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Help Me Choose!

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  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016

    I still think Honda Fit is best overall choice. Versatile, inexpensive, good on gas and cheap to maintain. It will be less than new Camry or Sonata too.

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671

    While I like the Fit, if a lot of highway miles are involved I've read lots of noise complaints. So a good long test drive is in order, over the types of roads/speeds/distance expected in daily use.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769

    I agree. Also, a base Fit (LX) with CVT (to reduce engine RPMs and noise and for better FE) is $17k, and good luck getting much of a discount on this all-new car. That's very close to what a 2014 Sonata GLS would run, and only a little less than a 2014.5 Camry LE.

    Also the OP said "sedan", and the Fit isn't a sedan. Although I prefer hatchbacks myself.

    @texases said: While I like the Fit, if a lot of highway miles are involved I've read lots of noise complaints. So a good long test drive is in order, over the types of roads/speeds/distance expected in daily use.

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016

    True. Then I'd suggest a Hyundai Elantra. A leftover '14 will be $15k or less. You won't get a '14 Camry for that. Elantra is a pretty decent commuter car too.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769

    Actually, because of the big incentives on leftover Sonatas right now, they turn out to be a better deal than the leftover Elantras. And the Sonata is a much nicer car than the Elantra. You might be able to get an Elantra for $15k, with a stick. I think it would be closer to $16k. But a Sonata with the 6AT, much more power and room and more comfortable, wouldn't be much more.

    Example of what I mean: at my local dealer, a sign-and-drive 3-year lease on the 2014 Elantra SE (base model) is $189/month. But for the Sonata GLS it's only $10 more per month. For $10 more a month, $360 over 3 years, I'd take the Sonata.

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016
    That's for a lease. To buy Elantras are a couple grand cheaper.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769

    On Fitzmall (for example), the difference is about $1500, base Elantra AT to base Sonata AT. Thus I'd go with the lease... $199/month with nothing up front for 36 months is a great deal for a car like the Sonata.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472

    backy, that is why I have been seriously considering a lease now. Camry, Altima, Sonata are all pretty much readily available for right about that $200 _+ tax (so ~$215/mo) will very little cash up front. Lot of car for the money if you are OK with a basic model (cloth, no moonroof, no power seats, stuff like that).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited July 22

    You can get a base model Mustang with nothing on it for 18K right now (just look for the loss leader ads in the local papers). It's an excellent step up from a typical econobox and is great for long commutes. The base model has all of the features most economy cars have at their upper trim levels. The "base" stereo is crazy loud, it has alloy wheels, 4 wheel disc brakes, power windows, power doors, and on and on. It's as nicely optioned as a normal trim Camry or Accord. It even turns the interior lights off if you forget to do so.

    Without a doubt it's the most bang for the buck right now. Ford is dumping them left and right in order to make room for the 2015 re-design, which is only a little better. The new ones are going to be 24K, though, and no discounts. At 6K less, the 2014s are an absolute steal.

    I just got 27mpg on mine my last tank and the 305hp makes it a blast to drive. The long wheelbase and high profile 17" tires also makes for a ride that sorry to say, no Fit or Civic or Focus will match.

    Drive one. Then try to not grin.

    Yes, it's over the budget. My budget was the same and I drove everything I could - literally dozens of cars. And in the end, I paid the little bit extra for a similar deal. I just couldn't deal with the reality of driving a gutless little tin can after driving big cars and SUVs for years.

  • barnieboybarnieboy Posts: 3

    I hope that you make the right choice!

  • tristan15tristan15 Posts: 21
    edited September 21

    hey guys!

    I'm about to buy my very first car and definitely need some help.

    I'm looking for a used car under 15k, hatchback, reliable, rather sleek looking with as many tech options as possible:

    Bluetooth, Sirius xm, good sound system, audio aux, touchscreen is a plus.

    The Hyundai velopster options looks great but the car didn't get great ratings.

    So I want to know if the car I'm looking for even exist according to my budget?

    Thanks for your help.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    edited September 21
    For something under $15k, reliable, sleek looking, with as many tech features as possible for that money, have you looked at the Elantra GT? You could get a gently used one for around $15k, albeit probably not with a touchscreen but everything else you listed, and it's a lot more practical than the Veloster. You should also look at the Mazda3i hatch, I've seen these under $15k with low miles--again probably not with a touchscreen. Both of these can be had with a 6MT if you like a stick.

    Another nice used hatch in this price range is the 2010+ Golf. I see CPO 2013 2-doors and 4-doors for under $15k in my area. These cars, built in Germany, have a good reliability record (unlike some other VWs).

    The Kia Rio SX is another option, and if you could find one (they're rare) they're really loaded. I have the LX hatch and like it, but it doesn't have Bluetooth and the sound system isn't great. No touchscreen either. I think the SX has that... the EX might have it as an option also. But I think you can get more car with the Elantra GT, Mazda3i, or Golf.

    The Focus is another thought, but its reliability hasn't been that good.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472
    Kia soul too.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • Thanks for your response, this is really helpful. I have been actually looking at those models and the elantra GT is really appealing but seems to be pretty uncommon and hard to find.

    What do you think about this one :
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=77001&endYear=2015&modelCode1=ELANTR&sortBy=bestmatchb&showcaseOwnerId=56940910&startYear=1981&makeCode1=HYUND&searchRadius=25&showcaseListingId=382457852&mmt=[HYUND[ELANTR[]][]]&listingId=372641047&Log=0

    Seems too good to be true, but anyway it is a little pricy for me.

    I love the VW Golf for sure but I feel like I won't get a lot of tech features included for under 15k.

    I have another general question, how many percent additional costs ( including sale tax ) represent ?

    And what about honda, toyota or other brands ? Don't they offer any good hatchback that would fulfill my needs ?

    Thanks.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472
    Tax and fees depend on where you live and can vary wildly.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472
    But usually can budget about 10%

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016
    Honda would be the Fit but I don't think you'll get a lot of extras with a used one. Toyota would be Matrix but I'm not sure any extras there either. I would check out Kia Rio Forte which has a lot of value, and also the Soul. Both of those may have more extra features for less overall $$.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    stickguy said:

    Kia soul too.

    I don't know that I'd call the Soul "rather sleek looking". :)

    Now the Forte hatch, yes, but IMO the Elantra GT is a better value, e.g. standard alloys and heated seats even on the base trim. And the Forte hatch is even more rare than the Elantra GT!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    tristan15 said:

    Thanks for your response, this is really helpful. I have been actually looking at those models and the elantra GT is really appealing but seems to be pretty uncommon and hard to find.

    What do you think about this one : ...

    I think that's a good price for what looks like a loaded GT with 6k miles. Maybe they would negotiate to down to your price?

    You can get a nicely-equipped Golf (2010+) for under $15k. About the only thing on your list it might not have is a touchscreen. But consider... do you REALLY need that? And how much are you prepared to pay for it? If that touchscreen is important, you might look for a Rio SX. Kind of rare, but a nice infotainment system with touchscreen is standard. You might find a used Focus hatch in your price range with a touchscreen also.
  • tristan15tristan15 Posts: 21
    edited September 22
    Thanks for all those information guys, really helps me to see clearer.
    The touchscreen is not that important, it is a plus to me. What I am really looking for is a decent sound system, bluetooth , sirius xm and aux audio.

    I also meant to ask you guys, how would you negotiate a price with a dealer if it's already under the average price given by KBB ?
    In addition, do dealer let you take the car to get it inspected by a mechanic ?

    My issue is that I live in a rather small town (College Station, Tx) and that I 'm looking at used cars in a radius of 250 miles. So it sounds really inconvenient to go check the cars and negotiate since I feel like negotiating involves walking away, coming back several times and so on.

    Thank you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    You can negotiate over email and phone. But always get their offers in writing, not just over the phone.

    Used car prices are often under average KBB. That is only a guide. If you aren't comfortable negotiating with a dealer, I strongly recommend you find someone you trust who is comfortable (family member, friend) and let them help you.

    Your goal is to get the car you want for the lowest price possible. The dealer's goal is to sell you their car for the highest price possible. But it's up to them to decide what they are willing to sell the car for, not you. So you can offer anything you want. They can always say, "No thanks." Just as you can!

    First, find more than one car that meets your needs. You never want to have only one option. But if you can't do that, at the least don't let the dealer know you want only their car!! Act like you could walk at any time if you don't get your price.

    What I like to do is let the dealer know that I am willing to buy (or lease) the car for $X today, right now. That X is always less than their asking price, unless they are a no-haggle dealership (some in my area are). I do that even if I think the asking price is reasonable. (Last time I did that for a used car, the salesman just smiled and told me if I wanted to buy one of his new Infinitis, he'd be glad to give me a big discount, but not for the old car I was buying--which was already at a great price.) Have a maximum price in mind when you make your offer. e.g. say the asking price is $16k. Your target is $15k. So you offer $14k. Your goal is to get the car for no more than $15k. If they won't go that low, get up, shake hands, tell them you're sorry you couldn't make a deal, and walk out. (Or do something similar over email.) If they follow you out, or call you later, they'll go lower. (You see why you want someone experienced at this to help you?)

    About getting a dealer's car inspected... if you buy a car that's still under warranty (like the 2013 Elantra GT you mentioned is), that's not an issue. Even if not under factory warranty, it may have a dealer warranty--that's the law in my state for late-model used cars. If there's no warranty at all, then they should have no problem with your taking it to a mechanic you trust for an inspection. Since you're doing this long distance, I recommend you find a car still under factory warranty (could be a factory extended warranty, i.e. CPO car).
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016
    I would recommend you get any used car checked out by a mechanic. It's also a measure of a reputable dealer because anyone who balks isn't trustworthy. And if you find a problem it can get fixed BEFORE you buy it.
  • Thanks you for all that valuable information, I really appreciate.

    I think I might have to get somebody to help me as English isn't my first language and over the phone conversation is definitely not my forte.

    If I get things right, prices online (Kbb, autotrader...) are excluding sale taxes and additional fees? It can sound silly to ask but where I'm from, prices are advertised with everything included. 

    Anyway, my question is , when negotiating with a dealer, are we negotiating on the total price ( including taxes and fees ) or on the online advertised price?

    At what point are those additional fees discussed? 


    Thanks again.

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    edited September 22
    You'll want to state that you want the "Out the door" price, with all taxes and fees.

    For more information on buying a car follow this link, then click on all the different articles about how to buy a car:
    http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,016
    Used car is pretty straightforward. Sales taxes are standard for your state, as is fee to transfer title. So those will be the same everywhere. I negotiate by asking price myself.
  • Hello,

    What do you guys think about those two offers :

    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/613174165/overview/

    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/611203370/overview/#14

    How come the second one has such a low mileage ? Is it something that could be a bad sign ?
    What are the things to check first when checking an ad like that ?

    Thanks for your help.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472
    not that low. Depending on when it was bought, might not be much more than 1 year old. Or someone didn't drive much! IMO you should treat them the same way in terms of due diligence.

    the big difference is the white low miles one is a stick shift not an automatic. So not sure if you care, but that could help explain the price difference.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • I actually don't care and was exclusively driving manual in France so it really doesn't matter to me to get either a manual or automatic.
    Would it be easier to negotiate for a manual ? Are american that reluctant to get manual cars ?

    Thanks.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,472
    Much rarer. If you don't care might be able to use that to save money.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • I called the dealer for the following car :
    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/613174165/overview/
    And it's been on their lot for already 50 days and it's gonna be sent to auction in the following 5/10 days.
    What do you guys think about that kind of situation ? What shall I do ?

    Thanks.
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