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Is the *insert car, engine, tranny* any good?

superj

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My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
mazda will generally be timing chains and real transmissions.

hyundai will generally be timing belts and cvt.

not sure on the volvo but i bet timing belt and real transmissions.

i bought my wife our first mazda car in the beginning of august and i have been really impressed with it. its a 2018 so it was used. other than the direct injection fuel system, the car seems to be built to last a long time with proven technology (timing chain and gears in the transmission). it gets 31mpg at 80-85 mpg and is very fun to drive.

my son has a 2016 hyundai veloster (which oddly for hyundai, has a timing chain) and a six speed. we bought it used in january from hyundai. he started having overheat problems so we started googling and there is very little info online to help a person work on their hyundai. and from forum searching, it seems headgaskets are a hidden problem on the 1.6 in their cars as there are tons and tons of threads asking about overheating issues and even though checking compression seems good, it turns out the head gaskets get slight leaks and you find them once you pull the head.

volvos have historically been great dependable vehicles. i have never owned one so no first hand experience.
 


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Chapap

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1.5” till I get these springs replaced
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First find out what kind of car or truck he wants/needs, i.e. passenger numbers, 2wd or AWD, your in Florida, so does he need AWD?

Is he a commuter, so MPG is a must, is Hybrid an option, or full electric?

99% of People buy based visual attractiveness so you NEED that from him, what does he "like" the look of: car, SUV, truck

Then as a "car guy" you can look at the mechanics of what he "likes"
I’m not sure what he wants. I don’t think he even knows. I’m thinking he wanted an suv for the safety of a big heavy vehicle, but I dropped the bomb of nearly universal use of unibody chassis. He gets a discount at Ford, but I can’t get behind the ecoboost just yet, and I will probably never approve the explorer’s twin turbo option.

mazda will generally be timing chains and real transmissions.

hyundai will generally be timing belts and cvt.

not sure on the volvo but i bet timing belt and real transmissions.

i bought my wife our first mazda car in the beginning of august and i have been really impressed with it. its a 2018 so it was used. other than the direct injection fuel system, the car seems to be built to last a long time with proven technology (timing chain and gears in the transmission). it gets 31mpg at 80-85 mpg and is very fun to drive.

my son has a 2016 hyundai veloster (which oddly for hyundai, has a timing chain) and a six speed. we bought it used in january from hyundai. he started having overheat problems so we started googling and there is very little info online to help a person work on their hyundai. and from forum searching, it seems headgaskets are a hidden problem on the 1.6 in their cars as there are tons and tons of threads asking about overheating issues and even though checking compression seems good, it turns out the head gaskets get slight leaks and you find them once you pull the head.

volvos have historically been great dependable vehicles. i have never owned one so no first hand experience.
the Hyundai 1.6 overheating possible issue and Volvo is generally good are the kinds of things I’m looking for. Just want a feel for what the general thought is.
 

sgtsandman

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Location
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Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
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All three brands have a decent reliability reputation. I would pick Mazda personally.

Have your friend avoid anything with a CVT in it like the plague. I’ve yet to see one in a passenger car that hasn’t had issues.
 

superj

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ranger edge
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3.0 V6
Engine Size
V6 of power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
yup. just say no to cvt transmissions.
 

Chapap

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Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
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Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
1.5” till I get these springs replaced
Tire Size
225-70-R14
All three brands have a decent reliability reputation. I would pick Mazda personally.

Have your friend avoid anything with a CVT in it like the plague. I’ve yet to see one in a passenger car that hasn’t had issues.
yup. just say no to cvt transmissions.
I’ve wondered about those… but not enough to really find out. I think I read somewhere that they can’t be rebuilt- you have to just replace when the time comes. It would seem that since they’re so prolific that they must be fine. I do hate the ones that have fake gears programmed in… and some even have paddle shifters. That defeats the entire purpose.
 

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My in laws have a cx5. I think it has been reliable enough but imo if feels cheap and was not designed for a taller person.

Humble brag, my arms are too big around to rest on the door mounted armrests.

We had the offer to straight up trade for our high mile edge and declined.
 

superj

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corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
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Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
V6 of power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
they are better now but they still cannot be rebuilt or worked on like a normal transmission. once they get past a certain amount of miles, if the fluid changes are not done regularly, they kick over and are expensive to replace.
 

sgtsandman

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Location
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Vehicle Year
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Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift
Tire Size
31X10.5R15
I’ve wondered about those… but not enough to really find out. I think I read somewhere that they can’t be rebuilt- you have to just replace when the time comes. It would seem that since they’re so prolific that they must be fine. I do hate the ones that have fake gears programmed in… and some even have paddle shifters. That defeats the entire purpose.
The only personal experience I have with them is the Nissan CVTs. Even with proper fluid maintenance, they fail at about 60,000 miles or so. Nissan has an extended warranty an all of their CVTs as far as I can tell due to lawsuits they lost concerning them.

The only thing I can figure is they must be cheaper than a standard transmission and help bump the fleet mpg numbers up. I can’t figure out why they stick with them otherwise. On paper, they look fantastic. In the real world, they fall short.

People tell me that the ones in the ATV and side by side world, they are great and have been reliable to the most part.
 

superj

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Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
V6 of power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
tell him to get smaller pick up so he can use it for more than just driving around and still get good gas mileage. suv are ok but why look like you are driving a grandma car when you can look manly in a truck?


ha ha ha
 

superj

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corpus christi, texas
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ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
V6 of power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
nissan was the ones i was going to say are terrible but mini cooper had the same problems. i think toyota did early on also but who knows if any of those guys are still using them, except nissan. they are sticking to their guns on those piece of junk transmissions.

at least they took them out of hte pathfinders and went rwd again on that model
 

sgtsandman

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Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift
Tire Size
31X10.5R15
Nissan is owned by Renault. So Renault is calling the shots. Not exactly a manufacturer known for their reliability and quality. Kinda the same with Fiat and Chrysler. Not that Chrysler was all that great to begin with...
 

bilbo

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My wife had a Nissan Cube with their CVT. Aside from the driving experience being different, it was fine and did not give us any problems. She couldn't care less about the driving experience. She wanted something comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and decent fuel economy. She was happy with it, until it was hit on the rear corner and totaled. A coworker of mine had an Altima with the CVT that went out at 80k. He lamented that the shop had to replace and couldn't rebuild, but his bill was roughly the same as having a conventional automatic rebuilt and reinstalled.

CVT's are great for maximizing fuel economy. They drive different, sound different, and people hate them, but they really aren't that bad if viewed from a goal seek perspective.

The Caravan that replaced the Cube just blew up the tranny yesterday. Fun times. In my humble opinion, it doesn't matter what vehicle make, model you buy or what technology it uses there will always be weak points that will show themselves as patterns over time.
 

Roert42

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I find a cvt is great if you do a lot of highway driving, finds the perfect ratio to cruise at whatever speed. Driving in town that are practically unbearable.
I don’t think a regular automatic is any better for driving around town either so take that for what it’s worth.
 

1990RangerinSK

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I’m not sure what he wants. I don’t think he even knows. I’m thinking he wanted an suv for the safety of a big heavy vehicle, but I dropped the bomb of nearly universal use of unibody chassis. He gets a discount at Ford, but I can’t get behind the ecoboost just yet, and I will probably never approve the explorer’s twin turbo option.
He'd be looking, then, at Ford's Expedition, as a truck based, body on frame SUV. However, it appears the only engine available is an Ecoboost. If he's willing to go with a unibody Crossover, that opens up some options with naturally aspirated engines.
 

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He is not a car guy you say... I would recommend a car that is an appliance that runs and drives without issues, nothing that is repair prone. The Mazdas on the list are probably the best choices. A Toyota Rav 4 or Highlander or Honda CRV would be another good choice if he likes suvs.

Not being a car guy and having to chase a car with a toolbox is not going to go well for him

AJ
 

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