BUYING A CAR IN 2015

BUYING A CAR IN 2017

(WITHOUT HAVING HEADACHES IN 2018)


SPECIFIC VEHICLE RECOMMENDATIONS - Midsize All Purpose SUVs:

These vehicles have room for four adults and can tow trailers. All have luxury versions. Resale values are high due to popularity of SUVs. 4 wheel drive versions are great for snow covered states.

Toyota Highlander - Surprising vehicle. 4 cyl, 6 cyl, or 6 cyl hybrid electric, front or all wheel drive. Reclining rear seat is quite comfortable for real people. Optional 3rd seat is less comfortable. Designed for on road use with better than average SUV handling. Very quiet and tows 3500 lb. Great reliability. Regular gas.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
3 - Can tow up to 3500 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Honda Pilot - Based on the Honda Odyssey minivan and Acura MDX SUV. Has third row seat and great on-road handling for an SUV. High reliability. V6, 2 or 4 wheel drive. Tows 3500 lb UHaul trailer or 4500 lb boat. Regular gas.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
4 - Can tow up to 4500 lb - 20 ft I/O boat/5X10 Uhaul trailer
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Toyota 4Runner - This truck is the same size as Toyota's Highlander, but the Highlander is a car based vehicle. The 4Runner is a horse (truck). Excellent reliability. Tows 5000 lb. V6 with rear or 4 wheel drive. Regular gas.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
1 - Takes over 130 ft to stop.  Rather longish.
2 - 15 to 19 mpg on regular or 17 to 21 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
4 - Can tow up to 5000 lb - 20 ft I/O boat/5X10 Uhaul trailer
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Nissan Murano - Based on the Altima (car). Shorter than most in this category, this vehicle is designed more for stylish around town capacity and sport handling than for off-roading or work. Lots of power. Great handling and brakes. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) allows better power use and better gas mileage than most in this class. Suspension (ride) is stiff due to sport orientation. Excellent reliability. 6 cyl, front or four wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
4 - Quite spritely
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
4 - Swallows large household items
3 - Can tow up to 3500 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul
3 - Easy to load and handles TVs and lawnmowers easily
4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers


Nissan Pathfinder - Redesigned into a car based (unibody) vehicle, it now has the room and the power, but not as much off road ability. Somewhat longer than Nissan Xterra with more emphasis on luxury and on-road use. Tows 5000 lb. 6 cyl front or 4 wheel drive with CVT transmission.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
3 - 20 to 24 mpg on regular or 22 to 26 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
4 - Can tow up to 5000 lb - 20 ft I/O boat/5X10 Uhaul trailer
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Nissan Xterra - Approximately the same vehicle as the old Pathfinder, which was truck based but slightly shorter with more emphasis on off-road and recreational use. Where the Murano is a sports car with SUV space, the Xterra is a truck with work and off-road capability. Tows 6500 lb. 6 cyl rear or 4 wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
2 - 15 to 19 mpg on regular or 17 to 21 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
5 - Best there is.  More reliable used than many new cars
5 - Cavernous
5 - Can tow over 5000 lb - horse/travel/big boat trailers
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Ford Edge - Car based and set up more for urban use with a V6 engine and front wheel drive. Power is lower, and gas mileage isn't any better than the V6 Murano, and the ride is sport oriented. V6 automatic and front or 4 wheel drive. Regular gas.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.  Average for today's cars.
2 - 15 to 19 mpg on regular or 17 to 21 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
3 - Decent reliability for long term ownership
5 - Cavernous
3 - Can tow up to 3500 lb - outboard boat or 5X8 Uhaul
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Ford Explorer - Car based SUV. Larger than the Edge with 3rd seat and more towing capacity, similar gas mileage, but similar chassis and layout. Reliability is not very good, so it's not recommended for long term use. V6 or 4 cyl with front or 4 wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.  Good for non sports car.
2 - 15 to 19 mpg on regular or 17 to 21 on premium fuel
4 - Comfortable for 4 on trips
3 - Decent reliability for long term ownership
5 - Cavernous
4 - Can tow up to 4500 lb - 20 ft I/O boat/5X10 Uhaul trailer
4 - Has space and weight capacity for heavier items
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance