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RE: Honda or Subaru

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by firefighterjake, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Come December my wife and I are hoping to get a new Subaru to replace her ten year old vehicle.

    My question . . . I'm trying to decide which car to keep and which to sell . . . my Honda Accord with 174,000+ miles or her Subaru Outback with 117,000 miles. Both are 2003 models.

    The Subaru has AWD. There are a couple of minor rust spots that need fixing. It rides a lot stiffer than the Accord and gets slightly less gas mileage.

    The Honda though obviously has higher mileage and inside and outside is in rougher shape (thanks to more general wear and tear . . . that and a very hard snowbank that I plowed into thinking it was softer than it turned out to be.)

    Honestly, I like the ride of the Accord better and keep thinking that selling the Subaru would net more money for the down payment . . . but then I wonder if this might be penny wise and pound foolish if the higher mileage vehicle were to crap out with some major issue in a year or so.

    Thoughts?

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  2. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    I have an old subaru outback I sometimes use. She's going on 230k miles and will probably go to almost 300
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Ask your wife.:p
    NortheastAl and firefighterjake like this.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Why? She is gonna get the new one. ;lol
    NortheastAl, Shane N and Jags like this.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My average time getting to drive a new car before she got it and I ended up with the old one was around a month.
    NortheastAl and Joful like this.
  6. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Trade in value for both will probably be next to nothing, anyway. Both seem to be reliable cars for you - go with the one you like more - sounds like the Accord. In my experience, once rust starts on a car, there seems to be no way to stop it for long.
  7. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Probably keep the Subaru for those Maine winters, especially if you've had the famed headgasket repair done and you are satisfied with
    the quality of the repair. If not, look up Subaru head gasket issues and start reading.

    The plus side of your dilemma is that both makes are good at retaining their private party resale value.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  8. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    I guess it depends on how much longer you plan to keep the surviving vehicle. If it's only a couple of years, keep the Honda. If it's more like 4-5 years, I think I'd keep the Subaru, despite the rust.
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I haven't driven a new car in 8 years. My wife has had 3 in that time.
    Swedishchef likes this.
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I am part of the Subaru cult so I will refrain from voting! However, AWD is nice in the state of Maine!

    A
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  11. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm - I've never had a new car. Too "thrifty" to buy one.
  12. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    If they both run well then don't buy anything and keep saving!
    heat seeker likes this.
  13. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    If you have to keep anything the AWD of the Subaru can't be beat in the wintertime. I quite often miss my 2.5TS Wagon we sold a few years back.
  14. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Best car is paid for and runs. I agree with those that say keep them both and enjoy the savings. We have Toyota Camry's and don't even start to think about replacement until about the 250,000 mile mark, and then the only reason is that we are bored with car after 10 years or so of ownership. Your cars are practically brand new, why change?
  15. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    I'm part of the Honda cult. They do have the smoothest ride, I love the interior dash layouts, and dang it, the cars last forever. It is going to be a tough choice for you. With the rough winters, I would have to go with the awd.
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    We're a Subaru family here. The handling in the snow is too good to pass up.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Random thoughts and responses . . .

    I kindof figured I would get the "keep them both and keep on driving" responses . . . which honestly works for some folks . . . but my wife commutes 20-25 miles . . . often in middle of the night for her job . . . reliability is very important for us which means replacing the car when it reaches a certain age. Me . . . I don't mind driving a higher mileage or older car . . . although I do have a 66-mile round trip drive to work each day so reliability is a bit important for me as well. Hence the reason for replacing her car . . . my wife's main concern is that she doesn't want to have two car payments at the same time and doesn't want to be hit by a major auto repair bill in the next three or so years (we tend to put down a size-able down payment and then pay off the loans early).

    Best advice perhaps . . . from Jags. What makes it really funny is that my wife at one point said to me a few days back, "I don't know why you bother asking me for advice as to which car to keep. You'll probably just post on that woodstove forum with your friends whom you've never met and then take their advice."

    Heatseeker . . . Yes. Trade in values for both cars are not very high . . . the Honda is maybe $2-$3K lower than the Subaru based mainly on the mileage and condition.

    HomeBrewz . . . . Oh yes. Very familiar with the infamous head gasket issue. We did that major fix last year . . . and changed out the water pump and other important parts at the same time. Perhaps this is another tick in the "Keep the Subaru" column since we did invest a bit of change on that repair.

    Rust . . . if we keep the Subaru we plan to fix the small bits of rust . . . right now it's the size of a quarter with some paint bubbles next to it in the rear quarters above the tires.
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I think they both suck. Honda's handle with the responsiveness of a wet turd. Subaru is a definite step up in that department, but some of their fanatics are more annoying than a splinter, somehow thinking they're driving something akin to a BMW. Both are to be avoided! ;)
    Shane N likes this.
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I don't have a suped up WRX, I have a stock Forester lesmobile that I periodically jam to the top with stuff for shows. I'm a fanatic because it does well in the snow, it's very reliable, and the mileage is decent for an AWD- I am definitely not one of those jackasses that thinks it's a sports car- I'm one of those boring guys looking for reliability as he cruises past middle-age :)

    (edit- here in NH, a Subaru is fairly standard equipment. Put me in the frugal Yankee category. The real jackasses here drive 4WD pickups, think they're invincible, and roll them into a ditch when we get 6" of snow. Pathetic)
    PapaDave, wazzu, Swedishchef and 2 others like this.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Brilliant! ;lol
    Swedishchef and Adios Pantalones like this.
  21. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    This I understand, but what is there about either car that gives you cause for concern? You likely know by the slightest sound, shake, vibration, or feel exactly how these cars really are. My wife communes 175 miles, rain, snow or shine, hot or cold, and we get all of this really good in northern MN. Her '05 is closing in on 180,000, and at 20,000 miles per year, we figure at least another 6-7 years for this car.

    I figure, other than normal maintenance, an older car should have a repair budget of $100/month. That has never done us wrong. That said, neither our '05 (180,000 miles) or '07 (130,000 miles) has ever yet needed anything other than normal maintenance.

    No intent to talk you out of what I think you already have decided. Make your choice and move on - you're not likely to be disappointed.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    It's not an Accord, but our 2006 Civic is approaching 330,000 kms. It has had the rear brakes done once, a wheel bearing replaced, and one broken exhaust pipe repaired.

    Just replace the tires when they wear out & change the oil every 10-12,000 kms when it tells you to.

    It's used by my wife for daily 180km round trip work commute, plus a ton of other stuff. No plans to replace it anytime soon.

    It doesnt suck, & it will be very hard for us to justify getting anything different when the time comes.
  23. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    No offense meant against your wife but that sounds a bit pennywise but pound-foolish. If you have the money put aside why are you sweating a major repair bill? And how can a "maybe" repair bill be more of a money issue than a certain down-payment and monthly car loan payments? If you have a $200 loan payment per month that's $2400 in one year. That is probably the same or even more than what you would consider a "major repair bill". Plus, you are out of the downpayment (plus interest!) and you will need to carry higher insurance.

    You both seem like prudent savers who don't spend more than they need to. As long as you take care of your cars and they are running without an issue you can put the money aside and probably save some even when one car needs to go to the shop. I am not sure how far out you are living but if a car breaks down one cab ride will still be cheaper than the lost value of a new car within one month.
  24. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If I was a woman with that commute, or my wife had that commute, and an increased risk of breaking down, I'd go for a more reliable car as well. Add to that- eventually you have tires, exhaust, suspension- add them up and they look like car payment bills. You're better off driving a good car for similar money.
    Shane N and Joful like this.
  25. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I think it all depends on how you feel about the car reliability among other factors of a new car being useful.

    Last year I bought a newer Toyota Corolla to replace my aging one since my 1995 had 220k+ and was really starting to show it's age even though everything worked fine in it. I was putting sometimes ~1500 miles a week for work travel and getting stranded from an older car even though it was immaculately maintained was not a thought I relished. The old car got 3-5 MPG lower than my current one, had way more road noise, was using a quart every 1500 miles and certainly didn't have the horsepower of the new one to cruise at 75+ on all the mountain grades here in the PNW.

    Overall between everything buying a newer car ended up being a good choice. Of course we paid cash for the new one since we had the money saved up.

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