Purchase of used car

We are looking to purchase a used car. Between years of 2002-04. In looking at the Mazda Tribute, mileage, dependability, and the over all structure of vehicle for minimum maintenance. Is it worth the investment? Also, thinking along the lines of a Toyota Rav4.

No real info to give you an answer. The Mazda Tribute is an OK car, virtually the same as a Ford Escape. Can’t tell you if it is worth the investment as you are not saying how much you might have to invest.

The 2010 models are coming out now, so you are looking to buy a 6 to 8 year old car. Expect to have to spend some money over what you pay for the car to handle repairs that are part of life with cars with some years and miles on them.

I’d say that the RAV4 probably would be very dependable, but then again, so would the Mazda.

A 2004 Mazda Tribute will cost about $9200 to buy and $6800 for maintenance and repairs over the next 5 years. A 2004 Rav4 will cost about $10,000 to buy and $8500 for maintenance and repairs over the next 5 years. The Rav4 maintenance is very high. BTW, maintenance is cost that you can depend on, while repairs is the cost of something going unexpectedly wrong. You might also consider the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

CR rates the 04 and 05 models fairly high for the Tribute. RAV4 rated equal or higher for all those years 02-05.

Buy the car you like better, that is the most important factor by far. Unloved vehicles live short lives for an owner.

RAV4’s are pretty durable. My sis in law has an 04 with 95k miles. It has only had air filter,tires and brakes changed beyond regular oil changes. It runs perfectly and has cost her very little.

I’m just curious where those maintenance and repair figures are from jt. Can you give us a link? I can’t think of any five year period where I’ve spent anything close to $6800 on maintenance of a five to ten year old car, and I’ve had a bunch of them.

Mrs Mc’s Escape, which is essentially the same car as the Mazda Tribute, is now seven years old. She inherited it from her father, who bought it new, last year. Other than oil changes, a tranny flush & fill, and new front brakes with rotors last Monday, we’ve not spent a dime on it. I guess we’ll know in three more years.

I agree with taking both for an extended test drive and purchasing the one you like better. Each is likely to be fairly dependable. My sister has had two Escapes and they’ve both been reliable. I also have a friend with an 02 Rav4 that has been a good car.

I believe on those vintage cars the Escape seems to have a bit larger interior.

Edmunds.com, True Cost to Own. They say their figures are derived from extended warranty costs. Here’s what they say:

Note that TCO? is a comparative tool, not a predictive tool ? your actual five-year cost of owning a particular vehicle will vary depending on your personal circumstances, such as your driving history and the number of miles you drive.

This is the estimated expense of the two types of maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled. Scheduled maintenance is the performance of factory-recommended items at periodic mileage and/or calendar intervals. Unscheduled maintenance includes wheel alignment and the replacement of items such as the battery, brakes, headlamps, hoses, exhaust system parts, taillight/turn signal bulbs, tires and wiper blades/inserts. Estimated tire replacement costs are supplied to Edmunds.com by The Tire Rack, Inc.

This is the estimated expense for repairs not covered by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranties over the five years from the date of purchase, assuming 15,000 miles are driven annually. We estimate this expense based on the cost of a typical “zero deductible” extended warranty for the vehicle, minus the estimated amount of that cost that consists of the warranty provider’s overhead and profit.

BTW, I have a 2005 Honda Accord V6 and have spend nothing on repairs. The only major expense so far is a new battery a month ago (maintenance). Other than that, it’s just fluids. Expected repairs are several hundred per year.

Since their costs are suposedly derived from extended warranty costs, my guess is they are in cohoots with at least one extended warranty company. The figures and are meant to scare the prospective customer into buying an unnecessary product. I’ve certainly never owned such a lemon.

In my my experience Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book also inflate retail prices and low ball wholesale prices in order to make customers think they are getting a good deal on a car too. I’m definitely not a fan.

Agree that Edmunds must live in a different world; the first 75,000 miles (5x15,000 miles/year) on my Nissan Sentra cost $2248 in maintenance and repairs.

“…my guess is they are in cohoots with at least one extended warranty company.”

If they paid for the data, why would it be suspect? Actuaries look at real repair records and determine how to make money by selling insurance against future repairs. As for Docnick’s reply, Edmunds states that the cost is meant to be used for comparative purposes only. Do their comparisons make no sense? I think they do, as we’ve discussed before. They aren’t the only information available. If Consumer Reports and Edmunds seem to agree about reliability ranking, and Edmunds provides more information, what’s the problem?