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Which car to get?

sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
Honda element 2003 with 107,000 miles or 2004 Toyota rav4 with 122,000. Please don't say the rav4 just because the element is considered "ugly." I actually like how they both look. Also, they are both the same price. I will be moving upstate where it snows a lot, if that helps with deciding. Thanks :)
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  • goldygoldy Posts: 5,455Registered Users
    What (if any) major service repairs/replacements have they both had?

    Do you have service history for both, meaning oil changes, etc? When were the belts last changed on both?

    How old are the tires on both?

    Any recalls on either?

    Which car feels best when you're driving? Do you prefer the handling on one? Do you prefer the layout of controls on one?

    From personal experience a Honda engine will go on and on. I know toyota is also well made, but my personal experience is with Honda.
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  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    Thanks goldy! My experience is with Toyota so I'm glad u said Honda is reliable. My experience has been that Toyota also lasts a long time :)
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  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    i think honda and toyota makes awesome cars. but as goldy mentioned more info like repairs and such would help you make a better choice.
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    I had a 1997 toyota camry it was bomb better than my parents brand new car, Until some male pulled out on a highway and totaled it. Jerk.


    I hear great things about hondas too.


    I would get the element if I had to choose, the other looks like a minivan, and I hate minivans.



    omg I hate minivans. Minivans are the worst.
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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    goldy wrote: »
    What (if any) major service repairs/replacements have they both had?

    Do you have service history for both, meaning oil changes, etc? When were the belts last changed on both?

    How old are the tires on both?

    Any recalls on either?

    Which car feels best when you're driving? Do you prefer the handling on one? Do you prefer the layout of controls on one?

    From personal experience a Honda engine will go on and on. I know toyota is also well made, but my personal experience is with Honda.

    Yep, except my experience is with toyotas and is the same. Both are reliable on paper so it's going to boil down to which needs less work and which one you prefer(driving, looks, exterior/interior, etc).
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I would let my mechanic tell me.

  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    You say you like the look of the Element but have you driven it? I ask because friend who have/had Elements say they're noisy/rough and don't drive like cars. The Rav 4 is probably going to be quieter and more car-like.

    I'd ask a lot of questions about why they're the same price. Wholesale value on the Element is a couple thousand dollars less than the Rav 4.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Elements are really good cars. Everyone I know who has one absolutely loves it and has had no problems. They are very spacious, and easy to clean. They are fantastic in the rain, and snow. The only place you will find one lacking is in high wind, and that has everything to do with the boxy shape. Still, it's nothing that can't be handled. One problem you might have with an Element is dealing with service. Most of the parts are made in the US, which is handy, but Elements are no longer being made. The parts might (eventually) become hard to find.



    On the other hand, I have heard nothing bad about the Rav. Toyotas are also supposed to be great in rain and snow. Con: It does seem like Toyota has more recalls.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

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  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    murrrcat wrote: »
    I had a 1997 toyota camry it was bomb better than my parents brand new car, Until some male pulled out on a highway and totaled it. Jerk.


    I hear great things about hondas too.


    I would get the element if I had to choose, the other looks like a minivan, and I hate minivans.



    omg I hate minivans. Minivans are the worst.

    I had a 1998 camry. I loved that car. Sniff. I kept it much longer than anyone expected. It went 224,000 miles before the trans went ( and even then i knew it was coming). So sad. I miss u car!!!!!


    Have you driven them both? I prefer the ride of the Toyota. Much smoother although i think the element looks better


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  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    Whenever buying a car you have to look at their history. Have they been in an accident before? Were these cars purchased at an auction and resold? You don't want to end up with a lemon. Also like they said before you have to check the engine, radiator, alternator etc etc. You have to make sure you are getting a good car in good condition that hasn't been put through hell and has been taken care of by the previous owner especially since they are both over 100k miles. If they both clear than you can decide by the look and feel of the car. Whichever appeals to you the most. As for the brands Toyota and Honda are reliable names. I have a 04 Honda Civic and I love it. Then again I consider myself lucky. I found the perfect owner who took care of it and it had about 69k when I bought it. Also make sure the prices match the Kelley Blue Book value. You don't want to pay more than what it's worth.
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  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    Well I went to both dealers and both of them didn't even have the cars. They made me drive down there to try to convince me to buy other, much more expensive cars. I'm so pissed. they were over 40 miles from my house!
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • legendslegends Posts: 3,073Registered Users
    Toyotas suck in snow. I've heard the newer rav4s are better than they used to be; I don't know what year they improved, though.

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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    I know you couldn't get either but also keep in mind that generally Toyotas are a much smoother ride if that's what you prefer. My sister, brother, and dad had camries and avalons which I've driven and I didn't like the feel at all. I prefer a car I can feel that I'm driving with a more sporty/rough feel. Hondas and Nissans are way better for that. The Rav4 might be different though.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Do both come with AWD and 4WD? IDk anything about either of these cars but is the clearance on the Element high enough for high snow? What about a CR-V? They don't burn much gas and they have 4WD (or at least AWD). The older ones are a little higher off the ground.

  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    Well I went to both dealers and both of them didn't even have the cars. They made me drive down there to try to convince me to buy other, much more expensive cars. I'm so pissed. they were over 40 miles from my house!

    That sucks sorry to hear you had to go through that mission. That's why I don't trust dealers plus they make you pay dealer fees and all when they didn't do a damn thing. I don't know how much you have for a car but I prefer to buy owner to owner. I found my car on Auto Trader. The owner just happened to live by my job. I made an offer and got it. That was 3 yrs ago and I've loved it ever since. You do have to be careful tho. There are a lot of ppl that buy cars at auctions fix them up so they last through the one month warranty and then sell them. If you can buy one from an older couple that didn't drive it too much than that's perfect but it's rare nowadays. Also a car with hwy miles is better than a car with a lot of city miles. Most importantly be patient a car is not something you want to rush into.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Longlivecurls, you keep mentioning auctions and how bad they are. I guess you don't realize how many thousands of cars are put through dealer auctions every week. That's how dealers fill up their used car lots. They're definitely not getting all those cars through trade-ins! Auctions are where lease returns go after being turned in.

    I'd rather buy a certified used car through a dealer, knowing that it didn't sit in a flood after Sandy than buy a car from god knows who and have no idea what I'm getting.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    Well I went to both dealers and both of them didn't even have the cars. They made me drive down there to try to convince me to buy other, much more expensive cars. I'm so pissed. they were over 40 miles from my house!

    That sucks sorry to hear you had to go through that mission. That's why I don't trust dealers plus they make you pay dealer fees and all when they didn't do a damn thing. I don't know how much you have for a car but I prefer to buy owner to owner. I found my car on Auto Trader. The owner just happened to live by my job. I made an offer and got it. That was 3 yrs ago and I've loved it ever since. You do have to be careful tho. There are a lot of ppl that buy cars at auctions fix them up so they last through the one month warranty and then sell them. If you can buy one from an older couple that didn't drive it too much than that's perfect but it's rare nowadays. Also a car with hwy miles is better than a car with a lot of city miles. Most importantly be patient a car is not something you want to rush into.

    I've been looking like crazy bit cannot find anything for sale by owner that I want and can afford within a 50 mile radius :-( ugh!
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Longlivecurls, you keep mentioning auctions and how bad they are. I guess you don't realize how many thousands of cars are put through dealer auctions every week. That's how dealers fill up their used car lots. They're definitely not getting all those cars through trade-ins! Auctions are where lease returns go after being turned in.

    I'd rather buy a certified used car through a dealer, knowing that it didn't sit in a flood after Sandy than buy a car from god knows who and have no idea what I'm getting.

    But how would u know it didn't sit in the flood? Dealers will fix up anything and say anything to sell a car, as I'm learning the hard way. I rather buy from an owner and just have my mechanic look at it but I haven't found anything. And quite frankly every dealer I've been to here (except for one in my home town) has been horrendous. I felt like I was going to get mugged after leaving them!
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Longlivecurls, you keep mentioning auctions and how bad they are. I guess you don't realize how many thousands of cars are put through dealer auctions every week. That's how dealers fill up their used car lots. They're definitely not getting all those cars through trade-ins! Auctions are where lease returns go after being turned in.

    I'd rather buy a certified used car through a dealer, knowing that it didn't sit in a flood after Sandy than buy a car from god knows who and have no idea what I'm getting.

    But how would u know it didn't sit in the flood? Dealers will fix up anything and say anything to sell a car, as I'm learning the hard way. I rather buy from an owner and just have my mechanic look at it but I haven't found anything. And quite frankly every dealer I've been to here (except for one in my home town) has been horrendous. I felt like I was going to get mugged after leaving them!
    They are required to disclose this by law. A reputable dealer is more likely to tell you the truth about that than some random guy on craigslist or Auto Trader. If you do look at cars for sale through private parties, please be careful and take a very large, male friend and some pepper spray with you.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Do both come with AWD and 4WD? IDk anything about either of these cars but is the clearance on the Element high enough for high snow? What about a CR-V? They don't burn much gas and they have 4WD (or at least AWD). The older ones are a little higher off the ground.

    You find more elements that are AWD with "real time" 4WD. It's not standard 4WD at all, but you can feel the car self adjust, to a certain extent, when called for.

    I personally have driven an Element, on the highway, in over 1 foot of fresh and un-scraped snow, with no problems what so ever. Elements will slide a bit more in mud than on snow and/or ice.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    I know you couldn't get either but also keep in mind that generally Toyotas are a much smoother ride if that's what you prefer. My sister, brother, and dad had camries and avalons which I've driven and I didn't like the feel at all. I prefer a car I can feel that I'm driving with a more sporty/rough feel. Hondas and Nissans are way better for that. The Rav4 might be different though.

    I agree. I have driven some vehicles with a quieter engine, and smoother ride, and wasn't sure if I was actually going anywhere or not. Is this thing even running? ;) I like to hear it and feel it running.

    Don't even get me me started on muscle cars. My eyes will roll back in my head due to the sound of a loud engine. But that's another story.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    Josephine wrote: »
    I know you couldn't get either but also keep in mind that generally Toyotas are a much smoother ride if that's what you prefer. My sister, brother, and dad had camries and avalons which I've driven and I didn't like the feel at all. I prefer a car I can feel that I'm driving with a more sporty/rough feel. Hondas and Nissans are way better for that. The Rav4 might be different though.

    I agree. I have driven some vehicles with a quieter engine, and smoother ride, and wasn't sure if I was actually going anywhere or not. Is this thing even running? ;) I like to hear it and feel it running.

    Don't even get me me started on muscle cars. My eyes will roll back in my head due to the sound of a loud engine. But that's another story.

    LOL, I love sexy engines! I remember parking in the parking lot and I couldn't tell if the engine was even running or not on a Camry. And I feel like your foot is on the brake more than the gas pedal, how boring!
  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Longlivecurls, you keep mentioning auctions and how bad they are. I guess you don't realize how many thousands of cars are put through dealer auctions every week. That's how dealers fill up their used car lots. They're definitely not getting all those cars through trade-ins! Auctions are where lease returns go after being turned in.

    I'd rather buy a certified used car through a dealer, knowing that it didn't sit in a flood after Sandy than buy a car from god knows who and have no idea what I'm getting.

    Yes I know how dealers work which is why I don't trust them. I guess you don't realize that dealerships will still buy a car that has a "bad" history if they can make a profit. Unless you go to big name dealers which will charge you an arm and a leg or get a brand new car (and even then) nothing is guaranteed. Just because they label something "certified" doesn't make it official. It's what they use as a sales pitch. A lot of lease cars have unregistered history not everyone reports every ding or malfunction of a car so even if they show you a carfax report don't rely on it. Not to mention ppl who don't take good care of cars that aren't theirs (ex. leased or rented cars). And when I mention auctions I was referring to PRIVATE sellers you might want to re-read my comment. This is why I suggested being patient and really checking out the car inside and out. Whether from a dealer or not. There are ways to learn more about a car then a pitch or piece of paper will tell you. Like I said buying a car is not something you want to rush into. It might take you months and sometimes even more. But if you do it right it'll pay off at the end.
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  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    I've been looking like crazy bit cannot find anything for sale by owner that I want and can afford within a 50 mile radius :-( ugh!

    I know it can get frustrating just hang in there it took me forever (at least it felt like it lol) to find my car. Only to have a drunk driver totaled it after 4 months and therefore was on the search again. But finally after all that I found a car that I'm in love with and has been good to me :) I know you will find the perfect car just got to keep looking.
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  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    Fifi I agree muscle cars are sexy ;) You can feel them roar lol.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Longlivecurls, you keep mentioning auctions and how bad they are. I guess you don't realize how many thousands of cars are put through dealer auctions every week. That's how dealers fill up their used car lots. They're definitely not getting all those cars through trade-ins! Auctions are where lease returns go after being turned in.

    I'd rather buy a certified used car through a dealer, knowing that it didn't sit in a flood after Sandy than buy a car from god knows who and have no idea what I'm getting.

    Yes I know how dealers work which is why I don't trust them. I guess you don't realize that dealerships will still buy a car that has a "bad" history if they can make a profit. Unless you go to big name dealers which will charge you an arm and a leg or get a brand new car (and even then) nothing is guaranteed. Just because they label something "certified" doesn't make it official. It's what they use as a sales pitch. A lot of lease cars have unregistered history not everyone reports every ding or malfunction of a car so even if they show you a carfax report don't rely on it. Not to mention ppl who don't take good care of cars that aren't theirs (ex. leased or rented cars). And when I mention auctions I was referring to PRIVATE sellers you might want to re-read my comment. This is why I suggested being patient and really checking out the car inside and out. Whether from a dealer or not. There are ways to learn more about a car then a pitch or piece of paper will tell you. Like I said buying a car is not something you want to rush into. It might take you months and sometimes even more. But if you do it right it'll pay off at the end.
    I reread what you said and I guess I understand what you were saying. It was tough to ferret out. However, reading it again, I'd say that you're giving even MORE reason (see, I can use random caps too!) to go to a reputable dealer than buy from a private party.

    Just a point of clarification: I'm not the one that mentioned carfax; you are. I'm well aware of how unreliable they are and what people do to manipulate them.

    Honestly, I think you and I are talking about two different types of cars. I'm not interested in old cars with a bunch of miles on them. We buy higher end cars that are a couple years old and still under warranty. Since my husband's in the business, I don't need to spend four months looking for my next car.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    ^ My point is plain and simple dealers are just as bad as "bad" private sellers. It's about doing your HW and not taking anyone's word for it. I am not giving "MORE" of a reason to anyone. As for the carfax, I mentioned it because that's what a dealer would show you to convince you that the car is in "good" condition. Last time I checked the post mentioned a "Honda element 2003 with 107,000 miles or 2004 Toyota rav4 with 122,000" none of these are high end cars or still under warranty. This is why I gave the advice I did. If these are not cars you usually purchase and you don't have to wait "4 months" to buy a car then I'm not sure what the point of posting here was. But everyone's in title to their own opinion. Either way my advice was for the person asking the question.
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  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    Tomorrow I'm going to see a Honda element. The car dealer has excellent reviews online. I have a good feeling about this one. *fingers crossed* only bad thing is that it's far from my house :-/
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • longlivecurlslonglivecurls Posts: 271Registered Users
    Tomorrow I'm going to see a Honda element. The car dealer has excellent reviews online. I have a good feeling about this one. *fingers crossed* only bad thing is that it's far from my house :-/

    Good luck!!! Keeping my fingers crossed for you :D
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  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users
    Thank u!
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
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