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Is the RDX a suitable first car?

 
Old 03-26-2017, 08:51 PM
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"Big," I mean. Where's the edit button?
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:09 PM
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How about a 3 year lease of a CX3, CX5, CR-V, HR-V, etc... Having $10,000 would pay for the signing cost and payments with money left over. This is assuming she doesn't put a lot of miles per year. I think I would consider leasing a vehicle like a civic or accord coupe for my kid if his 06 TSX needed to be replaced while in college.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:26 PM
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I like the CX-5. It would be my first recommendation for good gas mileage, utility and driving character. But it's still a $15,000 car here, and her down payment is $5000 or less.

My daughter wanted a Subaru, but they're crazy expensive here- more than an RDX of equal age and mileage, if you can believe that.

I’ve argued leases with my wife, she likes them. I don’t, because they seem like an endless treadmill of payments that never result in any equity. Also, newer cars are charged very large license fees in Colorado, which drop as the cars depreciate. Maybe I could see it for a commuting student with a steady income, but she lives on campus and as full-time student. The car is needed for shopping, biannual cross-country commutes and summer jobs plus the occasional weekend adventure, but most days it will sit parked. It has to be safe and capable because of the long distances to college and back, and the wet weather conditions in Seattle. But it doesn’t have to be new.

Thanks for the advice, though.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Gentleman GTI View Post
I like the CX-5. It would be my first recommendation for good gas mileage, utility and driving character. But it's still a $15,000 car here, and her down payment is $5000 or less.

My daughter wanted a Subaru, but they're crazy expensive here- more than an RDX of equal age and mileage, if you can believe that.

I’ve argued leases with my wife, she likes them. I don’t, because they seem like an endless treadmill of payments that never result in any equity. Also, newer cars are charged very large license fees in Colorado, which drop as the cars depreciate. Maybe I could see it for a commuting student with a steady income, but she lives on campus and as full-time student. The car is needed for shopping, biannual cross-country commutes and summer jobs plus the occasional weekend adventure, but most days it will sit parked. It has to be safe and capable because of the long distances to college and back, and the wet weather conditions in Seattle. But it doesn’t have to be new.

Thanks for the advice, though.
I personally don't like seeing the words "car" and "equity" together in the same sentence. Cars are NEVER investments and thus never generate equity. (Yes, I know in rare cases some cars become classics and are worth more as time goes on.) Cars are depreciating assets, like the TV in your house. It's NEVER going to be worth more than when you just bought it. Think of cars the same as buying a TV. Can you easily afford it? That means, can you spend the $$$ for the car and it doesn't negatively affect your lifestyle or life savings goals. If the answer is yes, then go for it! Otherwise, find a cheaper car.

So the question of suitability for a first car, it simply comes down to, can you easily and painlessly afford the cost and ongoing cost of ownership? It all really depends on your personal finances. For someone just starting out of college with a first job, maybe it's best to get something dependable, and the RDX may be a good match. But there are certainly cheaper cars that are just as reliable. In fact, the turbo and SH-AWD are things most economy cars don't have, which means more complexity and possibly higher repair bills in years to come.

Last edited by schen72; 03-27-2017 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:46 PM
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I mean "equity" in the sense of (resale value - amount owed = a positive number), so the car is worth more than you owe on it. That's certainly possible, with the right deal. The ideal is to recover the value of your down payment, so that's available for your next car deal.

Right now I've given up on finding high mileage (ca. 150K) cars of any brand that don't need costly repairs. Most folks don't maintain their cars that well. So we're looking at a longer loan and a larger down payment on a much fresher car, like a Tiguan or a Forester just coming out of warranty. My daughter is quite familiar with our family Tiguan, and the Forester fits her style- heck, her college teams are called the "Loggers."

Thanks for your friendly advice. But I think the RDX was a car I desired more than she did. And it will cost more to run, especially in gas, than those alternatives.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:09 AM
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I'm a little bit of a car nut and grew up in the shade tree mechanic days. I tried to teach my kids the ins/outs of basic car maintenance; but, they figure that is what youtube is for or "there is an app for that" kinda generation. They pretty much treat a car like an appliance like a stove or fridge; just get the job done and where do I plug in my smartphone for spotify. If your kid is closer to that generation, a more expensive newer vehicle that is lower potential maintenance might be a better long term investment she can drive long after the last payment.

My secondary game plan when I purchased my 06 TSX was to pass it down to my son when he started HS/college 8 years later. Maybe you can get her a whatever vehicle to get her through college for now. Get yourself a nice vehicle to pass down to her +4 years later.

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Old 05-13-2017, 04:07 AM
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Wow

Originally Posted by mrgold35 View Post
Not sure if you have your short list limited to 4WD SUVs or if you would consider fwd sedans. My 06 TSX with Conti DWS tires performed better in the snow/slush compared to my 08 sh-awd RDX with OEM Michelin tires. The 06-08 TSX is the MMC version and it probably has the best record for being the most reliable Acura in its lineup. MPGs will be in mid to upper 20s in the city and low to mid 30s on the hwy (even at +75 mph). You just don't have the space like you would in the CR-V.
wasnt expecting to hear that tsx with snows outperforms Rdx with oem's. How much better Rdx with snows vs tsx?? I have tl now and one reason I was considering Rdx is sh-awd over the tsx...
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jpelizza View Post
wasnt expecting to hear that tsx with snows outperforms Rdx with oem's. How much better Rdx with snows vs tsx?? I have tl now and one reason I was considering Rdx is sh-awd over the tsx...
I was recently in Tahoe and got stuck in some 2ft deep snow in a parking lot. The RDX was able to power out of it. I don't see how a 2WD car could have done the same thing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:22 AM
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I was thinking along the lines of the OP and his kid living in the Denver area. I grew up in Colorado Springs and we would get similar types of winter snow fall patterns in the city. You can get dumped on with 6 inches to +3 feet of snow in 1-2 days and have +50s and clear skies days/weeks afterwards. Unless you live on side street, we don't get snow packed/icy roads for weeks/months like the mid-west or northeast. Just waiting one day can have the majority of the main roads cleared off and nearly dry (except for black ice at night as the snow melts across the roads from the gutters during the day). Most government and educational facilities do a good job with 2 hour delays or 1-2 day cancellations. Having a 4WD isn't a necessity in metro areas in the west/southwest. Even on most mountain interstate passes the same rules apply. Just wait 24 hrs and the roads will be mostly clear enough without the need for 4wd or chains most of the time.

My 08 RDX was my first AWD vehicle after +30 years of owning vehicles and +35 years of driving mostly in the west/southwest. Everything before the RDX was 2 dr coups or 4 dr sedans with rwd or fwd. I mostly got the RDX because of the dry weather handling of the sh-awd and the awd would be a bonus if I needed it for ski trips.

No matter how good the capability of the awd system; tires are very important in gaining traction to make it work. I would still consider upgrading the tires of any used vehicle in rwd/fwd/awd format for my kid to eliminate a possible issue being so far away from home. I put Conti DWS 06 on my daughter's fwd Mazda 3 5-door hatchback and she never had a tire related issue in +50,000 miles in any weather.
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:58 PM
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My sister currently has a 2014 RDX. My niece will be 16 in 2 years and a few months. It will be her car. Outside of the lack of active safety features, I would've loved it as a first car. It's a good looking vehicle. Doesn't scream my parent's vehicle. Good power and handling more for being proactive and reactive to bad situations than for just speeding. Good storage space for hauling stuff for her soccer or ball games as well as for heading off to college a couple years later.

That all said, if it were me, I would trade it and find something that has more active safety features. Find a 2016/17 CX3/HRV/Crosstrek. I say that knowing how glued she is to her phone, and as someone who drives 30k/yr, I'd fill up my 128gb card if I took a photo of every teenager I saw driving while staring at their phone, sitting at green lights while on their phone and so on.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:35 AM
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It is a fun vehicle to drive and reliable at the same time. But, it if you are willing to pay the gas price of the rdx then I say go for it. Most of us range between 16 - 19 mpg city driving and 18 - 22 mpg highway. The higher numbers for both city and highway are for those who step lightly on the gas pedal or those who own the short ram intakes. I have 96,xxx miles on mines and have basically done oil changes every 3000 miles, use 93 gas, changed oem air box to the K&N short ram, replace armrest leather, replace battery with a yellow top (this truck requires a decent amount of power and plus why not add the benefit of a drycell having a longer discharge time incase something is left on), replace my door speakers and replaced the oem headlights because one blew on me ( I didn't want to take the bumper back apart). Still reliable and handles real good.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:39 PM
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No!

The RDX is not a suitable 1st car for 99% of the population. Driving one will ruin your appreciation for a fantastic ride. Getting into another car afterwards will be painful and possibly dangerous if all you know is the body hugging, whiplash inducing quickness & handling of the RDX and then you get into a Forester that takes 2 seconds to start moving after being put into gear and mashing the pedal makes you think you need to get out and push to help it along. I have both and find the Subie great for the wife but quite a task to enjoy driving...except at the pump.
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