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Help Me Choose!

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  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    You can easily look through the new cars by price-range on www.edmunds.com. You can probably do something like that for used cars, too. As for size, though, I think you might need a larger mid-sized, or even a full-sized sedan at a minimum to accomodate your family. In the new-car area, Chevy Malibu might be worth a look. CHeck out this link for station wagons that might interest you. Under $15k Wagons
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,102
    Although the statement "greater displacement, the more power" is generally accurate, it is not always correct.

    There is an old statement that goes like this: there's no replacement for displacement. This statement is, broadly speaking, true.

    But, in an era of ever improving design, electronics and naturally and artifically inducted "systems," it is indeed very possible for a V8 of XXX displacement to be a weakling when compared to a V6 or i6 or even i4 with XX or X displacement.

    Try this on for size, a [late 70's] Pontiac 6.6 liter V8 output 200HP. A mid 2000's Audi 1.8 liter i4 output 225HP.

    The V8 did have over 300lb-ft of torque, and the i4 has over 200lb-ft. So, all things being equal (and they would not be) the 6.6 would still sprint to 100kph more quickly.

    Yet, the Audi V8 4.2 engine was rated at 300HP and 295lb-ft of torque but was outgunned to 100kph by the V6 2.7 engine rated at 250HP and 258lb-ft. Why?

    The torque available from the V8 didn't come on until AFTER 3,000 rpms. The lower torque of the V6 was ready to go at 1850 rpms.

    While there may be "no replacement for displacement" -- there may be an asterisk that should be placed after that:

    "except for volumetric displacement."

    Essentially, increasing the amount of air/fuel that an engine can "digest" will increase its HP and torque without an increase in displacement.

    Is bigger better?

    It can be.

    It does not have to be, however.

    Be aware of the benefits that will generally accrue with greater displacement -- just be aware, too, that size is not the end all be all in terms of determining engine power, pollution and efficiency.
  • I am looking for a new AWD car, CUV or small SUV in the neghborhood of 30K. I am so lost and confused! The reason I am looking for an AWD is mostly because I currently have an AWD Passat and love the way it sticks to the road and handles in the rain/snow. I was hoping there was a list of AWD vehicles somewhere so it would help me narrow down my choices.

    I was waiting for the Ford Edge to come out, but I looked at the other CUV's and wasn't really impressed. Now I am back to thinking I want an AWD car.

    I have been looking around online, but maybe there is something I overlooked. Any suggestions? :confuse:
  • How bout:
    Volvo S40 T5 AWD...they run as high as $35,000...but getting a new leftover 06, they should knockoff $5-$6,000 off sticker...I'm thinking of buying one.
    or a Toyota Rav4 Awd, the new redesigned one is out and is nice.
    Subaru has lots to pick from....The imprezza is cheap and reliable, the outbacks are nice, there's the Forester...
    Honda: the Element AWD.
  • Since I personally participate most frequently here on Edmund's LPS forum, most of what I have observed does seem to come from these posts. Yet, as I browse through these forums more and more, I find folks seemingly lamenting their purchases or struggling with even the thought of making a purchase of a new car.

    Where to begin, where to begin. . .

    Too often we read (here on these forums) the complaints, disappointments and regrets of some of the participants about their new cars. Take these for instance:

    o I can’t find a comfortable setting for the seat

    o The air conditioner can’t cope with the heat wave we’re having this year

    o The transmission starts out in 2nd gear and the thing just doesn’t have enough power to safely merge onto the Interstates

    o I can’t get my Bluetooth phone to synch up – I just bought my phone and no one told me that all Bluetooth phones aren’t compatible

    o Eighty bucks for a pair of wiper blades?!? Eighty bucks! How can they charge that much, this is robbery!

    o Do I have to use Premium gas? If I had only known I had to use Premium, I wouldn’t have bought this thing.

    o 40 series tires – these things are a $1,000 a set and they start to go at 15 or 16,000 miles – yikes!

    o This thing drinks gas.

    o Rides like a truck.

    o Rides AND handles like a sofa! My sofa probably handles better, in fact.

    o The iPod adapter won’t work unless you have the Premium package and upgraded sound system with navigation and bidet.

    o I can’t change the radio station without going through the climate control menu first

    o And so on and on and on.

    Now some of these complaints or issues can be attributed to the manufacturer, some even to the dealer; but, overall, most of the unhappy campers became unhappy because of their own actions (or inaction.) "We have met the enemy and he is us."

    It is certainly possible to find auto buying advice articles here and elsewhere. And, most of the suggestions made in these articles are reasonable and valuable. But, few of the articles – if any – ever seem to elaborate on the amount of work it actually takes to make a sound decision, a decision that you can live with for 3, 4, 5 or more years.

    While the process of buying a car is, for most of us, an avocation, not a vocation, it cannot be simply and entirely treated as a “fun exercise.” Having fun while making a multi-tens of thousand dollar decision is possible, but if you neglect the work that should be part of this process, you may run the risk of making the ownership experience less enjoyable than you had expected. You stand a decent chance of regretting your decision, in fact.

    Now, I am not talking about buying your very first car – although I do believe most of what needs to be done in buying a car applies to your first or twenty-first – for you simply will not have the history (that is part of the process) to relate to.

    Here, then, are some thoughts about the process that may reduce or prevent buyer’s remorse.

    o Know the Style you Want
    o Know your "Willingness to Afford" Metric
    o Read what the Pros Say
    o Compile a List
    o Test Drive
    o Go for it
  • Know the Style you Want

    Before you begin the “automotive buy cycle” do some homework. Remember style does count – and for most folks, style counts right up there in the top 2 or 3. For some folks style is number 1 and everything else is secondary. If you consider style above all else you should know that there is nothing wrong with that even though there will be some folks who will tell you differently.

    If you love everything about a car EXCEPT its style, it will be difficult to be a satisfied owner. After all, there are a few folks who think the Pontiac Aztec was a good looking design, aren’t there?

    Remember that most of us look at our cars exteriors and get down to business from the interior. Don’t discount the exterior and interior style. If you hate the looks of the 6000 S.U.X. it will be difficult to convince yourself that its use of gyroscopically gimbaled arbitrary capillaries for low rolling resistance and improved torsional rigidity justifies your selection of it. If you just can’t see yourself driving the thing, well, “there’s a clue.”

    Take it (the clue)

    Pick cars that you think are attractive is the message here.

    Know your “Willingness to Afford” Metric

    Before we continue, let’s not forget that eventually you will have to cull most of your choices for one or several reasons. You will ultimately have to narrow the field based on price. Within limits it is not necessary to do this at this time. Now, “within limits” means you know the upper limit of your willingness to afford something. Most of us who acquire cars (especially new cars) would be able to “get a deal done” on a car priced 50% or more higher than we would likely consider. It is very possible that you could be looking at a car with an MSRP of $40,000 and find yourself able to qualify for a $60,000 car (even though you would have to eat bread and water and keep your house hot in summer and cold in winter to do so.)

    Do know that MSRP’s sometimes are steeply discounted (I’ve seen $50,000 Cadillac’s advertised for $9,995 as a single lump sum 27 month 12,000 mile per year lease payment -- translated assuming a zero rate of return into $370/mo if you understand you must cough up the $9,995 up front.) Do know that if you are shopping for a payment that the MSRP and the monthly payment may only be related coincidentally.

    It is unlikely that you will be looking for a car with an MSRP of $25,000 and “settle for” a car with a $50,000 MSRP – but when $50,000 cars are discounted by $10,000 and then offered at 72 months same as cash – the realm of possibilities changes.

    On the other hand, know what’s out there at several price points. You may find that you want a luxury performance car but that a near luxury performance car with stability control and satellite radio (two features commonly found on LPS cars) will satisfy you. In other words, it may be possible to crack the features and options code and match them with your wants and needs simply by knowing more of “what’s possible.” This behavior may seem contradictory (shopping well above your price range, i.e.) until you realize the features that can be added to cars considerably lower in price point. Ignorance is not bliss, DOH!

    Find your “willingness to afford” ceiling within the current climate’s “realm” is the message. Don’t waste a serious amount of your time on cars that you would never be willing to afford. But, when appropriate, do “expand your horizons” based on the current market.

    Read what the Pros Say

    Reading “professional” test reports can be enlightening, entertaining and exasperating. It will almost always be possible to find a review of the apple of your eye that says it is outdated, too expensive, too cheap, well made, poorly made, handles great, rides rough, has perfect fit and finish or is a rattle trap.

    Sometimes when a new car is reviewed the author will drool all over with praise; then, two months later when the car is part of a four car test it will come in fifth (or so it will seem) in the field. What to do?

    If you are so inclined, start reading the reviews of several writers over many months. Eventually, you may find a connection between yourself and the writers. Some folks, for instance, swear by USA Today’s Ed Healy, some swear at him. Some trust Car and Driver’s editors and discount Motor Trend’s as “shills for the manufacturers.” Others believe Automobile Magazine is the holy grail of automotive journalism. Consumer Reports and JD Powers are the choices of others although CU and JDP are more heavily weighted toward percentages, ratios and statistics and less concerned with the emotions than perhaps the editors and contributors to Road and Track or Car and Driver or House and Garden.

    The message? Know what is being written about the population of cars you will soon be test driving. Even though there are many sources of opinion, it is generally true that you will be able to determine the characteristics of the new XYZ if you have read three articles or so and they all point out the lack of lateral support in the seats or the vague steering or the loud popping sounds that can be heard when the suspension is compressed while driving over a speed bump, etc. At the conclusion of most test reports you will see some statistics (and sometimes the manufacturer’s claims will be published alongside.) If the car of your dreams cannot muster more than 12 MPG in any of the test reports (and that is an area of concern for you), you should note this fact and be guided accordingly.

    Compile a List

    Write down as many attributes, characteristics, features, etc, as you can think of that are important to you in a car. Start with a broad brush, for instance, "performance" and "comfort" are two characteristics that many folks are looking for. However, under the word "performance" you need to tick off what performance means to you. Does it mean acceleration from 0 to 60 mph? Does it mean how well the car can take corners? Or, does it simply mean how long it takes to bring the car to a stop under “urgent” circumstances?

    What you are trying to get to is your definition of performance in this instance. You may tell the sales person you are interested in a car that performs well. If the sales person thinks this means straight line acceleration and you think it means the ability to drive through “S” curves with very little body roll at high speed, there will be a disconnect. Determine what you want to call the traits you are looking for and then break them down so that they can be explained to the sales rep.

    If, by “comfort,” you mean little or no road and wind noise, but you are not interested in a cushy, isolating ride, and your sales rep thinks that you are looking for a softly sprung vehicle, well, you may be shown a car that, for you, “lacks comfort” since you didn’t list your definition of comfort and the salesperson's doesn't track with yours.
  • Compiling this list is one of the most difficult things to do for most people when they go shopping for a car. Yet, when the list of complaints and regrets post purchase are verbalized, it is often that the sales person presented you with a car he thought you would buy based on some fairly vague descriptions -- that you provided. If you are interested in a "four-door coupe," don’t simply say "coupe" – for coupe generally means two doors. If you are interested in a car that can take corners “like its on rails” and has low road and wind noise, don’t simply say you want a car that performs well and is comfy. Spell out what you want.

    Explain (and make sure it is on your list) the attributes you are looking for and define them. Your list could be seen as a glossary of the “terms of endearment” that will be important to you. This is the list that you should share with your sales rep.

    Take enough time to make a meaningful list – this is one of the most important things you can do to help you make up your mind.

    Test Drive

    Note: Only if you will literally not involve anyone else in the buying, driving and owning process, should you do this alone.

    Before you begin taking test drives of new cars you may potentially consider buying, take a test drive in your current car. Take your current car out first to map out the test drive loop you will be using for all the cars you plan to consider. In the instance where the cars you want to test are sold by dealers that are geographically widespread, you may have to come up with more than one test drive loop (here in Cincinnati, for example, the Infiniti Dealer and the Volvo Dealer are some distance apart, and either you will need to create a test drive course that is somewhere in the middle or create two courses that you are VERY familiar with in your current car.)

    Taking the first test drive in you current car will serve several purposes. First, you will be able to concentrate on creating the route and determining the traits you are attempting to suss, rather than trying both to figure out where to drive and getting used to the controls, seating position and feel of an unfamiliar vehicle. Second, you will be able to put your current car through its paces and "record" your impressions for comparison purposes.

    Although many of us generally believe a "new car" will be "better" than our current car, it can be quite revealing -- as you are driving the new car under evaluation -- to know that you can negotiate a curve at 40MPH comfortably in your "old" car. When the new car can only negotiate the curve at 40MPH too, it may be quite "enlightening." Furthermore, if the new car can only round the corner easily at 35MPH, that will be a real eye opener.

    During your test drive of your current car, take many notes. If, for instance, you want a car that can accelerate from point to point quickly, you need to know how your current car fares in this area. If you want to go from 30 to 70MPH as fast as possible, you need to know how long it takes in your current car to do this. Write it down. Then, when you challenge the new cars you are considering to do the same, write their times down, too. Your current car will serve as a base-line. As you compile the results from the different cars you are considering, you will have a point of reference. The actual time and the seat of the pants time may differ. You may end up deciding to go with the car that feels quicker even though it actually is a half-second slower -- but at least you'll know.

    Your test loop should include as many "real world" sections as you feel represents "your reality" not the salesperson's. If you will not be taking your vehicle off road, for instance, your test loop may mislead you if you attempt to make the tester climb rocks and ford streams. If you will be needing ample acceleration ("ample" as defined in "your list" as 0 - 60MPH in under "X" seconds) don't assume great high speed stability (a "fast" car) is the same as a "quick" car. If you care about both rapid acceleration and high speed cruising, your test loop should challenge the car being tested to both. Once again, knowing what your current car can do and how it feels can be an important means to an end.

    Taking your current car and the cars you are considering over the same test drive loop and attempting as much as possible to "stress" them similarly is almost the only method that can lead you to objective information gathering. Even if the sales person rides along with you and "suggests" a route for you, it is important that you are able to experience the car on your familiar test loop. You want to spend time getting a feel for and of the new car -- not trying to figure out where you are and how to get back to the dealership. Taking the time to map out a test route that you are familiar with will pay off. Although you probably will want to know about the new car's sound system, it is important to make at least one loop of your test route without the distraction of the sound system.

    During the test drive, you should not be unwilling to fully test acceleration, braking and cornering capability. You should not be willing, however, to push the demonstration car so hard that it is pushed way beyond its limits -- you do not have permission to drive in such as fashion that a reasonable person would believe could be damaging or dangerous (to person or property.) Driving the car in a circle in a parking lot may be part of your routine to determine body roll and the speed at which oversteer or understeer becomes evident. Cranking the wheel to full-lock and flooring the accelerator pedal for 90 seconds is probably not a good idea even if the sales person lets you take the car out by yourself. You do not want to abuse the vehicle under consideration is the point -- you do, however, want to have an understanding of the "performance envelope." Were there only such thing as common sense.

    Generally, you will want to test the car on residential streets, secondary, primary and Interstate highways. You should test the car within certain parameters that do, in the main, represent the way you drive. If you routinely drive above 80MPH on Interstate highways, you need to know how the car you are considering feels at such speed under these conditions. Don't drive out of the dealer's lot onto a secondary highway within the city limits and see how quickly you can reach 80 in a 35 zone. If that is the way you drive YOUR car -- fine, drive your car that way -- do not drive the dealer's demo that way (unless you don't ever plan on returning.)

    Testing the brakes is very important, but repeatedly taking a car with 5 miles on the odometer out on the local freeway, running it up to 80MPH and slamming on the brakes would generally be frowned upon by most dealerships.
  • There are ways to determine if the brakes meet your expectations -- hard, but perhaps not full-on panic stops can give you the info you need (especially if you have your car's capabilities documented and can determine a braking test that you can repeat in a variety of cars.) I have a little orange cone that I can set out on a large parking lot, accelerate to 40MPH or more and when I am even with the cone brake hard to a stop and either record the time it takes to stop or put a second cone down so that I know the distance traveled between 40MPH and full stop.

    Test the sound system (unless this is irrelevant to you) -- bring your own tunes and set the system in the car you are testing to the sound that pleases you and make notes "no bass, but great clarity," "system sounds muffled and lost reception on AM stations easily," "plays DVD-audio," etc. Test the "avionics" (e.g., sat nav) and all of the systems that "matter to you." Turn on the windshield wipers, open the sunroof, roll the windows up and down, "play with everything." My 2005 Audi A6 has 82 buttons, knobs, switches, dials, thumbwheels, gauges, screens, needles and roller wheels that are meant to be controlled by the driver. Without voice response, the car would be very difficult and sometimes dangerous -- even with the Multi-Media Interface. I.E., does your new car offer voice activation? Should you consider it?

    If it is a hot day get the car as hot as can be and see how cool you can make it -- if 90+ humid degrees is a typical summer day for you, make certain the interior of the car (front and back seat, if applicable) can be cooled to your liking. Jus' cause the climate control says 67 degrees "don't make it so!"

    Check the oil -- can you figure out how to open the hood, find the dipstick, look at it and replace it and close the hood without a technician? Put some gas in it -- does the design of the body and the filling hardware seem likely to be a cause for consternation?

    Check the spare tire, if it has one, does it appear that if you HAD to you could change a tire, or is this a job solely for professionals?

    Find out the length of the service intervals and the approximate cost of major and minor cycles. Find out what kind of gas is required -- if it says Premium in the manual, on the dashboard or on the filler door, it means it -- do not ask the salesperson, or if you do and he says "it can use regular," realize that is not what it is designed to use.

    Write everything down (that is important or will be important to you should you buy this car.)

    When you have made your first round of test drives, you will probably reduce the number of cars under consideration.

    Even if you have not yet created your short list, you should repeat the test drive process. But, this time test the cars in a different order. If, originally, you had driven a VW Passat, a Camry, an Accord, a Chrysler 300 and a Lucerne -- in that order -- reverse or at least mix up the order of your test driving the second time around. The reason to do this is twofold: to minimize the effect of test drive fatigue and to reduce the effects of the "last car driven." The last car driven is more frequently the car many people buy. The reasons this happens may or may not be an influence on you and they may be statistically insignificant. However, the psychology seems to work something like this -- people who have not made up their minds in advance usually do not buy the first car they test drive and often buy the last car they test drive. As far as the reasons for this, there are articles and op-ed pieces you can google. Suffice it to say, typical advertising copy produced by car dealers urges prospective customers "to shop Smith Brothers last!"

    Unless you have made up your mind, mixing up the order of the test drives from first round to the second round and so on, will "encourage" you to be as objective as you can be.

    Go for It

    After all the test driving and note taking and note comparing, you will eventually get your list down to one or two or three vehicles that you think you would buy. You need to do but one last thing when you reach this point -- rank the cars independent of price and dependent on price. If car "A" is your first choice, price independent, you then need to write down a percentage amount your first choice is "worth" over your second or third choices. For instance, if the Lucerne is your top choice and the 300 is number two, is there any amount more you are willing to pay for the Lucerne? Put another way, if the 300 were 5% less (per month or in cash or lease payment) would that be enough to make you take the 300 over the Lucerne? Would you take the Lucerne if it were 10% more than the 300? In other words, if the cars each were offered with a monthly payment of $399 for 39 months, you know you would take the Lucerne. But, ask yourself, if you would still take the Lucerne if the 300 were offered at $359 per month? Only you can decide -- and this will tell you how price sensitive you are or just how close these cars were to each other. In my case the Audi A6 3.2 was my top choice and the Infiniti M35X my second. The M35X when it was $200 per month less than the Audi on an identical lease became my top choice. When the Audi's price lowered, it became, once again, my number one choice. The Audi, as it turns out, was worth more than the Infiniti, just not $200 per month more. In the end, the Audi dealer made me a deal I couldn't refuse on the car I wanted most anyway.

    Finally, determining "the financing" is not unimportant. It was, however, my purpose to get you to the point of selecting a car you can live with -- free of most or all regret -- for at least the duration of the financing or the number of years you plan to keep your next car.

    Picking out a new car can be an entertaining and educational exercise. But, it will be a lot of work, rewarding work, if you really want to do it right.

    Additional Thoughts Klik Here
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Mark,

    You lost me at hello :)

    Seriously, I am sure your post has a ton of useful information, but it is hard to read a four part message board thread.
  • I couldn't get it to "take" in one part!

    The folks who lament and complain or are just plain confused about "what or how" to choose, will, I sincerely hope, find this of some merit, despite its length.

    "I didn't have time to write a shorter rendition. . . ."

    :surprise:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Great thoughts, Mark, thanks!!
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    a very respected, knowledgeable, and long time member here. You have the right to not read any ones posts including mine.
    But before you bash, you should have some respect, you could probably learn something from him. Reading is a good thing. I guess you could find that information on MTV.. er.... a playstation.
    Seriously, no bashing Mark. He is a gentleman, and a true auto enthusiast. [As well as a fellow Audi nut] Spending some time here I see that you were busted for brand bashing. Consider yourself busted for Mark bashing... :P
    One more thing, this thread is called "help me chose" I thinks that's what he's trying to do....
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Mark,

    I went back and read your four part post, and I think it was an excellent write-up. I agree with most of your points, and think that this would be helpful for someone that is having a hard time choosing a vehicle.
  • I've owned Prizms and Sentras before and have never had problems with either. That was years ago. Now I have a decision to make. I just bought a 1990 Prizm base model, auto, only 112,000 miles for $600. It already had a
    new radiator, and a transmission with a cooler installed about 3 years ago. I put in another $600 for a starter, timing belt, some gaskets and seals, new serp belts, and a few other things. This car passes emission like a new
    car with almost 0 reading and had only one owner and generally taken care of. It's the 5 door hatchback and has a cracked dash and drooping ceiling fabric but the body and paint are nice and shiny. I was going to keep this
    for myself. Then I was enlisted to find another good deal for my brother in law and a week later found the following:

    1994 Sentra XE, 2 door, manual trans with 135,000 miles for just $800. Again only one owner and generally taken care of. Had to replace the original clutch and replace the crankshaft seal (I think) and dished out about $600 for that. It passes inspections as well with flying colors. It came with a new alternator but nothing else has been replaced since brand new. The interior on this is almost perfect and the outside has a bit of a dent but other than that the body and paint are in excellent condition. It's a lot sportier than the Prizm, it's got a spoiler and some nice aftermarket wheels.

    Alright then, so if you guys owned both of these cars which are pretty equal in their condition mechanically and somewhat cosmetically, which would you keep? There are no recalls on either of them but I'm not aware of any notorious problems with either, except for Nissan's alternators. I'm also taking into consideration that this Prizm was perhaps one of the best designed bulletproof motors Toyota ever made. What I wish I could do is
    switch out the motors and then hands down I'd be picking the Sentra. But I'm not going to do that. So, I welcome your opinions and thanks in advance. If you need more info to make the decision, let me know.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    A large local newspaper is looking to interview 18-25 year olds on what type of car they are looking to purchase. Please send an e-mail to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Friday, August 18, 2006 by 2:30 PM PT/5:30 PM ET containing your daytime contact information.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I'm sure this comes up all the time pertaining to the Accord and Camry, but which one would be a better choice for me.

    I have a traveling job where interior room and cargo room are very important to me. I don't want to spend much more over 20K if I can help it. I also get paid on mileage, so the better gas mileage I get the more money I make! I need a car that is going to be reliable and last for years to come. Right now I'm driving my 95' Monte Carlo and I think it's time for a update. After checking out what's out there for cars I always came back to 3 cars: Impala, Accord, and the Camry. I decided to not go with the Impala due to the V6 getting bad gas mileage compared to a 4 CYL Camry or Accord. And now I'm stuck with these 2 models that stack up to each other practically feature to feature. The only big difference I think is that I can probably get the 07' Accord cheaper than the 07' Camry due to the fact that everyone wants a new styled Camry right now.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is a decision lots of folks have struggled with - check out our Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry discussion to find what others are saying about each car.

    Good luck.
  • brian87,
    Only YOU can make the decision as to what car is best for YOU!
    We can give you opinions...but its YOU that needs to drive both cars, only you can check out the interior and cargo room...everyone's needs are different in these areas...as for reliability...both makes can be very reliable..but you can also have Trouble with both makes..its a chance you take.The new Camry looks great...but your probably right about a better deal on the accord, also a great car.If the 2 cars are neck and neck on everything, then i would go with the better "deal" if the money issue is important..Good Luck.
  • I'm going to be a contrarian here -- the answer to your Accord or Camry question is easy: Hyundai.

    Recently, I spent two days -- including test driving a number of cars, including Acura, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.

    Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, feature for feature, warranty protection for warranty protection (etc etc etc), the Hyundai is the "optimum" -- NOT the MAXIMUM, but the optimum.

    High value, sure. I expected that.

    High content, hmmm. I was impressed by Hyundai.

    In almost every category, the Hyundai either exceeded or at the very least was the serious rival of the Japanese version.

    Were I spending MY money between $20 to $25K, the Hyundai would be ranked more highly than either of these Japanese cars.

    At the $25K plus price point, I would look seriously at an Audi A3 sedan, especially if I had a passion for "performance" driving.

    The Accord and Camry are too much money for too little car, with the Hyundai being, "just right."

    :surprise:
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Could never overprice their cars, they are simply the most dependable and reliable vehicles on the road today.
  • 2006 Sonata GLS V6 : 16600+tax invoice: 20330
    2007 Sonata GLS 4 cy, with sunroof,: 17474+tax

    2007 Accord SE 4 cy: 19050+ tax invoice: 20088
    2006 Accord LX 4 cy: 18550+tax invoice:19459

    what to choose?

    thank you.
  • I'd say the Accord SE would be the best bet, especially if you can get it at that price for the 2007.
  • For some of us, dependable and reliable translate to boring and average.

    Dependable and reliable:

    "Hey, Bob, I'm going on a date with Mary. . .she's got a friend, Sarah, wanna go out with us?"

    "I dunno, tell me about Sarah!"

    "Well, uh, she's a great conversationalist and makes her own clothes."

    "You've go to be kidding, next thing you'll tell me is she is dependable and reliable, too."

    (You may change the gender and or names to suite your situation.)

    As David E. Davis says, "NO boring cars!."

    These days, for the money we've talked about here for a few posts, Honda and Toyota are boring and Hyundai (for a change) looks much less so. Heck, even their commericals are not boring (thinking of the Santa Fe at the top of a long yellow slide down the mountain -- the Santa Fe was touting its electronic stability program, don't you know?)

    Just another contrarian opinion.

    No Hondas or Toyotas need apply for the position of "Not a boring car."
  • to jump in and say, in my experience, Honda's driving dynamics are superior to the competition. Just MO...
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    When you have a car that's not dependable or reliable in the least bit, you'll understand why even a 500 HP lemon is fun to drive. Not enjoyable at all to be broken down on the road.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    that even a 500 horsepower vehicle that doesn't run is boring!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I couldn't disagree more...

    The Hyundai, when I tested it, felt a lot like the old 2002-2006 Camry, where the Accord was a LOT sportier and more fun to drive. The Hyundai is a smooth ride, but not as connected to the road, and not the enthusiast's choice, IMO. Lots of car for the dollar? Yes. More exciting? Quite the opposite.
  • I have 2 kids in car seats (29 & 10 months) but I fell in LOVE with the IS250 at my lexus dealer last week! I had been planning to get the new G35 when it comes out, but now I just don't think its going to do it for me. I just love the tight cockpit feel and the luxury of the lexus (power is not a concern for me).

    So, here's my question. Does anyone else have car seats in the back of this car? Is it impossible? I will have the kids with me almost every day to go to daycare, so I really need to figure out if I can make this work or not. Thanks!
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    People do have car seats in the back of the IS.
    They're not easy to load, and you'll have to deal with the shoe marks constantly being left on the rear of the front seats, but the kids will fit.
    In fact, kids are the only people who can.

    I'm like you.
    I visited Lexus and absolutely fell in love with the IS.
    We ended up buying the wife's MDX first, so I'm waiting until spring to pull the trigger on my car.

    As much as I love the IS, I'm slipping more toward the TL.
    I'm also waiting to see what the 07 G35x does for me, but the car has been problematic in previous years, so I'm hesitant.
    (See brake lawsuits and non-functional Bluetooth issues)

    The TL has a larger back seat and my 3yr old is very comfortable back there.
    And after taking one from the dealer for a day, I have to say that it's more fun to drive than the IS250.

    Now, the IS350 is another story... :)
    Unfortunately, they're horrible in the snow. :cry:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    What you should do is take the car seats with you to the dealership and see how they fit.
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