Looking to buy an SUV as my first new car ever.
May 26, 2007 10:11 PM Subscribe
The time has come to buy a new car, and I've got a LOT of questions with regards to cost, options, leasing vs. buying, and haggling. Also recommendations on Toyota Highlanders and Mazda CX-9's...
I currently own a 1996 Chevy Blazer. It's come to the point where it's starting to cost me way too much money a year to maintain (not to mention the gas consumption is horrendous). I've started looking at cars and I had two in mind before I even ventured out:
-Toyota Highlander or Highlander Hybrid (leaning away from hybrid since the savings doesn't really justify the extra cost)
-Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
Basically here is what I'm looking for in my new car:
-Decent mileage city/highway
-Preferably an SUV (I'm 6'4" and smaller sedans don't fit me too well)
-Excellent track record, options, reliability etc
-Decent sound system
The Highlander is a nice looking car, and has a positive recommendation from friends/family. My parents own a Lexus and an Acura SUV and are very happy with both. I've heard the Mazda CX-9 compared a lot to those cars.
So today I went to look at the CX-9 up close, just to get an idea of how I'd fit etc. I learned if I got one of those the sun/moon-roof would be a no go as it chops off about an inch of height above my head. Now when I went home I started pricing things out on Edmunds and autos.msn.com. I wanted to find out the MSRP, invoice and TMV prices for the options I wanted. This is where I started to get really confused.
On the Mazda I could get the following package: ncludes DVD navigation system, rearview camera, Smart Card with MAZDA Advanced Keyless Entry and Start system and power open and close rear hatch.
However this package REQUIRES that you get either a moonroof/Bose package or the rear-entertainment package. Now I don't want DVD screens in my headrests, nor do I want a moonroof. Is this a manufacturer ploy to jack the price up? Honestly I want the nav system, Bose audio and maybe an alarm system. The alarm system isn't available with the navigation package.
What's with all the restrictions? How customizable are cars? If I wanted a car with the above configuration and a certain color shouldn't I be able to get that somehow? Do they only make the cars in these preset configurations to bolster price?
The second half of my question is in regards to prices. I'm looking to buy over lease, simply because I don't believe in paying to only use something when you can be paying to own it. How much should expect to be able to haggle down from TMV etc? Should I go the fax-route with dealerships and see who offers me the best deal?
The final part of my question is simply in regards to the quality of Highlanders and CX-9. Advice greatly appreciated if you've owned either and can give me a personal review.