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Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

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  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    The new F150's are the best looking trucks on the road IMHO. The Titans are nice too but I can't get into the new generation Nissan interiors. We almost bought a 2003 F150 XLT 5-speed regular cab/sportside but decided to wait because the new ones were so much better.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 with the Powerstroke, 6-speed manual (don't want no stinking automatics..) and a few goodies - no leather or frills, though, just an XLT with cloth captain';s chairs.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    what model '58 DeSoto did you have? I have a 1957 Firedome 2-door hardtop, and back in '95 almost bought a 1958 Firesweep 4-door sedan. Actually, I would have bought it, but someone else had first dibs on it. I was second in line but the other guy bought it first.

    It had a 350 2-bbl engine, and despite just having a 2-speed PowerFlite, it still felt pretty gutsy! I could've gotten it for $800-850, and sometimes wish I had.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Is this where I sign up for a 12 step car addiction program?

    I could't begin to count all the cars I've had. Here is a list since 92:

    92 Range Rover - drove it for 167,000 miles
    92 BMW 325is - first year of the E36
    82 Porsche 911SC Cabrio - traded the 92 BMW for it
    96 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 - Winter beater - leased
    99 VW Beetle - don't ask
    2000 VW Passat 1.8t - traded beetle
    2001 BMW X5 - Replaced the 92 Range Rover
    2002 VW GTI 1.8t modified for Autocross
    2003 VW Jetta TDI (diesel) Wagon - love it
    2004 Subaru STi - replaced the 02 GTI

    2005 Audi A4 Avant Ultrasport on order to replace the X5.

    I am a car nut.
  • There are entirely too many choices out there, new and used. My wants are a little unrealistic though. I want a fun-to-drive, reliable, safe car with side curtains, and I would LOVE to pay $15,000 or less.

    I bought a Hyundai Elantra GT hatch. Fun to drive, lots of extras, good interior space, decent mileage, and my 2003 has not dropped like the rock everyone told me to expect. In fact, recent JD Powers and Consumer Reports are ranking the Elantras high, it placed second to the Protege in 2003 in a 11-car C&D test...has good looks, enough zoot and the 5-speed is decent.

    Might want to check them out. Only ? is the safety, but side air bags are standard, ABS is available, and that crash test that smeared their rep in 2002 was on the older style and the weak rail defect was fixed in the seats. I would put the car up against anything close.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I will be the first to admit that Hyundai has come along way. They have shot themselves in the foot a couple of times but they are still headed in the right direction. However, while I would no longer tell anyone not to buy a Hyundai, I don't think I am quite ready to jump over to the Hyundai camp. Who knows what will happen in the next 5-10 years though.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    If it's an '03 with that 5-speed, book is around $9,700, real money is $6,000-6,300. Depends on what size rock you're talking about.

    It's a good idea to leave the resale value portion of a discussion out when comparing apples to oranges, and Hyundais to Hondas...
  • do a search in my zip code and you will see them still booking at +$11k.

    Sounds rediculous, I know...but a guy was pushing a 03 - 5spd off his lot for $12,500 (about same miles) which is $100 more than I paid for mine new...

    I could easily get $10k for mine...though I ain't planning to drop it just yet. Besides, once you start comparing, where else can you get all those goodies, decent mileage, and a sticker south of $20k?

    I am gonna work hard to hold this puppy until at least the release of the 2006 models...too many cool cars coming down the pipeline.

    Considering that someone said it would be worth $4k less after the first year, a 20% drop in 16 months is not that bad a deal.

    MSRP $16k
    Bought at $12.5k
    Market value $11k
    16 months of ownership.

    31% drop off MSRP (Which is large)
    12% off purchase (which is pretty good for the first 16 months.)

    Even at $10k, I only lose 20%.

    No one will get this car away from me for sub-10k. No dents, long warranty, has worked perfect, I have every record, every gas tank fill...no racer mods...just a good car.

    (Which is why I don't like it...it is JUST a good car.) :)
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    on a Hyundai, and anyone can ASK anything they want for a car - I'm also not going to debate book vs real world values with anyone.

    Again, it's best to leave out the REAL WORLD resale values (not the pie in the sky ideas from the books) when comparing that car to others in the segment.

    "Besides, once you start comparing, where else can you get all those goodies, decent mileage, and a sticker south of $20k?"

    Sentra, Civic, Corolla, Focus...many, many more.

    "Bought at $12.5k
    Market value $11k"


    Bought at $12.5k, real world trade value around $6k now. Sure, you could retail it and maybe get $8500-9000, but nothing near the $11k someone is ASKING.

    Sorry to harp on this, and I certainly mean no offense, but to compare the Elantra head on with the Civic, Sentra, and Corolla isn't a correct comparison.
  • obviously, a used car lot's retail price is the not the only (or best) indicator of value, but here are some local (PHX) cars on the net:

    2002 GT Hatch - 47k miles $10,997
    2002 GT Hatch - 24k miles $10,000
    2002 GT Hatch - 39k miles $8,000

    All autos (5-spds are rare) - all 1-year older than my vehicle.

    For the record, no hatches even listed for 2003-2004.

    Comparing apples to oranges is no good, you are right. The Honda that would sell new for $12.5 is the DX Sedan (If you could have wheeled the price down) and had absolutely none of the options: Air, leather, CD player, alloy wheels, power windows, doorlocks, security system, sunroof, cruise control, spoiler, and fog lights....

    But then, the resale (regardless of whether you enjoyed the ownership experience) is good, right?

    2002 Honda Civic DX Sedans
    26k miles $12,700

    Seems like that is the only one I could find...

    I would still rather buy the Elantra GT new or used over a Corolla or Civic.

    Apples and Oranges indeed...appliance versus a more enthusiastic approach to basic transport.

    Sorry if I seem testy on this, but Hondas are the not the end-all-be-alls of transport that some people still cling to. Reliability has fallen back to the pack (with everyone quickly catching up), decontenting has reduced their cars to souless, featureless vehicles until you drop your aftermarket money to upgrade them.

    I owned a HX Coupe, it was a good car, very few problems...but not problem free...certainly no better than my Elantra, was more expensive, and had far less creature comforts inside, including no AC.

    In the end, I didn't even get to enjoy the great resale, as a car accident with a Dodge Durango ruined my car's value - and then the subsequent vandalism all but killed its value.

    How cheap can you buy a Honda EX in the market? Do you think you will ever get that $6k extra back from the market to still get a less equipped car? Value leaders...pishaw.
  • your bias is showing...and sadly, it is outdated.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    hmmm...I do 50 Hyundai lemon law cases per month in the greater Philly area - I've done a total of 12 Honda cases out of 4,800 in 3 years - I think any bias you detect is greatly deserved. In fact, it's the automatic transmission-equipped Hyundai Elantra that's first on the leader board with repetitive transmission failures.

    I don't think it's outdated, considering most of the cases I see are '03 and '02 cars.

    "2002 GT Hatch - 47k miles $10,997
    2002 GT Hatch - 24k miles $10,000
    2002 GT Hatch - 39k miles $8,000"


    Again, those are retail ASKING figures and are pretty meaningless - even the $12,700 on the Honda DX is useless, since it's a retail number.

    I'm not about to turn this into a Hyundai discussion, but considering my CURRENT experience with CURRENT models, both seeing them come through local and regional auctions and passing through in lemon law cases, even given the useful, well-equipped nature of the cars, I see no point in spending my money there.

    Yes, I'd spend more on a Sentra, Corolla, or Civic - and I'd get a better car with better resale, better handling, more solid feel, etc.

    I'm NOT an appliance buyer - in fact, I feel sorry for people who buy cars simply for A-B transportation. I'm an enthusiast, and the "whole car" experience means the world to me.
  • i don't want to fight with you about this. Your end may be to hold values down...but the market seems to see some value in the car.

    There is no way I will EVER trade in a car to a dealer. I am not fond of handing over $4k to anyone.

    When I sold my BMW, I was offered $3k for it in trade, list was $9k, sold it (had already bought the Elantra, so was getting nervous) for $6800 two days after I dropped the price from $8k.

    At $6800, I still netted $3800 more than the trade "offer" and the car could have sold on a dealer lot for $9500 easy. (Was low miles, no real problems besides a scratchy paint job that could have likely been buffed and polished to look great again.)

    I don't think you can be a CCB and afford to trade cars in to dealers. So take the trade in value and toss it aside. I look at dealer prices and I think my car is holding nicely. I would sit my car next to a same year, same mile Honda Civic DX any day and sell it without hesitation. It is a better deal for the buyer...longer warranty, more goodies, and at a discount...done deal.
  • it's the automatic transmission-equipped Hyundai Elantra that's first on the leader board with repetitive transmission failures.

    well, I do have the 5-spd. I drove the auto and it stunk. Since anon is looking at manuals, I could reccommend it.

    As for handling...I think the GT handles as well or better than any Corolla or Civic. Mount the Tibbie anti-sway bar to the back and it gets even better...we don't need to argue it anymore. You deal with lemon laws...so maybe your perspective is valid on this...but I also think that some of that is born out of expectations. My car has 13k miles and has only had one issue re-occur, the tape under the spoiler keeps unpeeling and sliding down under the spoiler when it gets washed in a pressure wash. Had a problem with my radio - replaced. A tweeter blew out - replaced. The battery died - replaced. Faulty clutch-ignition switch regulator - replaced.

    Maybe the fun is just ahead...but I am satisfied that my car is handling AZ just fine. (BTW - my BMW went through 2 new batteries in 2 years in AZ.)
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    In all fairness, you can get a Civic EX sedan w/ side airbags and a 5-speed for $16,200 according to carsdirect.com. A comparably equipped Elantra GT is $13,800 if you use the $1500 rebate. Granted the Elantra will have leather, fog lights, and traction control over the Civic EX but the Civic EX has much better crash test results according to www.iihs.org. The Elantra is rated poor while the Civic receives a good rating and is a best pick.

    As for resale, according to www.kbb.com these are the values for 2001 models with 45,000 miles in good condition.

    2001 Civic EX 5-speed: $9245
    2001 Elantra GT hatch 5-speed: $5960

    So that's a difference of $2400 at purchase time but after 3 years if you were to trade your car in you would have made back that $2400 and saved another $900 were you to have purchased the Civic. Add fuel savings to that and the Elantra looks less and less like a bargain compared to the Civic.

    Personally, there is no dollar amount I can put on the safety of my family. Sure there may be safer cars than my Accord out there but according to NHTSA and IIHS the Accord is one of the safest cars you can buy for the money. If I were buying a small car I would want the same thing. Therefore the Elantra would be ruled out.

    "decontenting has reduced their cars to souless, featureless vehicles until you drop your aftermarket money to upgrade them."

    That's subjective opinion. For my $22,000 my Accord EX-L has dual-zone climate, power seat, leather, sunroof, CD changer, heated seats, XM, alloy wheels, ABS w/ EBD, etc. I feel like I got plenty of car for my money especially if you consider, again, the crash test ratings. Souless? Maybe. But I would rather have a souless car that is going to protect my 3 month old than have a car with soul that failed to protect him.
  • that is the Accord (EX no less)

    That is not fair to compare their mid-level car to the econo entries.

    Just stick to the level-level comparisons. Econo car versus Econo car. I don't know how, but I have reduced to the guy fighting for the honor of his car of choice. That sucks. I try to say something nice and kablam!

    As for the accident results...what year was the Elantra test from? I don't think they have retested since 2002, when the tested car had a failure of the seat track that allowed the seat to move forward (broke free) and a faulty switch on the airbag that caused a late deployment.

    Hyundai said they could not replicate either failure, nor did they have samples of either failure in any of their own tests. Nonetheless, they beefed up the seat tracks in the 2004 models and I wouldn't doubt that they combed over the airbag switch relays with a fine-tooth comb. Anyone have a current crash test for an Elantra?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    the Elantra with an overall poor rating on a 2001 model. A "poor" rating on a 2001 doesn't inspire confidence in a 2003 or 2004 model - although some model year differences and changes, the basic skeleton, subframe and passenger enclosure is the same.

    I don't even get into crash test results because I don't buy small cars. I buy trucks, SUVs and performance cars. I'm on the "after" portion of the car market, daily seeing auction and retail sales results, as well as lemon law cases and the trends they show.

    To be forthcoming, crash test results don't factor into my line of work at all, but they would if I were looking for a sporty commuter car or a new car for my kid.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Most of my comparison was between the Elantra and the Civic.

    However, you made a blanket statement that said all Hondas were featureless, souless vehicles. That statement, in the context with which it was used, included my Accord. I never made a direct comparison between the Accord and the Elantra. To do so would be unfair.

    Time to get back to the fun conversation that this was intended to be.

    For today I am not considering selling my Accord. Any want want to guess how long it will be before I have another epiphany?
  • yes, the 2001 Elantra GLS was tested. Check out why they scored poorly. It was not intrusion, or any body/compartment issues. The seat track buckled and gave way, causing the driver to slide forward into the compartment and getting severe "injuries" to knees and head. That was coupled by an unsatisfactory deployment of the air bags, something Hyundai claims they have been unable to duplicate.

    The link is here: http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0103.htm

    Structure/Safety Cage - good
    Head injury potential - poor (airbag)
    Chest - good (seat belts and seat performed well)
    Left and Right Feet and Legs - Marginal (injuries due to hitting bolsters - seat malfunction)
    Restraint - poor (seat track malfunction)

    Basically, the driver may have some concerns about the airbag systems, but the critical child protection information (intrusion and integrity of crash cage) rated as good. I am not saying that this is perfect, but this was also conducted on the car before it's mid-cycle redesign in 2004.

    YMMV.

    Anon - when I said Hondas, I meant to imply the Civics - I shouldn't have left off that word I guess. The Accords are nice and plenty of content for price...that just isn't the case with the Civics. Forget alloy wheels, forget good stereos, forget most basic luxury amenities. You can't even option most things onto the cars. Toyota is worse...you have to option the crud out of them to get them at the content level most people want/expect...and the price suddenly is no bargain.

    Mazdas are nice, but no better resale, no better performance, and only marginal improvements in reliability.

    Honda Civics are great appliances. They run pretty well. But they don't have that "above the crowd" reliability or feature content anymore. Almost every manufacturer is giving you more for the dollar up front, without the big losses in back.

    I doubt you will truly make up the differences in a Civic EX over an Elantra GT. Maybe you would...but I doubt it, personally.

    In the end, buy what you like. Don't listen to me. I am impressed with the Elantra. It is every bit as nice as the Infiniti G20 I once owned, without the electrical gremlins. It is much tighter than my 7-year old BMW was, minus some of the zoot from the RWD and efficient tranny of the 318. It is loaded with luxury amenities that I could have never expected out of a Honda Civic within $4k of the price ($12.5 sticker) or any other econo model offering that wasn't Korean.

    The downside is that Hyundai still seems a step behind in engine/tranny development from the big boys...the can't seem to find that sweet spot of power and effeciency just yet. But the car itself has been a pleasure.

    BTW - my rear-ender with the Dodge Durango gave me neck and back injuries that I get to live with for the rest of my life (minor, but present) - so good or not good...I don't think the capital H gave me any real advantage that day. Two weeks later my co-worker t-boned a Buick in her Civic on a country lane (he pulled out in front of her) and had serious injuries to her feet, knees, and hip. She was in a wheel chair for 3 months and had to relearn how to walk with permanent screws in her feet holding the jigsaw puzzle of broken bones together.

    Good or no good, the margin isn't as broad as we might hope.

    If you want safety, a new car sub-$15k is no way to seek it out. Better off buying a used Volvo S60.
  • let's get back on tap - I submit my "short" list of cars I am considering for the next purchase: (in no particular order)

    VW Jetta Wagon Diesel
    VW Passat Diesel
    Volvo S40
    Saab 9-2x
    Pontiac Solstice
    Audi A3
    Chrysler 300C - its got a hemi
    used MB SLK
    used BMW Z4
    Subaru Legacy Wagon
    Infiniti G35
    used Lexus IS300
    Acura TSX/TL
    Lincoln Zephyr
    Buick LaCrosse - very doubtful, but worth a look

    That is my short list. Basically, anything and everything is in play under $30k...but I don't see much to grab from GM, Ford, Nissan, or Mazda at the moment. The new 3 and 6 from Mazda are nice cars, but don't move me.

    I may end up buying something used with a higher "flashy" quotient. As the I want a convertible thought has been itching badly this year.
  • redlinezredlinez Posts: 12
    Well, I think I might qualify. Since 1990 I have had the following:
    1990 Honda Civic Si
    1994 Mazda MX3 GS
    1995 Dodge Neon Sport DOHC
    1995 Pontiac Firebird Formula
    1993 Nissan NX2000
    1995 Ford Mustang GTS
    1995 Mazda MX6 LS
    1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
    1996 Ford Mustang Cobra Vortech
    1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
    1989 Dodge Colt GT Turbo
    1993 Ford Mustang LX 5.0
    1999 Nissan Maxima SE
    1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (2nd time)
    2001 Honda CRV EX
    1995 Acura Integra GSR sedan
    2001 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V
    1999 Chrysler 300m (only automatic)
    1991 Honda Civic Si
    1995 Acura Integra GSR coupe
    1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (present)
        I might have forgot one or two. I've also rubbed off on my wife. Don't want to list all those. My current Z I've had for 15 months.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I think all of us could come up with a scenario where we saw XYZ car that didn't fare well in an accident. I owned a 02 Si and t-boned a woman in a 00 Grand Am. They went to the hospital and I went home without a scratch. I was real sore the next day but that was it.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    You've have a couple cars that we lusted after but could never find one we wanted to buy.

    We wanted a 88-91 Si - never found one in the right color.
    We wanted a GS-R sedan - never found one in the right color for what we wanted to pay.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,880
    Driftracer is dead on...these bring nowhere close to book. They may be decent cars but they don't get many hands in the air at the auctions. When we call for bids, it's scary. someday, this may change, I dont't know but for the time being, resale is dismal.
  • redlinezredlinez Posts: 12
    My first car was the 1990 Si, bought new in June 1990. White. Traded in March of 94. I had installed Eibach springs, homemade cold air, Mugen plug wires, and Borbet type C wheels on it. All of my cars were manuals except the 300m. Both the GSR's were squeaky rattle traps with low mileage. Hondas may run forever and have great resale, but might not be right for everyone. I would really like to have a late model GTI>
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    1958 DeSoto was a two door white hard top V8 with push button shift, and a four barrel carb, and twin exhaust through the bumpers.. I think it said "fireflite" somewhere on the vehicle????? The shift buttons were: 1,2,D,N & R. It was a VERY fast car!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    yup, that was the top-line DeSoto series from 1955-1959. Well, not counting the high-performance, limited production Adventurer!

    The '58 Fireflite had a 361-4bbl with 305 hp. My '57 originally had the dual exhaust through the bumpers, but at some point before I bought it, the exhaust was replaced (it needs to be replaced again) and the pipes were just run straight out the back, under the bumper. Running them through the bumper contributed to rust, as it would let moisture accumulate where the pipes bent upward. Still, it must have been really cool, back in the day, to see the exhaust smoke coming out of those bumper ports, like a jet fighter or something!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    also exhaust gasses are bad on the chrome. Another benefit to not running it directly through the bumper.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    there is that little detail, as well! My exhaust tips themselves are still good, but they have these inserts in them that are deteriorated. When I do finally get around to having the exhaust system replaced, I'm going to just run it out under the bumper, as it currently is.
  • I can fight about my car choice somewhere else, and would prefer. Maybe you are right. I really don't care.

    Forgive me for suggesting a low-priced alternative to the Honda that has WAY more goodies. I like my car, so do the many Edmunds owners that post to the GT threads. I guess that is how Hyundai stays in business, making decent cars for people who don't buy into Honda and Toyota's strangle hold on the econocar market.

    I don't mind their cars. But I don't see my dollars going into their coffers. Far too many cars on the market with more appeal to me than the vehicles they are making. Acura and Lexus do make a few intriguing models, and if I could afford one, an S2000 might be interesting for a year or two...but let's drop it.

    As for Isell...we have tangled before. You don't like Hyundais, that's fine. I wouldn't imagine anything Hyundai pre-2001 gathering much attention. But we will just have to wait and see about the market for my car. Hyundai has had straight growth over the last four years, so much so that they are investing millions to build a new plant here to make cars (like Honda has done and so many others) so I think their success has only begun. If they ever catch up to Honda's engine and transmission engineering (some years spent in the WRC should help that) they will no longer have to take a back seat to anyone.

    In the end, I don't care. I bought the car because it offered the most for the least. I needed the warranty in case I did go back to school. I have been happy with the car. Doesn't mean that I wouldn't prefer others. I have no problem recommending them to others. I would buy a used one long before I would consider a used Honda and the premiums they bring in.
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