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I was originally thinking of buying an Ody this spring or summer. My wife and I currently have a 4-year-old with a baby due in July.

Our "family" car right now is a '94 Ford Taurus Wagon. No, this wasn't my first choice of vehicles. My Father inherited it from my Grandfather when he died. I got a decent deal on the car, interest free.

Anyway, the transmission died last month with 117K on the odometer. All '90 -'95 Tauruses do this, it's hereditary. I took it to a reputable transmision shop and "invested" $2,000 in a transmission. The car is worth about $4,000 max, so I wasn't happy on spending half that on a new tranny, but it was my only option. Believe it or not, the car now drives better that it did when I bought it a year ago.

Getting in and out of the back seat of this car is a pain in the arse, especially with a newborn in an infant carrier. A van would be a big help here. The economists are predicting that the economy will begin to recover this summer so, now is still a good time for financing.

The bottom line is, should I take advantage of the weak economy or go ahead and keep my "investment" and drive the wagon another year or two? The car runs and drives great but with 118K miles, I figure I'm on borrowed time.

Honest opinions please.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by "take advantage of the weak economy." The price of an Odyssey won't fluctuate with the economy. Although you may get better financing rates right now.

With one kid and another on the way, I think you would gain a lot from having a van. We bought our Odyssey shortly after our second son was born, and we love it. It is so much easier managing the kids with the larger space, two power sliding doors, cargo space, etc. We can even fit the baby stroller into the rear cargo space without folding it. Just lift it up and place in the back!

If you have kids, another nice feature on the Odyssey is the third seat will tip backward to make a great diaper changing platform. (I don't mean fold the seat away into the floor, leave the seat back in place and rotate the seat bottom only. The seat back will rotate with the seat bottom and the unit becomes a backwards-facing seat, perfect for changing a baby. Also a good seat for tailgate parties.)

It sounds like you are definitely on borrowed time with the old wagon. With two kids, do you really want the unreliability factor? You don't want to break down while managing two cranky kids in the wagon.

Plus, if you own a home having the large volume of cargo space in a van is an asset. There's always large items to carry from Home Depot, etc.

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2001 EX-NAVI, SS
1997 Accord EX-L, Forest Green
Previous Hondas:
1992 Accord EX, White
1982 Accord DX, Silver
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Steve Pert:
I'm not sure what you mean by "take advantage of the weak economy." The price of an Odyssey won't fluctuate with the economy. Although you may get better financing rates right now.
</font>
That's precisely what I meant (interest rates). Although there are some 0% deals out there, it's mostly on cars I don't want.



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New vehicles are great but so is saving money.

I've always kept cars until I seriously questioned their safety, usability, or reliability.

IMHO, need should be the primary criterion for buying a new vehicle rather than great loan interest rates. If interest rates go up 1%, you'd add about $14/month to a $30k/6yr loan. That's not enough difference to control a buying decision.

You have to factor in that you'd be paying higher insurance cost right away, which could more than offset any interest rate benefit related to the current low rates.

Once new car fever hits it is hard to control. I counter it by realizing that there is always a better model vehicle going to be released NEXT season. That reduces the burning need to buy the features of the vehicle THIS season.

I recall reading about an author who studied millionaires. He found that the majority of them were not prone to buying new vehicles all the time.

At one company I worked for, we found that the lower-paid workers who seemed to need to buy new vehicles more frequently - somehow it seemed to mean more to them.

When we get down to the root of the issue, I suggest that all major buying decisions are more emotional than logical.

Regards,

Maugham
 

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Save your money until the baby is out of the infant carrier. That is what we did. It is realitively easy to install the carrier even in the center position on a sedan. Once the baby is out of that into a permanent seat, you are forced to get in to strap him in. In our Accord, it was difficult. That was what made us move up to the van. It is so much easier now.

By that time, there may be an even better 2003 out and you could in theroy have saved more money (good luck saving once the baby comes!).
 

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Originally posted by Steve Pert:
I'm not sure what you mean by "take advantage of the weak economy." The price of an Odyssey won't fluctuate with the economy.

From what school of economics did you graduate? Like everything in this world, price is a function of supply and demand and the economy directly effects demand. Job losses and loss of bonus are the two biggest factors right now. I started getting quotes in October (about $2K over MSRP) and as of Jan 7, I have a quote of $500 below MSRP. I will pull the trigger when I get $1200 below MSRP.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by poolcat:
Originally posted by Steve Pert:
I'm not sure what you mean by "take advantage of the weak economy." The price of an Odyssey won't fluctuate with the economy.

From what school of economics did you graduate? Like everything in this world, price is a function of supply and demand and the economy directly effects demand. Job losses and loss of bonus are the two biggest factors right now. I started getting quotes in October (about $2K over MSRP) and as of Jan 7, I have a quote of $500 below MSRP. I will pull the trigger when I get $1200 below MSRP.
</font>
I have been actively searching for a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-L RES for the last 6 weeks and have called all of the Honda dealers in Northern Calif. The price range has been from MSRP + $1000 to MSRP + $2500. Even with the bad economy and recession issues, the Honda dealers here have not lowered their prices. They keep telling me that they have a waiting list of buyers that have already placed deposits and are waiting for new vans to arrive. I have not been able to find a dealer that is willing to reduce their price to MSRP only or under MSRP. Does anybody have any recommendations for a good dealer in Northern Calif that will sell it to me for the price that I am looking for?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sfhonda2002:
I have been actively searching for a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-L RES for the last 6 weeks and have called all of the Honda dealers in Northern Calif. The price range has been from MSRP + $1000 to MSRP + $2500. Even with the bad economy and recession issues, the Honda dealers here have not lowered their prices. They keep telling me that they have a waiting list of buyers that have already placed deposits and are waiting for new vans to arrive. I have not been able to find a dealer that is willing to reduce their price to MSRP only or under MSRP. Does anybody have any recommendations for a good dealer in Northern Calif that will sell it to me for the price that I am looking for? </font>
Check out:

http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum9/HTML/000107.html

I think the " prices in no.Ca" should help.

It's under dealer stories.

Robert
 
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