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charlo slim

A little help from UJ Car Guys?

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charlo slim

I have been "drafted" to help my elderly MIL buy a used vehicle in Denver, during a 2 day stopover on an impending trip between MT and OK.  Rough sideboards : $10k ballpark; smallish (not tiny) to lower mid-size;  FWD should suffice  (AWD would be ok, but pricier I assume);  4 cyl should be fine; auto tranny of course;  "station wagon" body style (what are those even called these days  -" hatchback"....?   "crossover"?); rig will likely run maybe 5k miles/year.

 

 I'm thinking toward other than most popular / expensive makes (Toyota / Subaru etc). Maybe Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Escape. What else in that general category?

Thinking I need to make sure she at least enters and sits in any prospect, likely drives it alsoo.O?  Normally, I would have any rig inspected by local trusted mechanic, but that is not an option for me in Denver. Should I just take it to another shop for inspection? Dealer or independent?  Is there a quick and easy way to determine appropriate price on older used cars?  How about expected reliability?  I am assuming that any meaningful sort of warranty is unlikely in the $10k price ballpark?

 

Sorry this is such a scattershot request.  ANY guidance would be greatly appreciated - what am I not thinking about here?

 

Thanks.

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grousehunter 61

Toyotas are hard to beat, I have a 93 toyota 4runner, not the best for mileage but a good long lasting vehicle. The wife has a Subaru all wheel drive, its another good car for mileage. Her 2008 cost us about 7,000. my Toyota cost about 3,800.   

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rideold

Not much guidance on which car other than what you have listed but I recently bought a car for my mother-in-law from Auto Nation in Centennial (older Camry for about $5k).  It was a little more expensive than going through a private buyer but they were very easy to deal with and the price listed is the price.  I went with them because she is paranoid about getting a lemon and for some reason she trusted the dealer route more than the independent route (long story).  I normally don't like to buy from a dealer like that but she was happy and they did their inspection thing and fixed a few things for her.  They did a pretty decent job.  Since you are on a time crunch it might be a good way to go.

 

Ford Escape is a good way to go.  My mom has one that I think is going on 10 years and it has been a great vehicle.  Sure it has needed some repairs but that's hard to quantify since everything breaks sometime (even Toyotas!).  For the price range you should be able to get an escape that isn't much more than 5 or so years old.

 

I base my price on what the market is averaging by looking at Craig's List.  Blue book is sort of a benchmark but in the Front Range a lot of models go for more than they should (e.g. 4 Runners).  That's kind of the bummer about this part of the country.  Everyone seems to have a car with 200k on it and thinks it's worth what they paid for it!

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Clueless1

I'd be looking hard at a Honda CR-V.

 

Honda CRV

 

( I ried Brad's URL namer thingy.  Not sure if it worked.)

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topdog1961

I like hyundai. I've driven Elantra GTs as my work cars for the past several years. An 03 and now an 04 with combined mileage of 460,000 miles when I got rid of them. I'm in the process of giving the 04 to my step daughter and I'm confident she'll get another 100,000 trouble free miles out of it. 

 

Vehicles bought through a dealer that are coming out of rental fleets can be a good value. You know they have been serviced and often the price is right and some warranty in included. My nephew recently found his soon to be daughter in law a 2015 Santa Fe with 30,000 miles for $15,000 coming out of a rental fleet. Great vehicle. I think Hyundai quality is on par with Honda/Toyota now. The great thing is that not everyone has caught on to this, so they are a good value for a buyer on the used market.  

 

An SUV, even a mid size, could be an ingress issue for the elderly, if not now, in the near future. Same nephew recently bought back a Tahoe from an elderly coworker. He sold it to her 9 months earlier for a fair value, $13,000. She put 5,000 trouble free miles on it and decided it sat to high for her. She was  trading it in on something new for $8,000 and he got it back for that price. 

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FlyChamps
6 hours ago, topdog1961 said:

An SUV, even a mid size, could be an ingress issue for the elderly

 

Before she died my MIL had physical limitations and found low cars and tall SUV's hard to enter and exit.  She called my Subaru Forester "perfect" because the seat height made entry and exit easy for her - well, as easy as it could be for her.  Have her try various seat heights to see which are easier for her to enter and exit.

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Millriver

Honda Element. Love ours, no issues. Loads of room, very practical. Last made in 2011, still can't believe they stopped making them. 

 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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topdog1961

Another car in my stable that I can't say enough good things about is my teen son's 09 Scion XB. Though it's designed for young people, another one could be my wife and my go to daily driver in retirement. It has tons of interior room for its modest size, great power, and very responsive driving. And the stereo goes "BOOM, BOOM, BOOM" if your MIL is into that. But seriously it gets great reviews from seniors for its ease of driving, visibility and ease of getting into and out of. Below is a link to great cars.com reviews, note this is mentioned more than once. Looks like a toaster though.  I just dropped it off at the dealer on my way to work for the Takata airbag recall. It's made by Toyota. Every time I drive it, I'm impressed. They made them through 2015 so you should be able to find a nice one for that price. 

 

https://www.cars.com/research/scion-xb-2015/consumer-reviews/

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Bullwinkle

Find a factory certified Civic and be done with it. But, 2 days is pushing it.

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Cooter Brown
21 hours ago, charlo slim said:

 what am I not thinking about here?

 

Thanks.

Changing your phone number.

 

Putting your fingers in your ears and loudly saying "LALALALALALALA" over and over.

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Eric Rinehart

We purchased a Nissan Rogue for my daughter - would be a great car for my 80 year old mother too.  My mother is really considering a newer Forester like Flychamps mentioned above.   The seat height is right to just slide into and out of without a lot of up/down.  

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charlo slim
48 minutes ago, Cooter Brown said:

Changing your phone number.

Wrong!  That is the very first thing I thought about when this whole deal started. I'll keep the LA LA LA caper in reserve for now.

 

Thanks everyone (everyone else, I mean).9_9

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MNice

Why not purchase a vehicle locally and have it delivered to Denver for a little more change.

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charlo slim
4 minutes ago, MNice said:

Why not purchase a vehicle locally and have it delivered to Denver for a little more change.

Thought about doing that, and we could drive one down there convoy style.  But I'm thinking that making sure entry and riding/driving comfort works for MIL is going to be critical.

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Flush

Toyota rav4

honda crv

Ford escape

Would top my list. These were all offered in both fwd and awd, but fwd will be rare around here (denver) but should be cheaper if you do find one. 

Used Subarus around here IMHO are overpriced...the are good vehicles but not so much they deserve the sky-high used prices they tend to pull here. Also Subarus in your price range would be of the vintage prone to many head gasket issues.

 

With Honda or Toyota especially, I would have zero concerns buying one with 100k miles assuming it's clean and well maintained. Should be looking at model years somewhere around 2010 or so in your price range.

 

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