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Hello all,

My father passed away this past Thanksgiving. Dad was a great mechanic, and master making cars run for practically nothing. He left my mom with a fleet of old cars, all of which run fine, but without Dad to maintain them will be impractical to keep them around. Unfortunately I live 12 hours away, and I can't be there to maintain the cars for mom either. Dad bought mom a 2014 Mustang 1.5 years ago so mom would have something in the event something happened to him. Mom refuses to drive the Mustang though out of fear something will happen to it. Its a garage queen. Mom won't drive it unless she has no other choice, but she won't sell it either because Dad bought it for her. As a result it will sit in her garage un-driven with barely 2,000 miles on the clock. Mom is currently daily driving a 99 Dodge Durango w 165 K on the clock. Mom has no need for this vehicle, but she likes sitting up high. This vehicle is going to get expensive for her to maintain the moment something goes wrong with it. Mom needs a daily driver car to commute around town with, but she wants to sit up higher than a car. This is where the CRV comes in. We went to test drive small SUVs and mom drove a 13 CRV, 13 Rav4, 12 Ford Edge, and 13 Nissan Rogue. Mom liked the CRV and Rogue best, so I'm trying to find her a good deal on one.

Mom has life insurance money to purchase a vehicle with, but it is also important to not spend more than necessary so that the life insurance will last as long as possible. The ones that mom test drove were 2013s with around 30-40K with prices around 18-19K. If this is what she needs, then I guess its what she needs, but I would like to think that she could still buy a very reliable 2009-2011 with 70K-100K for around 10-11K and save a few thousand dollars that way. My questions are as follows:

Are there any model years I should stay away from?
Any significant advantages in mechanical reliability by buying before or after a certain year?
Any very expensive service intervals I should watch out for? AKA if I buy a car with 70 K and it has a very costly 75K service?
Timing belts VS Chains for which models?
Any transmission issues? The Rogue has a CVT, the CRV (at least used ones) I believe have a traditional 5 SPD auto. I have a friend who owns a Rogue and she is happy but says the CVT whines when it is cold. Nissan dealer claims its normal as the transmission warms up. Doesn't give me warm and fuzzy feeling.
Mom is going to have to take whatever vehicle she owns into a shop for service for the first time in her life (unless I can somehow happen to be there and do the servicing for her). What are examples of maintenance costs you have seen as owners?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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You aren't going to find a used CRV with 70k miles for under $12k. I would stay away from the Rogue.

What about a new HRV? Also look at a Hyundai Santa Fe.
 

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I have a '13 V and it's a great vehicle. Great on gas, very reliable, and a comfortable ride. I'd suggest going for the V for sure. They also hold their resale value the best.
 

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First, sorry for your loss. It's never easy loosing your dad.

The best advice I can offer is this. Your mom needs to either use the Mustang by driving it or using it to get herself into a newer CR-V. I know this isn't what you want to hear at this time but, it sounds like finances are tight and the newer the car she gets now, the longer it will last her.

You don't say what part of the country you're in so it's hard to offer any market advice from here on the west coast. If it were me and my mom, I'd be advising her to look at a Certified Used 2013 CR-V that has just come off a lease. These typically won't have high mileage on them and are backed by a pretty good warranty. They also are usually well maintained too.

I wouldn't get a model year with a CVT in it, even if it were a good deal. I don't trust the technology that much, at least not yet. YMMV.

Hope this helps.
 

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My ’09 CRV has ben uber reliable other than finally needing brakes, tires & Battery!

Timing belt was phased out in 2002 with the K24 engine, old news.

Like mentioned above, my next Honda will probably be a HR-V, as they sit up as high up as my CRV. Not too big, not too small.

P.S. Stay away from NISSAN!
 

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I purchased a 2013 CRV EX-L to replace my aging 2005 CRV LX. Huge upgrade. My co-worker advised me to not buy new, like I'd want to spend that kind of money this late in my life, and to try to find a good deal on a 2 year old vehicle, CRV of course. I was lucky, picked this one up with 14500 miles. Previous owner was an older gentleman so there are good deals to be found. Very happy with the '13. I lost my dad in October, sorry for your loss.
 

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So sorry for the loss of your Dad !! Mine died 40 years ago and it seems like yesterday ! The best advice I ever got post-death was don't make any major decisions for at least a year when emotion has ebbed. Thus, the Mustang should sit for a while longer.
My 2013 is an OK car - there's a recent thread here where the poster traded his NEW HR-V in on a 2014 CR-V because the HR-V didn't have any power. Take your time, the more you look and drive, the smarter you get. Good luck. Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My post count isn't high enough for the forum to let me submit links, but there is a 2010 CRV with 70 K for $11,900 on cars.com. Just an example.
 

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Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. My two cents is to buy a new CRV. Your mother could trade in the Mustang and have a new car with the latest safety features and technology. A new CRV is safer and comes with a new car warranty. My theory is to buy a new car and maintain it religiously. I have owned Honda automobiles since 1980 and every one has given me trouble free longevity.
 

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So sorry to hear about your father. I lost mine 43 years ago and I still miss him.

Anyway, if your mother can find a local mechanic who is known for doing good work, that will be helpful but I have also done well with a Honda dealership.

My mechanic retired and I now take my CRV to a local family owned Honda dealership near my house. I like them because they are small and take a great interest in looking over my CRV when I get the oil changed. I trust them from past experience.

Just to give you an idea: I bought my CRV EX-L from a neighbor over two years ago and she had 63,000 on her and I paid $14,800.00 She (my CRV) was in pristine condition inside and out and was bought brand new by my neighbor. All of the paper work was included of all the oil changes and tires bought. And she has been just wonderful to drive. Best car I have ever owned. Your mother will do well with the better visibility sitting up higher in a suv. The only thing I have done is get new brakes for her and new tires. I also took her to my mechanic to look her over before I bought her. I paid him $100.00 but it was well worth it. When he gave me the thumbs up I was delighted.

Hondas are known for their reliability and longevity. I am hoping to get at least 400,000 miles. I got those miles and over from my last car.

Good luck with your search!
 
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