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apples-and-bangs

Prospective newbie seeking info & advice!

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Posted (edited)
I'm very early in my new car-search, and right now the Transit Connect is looking really good to me.  
Some context, I'm currently driving my dad's old car, a '94 BMW 325i, and while it's been very good to me, it's on it's last legs with 350k and is also very small for my needs.  I'm an artist, and need to be able to transport large paintings as well as the materials to build the panels.  Sometimes I need to carry an entire exhibition of paintings at once, or artwork as well as equipment like easels, tables, etc.  So I need cargo space but also still want something easy to drive.  I mostly work from home and don't commute every day, but still run errands a few times a week, plus a 10-ish mile commute once or twice a week to my part-time work.  Art transport frequency varies, but generally a few times a month and anywhere from 10-200 miles.
 
I'm looking at the TC and some compact SUV's, no trucks only because it's better to transport the paintings in a closed cabin to protect them.  Today I test drove an HR-V and a Transit Connect, first cars I've ever test driven.  Liked the HR-V but it's just a little smaller than ideal.  LOVED the TC, I'm really leaning towards it right now.  It will carry everything I need, and I feel that it fits the lifestyle I want to have.  Having some concerns about the cost of ownership and the general reliability.  Is it a realistic option as an every-day car?  For owners, is there anything you miss about having a more consumer-type car?  For example, have you had a hard time finding places to get it serviced or repaired?  Any advice about buying new vs lightly used?
 
Also, I'm feeling torn between the pure utility models and the passenger wagon.  Realistically, it's either just me in the car, or me + the husband or another friend.  We don't have kids (though I'd like to one day), but I'm trying to decide if I'd miss having the option to tote more passengers?  Husband has a camry that can seat 4-5, so I'm thinking that if we really needed to seat people we could just take his car. I feel like the passenger wagon would give me more flexibility in that area but I'd also lose some cargo space, which is the main thing I want anyway.  Can anyone speak to any of these issues/questions?
 
 
Edited by apples-and-bangs
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TC has great storage (2010-2013) body styles have the highest roofs

I never buy new as its a quickly depreciating asset so makes financial sense to buy second hand if possible

I miss the speed of a regular consumer type car....the TC has slow acceleration, at least my year...perhaps newer years are better

 

It's versatile..you can take camping as many folks have converted..you can see my pics..

 

If you aren't trying to impress a hot date then the TC is an excellent vehicle...or transporting paintings...pretty idyllic I would think 

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Hey, thank you so much!  This is helpful.  Definitely don’t care about luxury and am also okay with slow acceleration, my car is also slow that way so am used to it.  That’s one of the things I liked about it when test driving, a lot of new cars just feel very different to me than what I’m used to so the learning curve is steep.  How used would you recommend buying in terms of mileage and year?  

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My ‘16 (Ecoboost turbo) cargo van has been great for the most part. The issues I’ver had have been mostly with the LPG conversion I made. It requies more service than I anticipated. Other than that I’m very happy and will probably buy another one in the near future. It’ll be diesel tho as the gasoline/automatic combo is not available in Europe anymore. 

This is my second cargo van in a row, also had a 2006 TC previously. I have other cars as well, including a nice SUV in the family but whenever I go anywhere I always pick my van (unless I need people carrying capacity).

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I've got a 2016 wagon bought in 2018. Love it - lots of room for cargo when seats folded down and 7 seat availability.

For economy (initial cost & maintenance) I'd never get a turbo. My 2.5L with 6-speed auto can easily keep up with traffic city & hgwy, even when towing my tent-trailer. And quite good on gas.

Buiying slightly used [1or 2 yrs old] saves the "instant" 30+% depreciation on a new vehicle.

Look around and check the 2 styles of rear door (lift or barn) to see what works best for you.  Each has good & bad points.

Cargo model has more load space but can be noisy. Wagon quieter and has windows [well-tinted] so nicer for passengers.

 

Be aware that newer cars than your '94' have far more electronic system controls. So major service will best be done at a dealer, but regular maintenance can be done by any garage.

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The Gen 2 TCs (2014+) are significantly different than Gen 1. Eco-boost only available on short wheel base models 2014-2016 and is hard to find (however I love mine). The 2.5l engine in the Gen 2 improved driveability over the smaller motor in the Gen 1.

 

The cargo vans are less expensive but the wagons have panels and insulation to make them more "civilized". Cost of ownership and reliability seem normal. Some guys put 100k+ miles in a couple of years without problems. 

 

Buying used makes a lot of sense for your application. 

 

 

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On 8/9/2020 at 5:54 PM, mrtn said:

It’ll be diesel tho as the gasoline/automatic combo is not available in Europe anymore. 

No gas for you and no Diesels for us .  Must have something to do with the Pandemic!

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