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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Earlier this year (May 2021, that is) I finally got rid of my plain awful BMW E83 X3, by trading it into T31 Nissan X-Trail! My X is 2012 model, making it a facelifted T31 and here's a recent morning pic of it:



Even though I mostly chose the T31 for its utility features (huge boot, good off road capability), it's also turning out great platform for some modifications. Mostly cosmetic though, in my case. I needed a hobby, so I'll give it a shot and try to make the T31 look a bit more contemporary. ;):cool: I must remind, though, that I'm 46 and Scandinavian, so don't go expecting a lo-rider with blingy chrome wheels and purple velour interior. I try to keep the modifications more true to this car's nature, LOL!

Since the summer is turning into fall in my neighborhood, I need to postpone most external modifications, such as vinyl wraps, into 2022 and warmer weather. Thus, I started from the inside, and installed new seat covers. The original ones were in good nick, but a little bit dour and I didn't like the velour-like material (especially during the heat wave period last summer here). I bought a set of universal covers off eBay, but rather than getting cheapest ones, I invested a bit more money into them.

Here's the original ones:


And here's the new ones:




Now, plaid with orange accents might be just too busy for some people, but once I'm done with all the modifications, you'll get the big picture!

In general, I think these covers fit rather nicely. They're snug and if you take time to install them, they don't look that "universal" at all:







The back rest covers were a little bit saggy right after install, but after I had driven with the car for couple of days, I noticed the covers started to shape on to the seats much better. Now my driver's side cover sits almost perfectly in the seat.

But, the back seat was a bit more complicated:




The seat mat sits all right, but the headrest pouches are clearly oversized and the back rest... Even though cleverly designed and provided a very snug fit, they weren't exactly perfectly suited for my T31. I even snapped one of the fastener loops during the process and there wasn't a slot for the middle seat belt (top of the back rest, where the seat belt comes from). I still need to do some research if I could get the back rests in place too. One of the T31s benefits is actually the high versatility of the boot and back seats, so I'm swaying a bit on fence if I want to do anything for the back seats.

But as a total, I might rate these seat covers 4 out of 5! They do look cool and well made, I also like the materials. I accidentally ordered partial pleather ones, I'm generally not a fan of leather, real or artificial, but with these partial pleather covers I can live with. Surprisingly enough.

Also a service log since May: New battery and driver's side front wheel bearing (scheduled for Sept 15th). Now approx. 111800 miles on the clock. Had about 103400 when I bought this in May.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice mods.

Is that an auxiliary heater at the passenger left foot?


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Thanks! Yes it indeed is a cabin heater. It's running in conjunction with engine block heater. When temperatures here go below zero Celsius, I usually plug the system into wall socket for an hour or two, before starting. Or that's what I've done with my previous cars, haven't needed extra heat with the X-Trail yet. My previous BMW had absolutely no extra heating methods at all and during the coldest periods of the winter I had trouble getting my car started.
 

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Earlier this year (May 2021, that is) I finally got rid of my plain awful BMW E83 X3, by trading it into T31 Nissan X-Trail! My X is 2012 model, making it a facelifted T31 and here's a recent morning pic of it:



Even though I mostly chose the T31 for its utility features (huge boot, good off road capability), it's also turning out great platform for some modifications. Mostly cosmetic though, in my case. I needed a hobby, so I'll give it a shot and try to make the T31 look a bit more contemporary. ;):cool: I must remind, though, that I'm 46 and Scandinavian, so don't go expecting a lo-rider with blingy chrome wheels and purple velour interior. I try to keep the modifications more true to this car's nature, LOL!

Since the summer is turning into fall in my neighborhood, I need to postpone most external modifications, such as vinyl wraps, into 2022 and warmer weather. Thus, I started from the inside, and installed new seat covers. The original ones were in good nick, but a little bit dour and I didn't like the velour-like material (especially during the heat wave period last summer here). I bought a set of universal covers off eBay, but rather than getting cheapest ones, I invested a bit more money into them.

Here's the original ones:


And here's the new ones:




Now, plaid with orange accents might be just too busy for some people, but once I'm done with all the modifications, you'll get the big picture!

In general, I think these covers fit rather nicely. They're snug and if you take time to install them, they don't look that "universal" at all:







The back rest covers were a little bit saggy right after install, but after I had driven with the car for couple of days, I noticed the covers started to shape on to the seats much better. Now my driver's side cover sits almost perfectly in the seat.

But, the back seat was a bit more complicated:




The seat mat sits all right, but the headrest pouches are clearly oversized and the back rest... Even though cleverly designed and provided a very snug fit, they weren't exactly perfectly suited for my T31. I even snapped one of the fastener loops during the process and there wasn't a slot for the middle seat belt (top of the back rest, where the seat belt comes from). I still need to do some research if I could get the back rests in place too. One of the T31s benefits is actually the high versatility of the boot and back seats, so I'm swaying a bit on fence if I want to do anything for the back seats.

But as a total, I might rate these seat covers 4 out of 5! They do look cool and well made, I also like the materials. I accidentally ordered partial pleather ones, I'm generally not a fan of leather, real or artificial, but with these partial pleather covers I can live with. Surprisingly enough.

Also a service log since May: New battery and driver's side front wheel bearing (scheduled for Sept 15th). Now approx. 111800 miles on the clock. Had about 103400 when I bought this in May.
your seat covers are surprisingly very good looking and the front seats look like some kind of factory option with these seat covers on. Good job on the install.
I only spent $45 cnd. on front and rear seat covers about 4 years ago. My 06 Xtrail seats were in pretty clean good condition for an older used vehicle. Only portion i did not cover were the back seat upper back portions . It was a bit frustrating so i just left that area exposed and use a large beach towel or whatever if needed to be covered.
The only real reasons i normally buy seat covers for any vehicle i own is to dress up a typical low rent interior ( too much black or grey colors) . The other is to keep the seats in as pristine condition as i can so when it comes time to re-sell my vehicle the next buyer can have one more reason to buy my vehicle from the next guy and maybe not try to low ball me too much if he/she thinks i keep my vehicles in good clean shape, inside and out.
The covers i bought were simple fabric , in a black/light cream Tan color. Just to break up the dull interior greys.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
your seat covers are surprisingly very good looking and the front seats look like some kind of factory option with these seat covers on. Good job on the install.
I only spent $45 cnd. on front and rear seat covers about 4 years ago. My 06 Xtrail seats were in pretty clean good condition for an older used vehicle. Only portion i did not cover were the back seat upper back portions . It was a bit frustrating so i just left that area exposed and use a large beach towel or whatever if needed to be covered.
The only real reasons i normally buy seat covers for any vehicle i own is to dress up a typical low rent interior ( too much black or grey colors) . The other is to keep the seats in as pristine condition as i can so when it comes time to re-sell my vehicle the next buyer can have one more reason to buy my vehicle from the next guy and maybe not try to low ball me too much if he/she thinks i keep my vehicles in good clean shape, inside and out.
The covers i bought were simple fabric , in a black/light cream Tan color. Just to break up the dull interior greys. View attachment 7776 View attachment 7776
Thanks mate! At first I was VERY tempted to go for tailor-made seat covers, there's a website in Germany which lets you configure all the individual elements in seat covers too.


The total price for fabric covers from that site is not THAT bad, about 300eur (approx. USD360 at today's rate) and I bet the fit & finish would be even better than in these universal covers. But, then I decided to save some money for other mods and maybe when I'm able to buy my dream hobby car, I'll have tailor-made covers done for that. ;)

In my Bimmer I had some very cheap (about 25eur for both front seats) "T-shirt" style seat covers, but that was only because I hate full leather seats the BMW had. I'm the kind of guy who literally sweats his back side off on leather seats. The cheapo covers filled their purpose, but certainly weren't much of luxury, LOL!

I think here in Europe car makers are too cautious when they design interiors. And it's getting worse all the time. I've been sitting in some cars which are about a year or two old, and they all look too similar on the inside. Pitch black, dark grey at best and center dashboard is dominated by huge touch screen. When I had my Chevy Cruze several years ago, I just loved the interior design in it. The designers could do wonders with little extra color and bling. If they just wanted.
 

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Thanks mate! At first I was VERY tempted to go for tailor-made seat covers, there's a website in Germany which lets you configure all the individual elements in seat covers too.


The total price for fabric covers from that site is not THAT bad, about 300eur (approx. USD360 at today's rate) and I bet the fit & finish would be even better than in these universal covers. But, then I decided to save some money for other mods and maybe when I'm able to buy my dream hobby car, I'll have tailor-made covers done for that. ;)

In my Bimmer I had some very cheap (about 25eur for both front seats) "T-shirt" style seat covers, but that was only because I hate full leather seats the BMW had. I'm the kind of guy who literally sweats his back side off on leather seats. The cheapo covers filled their purpose, but certainly weren't much of luxury, LOL!

I think here in Europe car makers are too cautious when they design interiors. And it's getting worse all the time. I've been sitting in some cars which are about a year or two old, and they all look too similar on the inside. Pitch black, dark grey at best and center dashboard is dominated by huge touch screen. When I had my Chevy Cruze several years ago, I just loved the interior design in it. The designers could do wonders with little extra color and bling. If they just wanted.
i agree the Chevy Cruze had a nice interior for the budget price point it sold for.
I'm fond of lighter colored interiors or a two toned such as black dashboard with tan/brown seats and two toned door panels. i think makes a big difference in overall ambiance and maybe a better driving mood , especially if you drive a lot and live in a city with a lot of cloudy-rainy days that add to the gloominess. Even the Jeep Wranglers offer some color options in the trim levels.
7779
7780
...i'v sat in the rear of a Wrangler with just dark charcoal seats and black carpets/dark privacy glass and i felt like throwing up from all the darkness. Huge improvement when you sit back there with a saddle brown leather seats/white headliner or tan cloth seats.
Worst dark nauseating car to sit in the back is the Kia Souls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i agree the Chevy Cruze had a nice interior for the budget price point it sold for.
I'm fond of lighter colored interiors or a two toned such as black dashboard with tan/brown seats and two toned door panels. i think makes a big difference in overall ambiance and maybe a better driving mood , especially if you drive a lot and live in a city with a lot of cloudy-rainy days that add to the gloominess. Even the Jeep Wranglers offer some color options in the trim levels. View attachment 7779 View attachment 7780 ...i'v sat in the rear of a Wrangler with just dark charcoal seats and black carpets/dark privacy glass and i felt like throwing up from all the darkness. Huge improvement when you sit back there with a saddle brown leather seats/white headliner or tan cloth seats.
Worst dark nauseating car to sit in the back is the Kia Souls.
Wow, I never thought Jeep Wrangler would look that cool on the inside! I also greatly prefer lighter interior colors, living in a country where it's often cloudy and during the wintertime sunlight hours are short. But when I was semi-seriously eyeing used WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokees for sale in my neighborhood, the interior choices were: black, black and then some black. 19 out 20 used WK2s had pitch black interior, and I think the single saddle brown one was just a coincidence.

BTW, the forecast is promising warm next couple of days here, so I might be able to do at least one scheduled modification for my T31. Not sure which one it is, though, for the roof wrapping I'd probably need an extra pair of hands, but the trunk hatch sound insulation/water leak inspection would take longer time... Hmmmm...
 

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Wow, I never thought Jeep Wrangler would look that cool on the inside! I also greatly prefer lighter interior colors, living in a country where it's often cloudy and during the wintertime sunlight hours are short. But when I was semi-seriously eyeing used WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokees for sale in my neighborhood, the interior choices were: black, black and then some black. 19 out 20 used WK2s had pitch black interior, and I think the single saddle brown one was just a coincidence.

BTW, the forecast is promising warm next couple of days here, so I might be able to do at least one scheduled modification for my T31. Not sure which one it is, though, for the roof wrapping I'd probably need an extra pair of hands, but the trunk hatch sound insulation/water leak inspection would take longer time... Hmmmm...
An idea for you : I bought and mounted a pair of LED light bars into the the slots of my front bumper. Just directly wired them to the front marker light wires. So they only turn on when i turn on my headlights.
They are not super bright and just cast light downwards to the road surface . I have the LED headlight bulbs and did not want to create too much bright light to distract others or the police. They do look good tho on a dark night and add to the visibility. If you are handy, some of the lights come with a on/off switch you can mount on your lower dashboard. I posted a Google generic pic of something similar to the lights i bought. Really just need to mount with a few screws and maybe some 3M sticky tape , run the wires to parking light wires or directly to your battery.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An idea for you : I bought and mounted a pair of LED light bars into the the slots of my front bumper. Just directly wired them to the front marker light wires. So they only turn on when i turn on my headlights.
They are not super bright and just cast light downwards to the road surface . I have the LED headlight bulbs and did not want to create too much bright light to distract others or the police. They do look good tho on a dark night and add to the visibility. If you are handy, some of the lights come with a on/off switch you can mount on your lower dashboard. I posted a Google generic pic of something similar to the lights i bought. Really just need to mount with a few screws and maybe some 3M sticky tape , run the wires to parking light wires or directly to your battery. View attachment 7791
That's actually very good idea! Those LED bars have become quite popular around here, but IMO most of them look a bit ugly on regular cars. But, T31 has that vent between grille and license plate, so that slot might work for some kind of "semi-concealed" additional light hideout. You'd only see them when they're lit.

Just need to study if there's enough room and if I can find small enough LED bars so there's still enough air flow through the vent.;)
 

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That's actually very good idea! Those LED bars have become quite popular around here, but IMO most of them look a bit ugly on regular cars. But, T31 has that vent between grille and license plate, so that slot might work for some kind of "semi-concealed" additional light hideout. You'd only see them when they're lit.

Just need to study if there's enough room and if I can find small enough LED bars so there's still enough air flow through the vent.;)
so i show you the ones i bought here in Canada. You probably can find them online with Amazon or in person at your local auto parts shop. Really are not big at all. Maybe the size of a chocolate bar...like a Snickers bar.
I think i posted a write up and photos on here with these lights on my 06 xtrail. https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/led-phaser-beam-accent-light-0203769p.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so i show you the ones i bought here in Canada. You probably can find them online with Amazon or in person at your local auto parts shop. Really are not big at all. Maybe the size of a chocolate bar...like a Snickers bar.
I think i posted a write up and photos on here with these lights on my 06 xtrail. https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/led-phaser-beam-accent-light-0203769p.html
Those are really cool, thanks for the link! I examined my T31's bumper & grille structure earlier today, there's LOADS of room behind that middle vent so I think these would fit in there just nicely! I'll just have to check up what the legistlation in my country has to say about these, since the people at MOT are very trigger happy to fail if lights are modified somehow.

But certainly will add these on my mod list!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Gaaah... If I haven't been sick or running errands like a goofball for past month, the weather here has been less than friendly for someone who tinkers with his car outdoors... But, yesterday I finally had an hour to spare, and it wasn't raining either!

Not a very big mod, but I noticed the headlights on my T31 had started to turn a little bit yellow, especially on the top of the headlight. Nothing dramatic, but I figured I'd do something about it before the headlights get too foggy.





Now, few years ago I sanded & polished the headlights in my mother's late Renault Clio, they were in FAR worse condition than these pictured above and I bought a special headlight restoration kit for that job. But this time, after browsing the interwebs, I spotted that toothpaste would also do the same trick. That sounded bonkers enough to give it a try.

First, a scrub with soap water and brush:


After drying with paper towel, time to mask the sheet metal (and plastic) bits:


Time to spread the toothpaste:




After letting the paste to do its work for few minutes, I started rubbing both headlights with clean cloth. Probably should have rubbed more thorough (=longer time), but I was already runing out of my spare hour... Thus, fast forward to rinse:


And finished:




The pictures probably wont convey the improvement... Because I think it wasn't that huge. Okay, the yellow tint/fogging was very mild to begin with, but in reality I couldn't help wondering if I managed to get rid of it just by giving the headlights a good wash.

On the other hand, the headlights DO look brighter and more fresh now, so I'd like to think I made SOME difference. At least postponed further fogging/yellowing over the winter.;)

Edit: Couple of typos.
 

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Gaaah... If I haven't been sick or running errands like a goofball for past month, the weather here has been less than friendly for someone who tinkers with his car outdoors... But, yesterday I finally had an hour to spare, and it wasn't raining either!

Not a very big mod, but I noticed the headlights on my T31 had started to turn a little bit yellow, especially on the top of the headlight. Nothing dramatic, but I figured I'd do something about it before the headlights get too foggy.





Now, few years ago I sanded & polished the headlights in my mother's late Renault Clio, they were in FAR better condition than these pictured above and I bought a special headlight restoration kit for that job. But this time, after browsing the interwebs, I spotted that toothpaste would also do the same trick. That sounded bonkers enough to give it a try.

First, a scrub with soap water and brush:


After drying with paper towel, time to mask the sheet metal (and plastic) bits:


Time to spread the toothpaste:




After letting the paste to do its work for few minutes, I started rubbing both headlights with clean cloth. Probably should have rubbed more thorough (=longer time), but I was already runing out of my spare hour... Thus, fast forward to rinse:


And finished:




The pictures probably wont convey the improvement... Because I think it wasn't that huge. Okay, the yellow tint/fogging was very mild to begin with, but in reality I couldn't help wondering if I managed to get rid of it just by giving the headlights a good wash.

On the other hand, the headlights DO look brighter and more fresh now, so I'd like to think I made SOME difference. At least postponed further fogging/yellowing over the winter.;)
Good job.
I just use any old cheap car wax. Sometimes if the wax is too fine ( polishing wax) i add a bit of baking soda powder for a fine grit. Then follow up by the polishing wax again. Works great for me and lasts. By the way, look on google for something called Cerium oxide powder ( jeweler's rouge) . That works excellent on plastic covers and on cleaning the road film off the windshield/all glass surfaces. You only need a small half teaspoon or so to make a paste, so if you buy 200-300 gram container t will last you a long time and many polishings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gah, the winter in FIN has been long and wintery, thus I haven't had much chance to tinker with my car for months -aside changing a few burnt lightbulbs. As total I have been a little bit underwhelmed by the amount of money spent on my X-Trail's repairs, though:

130eur for new battery swapped in August 2021, although the previous one appeared to be factory original. Which makes it 9 years old, quite respective age for modern car battery I'd say.

500eur for replacing driver's side fron wheel bearing, some accessories and 4-wheel alignment.

Almost 1000eur on BIG periodic maintenance AND new driver's side brake caliper November 2021. At the same time my X got new brake discs and pads, but the car started juddering during braking only couple of weeks ago. The discs turned out warped, so I got new ones under warranty.

More bad news, despite the extra space heater inside the cabin, the X seems to warm up slowly during the coldest winter mornings. Slowest vehichle in that respect I've owned so far, and we've "only" had about -20C here so far as the coldest peak.

But fantastic news is, thanks to the snowy winter I've managed to realize how brilliant thing the T31 is. It's virtually impervious to bad weather, slush, sleeth or heavy snow. Compared to my wife's puny little FWD Volvo, the T31 takes off from the worst possible slushy intersections like it was dry summer day. Also, during our trip up north to in-laws' I got bogged in thick snow, but when I shifted the dial on diff lock, the car reversed off the snowy ditch easily. Wow.

As a side note, I've noticed we've already rolled almost 25.000km on this X since I acquired it in May 2021, so the annual mileage is going to be much higher I anticipated. That tells something about the satisfaction, sure, but also raises a concern of premature wear. Diesel fuel prices here have also gone up (the entire Europe is raving about EVs, sadly), so I've started to think if I should buy a dirt cheap second car for shaving off some of the mileage burden from my X-Trail. This way I could have something a bit sportier, a "hobby" car if you will, one I've dreamed of owning for some time already. Haven't just figured out where to store it, and I need to run the idea by the missus too. Which I think will be the biggest obstacle in this venture, LOL!
 

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Gah, the winter in FIN has been long and wintery, thus I haven't had much chance to tinker with my car for months -aside changing a few burnt lightbulbs. As total I have been a little bit underwhelmed by the amount of money spent on my X-Trail's repairs, though:

130eur for new battery swapped in August 2021, although the previous one appeared to be factory original. Which makes it 9 years old, quite respective age for modern car battery I'd say.

500eur for replacing driver's side fron wheel bearing, some accessories and 4-wheel alignment.

Almost 1000eur on BIG periodic maintenance AND new driver's side brake caliper November 2021. At the same time my X got new brake discs and pads, but the car started juddering during braking only couple of weeks ago. The discs turned out warped, so I got new ones under warranty.

More bad news, despite the extra space heater inside the cabin, the X seems to warm up slowly during the coldest winter mornings. Slowest vehichle in that respect I've owned so far, and we've "only" had about -20C here so far as the coldest peak.

But fantastic news is, thanks to the snowy winter I've managed to realize how brilliant thing the T31 is. It's virtually impervious to bad weather, slush, sleeth or heavy snow. Compared to my wife's puny little FWD Volvo, the T31 takes off from the worst possible slushy intersections like it was dry summer day. Also, during our trip up north to in-laws' I got bogged in thick snow, but when I shifted the dial on diff lock, the car reversed off the snowy ditch easily. Wow.

As a side note, I've noticed we've already rolled almost 25.000km on this X since I acquired it in May 2021, so the annual mileage is going to be much higher I anticipated. That tells something about the satisfaction, sure, but also raises a concern of premature wear. Diesel fuel prices here have also gone up (the entire Europe is raving about EVs, sadly), so I've started to think if I should buy a dirt cheap second car for shaving off some of the mileage burden from my X-Trail. This way I could have something a bit sportier, a "hobby" car if you will, one I've dreamed of owning for some time already. Haven't just figured out where to store it, and I need to run the idea by the missus too. Which I think will be the biggest obstacle in this venture, LOL!
Have you put in fresh rear differential fluid in your Xtrail so far? I had mine done about two years ago on my '06. It was just a fluke/hunch that i decided to have it checked out while getting my oil changed and i asked my mechanic who insected it and told me it appeared to be bone dry! At that point in time i owned my Xtrail for about 5 years and had figured maybe the previous owner never had the rear diff. serviced....good thing the thought came to me as i could have eventually had some major damage.
As far as a used little car to get around in winter.....i'm not familiar with what vehicles are available in Finland ( i'm in Canada ) but i bet you guys who a ton of good winter capable cars to competently get the job done. Check out a used Suzuki SX4 hatchback with awd. 2011 Suzuki SX4 JLX AWD Review Editor's Review | Car Reviews | Auto123
or....a used Toyota Matrix, with or without awd. I have a 2004 fwd and with 4 snow tires it gets pretty good traction. Or an older mitsubishi outlander, subaru forester, toyota yaris with snow tires.
Ones to avoid : The 9 Sickest SUVs You Can Buy For Under $5000 (And 10 To Avoid)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you put in fresh rear differential fluid in your Xtrail so far?
Interestingly, that's on my schedule for near future! I was browsing my X's service history a while ago and did not find any record of transmission/transfer case/diff fluid service, so I was thinking about having it done in February-ish. We're off to longer (ski) trip up north in March, so having the powertrain sercived prior to that would make the trip more reassuring. ;-) It is not uncommong for the 'shop to leave that kind of service unmarked in the service booklet, though, but I figured it might be smart to have it done soon anyway.

Funny you mentioned it, pretty much due to my research and recommendation, my father-in-law traded his old and awful Nissan Almera into Suzuki SX4 S-Cross about three years ago. Not the best of cars around, but pretty competent on snow and bad roads, and compared to his first choice (Mk1 Nissan Qashqai, which I believe was not sold in NA?), much more reliable too. I knew my father-in-law is a bit lazy at having his cars serviced, so the Suzuki felt like sensible choice for him.

Well, my wife usually prefers a "sensible" (=boring) C segment hatchback, a "compact" as you folks in NA would call it. Before COVID crisis she did relatively high mileage commuting so her cars need to be economical, cheap to run yet comfortable enough to make an hour drive pleasant. Since my cars have been 4WDs for past 6 years now, she had the opportunity to use that for commuting when the winter gets really, well, wintery, LOL! But now when she's been working remote almost two years, her Volvo mostly sits parked in the shelter and thus, needs to be driven from time to time. Much to my displeasure, it's mostly me doing that driving, LOL! I'm not a fan of small cars, I think they work all right in Italy, France, Spain or UK, where people drive like nutters anyway. But here in Finland big estates roam. And bullying smaller hatchbacks is what sales reps in big Audi or Skoda estates do on the roads here. ;-) I personally had a tiny B segment subcompact as my daily driver several years ago, super cheap to run, fun to drive and managed amazingly well at highway speeds too. But on my daily commuting it was becoming dangerous: I got tailgated a lot, no matter how much I was already speeding. I got overtaken on crazy dangerous places, cut at intersections a lot too and especially lorry/truck drivers seemed to hate me. My last straw was when a Skoda estate tried to overtake me in single lane roundabout... Soon after that I traded my little Citroën into noticeably larger sports saloon, and driving got a whole lot less dramatic then. Phew.

BTW, now that I've been browsing alternatives for that 3rd "cheap fun" car in the household, I've noticed we're living on wrong continent again. I've taken fancy to Inifiti G35, it appears to be ideal for my needs: RWD, V6, sporty but not uncomfortable and quite uncommon sight on roads here, making the car more special. That last part is the problem, because even Europe-wide there are not many used Inifinities available. =(
 

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Interestingly, that's on my schedule for near future! I was browsing my X's service history a while ago and did not find any record of transmission/transfer case/diff fluid service, so I was thinking about having it done in February-ish. We're off to longer (ski) trip up north in March, so having the powertrain sercived prior to that would make the trip more reassuring. ;-) It is not uncommong for the 'shop to leave that kind of service unmarked in the service booklet, though, but I figured it might be smart to have it done soon anyway.

Funny you mentioned it, pretty much due to my research and recommendation, my father-in-law traded his old and awful Nissan Almera into Suzuki SX4 S-Cross about three years ago. Not the best of cars around, but pretty competent on snow and bad roads, and compared to his first choice (Mk1 Nissan Qashqai, which I believe was not sold in NA?), much more reliable too. I knew my father-in-law is a bit lazy at having his cars serviced, so the Suzuki felt like sensible choice for him.

Well, my wife usually prefers a "sensible" (=boring) C segment hatchback, a "compact" as you folks in NA would call it. Before COVID crisis she did relatively high mileage commuting so her cars need to be economical, cheap to run yet comfortable enough to make an hour drive pleasant. Since my cars have been 4WDs for past 6 years now, she had the opportunity to use that for commuting when the winter gets really, well, wintery, LOL! But now when she's been working remote almost two years, her Volvo mostly sits parked in the shelter and thus, needs to be driven from time to time. Much to my displeasure, it's mostly me doing that driving, LOL! I'm not a fan of small cars, I think they work all right in Italy, France, Spain or UK, where people drive like nutters anyway. But here in Finland big estates roam. And bullying smaller hatchbacks is what sales reps in big Audi or Skoda estates do on the roads here. ;-) I personally had a tiny B segment subcompact as my daily driver several years ago, super cheap to run, fun to drive and managed amazingly well at highway speeds too. But on my daily commuting it was becoming dangerous: I got tailgated a lot, no matter how much I was already speeding. I got overtaken on crazy dangerous places, cut at intersections a lot too and especially lorry/truck drivers seemed to hate me. My last straw was when a Skoda estate tried to overtake me in single lane roundabout... Soon after that I traded my little Citroën into noticeably larger sports saloon, and driving got a whole lot less dramatic then. Phew.

BTW, now that I've been browsing alternatives for that 3rd "cheap fun" car in the household, I've noticed we're living on wrong continent again. I've taken fancy to Inifiti G35, it appears to be ideal for my needs: RWD, V6, sporty but not uncomfortable and quite uncommon sight on roads here, making the car more special. That last part is the problem, because even Europe-wide there are not many used Inifinities available. =(
In my case, i switched over to small, compact japanese 4 cyl, hatchbacks and sedans/coupes over 30 years ago. Mainly because they are much more reliable and often cheaper to purchase used , to work on and buy parts. But the real reason i buy small compact japanese vehicles is because where i live in Vancouver, Canada, we always get shafted with the highest gasoline prices in North America. Today here is $1.70Liter/regular.
- I just looked up Helsinki regular gas prices for you was prices for Helsinki from 11-Oct-2021 to 17-Jan-2022. The average value for Helsinki during that period was 1.78 Euro .
The smallest compact i have is the toyota matrix. I have had in the paSt owned used toyota corollas, honda civic, mitsubishi colt, nissan pickup, nissan 200sx -hb. I detest subcompacts much for the same reasons you mentioned. They get blown around in a crosswind, usually underpowered, they may lack rear seating or legroom and crappy ride and sometimes just too narrow with your elbows in your passenger's ears.
Having said that, if money were no problem, i'd like to have a second bigger more powerful car or truck . Something just for fun . A 2014-15 Mustang coupe orconvertible. A full size pickup with a V8. A jeep wrangler!
- by the way, about that Infiniti G35.....i like them cars. Very cool, sound great, pretty fast. But be careful, i was warned by the owner of a mechanical shop to avoid buying a used G35. They can be costly for parts and service. It ain't no toyota camry.
Anyways, looks like Google quick search says it is a reliable vehicle and a good used buy, so who knows. I think it be fun to own a well taken care of used G35x. This review shows a very nice 2007 G35X, something i have always wanted to buy from brand new . 2007....holy ! ...fifteen years old...how time flies. https://www.autos.ca/car-test-drives/test-drive-2007-infiniti-g35x/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Off-topic, but my current "long" list of alternatives for that third "cheap fun" cars include:

-Last gen. Honda Prelude, not RWD nor 6 cylinders as an option, but looks like fun. Might be tricky to find a rust-free one at reasonable price, though.

-Mk1 Cadillac CTS, quite horrible inside, but reasonable mileage cars can be found cheap around and at least this ticks the RWD and V6 boxes. I'd appreciate one with newer 3.6l V6 over the older Opel 3.2l unit, though. Ride is a bit too soft for my liking, but manageable.

-Jaguar X-Type, not too crazy about the exterior (IMO hasn't aged all that well), but the cheapest chance to get my fav brand right now. What I'd really want is a facelifted X250 XF with that sweet supercharged V8, but those are way beyond my budget... On the other hand, X-Types come with 4WD, so these could be great cars through the winter too.

-Mk2 Hyundai Coupe, people seem to like these and they keep saying this one's great drive and cheap to run, plus there's the V6 option too. Perhaps a bit too chavvy, though, for someone who's almost 50.

-Peugeot 406 Coupe, yes, it's a Pug but quite eccentric one and comes with rather lovely V6. Rubbish interior, though, and far from "sporty", plus used good ones are getting harder to find.

I was also originally thinking about Mk1 Lexus IS, but then noticed Lexus can't be converted into FlexFuel (bio ethanol, what we have here available). Conversion was one of the first mods I had planned for my fun car, in general I wasn't too concerned about the running costs because the annual mileage for this third one would be relatively low. Besides, this third car would be taking some mileage load off my X-Trail, so I could keep the T31 maybe a little bit longer. ;-)
 

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Off-topic, but my current "long" list of alternatives for that third "cheap fun" cars include:

-Last gen. Honda Prelude, not RWD nor 6 cylinders as an option, but looks like fun. Might be tricky to find a rust-free one at reasonable price, though.

-Mk1 Cadillac CTS, quite horrible inside, but reasonable mileage cars can be found cheap around and at least this ticks the RWD and V6 boxes. I'd appreciate one with newer 3.6l V6 over the older Opel 3.2l unit, though. Ride is a bit too soft for my liking, but manageable.

-Jaguar X-Type, not too crazy about the exterior (IMO hasn't aged all that well), but the cheapest chance to get my fav brand right now. What I'd really want is a facelifted X250 XF with that sweet supercharged V8, but those are way beyond my budget... On the other hand, X-Types come with 4WD, so these could be great cars through the winter too.

-Mk2 Hyundai Coupe, people seem to like these and they keep saying this one's great drive and cheap to run, plus there's the V6 option too. Perhaps a bit too chavvy, though, for someone who's almost 50.

-Peugeot 406 Coupe, yes, it's a Pug but quite eccentric one and comes with rather lovely V6. Rubbish interior, though, and far from "sporty", plus used good ones are getting harder to find.

I was also originally thinking about Mk1 Lexus IS, but then noticed Lexus can't be converted into FlexFuel (bio ethanol, what we have here available). Conversion was one of the first mods I had planned for my fun car, in general I wasn't too concerned about the running costs because the annual mileage for this third one would be relatively low. Besides, this third car would be taking some mileage load off my X-Trail, so I could keep the T31 maybe a little bit longer. ;-)
lol, good luck finding a decent Honda Pelude. They were such good and fun cars. Never owned one, but ridden in a few back then when new/near new. A friend had the 1990-91 Prelude AWS and i recall us whipping thru Stanley Park and thru downtown streets at highly illegal speeds, rocketing thru tight corners like we were in a Nascar race. You might have better luck finding a well taken care of Acura Integra. Again, never owned one, but was either a passenger or got to drive one a few times. My aunt owned two of them. They were great fun.
- As for the other vehicles you listed, personally i'd check out the Hyundai, which is known as the Tiburon in north america. These were cool pocket rockets with the v6 , but from the 2004 and up years. We do not have any Pugeots anymore and buying a used caddie, jaguar , bmw could potentially be a money pit journey of frustration (lol).
I've always wanted a used Lexus I250 0r the better IS300.....but they are rare to come up for sale or asking too much. Definitely the best of the older used cars to check out. Good luck whatever you decide to purchase. Lexus IS300: More Than Just Another BMW
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Just to get this thread back on its track, here's a pic from yesterday morning:



SNOOOOOW!!!! The pic distorts the amount a little bit, but I reckon we had about 10 inches of snow that morning. On top of the previous coat, of course. And we got maybe 4 inches more during that Sunday.

EDIT: Typos.
 
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