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Scott
Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  Ase certified, 24 years, bumper to bumper all makes
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Honda Element: Nissan..us weve settled on subaru

Resolved Question:

I need help picking a new car. I love the Honda Element, my husband wants something more truck-like, he's looking at the Nissan X-terra. For a middle line between us we've settled on Subarus. Forester, Outback, or Impreza, they're all pretty nice. And a friend showed us the Nissan Leaf, its a cute little thing but most of the info I can get on it is all hype about how awesome it is, nothing really concrete. We're all over the place and are open to anything I think, so long as it fits what we need.

We are very active people and tend to be hard on our cars. We need something with a cargo area for our dog so any passengers wouldn't have 100lbs extra on their laps, plus we've got tons of gear for various things. Camping, fishing, kayaking, building materials, furniture, etc. We pack the car full with something or other almost every weekend so it has to have room and the ability to handle getting beat up. Something with ground clearance would be nice so we don't wind up stuck in any more ditches...but as small as possible since we live in the middle of a city, parking's at a premium. We don't want a gas guzzler and honestly I hate most SUVs although its looking like that's we need. I would love a hybrid or electric even but they cost, and of course we need the price as low as possible as well 20 to 25k. You see my problem? We need the perfect car and I'm convinced it doesn't exist.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Scott replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Scott :

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will use all of the available technical information at my disposal to assist you with your vehicle concern.

Scott :

Wow, you have picked some real nice vehicles. I can honestly say that I have worked on all the models you have looked at, and really have nothing to say negatively about any of them.

Scott :

It seems that you have loading issues, but do you have trailering issues? The Subaru's would get you where you need to go {camping, kayaking} but wont haul what you need to if you wanted to take the boats camping or install a trailer package to tow a rental trailer for wood, furniture etc. Think about it. How much of that will you get into a Element, Leaf, Forester, Outback, or Impreza? They also lack towing Umph.

Scott :

Looks to me like you may have already made your answer. The X-Terra. It has towing capacity, a roof rack option, and will get you out of that mud hole you get into after the wet weekend of camping.

Scott :

If you were not needing an SUV type vehicle, my next choice is the Element. Can't beat a Honda with a stick. Very reliable, but not outfitted for what your wanting to do.

Customer:

Haha, thats what my husband says, but the mileage is horrible and the emissions are too. We're both fond of the Xterra but the guilt is too much for me with all the environmental options out there now. Its pretty much the same thing with the Element, I like how open you can make it with the way the seats fold up, and the fact that you can hose it out, but it still gets terrible mileage and emits like a truck.

Scott :

Don't think of the X-Terra as Big. I have a few customers that own them {I am in the mountains of NC} and they love them. I put them on the severe maintenance schedule and pay special attention to servicing the drive train {differentials, transfer case and transmission} more than the scheduled maintenance, due to the abuse they put them through. So, remember that.

Scott :

Like Kermit said, It ain't easy being green

Customer:

They're popular here too, we're in city but the mountains are so close most of our friends have trucks. But with the kids I really don't want a truck for the space issue and the rolling concern.

Customer:

I guess I just have to invent a green gas guzzler! lol

Scott :

You need to remember that all vehicles manufactured today are emission compliant. The volcano in Iceland emitted more carbon, Hydrocarbons and other gasses than man has in 100 life times, so how much damage are you really doing? Just my opinion.

Customer:

They're all emission compliant? Is that why gas milage has gone down so much since we bought our last car? 10 years ago

Scott :

I deal in gasses at work to verify that the vehicle pass, and I can say since they forced ethanol on us, they have reduced, so maybe that will help your decision. I am practical. Like many guys, I install the "What if" factor. That is why he and I agree. From the list you provided, it is the practical choice.

Scott :

Ethanol. Remember, it takes twice as much to burn like gas.

Customer:

hmm, well he'll like that

Customer:

haha

Scott :

I married, so us guys gotta stick together. ;-}

Customer:

Haha, yeah and we girls over here wanting to be 'green' ... well I still get a new car! Not many things more exciting then that. Thanks a lot for your help.

Scott :

Love that new car smell. Watch out for the skunks and bears. I hope I helped you .

Scott, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1638
Experience: Ase certified, 24 years, bumper to bumper all makes
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Ase certified, 24 years, bumper to bumper all makes