Help with Picking a New Car

Updated on March 04, 2008
L.G. asks from Elyria, OH
46 answers

Hello im looking to get a new car or suv. I am looking at the price range of around 20k. 2007 or 2008. That said does anyone have a car/suv they love or even if you hate it let me know. I have been looking for awhile now and just can not pick one lol. oh does anyone have a mazda tribute, ford edge or freestyle/taurus x. I kind of like those but am still lost Thanks in advance!!!!

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So What Happened?

Well after alot of back and forth we are going this saturday to get a chrysler pacifica.
We are getting a used 2007 with all the things i want for alot less then a new one. Thanks for all the responses!!!

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H.I.

answers from Cleveland on

Which do you like better comfort in a car or good gas mileage? I would say that mazdas are better than fords because my mom had a new ford and she had to take it to the shop within a week after geting it. The car was brand new. I would go with the mazda.

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M.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

Consumer reports and safety ratingsa help, but you will need to sit inside many and test drive a few. We ruled out many body styles because of poor visibitly and brands because of reputation; We even ruled out some becuase of no leg room, or poor seat construction. We concentrated on Honda, because they hold their resale value. I was prepared to buy a used CRV with 8V but realized the 2007 had been redesigned. I love it. It seems to be one of many of the same body style now on the market. We paid high 20K but think it is well worth it.

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J.B.

answers from Evansville on

We have a 2004 Buick Rendevous. There is sooo much room! When you open the back it's like looking into a cave! We could take the big stroller (the combo car seat one) easily in the back and have plenty of room for more. Plus if you still have a rear facing car seat in there is enough room between the seats that you don't have to slide the front seats way up. Also they are all-wheel drive (don't know if that matters where ever you are) and get decent hwy. mileage 18-20mpg. We didn't really know what we wanted when we started looking but we really like it.

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L.T.

answers from Dayton on

We have a Nissan Armada. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!

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A.E.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have a Toyota RAV4 that turns 10 this year. It has 4 wheel drive, ABS, and has been great to drive and utterly reliable. I tease my 8-year-old that she's going to have to learn to drive in it. ;-) My only complaint thus far is that I wish it had a third row of seats. The 2008 RAVs offer this as an option, so if that's an issue, there's a solution.

It gets good gas mileage for an SUV, has a decent amount of cargo space, fold-down seats if I want to carry anything bulky, and I have a rack on top with a cargo bag if I need extra space.

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C.F.

answers from Cincinnati on

We've been really happy with the Mazdas that we have owned.

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K.G.

answers from Fort Wayne on

If you're looking for a car that is going to last a long time, go for a Honda or Toyota. I've driven several different kinds of cars, and I have definitely been happiest with those. In college I had an Accord with 350,000+ miles on it. We now have a Civic with 180,000+ miles and it has been great. My husband got it new, and we've only had to do routine maintenance. When we had our son, we traded in my mustang for a Toyota Sienna after researching all the options. We have been completely happy with it. I also had a Taurus once. It had too many problems to list by the time I got rid of it. I grew up in a family where if you didn't drive a Ford you were a traitor. :) Yet, I've done my own research into many things like cars holding their value (Toyotas are best), gas milage (Toyotas and Hondas were better), and features offered for the price (again, Toyotas and Hondas were better). That is how I decided on our Sienna (it had more options for the price than an Odessey). Hey, there's a reason Toyota is the #2 car sales company in the US ahead of Ford.

If I were looking for a $20k car today, I'd look at the Accord or Camry, or maybe a '07 RAV4 or CRV.

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M.G.

answers from Cleveland on

L.,

I have a Mercury Mariner and love it! My sister has a freestyle she really likes it, and she has 3 kids! Hope this helps and good luck.

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T.S.

answers from Toledo on

Here is a list from consumer Reports of the best cars (reliability wise) and the worst, hope this helps.

Best of the best

These are models that have performed well in CR road tests over the years, and have proved to have several or more years of better-than-average reliability. Listed alphabetically.

Acura Integra
Acura MDX
Acura RL
Acura RSX
Acura TL
Acura TSX
BMW M3
Buick LaCrosse
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda CR-V
Honda Element
Honda Odyssey
Honda Pilot
Honda S2000
Infiniti FX
Infiniti G20
Infiniti G35
Infiniti I30, I35
Infiniti QX4
Lexus ES
Lexus GS (RWD)
Lexus GX
Lexus IS
Lexus LS
Lexus RX
Lexus SC
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car
Mazda Millenia
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda Protegé
Mazda3
Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Nissan Murano
Pontiac Vibe
Porsche 911 (except '03)
Scion tC
Scion xB
Subaru Baja
Subaru Forester
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Camry (except '07 V6)
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Echo
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Matrix
Toyota Prius
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Sienna
Toyota Tundra (except '07 V8 4WD)
Volvo S60

Worst of the worst:

These models have multiple years of much worse than Used Car Verdicts in the 1998 to 2007 models. Listed alphabetically.

Buick Rendezvous (AWD)
Buick Terraza
Chevrolet Astro
Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Colorado (4WD)
Chevrolet S-10 Pickup (4WD)
Chevrolet Uplander
Chevrolet Venture
Chrysler Town & Country (AWD)
Dodge Grand Caravan (AWD)
GMC Canyon (4WD)
GMC Jimmy
GMC S-15 Sonoma (4WD)
GMC Safari
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sedona
Land Rover Discovery, LR3
Lincoln Aviator
Mercedes-Benz SL
Nissan Armada (4WD)
Nissan Titan (4WD)
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac G6
Pontiac Montana, Trans Sport, Montana SV6
Saturn Relay
Volkswagen Cabriolet
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan (turbo)
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan (V6)
Volkswagen Touareg

About these lists:
The lists on these pages are compiled from overall reliability data covering 1998-2007 models with above-average or much-below-average reliability. CR Good Bets and Bad Bets include only the models for which we have sufficient data for at least three model years. Models that were brand-new in 2006 or 2007 do not appear. Problems with the engine major, engine cooling, transmission major, and drive system were weighted more heavily than other problems.

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J.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

I love my subaru legacy wagon. It's a 2001 with 120,000 miles and I still haven't had any problems with it. The gas mileage is good and it's all-wheel drive. My 2 kiddos, bikes, stoller, etc. fit in it easily. And if it matters to you, I think I read that subarus are made in Indiana.

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A.K.

answers from Columbus on

We bought a 2006 pontiac G6 when we found out we were pregnant the first time (miscarriage). Love it!!!!!! Great on gas, spacious, and huge truck! Back seats do fold down if needed.

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K.D.

answers from Cleveland on

I get the sense from your post that you are not interested in a mini-van, but I have to second the previous posters who mentioned the Honda Odyssey. I absolutely love mine!!!

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L.D.

answers from Cleveland on

Forget SUVs. They are not as versatile and are more expensive than a minivan. Just got the new Dodge Grand Caravan with stow-n-go seating. Endless seating/storage configurations. Get over the image... you will see they are the most practical thing out there. Drives great, too. Also this year, they look more "tough", not like a jellybean on wheels.

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R.P.

answers from Youngstown on

we had a 2002 Pontiac Montana that we absolutely loved!

we still have it if anyone is interested - we had it up for sale $8450 but are willing to come down $1000

we got a Saturn Relay - it doesn't have as much room as the Montana - I absolutley love the remote start and the back sliding door that opens with the touch of a button.

We try to BUY AMERICAN - to support our counrty.

Hope you find what you can enjoy and be comfortable in for a long time.

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K.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

I have a Hyundai Santa Fe that I really like. Mine is an '04 and we bought it about a year old for about $14,000. Now, mine is a stick shift, which I liked, but otherwise, I still love the thing. It doesn't feel like I'm driving a bus but there is still room inside. I haven't had any problems with it except the usual maintance. I do change the oil regularly and it seems to get good gas mileage.

Hope this helps. PM me if you have any other questions.

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A.G.

answers from Cleveland on

I have a 2006 Honda Oddysey. Love it!! Has PLENTY of room and drives like a car. Honda's are very reliable0this is my fourth or fifth Honda.

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P.L.

answers from Indianapolis on

Get a Honda. They do not break. My 94 has 112,000 miles on it, had to replace the heater switch. This is being said by someone who drives a Taurus for work.

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S.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

My husband and I just recently purchased a 2007 Saturn Outlook and I love it. I had a mini van before and I have just as much room in this vehicle. The Saturn is what's called a crossover vehicle, so there's lots of room, but is doesn't look like a huge SUV. Last night on the way to church, I fit six children, plus my husband and I in the Saturn very comfortably. Easy access to the third seat, which is something I wanted and I still have room behind the third row, which is nice. I got mine for 25,500 and very worth it. Thanks. S. C. of Winchester, Ohio.

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M.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

my husband is a used care sales manager at jeff wyler and he used to work at new cars in nissan and gm. we had a nissan muraon for a demo and i loved it. i have drove an suv since i had 2 kids. i don't know what the price is on that. but out of all the ones he has brought home . i liked it. i drive a tahoe and i love it.

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J.R.

answers from Toledo on

I have a Ford Edge and absolutely love it. I would recommend it to anyone. I have a little girl that will be 2 in March and she seems to like it because she can see out the back windows.

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M.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi!I have a Ford Escape and I love it. It isn't a gas hog and having a SUV is a must in my book with kids. The seats fold down to haul stuff and in the upright postition they recline, which is great when we travel. Loading groceries and kids into a SUV is a lot easier on the back than in a car (I had a Oldsmobile Alero previously). I don't think I could ever go back to a car. To get it fully loaded at around 20k you probably have to get it used, but I got my fully loaded used Escape when it was only 1 year old for around 18k, with a trade. I hope this helps! Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Toledo on

L.
I have owned a ford tarus since 1994 bought it new, have had excellent service with it, My auto now has over 100,00 miles on it an still going strong. So guess u can tell what vote I would make on purchasing a car. The Ford Tarus

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M.M.

answers from Cleveland on

look into the Pontiac Vibe or Buick Rendevous. The prices are much better than 20k. Vibe gets 35 miles to the gallon they are a little smaller than a standard suv I wanted one but got a Rendevous the Rendevous saved my life when I was hit head on by a drunk driver. They do crash well! Gas mileage should be a big priority for you with the prices right now I would search the internet for crash/safety ratings and gas mileage for the model years you are looking into

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N.H.

answers from Fort Wayne on

L.,
6 months ago I bought a new Honda CRV. I love it. I did alot of research and test driving before I bought this car. One of the main reasons I purchased it was Honda's last forever, and I couldn't find anyone that had a complaint about a Honda. I also was very concerned about gas mileage. My SUV is roomy and very smooth to drive.

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A.J.

answers from Mansfield on

Last year I was in the same boat as you are now.. I decided on a 2007 Dodge Caliber. I LOVE it. It is a crossover SUV which means that it is the size of a car but the convience of an SUV. Go look at it, drive it and decide for yourself. I hope this helps.
~AJ

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A.G.

answers from Bloomington on

Honda Odessey- hands down
Subaru Outback #2 choice

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K.J.

answers from Bloomington on

I just bought a 2007 Honda Odyssey and I love it. Every time I drive, I am reminded of what a great van I have. The built in DVD keeps my four kids entertained... although they do argue over the movie selection. The seat heaters are wonderful in this Indiana winter weather. It is also highly rated in Consumer Reports.

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T.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

I own quite possibly the ugliest car ever made and I completely love it. I drive a Scion XB. It's a 2005 model but it's HUGE on the inside and EXCELLENT on gas. It's made by Toyota so it should run a long time. Anyway, if you can get past the boxy exterior you'll love it.

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S.E.

answers from Indianapolis on

We got a taurus when I was pregnant with our first daughter 6 years ago. We have been happy with the car and it was good with just one child. When we were pregnant with number 2 we got a Honda Odyssey minivan and I LOVE it! I know it is a minivan and so many don't want to drive it, but it is so easy to get the kids in and out and I like the sliding doors as opposed to the swing outs on cars and suvs. We now have 3 kids and I couldn't imagine any other car. We are actually on our second Honda - the first was involved in a near head on collision and the whole family was in it. That happened in 2007 on the way home from baby number 2's baptism. We were all fine - bumps and bruises. The worst was hubby broke his thumb and required surgery. So from a safety standpoint we were very pleased with the Honda. Don't know if this helps...Good Luck!

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C.S.

answers from Canton on

L., I have always driven a truck (20 yrs.) and now that my daughter is bigger (2 yrs) it just wasn't working. So, we just finished a new car search and opted for an Edge (2007). Some things that were deciding factors were that interior space was similar to that of the truck, ground clearance was one of the highest (this is important for us because we live 1/2 mile off raod), fuel was supposed to be better than the truck and the safety features were nice.

I just recently took a 10 hour trip (first trip as we've had Edge for only 2 months) it was very easy to handle and that was on mountainous terrain, very comfortable to be in for such a long period of time. I was able to pack enough stuff for my family of three which included a regular size stroller plus a cooler of food and still had room. Gas mileage averaged 23MPG for the entire trip. I also had no problem when the weather got bad and we did hit some really bad winds.

We also bought from Park Ford and actually had a really great experience. We walked out of there paying exactly what we wanted and it was truly a no hagle experience (can't say that I have ever had such an experience).

The best thing to do is make a list of features you are looking for, drive each vehicle by yourself, see how your children's car seats will fit then take the whole family for a test drive.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
Cyndi

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J.O.

answers from Cleveland on

I have a crysler town and county I love it, once you go with a van or suv I don't think you would ever want to go back to a car.

I have been helping my friend seach for a used one if you would like to see some nice ones, John Lance ford in westlake has quite a few decent ones there, with some decent prices. they all have a car fax with them also . which is a great help good luck

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S.F.

answers from Fort Wayne on

I suggest buying a Consumer's Guide on cars. You can look through and figure out what styles you are interested in, the reviews for safety and other items that may interest you. It really helped when I bought my car. I wanted something like a crossover, but not as bulky as a SUV. I bought a Pontiac Vibe. It was perfect for me because I had the option of putting 3 carseats in the back, folding down the seats, and having tons of storage space in the back for moving items or camping.

I have looked into the Pontiac Torrent crossover. It's smaller than a SUV but bigger than a car. The gas mileage is decent as well, around 17-20mpg. I think it's about $26,000 for a new model, so you can do even better on a year or two old.

I bought from the Lima store with Tony Shelton. I bought car insurance from his son and life and investments from his nephew. It's a one-stop shop!

[email protected]____.com
myspace.com/staceefrane
diamond.extremecreation.com

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S.S.

answers from Cleveland on

I have two year old twins, and we have Ford Escape which fits everything pretty good. Its also decent on gas.

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T.J.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have a Ford Escape with running bars....and it's pretty sporty...but also safe and roomy for my family....it works out great and very affordable.

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S.C.

answers from Kokomo on

I just bought (this week) a Scion xB. LOVE IT! Cheap too. Base price is 16,500 approx. Then you add on the features you want. No haggle price. Cute, fun, peppy and TONS of room. 22-28 mpg. I love mine!

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K.A.

answers from Elkhart on

I've had a Ford Freestyle SEL since Oct. 2005. It gets about 19-20 miles per gallon. I'm short (5'0"), and I love the fact I don't need a step stool, or running board put on. For me, it seems to be a great combo of car and SUV.

We've driven from IN to FL, and it was such a comfortable vehicle to drive and ride in, even for my husband (he's 6'3"). Great flexibilty with the seats as well, to make extra room. Not to mention the DVD player in it, so that's been great. :)

Good luck...new vehicles are such a big decision!

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L.S.

answers from Columbus on

I truly love my Honda Pilot SUV. It's a 4WD yet rides more like a van--and if we all actually go together anywhere it will seat all 4 of my older kids and a couple of their boy/girlfriends! Mine is for sale now though for 11K as my husband likes to change vehicles often lol. If anyone is interested, let me know...

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D.I.

answers from South Bend on

Do not buy a brand new car because as soon as you drive it off the lot its value decreases by 30%. Buy used. I don't have any of the following vehicles you have listed, but have you thought about maybe a mini van? I have a 2000 Ford Windstar and I absolutely love it! It is a great van and has good gas mileage. The van seats 7 people all together so there is plenty of room. That is one of the reasons my husband and I got a mini van is because of how many seats it has, also you want to look at gas mileage and things like that. Also, you will want to take someone with you to look the vehicle over that knows cars and knows what to look for as far as any problems with the vehicle or if it seems something is not right with it. My husband is a mechanic so when I went car shopping he came along with me although I know quite a bit about cars myself. He hates Fords, but when we looked at the Windstar and test drove it and compared it to other mini vans he said as far as it goes compared to the other types of mini vans we drove the Windstar was the best.

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D.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

I have a 2004 Dodge Durango. LOVE IT!!
Also if you're thinking about buying a brand new vehicle, look a little deeper into it. When the vehicle leaves the lot, the value goes WAY down so if you were going to sale it or trade it in in the future you may lose money. We've always bought used vehicles for this reason and have never had a problem! We've also purchased an extended warranty on a few of our cars and it was WELL worth it!

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D.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I'd echo the person who said to look into Saturns. We have a 2006 Saturn Vue which is pretty roomy - especially in the back. We can take it camping and load everything for the four of us in there. Also we have a 2003 Saturn Ion. It is much smaller but very gas-efficient which is important these days.

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K.R.

answers from Elkhart on

I have a Ford Taurus X and I love it. My kids are 13 and 8 and I can carry as many kids and as much stuff as I did with my van. But, I don't feel like I'm driving a van. The ride is great and it handles well in the snow.

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R.T.

answers from Cincinnati on

L.,I have a Kia Sorento. I LOVE it!! It has been the best car for us. WE have an 8 and 3 year old. We have plent of room, we recently drove to Disney World and had to leave nothing behind it all fit.
Test drive one you'll be hooked-I was!
R.

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T.R.

answers from Columbus on

I LOVE my Chevy HHR. I bought it before I had a baby, but in anticipation of one. It is bigger than my previous car (a compact), but is not that much longer than a car so it is easy to drive AND park. It gets great gas mileage.

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J.J.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi L.,

I'm a single mommy of two and I bought a used Saturn Vue last year and absolutely LOVE it! For my next vehicle, as of now, I plan on purchase a brand new Saturn Vue. Wonderful vehicle. Not to mention that with the gas prices, it really doesn't hurt me too much. I believe it has 14 gallons and I spend $40 to fill it up usually only once a week.

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

We LOVE our Ford Freestyle cross-over. It's got the room of an SUV, the gas milage of a mid-size sedan (21/27), the 6 or 7 seats of a mini van, and drives far more smoothly than most SUVs. Don't know if you are looking for new or used, but you could easily get a newer used Freestyle for around $20K.
I know Saturn has also just come out with a cross-over that people really like but I haven't seen or driven one. My parents looked at it recently.

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A.C.

answers from Dayton on

I used to have a Saturn VUE and absolutely loved it. It was completely roomy enough to have kids in the back seat and the cargo area was awesome for grocery shopping, strollers, etc. I was actually amazed at how much I loved that car. The only reason I got rid of it is because I got remarried and my husband bought me a new car. You should really look into a Saturn. The are amazingly reasonably priced as well. It's so hard to get into an SUV for a decent price, and the VUE was relatively cheap. Good luck!

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