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yellowbandit

Trying to decide, and I need help!

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Hello, All.  I'm strongly considering purchasing a late-model Titanium, but I'm hesitant.  I need help!

 

First, my previous vehicles:

1997 Cadillac STS   - Comfortable and 300hp

1998 Oldsmobile - Comfortable and almost 300hp

2007 Passat Wagon - Pretty comfortable and 2.0 Turbo

2000 Benz E320 Wagon - Comfortable and a V6

 

The day before Thanksgiving a lady hit me, and totaled my Benz, so while I recover from the resulting foot surgery, I'm deciding what to purchase next.  I LOVE and NEED the utility of a wagon at least, but there aren't many reasonably-priced wagons out there.  I considered a standard Minivan, as well as the Flex, but it's just me, my wife, and 2 kids, and I feel like any of those options would just be more vehicle than I need!  I'm strongly against driving something that is so much bigger than my needs, since it's usually just me in the vehicle.

 

Long story short, I'm looking at a LWB Titanium, but I'm concerned that it won't be comfortable enough, or fast enough.  I'm less concerned that my friends won't want to ride with me, but I'm hoping they get over that.  I keep reminding myself that I live in Atlanta, and we have so much traffic that you never get to drive all that fast anyway, but this would also be our roadtrip vehicle, most probably, and those are cases when you kinda want a little more horsepower  I'm worried about the noise due to the utilitarian nature of the insulation and sound deadening in the van.  I've seen the posts about adding more in this department, and I'm semi-willing to do it, but will that be enough to make this a good fit for my family?

 

By the way, I also have a 1971 Convertible Karmann Ghia.  When I want to be cool, as long as the weather is nice, I can drive that, although it seems like such opportunities are getting fewer and fewer each year.  The point is, coolness isn't really a factor in my decision.

 

Confused and Conflicted!

-YellowBandit

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Road noise and comfort will be an issue.  It's not all that comfortable.  Fit & finish is not a selling point.  You will not be considering this in comparison to a luxury car.  

 

Road Trips will be fine.  With the 6 speed transmission, you will be able to drive 70 - 80 mph on long stretches of highway.  Tint the windows, and you will be comfortable enough with the A/C on.  But air conditioning and fans are loud.  With the roof rack, you could easily add a rooftop carrier.  Tow capacity will allow you to pull a small trailer.  

 

Your friends will probably laugh at you.  Mine laugh at me.  But they will still ride with me.

 

A lot of utility.  You sacrifice luxury and bling.  

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Sigh.

 

I don't think this relationship is going to work out.  I don't really need bling, but relative comfort is important!  This is Atlanta, and we spend lots of time in our cars.  It takes me at least 45 minutes to get home from my current job.  Loud and uncomfortable probably won't cut it.  

 

What I really need is a Mercury version of the TC! Maybe when the time comes I can find one to rent or get a dealership somewhere around to let me borrow one for a few days.

 

At this rate I have no idea what I'll end up in.

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@yellowbandit - Your concerns are valid.  While the TC is not UNcomfortable, it is not plush.  And the power is "adequate".  Certainly not what you are used to.  Reading between the lines, I suspect you are looking for a little more room than your previous wagons and a little more utility than a classic minivan.   So that pretty much limit your choices to the Transit Connect, MB Metris, and Ram Promaster City.  For me, I would not consider the Promaster, since it is based on a Renault platform and the reliability is suspect.  (check out their forum, you can decide for yourself)  So that leaves the TC and the Metris.  For my needs, the Metris was not worth the extra $$.  However, you may find it closer to your needs.  It has more power (turbo), is a little larger, and can be optioned up to be fairly plush.

 

All that being said, you really wont know until you drive them and get the bottom line price.  If you do get the TC,  you will have a lot of support from this forum.  Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)

 

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What is stopping you from a test drive.  Go drive some cars.  Tell the salesman exactly what you said here.  Take your family with you.  See what they think.  Drive the Mercedes.  Drive the Ford.  Tell the salespeople that you are considering both.  See if one of them is motivated to make you a better deal.

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Thanks Fifty150 and davidparker for your thoughts.  

 

I do plan on test driving several things, but here's the biggest obstacle to me getting a TC:

 

Used TCs are trending more expensive and less available and less comfortable than comparable Pacificas of the same age and mileage.

 

I feel like I'd personally prefer the TC, but the math just doesn't add up.  It will be almost impossible to justify this to my tax attorney wife!

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If a Chrysler Pacifica depreciates at such a fast rate, do you want to be the next owner to lose more money on it?  If the Pacifica is so good, why are all the owners giving them up instead of keeping them?  I suspect that Chrysler Pacifica may have a lot more mechanical issues than what the Transit Connect owners deal with. 

 

The data on the spreadsheet does not give real world facts in evidence.   Spreadsheet is raw data.  Not analyzed.  Tell your wife that the Chrysler Pacifica probably drops in value so fast, because it's a bad car, and people can't wait to get rid of it.  Better cars hold their resale value. 

 

Your wife sounds a lot like one of my girlfriends.  Analyst in the financial sector.  Every bit of due diligence was fed into her computer.  She looked at every piece of information available.  Including the test scores of schools in the area, even though she doesn't have kids.  After much research on price per square foot, Crimes Against People & Crimes Against Property stats, statistics on homes built prior to a certain year without modern building codes & relevance to maintenance cost, studying transit maps and commute times, analyzing walking distance goods & services........Amenities like doorman, pool, gym, dry cleaning, WiFi, tennis courts, and a latte machine in the lobby, manned by a barista, slinging complimentary espresso for the tenants.   She decides on a great deal on a home! She's ready to make an offer!   She brought me along since I offer real world insight.  

 

5150 looks at the real estate broker, shakes his head, and removes his Pendleton to reveal a holstered Colt .45 Government Model.  5150 says, "you've got to be kidding me with this!"  A brand new luxury property sandwiched between active railroad tracks and local utility company's electric substation with 2 square blocks of transformers.  Just as the train came into the station, with bells & whistles, the real estate girl says, "it's not that bad, you'll get used to it".  

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Never forget The Fiat part in the Chrysler Pacifica !

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Everything that you seem to want the TC really doesn't offer , to me i find the TC very very comfortable , it has plenty of get up and go and it's quite economical .  TC is mostly a transportation vehicle built for the budget conscious family in the Titanium trim and a delivery vehicle with the Cargo version that happens to get very good mileage,  it's nothing like the vehicles you listed above in your initial post .

 

The TC is by far the sharpest looking small van on the market and it's hard not to be enamored by it's styling ,  never had so many people i don't know come up to me and ask me about it , even when i went to vote in Dec a bunch of people came up to me and said thats really "Cute" i want one lol.

Edited by herb

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I'm hoping. It works out. This is the gist of what I've seen:.

It's not super comfortable, but it's comfortable enough. That works for me.

It's not super fast, but it's fast enough. That works for me too.

The utility can't be argued.

 

Things that concern me are the HVAC and the noise and temperature insulation. The insulation piece can be remedied with a bit of elbow grease. I'm hearing. Doing that should also support the HVAC.

 

We'll see how the test drive goes.

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Some of the replies here are from owners who don't own (and have probably never driven) the Titanium version of the TC, which is better insulated and MUCH quieter than the 'work vans' they have  -  Go drive a newer Titanium for yourself and see

 

If the 'accountants math' doesn't add up for your wife . . . . well, she probably deserves to own a Pacifica  🙄

 

Don

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34 minutes ago, Beta Don said:

  Go drive a newer Titanium for yourself and see

 

 

 

 

I agree.  Take a test drive.  Take more than 1.  Drive all the trim levels.  Drive the competitors.  Chevy City Express, Ram ProMaster, Nissan NV200, Mercedes Metris.  

 

See for yourself, what you can buy, or can't buy.  For comfort, Mercedes will pamper your passengers more.  I believe that Ford is better for utility and hauling.  Once you drive the Ram, Chevy, & Nissan, you will rule them out.  None of those will be suitable as a family wagon.  

 

But you need to go out there and drive the cars.  It's the only way.  

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Come on now.  Renault has come a long way since The Le Car.  Or maybe not.

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On 1/12/2019 at 3:57 PM, Fifty150 said:

 

 

I agree.  Take a test drive.  Take more than 1.  Drive all the trim levels.  Drive the competitors.  Chevy City Express, Ram ProMaster, Nissan NV200, Mercedes Metris.  

 

See for yourself, what you can buy, or can't buy.  For comfort, Mercedes will pamper your passengers more.  I believe that Ford is better for utility and hauling.  Once you drive the Ram, Chevy, & Nissan, you will rule them out.  None of those will be suitable as a family wagon.

 

 

Accurate statement. I drove all of these. I liked The Metris, but wasn't willing to spend a extra 10K+ for it. The TC was the best bang for the buck, and pretty good looking. The remaining small vans are bare bones commercial oriented.

 

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1 hour ago, zalienz said:

The remaining small vans are bare bones commercial oriented.

 

 

From what I've seen, they don't measure up for commercial use either.  Transit Connect dominates the commercial market.  Nissan NV200 was selected as the NY Taxi.  But passenger versions aren't purchased at the retail level.  The only passenger Nissans are sold as fleet purchase for disabled transport companies, taxi cabs, and shuttle vans.  Nobody buys the Ram or Chevy unless they get such a steep discount on pricing that they can't say no.  I'll admit, that if I only needed a cargo van, I would prefer the Ford over Chevy, Ram, & Nissan.......unless one of those dealers offered a deal I couldn't refuse.  A florist in my neighborhood bought 3 Nissan NV200.  Dealer gave him $6,000 off sticker + extended warranty on each.  Dollars & sense.  He saved a great deal of money.  Then I pointed out that Japanese car warranties are 3 years, and extended warranty made it 5 years.......Ford is a 5 year warranty for everybody.  Not to mention that his commercial use would go to 60,000 miles way before 5 years.  But still, he feels like he save $18,000.......although the local Ford dealer would have probably made a similar deal on the sale of 3 new vehicles.  They would have just found 3 vehicles with $26,000 stickers and sold them for $20,000.  

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I see lots of all of them around Seattle.  I hardly saw any in Los Angeles.  Beats me what that tells you.

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You will see Transit Connect & Mercedes Metris.  I doubt if you're seeing any of the Chevy City Express, Ram, or Nissan NV200.  

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I see a fair number of the Rams and Nissan NV200 and even the Chevy City Express but not so many Mercedes.  

 

I have the Titanium level TC and while not plush its not so bad on the inside.  The seats aren't great but are not that bad.  Ive always avoided leather and this is only my second vehicle with leather.  The first being a Mercedes 190E that couldn't drive by a repair shop without stopping in for a visit.  My TC is not powerful but does OK, drove over to Atlanta last Wednesday to IKEA.  Bought some cabinets loaded up and left downtown at 5PM!  Yes that's right into the teeth of rush hour.  The TC did fine, it doesn't have an overabundance of torque so have to be heads up on low speed stop and go in heavy darting traffic but it does carve thru traffic nicely.  To me it feels bigger than it is but it turns and moves like a much smaller vehicle.  My daughter had a Honda Odyssey  which is much more ponderous.  I don't miss stuff like the lane guidance, blind spot detection etc.  I do really like the backup sensors and camera.  The rain sensing wipers are really nice.  As for noise it is not bad,  It does make a difference how the back of the van is configured.  With seats up it is quite than with seats down.  It will cruse with the flow of traffic on the interstates here in the south - which sometimes is well above the posted limits.  Something I like about it is the fact it drives and corners like a car but with an elevated seating position.  No it's not going to win lots of drag races but if you need to accelerate it does it well enough.  Something that is really nice about it is the low floor height combined with the tall roof.  You can put stuff inside that wouldn't fit in an ordinary van.  The seat heights are such that most people can sit in them without effort, they are not high or low.  My 90 YO mother-in-law loves to ride in it as it's easy to get in and out.  I took her somewhere in the Volt and it is much more difficult for her to get out of as it is lower.  

 

 

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10 hours ago, PhotoAl said:

 My 90 YO mother-in-law loves to ride in it as it's easy to get in and out

You have answered the most important requirement for family bliss, all the rest is frosting on the cake!

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I ruled out the NV 200 based on it's even less impressive engine than the TC , it does come with a longer warranty though . Whoever designed the larger Nissan vans should be fired immediately , those things are horrific looking .

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I agree about the Nissan vans but I do see a fair number of them around.  

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5 hours ago, herb said:

Whoever designed the larger Nissan vans should be fired immediately , those things are horrific looking .

I Agree totally, however I have a friend who is an electrician and he loves his High top Nissan Van.

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For the commercial user, interior volume of the van is crucial.  It comes down to "what can I fit?"

 

In the USA, there are certain measurements which every tradesman considers.  Plywood, sheetrock, MDF board.....all 8'X4'.  This is why people choose American pickup trucks over imports.  Pipe is sold in 10' lengths.  Electricians & plumbers use a lot of pipe.  Big disappointment when you are on small jobs, and you can't get 1,000' of pipe into the vehicle.  Another consideration is how much weight can this carry?  I can tell you from first hand experience, that just because it fits, it does not mean that you want to transport it in your van.  

 

It all depends on who is driving it, and what they are doing with it.  I can use my Transit Connect for large construction projects.  Such jobs are big enough that all material is delivered on a flatbed from a distributor.  The only thing in my Transit Connect would be personal items like.......lunch, a change of clothes, extra safety equipment, and personal tools which I prefer.  I could get away with going to work in a Prius.  Everything else is on the jobsite, in a trailer or shipping container.  However, not everyone works on large construction projects.  And plenty of tradesmen do carry all of their tools and supplies.  

 

If that Nissan offers a better interior configuration, then they should work out well for that purpose.  Commercial users want function.  Very few consider how cute the vehicle looks.

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Lots of valid points made here. With a couple years and 18,000 miles on mine I would say I have developed a love/hate relationship with it. It IS the most useful vehicle I have ever owned. I serves me perfectly in my professional art business, where I sometimes have to haul large, but not heavy loads. It's perfect for transporting my large RC aircraft. It has served me well as a portable dressing room for changing into winter flying clothes at the airport, when getting suited up to fly my open cockpit home-built. It's just the most convenient vehicle I have ever owned for transporting just about everything I can think of (after 25 years of pickup trucks). It far surpasses my three generations of  (4-cyl 2WD) Nissan Frontiers in the power department. Mileage is remarkable. And it's oddly pleasant and sporty-feeling to drive, and astounding when it comes to parking and maneuvering - or just getting in and out.

 

Down-side...It's commercial breeding is in-your-face. There is NOTHING luxurious about it. It's noisy, uninsulated. The doors rattle and two dealers have been unable to silence them after multiple tries. The Ford Sync head unit sucks, and it's "practically impossible" to add anything electronic to the vehicle that it didn't come equipped with. It's the first vehicle I have owned since the early 1960's that has driven me to give in to paying someone else to do simple services like an oil change - because access is so difficult. I had an occasion to spend more than an hour as a back seat passenger in the wagon version. It was about as pleasant and hard-riding as being in a Soap Box Derby racer, and made me glad I didn't pop for that version.

 

Maybe the final word should be what one dealer's mechanic left me with after giving up on silencing the rattling doors - "Hey...It's a van!"

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