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New car dilemma

I just purchased an '11 Rogue. I love the car. I spend 4 hours a day behind the wheel for work and purchased this car to replace my '04 Element with 176K. The Honda runs great and always has. My wife has taken on the Element and we are selling her '04 Odyssey with 102K because our children no longer require a mini van.

After driving the Nissan for a few days at work I have started to wonder whether my wife should be driving the new car for her short commute to and from work and I should be driving the Element daily since the wear and miles aren’t as costly for a 7 year old car that is paid off. The Nissan is more comfortable and has power everything. The Element is a 5 speed manual and aside from a great sound system, has cold air, a new clutch and 4 new tires.

My fiscal conservative side tells me that my wife should be driving it to save on the miles. My rear end tells me the new car is pretty comfy and I should just keep my thoughts to my self.

Any opinions before I discuss this with my wife?

The only opinion that should really count is your wife’s. Ask her what she thinks.

I thought the wife always gets the new car ?? :wink:

Good point. I think after 20 years I can predict her response. She will be concerned about my comfort, but happy to drive the new car.

@ Ken I got the last new one too. It’s part of the job.

If the Element already has 176k on the odometer, it is prone to needing periodic repairs, despite the perception that Hondas are invincible. If you want to be able to keep the Element for a few more years–with minimal repair costs–I would suggest that you use the new Rogue for the heavy daily usage that you give a car, and allow the Element to be driven by your wife.

That is certainly my concern when it comes to the Element. I do mainly in-town driving and also just replaced the CV axles. I can’t afford for it to quit either way, but I wonder what else could be down the road. Another new car is not in the cards in the next 3 years.

Short trips are harder on a car than long trips. Factor that into your decisionmaking.

That is my primary concern and what is leaning me to stick with our original plan. As VCDdriver stated above, the odds of avoiding repair bills are going to be lower with the new vehicle and the older vehicle, which runs great, will last even longer. Maybe my youngest will get the opportunity to drive it one day. Thanks for all the advice.

I can see both sides of this one. Putting a lot of miles on the new Rogue will make it depreciate even more rapidly. More miles on the Element at this point don’t affect the depreciation of the Element much at all.

Perhaps a plan for you to drive the Element 3 weeks a month, and then enjoy the Rogue for a week would be a concept to consider. Since most of these miles are easy highway miles the Element could last quite a while longer. Brakes, tires, a new clutch perhaps and regular maintenance should keep it going for a bunch more miles and years.

Interesting proposal, but switching back and forth with my wife would be an obstacle. Also most of my driving is in town and only 30% highway during the work week. Since we keep our vehicles so long I suppose I should get used to the idea of the miles going on the new car. That’s why we bought it in the first place and at least it has a long warranty.

Plan D might be to drive the Element normally, and then drive the Nissan when the Honda is in the shop. If you haven’t had much trouble yet, then why not continue driving the Element until you do?

My vote is to not worry about it. If you’re sitting in your car for 4 hours everyday, then comfort should be the #1 thing to worry about. Though I am kinda surprised you didn’t consider a hybrid for your vehicle, since you’d make the perfect candidate for one.

To be perfectly chauvinistic about it:

You’re the breadwinner, you get the new car! Hey, it worked for me last time…

But next time, I think it’s my wife’s turn. I wonder if she’d like the Accord…

@bscar The hybrids are uncomfortable in the smaller options and cost prohibitive in the Lexus option, but you said what my wife said about comfort. It was one of the top 3 demands for the new car.

The Escape/Mariner come in hybrid format

I drove the Escape, so disappointed. Nice quality, options and ride, but underpowered and not as comfortable as the Equinox. The mariner started at a higher price as well and the finish was a let down. After driving 175K in the Element with little maintenance the quality bar had been set high.

The Equinox 4-cyl gets great highway mileage - the best of all the non-hybrid SUVs. It’s definitely worth consideration. Disclosure: I own 3 GM cars. The oldest is a 1998, and I have been happy with all 3. In the last 44 years of driving, the brand that has given me the most satisfaction is GM. And that’s not just one car, but 7 cars. Treat it well and it should give you a long and happy relationship. BTW, Equinox has an excellent repair record according to MSN Autos. Double-BTW: I also own a 2005 Accord, and it has been flawless. But I have also had great success with GM cars over the last half century.

The American cars have wider seats too for what it’s worth. Maybe because Americans tend to have wider seats.

I had a 100 mile daily commute and the wife had a 5 mile commute. We started out with me driving the new cars but I racked the miles up so fast that I’d have 60K on a two year old car. We decided to shift and she took the new cars and I racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on the older car. I thought it worked well. We always had a lower mileage car for trips etc. and I didn’t worry at all about putting extra miles on.