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Help Me Choose!

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  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    Word of mouth is usually the best option for finding a good mechanic. There's also a pretty good source here: http://www.cartalk.com/mechanics-search
  • I thought buying a new car would be easy. Do a little homework, take a few test drives, decide, write a check for the deposit and go. Ha! I sure need some help. Here's my list: 4 doors; a trunk big enough to carry real estate signs (think full size trunk - 2 signs or 6 bags of horse feed or the bodies of 2 people who have made me unhappy enough to stash 'em in my trunk); a backup camera; sporty and luxurious all at the same time. Oh - and great fuel economy. So I ordered the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It hit every button on my wish list. But they don't seem to be able to deliver it. So help me - I need an alternative. One that's gorgeous. I drive a 2006 Lexus now. And I did not fall in love with the new Lexus 300h. But I want it all. Help me, please. :shades: :shades:
  • pegasus17pegasus17 Posts: 536
    edited January 2013
    REF: 3041
    Is price a factor?
    I'll assume it is and so suggest you check out the following (in no order):
    2013 Mazda 6 s grand touring (v-6)
    2014 Mazda 6 touring with tech package (I-4) - released Jan 2013
    2013 Honda Accord EX-L (comes in both 4 and 6 cylinders)
    2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Premium Sedan

    BTW, if at all possible, take a guy with you when you do test drives etc. ;)
  • While I'm not looking to spend more than $50k, I was hoping I could find something awesome in a luxurious car that also offers excellent fuel economy.
    I was also considering the Audi A4 front wheel drive as opposed to the quattro. Your thoughts?
    Are you volunteering to go with me? I thought I was capable of checking suspension, ride, amenities and performance. Or did I miss something when I forgot to strap on my brass cojones this morning? :shades:
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    I can't see an A4 having enough trunk space. They're pretty small cars. The Q5 is a hatch and has a hybrid option. Decent sized car with excellent fuel economy...I guess "excellent" needs to be qualified. Sticking to hybrids...what about the Infiniti M? Bumps your price cap a bit but I personally find them to be very attractive and according to reviews drive very well. I don't have seat time in the hybrid version but have some with an M37 and was very pleased.

    Also to throw out a weirdo option...Chevy Volt. Eye catcher, looks are subjective as always, good mpg, gives off the green vibe that might benefit you and with the hatch should take care of signage issues.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 980
    Try the new Avalon hybrid. It's getting good reviews.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,140
    I don't know where you live... but, you couldn't sell a FWD Audi around here... What you'd save on a slightly lower purchase price and gas would be lost on re-sale...

    The Audi is surprisingly roomy... not as small as you think, if you haven't been in the latest model..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • mah52mah52 Posts: 7
    If you can wait until June, consider the new IS 250 or 350. Not a hybrid, but has an economy setting, and the back seats split and fold down to accommodate your real estate signs.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I'd personally recommend looking at used cars a level up. For instance, the Accord in the U.S. is actually a model in-between the Civic and the Accord in Japan. What the rest of the world gets as the "Accord" is actually sold as the Acura TSX in the U.S.

    The solution then, would be to consider the real Accord, or a 2-3 year old TSX for the price of a new Civic. Better features, a bit more bling/status (never hurts), and a ton less depreciation and initial registration and taxes. These cars also are generally built better and have more safety features as well. Lastly, let some other fool eat the initial depreciation.

    Other cars to consider would be a similar used G37, a used Lexus IS, a used Volvo S60, or a used Cadillac CTS. All of these give you close to a proper sports-luxury feel and meet all of your criteria and then some.

    As for my favorite pick, it would be the CTS. GM's European division basically stole a bunch of BMW and Mercedes engineers years ago and designed the car to be a BMW 5 Series clone. Which it does very very well. The engine and car design is in Germany and the assembly and electricals (the weak part on German cars) is done in North America. (Canada, IIRC?) It also depreciates the fastest, which means used models are all over the place for $20K.

    www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?endYear=2013&listingId=335- 730846

    What's to note is that this is the direct injection model with the bigger engine. In 4 years, the price has dropped by almost 40%. It still drives like a $40K car, though. This is for CPO. If you want used, $18-20K is a more realistic number.
  • I finally ended up with a 2013 Mazdaspeed3 in velocity red. So far I'm loving it. Got a great deal too
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    My mother is in the same boat as you are. She wants a nice car that does al of that and has a bit of bling as well.

    There are four ways to obtain status with a car.
    1 - Spend a ton of money of something that gives you status and beauty.
    2 - Buy something that is bleeding-edge technology (hybrid/etc)
    3 - Have it do something that other normal cars can't. 4WD, convertible, or similar.
    4 - The car does an end-run around normal cars/is alternative fuel.

    The first is obvious but painful on the pocketbook. A hybrid is actually not good for the environment (toxic batteries) and has less and less status gain, and most convertibles are sold at an outrageous premium. The frugal way to get status/bling currently is a Diesel fuel vehicle. A car with a CDI/TDI engine. Same MPG as a hybrid but no batteries.

    In my mother's case, she liked the A3 TDI a lot. Much, much more than the 300H. Also, the 2012 Audi A4 wagon (CPO of course) is on the short list to buy. They aren't offering it as a 2013 model (it will return in 2014 though, refreshed and updated), unfortunately, but it's an even better choice. She liked the VW Passat TDI as well.
  • I have this going one another forum and thought I would bring this to a more universal sight too.

    I will be purchasing a car in the near future and I am going for CPO. I really want an AWD, so the S4 is my first choice. I heard the Quattro is sick. The car will mostly be used for Road trips and Weekend driving. I have a older Nissan Maxima that is my daily driver. My main issue with the Audi is that most people state that it will be costly and frequent, in the future, and I plan on keeping the car for a long time. My 96 Maxima currently has 171k on it.

    I live in San Antonio Tx and it can get pretty hot. Are there any reasons I should avoid the Audi besides costly repairs??? I am not a wrencher, but I am not afraid to dig in.

    I am open to other cars too

    Please give me suggestions!!!

    So far the cars that caught my eyes are:

    Infiniti G37x (looks cheap in most areas, but still a great ride)

    Lexus GS350 (Never owned a Toyota and this one seems pretty nice)

    Audi B8 S4 (so far has all the specs I want and I like to have cars I don't see on the road all the time)

    ***BMW 335xi is not on my radar because I see way too many BMW's out here. I don't want to join the club.***

    ________________________________________________________
    Subaru Impreza or Lancer Evo are interesting too, but I'm looking for a little more luxury
  • This is to bunit23 & the preceding writer w/4 ways to status - I would like to add
    a 5th way which bunit & I almost agree on - which are the actual dynamics of the
    car - if the review says something like: agile, responsive wheel, grips corners, firm
    suspension - just plain sporty to drive - that's my kind of "status-y car". And I'm the white-haired mom. The car I'm looking at is 2010, 2011 low mileage Infiniti
    FX35 (not FX 37 - the 2013). It has the bling - especially w/Premium & Tech
    packages but it certainly seems to have the "sport". If I could get a new Passat
    wagon I'd probably go that route but not made for the States!! Car&Driver LOVE
    Audi's - but for me, the repair issue keeps me away. - I'd also appreciate any other ideas
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    The Lexus will be the cheapest to maintain but also the blandest, but it will be well appointed and luxurious. I also think it might hold up in value the best over time.

    The Audi will be fun to the drive, especially an S4 but yes, maintenance might be steep unless you have a decent mechanic that knows what they're doing once warranty runs out and you do not neglect it.

    I personally am not a fan of The G37 sedans as I think they're a tad outdated and don't feel as good as German sports sedans (I've been in the car business almost a decade and drove almost everything).

    I have a 3 series BMW (07 328i) and love it because handling wise it's very hard to beat. Personally that's what I would choose (your 335xi).

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    Well, BMW would still be my choice. I see just as many Audis.

    The other possibility is a low-mileage S60R. I'm not sure you can find one CPO anymore, though. Possibly an '07 that was previously CPO... which would make you the 3rd owner. Anyway, its not as fast in a straight line as the 335 or s4, but the adjustable suspension works great and the throne is superior.

    What about something like an E550 4matic?

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

  • I am a college student with a spending limit of $6,500 total. I am interested in a used luxury sedan that had three components. It needs to be reliable, durable, and fashionable. I have interest in the following vehicles listed in order of top interest.

    1) jaguar x-type 2004
    2)Lincoln LS 2004
    3) Cadillac Deville 2002

    My knowledge of vehicles is limited. I am looking for advice as to which car would best fit my 30 mile commute Monday-Friday weekly. I will be putting about 11k miles on this vehicle annually. Please list your thoughts on the top 3 vehicles or BETTER vehicles. I have the money to buy a vehicle and the interest. I simply need an expert opinions or facts to help me pull the trigger and finally commit to purchasing a vehicle.

    P.S. I have considered craig's list but am very skeptical due to friends/family buying vehicles with an extensive amount of repair required.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    edited February 2013
    First let's address your last concern: I have considered craig's list but am very skeptical due to friends/family buying vehicles with an extensive amount of repair required.

    Whether you buy a used car from Craigslist, Auto Trader, or even a used car dealer, you're shopping for older cars. Even when meticulously maintained, older cars will require more maintenance than new cars.

    A good way to know what you're getting yourself into is to have a pre purchase inspection once you look at the car and if it's in your price range. You can take it to a local mechanic you can trust or a dealership, pay for the inspection just to see if the car is somewhat mechanically sound. If it is then go for it. Keep in mind that at your price range no car will be perfect, especially an older luxury car. You should expect some imperfections or future work needing to be done. I can attest to this when I was selling my 10 year old BMW wagon and everybody expected a perfect BMW for under $6k.

    Look for vehicles with maintenance records as that helps you see if they were at least well taken care of.

    Now for your choices, from my experience all of these cars will be trouble and you should stay away from them. Any Jag repairs will be costly. The Lincoln LS I'd personally stay away from as all of the used ones I've seen (I worked in the car business for almost 10 years) had some sort of electrical issues. The Cadillac Deville, although a super nice and comfy car that I personally enjoyed can also have head gasket issues, tranny issues, and electrical issues. I've talked to a few people who knew friends who had them, plus my buddy who was a service manager at a GM dealership and he said just to stay away from them. If they develop an major engine issue, you'll easily pay in repairs what you paid for the car, or more.

    If looking at older luxury cars I would only recommend looking at used Lexuses like the ES300, GS models, or even older LS400 models as they tend to have Toyota reliability and be comfortable luxury cruisers especially for longer drives. They use many Toyota components so parts might be easy to find. Plus when it's time to sell them it might be easier than getting rid of a Jag, Caddy, or a Lincoln.

    Good luck!

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    Listen to Boom; none of those cars have a good reputation for reliability. At all.

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    That's like the worst 3 cars you can pick. Best 3 if you want to see your bank account drained fast. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    I wouldn't touch any of those cars you've listed...they're not reliable or durable....fashionable is subjective! I'm not sure what your goal is here....if you're trying to impress someone...a 12 year old luxury vehicle is not going to do it. If you just want something that has a lot of features and drives very good...along with your "reliable, durable, and fashionable" requirement there are a few others I would consider.

    2002 Acura RL
    2002 Toyota Avalon
    Lexus GS300 (might have to go older than 2001 to make your budget)
    2004 Nissan Maxima
    2005 Buick LaCrosse (honestly don't know much about them but worth a look)

    Is a Lincoln Towncar on the possible list? I ask because it doesn't seem less-fashionable than a Deville....and is far more reliable particularly if you find a basic model with less electronic gizmos.

    Ok now...if none of that interests you here's a wild-card: 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora. Certainly different and seems no less fashionable than your previous selections. From what I can see they generally have good reliability reports and were considered one of the best sedans on the road (at the time). If nothing else even if the reliability was as bad as the three you originally listed....the cost to repair won't be as high.

    Good luck!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    boomcheck and others are right about the poor reliability of the cars you mention.

    You may not like my 2 cents, but....

    30 years ago I was a college student, and for many years I went through one old unreliable car after another as I went through college, grad school, and then got my first job.

    In retrospect I would have saved a lot of time, headaches, and frustration, and quite a bit of money too, if I'd just gotten a good new car to start with and stuck with it.

    I'm a Honda man myself, and so I personally would see if you could get into a new Civic or Fit.

    But what about this—VW is offering 0% financing with no money down for 66 months on most of its models. The question is would your credit rating qualify. Possibly not. But VWs also give you free maintenance for 3 years.

    If you buy a ten year old car, imho, in a few years you are going to be crying uncle because of the huge repair bills, and then you'll probably have to start all over again looking for another car.

    If you can somehow swing new you might be happier in the long run. Cars today are significantly safer, have better performance and mpg, and are generally more reliable than cars from 10 years ago even when those 10 year old cars were new. And now that they've had who knows what abuse for that time.....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    For someone trying to save some money, I think a better idea would be a gently USED Civic or Fit... especially since the Fit hasn't changed in several years and the previous-generation Civic is in many ways better than the current car.

    But they are hardly luxury cars. But here's another idea... for not much more than the OP can pay up front, one could get a 3-year lease on a pretty nice car... maybe not "luxury", but very close to it. Some ideas there are the Passat, Sonata, Optima, and maybe others depending on lease rates. And "auto show" time (now) is a good time to lease or buy a new car, usually lowest prices of the year except maybe November. Very little money up front, and almost no costs during the 3 years except monthly payment, gas, insurance, and basic maintenance.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    backy has good advice.

    The only thing against getting a recent Civic or Fit is that they hold their value so well in the first few years that you almost might as well get a new one.

    Leasing might be a good idea, particularly if you don't want to get stuck with a car for a long time.

    3 year lease on a 2013 Accord is available for $239/mo with 2300 down, or $300 a month with 0 down. It's not like you save by putting money down (they are both almost exactly the same $ in the end), and so it seems to me the $300 might be better.

    You say you wanted a luxury car? Well, I bet a 2013 Honda Accord actually offers as much or even more than most luxury cars from 10 years ago. For instance, you get integrated bluetooth, text msg display and reading, backup camera, alloy wheels, 0-60 in 7.7 seconds, which is as fast as a 6 cylinder from 10 years ago, dual climate control, etc.—all standard. And an Accord will save you at least $500 a year in gas compared to a lux car from 10 years ago. Again, there's a question about if you would qualify. Don't know about that.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-sedan/

    If, in a few years, after you've graduated and are making a good income and want a true luxe car, just turn it in and buy a BMW or Lincoln whatever.....

    Similar lease deals, or even cheaper, can be had on Optima, Sonata, Passat, etc.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    As always, it's possible to get a negotiated lease less than advertised prices. Low $200s with 0 out of pocket (maybe first payment) is possible on the Sonata GLS, for example. Probably on the Optima and Passat also. Accord... probably not.
  • Finally it is time to sell the hand me down pontiac! I'm looking for a sporty 2 door with some trunk space for hauling stuff to and from college (not tons of trunk space, just not a tiny trunk) My budget is around $7500. Currently I'm looking at base Chrysler Crossfires, and GT Eclipses. I want a manual, and please no Mustangs. Thanks.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    All I know is I'd want nothing to do with a $7500 Crossfire...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Few cars that come to mind immediately:

    -Acura RSX base or Type S: they should be easily in this price range.
    -Honda Civic Coupes 2006 and up: fun to drive, easy on gas, well equipped.
    -Honda Accord coupes, 2003 and up: good trucnk space, you can find them with stick or auto, 4 cyl or V6, should be lot of them around. 4 cyl versions use timing chains not belts so less maintenance to worry about.
    -BMW 3 series coupes, 99 and up: might be high mileage for under $7500 and more expensive to maintain than imports but very sporty and fun to drive.

    These would be my choices.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    I'm pretty sure the crossfire would qualify as having a tiny trunk.

    For a college kid, I'd stay away from anything oddball or complicated.

    A 325 coupe wouldn't be the worst idea, but I'd only consider it if you know of a good indy mechanic near your school that specializes in them.

    Otherwise, stick with the more commonplace and notoriously reliable vehicles, such as the aforementioned Civic/Accord/RSX. Maybe a Celica, although I don't know how the trunk is in that.

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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    I'm pretty sure the crossfire would qualify as having a tiny trunk.

    We have one - the trunk is minuscule. It'd be a problem if it were our only vehicle.

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