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Help Me Choose!

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Comments

  • Thanks Benjamin
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    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: 1,623
    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: 1,623
    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: 887
    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: 887
    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.
  • 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.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    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: 1,623
    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: 1,623
    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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