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To buy used or new? Decisions, decisions....(YACT)

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To buy used or new? Decisions, decisions....(YACT)

Old 02-20-08, 07:20 AM
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To buy used or new? Decisions, decisions....(YACT)

About to head back to the US on Monday for the first time in 15 months. I haven't "owned" a car since right before I deployed to Iraq in 2005 (when I was back in NY for 5 months between Iraq and Korea I was borrowing a relative's car). The last (and only) car I did own was a 1987 Acura Integra I got for $2k cash. It worked out pretty well overall barring a few maintenance issues I posted about at the time. That said, my new post-army job should pay a little better and I'm trying to decide if I should go with the certified pre-owned route (2003+) or just go for a brand new model and keep myself completely free from *unexpected* maintenance issues.

Specifically I'm looking at a RAV4. I wasn't a huge fan of the original mid-90s edition (only tried a manual one that was tiny back in '98 - think it was a '96 model or something similar) but the new editions look really nice with some great reviews. I'll definitely go for a test drive first, but I'm leaning towards these at the moment for performance and cargo space. Until yesterday I was looking at some certified 2007 models, but they were apparently sold by the local dealer - although he still has some new 2007 models. For the price difference - $2k-$3k or thereabouts, it seems like I might be better off taking the dive and getting a spanking new one - and avoiding any stress.

At the moment I can't pay cash straight up for anything in this range, but I'm looking at getting a good loan from USAA 4.99% fixed - and I'm definitely planning on paying it off in well under the standard timeframe simply because my current plans don't involve me being back for much longer than a couple years at the moment.

FWIW though, any opinions on buying through carmax? I can get 2006 model from them - or pay a little extra for a 2007 from out of state, but I've read mixed reviews about purchasing through them (although I'd still expect fewer hassles with a late model).

thanks in advance. Can't wait to get back in country.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:30 AM
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check out the CRV instead

i know someone with a 2006 or 2007 RAV4. it's OK, but the new CRV looks a lot better. and buy new since the resale value on them is very good. doesn't make sense to buy used.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:39 AM
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I recently bought my first pre-owned car. I think there are some great deals out there on pre-owned off lease vehicles of all kinds. Consider any warranty left on the vehicle and compare to the cost of new.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:47 AM
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I guess it depends on the type of car owner you will be.

If you are the type that needs a new model every few years, buy the used one.

If you are the type to drive a car until the wheels fall off (or 75,000 miles ) then I would go new.

The first way, somebody already took the hit for you. The second, since you don't plan on selling the car, the hit is minimal. Although, if I was to buy a new vehicle, it would probably be new old stock.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:39 AM
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I'd go w/ the CRV over the RAV4 also. Plus how much were you looking to spend?
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Old 02-20-08, 01:25 PM
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You should also check into new 2007 models still sitting on the lot. You can always get them well below invoice.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:16 AM
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Thanks a lot for the replies. I've been really busy today and my connection keeps acting up otherwise I would have replied a lot sooner.

I'm looking at spending between 20 and 22 thousand - loan request will be for 25k just to be safe. I'm much more inclined towards the RAV4 from previous experience and looking at some reviews like this one (better fuel economy too - even if a little more expensive): http://www.automotive.com/2007/12/to...ews/index.html vs http://www.automotive.com/2007/12/ho...ews/index.html

To be honest, I'm going for the bottom of the barrel as far as models though --
Series: RAV4
Model: 2WD SUV (4 Speed Automatic) - 4430
Model Year: 2007
Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic

basic specs all around although it does include the 6 disc changer and a couple other accessories. $22656 including dealer fees (not including tax)

I don't want to be the kind of guy who buys new every couple years, but for what seems like a comparatively small price difference between a new 2k7 and a used 2k6 - it doesn't exactly seem like I'm shooting myself in the foot here since I hope to pay it off completely in less than 24 months - whether I stay in the US longer than that or not, I certainly plan to use it as long as possible - it'd just be nice to know that I've been responsible for the car the entire time and that I don't have to worry about anyone else messing up the oil changes or suspension or anything similar.

As far as being under MSRP - the prices currently listed are around the same as KBB for the model year - but I don't know if KBB adjusts when the new models come out. I suppose I might be able to get it down a little with some negotiating (especially if I bring a friend).

thanks a lot

Last edited by Tuan Jim; 02-21-08 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:13 AM
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My wife has a RAV, it's been a great car for us.

I would say in your situation, it all going to depends on the price you can work. Either vehicle might be a good deal, it depends on which one is more desperate to sell.

Take mileage into account when figuring price.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuan Jim
Thanks a lot for the replies. I've been really busy today and my connection keeps acting up otherwise I would have replied a lot sooner.

I'm looking at spending between 20 and 22 thousand - loan request will be for 25k just to be safe. I'm much more inclined towards the RAV4 from previous experience and looking at some reviews like this one (better fuel economy too - even if a little more expensive): http://www.automotive.com/2007/12/to...ews/index.html vs http://www.automotive.com/2007/12/ho...ews/index.html

To be honest, I'm going for the bottom of the barrel as far as models though --
Series: RAV4
Model: 2WD SUV (4 Speed Automatic) - 4430
Model Year: 2007
Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic

basic specs all around although it does include the 6 disc changer and a couple other accessories. $22656 including dealer fees (not including tax)

I don't want to be the kind of guy who buys new every couple years, but for what seems like a comparatively small price difference between a new 2k7 and a used 2k6 - it doesn't exactly seem like I'm shooting myself in the foot here since I hope to pay it off completely in less than 24 months - whether I stay in the US longer than that or not, I certainly plan to use it as long as possible - it'd just be nice to know that I've been responsible for the car the entire time and that I don't have to worry about anyone else messing up the oil changes or suspension or anything similar.

As far as being under MSRP - the prices currently listed are around the same as KBB for the model year - but I don't know if KBB adjusts when the new models come out. I suppose I might be able to get it down a little with some negotiating (especially if I bring a friend).

thanks a lot
if i was to buy one it would be 2wd plus some interior options like stereo

never saw the point of 4wd unless i live in the country or go camping, but then i wouldn't be buying a RAV4
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Old 02-21-08, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
if i was to buy one it would be 2wd plus some interior options like stereo

never saw the point of 4wd unless i live in the country or go camping, but then i wouldn't be buying a RAV4
Yeah, I like the look of the V6 as well, but I'm not a particularly social person and probably don't need any additional seats or space - plus the mileage is worse.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:26 PM
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Going Honda or Toyota, I would buy new.
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