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Torn between 3 cars

Discussion in 'Automotive' started by Thatdad, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
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    I don't know if I should get a 2005 subaru Forester, 2005 Kia Sorento, or a Hyundai Santa Fe.

    I need some opinions!
     

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  2. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    From the cryptic nature of your post, I'm going to assume that you have done your homework in comparing features, fuel economy, owner satisfaction, reliability, maintenance costs, etc, have test-driven at least two examples of each, AND that you view them as pretty much equal.

    If not, go do your homework, and no saying the dog ate it! ;)

    On the assumption that the homework received a passing grade, then, these are my thoughts, in no particular order.

    The Koreans are good students and their vehicles have gotten very, very good over the years. However, you're going back a decade when they were rather mediocre. Still, problems that have surfaced will have been taken care of, so you're just banking on longevity at this point.

    Some of the most fiercely loyal car owners on the planet are Subaru owners, and there are lots of good reasons for that. It's a much older company and has much to commend it. I've always liked Subarus, but I'll admit I don't get the mystique about the marque.

    My cousin has a Sorrento of the vintage you're considering and has over 200k miles on it. Daily driver, road trips, you name it, never had anything significant break, and she still really likes it. She's going to start looking for a replacement soon, and the top of her list is another Sorrento. For an inexpensive small suv the fit and finish are terrific and for a vehicle with that many miles it has surprisingly few rattles and squeaks.

    Subaru really, really knows AWD and knew it before lots of brands had a clue. As a result, some of their owners can thrash them a bit too much, so tread a bit more carefully here.

    Early on the Santa Fe was kind of panned, but much of that was directed at the brand, not the model.

    If it was my money and I lived in snow country, I'd buy the Subaru. I drove a Forester all over Maui around 2002 and it was a great little car. The engine was a tad noisier than I'd prefer, but all the rest more than made up for it.

    Last thought: Unless you really know cars, once you find what you think is "the one," find a good private shop and pay them to do a pre-purchase inspection (PPI), regardless who your seller is or what warranty may come with it. The modest charge for a PPI will have one of three results... Either it will confirm that you've found a good example and you can feel confident about buying it, or it will uncover something that is just a deal killer. Both of those happen with some regularity. Most likely it will be the third option, resulting in a list of issues, some minor, some more significant, but all of which will give you a meaningful reason to negotiate a lower price on the vehicle. Often the owner will not be aware of everything, and the savings can more than than pay for the cost of the PPI.

    Note: Pick your own shop, do not use a shop recommended by the seller. The reasons should be obvious. ;)

    Good luck and happy shopping.
     
  3. Fox Mulder

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    As a Subaru owner I may be a bit biased, although I've also owned a Hyundai. The Subaru will probably be more reliable in the long run, not saying they're perfect though and all mfrs have their share of issues. Hyundai touts their 10/100 powertrain warranty but it only applies to the first owner and wouldn't be a factor on a used one (especially an 05 that's out of warranty anyway).
    I'd suggest going to the respective forums for the vehicles you are considering and read what owners are posting about them.
    And definitely have a good independent shop do a thorough inspection of any vehicle you're serious about, it's well worth the cost. It's also a good way to eliminate a particular vehicle if the dealer or owner refuses to allow the inspection, that's a huge red flag that says "run away".
     
    #3 Fox Mulder, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016

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