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Help Me Choose!

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  • patc890patc890 Posts: 2
    Hi, I just took a drive in a 2006 is 250 that my nephew is thinking of taking the lease of over. This car looked like it was still in the show room. I've never driven a Lexus of any type before so I was surprised at the noise/feeling I got from the car. It's hard to explain but when I turned it on a heard low rumbling kind of sound and even said to the guy if the engine always sounded like this, he said yes. When I drove it this sound seemed to get worse. It wasn't a nice throaty sports car sound. It didn't seem to effect the feel of the car or performance of it. So I was wondering if people who have this car (it is a sports version of it I'm told) could say if this is because of the more sports setup and could be the mufflers or something like that? I told my nephew I wouldn't buy it with the sound without having it checked out. If it was new and had this sound I wouldn't buy it.
    Sorry I couldn't explain the sound/feel better but just wondering if this car is like that.

    Pat.
  • patc890patc890 Posts: 2
    Hi, I just took a drive in a 2006 is 250 that my nephew is thinking of taking the lease of over. This car looked like it was still in the show room. I've never driven a Lexus of any type before so I was surprised at the noise/feeling I got from the car. It's hard to explain but when I turned it on a heard low rumbling kind of sound and even said to the guy if the engine always sounded like this, he said yes. When I drove it this sound seemed to get worse. It wasn't a nice throaty sports car sound. It didn't seem to effect the feel of the car or performance of it. So I was wondering if people who have this car (it is a sports version of it I'm told) could say if this is because of the more sports setup and could be the mufflers or something like that? I told my nephew I wouldn't buy it with the sound without having it checked out. If it was new and had this sound I wouldn't buy it.
    Sorry I couldn't explain the sound/feel better but just wondering if this car is like that.

    Pat.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited August 2010
    Nope. The term here is SNAFU. ;)

    Everything is as it should be, even though it's all wrong at the same time. It's a sofa on wheels. A Japanese Buick, in essence. If you want something with a soul and that's not going to feel like an old 80 year old's car or a taxi, just get a G37. Because the Lexus is a bland void by comparison. .
  • I'm trying to decide between 4 cylinder versions of the 2011 Malibu LTZ and 2011 Fusion SEL. After rebates and GM card incentives on the Malibu the Fusion is about $400 higher than the Malibu.

    The Malibu seems to be a quieter and smoother ride. The headrests are gigantic and are problematic backing up. I suppose I really need to learn how to use side view mirrors properly. I prefer the looks of the Malibu exterior.

    The Fusion isn't as quiet or smooth, but the seat goes up higher and the head rests don't seem to be AS intrusive as the Malibu's. I'm no techie but the Sync seems pretty slick, if I could figure it out. Don't even own an I-pod at this point.

    Any suggestions for deciding which one to buy?
  • Maybe the choice will be easier asking some questions, such as:
    Which car do you visualize still enjoying in about four years?
    Which one has a more comfortable ride?
    Which car has higher ratings overall?
    Is this a good time to learn use side mirrors for your safety and safety of your passengers?
    Which car has better colors or interiors?
    Which car is more likely to have fewer changes in the next few years to make the 2011 look more dated?
    Hope this helps.
  • From your words it seems the Malibu feels like the better choice.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    The Fusion will have a higher resale value than the Malibu, especially in the first few years. According to Edmunds 'True Cost to Own' calculation, the Fusion SEL depreciates $2354 in the first year and the Malibu LTZ is more than double at $4712 in the first year alone. Without a 15-20% down payment and/or a very low interest rate, you would have negative equity in the Malibu for the first few years! In other words, you'd owe more than the car is worth.

    The Fusion may not be as smooth/cushy, but it does have some advantages over the Malibu. According to Consumer Reports test results, the Fusion has better overall handling and better emergency handling, shorter braking distances (stops faster) especially on wet roads, and has better passing power because the transmission will kick down more readily when you press the gas. All of those are safety benefits in my book, plus the SYNC and non-obtrusive headrests are safer as well!

    As far as the Fusion's exterior looks, the regular SEL is a little plain looking, some colors more so than others. Did you look at any Fusions with the optional Appearance Package? It costs $895 and has larger, nicer looking wheels/tires, rear spoiler, unique trim on the center stack and instrument panel and your choice of body-color grille or a dark chrome grille. The dark chrome does wonders for the front end compared to the standard chrome grille, which is a bit too flashy (in my opinion). It's only available on four colors- Tuxedo Black, Sport Blue, Candy Red, and Sterling Grey and only with Charcoal Black interior.

    There's also a $1295 Luxury Package for the SEL that has polished aluminum wheels (same size as regular SEL but prettier), chrome mirror caps and door handles, premium leather interior in Ginger or Black, Contrasting stitching on the seats and leather steering wheel and illuminated front door sills. It's available with every exterior color except Sport Blue and the Ginger interior is really gorgeous and looks/feels like it should be in a $40k car. It's a new option for 2011, probably because the Mercury Milan is history and it always had a fancier interior option than Fusion.

    One other thing to keep in mind, the SEL has a Reverse Sensing System option for $295 on any SEL model. It beeps when it sensing anything behind you and the beeps get faster as you get closer to the object...pretty handy, in my experience.

    The Fusion also has a larger trunk than the Malibu (15.1 cu ft vs. 16.5 cu ft and the opening is bigger on the Fusion). Fuel economy is almost identical, but the Fusion also has a bigger gas tank (17.5gal vs. 16.0) so you won't be stopping quite as often to fill up.

    The Malibu does have a better powertrain warranty than Fusion- 100,000 miles vs. 60,000 miles. But it's five years either way, so if you don't plan to drive close to 20,000 miles per year, the extra coverage on the Malibu is irrelevant. The Malibu also has a standard 8-speaker Bose stereo that sounds a lot better than the standard 6-speaker stereo in the Fusion. But for $895 on the SEL, you can get the "Moon and Tune package" which gives you a Power Moonroof and a 12-speaker, 390-watt Sony Surround Sound audio system that sounds better than any Lexus or BMW stereo I've ever heard! =)

    Final note- my best friend has a 2010 SEL and SYNC is awesome and very easy to use! Trust me, he has trouble using the microwave but he figured out how to use it! =)
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Buy whatever car YOU like overall and don't be swayed by others opinions. Reading & listening to others can be exhausting & sometimes, personal opinion gets thrown in way too often. Pros & cons with either choice so get the better car for you. No personal preference here for either model...always buy what I like!

    Good luck!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

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

  • Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

    I'm not much closer on the Malibu/Fusion decision, but I did drive a Regal today. I like the looks, but didn't care for the ride so much. At least I was able to make a decision about something. Now back to square one.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    I'd be interested to hear what you didn't like about the ride in the Regal? How would you describe it? It's based on a European GM model (Opel something or other) and I was wondering if the ride and handling will be too "Euro" for most American drivers....

    You have only mentioned GM and Ford cars so far, so I don't know if you're completely opposed to considering anything else.....but I've thought of a few very good possibilities that might want to consider and test drive-

    2011 Toyota Camry XLE 4-cylinder- MSRP- $27,865 Selling- $21,866
    (built in Lafayette, IN and Georgetown, KY)
    The only option included in this price is the XLE Value Pkg #2, which adds the heated leather seats and leather door trim...everything else is standard already.

    2010 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring 4-door- MSRP- $26,835 Selling- $22,255
    w/ Technology Package- MSRP- $28,815 Selling- $23,839
    *Shares the same engine with the Ford Fusion; the current Fusion is a modified version of the original 2006 Fusion, which was based on the original 2003 Mazda6....so it and Fusion share some DNA, but the Mazda is hot looking!
    (Built in Flat Rock, MI in a plant shared with Ford Mustang production!)
    Tech Pkg adds-
    Advanced Keyless Entry and Start system with Push Button Start
    Driver seat memory
    Power passenger seat
    Auto on/off Xenon HID headlights (auto-adjusting)
    Rain-sensing wipers
    Auto-dim interior mirror w/ Homelink remote
    Body-color heated auto-dim side view mirrors
    LED combo rear lights (brighter and safer)
    SIRIUS satellite radio
  • 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: 2,689
    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: 2,689
    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: 796
    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: 18,746
    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: 796
    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 brands...how 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: 2,689
    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
    Hey,

    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: 17,520
    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; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 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: 3,738
    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: 3,738
    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)

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=284103648
    $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

    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=c&car_id=282224197
    $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: 18,746
    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: 3,738
    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: 18,746
    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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