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Help in deciding to buy a car


Arsalan Ehsan

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Hi everyone,

Looks like i have decided finally that i will get an Xterra but don't want to spend much on it, something around the budget of 20K only.

So i have shortlisted one car it is a 2008 gcc asking price is 18k, driven to about 198k km till now. There are others as well but the basic options and offroad version is somewhat around 28 or 29k which is too much in my opinion as i am only getting this to fuel my offroad desires ūüėé and if i feel i have graduated after a year and need to go next level then whats the worst this car can sell at may be 15k not much of a depreciation left i guess, lol.

Is it a good option for me to look at? Is there something that i should be careful about or get it checked from somewhere? This will be my first SUV, I was thinking about taking it to comprehensive check at RTA is that fine?

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Comprehensive check with Tasjeel is good for 5 years or less old cars tbh. Don't waste money on that instead drive to a "trusted" mechanic and ask them to check all mechanical points properly. Your number 1 goal has to eliminate previously off-road driven xterra so that you can get some usable life out of it. Any sign of sand, bigger tires, snorkel, custom bash plate, off-road lights means mostly they are done with off-road life.

Pricing seem steep, but u can double check or wait for others to comment as I'm not well aware of going market rate for Xterra.

If you can wait till June, when school finishes and mercury rises, you might find a sweet deal from many ppl leaving country or selling in hotter months, such off-road friendly 4x4 doesn't fetch too much premium in summer.

Last but not least, try to aim for off-road version if you can stretch, as if its your off-road toy then you will appreciate that lot more for having better suspension, underbody protection and rear diff-lock. All are very good and needed mods that you will be needing soon within 3-6 months time.

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Thanks Gaurav, for the feedback. Yes, i can definitely wait and see what deals come out have been monitoring dubizzle and other classified for last 4 weeks now, lol.

I agree, i need to take it to a mechanic but which one don't know, hence the easy solution for buyers like me is Tasjeel. Is there a trusted garage that anyone can recommend, i also feel the charges for Tasjeel is an overkill 400+ūüėďūüė•

There are non GCC variant which are offroad versions, is that something i should look into? Or stick with GCC only?

I had xterra, pathfinder the old shape one 2006 or 2007 versions or prado 2008 on the table and almost all these fall into my budget of 20+ exception of Toyota where i will have to shell another additional 5 to 6k. Should i reconsider xterra to these models? This car will mainly be offroad toy rather than family car.

Edited by Arsalan Ehsan
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with 20k AED budget you can afford a xterra 2010- 2012, 2008 with 190k km should be around 15k AED or less, and you should expect any 2008 vehicle to have more than 200k km on the dash.

2 years ago I got an 2013 basic option xterra with 130k km for 28k AED,  a slight offroaded vehicle but overall good condition.

offroad version 2010 I have seen some ridiculous 30k, with less than 100k km (not sure if the final selling price can land somewhere near 30k)

if you are rooting for long term offroad, offroad version xterra is a good one, it has skid plates, suspension with lift, rear diff lock, you need no further mods on it.

Overall all xterra is great for offroad, good angles and clearance, with unpainted bumpers that you dont need to worry if they gets cracked. 

 

Lastly starter can be a common issue for xterra/pathfinder r51 as they share most of the parts

I own 2 pathfinder r51, and 1 xterra. The pathfiners sometimes takes 2-3 tries to ignite the car and xterra I had to replace the starter, 

 

Xterra is clearly the better out of the 3,

1. Pre 2010 prado's output only 230+ hp, Pathfinder & Xterra share the same engine with 260+ hp.

2. Pathfinder is heavier and has less angles and clearance.

Edited by Zixuan Huang
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Prado pre-2008 are solid as gold and you wont find any low-mileage in 20K. Best are SWB Prado VX 2003 - 2008 Shape, but rare as hen's teeth now, impossible to find clean one.

Xterra overall are much better and affordable, stick with GCC to reduce headache, try off-road version if you can, if not its still better better than Pathfinder (slightly underpowered) and 4 door Prado (heavier car) that might need lot of cosmetic arrangement of front and rear bumper trim, 2 inch lift eventually to be a perfect desert toy.

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So an update on the car :) 

I have found another car, its a 2011 GCC specs with off-road (Diff lock), Surprisingly the guy has purchased the car back in 4th April 2021 and is selling now, the story is that he has got the loan approved from Al Futtaim for an FJ cruiser and hence is selling the xterra.

I drove the car it is was smooth with adequate pick and drive, the body had some visible scratches and one right side tail light is slightly broken. The car has 130k KM on the dash and he had recently changed the radiator the complaint was that it was getting heated so the garage guy had changed it, and he said the only one thing which the guy had asked him to change if required was a Thermostat (he said it would cost 75 to change if required)

We have agreed for a price of 25k for the car, Hence i am reverting back here to the Pro's :) if the price is fine?

I don't know a single garage guy who i can take the car to for assessing it, my only option is to have it checked at Tasjeel for Comprehensive test, does anyone knows a garage where i can take it to rather than to Tasjeel, i would highly appreciate it. Even if someone can join me in the test drive tomorrow and assess it first hand as i have don't know what system that needs to be checked.

There was something I noticed in the front right hand side, the suspension was a different Yellow color one something the rest of the suspensions were stock but the right side had the different suspension i guess. The Tires were Nexen something 2018's is that something that i need replace first thing to something more reliable or they are just fine?

The car is registered currently in Sharjah, do i have to take the car to Sharjah first cancel it ? will i be given an export number or have to take a recovery for this job and take the car to Dubai to have it passed there as well. What moment do i hand over the cash to the seller? while he cancels the car or once the car passes in Dubai?

the Car chassis number is¬†5N1AN0N61BC501592 in case someone can share any insights¬†ūüėé

 

 

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25k I would accpet and proceed with details checks, and probably you can find something that be used for final negotiation.

factory offroad suspension as I remember they are all yellow color (perhaps bilstein?). 

if he changed the radiator make sure its original, because GCC car's radiator is thicker, (contains more volume of coolant), and he might changed with a duplicate radiator that is the regular sized, whose cooling isnt as effective as the original sized radiator. and yes, the thermostat wouldnt cost you alot for a repalcement.

tires not sure, I am still a fresh newbie with HT tires

for the registeration, you will have to do the ownership transfer in SHJ, and request for an export plate(it comes as stickers), and you can just drive the car with stickers to Dubai and register. you can handover the cash as soon as you have the possession certificate with your name in SHJ. as I remember even for export plate, the car has to pass the test in SHJ too.

 

the wear and tear on top of the steering\shift knob\driver seat's entry side support can tell the truth of the car's usage. with 130k of usage, you shoulnt see surface of these are tore open, and i know dealers like to change the mileage to around 100k from 200k or even 300k, so watch out on this.

 

my best advice is to hire a used car advisor even if he charges 500 AED for the visit, if you dont have anyone really know about used cars. the actual saving will be beyond this 500 AED.

 

 

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In simple words: Move away and find another deal.

Here are the red flag that I observe:

  1. Radiator change - points to either accident or hardcore off-road or defer maintenance. Either case you shouldn't buy lemon, as when radiator bursted or leaking you don't know how long car has been overheated. It take 1 time full red-zone needle to leak the head gasket and you will be ending fixing that or changing engine as a worst case scenario.
  2. 1 month old and selling - he must have got the lemon from previous owner and it must be overheating while off-road so he wanna get rid of it too.
  3. Off-road Xterra has bilstein shock and they are in silver color (I guess), google it surely with VIN number. If you seeing yellow shocks means 100% its being heavily off-road in previous life, so move away.

In my view buying road driven Xterra with FSH from dealer is FAR better than off-road version.

If you can buy offroad version with no traces of off-road or mild off-road then you are lucky.

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So he changed a radiator but didn't spend an extra 70 aed to replace a thermostat? I guess the car is still overheating And wants to convince you that it is just a 70 derhams fix. Most probably it has a bad cylinder head.

The other walk away is the different suspension color, meaning that it was damaged maybe by an accident or the owner was so cheap he doesn't maintain his car properly and only replaced suspension on one side using some aftermarket parts. God knows what other non genuine parts he also replaced in the past.

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9 hours ago, Gaurav said:

In simple words: Move away and find another deal.

Here are the red flag that I observe:

  1. Radiator change - points to either accident or hardcore off-road or defer maintenance. Either case you shouldn't buy lemon, as when radiator bursted or leaking you don't know how long car has been overheated. It take 1 time full red-zone needle to leak the head gasket and you will be ending fixing that or changing engine as a worst case scenario.
  2. 1 month old and selling - he must have got the lemon from previous owner and it must be overheating while off-road so he wanna get rid of it too.
  3. Off-road Xterra has bilstein shock and they are in silver color (I guess), google it surely with VIN number. If you seeing yellow shocks means 100% its being heavily off-road in previous life, so move away.

In my view buying road driven Xterra with FSH from dealer is FAR better than off-road version.

If you can buy offroad version with no traces of off-road or mild off-road then you are lucky.

Done and agreed, walking away from the car.

1 hour ago, Lawrence_Chehimi said:

So he changed a radiator but didn't spend an extra 70 aed to replace a thermostat? I guess the car is still overheating And wants to convince you that it is just a 70 derhams fix. Most probably it has a bad cylinder head.

The other walk away is the different suspension color, meaning that it was damaged maybe by an accident or the owner was so cheap he doesn't maintain his car properly and only replaced suspension on one side using some aftermarket parts. God knows what other non genuine parts he also replaced in the past.

Thanks Lawrence, this is what exactly ran through my mind and made me think twice.

You guys are the best¬†ūüĎć, still keeping a look out for another car preferably¬†an off-road version as advised.

Just one question, do we have any trusted mechanic in house where i can take my next car there for him to check?

Appreciate all your feedback and comments.

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