New Vehicle Time - Need Some Ideas

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UNDJ

Member
Well, my old Windstar is on its last legs. I have some money put away to buy a much nicer and newer vehicle so the time has come. Since I haven't bought a vehicle in almost a decade and am pretty unfamiliar with all the new ones out there (crossovers and such), I figured I could ask my DJ brothers and sisters for some advice.

Here's what I can tell you...

1. I would really like an SUV or something like a Yukon. I've driven some type of minivan or full size van for about 15 years, and am ready for a change. That being said, the ONLY minivan I would even consider is a Chrysler Town & Country. I've driven one before (rental vehicle) and did like all the storage space.

2. I buy American but have no real loyalty towards Ford/GM/Chrysler/etc. I'm open-minded in that respect.

3. I have 2 small kids (5 & 3). I would like something that can hold my kids and my gear at the same time. My Windstar did.

4. I have a Lynch photo booth. It would be nice to fit the booth and my gear in at the same time but this isn't a big deal. I usually just have my photo booth attendant come pick up the booth from my house and drop it back off.

5. 4-wheel drive would be great, but again, this isn't a deal-breaker. The past few winters have sucked in my area.

6. As for gas mileage, of course everyone wants great gas mileage but with an SUV, it just isn't happening. I don't too much driving besides to and from gigs, as I live super close to my office, bank, post office, etc. so I'm very lucky in that respect. I might fill my tank up once every two weeks.

7. I don't want to buy brand new, but something less than 5 years old would be great. I want this thing to last a long time.

So, there you go. Any recommendations, advice, stories, insults, etc. are welcome. Thanks!
 

Mark Evans

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
My 2002 escape died in November so I just got a 2014 Escape and love it. Not sure if it has as much room as the old escape but I like how the seats fold down flat without having to take the head rests off, the auto lift hatch, awesome feature, rear assist for backing into the garage after a show. Some really nice feature and good gas mileage. Sure beats better than or. :).
 
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DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
I just traded in my 2008 Honda Ridgeline towards my wife's new Honda Odyssey.
I don't like how low to the ground it is, but you can't beat the versatility, overall cargo space and the price was jaw droppingly low for everything we got.
Right now I'm driving her 2010 Rav-4 but have my eye on a new Pilot in the next year. Both are made in North America so you can sleep well buying American.
If you compare price/features side-by-side, you'll see how much more Honda gives and their quality/trouble free longevity is legendary. -Z-
 

DJ J Mac

Member
Look at Ford's Transit Connect line. It might be exactly what you're looking for, we would have bought one, but it is 2 inches too tall to fit in our garage.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
I second the Honda Odyssey. I've a 2008, 80,000 and not a speck of trouble.

RIP 1996 Aerostar, cruelly taken from me vs 8 point buck in 2008.
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
I've always advocated a van over a p/u truck... lower load-in deck height, softer floor on your knees, and usually room for equipment and family... plus all the standard ammenities that make being on the road so much, so much better!

Many new family haulers are available with all-wheel drive for great winter performance!
 

djPyrat

New Member
Check out nissans NV200, while it does break the American rule, nissan builds lots of vehicles in the us (like my frontier) and they are planning on building it in the us soon. Its better than the Ford transit and around $19k, its a fantastic value. Also gets 24mpg. I test drove one and just love it! Hoping next year I can get one.
 

adjtogo

Well-Known Member
I just bought a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan with the and and 3rd row "Stow and Go" fold down seats, rear air, and dark tinted windows. I traded in my 2011 Honda Element. I got a $4K rebate on the Caravan, plus I had $1500 equity in the Element. I got a great deal and my payments are less than $350 per month. The Grand Caravan is longer and a tad wider than a regular Caravan. I'm getting over 21 MPG in the city and nearly 26 MPG on the highway. It is very smooth and quiet. That would be a good dual purpose vehicle for your Dj service and your kids.
 

Jim Weisz

ProDJ Sponsor
Staff member
Another vote here for Dodge Grand Caravan. It's not the Chrysler T&C, but much cheaper & it's very similar since it's made by the same company. I got a 2014 a few weeks ago and my payments are $300 with no money down. I bought it as my first business only vehicle I've ever owned. I bought it last year to take advantage of the special section 179 bonus depreciation incentive and I'm glad I did.
 

oldschooldj

Member
Honda Odyssey, I have a 2003 with 206,000 miles (would drive it cross country with the family tomorrow if needed). Dealer maintained every 5K miles. It has never leaked a drop of anything, starts on the first turn of the key (no matter how hot or cold it is out) and gets the same fuel economy as when new. It has never smoked or hesitated. It is on its fifth set of tires, second set of brakes and plugs. It will get its second timing belt service in 4k miles.

Its only non-scheduled maintenance it has received is, engine mount 102K miles, trans mount 180K miles. Both electirc door contact rebuilt at 140K miles. It is on its second battery.

I can get my small (cheap client DJ package) in it with seating for four left over. Package consist of the following and takes 3 minutes to load and 5 minutes to unload:

1 each Rock and Roller cart (folded down)
2 each Yamaha DXR15 speakers
2 each Ultimate Air assist stands in onstage bag
2 each Numark Mix Deck Express, in Odyssey cases (pre wired with snakes) primary and back up
2 each Toshiba 19" laptops primary and back up
1 each Bag of cords, cables, wires, power strip and Odyssey Laptop stand with shelf and clamps
1 each bag with Shure Wireless mic (58 series with camera type receiver, belt pack size), also have AC circuit tester, db meter, gaffers tape and a few tools in this bag
1 each Odyssey X stand with scrim and home made scrim to cover from lap top stand down to x stand scrim
1 each lighting t-bar, pre wired with power strip and cables, in onstage bag
1 each ADJ REVO 3 in arriba bag
1 each ADJ Spherion in arriba bag
1 each ADJ micro laser, blue and red
1 each ADJ micro laser red and green both lasers in arriba bag that fits in the REVO 3 bag

Sorry for the long list, but all this fits in the van, with room for more, only thing is you must collapse the cart
 

Gregoree

Member
Sleep well buying Japanese?

Your comment stating that you can sleep well knowing you are buying American from Honda and Toyota is very misguided. These are Japanese companies that cover their expenses here and send the huge profits to Japan to support their militaries among other things.
I am on my second Ford E-150 cargo van in 18 years. Both high miles and no break downs, made in Ohio, profits not going to Japan. It's good to be an American!
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Based on the number of Honda's and Toyota's in operation, it is a good thing that we are not at WAR with Japan's military;)

Funny, the guy that sold me my Honda was a 30 yr military Vet, spoke English, and got the commission in USD....not yen. Every foreign car I owned was built better, got better gas mileage, lasted longer and needed far less repairs than American made cars. I owned 2 Ford Aerostars, and both ended up with major engine repairs with less than 100,000 miles on them. On one I could never get teh engine light to go off, even aftertakingit to the dealer. The front brakes always needed to be replaced about every 50,000. I've owned a Honda Odyssey with 80,000, it gets 23 mpg, and all I've done is change oil and keep it filled. I've yet to have the brakes need to be replaced too.

And, I know where I was born at. Last time I looked, Mobile ALABAMA was in the USA.
 
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oldschooldj

Member
Really funny thing. If I look at the breakdown of parts and labor for my two American vehicles (2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins and 2010 Dodge Challenger) as opposed to my three foreign cars (2003 Honda Odyssey, 2013 Honda Fit and 2012 VW Turbo Beetle). The three foreign cars have more parts and assembly completed in America.

You might want to look at all the Mexican and Canadian made stuff that is in your Fords, Chevy and Chrysler products. I am not knocking American made stuff, I did 27 years and 8 combat tours fighting for America and love her and her people. The fall in the American car industry came from UAW and the government.
 

djPyrat

New Member
Gregoree,
There are a few points I'd like to make:

First off, I posted on UNDJ's thread and am posting on this site as a conscious effort to be a part of improving the DJ community/profession/public image as a whole, myself included. So your private message "Please explain how the Nissan is better than the Transit. I work in experimental vehicle development and am always anxious to find new information. Thank you, Greg" comes off a little confrontational and does not make me feel welcome, especially without a greeting since I do not know you and you could ask this in the thread.

Second, I find it curious you have time to run a full time DJ company and be a full time "experimental engineer" ( a term not usually given to design engineers in the auto industry). I too used to be an engineer till I wanted to DJ full time and found it difficult enough to do 2-4 events a week for other companies and find time to put in 50 hours a week at the day job. If you were an experimental engineer, for Ford I assume, I imagine you would not need to privately ask a random DJ on a forum for his opinions comparing a 11 year old Ford product with a 5 year old Nissan product. Of which, the Ford has a new version in Europe that will be here next year so no experimental engineers would be currently working on a new ford compact van. So this "New information" you are demanding of me about the Nissan NV200 has long since been researched by Ford. (it should be noted the E series has been discontinued for Ford Europe's Transit full size.) Also, you being in the automotive industry, should know there are not "huge" profits to be had from a $20k vehicle being sent to another country.

Third, I think you have Japan confused with other Asian countries such as North Korea and China. It's my understanding Japan only maintains a defense force that is a part of their police division. It's citizens, post WWII, have demanded of their government that they will not maintain an army and do not believe in war as a modern way to settle international disputes but will accept ways for them to defend themselves. And I doubt, aside from any taxes Nissan pays off their profits and wages, Nissan would directly give it's profits to a military entity of any kind. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Japan and it's companies as a whole, I'll be happy to discuss Japan's atrocious acts of hunting Whales and dolphins that are so important to the worlds ecosystem anytime.​


Fourth, To build on Oldschooldj's comments, (thank you for your service by the way and I'm so jealous of your challenger!) most of fords products are not fully built in the US anyway, some not at all. especially the vehicle in question, it's fully built in factories in Turkey and Romania. Turkey having one of the worlds largest armies outside of the superpowers. It's also interesting to note, Ford also puts benches in all of their commercial vans at the factory then take them out in the US to pay less US import tax on their products.

Finally, if you have such an aversion to Japanese or Asian products, I challenge you to throw away any DJ product or vehicle you own that is made in or has any parts from any of these counties that would keep you awake at night. I doubt you'll have much left. To me, in this confusing time of where money really goes, who owns what, knock off products, and if it's really right to have these countries build so many things for us in inhumain conditions, just so they'd be a quarter of the cost; I'd rather support an american blue collar worker, which is why I'm also so proud of my vehicle, a Nissan Frontier Pickup built in Canton, Mississippi.

So enjoy your E150 (many with its parts from China) and maybe talk to your bosses at Ford about how you can't sleep at night with them building cars around the world including the Asian counties that you're talking about and get that fixed for all of us. And if you are really interested in the, new to America but top selling for the rest of the world, Nissan NV200, head to your nearest Nissan dealer and take one for a test drive, I think you'll really enjoy it! For those who care about the environment, the NV200 has brought it's all electric version for the London taxi fleet this year! Hopefully we'll get it here sooner than later!

-John (who believes you should buy as local and american as you can, and know about the world as best you have time for)

P.S. -UNDJ, best of luck on your vehicle search and I hope you not only find the vehicle that fills all your needs but improves your life and business! Let us know what you get!
 

Steve Lynch

Well-Known Member
Get yourself a sprinter. Yes, they're closer to 50K, but you'll be able to sell it for 40 in 9 years with 150K on it. It's a business investment, and you can write off up to 30% this year.

I bought my 2012 Chevy van for $36, and traded it in with 56K miles on it in Feb 2013.. Trade in Value? 18K.

I won't buy another american truck ever again after owning a Mercedes.

Also, You could park any one of the aforementioned vehicles in the back of mine. lol
 

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UNDJ

Member
Thanks so much for all the recommendations everybody. As always, I appreciate your advice. Looks like I have some more research to do!
 

adjtogo

Well-Known Member
Get yourself a sprinter. Yes, they're closer to 50K, but you'll be able to sell it for 40 in 9 years with 150K on it. It's a business investment, and you can write off up to 30% this year.

I bought my 2012 Chevy van for $36, and traded it in with 56K miles on it in Feb 2013.. Trade in Value? 18K.

I won't buy another american truck ever again after owning a Mercedes.

Also, You could park any one of the aforementioned vehicles in the back of mine. lol
The OP is looking for a dual purpose vehicle to transport his young children as well as using it to transport his gear. I don't think the Sprinter is a passenger vehicle.
 

Steve Lynch

Well-Known Member
The OP is looking for a dual purpose vehicle to transport his young children as well as using it to transport his gear. I don't think the Sprinter is a passenger vehicle.
Ahhh, but it is!! I bought a 4 seat bench seat with 4shoulder belts from a handicap ramp company. They always have them for sale cheap because they remove them from the vans to set them up for accessibility. It cost me $125 to have it installed in my truck. Now I have a remove able 4 seat bench for the kids.. They ride 10 hours in the truck all nice and comfy watching the movies I project on the front wall over the top of the driver's head.

Even with the seat in, I can still carry 12 foot trussing, my golf cart, a canoe, or a Prius.

Lol
 
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