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Help Me Choose!



  • dacs1dacs1 Posts: 8
    Thanks Pat! I never thought going from a Eldorado to a foreign car would be such a difficult decision.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    . . .the new Hyundai Azera, or what ever it is named, looks like an almost too good to be true car for under $28K.
  • dacs1dacs1 Posts: 8
    Thanks but my decision is between a 2003 BMW 325xi or 2003 Mercedes Benz C240 4matic. I want something that will retain its value in the years to come.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    "I want something that will retain its value in the years to come."

    Hope you factor in your repair costs during your ownership period... especially with the Mercedes.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    I overwhelmingly prefer German cars. Of the two cars you have specified, my preference is further strengthened by virtue of the fact that I am biased in favor of All Wheels Driven on a scale of 1 - 10 at an 11.

    Having said all of these things, however, the only reason that either of these German cars might SEEM to retain their value is that they have probably depreciated substantially already, so the relative reduction of value in absolute terms will be, on a go forward basis, low, or "low-er" than perhaps it would be were the cars in question current MY and new vehicles.

    Having said this, it is my belief that leasing either a 2006 BMW or Mercedes AWD vehicle will quite possibly cost less than paying the breathtakingly expensive costs to keep either of these German beauties running.

    And, despite my bias for AWD, my second preference remains FWD and the Hyundai will have a bigger and longer safety blanket with its warranty and I would suspect will not be any worse than the BMW or Mercedes in terms of loss in value especially when coupled with what will certainly be your out-of-pocket costs to keep the Germans running.

    If you want something that will probably retain its value for years to come, well, it isn't going to be a car unless it is a collector's item or exotic.

    These two vehicles that you have chosen will, I can imagine, become breathtakingly expensive to own in less than two years.

    I don't have enough money to afford a 3 year old car is kind of the point, especially with BMW's (for instance) 100% free maintenance and heavily heavily subvented lease programs.

    There are many factors that may make my conclusions less valid and perhaps completely invalid for your situation. I would encourage you to consider the maintenance and repair expenses on either of these 2003 models plus the acquisition and money costs (if any) before I pulled the trigger on two cars that may be less than "admirably" reliable.

    Just a thought, or two. . . .
  • dacs1dacs1 Posts: 8
    I have been dealing with these questions for some time...
    too long say some friends. I made a few calls and found out that where I live (CT) the cost and maintenance is less on the Mercedes. Insurance is also less. I have always had high end luxury cars and know they can be expensive to fix. I just wanted a few outside opinions.
    I can't thank you enough for replying. Sincerely...D
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Edmunds' True Cost to Own tool is very helpful. :)
  • dacs1dacs1 Posts: 8
    Thanks again Pat! I already visited this site.
    Funny, the quotes I got locally varied somewhat from
    what was posted. I wish I was more opened minded about what to buy. My last car was a 1996 Eldorado. Great car until it hit 100K...everything started to go wrong with it.
    Not to mention the gas cost!!!!!!!! Thanks...D
  • cneumancneuman Posts: 55
    The Azera is the top car on my short list at the moment. I'm trying to decide between buying new toward the end of the model year, the Azera or, VW Passat 3.6. Or used, something 2-3 years old, a BMW or Lexus. I know these choices are all over the place, but my main criteria is price point, about $25-30K and reliability. I see from your earlier posts, that if reliablilty is a persons main want, that you wouldn't recommend European. Do you think the reliability issue would be that big? What do you think about these choices? Any opinions from all would really be appreciated.
  • From my test drive of the Azera I can tell you that the car is a nice vehicle.....but it lacks the feel and soul of a German car, or even a TL or G35. I think of Oldsmobile with the Azera. Basic vanilla. Nothing special.
  • bmf_rrhbmf_rrh Posts: 7
    Hi all. I am in the market for a new car sometime late this year or early next year. I would like a car that get good gas mileage, handles the bumps well, quiet inside, and looks sharp. Right now i drive a 2000 Volkwagon Passat w/ 87k. Have not had one problem with the car, just looking for a change.
    I am looking at a used BMW 3 series(01-03), Toyota camry(02-04), Honda civic(new), Hyundai sonata(new), and a few others. Could you guys give me your opinions on which way you would go. I know these cars are hard to compare, but would appreciate your input.


  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    You are comparing vehicles of different categories and completly different cars. Bmw, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, used not used - try to be more specific with what category. Hyundai's do not have good quality, and used cars are not the best for quality too, but can be good. My best suggestion would be a new Civc. It has many safety features and Day-time running lights so your insurance will also be cheaper. A camry is a great car, but that is a different category. I would narrow it down to Honda Civic, and Camry.
    Also, think about a used Accord
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    It would also help if you can decide whether you want:

    1. Reliable Transportation
    2. Enthusasist Driving Enjoyment
    3. Both in roughly equal proportions

    Out of cars you listed, closest matches to above seem to be:

    1. Camry
    2. BMW and VW (latter should have "sports suspension")
    3. Honda
  • rdm29rdm29 Posts: 1
    I'm in the market for new car.. BMW 330xi or Lexus IS 250 AWD. I'm drawn back by BMW's reliability history but the engine power seems better than the IS. All the extra technological features that the IS have are very alluring but then again it is still a refined toyota. Which do you think is a better car?
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    BMW - Flashy, performance
    Lexus - Excellent reliability, probably performs well too

    My suggestion is Lexus although the BMW probably handles better. Test drive it
  • From my experience, you don't want an old sports car (or anything even remotely sporty). You don't know how the previous driver(s) handled it, and a lot of issues might come up later that won't necessarily be caught if you have a mechanic look over it before you buy it. The same is true for any car, but people are particularly hard on sports cars. That being said, I wouldn't suggest a 5 yeard old BMW.

    I also wouldn't buy a Sonata. Yes, they have long warranties. But you're going to need to use it - OFTEN.
    Stick with something more reliable.

    I have a 2002 VW Passat, and I test drove an '05 Camry. NOT a good transition. The Camry felt too big and sluggish compared to the Passat. The Civic seems small in comparison. If I were you, I'd wait and get an '04 Acura TSX. It's slightly smaller than the VW Passat, has more power, and looks sleek.

    Overall, try not to get anything more than a couple of years old, and with low miles. That way, you'll get a considerable discount (versus a new car), and it shouldn't have too much wear and tear.
  • You just told this guy to NOT buy an old sports car, but then told him to buy an old sports car - the 04 TSX. How do you know how that car was treated? A TSX is engineered to perform at the redline of the tach. That's plenty of potential wear and tear.

    Get a new TSX.
  • Let me clarify: When I say "old," I'm talking about anything with more than 2 years of driving on it, i.e. a 5 year old BMW. I didn't say not to buy a used car. A car that's one or two years old with low miles, from my experience, can be checked out sufficiently to know if there's anything wrong with it. I've never had any problems with cars that I purchased that were 1 or 2 years old. I also check to see WHEN they were first purchased (i.e. if it's an '04 but it was first purchased at the end of 2004, it would have less than 1 1/2 years of driving on it, vs. an '04 that was purchased at the end of '03 and therefore has 2 1/2 years of driving).
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747 to consider only certified cars (Audi, BMW and VW have good inspection programs), or to get the vehicle from CARMAX (which does good job offering vehicle records and is pretty selective about what they well).

    I'd definitely stay away from any first year sports car (even if the spiel is "but it's been in (wherever) for 3 years before it came here". There are bugs anyway, and even Toyota and Lexus, kings of reliability, have to find and fix first year model glitches! Give the manufacturer a year to fine tune their USA verison.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    While I agree with your conclusion "Test drive it," I think the Lexus is Flashy or Flashier than the BMW.

    Just another point of view.
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