Frustrated shopper... Help guide me!

Anyone else feel this way when shopping for a new vehicle? The little kid in me who grew up poor screams “DON’T SPEND SO MUCH ON A CAR!!!” so I have a hard time allowing myself to enjoy the money I make, by getting a luxury brand vehicle at a “normal” price…

For instance, I really want a Land Rover Discovery. It’s the biggest 7 seater in the segment, rides fantastic, and looks great (my opinion). Would be perfect for my family. But they’re unhackable… The MF is stupid high (.00221) and equates to a 5% APR. Why would anyone who has an 830+ credit score pay that type of interest? I can’t bring myself to do it… Dealers won’t deal on them, and other than loaners, you can’t even get near 1% MSRP on a payment. I could purchase one, but that’s not smart considering their reliability issues.

So I think, ok… we have one 7 seater (Highlander) now, can I live with a 5 seater…?

But every other vehicle in the Lux SUV segment, sucks. The F Pace drives and looks great, but has no room in the back seat. It’s basically a two-seater unless you have kids in car seats. I have to take my kids to school twice a week, so I need a legit backseat. The Stelvio drives horrible, and you feel EVERY bump in the road. There is no luxury feel to it at all, imo. The X5 is not appealing to me, I find the design boring. The RX350L rides great, and has decent 2nd row space, but the 3rd row is not usable… Plus it’s easily $100 more per month than other comparable SUV’s. The QX60 is so outdated from an interior standpoint, I couldn’t pull the trigger even though the deals are fantastic. If it were a 24 month lease, I’d do it… but 39 months in already outdated tech and interior…? Ugh… I can’t do that. I would hate it within 12 months.

I really don’t know what to do here. Any insight into your own decision making process that could help me? I don’t really have a set budget, but I’m trying to keep my monthly car expenses (payments, insurance, and fuel costs) under 10% of my monthly income. After deducting my other lease payment, and current insurance costs, that leaves me with $1021. So most vehicles fall into my price range… what else should I be looking at?

Appreciate the opinions.


Volvo XC90 7 seater …


Forgot to mention I test drove one, and thought it was underpowered. I did consider the S90 as well, but I can’t get a deal on one here. There’s literally 4 of them within 100 miles of me. Dealers either can’t keep them, or can’t move them so they don’t order them for their lots.

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Infiniti QX80 - 7 passenger + all your hopes and dreams.

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Did you test drive an MDX?

I do like the look, but does it suffer from the same outdated tech as the QX60?

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A friend has one. I don’t particularly care for the harsh angles in the design on the front end, but it drives nice and has similar space as my Highlander.

If you’re fine with 5 seats, why not something like a 3GT? Lots of legroom in the back and more fun to drive than most SUVs

I’m a huge fan of the 2019 X5 redesign if that appeals to you. But at 1k a month you have a lot of options. Maybe looking into the Lexus LX and Mercedes gls would be appealing. I’ve seen LX go for 700-800 range on swapalease and some people in these forums managed sub 800 on GLS loaners (even saw a 650/Mo in the trophy garage)

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You can do 24 months on a QX60, but it will cost approx $50/month extra.

Not sure if you’re only considering SUVs or if you’re open to sedans, but George is a broker in SoCal with what appears to be really awesome deals. I’ve never worked with him, but he has some pretty solid deals - 2018 Audi A3 Premium(So-Cal Broker)

Here are some that I would consider if I were going through my midlife crisis now, but my kids are tool young.

2018 A4 Ultra Premium: $269
2018 A6 Premium: $439
2018 Q5 Premium: $419
2018 430i: $359
2018 530i: $479
2018 E300 Sedan: $499
2018 GLC: $349
2018 GLE: $559

Or if you really want to ball, but at the top of your budget - 2018 S450: $949

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Audi SQ5 2020202020202020

Yeah, it’s not worth that much to me. The value is in the extremely low payment.

Unfortunately I’m in Michigan, and I’m not sure paying 1k to ship a vehicle is worth the savings… I suppose I could fly out on air miles and drive it back, but adding 2k to the odometer in week 1 isn’t a great idea either. I’d very much consider an A6 at that price, but when I looked into one last year, dealers weren’t interested in discounting at all. I was quoted at $700 a month on a premium plus. I laughed and walked away.

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3GT…? I’m off to google…

Your story could be me. Leased a Santa Fe three years ago to try to get through last few years of needing third row and gave an easy out.

Now I want to downsize, get a new, safe (driver assistance), working tech (car play). It doesn’t have to luxury, but I can’t want to poke my eyes out looking at it (yeah, that’s you cr-v).

Of course the top choices are just so outrageous I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. And to me, spending $45k on a vehicle seems outrageous. I really like the xc40, xc60 in that price range. They for the bill for what I feel like there should be more choices.

Acura - odd designs and something is just off (and I was long time Hinds guy)
Audi - fit bill but cost doesn’t add up and q5 styling is too bland. Love the a5 sport back though.
Bmw - dash/cockpit/seats don’t like. Strikes me as dated
Buick - I wish the new regal could have been a winner, but it’s not
Honda - fire all designers, my 2013 accord looked better than anything on the lot
Hyundai - 2019 Santa Fe with leather is $35k, what?
Infiniti -didnt like qx50, old tech qx60 is actually one of nicest I’ve driven for what it is. Luxury tanky cruiser thing
Jeep - cost, safety, what?
Kia - can’t do it
Lexus - test drove all, buttons and more buttons
Mazda - cx5 are you bluffing on car play or not?
Mb - like the concept, then I remember who I am and it’s not that.
Nissan - never liked, but might check out offerings to try to prove to myself that I’m opened minded. But I’m probably not.
Subaru - crosstrek is slow but I would almost consider if I like the sears better. Same for outback, but the dorky station wagon is a little hard even for me to handle, even though if I was a car, I’d probably be an outback.
Toyota - new rav4 coming too late for me. Maybe it’s finally not a girl car.
Vw - I love my very cheap and very fun 2017 Jetta. If that Tiguan was designed just a little better I’d probably just do it and be mildly happy.
Volvo - I really like the xc40 and xc60. Hung up on cost and value. But if I splurge it’s going to be one of these two.

Jag, Alfa, rover etc - obviously I don’t have the right makeup to handle these.

I really connect with the dilemma in this thread. Would love a silver bullet. You get what you pay for, and if you’re not willing to pay, well, you’ll probably be disappointed or you need to admit you’re not actually a car enthusiast.

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Pay a little more and get a GTI? Well, maybe double, but if you like the Jetta, you’ll love the GTI. It’s only for 3 years anyway, plenty to satisfy any midlife crisis. I have the 2018 Tiguan, and yes, it makes me mildly happy - roomy, rides nice, $199/mo, slow so I can’t drive it all crazy.

Jetta is our second car and my dd. I’m trying to replace the Santa Fe with a mission very similar to op. Drove the gti, loved it, but was almost double $. The se Jetta for $17.5k is a fun and easy to like car. Didn’t mean to hiack thread onto small cheap cars. Back to best value compact/midsize suvs. And I do mean best value for the money, not necessarily least expensive.

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I think he means BMW 3 series Gran Turismo

I can relate with the frustration felt here. Mine is different as I am considering cars and Suvs. I also really want the Jaguar i-pace but it won’t be out in time for when I need one. I really think I will end up with a QX50 or Volvo XC40 or XC60. Then there is still the possibility I just go with a 3 series. See I really can’t decide.


Lexus GX if you want to be practical. If you want to have fun Audi SQ5.