Price of New Vehicles

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Green Maned Lion

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I was talking to my local Mercedes van dealer; I have been thinking of switching from my ‘16 Metris passenger to a new four cylinder diesel Sprinter cargo 144’ high roof, so as to remove the rear passenger seat I never use and replace it with more of the kind of office set up I do use plus standing headroom and a couch to lounge on. More desk space, more comfortable seating, maybe even a cassette toilet for emergencies… and independant roof a/c without running the prime mover.

Anyway, when I bought my custom ordered mid-spec passenger ‘16 Metris I paid $38600 for it and a crewvan Sprinter 4-cylinder diesel 144” low-roof (built in second row of seats) a bit more sparsely equipped was about the same price- these are at a discount. The cargo model I specced out from the dealer ended up right around $70k, if I could get a custom order done- they wanted a $5k non-refundable deposit and told me I could figure on an 18 month delivery, and that’s before most of the interior outfitting, the generator, roof A/C, roof vent fan, or venting windows. Decided I’m going to wait for the eSprinter or whatever they call it, which might have the advantage of being able to power the A/C off the traction batteries (so ultimately a lower cost than with a generator). Good gravy.
 

Everydaymatters

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This seems to be sensationalizing. First, how do they calculate "median price?" Is it a case of counting every car model on sale and taking the median value, or is the "true" median somehow sales-weighted? It's possible that the auto manufacturers are marketing a disproportionate amount of high-end and "loaded" cars, but if one, looks, there are still a lot of new cars around for considerably less than $48,000. Also, monthly payments depend on mode than the interest rate, as the length of the load term has a very strong effect.

I myself just gulped and subjected myself to purchasing a new car. The car was a small SUV (Toyota Corolla Cross), mid trim, for $33K. This price included the evil dealer "market adjustment." I'm not happy, but our 21 year old Honda has a lot of rust on the undercarriage and the A/C is definitely flaky, so I'd rather replace the car now while I can still at least drive the old car to the junkyard. I was able to borrow $20K for 60 months (5 years) at a monthly payment of $360. Maybe people with really bad credit who are stuck with 25% APRs deal with monthly payments approaching $1,000.

This <$48,000 car is not some bare-bones base model, either. In my research, I saw compact cars with MRSPs of less than $20,000, some even less than $15,000. There are plenty of cars and SUVs being offered that are way less than $48,000. Of course, in today's market, they're not on the lot, and you're going to have to order them, pay a couple of thousand over the MRSP, and wait a while before they're delivered. We had to wait about almost 2 weeks for ours, and the salesman said it "was on the train." It arrived about a week later than his estimate. Maybe it was riding Amtrak or Amtrak is consulting with the class I freight railroads on the subject of on-time arrivals. :)
My Honda is only 18 years old with no rust. The A/C still works, but these Hondas are notorious for the A/C quitting at 100,000 miles. Mine is still under that. Congrats on the good deal you negotiated.
 

railiner

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Can't possibly sell such a car in the United States or Canada. Any new car sold has to have on-board diagnostics. California's Smog Check now pretty much only is a plug in to read the diagnostics rather than doing an actual tailpipe emissions check.

The whole EMP thing is overblown. A generator produces electricity because a moving magnetic coil generates current. An EMP does that with a magnetic wave moving instead. If you saw the movie GoldenEye, it was fairly accurate in that not only did the electronics fry, but even incandescent light bulbs blew up. But that would have to be pretty powerful. I remember another movie (Broken Arrow) that has someone turn off everything when a nuclear weapon created an EMP that took down a helicopter. That might not be a matter of overcurrent destroying electronics, but what we call "soft errors" where electronic 0s and 1s get flipped. But I think anything electrical could be damaged by EMP.
Well then, maybe I’ll search in Hemming’s, for an old Stanley Steamer…that should be totally EMP proof, right?😁

And since it was built prior to EPA regs, should be exempt from emissions test…🙂
 

Joe from PA

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I bought a new '19 Subaru Outback Premium on 8/25/18 for $29,000. The very same (except for the color) used '19 was for sale by my Subaru dealer for $26,500. a few months ago. It even had 6,000 more miles than mine. They did have 2 top-of-the-line new '22 ones in stock for $42,800. but none lower.
 
Joined
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That's what I was thinking. All new cars sold have to have OBD-II compatible systems. Part of it would be for emissions equipment, but it can also report things like failing engines or transmissions.
Even so, modern cars have way more electronics than the minimum needed for the emission control system. The more chips you need, the more trouble caused by a chip shortage.
 

railiner

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Even so, modern cars have way more electronics than the minimum needed for the emission control system. The more chips you need, the more trouble caused by a chip shortage.
Indeed…I’ve heard modern cars have more electronics than Apollo 11 did…🙂
 

BCL

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Even so, modern cars have way more electronics than the minimum needed for the emission control system. The more chips you need, the more trouble caused by a chip shortage.

The onboard diagnostics monitors far more than just emissions controls. I guess it might be possible to monitor emissions with a carburetor or mechanical fuel injection, but most of the sensors typically used would be part of an electronic fuel injection system. Heck - even new manual transmissions have lots of electronic control systems.

The shortage is really weird though. A lot of the shortages are with specific parts, and the manufacturers using these parts are at the mercy of their suppliers. And as noted, they can't really "second source" without a complete redesign of the electronics since they're not fungible parts. There are actually some interchangeable electronic parts like memories and some power electronics, but an automaker is going to use a lot of unique parts.
 
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Our Phones and Home Computers have more also!

Yeah, it's a little sobering to think that the phone I'm holding and typing this with might have more raw computing power than the entire Strategic Air Command, circa 1965.

And someone from the SAC, if they could come forward in time and see this, might be a little startled that all this raw computing power was manufactured in the People's Republic of China.
 
Joined
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My Honda is only 18 years old with no rust. The A/C still works, but these Hondas are notorious for the A/C quitting at 100,000 miles.

My experience too. Our Pilot is only 15 years old with 240k and had new AC about 6 years ago. Great car but now in gentle retirement as our beach buggy. Not sure if it’s significant but one of the last model year still made in Japan and before CVT that we don’t like on our Subaru.
 

BCL

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Yeah, it's a little sobering to think that the phone I'm holding and typing this with might have more raw computing power than the entire Strategic Air Command, circa 1965.

And someone from the SAC, if they could come forward in time and see this, might be a little startled that all this raw computing power was manufactured in the People's Republic of China.

Not precisely. Most of the guts are designed in the United States, Israel (Intel processors are designed in Israel or Oregon), silicon is made in the US, Taiwan, Japan, or Korea, the packaging is in China, Thailand, Malaysia, or Singapore, etc. They often build the boards and assemble the parts in China. So they go through a lot of places before being shipped.

This is of course a massive oversimplification because there's so many different places where it's done, including Chinese semiconductor fabs, although they're nowhere near the sophistication of TSMC or Samsung. They're also miffed that the US won't allow the sale of state of the art equipment to Chinese companies on national security grounds.

However, what we have now use has fairly primitive computing power. A lot of devices use "embedded" processors where the original design was 40 years ago. They can run simple firmware and do simple tasks. However, even that would be more raw computing power than 60s era computers.
 

Trollopian

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Feeling nostalgic for my last car, a 1994 Toyota that I bade farewell in 2015. 21 years. No rust, never broke down, never needed expensive repairs, a thrifty little gas-sipper. 61,000 miles. (Thus averaging fewer than 3,000 a year. I took transit to work.) Push-button locks and crank windows and a tape deck. As a city-dweller I concluded that a car-free life would make sense for me but I wasn't gonna sell my beloved car to just anyone. One Sunday I went to church and saw in the bulletin that the vicar was looking for a reliable used car for home and hospital visits. Was that a sign from God, or what?
 

railiner

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I was thinking of getting a "Class B" small motorhome, and trying to decide between the MB Sprinter, and the Ford Transit chassis. The Sprinter may be a more refined vehicle, but getting periodic service is a lot more expensive, and available in fewer places...
 
Joined
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My wife is a very practical girl and when it became time to get a new vehicle she purchased a Jeep Gladiator. We live at the top of the Sourland Mountains and when it snows the road clearing is often very slow. Being that Paula works the night shift at the hospital she has no trouble getting there in even three feet of snow. We took her vehicle to Ohio Amish country on this years vacation in May but after skipping rail travel for the last two years, we will be back on the rails in 2023.
 

Everydaymatters

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I am proud to say I have the oldest car in town. Well, to be honest, it is a small town with only 2,600 people. My problem is that I am afraid to take it on a road trip. Not because it isn't in perfect running condition. It is in excellent condition with about 93,000 miles. It's the fear of breaking down because at 19 years of age, it is an old car.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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I am proud to say I have the oldest car in town. Well, to be honest, it is a small town with only 2,600 people. My problem is that I am afraid to take it on a road trip. Not because it isn't in perfect running condition. It is in excellent condition with about 93,000 miles. It's the fear of breaking down because at 19 years of age, it is an old car.
If it's in good Mechanical condition Betty, go for it! 93,000 miles is barely broken in for some Vehicles if they've been well maintained and everything works well!

Just have your Mechanic do a complete Check of the Csr before a Road Trip and it's always good to belong to AAA in case something does happen and you need assistance on the road!

I've had vehicles with 200,000 miles on them( Toyota and Nissan) that still ran like a top and ,I Sold them for over Book Value!
 

Alice

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Betty, several things. 1. Older cars can be worked on by old style mechanics who do not have computers to tell them what is wrong. That makes it easier to get back running on weekends or in small towns without a dealer. Ranch mechanics can do anything. 2. You can pack things in your car so a breakdown is an inconvenience, not an emergency: food and lots of water, travel pillow, blanket or sleeping bag, polymer female urinal, etc. It depends, but generally it is safest to stay in your car with seatbelt on. 3. Be aware of where you are so (if you have cell service) you can tell the operator exactly where you are. Make a game of remembering mileposts and street names in unfamiliar territory. Do not depend on a gps (even satellite ones) to tell you where you are.

That's the practical stuff. An additional consideration is, your car will at some point break down no matter what you do. You take care of it in hopes of postponing the breakdown until after you replace it. But really, it is more convenient to break down on a trip when you have extra time to deal with it; much less stressful than when you have a trunk full of groceries needing to be kept cool, or you are on your way to an important appointment. The attitude adjustment is the bigger deal (and can also be used on loved ones who think you should stay home, "act your age" and behave).
 

BCL

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Betty, several things. 1. Older cars can be worked on by old style mechanics who do not have computers to tell them what is wrong. That makes it easier to get back running on weekends or in small towns without a dealer. Ranch mechanics can do anything.

With the exception of some items, even older style mechanics can figure out how to diagnose and repair many things. All it takes is an OBDII/CAN scanner. I've got one myself, which I often use to clear an annoying check engine light for a non-issue. But I spent $20 on mine, although I remember going to a home mechanic who whipped out his more sophisticated one from (was it Snap-On?) that probably cost a few hundred dollars.



It's pretty easy. Just plug in the connector into the port, although finding the location in different vehicles can be a challenge. The car will provide the power to the scanner.

Mine is pretty basic with a single line. All I get are trouble codes that have to be matched with an industry standard list. One common one is for a loose gas cap, although there are a host of different codes, including misfiring spark plug. A more sophisticated one will have several lines where it might spell out more than just a code with the problem spelled out. And even more sophisticated is an interface that can hook up to a computer and deal with the most sophisticated issues. However, even the most old-school mechanic out there likely has at least a simple handheld OBDII scanner these days.

Even in the past, parts failed and got replaced. The modern on-board diagnostics may even make it easier to figure out what part is bad and what to replace.
 

SarahZ

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Even though my car is in good condition and only has 118,000 miles on it, I really wanted to get an AWD vehicle this year. I keep putting it off, though. New and used cars are both so expensive right now, and I haven't seen very many interest rates under 6%. (My last vehicle loan was 1.9%.)

I've decided to wait three years. My oldest niece will be 16, so I'll give my car to her and then buy a new one. Hopefully, things calm down by then.
 
Joined
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Even though my car is in good condition and only has 118,000 miles on it, I really wanted to get an AWD vehicle this year. I keep putting it off, though. New and used cars are both so expensive right now, and I haven't seen very many interest rates under 6%. (My last vehicle loan was 1.9%.)

I've decided to wait three years. My oldest niece will be 16, so I'll give my car to her and then buy a new one. Hopefully, things calm down by then.
Prices and interest are crazy right now. I’m shocked at what Trucks are going for. They’re some great AWD vehicles out there though and who knows what’s coming up. I wish the stock market would get on the rebound, it’s flushed my new car thoughts down the tubes.
 
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