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-Summarized version in Red text-
-Summarized version in Red text-
Hello fellow auto enthusiasts,
My name is Keith, a 24 year old American living in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. I moved to China in early 2008, and am now working several jobs of varying importance.
Before I moved here, I had many delusions about what kind of car I would buy once I arrived. Then I was struck with the vast difference between the US and Chinese car markets (particularly the used market). My thoughts were then turned to importing a vehicle from US. Once more I was blocked though, as I find it very hard to justify the 66-145% customs tax.
So in the evolution of this endeavor, the list of viable purchase options has expanded and contracted repeatedly. Currently I am driving a 2008 Buick Excelle (5 spd MT, 1.6L L4, regularly aspirated), which is a nice little car, but I am looking to acquire an SUV as soon as possible.
Advice and suggestions are always welcome, so here are the main candidates:
1. The Beijing Jeep in the attached picture, though I need help identifying it. (Edit: Apparently out of the running as it was ID'd as a prototype that never went into mass-production.)
2. BAW B60. This has a diesel power option, which is very appealing to me. Seems it will be on the high end of my budget. Might be worth it to me if it is available in a wagon version, though I probably wouldn't spring for one if it's a "rag-top".
3. BAW Luba. I had a Lexus LX450 in America for several years, and it was definitely the most durable vehicle I've ever owned (aside from putting it through absolute hell, I tacked on almost 150k miles in 3 years, and the only problem I ever had was one bad starter, and that might have been due to the remote start I installed). If Beijing has done a decent job replicating it, I would love to have the LX/Landcruiser's cousin (I won't say clone until I've tested it). Though unless there is a diesel version I haven't seen yet, I would want the one with the 3.4L Toyota engine, and then I am getting outside of my price range. Might consider buying used if I could find the right one (Black/Black, Manual transmission, well taken care of, etc.).
4. BAW B40. Looks promising, hopefully they can deliver on what they've shown us. This will probably be in my budget's "sweet spot", and if there is a version that is diesel powered, that might seal the deal.
5. BAW B51/50. Based on the assumption that the B51 they announced is a similar to the B50 shown at Auto China '08, this could also be a contender. I've always loved the Cherokee chassis, it is truly the archetypal SUV. It will probably be economically priced, and again, if there is a diesel version, that would score it major points.
6. ChangFeng Liebao. Kind of the "last resort" option. If none of the above are able to pan out, for whatever reason (I still have no idea when the B60/51/40 are to be released, and it might be hard for me to afford the Luba I want) then I will consider picking up this very charming Montero/Pajero clone.
*My budget is under 200k RMB for a new vehicle. Under 100k RMB for used.
Perhaps this wonderful community of enthusiasts here can help me choose a course of action.
Sorry for this post being a mixture of self-introduction and a request for help. I am very driven to choose an SUV though, and I know this is the best place to ask for advice. I've been a lurker of the boards for some time, and now hope to become a contributing member of the community.
Thanks & Best Regards!
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