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Hello everyone, I am back after a long hiatus. It's funny how college takes up so much of your time.

Anyways, I am in need of some major (objective) advice. The backstory to my situation is I was blessed enough to have my parents purchase me a 2011 RTL as my first vehicle. This post is not meant to showboat or anything, I really appreciate the Ridgeline I was given and have babied it.

I had wanted a truck during high school because I come from a small central PA town and that's what was popular in high school. I was not into cars/trucks before I started driving and I told my parents I wanted a truck as my first car. Then they decided the Ridgeline was the best balance of safety, size, style and practicality on the market (which it still remains). However, if I would have been into cars more before my 16th birthday I would not have asked for a truck at all because honestly, I do not need (or really use) the capability of a truck.

Right now I am a 19 year old male (20 in March) and I go to school at Lehigh University. The drive to and from school is about 70 miles and anytime I visit family it is usually a four hour drive. Paying to fill up the Ridgeline is quite expensive and I have not actually had a need to have a pickup. Before this really wasn't a big issue for me but over the last two years my Ridgeline has started having some issues. Prior to last summer my Ridge repeatedly had suspension/steering/wheel issues. At the end of last summer I was hit on one of my last days of work and the garage did their best to fix my Ridge but the steering wheel track has been off, there is a vibration while driving. We took it into our Honda dealership and they "swear they fixed it and found some problems with two of my tires" but not not only does the wheel not track straight but I have to hold the wheel at a 15-20 degree angle to the right of center to keep the truck straight while driving and now after the maintenance if you let go of the steering wheel while driving (proving a point, I do not drive without holding the wheel obviously) the truck will turn left even with the wheel at that angle. It is quite annoying to drive.

The combination of the bad fuel economy combined with the issues I have had and my lack of needing the capabilities of a truck has caused me do some thinking. Right now the KBB value of the truck is around $28,000 and I have strongly started thinking about trying to trade in the Ridgeline. I was looking at a 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD with 1,800 miles on it for $26,000 (or another similar sedan with AWD). Personally I think a sedan fits my needs better, would cut down on fuel costs and (hopefully) would have less issues with it.

When I first discussed the topic of trading it in (obviously it would have to get fully fixed first) my parents thought I was "being impulsive and there is not need to trade in my truck"

As I have grown older I would like to think I have become smarter and I see there really is no reason for me to have a truck. Downsizing to some sort of sedan whether it is an ATS or not would cut down on fuel costs significantly, would be more comfortable on long distance drives and could potentially net some money back from the sale.

What do you guys think? I am not looking for whether my parents or I am right but really I would like some objective opinions, because both myself and my parents have our respective opinions and no one to give a wise third party view. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
 

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Hello everyone, I am back after a long hiatus. It's funny how college takes up so much of your time.

Anyways, I am in need of some major (objective) advice. The backstory to my situation is I was blessed enough to have my parents purchase me a 2011 RTL as my first vehicle. This post is not meant to showboat or anything, I really appreciate the Ridgeline I was given and have babied it.

I had wanted a truck during high school because I come from a small central PA town and that's what was popular in high school. I was not into cars/trucks before I started driving and I told my parents I wanted a truck as my first car. Then they decided the Ridgeline was the best balance of safety, size, style and practicality on the market (which it still remains). However, if I would have been into cars more before my 16th birthday I would not have asked for a truck at all because honestly, I do not need (or really use) the capability of a truck.

Right now I am a 19 year old male (20 in March) and I go to school at Lehigh University. The drive to and from school is about 70 miles and anytime I visit family it is usually a four hour drive. Paying to fill up the Ridgeline is quite expensive and I have not actually had a need to have a pickup. Before this really wasn't a big issue for me but over the last two years my Ridgeline has started having some issues. Prior to last summer my Ridge repeatedly had suspension/steering/wheel issues. At the end of last summer I was hit on one of my last days of work and the garage did their best to fix my Ridge but the steering wheel track has been off, there is a vibration while driving. We took it into our Honda dealership and they "swear they fixed it and found some problems with two of my tires" but not not only does the wheel not track straight but I have to hold the wheel at a 15-20 degree angle to the right of center to keep the truck straight while driving and now after the maintenance if you let go of the steering wheel while driving (proving a point, I do not drive without holding the wheel obviously) the truck will turn left even with the wheel at that angle. It is quite annoying to drive.

The combination of the bad fuel economy combined with the issues I have had and my lack of needing the capabilities of a truck has caused me do some thinking. Right now the KBB value of the truck is around $28,000 and I have strongly started thinking about trying to trade in the Ridgeline. I was looking at a 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD with 1,800 miles on it for $26,000 (or another similar sedan with AWD). Personally I think a sedan fits my needs better, would cut down on fuel costs and (hopefully) would have less issues with it.

When I first discussed the topic of trading it in (obviously it would have to get fully fixed first) my parents thought I was "being impulsive and there is not need to trade in my truck"

As I have grown older I would like to think I have become smarter and I see there really is no reason for me to have a truck. Downsizing to some sort of sedan whether it is an ATS or not would cut down on fuel costs significantly, would be more comfortable on long distance drives and could potentially net some money back from the sale.

What do you guys think? I am not looking for whether my parents or I am right but really I would like some objective opinions, because both myself and my parents have our respective opinions and no one to give a wise third party view. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Best features are cargo/storage, both in the cabin & bed/trunk as well as rear seat passenger comfort. This is a great road trip vehicle for those reasons. Also great ability in snow/slippery conditions. If you don't need/use any of these features, and especially if you want good gas mileage, you should look at the many options out there that better fit your needs/wants. I suggest you make a list of attributes you seek, listed in priority order, and then begin assessing your options. You'll probably find something that suits you as well as our Ridgelines suit most of us. Happy Hunting (my suggestion: consider Honda, Toyota, certain Hyundai/Kias, and maybe Subaru & maybe selected Fords). If you don't mind CVT, Nissan has some models worth a look (I'm not a fan). Don't buy ANYTHING w/o doing some online research into the specific model & year(s) you are considering. The internet is too valuable a source of helpful info (to alert you to problem-vehicles) to not take advantage of it. Google your way to happiness.
 

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Great post.

Bet there are not a lot of Ridgelines at school. Uniqueness was important to me in college. It may or may not matter to you.

I would first get an accurate assessment of the real cost to fix the RL. I don't see how you can make a decision without knowing that. Find a good local shop because they may have your truck for awhile. Include a rental car expense if necessary, although they frown on renting cars to 20 year olds.

Under normal circumstances, it is my opinion (and many others on here) that the RL will have a much higher reliability factor than the Cadillac you are considering, although it will use a little more fuel. Fuel costs are currently decreasing at the pump. If you are serious about getting out of the truck and into a sedan, I suggest something like a Camry or Accord. Very high reliability, low service costs, and great fuel economy. Just not as sexy as the Cadillac.
 

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I think if YOU'RE paying for this then you should do what makes you happy. If you're expecting your parents to do this then I say be happy with what they've given you. Gas is cheaper than car payment.

It doesn't matter if its for you or for resale, mechanically it needs to be fixed.
 

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Yes, a Camry or Accord and similar, and if you want sport the WRX/STI would fit you like a glove - not Cadillac - too many problems right now and you will be stuck with CUE. Besides, you are too young to be driving a Cadillac and you will look funny in it. The other day I saw someone who could not have been a day over 21 pulling in and getting out of a brand new S Class at a mall parking lot. Probably his father's car, nonetheless, the picture did not fit at all. By the time you are ready to drive a Cadillac sedan (in about ten years or so), they will have their act together and will produce cars even better than the Germans. They are getting there - but they are not there yet.
 

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One other thing to consider is that if you are looking into a car to replace the Ridge, note the type of fuel they use. I can't speak for the Cadillac, but a lot of your turbo 4 bangers now require premium fuel in order to operate best. The additional cost of the gas may offset any advantages you'd get from better fuel economy.

If you're looking for reliable and good handling in inclement weather, I would look at some of the Subarus. They are typically overlooked by buyers as boring and boxy, but they are reliable and very sturdy.
 

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Short answer: if you are looking to impress the ladies, then you probably don't want a Ridgeline. The list is long for sexy sporty cars on the market.

If you're looking for low purchase and operating cost, the Corolla or Camry are good choices.

But I predict if you keep the Ridgeline, you will find that you will become a very popular person, including with the ladies. Everybody in college at one time or another needs a truck for various things, like moving or hauling around equipment. many of these people are college girls, so you may find that you have an increase in popularity if you have a vehicle that will help them. What you do after that, of course, is entirely up to you and the lady.

However, if you live in any area that has a lot of snow or heavy rain, the ridgeline will be a distinct advantage over almost anything else you could buy. It's performance in the snow is incomparable.

Just the opinion of an old fart. I wish you luck.

BTW, I think your parent's decision was wise.
 

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Short answer: if you are looking to impress the ladies, then you probably don't want a Ridgeline. The list is long for sexy sporty cars on the market.

If you're looking for low purchase and operating cost, the Corolla or Camry are good choices.

But I predict if you keep the Ridgeline, you will find that you will become a very popular person, including with the ladies. Everybody in college at one time or another needs a truck for various things, like moving or hauling around equipment. many of these people are college girls, so you may find that you have an increase in popularity if you have a vehicle that will help them. What you do after that, of course, is entirely up to you and the lady.

However, if you live in any area that has a lot of snow or heavy rain, the ridgeline will be a distinct advantage over almost anything else you could buy. It's performance in the snow is incomparable.

Just the opinion of an old fart. I wish you luck.

BTW, I think your parent's decision was wise.
Not to mention all the beverages that can be transported in the out of sight in bed trunk!!
 

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I don't understand why the vehicle wasn't fixed correctly, if you were hit by someone else?
When a vehicle is not performing correctly they are easy to dislike. You are young and at
some point will definitely need a truck to move your stuff.:act002:
 

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Something to consider since you are looking at a Caddy, insurance cost difference. You could end up with a better gas mileage vehicle but higher insurance & actually be out of pocket more.

If you would've approached your parents with the trade for a more practical car, accord, camery, ect., your parents might've agreed with your decision. I'm guessing they are paying for this & see no reason for you to be driving a Caddy while in college. If you're paying for everything, housing, tuition, vehicle, insurance, ect., then do what you want to do. That's the joy of being an adult. We get to make our own mistakes & pay for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To answer some confusion, the switch cost/insurance difference/gas cost is all out of my own pocket. Which would make it seem that it would be my decision but the title is in my parents name since I was a minor when we bought the truck.
 

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I don't understand why the vehicle wasn't fixed correctly, if you were hit by someone else?
When a vehicle is not performing correctly they are easy to dislike. You are young and at
some point will definitely need a truck to move your stuff.:act002:
This above...life experience they do not teach you in college..make them fix it right period from the accident..dont just roll over..also if hit hard..i would dump it and go with crv awd
 

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To answer some confusion, the switch cost/insurance difference/gas cost is all out of my own pocket. Which would make it seem that it would be my decision but the title is in my parents name since I was a minor when we bought the truck.
Sorry, parents decision.
 

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When my two girls were in college I provided them with vehicles that I wanted them in - something affordable, sane, safe, reliable (Honda CRV, Civic then Accord). I paid the insurance and gave them gas charge cards. I paid for services, and the minor fender benders out of pocket.

When one got a DUI there was no questions about my repossessing it (for a year). She beat the ticket but not Dads rules. And I was hated (since changed).

When they graduated I gave them the title and 30 days to insure it and return the gas cards.

Parents rules supersede your wants.
 

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My suggestion is that you get the Ridge fixed right and keep it until you're out of college and working. My thoughts:

- You're not going to get $28K for the truck, even if it wasn't damaged or modded. BTW, those mods all reduce the value of your truck in the eyes of a dealer and good luck finding a private buyer who values them.

- Having owned a couple modern Caddies (CTS & SRX), my advice is to stay far away unless it's under warranty. Even then, the frequent trips to the dealer for repairs will get old really fast. Save all the other luxury brands for when you have a successful career.

- As you matriculate in college, you will be making fewer of those 4 hour trips back home, unless you're dating a girl who was still in junior high when you graduated.

- You're in snowy PA and the Ridge's ability in snow is superior to most other 4WD / AWD offerings except some Subarus.

- Think about your needs now and once you graduate. You will likely need something that can transport stuff and occasional people. The Ridge is pretty good for that, but larger stuff has to go in the bed and that can pose security / weather issues. Other good Honda's for your stage in life are the Fit, CRV, and upcoming HRV. (We've brought a number of pieces of furniture and electronics home in my wife's Fit rather than the Ridge.)
 

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- Having owned a couple modern Caddies (CTS & SRX), my advice is to stay far away unless it's under warranty. Even then, the frequent trips to the dealer for repairs will get old really fast.
Unfortunately, several of my friends say the same thing. Once they are out of warranty it gets expensive fast. Escalades are a different story.. But is an Escalade really a badge engineered Chevy?
 

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I'd keep the ridge, get it fixed properly and worry about school not my ride. No payments other than operating costs is a big advantage. gas mileage being a chief complaint, I'd not go from the Ridge to a car getting 18/28, if I was going to do it, I'd go to a corolla or civic. Not as flash as the caddy.
 

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You may be older but I'm not sure sensible is on the radar. Do you see any other 20-year old college students driving late model cadillacs? The cost to insure/repair that vehicle will eat you alive. Yes, cadillacs break down, and when they do, it's expensive. Being sensible is purchasing a vehicle that will get you through your college years efficiently an with low maintenance costs (find out what it costs to maintain a cadillac by the way...).

If you are wanting an AWD vehicle, how about looking at a Subaru, or a small SUV of any ilk. IMHO you are looking at trouble going with a Cadillac. Plus, they're old people's cars....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well guys..... It's finally happening. I really enjoyed my Ridge and she's been my best friend since I was 16 but, I'm trading her in just 4 hours.

5 years/39,000 miles and a lot of good memories. I had wanted to upgrade to the next Gen Ridgeline, but I've given up on Honda because after all the information has been released. I do not think that Gen 2 will be anything special, its been very discouraging. Additionally, I've hated my local Honda dealer and do not believe they properly fixed my truck after the accident I was in.

Thank you all for everything, not just entertaining discussions about the Ridge, but the life advice and friends I've met on here.

I'll come around every once in a while. Thanks for everything guys!
 
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