What would you do with this Suburban?

So with teh CARS deal approved…a quandry has developed. Should we clunker our 'burb or keep it for another 100k? It is in need of a new a/c and there may be tranny problems coming up…not sure about taht…the right door needs a new pin…and maybe an alternator. Other than that. it is in pretty good shape…a 1995 with 160k.

Question is should we sell it and buy something like a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic used for about the same $$$ or go ahead and clunker it and live with a payment.

What would you do?


The market for these right now is, well, poor. And yours is, well, old and high mileage. With stuff broken. You’re unlikely to get much at all (if anything) selling it used.

Clunker it. You’'ll get more than the vehicle is worth.

Unless there is a specific need a smaller car won’t fulfill I agree with the above post.

It is hard to see how someone who needed a Suburban can make do with half the car. What changed?

You must have bought a Suburban for a reason.

Will a Corolla or Civic suit your needs? These vehicles are vastly different from Suburban.

This is an apples and oranges comparison. Maybe worse.

yes…that is true…right now I drive the 'burb about 7 miles each way to work…we originally bought it as a tow vehicle for a camper, which we are now going to sell.

So that is what changed. THe suburban is nice and big and comfortable for long trips no doubt…we are trying to amke sense in the upkeep cost long term of the suv vs. buying a new car.

Is it true that Suburbans come with their own zip codes?

If you no longer need the towing capacity of the Suburban, or the passenger space, you can certainly live with a smaller vehicle.

I’m not so sure the cash for clunkers program is the best alternative, however. If you can afford a car payment, great. If you can’t, then trading the 'burb for a new car is not a good idea.

Have you tried selling this vehicle privately?

Your situation is the reason the clunker program exists. A perfect clunker. The book value for a real perfect low mileage “burb” is low. With the mileage and repairs needed even lower. You’ll get way more for it under the clunker program than as a trade or even a private sale.

It seems to go all the way from a huge “burb” to a compact Civic is a bit much for you. I’d suggest a Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, or Camry. All have more room, are great for long trips and get way more the 10mpg more than you 12 mpg “burb”.

well we are trying to make sensse of the economics of it all…according to teh Edmunds site


it would take us about 210 months or so before we start “making” our money back on the new car…of course there will be repairs along the way of any new car as well…PLUS the depriciation and a car payment. The a/c takes a charge that lsts about 9 months. The tranny is not gone, but has started to make a little whining sound between 1st and 2nd. THe oil has been changed every 3k.

I suppose the real question is does it make financial sense to keep the 'burb long term?

You are looking at some significant costs, the a/c and the impending trans (these do go out on Suburbans, several friends had that happen). We donated our '95 Sub when Carmax offered all of $750 for it. It sold at auction for $2800. If the repair costs are an issue for you, it sounds like the cash for clunkers isn’t an option. Were it me, I’d live w/o the a/c and save up money over the next several months to the point where I could afford a used car that met my needs, then sell/donate the Sub.

we can afford the repair costs…but would it make sense in the long run?

I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear. It sounds like cash for clunkers is not something you want to pursue (not wanting a new car payment), correct? So now the options are repair the Sub, or replace with a used much more economical car. I would do the latter, but only after saving up most/all cost of the used car, expecting to get nothing for the Sub. However, if you’re wanting the absolute lowest $$ option, then keeping and repairing your current car usually is it.

In average condition, a loaded C1500 is worth about $1100 as a trade-in. The AC alone will be more than that. Getting $4500 for something that gets 10 MPG better makes sense for you. Your average EPA mileage is 12 MPG, so you only need to get 22 MPG EPA average on the new car or truck. If you want to replace it with a truck, you will most likely get $3500, but the Escape 4-cyl, Dodge Caliber, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and a few others get 22 MPG EPA average or more. There are a lot more choices in cars to exceed the +10 MPG requirement for $4500. But $3500 for +5 to +9 MPG is still worht considering.

the best thing to do for the money and reliability, would be to sell the suburban to an off road type who would fix it/upgrade it. do this after you have money to buy a corolla or a civic. paying in cash is almost always gets you a few bucks off, and you’ll never have to owe anybody money.

It makes sense if you want to keep it for 5 or more years. Your commute is less than 3500 miles each year. Even if you double the mileage with discretionary driving, it’s still less than 7000 miles per year. You might save $700 each year if you get a car that doubles the gas mileage. If you choose to sell it or donate it, consider a Chevy Malibu - before the face lift. You should be able to find a 2006 LT with the V6 for around $11,000 on a dealer’s lot. It ain’t pretty, but it will do the job for you, and at a very attractive price.

What is your other vehicle you have?
If you’re worried about depreciation, think about this; with $4500 off plus any other rebates the dealers are offering, you’re getting a fairly good chunk of the depreciation off already.
With rebates, C4C, and xplan, guy at work got a fully loaded Ranger XLT for $14,200 after all was said and done. He could take it home, and probably sell it for more than he paid for it