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Help Me Choose!

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Comments

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    You'll pay a big premium for an Ody or Sienna over the Caravan, and for the intended purpose the Stow n Go seating on the Caravan is great.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 952
    True, but the Toyota or Honda vans are better. And I didn't read the posters price of 25k. You could easily afford a 3 year old Volvo wagon.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I don't know about your area, but within 100 miles of me the newest XC70 I could find under $25k was five years old. So I would not say it's "easy" to find a 3 year old Volvo wagon for under $25k.

    For much less than that, he could get a decently equipped NEW Caravan.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 952
    I didn't say the XC! I said the V70, which is the big ole wagon.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    If you can find one of the last of the 2013 Odysseys, some are going for 5k off of list according to carsdirect.com

    2013 Honda Odyssey LX Passenger Van in 40201
    Image

    MSRP PRICING:
    $29,505
    Target Price: $24,710
    Pricing as of 8/21/13 in zip code 40201
    What do these prices mean?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    The newest V70 I could find within 100 miles of me at ANY price is six years old. The good news is, it IS under $25k.

    The XC70 is the successor to the V70 since 2010 (V70 was discontinued in North America then).

    So there's probably a handful if any 3 year old V70s available for sale in the USA right now (i.e. a 2010 sold at the very end of the model year). If someone is looking for a 3 year old Volvo wagon, the XC70 is the only viable choice... except for the even smaller XC60. And as I said before, good luck finding a 3 year old XC70 under $25k.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    While there might not be a used car market if everyone followed my advice (heh) , buying a seven to ten year old car is going to be a major problem at $7K. It's all about the break-points.

    With $7K, that means you're looking at $15K optimally, with some wiggle-room. Driving a $15K car, putting down $7K, and then selling it for $6K after it's run 100K miles means about $5K in extra taxes, insurance, and depreciation over a used car over the life of your loan.

    One major repair like a transmission on the used car can eat half of that up. A new radiator(plus belts, water pump, and so on)? $700-$800 by the time you are all done. Electrical issues? Water leaks? Rattles? A new Cat? Smog? it can be done, but it all grinds away at that differnece.

    Is better safety, better fuel economy, a warranty, and so on worth $80 extra a month? It's up to you. I think so. I like my MP3 player, 300HP, and non-econobox handling and style. Used might have made sense when cars only lasted ten years and you could get a 3-4 year old one for peanuts, but now anything good retains half of its value almost a decade old.
  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited August 2013
    I'm oscillating back and forth between new and used. Thanks for all the input so far.

    IF I was to go used, what would you think of the following two cars and at what price point would you consider purchasing them to be better than purchasing new?

    1999 Civic LX Original owner 36K miles $6,750 (price here is much higer than appraised, but one owner and low low miles)
    http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/4008105083.html

    1996 Honda Accord 66K miles $5,000 (priced higher than appraised)
    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/3996680711.html

    (sorry if I'm not supposed to post links or something, I didn't see mention of it anywhere)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited August 2013
    I still suggest new over used.

    Low miles won't always assure low repair costs. Time does things to a car too, and sometimes only short city trips (which is what low mile cars like this must be) can cause their own issues.

    Of the two, however, I'd probably suggest the Accord. The Civics of that era are rather flimsy. The Accord is a different class of vehicle and more solidly built.

    As much as I love my Hondas, I think it's possible you might be buying too much into the idea that "a Honda will last almost forever." Hondas age better than most cars, and generally last longer, but they still age and require $$ when they get old.

    Hondas back in those days often didn't have anti lock brakes, no side air bags, and Honda's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering hadn't even been thought of yet, and wouldn't be for about 10 years. Engine tech has also advanced a lot since the mid to late 1990s.

    If you're fixed on used, I think you'd be better off with a one-owner Hyundai Sonata from c. 2007 for about the same money. Paying that much money for cars that are that old doesn't make a lot of sense imho. You might luck out, but you might not and could be facing some major issues in the next 5 years.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    You can post links - as long as you're not posting links to sell something to our members, it's fine.

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  • Thanks Benjamin
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I wouldn't pay nearly $7k for a 15 year old econobox no matter what badge is on it.

    Low miles is not necessarily a good thing. If the odometer is accurate, the car was driven only 200 miles per month. That indicates to me mostly short, infrequent trips--can be hard on an engine, worse than highway driving. Also with a Civic of this age, rust can be an issue--be sure to have the underbody checked.
  • Ben,

    When you are referring to a Hyundai at about the same price, you are referring to a private party seller, correct? The lowest I'm finding an 07 for at a dealership is $12,500.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited August 2013
    I was thinking private party. But it was just a guess. And probably I had an overly optimistic idea of how low a price you might find on a 2007 Sonata. Sorry about that.

    Here's another thing to factor in: how much do you think you'll drive each year? If you drive the average amount (12-15k a year) a car with good mpg (say 30 or higher epa combined mpg) might save you as much as $500 compared to a car with "average" mpg (say 23 mpg). This is another argument for a newer car with a higher tech engine and transmission.

    Believe it or not, a new 2013 Accord gets about the same mpg as a 2003 Civic. Or, compared to a 2003 Accord a 2013 Accord you can save about $500 a year on gas.

    Just to make it more complicated to think about!

    Good luck...

    PS That 12,500 at the dealership is the asking price. You might be able to get a thousand or so off of that.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited August 2013
    A 1999 Civic is rated 27 combined mpg. Annual fuel cost is estimated by the epa to be $1950

    A 2013 Civic is rated 32 combined mpg. Annual fuel cost $1650.

    So a difference of $300 a year, which over a decade adds up to $3000.

    The 1999 Civic sedan is 175 inches long and 67 inches wide.

    A 2013 Civic is 179.5 inches long and 69 inches wide.

    May not sound like much, but what this translates to is that the 2013 Civic is a roomier car inside and has a bigger trunk compared to the 1999. It also gets to 60 faster, which is sometimes nice when merging onto a freeway even when you're driving an economy car. The 2013 is also a much, much safer car than a 1999 Civic. Did you watch that crash video I posted?

    In fact, a brand new Civic today is almost exactly the same size as an Accord back in 1986.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 952
    I would make 2005 the cutoff date for buying used. You do realize that '96 is a 13 year old car. And if it really has that low miles, it means it has sat, A LOT. In the Portland climate, you are probably looking at a lot of interior wires and lines that will have to be replaced, among God knows what else.

    2005 will get you standard ABS brakes, dual airbags, and other safety features that you don't want to be without. That means probably not a Honda, but you could be looking at other cars that are reliable but depreciate more. Hyundai Elantra, Pontiac Vibe, Buick Century are examples.

    Buying a used car from a dealership is no different from buying new. You still have to negotiate a price. You can often get 1500 2000 off the asking price. And get it checked out from your own mechanic too first.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 952
    Math was never my strong suit. A 17 year old car.
  • I just looked back through your posts and didn't find a crash link.
  • Thanks Sudyam. It does sound like I'm going to have to look at a different model if I want to buy used.
  • So many great replies!

    You've all heard about "the path of least resistance." I could keep the
    remaining wagon that's still ok. It needs tires and several common repairs.
    Estimated cost: $2000.00. Twenty years ago, I would not have hesitated
    to fix this wagon. When you're very young it's easy to keep moving forward.
    If I spend the money and the engine or transmission fails a few months later
    I won't be happy, to say the least.

    I'm going to look at the vehicles you all recommended.

    The obvious solution is a small SUV and foldable trailer. I've got a big
    shed that full. Some of my neighbors have two or three sheds. If I
    buy a trailer, I've got to have a good place to store the darn thing.
    If I leave it outside, a couple of strong guys could carry it away in two
    minutes. That's why I didn't mention a trailer in my original post.

    Anyway, I'm very grateful for your replies.
  • Thoughts on this used Sonata?

    http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/3996103472.html

    By the way, I've talked to about 5 different new car sales people in the last few days: the worst. Not a single one of them hasn't been severely obnoxious. "So when can we have you talk to the sales manager and wrap this thing up?" Well I'm not sure, but certainly not after 3 minutes of talking.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    Personally, I'd go with an '06 or later. Some of our members have more experience with Hyundai vehicles, though, so I'd take their advice over mine. I advised a friend of mine strongly against Hyundai based on pre-2006 experiences. He got an '06, and I was blown away.

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Yes, the 2006 Sonata is a much better car than the 2005 (which debuted in 1998 I think), one of the first standout designs from Hyundai.
  • Sheesh. That's something to think about all of a sudden.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited August 2013
    Knock on wood. Hope that kind of collision never happens to any of us. It isn't at all likely to happen. But if somehow it does, you want your car to take a bullet for you. All those cars tested, even the ones that didn't do very well, are much safer than any small car from 10 years ago.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/safety.aspx
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,738
    edited August 2013
    Yikes. Probably better than a 1999 Civic, but....That's a very small, not very safe, and not very impressive car at all. Have you ever seen one? Tiny. Believe it or not my 2013 Honda Accord gets better mpg than that car.

    You know, if you've got a job as a teacher (I'm one too), Honda or any other car maker is likely to be happy to finance you on a car with only c. 10% down at or near 0% financing rates over 5 years. The car should last ten years, and probably more.

    If you're in Portland, maybe consider picking up a copy of tomorrow's Oregonian. Maybe look at the screaming print ads for the car dealerships. The ones that say things like "2013 Toyota Corolla $15,999," or maybe even "2013 Mazda3, $14,999." I'm making those numbers up, but similar numbers are in my local paper. Just my 2 cents. It sounds like you're determined to get used...
  • Not determined, just exploring all options. I've been absurdly lucky getting 50,000 + miles out of each of the three used cars I've owned with little more than a fuel pump issue and I've never payed more than $1,600 on any of them.

    I know that a lot of that has to be chalked up to luck and is no guarantee that'll always be the case, but it makes it really hard to imagine buying new. The logic of buying new is certainly not lost on me; the numbers make sense when we make some pretty reasonable assumptions, but I've never thought of a vehicle as anything but a depreciating necessity and I just worry about regretting the cost of a "luxury" that I've never really been that sold on.
  • Not determined, just exploring all options. I've been absurdly lucky getting 50,000 + miles out of each of the three used cars I've owned with little more than a fuel pump issue and I've yet to spend more than $1,600 on a car.

    I know that a lot of that has to be chalked up to luck and is no guarantee that'll always be the case, but it makes it really hard to imagine buying new. The logic of buying new is certainly not lost on me; the numbers make sense when we make some pretty reasonable assumptions, but I've never thought of a vehicle as anything but a depreciating necessity and I just worry about regretting the cost of a "luxury" that I've never really been that sold on.
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