep as Dad had promised a car in a situation similar to yours. In a private conversation my boss told me he would feel better giving his son the .45 he carried over that Jeep.
  • edited October 2009
    If he has no car now, any quality, safe sedan should do. You'll feel better buying him a car with a very good safety record regardless of what he "wants".
    We had neighbors who rewarded their children with the use of vehicles of their choice for their good conduct. One died in a Corvette crash traveling at over 100 mph, the other in a motorcycle accident, both were under 21 at the time of each. The accidents were three years apart. No one said the sad ending for both had anything to do with their vehicle choices, but you can't convince the parents of that now.
    You do well to ask the right listen to the suggestions and make a choice you and not your son can feel good with.
    I would recommend that the car be kept in your name as a "loaner" and you reserve the right to take the car back at any time. Free rights to a car are relinquished IMO when some one else pays for the car and supports you for college.
  • edited October 2009
    Your son may think a Wrangler is COOL now, but once Obama's energy bill kicks in, the Wrangler will instantly be equated with "Wretched Excess" and your son will become a pariah among the college crowd. Frugal, lighter vehicles will be the cool 2 years from now!
  • edited October 2009
    Give us some features of Obama's energy bill and please provide us with some idea where this bill sits in regards to implementation.

    Is your main reference with the pending CAFE standards? or something regarding some form of carbon dioxide reduction plan.

    What I am getting at is details so people don't read about "Obamas energy plan" and attach features that don't exist.

    As most regulars know I currently attend community college and I am very suprised about the amount of anti-Obama administration policy views and general anti-Obama as the man views.

    I am also suprised abount the lack of condemnation of "Wall Street" in regards to bearing responsibility for a certain amount of the ills we now face, it seems that making sure there are enough rewards for the current crop of students is more important than reducing greed. Greed is good is again (or still) the call of the day. As long as I get mine all is fair.
  • edited October 2009
    The Cobalt does *not* look like a sports car. I looks like an economy car, which it is. For around town and beach use, the Wrangler isn't a bad choice. For something more comfortable an Explorer Sport-Trac or a Nissan Xterra are also decent choices. If you get a Wrangler, opt for the Rubicon model. It has front and rear lockers as standard equipment.

    I don't know why people automatically assume that a college aged kid will flip any truck/SUV they come in contact with. I got my Bronco when I was 20, promptly put a 4 inch lift on it, drove it for 230k miles (and counting) and I've never rolled it over.
  • edited November 2009
    New CAFE standards are pretty tough. In addition we will have some form of Carbon Tax, currently at $38 per ton, as well as likely a stiffer gas guzzler tax.

    The purpose of these energy taxes and standards is to:

    1) Comply with greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the international climate change committee.

    2) Try to keep the US dollar from collapsing due to the enormous energy (oil) import bill.

    3) Reduce US dependance on oil imports from unfriendly and unstable countries.

    I could write a 20 page blog here, but Jeeps and other gas guzzling vehicles are targeted to be heavily taxed in the future.

    I think it would be really dumb to show up on a college campus in a vehicle that makes no sense whatsoever. College kids always purported to represent the FUTURE. OP's son is firmly rooted in the past!
  • edited October 2009
    I'm going to make the assumption that you actually bothered to learn how a 4x4 handles, or were familiar with it before.

    The problem (not just with young folks) is that they buy these things just because they're roomy or look cool and it never dawns on them to drive them any differently than a regular sedan. When combined with a general lack of driving experiance, a lot of them end up upside down in ditches.

    I'm all for 4x4's and trucks if you have a use for them, but otherwise I think all the drawbacks of gas mileage, reliability, safety, etc. make a 4x4 a very expensive vanity item and I generally agree with the other posters about this situation. Get him a car by all means, but frankly, by college you shouldn't have to be bribing your kids to do well in school.
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