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Old 02-08-2014, 03:52 PM
 
2,409 posts, read 2,952,879 times
Reputation: 1829

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Hi all,

I have less than 2 months of on-and-off driving experience, and obviously don't know much, if anything, about buying a car. But I'm going to buy a car, and the following are my concerns.

It snows quite a bit in Denver, usually 50-60 inches per year, though the snow usually doesn't stick around for too long, thanks to the very dry climate.

I don't do any snow sports yet, but I'm going to pick up one or two. Why not? The mountains are Denver's greatest gift. With that said, I don't see myself driving up the mountains too much; the majority of the driving will be around town and the suburbs.

When it snows, I understand that AWD is favored over 2-WD thanks to the extra traction, most the driving I'll be doing will not be on snow. Lots of people drive Subaru's in Denver, though I have seen many smaller cars around as well.

I have driven several different types of cars through car rental. From my observation, SUV's like the Ford Explorer are hard to control because they are heavy. One time I was close to bumping into another car because I couldn't stop this heavyweight animal on the snow. Small cars like compact and economy-sized are easy to maneuver but hard to change directions in snow weather because they tend to skid, I guess because they are light.

I plan to buy a used car since this is going to be my first car and I don't want to spend a boatload of money on my first given how likely my knowledge and opinions of cars will change in the near future.

My budget is 15k.

What type of car do you think I should get? Any particular makes/models? Any other aspects I should consider? Any questions for me?

Your input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:57 PM
 
Location: MN
4,416 posts, read 4,323,489 times
Reputation: 3743
Look for a used Subaru, I don't follow what models they have, can't help you there. I also noticed tons of them when I visited the state, so there's gotta be tons of dealers and shops to fix them in the future.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:03 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
38,021 posts, read 49,566,580 times
Reputation: 50143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmFest View Post
Hi all,

.................................................. ..........

When it snows, I understand that AWD is favored over 2-WD thanks to the extra traction, most the driving I'll be doing will not be on snow. Lots of people drive Subaru's in Denver, though I have seen many smaller cars around as well.

I have driven several different types of cars through car rental. From my observation, SUV's like the Ford Explorer are hard to control because they are heavy. One time I was close to bumping into another car because I couldn't stop this heavyweight animal on the snow. Small cars like compact and economy-sized are easy to maneuver but hard to change directions in snow weather because they tend to skid, I guess because they are light. .................


Yes, Subarus are a good snow car up to a point (snow depth).

As to the second paragraph. You're a new driver and if you're having those issues when driving in the snow (couldn't stop, skidding) then you're driving too fast for conditions (and your limited skill).
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:06 PM
 
14,880 posts, read 21,045,723 times
Reputation: 17597
1. You MUST learn how to drive winter time. It does not matter, how good your car is, if you go from 4WD into 4W slide.
2. Subaru Outback is the best Subaru. Keep in mind, Subbies have engine issues and are very poor on mpg. Miles per gallon.
3. Unless you'll be hauling lots of stuff, or a trailer, midsize crossover is your choice. AFTER you learned how to drive, AWD is likely best option for you, not permanent 4WD like Subbies, as you'll have better mpg. Unless you don't care. Those are Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, maybe Toyota RAV 4, though I am not a big fan of the last one.
4. Here a car for you that will haul, drive, is large enough and reliable enough: Honda Ridgeline. Not good on gas.
5. I can not recommend ANY domestics. None are known for reliability. Unless you do not care.
6. Best AWD/4WD is Range Rover, but that is likely to be out of your budget and repairs are horrendously expensive.
7. You may consider Toyota Tacoma king cab pickup.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,779,064 times
Reputation: 1251
Any car--equipped with snow tires--will get you to the mountains and back. I've taken my Accord w/snow tires and ski rack all over Colorado to go skiing. You can be cliche and get a Subaru or Audi like everyone else, but you don't need it.

If you plan on doing backcountry camping in the summer, then you should get an SUV or pickup. But if not, any car will do.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: NY
9,131 posts, read 17,385,164 times
Reputation: 11673
Your over-thinking the snow and under-thinking everything else. Specific comfort preferences, style preferences, need and ability to haul specific numbers of passengers or sizes of cargo....

Just about every vehicle these days will handle Denver winters just fine. (I am sure out there you can see cars ranging the gamut). However, many more factors will determine what works well for you.

Yes, AWD can get you going a little easier when conditions are very bad, but even if we limit to AWD vehicles, we need to know what else this vehicle must do before a specific one can really be recommended.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
3,924 posts, read 3,018,132 times
Reputation: 3664
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_reino View Post
Any car--equipped with snow tires--will get you to the mountains and back.
^^This ^^

I bought some cheap used Bridgestone Blizzaks on craigslist that I put on my tiny 1.3 liter 98 horsepower 2,700 pound Honda Insight each winter. That car has NO problem with whatever winter can bring in Wisconsin. I've drove by pickup trucks and SUVS in the ditch while the Insight is hugging the road & able to brake quickly even on snow or ice. As far as mountains go, I drove the Insight through the Cascades without snow tires. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't terrific. Snow tires for the limited duration higher altitudes would have made a huge difference.

Buy a car. Preferable a compact car.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:52 PM
 
15,981 posts, read 12,420,472 times
Reputation: 13450
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmFest View Post
Hi all,

I have less than 2 months of on-and-off driving experience, and obviously don't know much, if anything, about buying a car. But I'm going to buy a car, and the following are my concerns.

It snows quite a bit in Denver, usually 50-60 inches per year, though the snow usually doesn't stick around for too long, thanks to the very dry climate.

I don't do any snow sports yet, but I'm going to pick up one or two. Why not? The mountains are Denver's greatest gift. With that said, I don't see myself driving up the mountains too much; the majority of the driving will be around town and the suburbs.

When it snows, I understand that AWD is favored over 2-WD thanks to the extra traction, most the driving I'll be doing will not be on snow. Lots of people drive Subaru's in Denver, though I have seen many smaller cars around as well.

I have driven several different types of cars through car rental. From my observation, SUV's like the Ford Explorer are hard to control because they are heavy. One time I was close to bumping into another car because I couldn't stop this heavyweight animal on the snow. Small cars like compact and economy-sized are easy to maneuver but hard to change directions in snow weather because they tend to skid, I guess because they are light.

I plan to buy a used car since this is going to be my first car and I don't want to spend a boatload of money on my first given how likely my knowledge and opinions of cars will change in the near future.

My budget is 15k.

What type of car do you think I should get? Any particular makes/models? Any other aspects I should consider? Any questions for me?

Your input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Do you realize how expensive insurance for a new driver on a $15k vehicle is???
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Colts Neck, NJ
4 posts, read 3,070 times
Reputation: 10
Not sure what Trans you can drive, but I did find a little list around the country for you;

Cars & Trucks in Four Wheel Drive:Yes, Type of Vehicle Title:Clear, Vehicle Mileage:Less than 100,000 miles | eBay

Enjoy

Last edited by RoguesGambit; 02-12-2014 at 07:31 PM.. Reason: Minor Edit
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:50 PM
 
13,447 posts, read 11,393,924 times
Reputation: 18705
Consider four door hatch cars, both all wheel drive and front wheel drive. Mazda 3, Toyota Matrix, Honda Fit, Kia Spectra or Forte 5 door, Kia Soul, and Subaru Impreza. If you'd be OK with domestics, not much to choose from in your price range that is worth buying. Chevy has the discontinued HHR (a Chevy Cobalt with a wagon body), Dodge has the ugly Caliber, Chrysler has the better looking PT Cruiser (poor trunk space with rear seats up), and Ford has the Focus or Fiesta (both the best of the domestics).
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