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kbb.com, autobytel.com, cars.com, etc? it's my FIL's decadal quest for new car where he bugs me to find the best car for him. like his daughter, they think i should be psychic and know what they want. last time we did this, i did a ton of research online, went on a half dozen test drives and he ended up getting what he wanted. we get to do this again.
what are good websites for doing research? i know the FWF crowd will recommend www.crownvic.com or crownvicftw.com but they aren't on his list.
tia
m
 

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edmunds?

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Stand up to him, and tell it to do it himself.

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If he's not into cars, and doesn't have any odd requirements, a Camry or Avalon appliance is often the best recommendation.

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truecar.com seems fun but I'm not sure how accurate it is re the best pricing. 
I keep my dealhunting skills to myself when it comes to big ticket items. People need to do their own homework and research.

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Not sure if by "new car" you mean brand-new or new-to-FIL. Cargurus and Autotrader were a huge help when my ancient dinosaur of a minivan finally died last year. I especially liked CarGurus since it showed you how long the vehicle has been listed and if the price is fair.

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What's he want? As ganda mentioned above, pick the Toyota in each category, can't go wrong.

mid size truck: Tacoma 4-door
small sedan: Corolla
sedan: Camry
larger sedan: Avalon:
smaller crossover: Rav4
suv: Highlander
body on frame suv: 4Runner
luxury suv: Land Cruiser
van: Sienna

If those aren't loaded enough, pick the analogous Lexus model based off each of the above(except for Tacoma).

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Tell him it's time for a sportscar. Then get him to buy a v6 mustang

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^
Don't be cruel.

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V-6 Mustang going/gone away, down to Eco-boost and V-8.

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Give him a subscription to Car&Driver.

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atikovi said:   Give him a subscription to Car&Driver.I passed over a couple of free Car & Driver subscriptions from mercury magazines

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Or, if he views vehicles just as appliances, get him a subscription to Consumer Reports.

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The 3 major car rags(Car&Driver, Motor Trend, Road&Track) are notoriously bad at evaluating and picking usable cars.

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How so?

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They evaluate new cars ignoring continuing brand reliability issues that crop up on cars down the road. They score them with a lot of subjective criteria, allowing them to give the "win" to writer favorites. Any sedan that can't pull 1.05G on a skidpad, but would last for 250,000-300,000 trouble free miles, is deemed an appliance. They tend to hate Toyota reliability, love German cars that require expensive maintenance and are costly to repair and own.

Past winners of their COTYs have a long history of losers that include the 2002 Ford Thunderbird, 2000 Lincoln LS, 1995 Chrysler Cirrus, 2001 Plymouth PT Cruiser, 1983 AMC Alliance, 1982 Chrysler K-cars, 1980 Chevy Citation, 2011 Chevy Volt, etc.

The mags sometimes have nice pictures, but the reviews are poorly executed, statistically a joke, and the feature writing is done by hacks that love to use cliches such as venerable and storied far too often.  I have free subs to them thanks to Free Stuff forum, but I wouldn't pay for any of them and they do zero to influence my purchasing decisions.

More up to date information is now online at places like Jalopnik, but those "writers" grew up reading the magazine and suffer from the same lack of writing skills.

Best way is to determine what you like, need, and can afford, drive it while ignoring 99.5% of sales peoples' words, google potential problems with that model, and read forums and Facebook groups dedicated to the vehicle.

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kirbydog said:   I keep my dealhunting skills to myself when it comes to big ticket items. People need to do their own homework and research.
  thanks for the support kirby.

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Car magazines are talking to people who enjoy driving. Many people consider driving a just a another chore, and yes, those people should get their car recommendations from Consumer Reports. Have you driven an Avalon? Holy crap it's soft and boring - but great seats, great cup holders, will shrug off 200,000 miles, a great car for people who don't care about driving. IIRC Consumer Reports complained about the Lotus Elise being "cramped" - STFU, bunch of appliance reviewers.

Food & Drink mag don't recommend McDonald's, but that's cheap and calorie laden and easy to get, so they should right.

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ganda said:   IIRC Consumer Reports complained about the Lotus Elise being "cramped" - STFU, bunch of appliance reviewers.
 

  It's not cramped at all, but getting in and out of it is a bitch, especially with the top in place. 

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There's nothing wrong with car mags. As far as I can tell, they don't pretend to tell you anything about long term reliability, so you should know what you're getting. Anyone who knows anything about cars knows that you could buy the most reliable model and still get stuck with a transmission repair at 60k miles. Or you could buy the most unreliable model and it could last 300,000 miles. A sample size of 1 is worthless when it comes to determining reliability and that's the sample size car mags are working with.. It's extremely difficult to review a car model's reliability. Consumer Reports doesn't even do it, they rely on surveys with much larger sample sizes.

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ConsumerReports.org when accessed through a local library so you get all the information that people who pay for the website get.  For cars they include not only  the same things that car magazines provide but also scores for ride comfort, entry-exit ease, and the effectiveness of the air conditioning, and the city/highway fuel economy numbers are more realistic.  But their photos of the interiors are almost useless because they're all black, and their measurements for cargo space for SUVs, and hatchbacks assume the rear seats are upright, not folded down.  

MotorTrend.com has more detailed crash test results than about anybody, but sometimes the results are hard to find.

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atikovi said:   Or, if he views vehicles just as appliances, get him a subscription to Consumer Reports.
  It's better to use the website free through a library because the magazine has really cut back on the amount of information included in the ratings.  

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larrymoencurly said:   
atikovi said:   Or, if he views vehicles just as appliances, get him a subscription to Consumer Reports.
  It's better to use the website free through a library because the magazine has really cut back on the amount of information included in the ratings.  

  Don't think the website gives much information. If you want any details you have to click on a link to subscribe. 

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mapatsfan said:    1982 Chrysler K-cars.
A nice reliable automobile!

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mapatsfan said:   They evaluate new cars ignoring continuing brand reliability issues that crop up on cars down the road. They score them with a lot of subjective criteria, allowing them to give the "win" to writer favorites. Any sedan that can't pull 1.05G on a skidpad, but would last for 250,000-300,000 trouble free miles, is deemed an appliance. They tend to hate Toyota reliability, love German cars that require expensive maintenance and are costly to repair and own.

Past winners of their COTYs have a long history of losers that include the 2002 Ford Thunderbird, 2000 Lincoln LS, 1995 Chrysler Cirrus, 2001 Plymouth PT Cruiser, 1983 AMC Alliance, 1982 Chrysler K-cars, 1980 Chevy Citation, 2011 Chevy Volt, etc.

The mags sometimes have nice pictures, but the reviews are poorly executed, statistically a joke, and the feature writing is done by hacks that love to use cliches such as venerable and storied far too often.  I have free subs to them thanks to Free Stuff forum, but I wouldn't pay for any of them and they do zero to influence my purchasing decisions.

More up to date information is now online at places like Jalopnik, but those "writers" grew up reading the magazine and suffer from the same lack of writing skills.

Best way is to determine what you like, need, and can afford, drive it while ignoring 99.5% of sales peoples' words, google potential problems with that model, and read forums and Facebook groups dedicated to the vehicle.

2012 v6 Camry goes 0-60 in 5.8 with .84 skidpad.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/toyota-camry-se-v6-road-test-review

A 2012 bmw 3 series is better, at 5.5 and .88, so only just
https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/track-tests/track-tested-bmw-328i-six-vs-four.html

But note they also have the numbers for the 2010 3 series, and the camry has better 0-60 and skidpad than the 2010, And it has more room, and it's half the price and will remain faithfully in the garage for a long time after the 3 series is in the junkyard.

I dont know what the current numbers are, but the comparison has been like that for awhile.

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kamalktk said:   
mapatsfan said:   1982 Chrysler K-cars.
A nice reliable automobile!

  
but not a real K-car, that's cruel.

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In those days lot's of car companies available online. Even you can order it from your own country. Just googling for it. You'll get a big list of car websites. All the best!

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oh, it's happening. it's between 2 cars and i got him to look at both today.

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miserly said:   oh, it's happening. it's between 2 cars and i got him to look at both today.
  exciting! A coworker is shopping for a Honda SUV. She said there is no wheeling and dealing on the exact model they want. Should I have her call you? And they want to ship their old car to their daughter in Honolulu. Seems goofy but it's only a bit more than $1000 to ship it. My guess is that the daughter (who is 30) will not be paying for it anyway. Man, what a life. I don't want to tell my stories about walking to school both ways uphill in the snowstorm but really! Our office building owner's kid was recently invited to complete his Ph.D. in art history so his dad is buying him a house in Baltimore near the university.

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i'm going through costco auto buying, so there is no wheeling and ealing. and for a CRV this year, there may be a dealer premium as it is a popular car. 1 of 3 i looked at, the RAV4 and Sportage being the other 2. of the 3, i thought the Sportage was the most "luxurious" and the CRV was the most truck like interior. my 2 cents.

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Crown Vic or nothing!

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miserly said:   i'm going through costco auto buying, so there is no wheeling and ealing. and for a CRV this year, there may be a dealer premium as it is a popular car. 1 of 3 i looked at, the RAV4 and Sportage being the other 2. of the 3, i thought the Sportage was the most "luxurious" and the CRV was the most truck like interior. my 2 cents.
  A coworker and her husband are leasing a RAV4 (which she pronounced as "rave 4"). It's surprisinglynoisy inside on the highway. They had an ancient Volvo station wagon so the "modern features" of the RAV4 are delightful to them, but probably not a big deal to someone who has bought a car in the last 10 years. 

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A friend of mine just bought a used 2016 Kia Sorento. I went with him for a test drive and was surprised at how quiet and smooth of a ride it had. He really likes it.

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overclock said:   A friend of mine just bought a used 2016 Kia Sorento. I went with him for a test drive and was surprised at how quiet and smooth of a ride it had. He really likes it.
  That model year has had 2 recalls so far, I think. 

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kirbydog said:   overclock said:   A friend of mine just bought a used 2016 Kia Sorento. I went with him for a test drive and was surprised at how quiet and smooth of a ride it had. He really likes it.
  That model year has had 2 recalls so far, I think. 

My Lexus ES 350 has enjoyed a number of recalls. Seems like a vehicle without at least a couple of recalls is uncommon nowadays.

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my sienna has had around 10 recalls

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kirbydog said:   
miserly said:   i'm going through costco auto buying, so there is no wheeling and ealing. and for a CRV this year, there may be a dealer premium as it is a popular car. 1 of 3 i looked at, the RAV4 and Sportage being the other 2. of the 3, i thought the Sportage was the most "luxurious" and the CRV was the most truck like interior. my 2 cents.
  A coworker and her husband are leasing a RAV4 (which she pronounced as "rave 4"). It's surprisinglynoisy inside on the highway. They had an ancient Volvo station wagon so the "modern features" of the RAV4 are delightful to them, but probably not a big deal to someone who has bought a car in the last 10 years. 

  i've never heard anyone say rave4. even the guy at the dealer didn't call it that. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/86-4-2-general/65680-pronunciati... and neither of these owners...

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I had never heard it pronounced that way either! I'm a car person, not SUV but have been driven in it and I thought it was ok. The illusion of that class of vehicle being safer because it's bigger sort of bothers me. Why are people so easily taken in? Maybe the self-driving vehicles are the answer since common sense and critical thinking seem to have flown out the window.

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miserly said:   my sienna has had around 10 recalls
  
Six of those were for you to get Mom jeans fitted.

I'm driving around in a rental Pacifica at the moment (because of a recall!) and I'm mildly impressed with it. The fully stowable seats are great, I hauled a ton of stuff earlier today. But it has no spare of any sort, not even a donut, which I think is idiotic. 

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I didn't know some that car doesn't come with spare time anymore. That's wild.

I had a rental car's tire sliced open by sharp rock in Death Valley, without a spare we would been cooked.

Skipping 17 Messages...
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ask VW. i heard they know a thing or two about diesels and emission tests.

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