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Need input on teenager car

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by Husker, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,217
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    So my daughter will be getting her drivers license soon. As with most teenagers, she wants a car that has some cool factor. Unfortunately she attends school and is on sports teams with kids quite literally driving brand new MBs and BMWs to high school. We aren’t doing that.

    But...I’d like to spend $12K or less. I’ve found that I can find 10 year old X5s and Rover LR3s in that range. Maybe some older Jeeps. These would satisfy the cool factor.

    Realistically, are either of these vehicles worth a darn as beaters? We have a ‘16 RRS and love it. But it’s a lease and covered under warranty.

    I would much prefer an older Toyota 4Runner or similar, but she has no interest in those.

    Any personal experience on these cars?
     
  2. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
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    I've got no personal experience with either the X5 or LR3, but have heard horror stories of out of warranty repairs on both, worse with the LR. How about a Lexus RX or Acura MDX? If reliability is the key those might be less troublesome.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  3. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    a car with an original sticker price of $75k or more, still costs a bomb to repair 10 years later, and guess what, all of those parts tend to fail about 5 minutes AFTER you buy it. if it were for yourself, then getting something like that with an extended warranty might make sense, but not for teens.
    that being said, i must admit that i bought my daughter a 10 year old ML350 in 2016, and it has been flawless, so it can happen.

    how about a newish wrangler? seems all the cool girls have one these days
     
  4. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,217
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    It’s possible I could score a Wrangler for sub $12K. Are these super expensive to fix as well?

    Luckily my son is a Toyota guy. I bought him a 2005 Tacoma two years ago with 150K on it and we’ve not spent much on it at all.

    My daughter told me (actual quote): “Dad please...I don’t care if the car is any good, it just needs to look nice.” Sheesh. I’d love to get her an older Lexus GX or RX but she says “those look like Mom cars.”
     
  5. VGM911

    VGM911 Formula 3

    Apr 8, 2007
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    For reliability/quality, it would be hard to beat a Japanese car. And be advised that "Jeep" and "reliability/quality" are mutually exclusive. Truly.
     
  6. vroom

    vroom Karting

    Sep 9, 2007
    95
    I bought a used M3 E36, auto for the kids to learn on. Safe, torquey, 4 doors, under $10K
     
  7. mwhitesell

    mwhitesell Formula 3

    Sep 17, 2006
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    My son drives a used BMW 5 series sport that is rock solid. 5 series BMWs depreciate fast and 12k would get you one relatively new. These cars have tons of front and side airbags, a low center of gravity, are super easy to drive, and the chances of being killed in one are next to 0. It’s also still a super cool car. Those were the factors I used in deciding which car to pick. It’s really all about survival. Survival rates in Jeeps are abysmal and she will be in an accident.
     
  8. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,408
    We bought our then 16 year old daughter a brand new Kia Soul with a MT for $14,500. Buying an older car for a teenager just wasn't a good fit, we wanted something reliable.....and after 2.5 years its been flawless.
     
  9. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,217
    western hemisphere
    I have always thought that about Jeeps. They appear top heavy and that’s always been my concern. I thought about an FJ Cruiser but I have heard that the visibility out of those is terrible.

    She’s pretty stuck on an SUV. I do see a ton of older X5s running around, and I don’t see a lot of older LR3s running around - wonder if that is telling.
     
  10. JOEA2

    JOEA2 Formula Junior
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    I gave my Granddaughter a Tiguan and she loves it. It is rated as one of the safest Vehicles also.

    Joe
     
  11. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
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  12. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
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    slow, big and un attractive.....
     
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  13. gtjoey

    gtjoey Formula Junior

    Aug 12, 2014
    576
    Been down this road.....Daughters are different.
    The boys took anything, smelly, old, big , but the PRINCESS.......
    You know what you have to do.......
    NEW LR3, NEW BMW,Or as said before the VW truck is great and some others like the Subaru outback.
    Pony up baby, its THE PRINCESS.....
    I got lucky, two boys!
     
  14. mwhitesell

    mwhitesell Formula 3

    Sep 17, 2006
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    Maybe my case was different and I’m overprotective. But every week around here there is a high school student killed in a single car accident. Most of the time it’s in a car that had a “5 Star” fake safety rating by a government agency. I grew up at our shop seeing all kinds of stuff come in from the wrecker. I can tell you for sure that a 5 Star rating on a corolla does not provide the same level of protection that 5 stars on a larger BMW does. Like I said in the original post. It’s all about survival, what’s that worth to you?
    Go ask anyone in a tow yard. They will tell you what to get.
     
  15. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 6, 2003
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    Subaru.

    What about an Audi Q3? Might be able to get a CPO for not too bad.
     
  16. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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    Nov 5, 2002
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    I bought my daughter a brand new 2016 Ford Focus SE for $15000 in Jan of 2017.

    It's a nice looking hatchback, peppy, fun to drive. Why was it so cheap? It uses a dual clutch transmission (paddle shifters), and Ford had significant problems with it early on. Supposedly fixed in 2016 model year and later, but the reputation means sales have been slow. Also, I really don't know if the issue has truly been fixed, but decided to take a chance on it. We've had it for a year now, and over 10000 miles with no issues. The transmission is definitely not as smooth as an auto. But, it's been fine.

    My wife normally drives an SUV, and they always fight over who gets to drive the Focus. My wife loves it for the size and fun factor, which you don't get in an SUV. Also, much more economical. If it wasn't for the fact that we need the 7-seat capacity of the SUV, I'd sell it and buy another Focus.
     
  17. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2005
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    Ford? Subaru? KIA? No way!

    Remember the teenage girl aspect. Badge is incredibly important. They may all be great, safe, reliable cars but in the school parking lot, badge trumps all.

    Jeep for sure.

    Does Lexus LX470 fall under "mom car" as well?

    What about Acura? RDX? MDX?

    Lincoln Navigator? Probably "too old" for her though.....
     
  18. Julia

    Julia Formula 3
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  19. nicholasn

    nicholasn Formula 3

    Nov 7, 2013
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    I was her age not too long ago. Here is what I would say if I were in your shoes:

    If all you care about is what others think about your purchase, you'll end up disappointed. Maybe she does really like SUVs; that's okay. But she needs to learn to buy things that are up to her standards, not some arbitrary measuring stick that the Jones's hand her. This applies to everything in life, not just cars.

    Old BMWs and especially Land Rovers are not known for reliability. I'm not spending $12k on a car that is known to break down. Jeeps aren't exactly revered for quality standards either, but as Car and Driver Magazine put it, "if any vehicle can run on equal parts oil and soil, it’s a Jeep." A 4Runner probably doesn't carry the same prestige as a Land Rover, but you look a hell of a lot less cool when you're late to everything because your car can't get you from point A to point B reliably.

    If I'm buying her a car, it will have three pedals. No disrespect to any potential friends, classmates, boyfriends, etc, but I don't want people who I do not know well to be driving her car, and a manual transmission almost guarantees that this will not be the case.

    That's just my $0.02 anyway. If she doesn't like driving a Toyota, or a manual, she can buy her own car once she can afford one. But if she's looking to me to buy her a car, I will definitely consider her preferences, but in the end, she's going to be driving something that I approve of. If that means it's an late-'90s/early-'00s Toyota 4Runner with a five speed manual, so be it. It might not be what she wants today, but a reliable Toyota with the off-road capabilities of a Wrangler is nothing to laugh at. And the rarity of a manual will put her in a class of one in terms of coolness (at least in my opinion).
     
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  20. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,217
    western hemisphere
    This is all very good info. The difference between sons and daughters is striking.

    My son wanted an old Tacoma because he likes to fly fish and camp. The fact that the paint was a little faded made it all the better. He wouldn’t be caught dead driving a Rover or BMW. He’d be embarrassed.

    Girls? Hey they are just trying to fit in. If they drive something that doesn’t have panache, they’d rather you just give them a ride to school. That’s why they like expensive purses, Lulu Lemon, and all that other high dollar stuff. Panache. Cool.

    What a difference!
     
  21. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
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    How about an Infiniti FX or EX?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  22. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    7,217
    western hemisphere
    Good looking cars! I think what I might say is "we will look at all SUV options that are Japanese." Surely to goodness she can find something that delivers the cool factor!
     
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  23. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper F1 World Champ
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    My first car was a '69 Beetle. Clean ones go for about $12-15K. teach her to drive a stick on a car anyone can work on. Massive cool factor. :)

    Seriously though, I would not spoil her. I'd get he something like a RAV4. A 2012 with lowish miles is about $12K and they are indestructible.
     
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  24. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Cayenne with a manual ? Not an SUV fan but I believe outside of Jeep, Porsche kept the clutch on offer with their base Cayennes up until 2012 or thereabouts, airbag coverage shouldn’t be a problem.
     
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