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Help Me Choose!

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  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    To some, older than five years old is a 'beater'. Do you mean super cheap (like under $2000, $1000, $500!)? Also depends where you live: if you live w/snow & salt, most older cars rust away, and rear wheel drive sucks in the snow.

    I live in Chicago, we tend to find our beaters on the street, in gas station lots, etc. I've been at my mom's in Indiana, lots of old American cars for sale in people's yards for next to nothing. Check your local free papers, too.

    Um, some OK really cheap cars IMO (less than $1000):
    old GMs (77-80s Caprices/LeSabres especially, but they use some gas)
    80s Honda Accord & Civic 5 speed, watch for rust; I'd avoid Prelude
    80s Nissan Sentras, super cheap and common (get a 5 spd)
    Toyotas, of course (mid-80s Corollas, 84-86 Camry)
    Maybe an old Hyundai Excel, if not ever in a hurry (SSLLLOOOWWW)

    You don't want big repair$, stay away from any beater Saabs, Volvos, BMWs, Acuras (parts are '$pensive) or VWs (parts again). You don't want an $800 European car.
    Have fun, let us know what you find._
  • The car I gave my daughter would certainly qualify: a 1992 Mazda MX6. She loves it. The car is peppy and fun to drive and has been reliable, albeit rusty. The 626 would be similar. Old Nissan Altimas are a good bet. The older Mazda and Nissan coupes and sedans have many of the best qualities of Japanese cars without being as pricey as Toyota or Honda cars of the same age.
  • arkhamarkham Posts: 1
    hey all... looking for a midsize sedan... just posted my situation in the comparison forum and then i saw this thread so here's a link to my situation.

    arkham "chrysler sebring vs dodge stratus vs mitsubishi galant vs subaru legacy" Oct 28, 2001 7:11pm

    my favorites right now are the subaru legacy, chrysler sebring / dodge stratus and the mitsubishi galant.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    You're a young guy with a family so I think that you should think about getting a slightly used car. However, I bet that you might have a tough time convincing your wife. Another good value car that you might want to consider is the Hyundai Sonata. I guess that any good car under 20k would be what you are going to purchase. You might want to consider a base Nissan Altima as well..... so many choices for a family sedan... good luck
  • anon70anon70 Posts: 82
    i have $2500 from my GM card and is expiring. i am trying to keep it under $14k and am considering :

    1)Chevy prism LSi w/automatic transmission, and sunroof options.

    2) Olds Alero GX

    3) hyndai Eltra GLS w/sunroof option

    Both GM cars cost ~$16500 - 2500 = $14k. the elantra also costs 14k.

    Plus/minus:
    Prizm - Toyota reliability, sunroof. Antilock brakes costs $500 more. no lumbar support. lower warrenty than other 2 cars (3yr/36k miles)

    Alero - Antilock brakes and traction control standard. no sunroof, or lumbar support. 5yr/60k warrenty

    Elantra - Can pick sunroof OR antilock brakes, not both. Seats have lumbar support. 5yr/60k warrenty. "Laugh" factor. ie: Friends laugh at you for buying a Hyundai.

    ok, i have a 93 sentra w/180k miles that beginning fall apart. It doesnt have antilock brakes and it drives fine so ABS is low priority. But i like longer warrenties. And sunroof is good. I plan to drive the car till it dies so resell value isnt a consideration. But i do drive long trips.

    Questions:
    1) How much more does lumbar support add to the ride?

    2) Whats the difference between cloth upholstery and premium cloth upholstery?

    3) Which of those 3 cars would you choose?

    THX
  • You answered your own question. You want a sunroof and a long warranty for your road tripping; but, you don't care about ABS and resale means nothing. The answer is the Elantra. You mention getting laughed at by your friends. You are buying the car for you, not them. They wouldn't laugh at you if they were friends. Sure, they may poke a little fun at first, but you could beat them to the punch and take the wind out of their sails. Maybe you could step it up a little to the GT? It would be hard to laugh at leather seats and alloy wheels for about $15k.
  • I'm planning on buying a 2002 Jetta GLX or Accord EX V6, but I'm torn. Does anyone have any advice?
    Also, does anyone know if either one of these cars be fitted with an aftermarket navigation sysyem?

    Thnaks
  • If you do not need a bunch of interior room, get the Jetta GLX. It isn't the same car all your neighbors drive and has a better warranty. Consumer Reports rate them both as "Recommended" and they say the Passat is better than the Accord. The knock on Jetta is its size. It is smaller than a Nissan Sentra or a Hyundai Elantra. I know that sounds too hard to believe, but it is. But, for fun and variety, get the VW Jetta.
  • karlkarl Posts: 34
    anon70 -

    I vote for the Prizm as the best of these 3. Why ? Because -

    1) Reputation for reliability - this car is the mechanical clone of the Toyota Corolla, built at the NUMMI plant in Fremont California, alongside the Corolla.

    2) 3/36 warranty is fine, vs. 5/60 for Alero, or combo of 5/60 & 10/100 for Elantra - because most warranty repairs will occur in the first year or so of ownership... by the time 3/36 rolls around, you should have had all the minor bugs surface & be repaired under warranty. In the time between 3/36 and 5/60, nothing major should be expected to fail. (Think about your '93 Sentra - if you've had it since new, what (if anything) broke during 1995, 1996, 1997 ?)

    If this is a major concern, any car dealer will happily sell you an extended warranty to bring the 3/36 up to 5/60, or 7/75, etc.

    3) Resale - if you plan to sell / trade in this car in 2-4 years, the Prizm should hold its value better, due to its Toyota roots. Alero = Oldsmobile = extinct after this year. Hyundai = amazingly poor resale value.

    4) GM Card free money on the Prizm - this should help rule out the Hyundai. Also, check whether GM is still offering 0% financing, and if it applies to this model. This of course depends on your credit situation.

    -Karl
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    I'm considering one of the 3 following 2002 models:

    1. Accord EXV6: Proven design and reliability. Tops in value. But staid.
    2. Camry SEV6 (non-leather): Toyota reputation, new model, but so-so styling and power and relatively high cost.
    3. Maxima GXE: Sweet VQ35, has more standard equipment but you also pay a little more than the other 2, plus possibility of obsolescence in near future as Nissan moves Maxima in whole different direction.

    What do you guys think?
  • If you enjoy cars and can appreciate performance, it shouldn't be a hard decision. The Maxima is a ton of fun. You can argue that it is a bad buy because of the anticipated sixth generation change, but that argument applies to the Accord as well. Turning that argument around, the Maxima today is one of the best bargains in cars because it is taking a beating from its lil' brother, the Altima. You're never going to get a better buy on a Maxima. Even with its beam axle, the Max is more fun to drive than anything else here.
  • If you're worried about obsolescence (Accord and Maxima), and you're not crazy about the Camry, why not get an Altima? With 240 HP, it's second only to Maxima, but the styling will be fresh for years to come. I bought a new Integra in the early summer of 1993. I had no idea--and nobody at the dealership told me--that the car was changing about 6 weeks later. Even though I still loved the car, I was irked that my brand new car was suddenly old and dated. I think if you buy the Accord, you will have the same feeling next fall. Maxima may not be far behind. I do have one other crazy suggestion. I know it will get blasted and I'm prepared for it, but I'll throw it out there anyway. Before you buy whatever it is you are going to buy, at the very least drive a Hyundai XG350. In a 3 way comparison by Motor Trend magazine last spring, the XG300 beat the Honda Accord EX V6. Motor Trend even acknowledged the XG300 would not make a dent in the Accord's sales, but they said it was the car they would buy with their own money. The 2002 XG350 has a larger, more powerful engine, so I feel it would have to be better than last year's Just a suggestion, though. Of the three listed, go with Maxima. I would probably buy an Altima 3.5, but I would probably at least drive an XG350 first.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Some say that the GXE model is too softly sprung to qualify as a real Max. It is better to get SE or no Max at all.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    I did look at the Altima and I really didn't like the quality of its interior, especially if you compare it side-by-side with the Max. I also think the Max's front end is much more aggressive-looking.

    I agree the SE is sweet, but it exceeded our budget. And this will primarily be my wife's car, and she wouldn't care about the handling advantage of the SE.
  • I lease a 1999 Chrysler 300M and need to choose my next car. While I love the power, looks, and amenities of the 300M, the next car needs to be QUIETER, with better visibility out the front sides and rear of the car, and with a truly luxurious feeling. So far I've driven the 1998 LS400 (must stay in the $35K or less range) and a new Toyota Avalon. Have been told the Acura RL, Infiniti J30(?), and Audi A-6,8 would be good for comparison. Also wonder about the smaller Cadillacs. Absolutely loved the LS 400 and my ONLY concern is that it is RWD. Am in Colorado and must cope at times with snow, slush, and ice. So I went back to looking at FWD autos. Loved the Avalon but missed some of the power of the Lexus. It did seem to have a lot for the money. Again, I love the 300M and want something even better.
  • You might try Acura TL, Lexus ES300, or Infiniti I35. That new ES300 is a nice looking car (IMO). You mention Cadillac. Catera would be your only option I think. With this the last year of the Catera, you might get a real good deal on one. Acura RL is out of your range at $35k.
  • The smallest Caddy is RWD... so will the CTS...

    I'd pick the Acura TL type S for best value - Edmunds' editors choice as well. The Lexus is worth a look since you want a QUIETER car.
  • I'm about to have a baby in about 3 1/2 weeks here. I don't have a car at the time being, and I'm going to desperatly need one. I've been wondering lately which car would be best for me. I'm obviously have to get a sedan, because a coupe would be just plain stupid to get. I don't want to break my back with a car seat for the next 5/6 years, so I'm going for the sedan. I'm going to need a good, reliable, and powerful sedan for my family. I'm leaning towards a V6, because I want enough power to get my family out of a tight situation on the raod, and quickly. So any family men/women out there, preferably a new family woman/man, but a family person period who is willing to help me out would be very much appreciated. So please help me in my decision in buying a car. Oh, I almost forgot, I have to get a used car, maybe, just maybe I can get a new car considering how the economy is working right now. So any advice would be very, very helpful.
    Very Kindly,
    TheWorldIzMyn
  • Congratulations on being a new family man.

    My wife and I have a four year old and a eight month old.
    I drive a 2000 Impala and my wife drives a 2000 Camry.
    Both are nice cars, but for me I feel safer in the Impala and it's more fun to drive. It has the 3.8 liter V6 that has a good reliability record and the Impala did very good in all crash tests.
    I keep car's for along time and I'm sure these will be around awhile. If you have questions let me know and good luck!
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    In fact, with expected big discounts on new Accords, you may even be able to fit a new LX-V6 into your budget. It'll serve you well for the next 10 years.

    And congrats on the new baby. He (she) will change your life forever!
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