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Car Shopping - Honda and Nissan


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Car shopping is the worst unless you have all the money in the world and can get exactly what you want and not care how much it costs. But let's be real here, I am not in that position, so we spent weeks and weeks car shopping.

Anytime we could get someone to watch the girls, we went car shopping. We even went on Fridays right after work and picked the girls up at daycare at 5 pm instead of 2 pm because we needed more time. Instead of date nights or days, we went car shopping. It became a chore, but we wanted to see all of our options. We went back to some dealerships two or three times before making our final decision.

I am going to go through the pros and cons of each car that we test drove, so I can give you a better idea of what is out there and how it fit into my family. Now just because we didn't like something, doesn't mean you won't like it. I just want to share my thoughts to help you out so when you car shop maybe you don't have to go to as many places as we did.

I am not going in the order of when we test drove these because we started off with smaller SUVs and realized we needed something bigger for long term. Also, note that I wanted a car that was all wheel drive. Lots of these come in both front wheel or all wheel drive.

Let's start out with Honda.

We test drove the CR-V and the Pilot, but at different times and at different dealerships.

Honda CR-V Touring/Grand Touring
Honda CR-V Touring
Honda CR-V Touring

PROS: This smaller SUV has newly been redesigned for 2017 and it had all the bells and whistles. Lane departure notification via vibration and moving you back into the lane. Adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, rain sensing windshield wipers, hands free tailgate lift, bigger tires, upgraded sound system, the latest and best safety features, priced right at $33,000 for what we were looking for, heated seats, the styling and Honda sensing system. The MPG ranged from 26 to 32.

CONS: I didn't like the placement of the shifter. It felt weird being so high. It was almost the same size as my Subaru, so it didn't make sense to purchase it when we were looking for more room for the future. Not much room to negotiate on price since the supply is low on Honda's, but the demand is higher.

Honda Pilot Touring
Honda Pilot Touring
Honda Pilot Touring

PROS: Big SUV, lots of room between the second and third rows (big enough for an adult), seats in the third row fold down completely, back bench area (you can flip a piece in the back right by the tailgate for a harder surface, ideal for tailgating), DVD system for kids, heated seats, wide windshield, Honda sensing system, blind spot indicator, when you put on the blinker it shows you on an image on the display screen of what is beside you for better parking and to not hit the person next to you, power tailgate, captain chairs in the second row, three zones of heating and cooling and a big moon roof.

MPG: 27/19

CONS: There is a plastic compartment between the captains chairs that kids would step on to get to the back if they didn't use the method of moving the seats forward, buttons for shifting into different gears, not as styling as the new CR-V, price of $47,000 for what we wanted (ie the Touring or above).

Next, we will move to the Nissan Murano.

Nissan Murano SL
Nissan Murano SL
Nissan Murano SL

PROS: By far the comfiest seats we experienced. They were the softest leather and comfy to sit in for long periods of time. We loved the look of the Murano, the smart shifting for no jerking feeling when accelerating, vehicle speed sensitivity (more nibble while at low speeds and more rigid at faster speeds), LED running and tail lights, power lift gate, heated seats, Bose sound system, 360 camera images of the car for parking and backing up, full curtain airbags, great looks, huge moon roof and blind spot warning.

MPG: 28/21
Price: $42,000 (that was with the current discounts going on)
Interest: 0%

CONS: The very back windows are so small, so the sight lines are difficult in the back. We also didn't like the wood paneling in the car as much. It was ok in the gray version, but almond and brown (brown was awful) looked cheap. The engine didn't seem to get up and go as fast as others did and it did not have a third row seat option.

I am going to break this into two posts as this one is getting long and I still want to profile the Mazda CX-9 and the Toyota Highlander and Rav 4. So stay tuned for part 2.

15 comments:

  1. I LOVE the seats in my Nissan Rogue. I didn't drive the Murano, but I did read that the windows are a bit smaller in back and harder to see. I have the blind spot monitor with my package and that thing is awesome! I'm not sure I could get another car without it after having it.
    I know the car buying process can be super stressful! I felt the same way--hoping you find a car that you guys love that fits the budget!

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  2. I am a car enthusiast so I walk in and always know what I want. And we always buy German but that being said the crossover SUV's are my favorite and defiantly the bigger ones when you have a growing family. I know it can be stressful and I am so glad you found one you love!! this is a great post series for people shopping around!!

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    1. I love German cars and we wanted to check out the new VW SUV that comes out next month, but couldn't wait. I do want an Audi next. Ha.

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  3. What a fun post. Car shopping is annoying but fun at the same time. I love seeing all the different features that are in each car. The past two cars I've had (Tahoe) I knew thats what I wanted so I didn't shop around at all, which took the fun out of it! Once the negotiating happened though, it was stressful and I was glad Patrick was there to do it...he wasn't afraid to say no and walk away. I on the other had would have been so uncomfortable haha.

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  4. So informative! I can't believe how pricey the Pilot is!!

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  5. We did a lot of research before we purchased our CR-V Touring last year, we were actually able to negotiate the price quite a bit which surprised me. I will agree that the shifter placement is a little awkward but I've gotten used to it over time. These are great pros and cons though. :)

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  6. Car shopping can be so stressful! I am so thankful my father in law loves to do the research for us.

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  7. Car shopping is so stressful. I always take my Mom with me as she is really good with it. I don't have a car right now but I'm thinking of getting one. Right now, I share my sister's car. Since we live together and work close by, it works out pretty good. But I will need my own car one day.

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  8. My brother works at Ford & I live in Ford Country... so if we get anything but a Ford, its like we're shunned from the area ;) haha

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  9. Love the pros and cons to get a better idea of what each one offers. We are in an in between phase right now because my SUV works for our bigger trips, so Andy might just want something smaller to drive around town. Not sure yet though. I love the size of these and love what you chose!

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  10. My mom has the new Pilot and I hate driving it. The buttons to shift are weird and all the things it warns you of are more distracting than helpful. I love my Audi so much I am going to cry when I have to replace it. Car shopping is the worst!

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  11. Car shopping is pretty awful, haha. I think the worst part about it are the sales people! I love Hondas even though they are quite pricey compared to others!

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    1. I agree on the sales people. We did have some great ones though, but it is still a laborious process.

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  12. I've always been a Honda girl myself. At one point, when I was a teenager, my family owned 5 Hondas at the same time. LOL. I always said we should take a picture of us and our cars.

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    1. That is crazy. I loved the CR-V soooo much but it wasn't big enough. Once the Pilot gets updated like the CR-V, I may look into them for my next car.

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