Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Help me pick a car!

Sadly, my much-loved Mazdaspeed3 does not love the winters here in Minnesota. You put 270 horses over two low-profile tires on ice, and bad things happen. I thought that perhaps it might be better if I got snow tires, but... they don't sell snow tires for that car's wheels. It was a perfect car for Texas, but... I don't live in Waco no more.

Time to move on. I have identified three finalists, and seek your input on which to bring into my life. They all work out to roughly the same price, and all three feature all wheel drive.

Contestant 1: Used 2009 Acura RDX

White exterior, brown interior
Pros: Great handling, nice size, excellent reliability.
Cons: So-so mileage, interior a little drab.

Contestant 2: Used 2008 Lexus RX400h

Double Black
Pros: Hybrid, gorgeous, excellent reliability, very quiet & solid
Cons: Not as sporty, fills the garage

Contestant 3: New 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R

Double Black
Pros: Good on snow, fairly reliable, fits in well
Cons: Automotive equivalent of Mom Jeans

So... waddya think?

I vote for the Lexus -- "sporty" is a personal taste, but the Lexus looks WAY sportier and classier to me than the Acura. The Acura looks kinda cheap, actually... almost a "girl car."

And despite Toyota's recent problems, I've never met an unhappy Lexus owner.

What's the warranty/service package like on your three choices? That would be a big factor for me

Both the Acura and Lexus are Certified Pre-owned, so they have extended warranties. The Lexus is up to 100,000 miles on everything, the Acura to 100,000 on the drivetrain.
Having just bought (for $700), and repaired (for $2000), a 1991 Volvo 740 wagon, they all look good to me.

I'd go for the gas mileage, as the old Volvo (which I'm now quite loyal to) gets about 12 MPG.
You should buy the Subaru, because it is the most practical.
IPLG-- they both have good sound systems.
No doubt about it, go with the Outback. Admitted, the car won't trip the cool meter, but you won't give a darn about that when the inclement weather hits.

Also, provided you go with the 6-cylinder engine, an Outback can be a lot of fun to drive during good weather; handles beautifully and surprisingly agile.

Go for substance over form.
Go get yourself a Ford Escape like me. It's an awesome little car and handles very well in snowy terrain.
2. Get the LexusNexus.
When I saw the title, not knowing it was multiple choice, I was going to say Subaru, The Official Car of Nordic States. But then you come at me with two awesome CPO options. What is this, a Wren multiple choice final?
It really looks like you can't lose. The "h" has to give you some granola cred, but the rdx seems more your size. Does Consumer Reports have a snowcar issue? I would follow that.
Or I would base my decision on the dealerships for the CPOs. If you need them, you want them to be convenient, efficient, and friendly.
Contestant #3: That is the choice for our ocassional icey roads in NC.

Cosby has driven a Suburu for a number of years with ZERO issues.
IPLG-- Wait a minute... "girl car?!?!" From what I can tell, you are currently splitting time between driving a teeny-weeny 2007 Scion xx and a 2010 Jeep Barbie Edition with Fun Top. Both vehicles, I believe, were featured in the movie "Sex in the City II: The Sands of Time."
Kendall-- both CPO dealerships are very nice, and not too far away. Plus, the have loaner cars, and I love me some loaner cars.
Calling the Subaru "mom jeans" is hilarious because my mom and sister both have one.... though it should be noted, my sister lives in New Hampshire and got hers specifically for the climate and going on 2 years loves the car. FWIW.


No one wants to see Osler in mom jeans.
The one with the bigger ashtray. And cup holders. Cup holders are critical.
My choice didn't make it to your final - Honda CRV
I love my jeep! It has a cupholder, and a fun top you can take off, and a thingee that tells you how fast you are going, and a place to stash my weed!

My vote is the Lexus. (Does it have a nerdy little back up camera, though?) I AM a girl, and I would not be seen sporting in either of those other two rides.

Does the Lexus have a DVD player?

I also like the Honda Pilot, and my own ride, the Nissan Pathfinder (black).
I vote Subaru. Subarus last FOREVER.
I had a Forester and it was great!
Subaru hands down in the snow
The people of Lapland vote for Subaru.
Your friends in North Dakota can vouch for the Lexus handling winter conditions well. It does not break through snow drifts as well as a Toyota 4Runner, but it is great for an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Also, while you cannot get true snow tires for your Mazda, there are some very good four season tires available.

Hope you're enjoying the snow. Ours is blowing your way.
My cars suck. I know this. Although the Jeep handles snow like its a plaything.

But if Barbie wants a ride, she's welcome anything. She's my kind of girl!
Loaners - a new dimension. Subaru scores a 0 in that department. I think Acura would edge out the Lexus on the loaner front. Base TSX beats Base IS for short term use no doubt.
Outback or Lexus is my vote. Outback is reallllly great for Winters. AWD
HONDA CRV IS the ACURA!!!! Same body style It is outdated! It IS a GIRL CAR
LOVING the idea of Iplaw in BARBIE JEEP.
I think the Lexus will look super tight once you get the scales of justice right behind your face airbrushed on the hood. And warranty and hybrid stuff.
You'll thank yourself later for the Subaru, but the interior can be loud. The Acura has superior electronics, and if you're into voice commands you'll love it. Lexus is well...Lexus...boring.
My vote is for the Lexus. You clearly don't want "Mom Jeans" and are anything but sold on the Audi.

You're a law professor who's won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court. You need not concern yourself with the "mom jeans" factor. John Roberts was driving a minivan up until the day the guv'ment kicked in with the chauffeur service.
ye If you hate the subaru then get the Lexus that would be my second choice. The hybrid... so awesome.
You're paying for the name for the Lexus, and you don't strike me as that kind of guy. We recently got a 2010 Subaru Outback that looks just like the 2011 model. It has a boxter engine and the all wheel drive suspension or whatever it has makes it zippy and fun to drive. Also would probably do well with snow. It's sensible yet cool, which is a balance law professors strive for.

I would also approve if you got a Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty Black Ops edition.
You forgot a huge con of the Acura and Lexus: people will think you're a real estate agent (and one who will insist on the legitimacy of trying to trademark the term "REALTOR,"at that).

Having never lived anywhere near environs that get heavily (or even more than whisperingly) snowed, I can confidently say that your ideal year-round conveyance is . . . none of the above. No, the perfect vehicle for your needs is: a 911, of course.

Think about it: not only is a greedily-large amount of the vehicle's weight over the drive wheels, but the drive wheels are at the proper end of the car. Hello, traction!

Relatively light weight, making it theoretically possible for one person (or better yet, one person assisted by a squad of Minnesota Nice) to heave you out of any snow banks you're extremely unlikely to find yourself in (extremely unlikely, that is, because of the superior control provided by the aforementioned "traction").

Year-round fun! All it takes is a separate set of Michelin snows for the brisker months, and Pilot Sports for the more congenial time of the year.

Cargo? A surprisingly capacious trunk. More room in the cab, too, once you fold down the rear seat-backs. Still not enough trunk for your junk? A roof-mounted cargo box! Or two! Good for 100+ mph, to boot. Sure, you can't haul home a celebrity's coffee table, but that's what beater pickups are for.

Yes, I hear you saying, "Um, drifts?" Answer: splitter. Downforce in the summertime, yet turns the entire vehicle into a highly effective plow in the winter. You can even pick up a few bucks clearing neighbors' driveways in the mornings (perfect for getting the engine oil up to temp before high-speed runs to class). If you don't want to hassle with body mods, a GT3 is your best bet in this regard.

If you insist on AWD, you can get that, too (C4, C4S, Turbo).

Used 996s and 997s can be had at decent prices, even with a CPO warranty (which you'll want).

Given all that, can we say anything other than, "Case closed?"
My Dad drove his 911 on snow alll the time! he had a few of them and drove them all winter long! I am serious!!!

Osler does not like the Subaru. He said it was sluggish.
have you looked at the Toyota 4Runner?
Don't tempt me Brad...
I am still a fan of the Subaru but then, I live here in Oregon. By law you have to buy one when you hit the state line.
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