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Help Me Choose!

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  • Under $15,000 USD :cry:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    You still have too many variables. A NEW car such as that does not exist. It would be used ... which leaves you with many many cars that would fit the bill.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Oh jeez. So we need more answers....how old and how many miles are you comfortable with. Please define "good mpg".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I can think of at least ONE new car that exists if it can be FWD instead of RWD... Kia Soul Base. Starts around $15k before negotiation and for 2013 is actually pretty well equipped, including a 6 speed stick and Bluetooth. And rides pretty nice also (tested one the other day, albeit an automatic).

    Actually there's other possibles here as well if only the RWD requirement is lifted--most of these would be stripped, but could be had ~$15k new:

    * Chevy Sonic and Spark
    * Ford Fiesta
    * Hyundai Accent GS - might be able to find one around $15k at discount
    * Kia Rio base 5-door (at a discount... but for the money I'd take the Soul)
    * Mazda2
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    yes, there are several if FWD is allowed.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • You could buy a car that met all those criteria, but it would have been made in the 1970s. The two OPEC oil embargoes led manufacturers to find ways to save weight and they jumped on the front-wheel-drive bandwagon as one of the solutions. Broadly speaking, FWD has been the norm since the 1980s, with the exceptions of performance-oriented cars and large relics of that earlier era like the Ford Crown Vic. Some models that had been FWD have moved back to RWD, but they tend to be large vehicles like the Chrysler 300. The smaller Chrysler 200 is FWD.

    The early Japanese imports, including the Corolla and Datsun 510, were RWD, as were the American models designed to compete with them, like the (cough-cough) Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. Honda's original and highly influential Civic and Accord were both FWD, as was the equally influential original Dodge Caravan.

    That's a long-winded explanation about why the car you're looking for doesn't exist on today's market.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    A reporter is looking to speak with someone who bought a new car in September. If you’re able to assist this reporter please send a brief description of your purchase and your preferred contact information to pr@edmunds.com.

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  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    I have always driven clunkers and someone gave me 11k to buy a car. I have a few grand myself and I am about to buy new. What is the best bang for my buck in new?

    I know buying 2 or more years old helps with depreciation but I am going to do it anyway.

    Thanks for any help.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    edited October 2012
    It would help if you gave us the exact budget you have. With tax and everything I'm not sure $11k plus "a few grand" will buy anything. But please give us your max $$ you can spend. Also, what features/dynamics/etc are important to you? Automatic...Room for 6 kids....0-60 in less than an an afternoon....
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    I can get a chevy spark for 14,700 out the door bottom line after taxes, tag, fees etc. 10 airbags and 38 mpg is nice but car is super small.

    need to be under 15k
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    edited October 2012
    Well anything at this price point is going to be pretty small. Nissan Versa at least feels a little bigger inside...and you can get one with automatic and cruise in your price range. The Ford Fiesta is another but you'll have to stick with a manual tranny at that price. Pickings are slim but both are bigger than the Spark.

    Honestly if super small isn't your thing...you can find something a little bigger and nicer that's almost new. I noticed a used 2012 VW Jetta with 5k miles for $13,999 on a lot recently.
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    thanks for taking the time to respond. I am second thinking the spark now. I am 6' 220 and would be miserable
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    edited October 2012
    You really need to get over the "buy new" idea and get a good car that's just a few years old. You can get a 3-5 year old car 12-15K. Or just about any other 25-35K upper tier or entry level luxury midsize sedan. These represent your best long-term value as they have more safety items, more options, and are built with the idea that people will be driving them for 10+ years as opposed to their being purely rental fodder. Heavier doors, better seats, better brakes, a smoother engine, and so on. And often a LOT safer due to their added weight in a crash.

    Of course the best deals are Ford and GM due to their higher initial depreciation. About 3/4 of their cars are OK or worse, but the rest are much better than they used to be. Kind of like hidden gems, as it were. You mentioned the Spark, so you probably won't have an issue with domestic make.

    My recommendation then would be to get the following/something like it:
    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listin- - gId=90459030

    What you are looking at is a Buick Lacrosse. But this specific model has the suspension and engine out of a Cadillac CTS. Plus leather, sunroof, a good radio, and all of the goodies. You'll not be hunched over driving it like in a lot of econoboxes. It drives like a dream and it's $13K. With under 30K miles on it, since most likely it was owned by an elderly person who barely drove it.

    Did I mention the Cadillac engine? This thing is a rocket. 0-60 in just over 7 seconds, and while that's not as "fast" some other cars, it has maximum torque at 1600rpm. Not 4000+. So it does transitions and responds much quicker than a typical sedan since it's at full power pretty much all the time. (kind of like driving a diesel just without the diesel issues)

    This car at fifteen years old (10 years from now) will be in better shape than a new econobox after 5 years. As for myself, I typically drive older luxury cars for this reason. If you don't abuse them you'll never wear out a full-size car.

    edit - note that there is a second choice that's also good. It's reliable, super cheap to fix, and despite getting OK MPG, the low low price more than makes up for it.

    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listin- - gId=73962461
    It's big but it's also quite obviously not a taxi, rental car, or cop car. The whole idea behind that specific color (or the dark red) is to get rid of that image. It's an awesome vehicle in every way. If you are 6 ft tall, it's made for you. You get a big overbuilt car that easily could last another 150K miles and save a ton on repairs. Just keep it until the wheels fall off. Like the Buick, it comes pretty much loaded. I drove one of these for a while and it was awesome. Quiet, smooth as glass, and perfect for commuting to work and back.

    Keep in mind that this car is about two years old. It'll still probably have that new car smell and half the tread left on the original tires.
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    wow! never thought id get that much help on a forum, thanks
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    If you are set on a new car, with your size you might try the Soul. Very roomy car, and I've seen base models (still all the key equipment, and a 6-speed manual) advertised for under $13k + T&L. That would fit your budget, depending on taxes in your state. Also good fuel economy and high marks for crash safety. And a 10-year warranty.

    Versa hatch is another option, not quite as roomy as the Soul but really good legroom for its size. Would need to be a base model to fit in your budget. Stay away from the Versa sedan... not nearly as nice a car as the hatch, IMO, and the hatch is more versa-tile.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I tried that myself, oh, about 1995. I was thinking about buying a small car, new. Something cute with a manual like maybe a Celica or a Civic hatchback. But the problem is that they, well, drove like small cars.

    I ended up with a used Volvo. It simply won, because as much as I wanted "new", the amount of car that I could get a few years used was shocking by comparison. I kept lusting after things like air conditioning, disc brakes, power windows (remember, this was in the 90s, none of that was standard, normally), leather, a sunroof, and so on.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    And having owned more new cars that I care to admit....the "new car" wears off REALLY fast. I can afford pretty much whatever I want but I still try to buy used whenever possible. New is not as glamorous as it may seem. We just bought a new Acura at the end of August...for the wife. It was a great deal because Acura is trying to clear out the old models and I couldn't find a slightly used one for less. My daily driver I bought two years old with 15k miles and saved $8k over a new one. I now have 80k miles on it 2 years later...I don't miss those first 15k miles one bit!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Have you driven the Soul? A huge difference between that and what was available as a basic small car in 1995. Actually the Versa hatch is also.

    The OP said he wants a new car, so while I'd go with a used car myself for this kind of money, I am trying to give him advice related to his question.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    You could get a 2012 Mazda3 i Sport 4-door for around $15k (give or take a few hundred). I'm 6'2" 230 and it has more than enough room for me. It's a lot more fun to drive than any other $15k car, too!
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    I have found a Ford Fiesta SE from private party for $12k. It has 1940 miles on it and is a 2011. It has automatic, cruise, PW and PL

    Please tell me if I should buy this car. I am ready to pay the man and avoid dealer fees and new car depreciation and still get a fairly new car.

    It was kept in the garage and still smells new.

    Is Ford Fiesta a reliable car or trouble?
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