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Help Me Choose!

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  • I'll admit to not having test driven a TL yet, but it is next on my list. Is this shifting problem something that would be noticeable on a test drive? Does anyone know if this has been known to cause problems later in the car's life?

    I should have known there would not be an easy answer to this dilemma :) Ultimately I would prefer to buy used just because of the amount of value a car loses in it's first year. I hope to test drive a TL I've been looking at tomorrow night.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree thegraduate, but the makeup remark struck my funny bone. ;)
  • I plan to make a decision by Saturday. I am going back and forth with the following 2 cars.

    Mazda 6 Sean, 4 door, V6, I can get a 2006 model for around 19,000 before tax and title, this would be the sport version

    OR

    Honda Accord 2007 SE V6 model, I can get for around 20,600 before tax and title.

    What is everyones thoughts? What would you pick and why?????

    As far as drive I thought they were pretty equal. I know that Honda is known for keeping its value and being reliable. I am drawn to the sport feel of the mazda. I am 26 so the accord does make me feel a little older. I am looking for a 4 door vehicle.
    the gas mileage of the mazda is not the best 20/27. Hondas range I think around 20/29
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    If you like the feel of the Mazda, go for it. :shades:
  • First of all, it is only a problem on ATs, so if you want an MT, don't worry about it.
    Second, I think you can tell from a test drive, but I'm not sure. If there is a "TL Problems" board, or something, go back ot the 2004 posts and search for it.
  • I'm thinking of buying a leftover 06 Forester from a local dealer in northern Va. I've never owned a Subie before and have been reading these posts for a couple of weeks. I got the info below off the local dealers website and this looks like a fair deal to me. What do you experts think?
    Thanks.

    Leftover New 2006 Subaru Base Forester auto, blue
    X Wagon, Auto. Trans. Regal Blue Pearl, Gray Cloth.
    Options: tweeter kit, floor mats, cargo net rear vertical, rear bumper cover, cargo tray, auto dimming mirror/compass
    MSRP $23,740, Invoice $22,169, Internet price $18,564.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Check out this discussion: Subaru Forester: Prices Paid & Buying Experience. It should be very helpful for you.
  • Thanks Pat. I just read the threads and they are helpful.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You're certainly welcome. :) You can copy your post and put it up over there, also.

    Good luck!
  • I'm moving from China to US and getting my first car in US. I guess I will save the fun of driving for my second car, so my primary considerations for my first car will be:

    a) a reliable vehicle for daily commute and toting my family to grocery store.
    b) safe to drive.

    If not for the safety concern, Toyota Camry or Honda Accord would be my top choice. In China, however, Japanese auto-manufacturers are notorious for cutting corners when it comes to safety concerns. For example, they would use rear drum brake which would have been disc brake on the same model sold in Japan.

    In contrast, in China German auto-manufacturers usually do a good job keeping their safety standards.

    I'd like to know if the same is more or less true in US -- that it is safer to drive a German car than a comparable Japanese car? Your real-world experiences (not just the data of safety ratings because they are often off the point) with US auto market would be really appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kenneth
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Kenneth,

    Welcome to the U.S.A.

    The Toyota and Honda in the U.S. are top quality and are safe and high quality, IMO. BMW/Mercedes also are tops in safety along with the premium US brands such as Buick/Cadillac/Lincoln. Quality/Safety on specific models vary, however.

    Good luck with your shopping experience and use these boards for pricing and owner feedback help. There is really great information here.

    Regards,
    OW
  • Thanks circlew. I know that I found the right place for information. I will happily go ahead and get a Accord or Camry. :)

    Thanks,
    Kenneth
  • I have a '98 Prelude that is closing in on 200,000 miles so I'll need to replace it sometime soon. I'd like something similar in size, hassle-free reliability like the Prelude, and only two doors. I can afford to spend more this time around, so I'd like something with a few more amenities and a bit more performance. I buy a car about once every 9-10 years, so some excitement, at least initially, would be nice; when I got the Prelude it was a big jump up form my previous car. The Prelude is still quite spirited when pushed.

    The difficulty is there is just not much out there-

    BMW 328i, 335i
    Infiniti G35
    and at the lower end - Accord V6 MT Coupe

    I actually test drove a 328xi with auto trans, the four wheel drive and the AT removes any adrenaline rush from it. I was wondering how much better a 328i with MT would be? Would the 335i be worth another $4K? I'm also concerned about the reliability.

    I've heard mixed things about the G35 and terrible things about the local dealership. It also seems like it's hard to get out the door without a lot of worthless options I would never want.

    Accord V6 Coupe - would hardly get the blood flowing and seems way too big. Would have bullet proof reliability and would save huge bucks.

    I would perhaps consider an Audi, but I've heard horrendous things about the quality.

    So, am I missing any contenders? I'd also appreciate any insight people have with these vehicles.

    Thanks.
  • I would go with the BMW 335i personally. It is in Porsche territory ;) when it comes to straight line speed(4.8 seconds 0 to 60) and with the sport package(1600$ option) it handles better than any luxury sedan in this price range. It definitely worth the extra money over the 328 because it will give you a lot more power plus you get xenon and better stereo standard. It is by far the best choice. Test drive the 335, it will blow you away. It just doesn't have any competition in the 40K zone. Plus BMW gives you free maintenance for 4 years 50000 miles. It doesn't get better than that.
    Audi.... with the 3.2 engine can barely match the performance in the BMW 328, Infiniti is not much more than a disguised Nissan Altima 3.5 and the American Accord ..don't even get me started on that. I owned an Accord(bought it brand new) and it was the WORST car I ever owned my entire life. Bullet proff reliability? I DON'T THINK SO. :mad:
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    Get the Accord.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    You're the first guy EVER to say the Accord was their worst car they ever owned in their entire life. I had one for 4 years and 79000 miles and it WAS bulletproof.

    And BTW, the Altima if FWD and the Infiniti is RWD. That's a huge difference pal.
  • "You're the first guy EVER to say the Accord was their worst car they ever owned in their entire life. I had one for 4 years and 79000 miles and it WAS bulletproof."

    Well...we are not all sheep. There are many people disgusted by the "quality" of the most overrated brand of cars in the US ...Honda. Just open your eyes and see the reality. "It's a Honda" has a completely different meaning for people who know about cars... more like It's a piece of c**p.

    "And BTW, the Altima if FWD and the Infiniti is RWD. That's a huge difference pal."

    Not big enough to make Infiniti a luxury car...pal
  • rikuriku Posts: 10
    Have you owned a German car in the last few years?
  • I still do...I have a 2007 GTI. Most of the cars that I owned were German, but I did own Japanese cars too....Mazda, Subaru, Honda. Anyway, the German cars are in a completely different class... way above the rest.
  • Thanks for the input.

    The 335i would certainly meet my criteria, but in terms of price it's a slippery slope, when you start throwing in things like the sport package for another $1600, which means you need another set of tires and probably wheels for winter which would set me back another ~$700. Still a little uncomfortable with the reliability.

    Anyway, the G35 coupe is more accurately described as a 350Z with a back seat, which isn't too bad. The complaints I've heard is it's bit unrefined, particularly compared to the 3 series. On the other hand, it would likely be about $7,000 less than a 335i and $2,500 less than a 328i.

    As far as Honda, I'm sure you can find everyone who has had a bad experience with every kind of car. I can only go by statistics and my personal experience. In 9 years and 191,200 miles I have had zero problems with the Prelude. I had a Toyota before that for 9 years and that was virtually the same. I grew up with a variety of American cars that were constantly breaking down and were basically junk by 80,000 - 90,000 miles. So there's somewhat of a comfort zone with the large Japanese manufacturers.

    As for BMW, the 3 series has a reasonable reputation, Audi and in recent years MB have been disasters in terms of reliability.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions..
  • Just did a quick check, on the 3 coupe the sport package is only $910 invoice, $1,000 msrp. The run-flat performance tires probably cost almost that much. I'm still annoyed that BMW charges for the paint! That's nerve.
  • rikuriku Posts: 10
    That's a nice choice. You can find a lot of reasonably priced bolt on's, and of course, the infamous chip-a-thon.

    I've owned Honda/Acura cars in the past prior to having a 04 C32, and I don't share your assessment that German cars are above the rest. Sure, it's a rocket and the stability is hands down better, but the reliability has been poor. In fact, most of my peers who own Audi's, BMW, and MB all complain about reliability in one way or another.
  • rikuriku Posts: 10
    The 3 series are marginally better compared to the A4 and C class, but they are far, far from being faultproof.

    To be honest if you want reliability, stay away from any turbocharged/supercharged motors. Once out of warranty, the units are expensive to replace. The motors will last, but you would feel like you've just lost 100+ hp :surprise:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Riku,

    Agree with your view on reliability. IMO, if you want reliability, 3 years and out is the only way. Since you can't maintain/fix your own vehicle as in the past without real expensive diagnostics, the costs are rising each year.

    Even if you buy relatively new, you should have an exit strategy to limit your warranty/maintenance/repair costs.

    Let's put it this way: You spend around $40K for a car and it is one with a dreaded defect. If it is a major part like the engine or transmission that must be replaced, do you feel the same about the car after it is repaired?

    I tend to see this reliability issue with all models for all reasons and the Japanese are starting to slip as well in certain respects. This is no doubt due to the ever higher levels of technology.

    Parts are designed to last for so long. Remember roll-up windows? Even they broke after awhile.

    Regards,
    OW
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Yes sometimes it seem that the more cadgets you have the more things that can go wrong. :cry:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I still do...I have a 2007 GTI. Most of the cars that I owned were German, but I did own Japanese cars too....Mazda, Subaru, Honda. Anyway, the German cars are in a completely different class... way above the rest.

    Some dont mind cars going in the shop regularly (or more often than many cars), some gawk at three hours for a $200 repair. Different class is up for debate, unless you are talking premium brands (BMW, Porsche, MB) vs. mainstream (Ford, Subaru, Toyota)...then they better well be a different class. Many cost a lot more to purchase and keep maintained than the mainstream vehicles.
  • Thanks again for the input.

    Three years, I drive way too many miles for a lease. If I have to buy a new car every three years, I'd be looking at like a Yaris.

    Good info on turbchargers/superchargers, wasn't really aware of that, though was concerned about an entirely new system from BMW in the first year. From what I've read, 3 series reliability had at least been reasonable (not great) while the latest 7 series has been a disaster. Audi and MB across the board have been bad, though reports are Audi has been doing better lately.

    In terms of reliability, I can deal with regularly scheduled maintenance and understand that this may be somewhat more frequent and expensive for a higher performance vehicle. What I can't deal with is getting stuck on the side of the road or having the car in the shop for days or weeks on end while they try to figure out what is wrong with it (see the MB and Audi lists of complaints), even if it is under warranty.

    Just my two cents worth, they should stop trying to throw in more new gadgets that add little to the driving experience and most people don't even want, and focus on doing the core things well and correctly. Consumer Reports gave the previous 5 series the highest ratings they have ever given any car, but are only luke warm on the current model because it is overloaded with garbage like i-drive and adaptive steering that everyone can live better without.
  • "Some dont mind cars going in the shop regularly (or more often than many cars), some gawk at three hours for a $200 repair"

    Believe me, I would drive only Japanese cars if the German ones would need repairs frequently but I come from Europe and this ridiculous stories about German cars being unreliable sound at the least comical to me.
    The cars that kept me in the service departments were the supposedly reliable Japanese cars I had, one of the reason ...BRAKES, the notoriously bad Japanese brakes. I needed new rotors at mileage as low as 4000 miles (for the Accord)9000 for Mazda. Huge design flows for which an incredible amount of people that bought new Japanese cars actually pay (wear and tear items :surprise: ). No problems with the brakes for the Subaru..but the brakes were Brembo ;)
    NEVER warped rotors on any German car and I drove them a lot harder. The cup-holders are probably the only thing more reliable in a Japanese car vs a German car.
  • "What I can't deal with is getting stuck on the side of the road or having the car in the shop for days or weeks on end while they try to figure out what is wrong with it (see the MB and Audi lists of complaints), even if it is under warranty"

    It is hard to believe that somebody can say the word unreliable in the same sentence with Mercedes and Audi. :confuse:
    ADAC(Consumer Reports in Germany) just declared Audi and Mercedes the most reliable cars in Germany. They are also the most reliable premium brands in 17 European countries. I never seen a late model Mercedes or Audi broken on the side of the road ..EVER. But I've seen several Hondas, Infinity, Lexus in need of assistance. Maybe you should look at their list of complains ...their lists are a lot longer.
  • trewquistrewquis Posts: 30
    I realize you're not going to be convinced otherwise, but check Consumer Reports in the US- the reliability for EVERY Mercedes model sold in the US is either much worse than average or worse than average. The A4 has actually worked its way up to average and the 3 series has consistently been average. The 7 series is much worse than average. The Accord is graded much better than average and the G35 better than average.

    By the way, CR is not biased against German cars, they recommend or highly recommend several of these models (although none from MB) despite just average reliability, and they consider the previous generation 5 series the finest car ever made.
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