So, with no Internet on vacation and some down time I got to thinking, not always a good thing.
My quiry was this, would this be a good time for me to take advantage of several programs and trade up while reducing my monthly payments? Let me lay the foundation, I currently have 2 vehicles, 1999 Ford Ranger XLT with 4.0 V6 and 4x4, plus 2006 Mazda 3 s GT. The truck is paid for, the Mazda is more than half paid, but I'm paying insurance, gas and repairs (minimal luckily ) for 2 vehicles. Now, the Ranger as much as I love it is a prime candidate for the CARS program, more commonly called the Cash For Clunkers, it's 10 years old and gets poor fuel economy. So, I went to Ford's CARS site to see what I knew, that if I were to scrap the Ranger I would be eligable for up to $4500 if I picked a vehicle that got better milage.
Yesterday, after enduring the long drive back to the New York Metro area from Cape Cod, I started tipping and tapping at my keyboard and checked KBB and NADA values of the Ranger, both pegged at aproximately $4300, so the $4500 scrapage is very fair. I also checked the Federal website and noticed that beyond the $4500 I may be eligable to apply the further scrappage value of the truck. But let's just assume the $4500. What to buy? Well after a lot of thought I settled on the 2009 Ford Escape Limited with the I-4 and AWD. It's 175 hp may not be impressive, but the Ranger has 5 less and the Mazda's 158 does fine. My racing days are long over. The Escape's MPG rating of 19 city and 25 city is less than the Mazda's but very livable.
Life's a compramise and I need the following qualities/features in my next vehicle;
I-4 engine for economy
AWD for winter driving
Wagon style versatility for hauling and people moving.
I'd like the following as well
Heated Leather seating
Premium CD stereo
and since it's a Ford Sync.
I'm thinking that if I do this, I can get one vehicle that will fulfill all my needs and save me a few bucks every month. After the CARS and Trade In of the Mazda my monthyly payment should be about $40 less per month and since I'll be paying for Insurance on only one vehicle you can add about $90 more to that.
The only drawback to the entire thing? No Manual Transmission available with the AWD.
Research has only begun on this idea, I need to shop the competition, see what's going to be a better price with comparable options and see if I can get the Manual with AWD anywhere.
Do I stay Ford loyal ? Keep an eye on these pages over the next few weeks as I explore my buying options.