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Help Me Choose!

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    One nice thing about the last generation LeSabre is that the limited trim has a nice HUD which displays the speed. It's quite easy to keep from driving too fast. The leather, decent sound, and other features, like rear A/C vents are also nice. The bench seat option is preferred, though, as it keeps the front seat area much more clean and open feeling (and the center console is 90% as usable). Being able to fit 6 people in a pinch is a nice features as well, since you don't need a minivan.

    The Park Avenue is all of that and a bit more luxury/options. If you have 3 kids, it will fit them in far more comfort, and the trunk is huge. It suffers 1 mpg for all of that extra size. It's about the same size and weight, and 0-60 time as a Crown Vic, but the engine gets 5-7mpg better economy (I've owned both, verified in actual real-world driving) . Really a win-win situation. Add in the fact that almost none were sold as rentals and 95%+ were sold to old people who hardly drove them, and it's a good used car to consider.

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=p&car_id=296083311
    This is a typical example. In this case, you absolutely want a private party vehicle so that you can determine the history and get paperwork. Most owners will be elderly, be anal about their car, and have a book of paperwork an inch thick, since new. Just be sure to get the supercharger checked out first in the ultra model. They are known to die around 100-120K (not a defect, just wears out - blame Eaton, not GM) and are ~$600 to get a rebuilt one. That said, with a properly working supercharger, the Ultra is 240HP and crazy fast for its size. I'm driving my dad's Ultra currently (bought it from him) and it leaves Accords and Camrys in the dust as it generates most of its torque down low compared to the imports that have to rev their engines to death to get their maximum power. It jumps from, say, 20 to 50 far quicker as a result, unless they absolutely floor their accelerator.(I'm at half throttle by comparison) Pretty fun car for cheap, to run around in. :P
  • No, but they were on all Accords that had leather seats (EX-L models), which the car in question did. All 2005 and later Accords had side curtain airbags.
  • Backy, that is exactly why I ended up here asking the question. Right now I'm driving an extra 150 miles a day because it's been near impossible finding him a reasonable mileage safe car. 10000 miles in 4 months on my new car = blowing thru the warranty in around a year. It's a losing situation.

    Back to the hunt..thanks
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,268
    Don't know where you heard that.

    It isn't a big secret.

    Here is the breakdown from MSN autos reliability ratings. It doesn't mention the precat failure I stated, but it does mention other problems, one of which can be fatal to the car.

    As far as the precat failure, simply google "nissan 2.5 precat failure" to read all about it. Most info is in other forums, so I won't post the links here. Just know that it is a pretty major issue. By law, the emissions equipment is covered to 80k, so Nissan was covering many of these problems up until them. Obviously, at the pricepoint we're discussing here, such a car would most likely be out of warranty.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Hi there. I'm new here and haven't owned a car for 11 years so I'm *really* out of the loop.

    My small family (myself, husband, and toddler) need to buy a used car in about ten days. We only have about $4500 total (tax and fees, etc) to spend. We don't need much. Good gas millage, good reliability, and four doors is all we need. I thought we needed something like a 2001/2002 Ford Focus, 1998/1999 Toyota Corolla, or a 1996/1997 Honda Accord. Based on my research using the Edmunds TMV I thought these would be good bets for our price range and for what we needed. I also thought that since these are popular cars there would be a lot of them on the market to choose from.

    This has really not been the case. We live in San Francisco and every place I've contacted will come nowhere near the TMV value for these cars. I'm guess maybe they are so popular, the dealers don't have to worry about selling them. There's no need to give me the price I'm asking if they can sell it for 1-2K more tomorrow or next week.

    I need some suggestions on what to do and where to start. What cars should I consider to get what we need at this price? I'm really at a loss.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    You might have to explore outside of San Francisco. Check in more "low-rent" districts like in the East Bay (Richmond comes to mind). You'll find more cheap cars in areas like that.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    The used car market post-tsunami has been much stronger than normal; prices are up everywhere. I doubt TMV has really accounted for that. Unfortunately, its not the best year to find a deal on a used car...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,268
    scroll up and see the couple of pages prior to your post. Same suggestions apply. I've found quite a few nice Proteges for my niece for under $4k.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,432
    Ditto on the Protege...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Again, I'm going to recommend cheap and domestic. And I have the perfect cheap as dirt and reliable as a tank car for you. Nobody wants it, yet it's acceptable transportation what won't get stuck on those hills, either.

    What is the one car that GM made that is the least desireable because of its image and because of the brand being "dead", yet it's mechanically reliable?

    Look at a Pontiac Grand Prix. Get one with the 3.8L engine in it. It's the same old engine and transmission combo that GM made for 20+ years and it's pretty much trouble-free. Looks are a bit meh, but it gets good mpg ~26-28mpg highway, about 22-24mpg combined depending on how you drive it) and is fairly large and safe in a crash. Cheap as dirt to insure as well.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/2606080221.html
    Typical private party example.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/2620686240.html
    Or you can get this. It looks like it's well maintained and the car is very nice to drive. Expect 27-28mph highway as well - it's basically a Buick version of the Grand Prix. Much better on the eyes, though, and tons better inside.
  • boyphpboyphp Posts: 1
    Hey folks,
    I just wanted to find out from the experts what they would choose in this scenario: price being the same for both cars - $3K

    Chevy Malibu 1999 sedan
    Single owner
    119K miles

    TOyota Camry 1996
    3 owners
    159K Miles

    I'm sure the Malibu owner sure knows his stuff as the car was in pristine condition but the 2 things impacting my decision would be:

    1-Resale value after 2 years
    2-Maintenance costs for the next 2 years

    Thanks folks.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    You are worried about resale value in two years for a car you will pay $3k for? Why?

    But the concern over maintenance costs is real. Pick the car that has the best condition, and most new/newer wear parts: brakes, shocks/struts, tires, exhaust system/converter, etc. Also if you can get maintenance records on either car that would be huge. You say the Malibu looks to be in pristine condition, so that might be very important. Is he the original owner, and has all the records?

    If possible, have a good mechanic check out the car to make sure there isn't anything major wrong with it. Will cost you a few bucks but could save you a lot more.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,867
    Ditto what backy said.

    In 2 years, the resale value is going to be pretty much independent of the make/model, and more related to the condition and mileage. If it still runs in 2 years, it's a $1500-ish vehicle, slightly more or less depending on wear & tear. If it doesn't run, it's a $500 vehicle for parts.

    Have them both checked out, the pick the one you like the best.

    MODERATOR
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  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I purchased at 1996 Avalon for my son two years ago. I did get the maintenance records with it. It had 151,000 on it. It needed struts and the valve cover gaskets replaced. At 175,000, still going strong.
  • mskitkamskitka Posts: 20
    Hello,

    I really need help deciding what to lease as nothing I can afford is really standing out to me. Which is disappointing. I currently have a 2009 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L. It has low miles (23K) and I've had to have the brake pads fixed 3 times! To me, that is unacceptable. Honda dealers tell me they have fixed the brake issue, but then, they are trying to sell cars. I need to know from those who have a 2011/12 Honda if the brakes still squeal, etc. and have this issue.

    The choices are:
    2012 Honda Accord coupe V6
    2012 Acura TSX 4 cyl.
    2012 Kia Optima SX
    2012 Buick Regal TURBO

    The Kia is the only one I have not test driven. I would have loved to have gotten a Mustang V8, but can't afford the lease and the V6 was underpowered IMO. I also test drove the VW CC and was appalled at the amount of throttle lag. I can't believe Edmunds never commented on that in their review. To me, acceleration is unpredictable and unsafe. Again, would have leased a CC in a heartbeat but for that unseamless turbo. If anyone can recommend something I have not thought of, or if you feel that Honda has improved brake quality enough to recommend the V6, by all means do so! Basically I'm looking for something on the sportier side of handling with good safety.

    Thank you for any suggestions...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    How about a Certified 2008 TSX? General opinion seems to be they are superior to the 2012s. Maybe you could find an Acura dealer that would do an even-up trade on your Accord... you just pay title/fees and you're on your way.

    Or how about the new Mazda3 with Skyactiv? Great handling, peppy if not blistering, and up to 40 mpg EPA rating on the highway.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,268
    edited October 2011
    Umm... well, if you have a low mileage Accord Coupe now, I have NO IDEA why you'd replace it with another. You are just asking for disappointment, IMHO.

    I would have loved to have gotten a Mustang V8, but can't afford the lease and the V6 was underpowered IMO.

    You lost me here, too. The 2012 V6 Mustang will run circles around all the other cars you listed. Did you drive a 2011??

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The tsx would win my vote hands down. Upscale, reliable, comfortable, holds its value.

    Have you test driven the other cars in your list?
  • mskitkamskitka Posts: 20
    edited October 2011
    I have test driven everything but the Optima. I test drove the V6 and it was fun, perhaps the dealer did have me drive a 2011. However, my 190 hp Accord outran a Mustang V6 believe it or not! The reason I am replacing the car is because basically it isn't my choice. My father is helping me out and he is calling the shots. What we are dealing with here is a chronic leasee and therefore he apparently is getting me into his situation since I'm not able to do this on my own unfortunately. I have been trying to seek out a different model car this whole time then the Accord, but again, nothing has really grabbed me except the stronger engines that are obviously more difficult to afford. Maybe I need to re-drive the Mustang and make sure its a 2012.

    Other then that, I have to say the TSX's suspension felt the sturdiest, if maybe a little bland in the feel of the drive. Remember, I'm looking at the 4 cylinder not the 6. Thank you everyone for the feedback! Much appreciated.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,268
    The 2011 and earlier stang V6 was a very antiquated 4 liter 240hp lump. The 2012 is a completely new 300 hp (meaning as much power as the previous GT model), does 0-60 in well under 6 secs (no stock Accord ever built can touch it), AND gets 30mpg highway. Its a pretty impressive "entry level" package.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • mskitkamskitka Posts: 20
    So I made sure I test drove a 2012 V6 this time. It was a lot of fun! I really liked it, but now I have to see if I can even afford a lease on it, as Ford isn't really kind in this area. If I can't afford it, back to the drawing boards....
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Plus, it's inexpensive. Though, you really do want one with manual unless you are so weak and old that you can't use your left leg. The difference between the manual and automatic in the Mustang is dramatic, to say the least, in city driving. So much so that I'd drive a manual over an automatic and I live in Los Angeles.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I personally would only have a manual on my as yet tbd weekend high performance car.

    For daily driving a modern automatic does the job, gets better mileage and is much easier to contend with in traffic.

    After driving a manual for 12 years, I gave it up due to the congestion. It wasn't worth on the clutch off the clutch every 3 inches.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Nah, it's technique. :P You have to seriously get into the "I don't care" big trucker mode.

    Pick a gear. stay in it and ignore the surrounding traffic during a jam. Stay7 in 1st or 2nd gear and shift as little as possible. Ignore distance between yourself and the cars around you. That is, don't care about if it's 10 or 30 ft between you and the car in front.

    Traffic jams are a snap. The last one I was in I shifted a total of 6 times in 30 minutes.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,268
    Pick a gear. stay in it and ignore the surrounding traffic during a jam. Stay7 in 1st or 2nd gear and shift as little as possible. Ignore distance between yourself and the cars around you. That is, don't care about if it's 10 or 30 ft between you and the car in front.

    Yup. I practice this as well. You also have to avoid the temptation to upshift when you know you'll just be slowing down again. I almost never have to use 1st in traffic.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I hear what you are saying, but it's not worth it at this point in my life. Get in the shifting while you can, because soon even this will be gone as the govt will make it impossible for car companies to sell cars where the emissions and/or mileage doesn't make the cut.
  • FWIW, I have a 2009 TSX, and have had to replace the rear brake pads twice, rear rotors warped/replaced once ($700 total in brake repair costs), and the car only has 34k miles. It also feels underpowered to me, lots of hesitation in the transmission, imo. The dealer said that was normal. I don't believe I will get another one when my lease is up. I can't recommend it, but maybe the brake problems have been fixed in the 2012 model, who knows. It's a really pretty car.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    There's hundreds of stories like that for every car manufacturer on the road. My prior BMW was the best in terms of ownership experience, go figure.

    When you buy any car you gamble with reliability. I have more than a few bookmarked posts where posters have complained long and loud about supposedly reliable cars.
  • mskitkamskitka Posts: 20
    I understand what you're saying kdshapiro. However, it's interesting to hear that and something I've seen is a problem with Acura's, at least the TSX's. This is the same problem with my Honda. They do have an issue with the pads wearing down too fast compared to other car manufacturers, Honda/Acura. It's the only problem I had with my car, but 3x changed under 23K miles is a bit much.

    It's safe to say that even though every car co. will have a lemon handed out here and there, if the majority of consumers have had similar negative issues with a car, we should probably listen ;) As for the clutch issue, I hear you on the coasting concept, but I have knee problems, so until I can afford a weekend car, tiptronic it is for daily needs! Needless to say I'm a car purist at heart, and there is no denying the feel of the road with a manual.
  • Apparently the problems with the 2009 TSX brake pads are widespread enough that there was a class action lawsuit, which Acura settled. Something about the type of pads used. If you google it you'll find lots of information. But, even after the bad pads on my car were replaced with the so-called good pads, I still had to have them replaced again within 6 months, plus the warped rotors. The dealer couldn't explain why the rotors warped, said it was not due to the pads, just happens sometimes, normal wear and tear. I did get a $150 reimbursement on the pads by filing a claim under the class action (which the dealer didn't mention to me, I found out about it when I started researching the brake problems, after spending $700). I would like to know if the brake problems have been addressed since 2009. I've been looking at other cars, but it is hard to beat the TSX on value, it's just a nice car for the money, except for the brakes.
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