Which car should we trade in?

My husband and I are purchasing a new car and need some advice on which of our old cars we should trade in. I have a 2002 Subaru Impreza wagon with 125k miles and it needs a new catalytic converter. My husband had a 2003 Honda Accord coupe with 200k miles and it runs fairly well. We have a baby so the Subaru is a better family car but doesn’t seem as reliable as the Honda. Any suggestions?

I’d consider the potential trade-in value for each vehicle, and of course consider the potential cost of a new catalytic converter for the Subaru. You won’t get that money back if you trade in the Subaru, but if it keeps a Check Engine light off, then it may be worth it.

Going blindly into it, I’d keep the Honda. I hear too many bad things about Subarus and long term maintenance. Good luck in your decision.

The coupe will be maddening with a baby. Also 2003 is a bad year for automatic in Honda’s.

Two knocks against it.

The impreza has the potential for head gasket issues but far cheaper than automatic transmission. It also has some usefulness with children.

I would get a second opinion on the catalytic converter. Also need to have the mechanic explain what else needs to be repaired, so that you don’t have the issue of the catalytic converter repair coming up again. There is a cause behind the converter failing (if indeed it has failed) and that needs to be fixed also.

Depending on the second opinion outcome, I would sell the car you want to divest from privately rather than do a trade in. You can almost always come out ahead to sell privately rather than trade on the dealer’s terms.

Perhaps a trade in of the old Subaru for a new Subaru wagon would do the trick

Mama, An Old Honda (200K) That “Runs Fairly Well” Doesn’t Sound Promising.

Why do you describe the Honda as running “fairly well” and not “well” or “extremely well” ? What issues does it have ? Explain.

Why does the Subaru need a catalytic converter ?
These are often misdiagnosed or if it actually needs to be replaced can be an indication that something else is wrong, additionally. Explain.

Why is maintenance / repairs lacking on one or both vehicles ?
Why wasn’t the Subaru repaired ? Is this the "straw that broke the camel’s back ? "
Does that Subaru have a timing belt that needs to be replaced ?

It’s hard to say which one to keep and which one to trade since they both sound iffy.

Please indicate how the cars will be used. This could make a big difference.
Do you and Papa both drive to work every day ? How far including daycare runs ?
Does one of you stay at home and just need to drive short distances, infrequently ?

Lots of variable here. Please paint us a bigger, brighter picture, Mama !