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Please help me decide between...

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  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    In addition to what others have said, I'd want to check the cost of insurance as well.
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    A 2007 V6 Mustang (drop top) that I rented a couple of years ago sounded and drove like a tractor - heavy, loud and unrefined.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,328
    When you can afford the vehicle, you can afford the insurance. Just buy high deductibles on Physical Damage and High Limits of Liability.
  • Hi all,

    I'm an Australian moving to the US in a month and I will need to buy a car fairly quickly, so I'm trying to get a shortlist together. I currently drive a 2004 RAV4 which has been perfect but I'd like to try something different.

    What I'm looking for: used mid-size sedan/coupe or small to mid-size SUV. Something with a good reputation for reliability, preferably also under warranty. I don't have a preference for 4 or 6 cyl., as long as it doesn't struggle when passing or driving up hills. I will likely be coming back in 3-4 years, so good resale value is a plus, as is low insurance and maintenance costs . Extras such as leather, sunroof, climate control not required but also would be a bonus. It will be used for a very short daily commute as well as shopping and the odd road trip so fuel economy is less important, but 20 MPG or better would be ideal.

    Budget is around $17,000

    The list I have so far:

    Sedans
    2007/2008 Nissan Altima 2.5L
    2009 Hyunai Sonata 2.4L (poor resale?)
    2008 Ford Fusion V6
    2008 Saturn Aura V6
    2007 Honda Accord coupe
    2008 VW Jetta (reliability concerns?)
    2008 Mazda 6

    SUVs
    2008 Nissan Rogue
    2007 Mazda CX-7 (turbo engine a concern?)
    2007 Hyundai Santa Fe (poor resale?)
    2006 Nissan Murano (would be out of warranty) (too big for a single twentysomething?)

    What do you think? This list is WAY too long, I need help to cut it down. The sensible part of me says get a sedan but I think I really want an SUV.

    Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Regarding the Hyundais in your list, the poor resale may work in your favor. What I mean is that the biggest hit on depreciation will occur during the first couple of years after the car was bought new. If you look at used cars a couple of years old (make that Sonata a 2007, for instance), the worst of the depreciation is behind you so you should be able to get a good deal. This applies to all vehicles, really, but brands that tend to have worse resale value take the biggest hit.

    I don't think any of the vehicles in your list are poor choices. You might restrict your purchase decision to vehicles that still have some manufacturer warranty for some added peace of mind. You might also consider a Mitsu Outlander SUV from 2007 or so. I'm starting to enter the small SUV market and liked the Outlander a fair bit more than the Santa Fe.

    What part of the US will you be relocating to? Is it to the north, i.e. an area where winters are more severe (snow, cold) or the south where having strong air conditioning is of value? Hilly or mountainous (where an AWD SUV might help)?
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    You may want to add the 06 Accord to your list since it is virtually identical to the 07. Resale and low maintenance are strong points of the Accord. Those years also get great gas mileage.

    I agree with the previous poster about the resale issue with the Hyundais on your list. There are a lot of folks who quite happy with them but they haven't built up that long-term reliability reputation yet so they get killed in resale early on.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    I will likely be coming back in 3-4 years.... It will be used for a very short daily commute as well as shopping and the odd road trip

    Have you considered leasing?

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

  • Thanks for the replies so far. I'm moving to Birmingham AL, so good air conditioning is important. Must remember to turn the A/C on during a test drive, it's something I usually forget to do. I think it's quite a hilly city.

    I have thought about leasing, it does have advantages - new car, full warranty, no hassle of selling when I leave - but I have no credit history in the US and I assumed this would make leasing difficult and more expensive. Does anyone have experience with this situation?

    I'll also look for slightly older Hyundais, because the resale issue explanation makes lots of sense. The Hyundais get very good reviews and come with just about every gadget and safety feature anyone would need, which makes them stand out above some of the competition.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    Maybe some of our finance experts can jump in here, but leasing can be (or used to be, at least) difficult for someone who hasn't established credit in the US. When I shopped with British friends who weren't yet permanent residents, they had difficulty getting car loans.

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  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    Resale and low maintenance are strong points of the Accord. Those years also get great gas mileage.

    I don't think good resale is a "strong point" when one is buying a used car...

    -Mathias
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 971
    But it is a "strong point" if you will have to sell it again in a few years.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I don't think good resale is a "strong point" when one is buying a used car...

    Well, the OP said that was one of her priorities since she was going to be selling it in a few years when she went back home.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    Good point; however, as someone else pointed out, one could also do well by purchasing a used vehicle on which the major chunk of "resale hit" has already been taken. It just depends on the vehicle and at what price point you purchase.

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  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    Honda's retain their value at an amazing rate.I was looking at used civics last december and almost choked when I saw what the dealers wanted for 2-3 year old certified Honda's.If you are only going to want a car for 3ish years I think leasing makes the most sense.Don't have to worry about resale and u know upfront what it is going to cost
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    Perhaps in the best of situations. But again, we're looking at someone who is just moving to the country. This could make it difficult to get financing on a lease. I know it *used* to be a problem.

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