Help! New Car Shopping!


Went shopping for a new car today. I started out wanting a small AWD station wagon that would carry my doggie in the rear and have heated (leather) seats for me and a sun roof would be nice too. Would like good gas mileage and would prefer to put in the cheap stuff. The brand new 08 Outback we drove was a dog-the a/c & radio didn’t even work. The Audi was too expensive and they didn’t even have one on the lot for us to look at. The Volvo V50 seemed priced in between both of the above and had a sweet turning radius but I’m not sold on it. Ideas?


I recommend that you do some armchair shopping before touring dealerships again. One way is to stop at your local newsstand and get a copy of any current New Car Buying guide. There are several available. Or you can start right now at Edmunds:

Also, I suggest you reconsider your AWD requirement. For a number of reasons this feature may turn out to be more of a liability than an asset. It’s up to you.


Same comment as Steve WRT AWD. Consider the Taurus. It was a good car before they changed the name from 500 and they have made it even better. I forget the name of the Mercury sister.


I have a 9 yr. old Taurus,that despite the bad wrap tauruses get,is still running like a charm. It all depends on how deep your pocketbook is. Japanese cars
seem to be the choice today.


You must have been looking at an Audi A4. The A3 is around $25,000 without AWD. You can get heated cloth seats; leather is not available. You might look at the Matrix and Vibe. Neither has leather or heated seats available, but you cant put them on the road for less than $20,000. You might also conside a Chevy Equinox. It has everythig you want for about $25,000. An interesting feature is that the rear seat slides forward and back to provide more leg room or cargo room, depending on your needs at the time. Check one out - it won’t cost anything but your time.


It would help if you gave a price range and let us know if you are exclusively looking at new cars.


Funny you say Equinox. I’ll go look at it. I liked the Saturn Vue ('08 - we are looking exclusively at NEW). The idea was to go low and get a car for the puppy but it looks like the smaller SUV’s have the same gas mileage as cars. We want AWD for winter ski weekends. I need the ability for light towing. It would be great to stay under $30K tax/license/out the door.


Oh, and A-3 rear compartment is too small for 40lb. dog and luggage etc.


I’ll go look. I’m a big fan of buying American. It seems like it would be a larger car than I want. I really like the size of the Volvo V50.


Edmunds is the best particularly with the Comparisons. Yahoo cars is pretty good. is hard to use.


Have you looked at the RAV4 AWD… lots of room for dog in back and then some…about 20K…just got one and averaging 27mph


How about the Dodge Magnum with the 3.5L v-6 in it? With heated seats you can get away with one for under $30k


The SXT is available with AWD, too.


The SXT is the 3.5L v6. SE has the 2.7L v-6, but for a vehicle that heavy, you’d want atleast the 3.5L. though it is rated at 17/24 city/hwy miles, which seems to be what the AWD 5.7L v-8 is rated as. towing limit for the v6 is 2000lbs, v8 is 3800lbs. The base price for a 5.7L v-8 magnum is $33k(MSRP) it also has a trailer tow package for it.


Try the Subaru Outback XT(aka turbo version), its very fast and most reliable choice of those listed so far.


Went over to Suburu again today and I determined that the top of the line LLBean 6 cylinder non-turbo is the best of the lot for me. Great torque that can get you out of a bad situation with reasonable mileage on the cheap gas (turbo requires premium gas). Now the conundrum is… '08 Saturn Vue VS '08 Outback. Car vs. truck. Low vs. High. Vue has a front passenger seat that folds flat making Home Depot runs pretty easy… both have lots of the same stuff…


I just don’t like the styling. Shallow… I know…


Only problem I see with the Rav is the rear opening door opens to the side which would make hauling long lumber difficult for this “home hobbiest”!


Bethpv, since you have a short list, consider renting each one for a day or two. Or, perhaps the dealers will let you test drive them overnight if they realize you are serious.


Good idea and the Saturn salesman mentioned it so I know I’ve got at least one good to go. I think I’ve got to do a head to head Saturn/Equinox. Then make the big decision - high vs. low/car vs. SUV - as the price differential is probably negotiable by the time I decide that oh, yeah, sure, I can live with that one more luxury item…