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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Made the mistake of going car shopping with my adopted daughter this past week. She scored a very clean 2019 Chevrolet Malibu with 20,174 miles on it! Good for her!

While she was doing her paperwork I casually looked around. They had 2 Buick Encore GX Crossovers. I made the mistake of driving one. One is gray, and the other is red. I like the looks of the gray one better, but the red one has the better package. The gray one is FWD has a 1.3 liter turbocharged engine with a constant variable transmission. Rated at 32 mpg. The red one is AWD, same engine but with a 9 speed automatic transmission. It also adds a premium electronics package, which basically means it has a HUD. It is rated at 29 mpg. Otherwise the vehicles are identical.

They will take my Kia Forte, which I am fond of. Pay it off (I owe just over 9K on it) no cash involved. I just drive off the lot with payments just over $100 more per month from which my Kia payments are (gray one) or $120 more per month for the red one. I didn’t sign, told them I would sleep on it. Basically because the terms are 84 months. The terms on the Kia were 72 months, I had a hart time with that. I still owe 58 months I think. I bought the KIA used with very low miles on it, so I got used interest rates, just over 6%, the interest rate on the Buick is 1.2%.

What do you motor heads think? The Buick is definitely more luxurious than the Kia, rides better and I do like it…a lot, but I like the KIA a lot too, and it’s fun to drive. Do I go back and sign on the dotted line….or not? And if I do sign, do I get the red one or the gray?
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I prefer grey.
I have a GMC Terrain with the 1.4 Turbo, 9 speed push button tranny, switchable FWD, or AWD or 4 WD, and it’s 33 mpg at 65, but drops to 25 mpg at freeway speeds, which out here means 75-85 mph. Base model without the cool stuff.


The interest rate is great, but that loan term is insane. We leased ours, $270 a month, no loan to be underwater on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I prefer grey.
I have a GMC Terrain with the 1.4 Turbo, 9 speed push button tranny, switchable FWD, or AWD or 4 WD, and it’s 33 mpg at 65, but drops to 25 mpg at freeway speeds, which out here means 75-85 mph. Base model without the cool stuff.


The interest rate is great, but that loan term is insane. We leased ours, $270 a month, no loan to be underwater on.
The term is why I walked last week. But I am thinking that I really like the car. Used to be 36 months was the norm. Then 60, and 72. But 84? 7 years!

Doing the math though shows that I am basically paying the asking price, plus the governmental extortion fees. Just stretching it out a bit….a long bit. And they are paying off my Forte.

it’s a nice car though, I have never considered paying so much for a vehicle. This car costs almost half as much as I paid for my house 20 years ago! It’s a lot nicer than my house though. Technology wise anyways. I’m pretty sure I am going to buy it, just out of character for me to buy something new. Both vehicles have less than 3 miles on them. I know as soon as I sign I won’t even be able to get out of it what I paid for it. I just hate taking the hit.
 

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run away from the CVT trans... they are not as durable as an automatic(well most automatics.. every car manufacturer has their problem trans...). Red isn't my color but go for the options package, it is worth more on the next trade than a bare bones model. Engine is a bit small... not going to have a lot of get up and get out of the way! 155hp is not much...

I drive a Ford Escape, 2.0L turbocharged direct injection engine, 245 hp... when I need to move it will go after a slight turbo lag. About the same size, escape weighs 200 pounds more.
 
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Yeah....I should have made it clear, I like the grey as a color, but NO WAY would I take the CVT tranny. I think they are good in Japan where speeds don’t exceed 50 mph, but in America, they don’t last.

One thing that is a bother for some. I assume they do the “turn off the motor at a stop sign” thing? That bothers me.
The other MAIN thing...you CANNOT jump out in front of traffic and get on it thinking you’ll just merge like usual, that turbo lag will let a truck run right up your hind end. It’s fine 30-60, or even 60-80, but there is ZERO torque and they do NOT get going 0-35 like every other car you ever drove.
 
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7 years. Under 3 miles on odometer. They have 100,000 mile limited drivetrain warranties, right? That might be a deciding factor. Also check with insurance agent, its possible to get lower insurance rates for newer and certain classes of vehicles.

Were I able to build/spec out/run GM...

Here's what I would spec, beancounters and EPA be damned...
Buick v6 family engine (3800, isn't there a current Buick v6 thats smaller nowadays,? Or the 3500 60 degree engine family (based on the 2.8 and 3.1 engine family)
5 to 6 speed manual, pretty sure there are now 7 speed manuals in some sports cars
4x4 option

Split Bench front seat with the comfort!

RWD/ladder chassis system would be ideal but these days very few companies do so anyhow for vehicles smaller than a half ton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The wifes turbo powered Optima has lag when starting, then picks up and goes. The Encore GX was smooth accelleration throught the range. As far as power, my Forte is not turbo charged but runs the same horsepower as the Buick. The Buick is much peppier. Neither is going to win any races, but plenty of power for everyday driving.

Warranty is 36K general and 70K drivetrain. Not too worried about the CVT if i decide to go that route. I have family who have them in Honda, Subaru, and Nissan vehicles. None have given trouble, but i have heard things about the early Nissan CVT equipped vehicles.

What is most important to me is the AWD. You can switch from FWD to AWD in the one. And i do have several places i go where you have to ford a creek or three. My '08 Sorrento 4WD or my Pickup are my normal vehicles i use there, but i would not be past taking a new car across. Dont really need 4WD, just need the ground clearance.

Dont know. I got an email from my bank yesterday offering a refinance on both of my KIA vehicles. I responded today just to see. Payments will drop considerably, almost $80 combined if i keep the same terms. Makes keeping what i have more attractive.

I think maybe i stop by the dealership tomorrow and see if they can sharpen their pencil a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did a search looking for Buick CVT issues. Got to be careful, you know. I found nothing. But I did find where the 9 speed automatic in the 2021 model had issues and the dealers were told to stop selling affected cars. Go figure…..
 
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3800 buick is long gone. The 3500 is a turd with bunches of problems. I passed on a 2011 Lucerne due to that crap motor. The "Car Wizard" on ytube lists the 3.5 as a real problem child.
 

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3800 buick is long gone. The 3500 is a turd with bunches of problems. I passed on a 2011 Lucerne due to that crap motor. The "Car Wizard" on ytube lists the 3.5 as a real problem child.
So... go back to 3400 3.4L v6 or the old 3800 Series 3 from what, 2009?

So this just basically confirms that GM doesn't currently offer anything I'd be interested in...

Coming from a guy who owned
1979 Olds Delta 88 with Pontiac 301 v8
1983 Olds Ciera coupe with Pontiac 2.5 boat anchor
1986 Chevy Celebrity 2.8L carb v6
1991 Pontiac Grand Prix with 3.1 V6
1992 Buick Century with 3.3 V6
1992 Buick Skylark with 2.3L SOHC
1994 Olds Ciera with 3100 3.1 V6

Then a 1998 Chrysler T/C AWD lemon,
A 2001 Kia Sportage 5 speed
A 2005 Ford Freestyle with shitty cvt


Yeah, I've owned a bunch of GM vehicles... what I'd love to get when I can...
A vehicle with a 3.8L v6, either the LG3 of the 1980s that can be turbocharged with the same stuff as the Buick Grand National, or the much newer 3800 Series 3 supercharged L67...

5 or 6 speed manual
Actually, combine these two options on a Mahindra Roxor chassis or a Jeep CJ5 chassis would be kickass....
 

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3.8 was done in 2007, or 2008. Shop around for a Lesabre with a 3.8. They have electrical gremlins like the gas gauges. There is lots of cream puff little old lady cars out there with low miles. Weak spot is the cooling elbow made of plastic on them. $9 aluminum replacement piece. 198K on my '97, 220K on my '05 so far. Neither has a working gas gauge. The digital readout works on the '05. I reset the trip odometer on the '97.
 

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3.8 was done in 2007, or 2008. Shop around for a Lesabre with a 3.8. They have electrical gremlins like the gas gauges. There is lots of cream puff little old lady cars out there with low miles. Weak spot is the cooling elbow made of plastic on them. $9 aluminum replacement piece. 198K on my '97, 220K on my '05 so far. Neither has a working gas gauge. The digital readout works on the '05. I reset the trip odometer on the '97.
That was how I was able to afford most of the cars on my list above ;) although... I do have a soft spot for the fun Kia Sportages. If I am to get another Kia, it would be a 2005-2009 Sorento, as that has a full frame chassis and 4x4 option, as well as 5 speed manual option.... the 2005+ and 2011+ Sportage and Sorento went to unibody FWD/AWD Crossover type of construction and less off road capability IMO.
Ideally but one that will never happen is importing a 20+ year old Kia Retona/KM420/K131 "jeep" type 2 door SUV... used same chassis and drivetrain as the 95-2002 Kia Sportage but body is military jeep type. Otherwise, it'll probably be something closer to a 1980s Chevy S10 Blazer, or a Jeep CJ series. I do like the looks of this kit for the Jeep JKU series.. it basically turns the 4 door Wrangler into a 2 door truck inspired by the Scrambler
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Scrambler below
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I don't do real offroad anymore, sure a couple fishing spots are down rough farm field roads and one I have to ford the creek to get back to it. But no more rock crawling like I used to do(Minnesota River valley has some excellent rock crawling spots if you know the landowner!) so my SUV/Crossover Ford Escape works fine. Has basically the same ground clearance my F-150 had, same horsepower too... in a lot more comfort than the truck.
 
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