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Help Me Choose!



  • Too "Euro" for me might be the way to describe the Regal. It is certainly a nice looking car but I found the ride too stiff for my liking. The doors felt more substantial than the other vehicles I've looked at. Door locks are on the center dash/console and the parking brake is an electronic button. Cup holders are on the smallish side too - must be the Venti Starbucks aren't big in Europe ;)

    The Mazda and Toyota are appealing but I'm trying to stay domestic - even though that definition is debatable.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,578
    The Cruze has this set up and it'll take a short time to get used to it. Wouldn't be surprised if GM uses this site on future models as well. There must be a good reason for the location change.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    One less thing to make different for right-hand drive vs. left-hand drive, I'd guess.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,578
    Part of the "world car philosophy" I reckon, but if helps to reduce the costs...why not. Not a bad position actually, as I usually turn on the radio within minutes of taking off. Works for me.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    Your desire to buy 'domestic' is admirable, just as long as you get a vehicle that you like and will enjoy over the long haul. Fortunately, Ford and GM both offer some very competitive cars, which hasn't always been the case...

    If you weren't aware, the Ford Fusion is actually built in Hermosillo, Mexico and the Buick Regal is built in Ontario, Canada. The Malibu is made in Lansing, Michigan and, if I'm not mistaken, some are manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas. All of the major Asian brands (Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai and even Subaru and Mitsubishi) are built here in the U.S. also.

    A few other ideas- when you test drove the Buick Regal, did you take a look at the Lacrosse also? The entry-level CX model has the same engine and transmission as the Malibu LTZ (2.4L and 6-speed A/T) and the ride quality should be more comfy that the Regal. They also look amazing, at least I think so...

    And what about the Mercury Milan (sibling to the Ford Fusion)? It has a more tasteful front-end design and the interior is more upscale also. The ride may also be more comfortable and quieter than the Fusion.

    One final note, just in case you didn't know- there is a $2000 Cash Allowance (rebate) on the 2011 Malibu AND $1000 in "Marketing Support" (Cash to Dealer) thru 11/01/2010. So there's really $3000 in cash incentives for you to include in your negotiations if you decide to go with the Malibu! =)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    And on the Milan, I am seeing advertised prices for the Milan in my area LOWER than for the Fusion... no doubt related to the lame-duck status of the Milan. Which is too bad; I prefer the Milan to the Fusion.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    I actually like the exterior of the Milan more than the Fusion, it's more upscale and classy looking, IMO. But the questionable two-tone interior combos on some versions are a bit much. They also dropped the 18" Luster Nickel Wheel upgrade, which was offered on the 2010 Premier.

    There are a good many NEW 2010 and 2011 Milans on dealer lots...I expected deeper price cuts by now, at least on the 2010 models...

    I wonder if Mercury will be shut down similar to the way GM did with Saturn and Pontiac? They sort of dumped the cars on dealers at a huge discount, but they had to be sold as 'used' models after that point....then again, there were a lot of those two many Mercurys can there be in all?
  • There aren't any new Milans around here but I drove a used 2008 Milan with 60,000 miles and liked that just fine. My last car had 60,000 miles on it when I bought it but for some reason the high mileage is a little more bothersome to me this time. I am aware that the Fusion is made in Mexico. With the Malibu we also have a pretty hefty amount in GM card rebates/bonus earnings that we can use in addition to the dealer rebates. I'm going to have a Malibu over night and see how that goes. I'm still not sure about the visibility - drove one the other day and nearly sideswiped a car while I was entering the highway.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,578
    That was the big problem for me when we rented a Malibu back in '09...the limited visibility all around. Had to switch out of that rental about 100 miles from home as there were some other issues. Put us into a Accord EX and visibility was outstanding plus the mileage was pretty impressive with the car being totally full with 4 of us & a loaded trunk.

    If they had had a Fusion/Milan on the lot, would've wanted that just to see how Ford stood up to a major competition player. Guess we'll never know as we're only looking at compacts & subcompacts now.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • dphil5dphil5 Posts: 3

    I've been looking at an 05 Nissan Maxima SE. It has 47,518 miles on it. Here of some of its installed options

    * Anti-Lock Brakes
    * Alloy Wheels
    * Bose Sound System
    * Cruise Control
    * CD Player
    * Tilt Steering Wheel
    * Power Drivers Seat
    * Power Passenger Seat
    * Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
    * Traction Control
    * Heated Seats
    * Sunroof
    * Steering Wheel Controls
    * Tinted Glass

    The asking price is $15,788. The carfax looks good. Its been on the market for 82 days now. Im thinking of asking for no more that $12,500 for it. Do you think that I'm asking a fair price?
  • The Kelly Blue Book on the car is 16K Retail, 14K Private Party, and 12K trade-in. So an offer of $12500 to a dealer may be a bit low.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    Your location could help a bit. Does it have leather seats?

    If so, it is worth roughly $11k on a trade, depending on what it currently needs (are brakes good? tires? has it had all its services done?). You could try $12,500, but that might not fly. $13,500 is much more likely and a pretty fair price for both parties.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • I (and my wallet) finally made a decision. Having the Malibu overnight really helped, so Malibu it is.
  • The best buy is a used 2009 or 2010 Malibu LTZ. They are just like the 2011 models. These run around 12-16k and the LTZ comes with everything standard including the Bose stereo so your only choice is color unless you want a sunroof. The Malibu depreciates nearly 50% in two years. The new LTZ will run about $26000 with a rebate. I've given up buying new GM cars unless I plan to keep the car 5 years or more. My 2006 Impala cost about $23,000 and two years later with 20,000 miles I sold it to a used car lot for $12,800 . It was advertised by the lot for $13,600 and sat there for nearly a month. (this was a silver LT2 with Bose stereo and flip and fold seats -nothing wrong with it -garage kept -like new). Buying a new GM car that you only plan to keep for three years or so is a big waste of money.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    Yet, despite being total bland blobs, I've not had a GM car in the last 20 years or so not last until it was at least 12-13 years old. That' s a good decade of reliable service for 10-12K. If you buy a 2-3 year old model. I know everyone bags on the domestics, but if money is an issue, well, a used GM still beats a tiny econobox. (as I've said, it BETTER be more car, since it cost 25-30K new) And, to be honest, Toyota and Honda price their cars and repairs like Volvo did 15-20 years ago - just a huge premium for no good reason.

    Let the other guy eat the depreciation. If they're rich enough to buy new cars, well, they are going to be the first bawling their eyes out when the floor falls out of this economy. Me? My car will long be paid off. And I've been there years ago with no car and taking the bus. Even bad wheels beat no wheels - and that repo man isn't going to care about your lost job or your dog's operation or whatever else you've got wrong in your life.

    note - I have several friends and relatives that are spending over $1K a month in car payments and insurance on both of their cars. And I just shake my head.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think new car buyers here would appreciate slacking off on brow-beating about the new/used car thing. Everybody who buys new doesn't have a $1,000 car payment who can't afford it. Truth is, buying a 2009 car versus a new one won't save that much money, especially with brands that hold resale well.

    If you're financing, you'll have higher rates vs. new car rates as well, typically. To some, an extra $30 a month is worth peace-of-mind knowing who nobody beat the car to death before selling it. $30 a month is one nice dinner for 2. Crying because they're now broke when they could've bought new? That argument only works if you were torn between a used Sonata and a new 750iL. If a $2,000-$3,000 is the difference in making or breaking you, you have no business shopping cars that are only 2 years old; you should be driving a beater and saving your car payment money.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    Well, it's both of their new cars adding up to $1000 total. Or about $500 each with registration and insurance factored in.

    But wait, a 2009 car won't save you a lot of money? OK... Let's pick a random "hot" car. um.. A G37. Yeah, that's just totally random and I have no idea what the depreciation is, and I'm doing this off of the top of my head as I'm typing this, so let's go find out if I'm correct or full of it...

    New, it's $36,932 for the Sport/Appearance model. This represents the best value for the options to make this as unfair as possible.(if you option out a Journey the same, it's $39995! - I'm nothing if not cheap. ;)

    2009 Journey model with everything on it... (no idea, really)
    $25K. Bit higher mileage, but that's certainly mostly highway miles in 1.5 years. With registration(let's say you live in a state with no sales tax, even), that's still a $12K difference in two years. In California, that's actually a $15K difference after the tax man gets to your wallet.

    But wait, that's an anomaly, surely. Let's pick another random car. A Honda Civic. Yeah. That's the ticket. Supposed to depreciate barely any in two years and again, I have no idea what the numbers are. I just picked whatever popular car that came to my mind that's NOT a GM or Ford.(Chrysler, well, nobody's going to buy one anyways, so 'nuff said...)

    Cars Direct new price is: LX with automatic - $18,282.

    Used 2009 LX
    $12,995. That's a $5000 savings. Oh, in case you think that's an isolated example, the number of 2009 Civic LX with automatic at $13K or less were.... 405 currently for sale in the U.S.

    In short, I was so sure your math was crap that I did this entirely blind, just to prove my point. Used always beats new on price these days. Welcome to the new economy with its much harsher depreciation.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    edited November 2010
    As always, YMMV. I just did a search for 2009 Civics within 500 miles of me (which includes large cities such as MSP, Chicago, and KC) for less than $13k and there's a total of 6. And they're all in Chicago... 7 hours away by car.

    Suppose I drive or fly to Chicago to buy one of these (and I like what I find). Suppose I want zero out of pocket (realistic, that's how I got my last car). Plus I have to pay 6.5% tax, license, and title fees. (We'll forget about my costs to get to and from Chicago, but those add up too.) Those add roughly $1300. Suppose I can get a real good loan rate, say 5%, for 60 months (60 months to keep my payments down--I want to minimize my monthly outlay). Plus consider this is a used car with an average of 15-20,000 miles used, probably an early 2009 so a bit over one year of bumper-to-bumper warranty left (given it's a Honda).

    Or as an alternative, I could lease something like a new 2010 Elantra or Sentra for around $180/month, zero out of pocket (actual prices from my area). Or a new 2011 Civic for no more than $199/month, zero out of pocket (today's advertised price, maybe I could negotiate a better deal). Plus I have a new car, no worries about how it's been maintained, full warranty, no significant service for at least 30,000 miles (i.e. the life of the lease for me), and $70 a month lower out of pocket costs. Sure, at the end of the lease I walk away with nothing. But if cash flow is the main concern, used is not necessarily the best way to go these days.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    edited November 2010
    The problem with leases, though, is that even the most basic lease on an econobox will generally run you $7-9K for three years and you'll be left with still paying for the price of the new car registration and insurance. And then fees for any wear or tear, no matter how small(got to LOVE Honda for this nit-picking).

    And you don't have the car in the end. A 6 year old mid-size sedan will generally be worth about 6-8K, so it's like I said, a wash. But you do get a bigger and most of the time, better car to drive during those years - and since you own it, you can always keep it for longer. If you do keep a single vehicle like this for ten years, you'll be looking at about 2K a year including repairs, registration, extra fuel costs and so on. That's not bad for a Cadillac(this also applies to a used import if you want to go to 4-5 years old). A Lexus or Infiniti I could see myself driving for ten years. I'd want to get out of a lease on a Corolla as soon as I could, on the other hand. They are simply put, rattling, bouncy, flimsy econoboxes built to be basic transportation and not much else.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    edited November 2010
    ...and you'll be left with still paying for the price of the new car registration and insurance.

    Insurance, yes--in any case. But the examples I gave for leases were "sign and drive", which means $0 out of pocket, meaning registration fees are included.

    I found that the insurance on a brand-new 2010 Sentra was about the same as my previous car, a 2007 Rabbit. So no benefit there, new vs. used.

    Keeping a car ten years... that's a whole 'nuther discussion. Few people do that these days. Longest I've ever kept a car is 6-1/2 years, and that's a 2004 Elantra that I still own. I will likely keep that one for 10+ years, as it has to take one of my sons through college, but it only cost $13k new, fully loaded--about the price of a nice used compact today. (BTW, it's neither bouncy nor flimsy.) That was the last new car I bought. Since then, it's been used, or leases. I've gone the lease route when I needed a good car for little or nothing up front and low payments. Sometimes the cash flow is important. That was my point.
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