Car Buying Decision ~ 2009 Honda Odyssey

Discussion in 'Mama's Simplifying and Thrift forum' started by KimberMama, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. KimberMama

    KimberMama Active Member

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    DH and I are kicking around the idea of getting a new vehicle. Well, I think DH is actually "kicking" himself for getting rid of our 4Runner last year. The price of gas and diminishing value of SUVs made him want to get out before SUVs were worth nothing.

    Right now we have a 2009 Corolla. We really like the car for most things. The gas mileage is great and it's cute and sporty. Of course, there are times like last weekend where he had to leave us at Best Buy so he could take home a microwave. I've yet to determine how we are supposed to get to San Diego next weekend with luggage and model trains (probably rent a larger car).

    A couple of weeks ago he rode to San Diego in a new Odyssey and loved it (EX-L with VCM). Yesterday his friend bought one at $7K below sticker. He asked me last night what I think. We are only considering an Odyssey or Sienna, most likely an Odyssey.

    More history: We have purchased 8 cars in the past decade, 7 of them new. We know that we lose money buying new cars and selling them quickly (well, not on the Prius' we sold ~ we did well on those). We said the Corolla would be it for awhile, thinking it would get us through until there are more hybrid options.

    (I have often joked about DH's penchant for buying new cars ~ I alway say it's better than a penchant for other women.)

    But ... but ... but ... I'm having a hard time with the Corolla. When we bought it my medical condition was under control. 2 months later I flared, and the car is uncomfortable to drive and ride in. I miss the bigger seats and honestly I miss the heated seats which really helped my pain on longer car rides. It's a bumpier ride too, and those with pain conditions will know what I mean.

    Part of me likes the Corolla (except that I have yet to overcome the huge blind spots even after 10 months). Part of me wants to admit that it may have been a mistake to buy it. There is room for us as a family, but not for much stuff.

    So, pros and cons of buying an Odyssey

    Pros:
    More room for people, dogs, stuff
    More comfortable ride
    Better visibility when driving
    Can carpool with friends to filed trips, etc.
    Can go places with grandparents without needing 2 vehicles

    Cons:
    Cost
    Worse gas mileage (we drive 10 - 12K miles a year and only have one vehicle)
    Taking a hit on the Corolla (although we got it on a great deal)
    Feeling like an idiot changing cars after 10 months (well, hey, the Volvo lasted just under 9 months)
    Feeling guilty that we could do this when we have family members out of work and in general the economy is bad and we know people are struggling. It feels kind of showy.

    We owe 5K at 0% on the Corolla; it is our only debt other than our mortgage (only a first and we have equity). We'd probably choose to finance $15K and there are no 0% deals.

    We have been reassured that the company DH works for is doing really well. They will be getting small increases this year and 7.6% profit sharing (and some of that is being paid directly to the employees this year rather than all of it going into the 401Ks). They aren't doing layoffs and are actually still hiring, though it's limited. The company runs on a cash policy and doesn't finance new buildings, etc. So it's stable.

    It really wouldn't make sense to keep the Corolla and buy and Odyssey. We very rarely need more than one vehicle as DH bikes to work.

    Am I stupid for even considering it?
  2. freedomlover

    freedomlover ReaderOfThreads

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    I wouldn't get a new one if I were you. It isn't prudent.

    Your pro list doesn't outweigh your con.

    The only pro I think it crucial is your physical comfort and hopefully you can manage with the Corolla?
  3. LatteLover

    LatteLover Amity's Focus Member

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    I wouldn't and I think it is pretty much a given that gas prices will be going back up again... they are up 25 cents a gallon here in the past week alone!
  4. LatteLover

    LatteLover Amity's Focus Member

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    BTW - when we really REALLY need a minvan, we rent one. We are renting one next month when we have people coming to my graduation.
  5. KimberMama

    KimberMama Active Member

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    We always say we'll rent a larger car when we need it, but we don't.

    The discomfort is our largest issue; my specialist is an hour away and I am always in pain by the time I get there. We travel to San Diego at least once a month. If we can solve the pain in the car issue we can resume road trips to see my grandmother rather than needing to fly.

    Oh, and I know it isn't prudent. If I just think of it in economic terms I know it isn't the best choice because we have a newer, working vehicle that is almost paid off. However, it is unlikely that it would hurt us financially. Because we don't commute we didn't struggle when gas prices were high before, and honestly I think the decision to move to a smaller car was more about being green than saving money. We save approximately 20% of our income plus what goes into the 401K and into the annual expenses, house repair, or vacation funds.

    (I'm sorry. I know that in this forum not struggling financially is similar to needing to lose 5 pound and hanging out in the weight loss forum. But being here is part of my being financially responsible.)

    Does anyone have a newer Sienna or Odyssey and love it? Hate it? I think we're leaning toward not buying one, but I need to do my research.
  6. LatteLover

    LatteLover Amity's Focus Member

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    Ok so...

    At first you were kind of asking if you should do it but what I really hear you saying is that you want to it and you want people here to tell you that it is ok.

    That's fine! Go for it! I bought a brand new fully load, top of the line Camry last year because I was in a financial place to do so and I haven't regretted it one bit. It sure as **** was not a thrifty decision though, I'll say that much. But you know what, life isn't only about thrift and I enjoy the heck out of that car!

    I got my Camry for $1000 under INVOICE. I suggest you use invoice as reference not msrp. We didn't get the accord because we couldnt' get as good of a deal on it. I think Honda's and Toyotas are both great cars. I prefer the interior of the Sienna quite a bit (we were shopping for a sedan or a minivan) over the Honda, but that is just me. They are both great vehicles!

    Oh, well here is something thrifty... I think you get some tax breaks for buying a new car in 09. There you go!
  7. KimberMama

    KimberMama Active Member

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    I don't really want to be told to just go ahead. I'd like to know if anyone else can think of things that I'm not thinking of.

    I kind of hate when my DH puts me in this position; you know, if I want it we'll get it. Because of course I want it; money no object, who wouldn't? But money is always an object, especially when you tread in the middle like we do. We can't afford everything we want, but we aren't limited to our basic needs. We have to weigh purchases carefully. I'm the kind of person who would put up a permanent outside clothesline if my dryer broke, and who has been without a microwave and stove hood for nearly 5 months because I just haven't been sure that replacing it is necessary (but now DH is, LOL). My kids wear thrift store clothing.

    I understand that a new car is a crapshoot when it comes to comfort. I didn't consider it at all with the Corolla because I was feeling fine. I hate that I have to turn down doing things with my family simply because the car ride is too much. Chances are that there will always be time when I can't manage the pain, but a more comfortable car might help me when I'm in that in-between place.

    I'm going to talk to DH about renting a minivan when we need one. We'll have to research price as well as determine how often we might rent.

    I don't want to be rushed on a decision, and at the same time sales tax goes up 1% on 4/1, the vehicle license fee more than doubles, and the Honda incentive ends.

    Oh, and we do work off invoice, always have. When DH told me that his friend paid $7K under MSRP I asked about invoice, LOL. He got it for $3600 under invoice, and there is a $3500 kick-back, so $100 under invoice. That was fleet pricing.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  8. 4sweetblessings

    4sweetblessings New Member

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    I say if you feel you can do it, then please do!! Each time someone stimulates the economy it's like a shovel full of dirty being throw off the hole we are buried in!
  9. DixieChick

    DixieChick One Hot Mama!

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    Get a fully loaded used Odyssey. There isn't any reason to get a 2009 when you can save a bundle on a 2007 or 2008.
  10. Korwynne

    Korwynne Mama of Miracles

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    I have a 2007 Odyssey, and I absolutely love it. Best purchase we ever made.

    Personally, I would do it since you're in a position financially where it wont hurt you.
  11. justthemama

    justthemama Amity's Focus Member

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    I honestly think you have valid reasons for wanting/needing a larger vehicle. That said, I would never, ever, ever buy new again, especially after reading DR. ;) What about finding a really, really good condition used one that's a good price? You'll probably say that resale is so good on Odysseys that it's almost cheaper to buy new with incentives/discounts. And maybe that's true. :) But is there a cheaper, large and comfortable vehivle out there?
  12. LatteLover

    LatteLover Amity's Focus Member

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    I don't think minivan's are more comfortable. Well I don't have a corolla. But my Camry is far more comfy than the Oddyseys and Siennas I have ridden around in.

    Also, I do not like late model used cars. I have gotten burned badly by two of them. I personally keep cars forever, and if you do that, buying new is actually cheaper than buying late model. If you don't plan on driving a car around for 10 plus years, then a used late model is something to consider I guess.

    Anyhow, I had to drive our old car around this afternoon for the first time in a very long time and it really made me appreciate our new car!!
  13. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    My parents just got an insane deal on a new Odyssey too. They are selling them pretty darn low and are desperate.

    What about getting a heated pad for the Corolla for you to sit on? They have them aftermarket that you plug in to the cig lighter or something. I have seen them.

    It's so hard for me to sit and say what I would do in your shoes. We've always had a van and a smaller car - right now an 01 Odyssey and an 06 Outback. We don't buy new cars often at all - the Outback should last us 10 years from when we bought it, that was our plan for buying new - to get it and keep it in terrific shape (plus we got it for a good chunk below invoice with careful bargaining, great %age on the half of it we had to finance, etc). I can't function without a van/truck size vehicle for long trips w/our dog as well as day to day farm type hauling needs (I have no qualms about loading the back of my minivan with hay bales or pine shavings, or even a llama :lol: ).
  14. KimberMama

    KimberMama Active Member

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    We drove one last night and really liked it, but are still leaning toward no. I'm sure we'll discuss it more later this weekend, and we'll drive the Sienna, but I am glad to see that we are both more skeptical than excited.

    Lauren, we are on the same wavelength! I looked at 12v heating pads last night. It doesn't change the seat height/leg room issue, but it might help.

    Oh, we have two (big) dogs now. All of us in the Corolla is comical and wouldn't work for anything other than a very short ride (not a good reason to buy something new, however). And we can't haul anything.
  15. Deanna

    Deanna With arms wide open...

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    Two big dogs, two growing boys, plus gear? Odyssey, definitely. It's been at least two years since we (dh) test drove one, dd1 was little and wandering all over the place, so it was probably a brand new 2007? I don't think they've changed much since, so would definitely look for a used one, but otoh, they tend to retain their value, so I don't know that you'd save much by going used...

    We still have our '99 Ram because dh thinks we can't fit all five of us, plus the dogs & gear (like, mountains or camping) in an Odyssey. Someone here did exactly that, comfortably, but he thinks we need to go up to something like a big suv, and I keep reminding him of how little room there actually is inside. There's no way we could fit both dogs & gear in the back cargo space. Then he says we'll just get a roof rack, but I don't want my gear exposed to the elements, I don't want to drive around with a rack, and it's one. more. thing. to. buy. and. store. Then he says we have the little trailer, we'll just use that, but that's total overkill. And again, I don't want to haul it. And I don't want a great big vehicle. I'm not helping, am I??? :lol:
  16. freedomlover

    freedomlover ReaderOfThreads

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    I still say it isn't prudent and how much do you 'haul' anyway?

    I have had a minivan (a Sienaa) and drive a sedan (camry) these days.

    I never utilized the minivan as I thought I would. I have three kids and two dogs and grandparents (who own their own minivan now!).
  17. KimberMama

    KimberMama Active Member

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    It's in the driveway. :cloud9:

    I started writing a long message full of justification, but changed my mind. I like it, I can afford it, and that's all that matters. I appreciate every comment given here, both for and against the purchase. Every opinion gave me more to think about and contributed to me feeling good about the decision.

    Lauren is right, they are practically giving them away. We got it for $3500 under invoice (dealer incentive was $2500, not $3500 as I had thought, so effectively $1000 under invoice) and got them to come down on adding Bluetooth from $1500 (way overpriced) to $300. It definitely beat buying something comparable used.

    Oh, and we kept the Corolla.

    Deanna, we'll have to drive somewhere together soon!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  18. Deanna

    Deanna With arms wide open...

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    No way!!! :lol: Maybe it's time for us to make a visit to the Honda dealer again... I need to measure each dog laying down first...
  19. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    Congrats! After I read your post about the 2 big dogs, I was kind of shocked that you would even consider using a Corolla for ALL your vehicle needs. I know you live in a different place than I do but I can't fathom our only car being quite that squishy.

    I've tried the one-car thing but two cars works better at our house. And they are usually a small, relatively fuel-efficient vehicle and a van or truck. :) Covers all our needs nicely, we can use the small car whenever possible or for commuting (dh uses it daily right now), use the van/truck for hauling all of us or hauling stuff (and I have gotten so many great deals on furniture from having the space to throw something in the back of the van!).

    I'm glad you feel good about the purchase! In the end, it matters that you made the decision open-eyed and aware of all your options and choices.
  20. justthemama

    justthemama Amity's Focus Member

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    Congrats!! What color is it?

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