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Help Me Choose!



  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    tennisnuts - where's the Camry? I'd pick the Mazda because it is a good car and it is newer.

    Passat .... I'd probably pick this one over the new Altima. The VW has a better interior and has a better warranty now. However, if you are into performance then the Nissan would be the way to go.... with its cheesy interior.
  • With the radical improvement of the Altima, there are now four excellent family sedans to choose from: Accord, Altima, Camry and Passat. Anyone trying to decide which to buy should spend time scanning the discussion groups for these cars and then do as much test driving as the dealerships will allow. When cars are this good, your decision will come down to little factors of personal preference that you have to make based on your response to the car.

    But let me add another consideration. New car dealerships vary FAR more in quality than these cars vary. No matter how nice your new Camry or Altima, etc, might be, if the dealership sucks your experience with the car won't be good. Putting it the other way around, many folks would be delighted with any of these cars if they bought it from and had it serviced by a really outstanding dealership. It's an area well worth taking time to research it.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I don't know about Audi or VW or Acura's manumatics, but for the last year I have been driving my Chrysler 300M in the AutoStick mode 90% of the time. It is pretty good in stop and go traffic. The auto tranny would constantly shift up and down and seek gears. With the AutoStick, I can just tell it to stay in 2nd all the time.
  • hello friends, i am new at this townhall. i have been looking around for a good used C280's and C230's. knowing that Mercedes always keep their resale value, i also saw the new Altimas. since the price of a new Altima is about the same as the C230 kompressor w/ 50k miles that i am interested in, which car do you think would still keep their value at the end of 4 years? i will be financing it. will the Benz be a better choice? friends say "yes" but i thought i'd consult Edwards townhall for better answers. am i right?
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Since cars lose most of their value in the first year of ownership, the Mercedes will hold its value much better than the Altima. Resale value on the Altima is unknown since it's a new model, but because prices for the car can range from $18k to $29k, it might not be good. Then again, if the car is a huge hit, everything could change.

    One thing to consider about the Mercedes is that it will be expensive to maintain and repair. It will probably cost you considerably more to own the Merc than the Altima. Also, 50k miles is a lot to have on a '99 car. Have the Merc checked out by a mechanic to make sure it's in good shape.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    C230 might be a good choice because it has better build quality. However, I am wary of the supercharger (from reliability standpoint). Yeah, 50k is a lot on a four cylinder with supercharger, but I think most of those miles are on the highway so the stress on the engine is not that bad. Since you seem to like MB then that could be the car for you, but just make sure that you have some good warranties. Good luck!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    will be more expensive than the Altima per visit, but you should be visiting less. I believe MB is on same maintaince schedule as BMW which is every ~15k.
  • anon70anon70 Posts: 82
    i have $2500 in rebates from my GM card that's expiring.

    my 93 nissan sentra w/180k miles has started giving me grief within the past 3 months. (battery/alternator/starter/and now it looks like i have to replace the flywheel, which was quoted at $700 at the dealer).

    Anyway, i've looked at the grand am, prizm, sunfire, cavalier. according to edmunds reviews, the prizm is the best of the bunch. But i would like your thoughts?


    ps- Edmunds review on the prism says 0% apr till 1/15/2002???

    pps- anyway i can combine the $1500 cashback w/the 0% apr?
  • The best car on your short list is the Prizm, and for a sad reason. It is primarily Japanese. The others are primarily American. That means the Prizm is more likely to be well designed, pleasant to drive, reliable and economical to own. If you study cars very much, the evidence is overwhelming that the Japanese are doing a better job than Americans these days with car design and manufacturing. That's the bad news. The good news is that American cars are definitely getting better, and so your chances of having a good experience with a Cavalier or Grand Am are better now than they would have been a decade or two ago. Good luck!
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    Trying to stay under $30k, but a couple of my choices will probably be just over. This car would be mainly a commuter and some highway miles on weekends. Safety is paramount, but I'd like some speed and handling to go with it if possible.

    I guess my benchmark for comparison is my Jetta 1.8T. I really like the car overall, enough to consider another VW, but I may want to spend more and get something built better. VWs are nice, but not the pinnacle of quality control to be certain.

    Okay, anybody who's owned or test driven one of these, or just have strong opinions, I'd like to hear it. Thanks!

    -VW GTI: 180HP 1.8T or 201HP 24V VR6 (undecided)
    The new 24V six comes out in spring '02, and I
    like my 1.8T, but would like more punch and think
    a naturally aspirated six might be fun with VWs
    new 6-speed manual. Also the cheapest on the
    list at around $20k 1.8T, $22k VR6.

    -Volvo S60: Great looking car, reputation for
    safety. I'd keep the options list simple, with
    the 2.4L 168HP non-turbo 5-cyl & 5-spd. MSRP is

    -BMW 325i: Good reputation for build quality and
    handling. Rear wheel drive and balance supposed
    to give handling like nobody's business.
    Popular car, probably no bargains out there. With
    sport suspension and HK sound, leatherette
    probably still around $30k.

    -Saab 9-3: I don't know jack about this car. I've
    always liked the style of Saabs, and they're
    supposed to be safe. But they're obviously
    different than everything else out there, and
    Edmunds said they have mucho torque-steer.
    MSRP is $27995 for the 2.0L Turbo/5-speed with

    -Audi A4 1.8T: 170HP 5-speed. I'm thinking this
    is just a nicely trimmed Jetta. Cool options
    like Xenons and Bose sound available though.
    MSRP $25500 Not sure build quality would be up
    there with BMW/Volvo/Saab.

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I always wonder when I see such different cars being asked about. Grand Am and Prizm may both be sedans from GM but they are very different cars. What are your wants and needs? Do you need/want styling, driving/handling, passenger/cargo room or what?
  • anon70: I think the best GM small sedan is not on your list. It is the Olds Alero. It is similar to the Grand Am, but has a 5 Yr./60K warranty. The styling is very sharp in my opinion. I helped my daughter buy one last summer, and she likes it a lot.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    under 30k... I think that you are better off with a Passat since you are familiar with VW. I doubt that you can get a 325i for under 30k or an S60.
  • Just for fun test drive a 2002 Subaru Outback VDC Sedan -
  • I would also consider saturns if eligible, as well as the olds alero, very nice style on coupe and sedan, although the grand am is aclone with lots of body cladding and wierd interior. The prizm is a safe choice too.

    Passat/Altima/camry/accord debate, I have a 01 passat and love it, such great comfort, style and handling, plus the warranty is improved, not the bland car the others are, and the interior much better, IMO than the new altima, which looks a little too pontiac inside.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I don't know about the states right now but the GM Card is definitely available on Saturns in Canada.
  • I'd like to buy a used Volvo, something under $3000, 10+ years old is fine. I haven't had a car (haven't needed one in the city) since my 72 Beetle. I wouldn't drive a bug or anything less than a Swedish Brick with all those SUVs bearing down on me. Japanese steel is pretty flimsy.

    Anyway, what's the best old volvo to buy for reliability and the least expensive to maintain? I'd like to spend as little as possible (who wouldn't?) but of course don't want to end up paying for it later.

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    My dad has good luck with 240 and 740 Volvos, and currently has, I think, an '86 240 sedan and an '87 740 wagon; both have been very good. He looks forward to getting a car from the '90s next! This is his first 740. He's had lots of 240 series and some have been very good, others bad:

    Don't get the 4-cyl with carb and 3-speed auto as it is terribly underpowered. Even with manual tranny, the carb engines are to be avoided if possible. Also, don't get the 6-cyl (bad old Renault engine) or the turbo on these cars as it was just too early and is a repair nightmare -- most people with these engines replace them with regular 4-cyls if they keep them at all. The fuel-injected 4-cyls with 4-spd + overdrive manual or auto have usually done him well.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Your dad is like my dad. His car-buying cycle is measured in decades!
  • some body help find a beater, for winter, for cheap, but it has to run and have heat.
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