Q: I’m thinking of buying back my three-year-old lease car that I’m happy with, a 2020 Volkswagen Golf. It will then have 70,000 km on the odometer and the purchase price will be $19,500 (taxes included). Do you recommend me to take out warranty? If yes which one ? I know the dealership will want to sell me more than less, so I would like your opinion before I meet with him. – Therese M.
A: Let’s face it, the reliability of Volkswagen products is uneven. Some owners say they are completely satisfied with the product, others, just as many, swear that they will never buy more. To read you, you seem to belong to the first category. Before meeting with your dealer’s sales representative, you should keep in mind that your vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty (4 years / 80,000 km). So why resort to an – expensive – extended warranty? If your vehicle has not been a problem for you so far and it has been meticulously maintained, save your money. Instead, seek out a trusted independent technician and be sure to maintain your vehicle with care.
Q: We own a 2017 Acura RDX Elite trim. It is in excellent condition, the odometer is 98,000 km. It is fully paid for and my wife and I are very happy with it. It is very comfortable and its amenities are appreciated, especially during our annual trip to Florida. In the next few months, we will pay $1,500 to $2,500 in maintenance, depending on the recommendations of the manufacturer’s guide. We also own a 2012 Honda Ridgeline, in excellent condition, fully paid for, with only 130,000 km on the odometer. An essential for fishing trips and, on occasion, cottage living. Now that we’re retired, taking gas mileage into account, would it make sense to take advantage of the RDX’s still-good enough resale value to turn to a hybrid or electric vehicle? Among other things, we could reduce our gas bill and contribute to the environment. Unlike my wife, I often wonder if we really need two vehicles. Despite its higher gas mileage, the Ridgeline would be enough to meet all of our needs! Another question, should we sell our two vehicles and focus on buying a single new vehicle, likely to meet all our needs? – Robert G.
A: Due to the wait time to get a hybrid or electric vehicle, why not get rid of your RDX Elite and keep one vehicle? This is also a good gesture for the environment. At this time, you will not find a vehicle that can adequately replace your Ridgeline at a comparable price. So, to use a popular expression: “wear it out”.
Q: For my retirement gift, I’m hesitating between an Audi A3 AWD and a Mercedes A-Class 250, certified 2019-2020 models. My selection criteria: driving pleasure, handling, cabin quality, comfort. I had a penchant for the A3 that I tried, unlike the Class A. But I find that the latter offers a lot even in its basic version, while you have to go to the Technik version at Audi, more expensive, to benefit from equivalent equipment. Also, despite several differences, if I ever want to continue driving a manual, how would the Mini Cooper compare to the other two based on the same criteria mentioned earlier? – Francis B.
A: It probably offers more, but it should be remembered that the commercialization of this vehicle on the Canadian (and American) market was abandoned at the end of last year. In the short term, you don’t really have to worry about finding replacement parts. In the medium or long term, this could prove more difficult, or at the very least more expensive. From this perspective, Audi’s A3 offers better supply guarantees and better prices as many of its components are shared with Volkswagen products sold in Canada. That said, the A3 is overall a roomier and more ergonomically refined vehicle than the A-Class was. This one, on the other hand, arguably fits your criteria more. It is more engaging to drive than the Audi, better equipped as you point out, but less comfortable. From this point of view, the A-Class compares more favorably to the Mini Cooper which, in its S and JCW versions (more extreme, I agree), provides real driving pleasure.
Q: I purchased a 2015 Smart Electric Convertible as my second vehicle. The experience is quite good despite the dryness of the suspensions. With this experience, I would like to know if there is an electric car with better autonomy and which would perhaps be a little more comfortable. I am open to used or new cars. – Eric P.
A: The realistic range for an electric Smart was more or less 130 km. Does a range of 200 km, for example, correspond to “better range”? If so, then you might consider vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric (2012-2018) or even the early generations of the Nissan Leaf (2010-2017) and Kia Soul (ideally 2018 due to a slight range gain ). More massive, it goes without saying, these two vehicles will provide you with more comfort and utility volume than your current Smart. As for new vehicles, if the autonomy of 200 km remains more than acceptable, perhaps you will be interested in the MX-30 from Mazda. Its availability seems less problematic than that of other electric vehicles (one, two, or even three years of waiting). However, for the asking price, you should rather turn to the Chevrolet Bolt (GM is considering keeping it in the catalog by integrating its new Ultium technology) or the future Equinox EV (Chevrolet) or Kona EV (Hyundai).