Another Vehicle Question

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
stl717
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:37 pm

Another Vehicle Question

Post by stl717 »

I realize there have been several threads about vehicle purchases lately, I apologize in advance, but I'm just trying to get some opinions. We have 3 boys, live in Colorado and currently have 2013 Odyssey. I'm looking at "upgrading" to one of the new Ford Expeditions as we are starting to outgrow the minivan and we're looking for something that will do better in the mountains and snow. We've test driven the Expedition, Suburban, various Yukon (ect) and the boss says the Expedition is what she wants. We're not really considering a used one because the 18's are redesigned with the ecoboost engine, better transmission, more safety features and my wife thinks it looks better.

The problem is the cost. Loaded with the options we need, we're looking at nearly 80k MSRP. I do have a friend that works for Ford, so should be able to order one and get it at/below invoice. The cost is still enormous to me, even if we plan on driving the thing for 10 years.

Finances:
age 39/32 boys 8/7/4
Income between 250-300k/yr steady job, should increase next year
no debt
mortgage 1800/month + 1000 extra principle payment (Insurance & taxes not escrowed and paid for the year)
401k maxed for the year
backdoor roth money earmarked, but not invested yet
around 120k in high interest checking/taxable
contributing monthly to 529's, need to up the amounts a bit, though.
current net worth a little north of 1million

So I know we could "afford" it, but should we? Any other options for vehicles? Wife doesn't like the sequoias or much of anything else frankly. I have the cash to just buy one outright, but don't feel like it would be prudent to do that. Instead I would probably pay around half down and then pay the rest off within a year or 2 to keep some cash on hand. Credit union has 2.1 interest available all the way out to 72 months (we would probably finance at 3-5 years and accelerate payments).

Opinions???
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6662
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by bottlecap »

Well, technically, the answer is you shouldn't. Get a 2017 and save tens of thousands of dollars.

$80k seems high and the used Expeditions in my area sell for maaaaybe $40k and that's with very low mileage.

JT
bob60014
Posts: 1951
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by bob60014 »

Toyota Highlander, 4 Runner or Ford Explorer? Smaller but $30k or more less.


Imho, the Expedition is overkill unless you are pulling a large trailer, in construction or "really" need the extra space. Plus they're a pain to park !
Last edited by bob60014 on Wed May 09, 2018 9:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
bloom2708
Posts: 8759
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by bloom2708 »

I see a few 2018 Expeditions driving around now. They are pretty sharp.

If you are pushing $80k, I assume you are getting a fully loaded one. Have you looked at the option packages to see if a $60k package might work?

Your other choice to save $$ is a 2-3 year old Suburban or Yukon XL coming off lease. Or a previous gen Expedition EL with low miles. They depreciate quickly.

You can certainly afford it. Any $80k purchase should be considered from all angles. A 2013 Odyssey is pretty new and if you are outgrowing it, then that doesn't leave much except the Suburban/Yukon XL and Expedition EL.

A $500 Thule or Yakima storage box on top might save you a couple dollars. :wink: We used a generous sized Yakima RocketBox to supplement our various vehicle storage. I would prefer $79,500 in cash + a Nice storage box. :moneybag
Last edited by bloom2708 on Wed May 09, 2018 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13684
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Wait until the end of the year when the Ford dealer will have these things out front with big "$15k off MSRP" banners. If you're getting friends discount from an employee, that's likely the X plan, which is a supplier plan. I've had this and absolutely killed the price by negotiating myself. Like an X plan price of $19k and I paid $14.6k. X plan is a no negotiation price that's fine for powder puffs who are afraid to ask for anything less than MSRP.

Expect depreciation on this thing to drop it's value like a rock. Honestly.....I'd consider just buying another mini van and get a Jeep Grand Cherokee for snow and offroad. Or better yet, a Wrangler Unlimited (by better, I mean better at offroad).
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
User avatar
mmmodem
Posts: 2457
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by mmmodem »

You can clearly afford it. You can clearly buy more if you wanted to. The question of should you would be a yes as well in my opinion. It makes no sense to me to be a miser when one brings in that kind of money.

1. The current vehicle is 5 years old. It's not exactly old but it's certainly not new either. If you had a 2016 Honda Odyssey to upgrade from, then that would go into the grey area of a little too soon.

2. Same as above, you are upgrading after 5 years. It's likely you'll upgrade from the Expedition to a 2023 model. Get the 10 years thing out of your head. That is unless you're doing "musical chairs" and will drive the older vehicle so the boss can trade up.

3. At 2%, I would finance as long as they allow and put nothing down. I'd put that money aside in the credit union to auto pay every month until it is paid off. I prefer the liquidity.
caffeperfavore
Posts: 434
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by caffeperfavore »

Sister Mother Mary Francis, that's a lot of coin for a car!

I'm in similar financial range as you, but only one kid, and I wouldn't dream of sinking that much into a depreciating asset.

Are you really sure that the Expedition is going to give you that much room? Are your kids the size of college linebackers? And by the time they are a few will be leaving the nest anyway. I've always been surprised by how small the big SUVs feel inside. Minivans typically make much better use of their space. And I'm also not convinced that adding tons of weight (literally) and sloppy handling vehicles really make you safer (more likely to get into a crash it seems).

Doing some quick comparisons in cargo space between the Expedition and new minivans, it doesn't seem like you gain much for the extra $40k.
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/20 ... ver-page-5
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/20 ... ver-page-5

Note that the Sienna review has specs for other minivans in it.
Slacker
Posts: 938
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Slacker »

caffeperfavore wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 9:29 am Are you really sure that the Expedition is going to give you that much room? Are your kids the size of college linebackers? And by the time they are a few will be leaving the nest anyway. I've always been surprised by how small the big SUVs feel inside. Minivans typically make much better use of their space.
No doubt about SUVs being large on the outside but not so large on the inside. Always hit my head or brush the headliner in Ford Explorer and Edge with a sunroof. Honestly, I've been in many compact cars with more headroom...but certainly minivans I've been in have better headroom than the two Ford SUVs I mention.
onourway
Posts: 2998
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by onourway »

I'm not convinced the Expedition is larger for the passengers than your existing van. The Expedition is mostly for people who need a truck that can haul a lot of people, or for people who just want the look.

With 3 kids of similar age I cannot imagine how you are 'outgrowing' the van. We make do in a station wagon and a roof box.

IMO, $80k is too much in your position. It's not that you can't do it, it's that there is no point in spending that much extra when there are so many other options that will solve the same issue for between $0-$40k.
soccerrules
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by soccerrules »

I was in a similar boat as you 13 years ago with no snow and kids 4,7,and 10.

We opted for a NEW decent level Yukon XL with the bucket seats in the middle vs the bench. I think I traded in a smaller SUV for $?? and paid $28-29K cash. We have loved that car and had many a trip from Texas to Beach/Mountains/Grandparents and then all the around town kid hauling for sports etc.

It is still limping along with over 200K miles. I could not bring myself to spend $80K on a car, but that's me.(sure seems like a ton of money)
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.
btenny
Posts: 5586
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by btenny »

I suggest your rent a Expedition (or a Lincoln Navigator) for at least a week or two and get your wife to drive it full time. Make sure she goes shopping and to places where she has to park and maneuver the big SUV. Get her to drive it in the snow if possible. Expeditions are just giant vehicles. These big SUVs just do not handle very well. I have 3 friends who have them in Tahoe. They only drive them when pulling their boats or when hauling their big dogs or for a lot of junk. Theirs get terrible gas mileage, like 13-15 MPG.

Oh, a big issue with Expeditions is running boards. They work fine in the summer but jam in bad ice/snow. So short people cannot get into the SUV without them. It is like climbing a hill to get into the drivers seat....

I bet your wife will not like the SUV after she lives with one for week or two. So make sure seh really drives one for while.

Good Luck.
GoldenGoose
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by GoldenGoose »

Many years ago we rented an Expedition for our 2-family + grandparents road trip. The other family had young kids but we didn't. So we had like 10 people into the Expedition and still had room (luggage was on the outside). My, that was a big vehicle. I can't imagine how bigger it is now with the upsizing trend over the years!

$80K is a lot of money for me to plunk down for a vehicle. Plus gas price is inching up and when it hits $4/gallon, it will be a pain to fill it up. Why buy this monster if there are better alternatives out there, unless there is something you really need the Expedition for that the other SUVs can't provide?
Glockenspiel
Posts: 1164
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Glockenspiel »

Have fun plopping down $60-$70 to fill the tank every 275-300 miles. I have a really hard time believing that 3 kids are outgrowing a mini-van. Are you sure you'll get any more storage in the Expedition? Mini-vans do a wonderful job with storage space. My wife and I don't make that much less than you and I can't fathom spending $80k on a vehicle that gets such poor gas mileage, and isn't even a luxury vehicle.
GoldenGoose
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by GoldenGoose »

Glockenspiel wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 11:47 am Have fun plopping down $60-$70 to fill the tank every 275-300 miles. I have a really hard time believing that 3 kids are outgrowing a mini-van. Are you sure you'll get any more storage in the Expedition? Mini-vans do a wonderful job with storage space. My wife and I don't make that much less than you and I can't fathom spending $80k on a vehicle that gets such poor gas mileage, and isn't even a luxury vehicle.
It's the AWD or 4WD that the OP is looking for to deal with the snow.
Murgatroyd
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Murgatroyd »

We bought one of the early Expeditions in 1998. Eddie Bauer edition was top of the line with upgraded everything including the engine. I think we spent about $37,000 new. Loved it for the 180,000 miles we had it. Had zero problems with it. 80k- wow.

Good luck!
Rupert
Posts: 4122
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Rupert »

An $80,000 FORD? Are you kidding me?
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13684
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

For snow, to me, both AWD and ground clearance are important. The Expedition is pretty good at 9.8". I'd love to recommend something like a Grand Cherokee to get 10.8" but no 3rd row is offered. Explorer and any mini van is going to be less than a Subaru Ascent or Outback or .....well just about any Subaru.

Having owned a Yukon XL in the past, man there is a LOT of room inside. When pulling a boat to the lake with the kids, the amount of space behind the 3rd seat was enormous. You'll find far less in an Expedition....perhaps the XL will get closer. I got a solid 15 mpg whether pulling a boat or nothing with the smallest engine offered.

Whatever you do, please, please, please put on some proper snow tires, otherwise you're wasting your money.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
ncbill
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: Western NC

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by ncbill »

There's no more passenger room in our Suburban than in our minivan.

Looks like you can lease ($0 down) a base Suburban/Yukon XL for mid-$500s/month

or a well-equipped model (e.g. Yukon XL Denali) for mid-$800s/month (per leasefax.com)

I don't know about the Ford but as a Suburban owner...you don't want to own one out of warranty.
crazygrow
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:56 am

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by crazygrow »

As long as you are clear (in your minds) that this is a want purchase not a need purchase - which isn't a right or wrong choice, but need to distinguish. We had a Sienna minivan with six kids until recently and we roadtrip A LOT. I'd recommend looking at what you pack if you are running out of space. We've been on a month-long roadtrip with all the beach toys, etc. and been ok. We have a Suburban as well, and it definitely isn't any bigger - in fact the back seat is more cramped as they get taller.

Also, we live in Utah near the mountains with plenty of snow. Don't expect these bigger trucks to do any better in the snow than the minivan. We had the 2WD Sienna and it did just fine because we know how to drive in the snow and kept good tires on it. We recently sold it and now have the Suburban and an F150 and they perform at best on par - even in 4WD. 4WD only helps you get moving, it doesn't help you in the more critical things like stopping or driving on ice, etc.

The F150 was a want purchase - so again, it is a personal decision.
strafe
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:49 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by strafe »

onourway wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 9:40 am I'm not convinced the Expedition is larger for the passengers than your existing van. The Expedition is mostly for people who need a truck that can haul a lot of people, or for people who just want the look.

With 3 kids of similar age I cannot imagine how you are 'outgrowing' the van. We make do in a station wagon and a roof box.

IMO, $80k is too much in your position. It's not that you can't do it, it's that there is no point in spending that much extra when there are so many other options that will solve the same issue for between $0-$40k.
+1

The expedition is not going to be bigger inside than your van.
If the issue is snow, buy a winter wheel & tire set (Michelin X-ice or Blizzak) and swap them on in the winter.
researcher
Posts: 1294
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by researcher »

stl717 wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 9:12 am We have 3 boys, live in Colorado and currently have 2013 Odyssey.
I'm looking at "upgrading" to one of the new Ford Expeditions as we are starting to outgrow the minivan...
As others have pointed out, the logic of buying an Expedition because you are "outgrowing" a minivan doesn't make sense.

Here are the cargo capacities (cu ft) for the Ford Expedition Max and the Toyota Sienna AWD...
- Behind 3rd Row: Ford (36), Toyota (39)
- Behind 2nd Row: Ford (73), Toyota (87)
- Behind 1st Row: Ford (122), Toyota (150)
User avatar
Quantum
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:29 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Quantum »

No point in letting us talk you into the purchase, or provide justifications to do so.
You can afford it, and doing so will not be the end of the world financially.

At this point it becomes a matter of how the purchase makes you feel, and only you can know that and how you plan on dealing with those feelings.
“The advantage always favors the one who is trying to create fear, over the one who is trying to erase it.” | Howard R. Hughes JR.
VGisforme
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 2:08 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by VGisforme »

GoldenGoose wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 11:48 am
Glockenspiel wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 11:47 am Have fun plopping down $60-$70 to fill the tank every 275-300 miles. I have a really hard time believing that 3 kids are outgrowing a mini-van. Are you sure you'll get any more storage in the Expedition? Mini-vans do a wonderful job with storage space. My wife and I don't make that much less than you and I can't fathom spending $80k on a vehicle that gets such poor gas mileage, and isn't even a luxury vehicle.
It's the AWD or 4WD that the OP is looking for to deal with the snow.
If that's really the case he's much better off paying for a set of winter wheels and tires and the minivan will out perform a 4x4 in all seasons assuming clearance isn't an issue. Unless you tow a boat or trailer often (if it isn't often might as well rent) it's just vanity to replace a minivan. But vanity sells a lot of trucks! Don't fool yourself that you actually need the large SUV.

I think it is fine if you get it just don't try to over justify it. You work hard and you want a huge SUV and you can afford it, that's enough. The rest is just things you tell yourself so you feel better about a non-optimal purchase. We are allowed to consume, the economy is based on it, in your case you can even afford is so go for it.
JHU ALmuni
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by JHU ALmuni »

No way I would pay 80K for a Ford. That's a lot of money for a car. You should be able to get a decent car for 40K or less.
alwi228
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:06 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by alwi228 »

he said 3 boys! Surely he is getting pressure to trade in the minivan! :D

Clearly you can afford it, the only thing I would add is POSSIBLY a crew cab truck with a topper? The F150 has a huge backseat, but Ram just came out with (2019 Ram 1500) a similar size cabin with reclining rear seats, but it can be had for 55k ish. Both have AWD, 4WD and the newest safety tech like the bigger SUV's you mentioned.
gator15
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by gator15 »

When I saw $80k, I knew there was no chance of getting Boglehead approval for this purchase.
Topic Author
stl717
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:37 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by stl717 »

Thanks everyone for the replies. When I say "outgrow" I don't necessarily mean exact size on the inside. It's more about hauling ski equipment, luggage, food and boys and friends up the mountains and over the continental divide every weekend in the winter and doing the same thing several times in the summer for camping. A fully loaded Odyssey will make it, but it struggles a little up the big hills.. For practical purposes and price, I overwhelmingly agree that a minivan is the way to go, it's just that here in Colorado it's not as ideal for what we need.

We do have snow tires for the winter that actually do pretty good and we have gotten by for the past couple winters with those. For now I guess I'm going to think about it some more...
btenny
Posts: 5586
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by btenny »

I don't know about the Ford but here are several nice Lincoln Navigators with low mileage and almost new for $50K or less. So why buy new?

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... de1=NAVIGA

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... Radius=500
Cycle
Posts: 1912
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Cycle »

I still feel guilty for spending $1000 on my winter commuter with a belt drive, I don't think I could recover from spending $80k on anything but VTIAX. Our vehicle to net worth ratio is 1:174, though at your age we should be at 1:335. Our income is similar to yours. The ratio is important in illuminating what is truly important to you. Do you spend more on travel or vehicles. Food or vehicles. Early Retirement or vehicles... etc.

I'd stick with a minivan if I were in your shoes, though we currently have a CRV. Minivans have powerful engines and you will be able to haul more stuff than an SUV and not hurt your back loading it.

https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/356/ Your Next Car Should Be a Minivan
Last edited by Cycle on Wed May 09, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
02nz
Posts: 6677
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by 02nz »

The Expedition is a lot bigger on the outside but not that much more spacious on the inside than the current Odyssey - about 172 cu ft of interior volume vs 164 on the Odyssey, a difference of about 5%. This comes down partly to Honda's packaging efficiency (an area where Honda has always exceled), but mostly to a big difference in construction: the Ford is body-on-frame (like almost all pickup trucks), while the Odyssey is unibody (like almost all cars). Body-on-frame vehicles generally have less interior space, for any given size vehicle. They're also heavier, thirstier on fuel, and ride/handle less well than unibody vehicles.

If you're willing to pay the premium for the image that comes with the Expedition, by all means, spend the 80K. To me that's a crazy amount of money that could buy a much better-driving SUV, like the (unibody) Audi Q7, and still leave you tens of thousands of dollars. Or spend half that for the Odyssey. But don't kid yourself that you really need that extra 5% of space, or that it makes much of a difference in snow (proper winter tires are far more important - in snow country I'd rather drive a Civic on winter tires than a big SUV on all-season tires).
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 22655
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by Watty »

stl717 wrote: Wed May 09, 2018 9:12 am ... I would probably pay around half down and then pay the rest off within a year or 2 to keep some cash on hand.
You have a lot of income but not a lot of it has "stuck" so think that the car is too expensive for you if you have to get a car loan to comfortably buy it.

There are several variations on the saying, "You can afford anything you want, but not everything you want."

You may need to make some adjustments with your other spending first if you want to buy cars that are that expensive.
kjvmartin
Posts: 1461
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Another Vehicle Question

Post by kjvmartin »

The expedition starts at $54,000 with 4WD. The next trim up is about $64,000.

Maybe look at the entry level Lincoln Navigator at $70,000? Pretty much the same car with a different name tag.
Post Reply