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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord

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Comments

  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I agree with you, pao.

    Buying a car is as an emotional process as it is "calculating" -- in
    some cases the former will prevail, in others -- the latter. Nothing
    stupid about buying a car purely on emotions. I do this all the time
    -- of the five cars I owned, only the first was a used one (wouldn't
    have been able to afford otherwise). I just want a *new* car -- I
    don't calculate here -- I am all right if this is not the best
    financial move (although it may be).

    But the point of me putting forward my thesis:

    I claim that for any number X, the annual cost of ownership for
    person M will be lower than that for person A.


    was to challenge the indefensible claim that just the higher resale
    value of Camcords makes them a better purchase from the economical
    perspective. This cannot be -- there are equally important factors to
    determine the cost of ownership.

    I call that claim indefensible because I never saw it being supported
    by any data -- and still it's being made over and over. Somebody
    thinks it *is* defensible? Go ahead, defend it -- we are all ears!
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    elroy5, I definitely agree with the sentiment expressed in your last
    two sentences.

    But, OTOH, while quoting my message, you didn't challenge it -- my
    thesis was about new cars with comparable features.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    A car buyer's true cost to own any car, depends on it's worth
    EXACTLY - what it is worth when you buy it and what is it worth when you sell it. Cheaper cars, let's say that Malibu, will be worth less when you get done with it, than any Camry in comparable condition. A 2003 Camry will fetch about $14k, the same Malibu $8k. Did the Camry cost $6k more to purchase - maybe, maybe not, but also something that should be considered if you are really looking at 'value'. Just because the Malibu is cheaper to purchase than the Camry does not make it necessarily a cheaper car to own, or a better 'value' - kind of depends on how long you keep either of them.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    There are a lot of factors involved in cost of ownership and in the end when a smart purchase is made and the car isnt a complete piece of crap, it doesnt matter a whole lot what type it is.

    Although a $600 truck that lasts 10 years represents a very low cost it's not exactly comparable here. I take advantage of the 1st year depreciation that hits all new cars, and even more so on most North American vehicles. My current car, the 05 Malibu only had 10,000 miles on it, still smells new, absolutely no exterior or interior flaws, has lots of warranty and the last owner took the large 1st year depreciation hit, not me.

    But if a person insists on being the 1st owner, thats a personal choice and usually a costly one.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    if a person insists on being the 1st owner, thats a personal choice and usually a costly one
    sure, the way to minimize costs on anything is to buy used, although you do take some chances buying it - anybody out there 'beat the bejeepers' out of that airport rental? And the same thing applies costwise if you are buying Malibus or Camcords. The Camcord will still be worth more a few years down the road, in effect, 'justifying' the extra money you had to pay for used Camcord vs. that used Malibu. It doesn't change anything other than you are working with lower numbers to begin with.
    There is certainly a satisfaction and a degree of control that you have buying anything new (especially cars), but you do pay a price for the privilege...
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My last Accord (bought new) cost me $1000/year to own (price paid minus price when sold, divided by years). You may have had a lower cost to own a Malibu, but in my opinion, I was driving a better car, that was worth more per year.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    You have been nicely asked for the #s you claim to have. So, where are,they? Don't make me say it.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    using Intellichoice as a reference the Accord 4 cyl has the lowest cost to own (for 5 years) than any car in this class. I think our friend, malexbu, is making an incorrect leap from cheap to buy - to cheap to own. Personally, I too would rather drive a 4 cyl Honda than a V6 GM product - but that would be a personal preference.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    That's a totally fair approach -- can't argue with that.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I actually don't make this leap: I don't know -- I would be interested
    in knowing, based on the information that flows in.

    The numbers provided by some folks here, elroy5 and shadow5599
    especially, did expand my horizon. From all I know, I couldn't
    conclude which car is less expensive to own -- and I emphasize that I
    am not talking about any Malibu vs. any Accord: I am talking about
    perfectly comparable ones. Obviously, there are Accords that don't
    have a Malibu equivalent -- coupes, e.g., or as elroy5 illustrated, V6
    340HP-engined ones. If one wants just such a car, no argument of a
    "cheaper Malibu" can be made -- there aren't any.

    But surely (or am I wrong here?), some parallels can be found.

    Take a base Malibu sedan. Is there a similar Camcord model? What does
    it cost -- to purchase and to own? (Again, talking about new cars, as
    I expect many more variations with the used ones.)

    If the base Malibu sedan is below the lowest Accord, say so. Then
    take the lowest Accord and ask if there is a comparable Malibu -- how
    would they compare cost-wise?

    See, I don't know the answers here --- I never pretended I did. I
    gave my own Malibu numbers way back when and hoped I'd meet a match.
    If somebody demonstrates that I made a wrong choice, I'll say thank
    you and perhaps consider another car next time. But so far I haven't
    seen this. If anything, I only got a stronger feeling that my choice
    was, let's put it this way, not unreasonable.

    The thesis I made

    I claim that for any number X, the annual cost of ownership for
    person M will be lower than that for person A.


    is a strawman -- it is no worse that the thesis it was made in
    response to. If it's obviously wrong, it'll be beaten.
    Personally, I believe that it is correct but it's something I am not
    qualified to try to prove. I can only share the information I have re: my own car,
    which I did.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    not beating anything or anybody, Intellichoice cost of ownership numbers are easily available thru the MSN auto section or thru Intellichoice themselves and it does consider things like original price (at MSRP, I think), residual value (this obviously to the Honda's advantage big time), fuel, insurance, maintainence, and financing costs (this to Honda's disadvantage). The 4 cylinder base Accord COO is LESS than the Malibu base 4 cylinder (by about $3k over 5 years) -the Camry incidentally right in the same neighborhood), the 6 cylinder models go either way depending on which trim you select and because the purchase premium on the Honda V6s is higher relative to the 4 banger.
    What the Intellichoice numbers do not reflect, TMK, is the fact, that on a Honda, sticker price means something, on a Malibu, sticker means much less, something that logically should decrease the Malibu's COO. But the bottom line is, nonetheless, that cars like the Camcords are not generally any more expensive to own over a defineable period of time than less expensive cars like the Malibu - and that even assumes that the required repairs to any of the 3 are equal.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    Ok, data time. (I am not going to comment in this post to ceep it clean)

    So, let's see.

    Using an autotrading site (link title) I came up with this. Based on the medium selling price, I came with the following difference in Accord's price less Malibu's price (Can dollars):

    Year Price of Accord less Price of Malibu (Can dollars)
    2006 10002$
    2005 8939$
    2004 9859$
    2002 6005$
    2001 4325$
    2000 4905$

    A pretty picture of the above:
    image
    See the data I took for as input below.

    Soppose you buy both cars and sell in 7 years. Here's what I am getting for a price paid (based on the detailed data below):

    Accord 17984 $ Cdn ~= 15370 USD
    Malibu: 11595 $ Cdn ~= 9910 USD


    I realize that this is not quite a precise research. I have not looked at what exactly cars are in all the selection groups (i.e. rare more expensive models, salvage, mileage, etc). Hovewer, I did look at 6 model years. So, you decide what it means and what it doesn't mean.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    More detailed data (copy and paste from the website car query page, prices high-med-low):

    There are 67 2006 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $20,000.00
    $16,495.00
    $11,750.00

    There are 34 2006 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $33,888.00
    $26,497.50
    $412.00
    ------------------------------------------------------
    There are 26 2005 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $42,500.00
    $13,995.00
    $8,995.00

    There are 38 2005 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $27,888.00
    $22,894.00
    $15,950.00
    --------------------------------------------------------
    There are 32 2004 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $14,999.00
    $11,382.50
    $8,495.00

    There are 54 2004 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $25,888.00
    $21,241.50
    $13,900.00
    --------------------------------------------------------
    There are 99 2003 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $12,995.00
    $9,900.00
    $4,999.00

    There are 176 2003 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $24,995.00
    $16,900.00
    $269.00
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    There are 25 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $9,995.00
    $7,495.00
    $3,900.00


    There are 75 2002 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $17,998.00
    $13,500.00
    $6,995.00
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    There are 18 2001 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $10,995.00
    $6,625.00
    $1,300.00

    There are 47 2001 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $14,995.00
    $10,950.00
    $7,900.00
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    There are 56 2000 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $14,900.00
    $9,900.00
    $600.00

    There are 16 2000 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $7,995.00
    $4,995.00
    $1,998.00
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    There are 17 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $7,800.00
    $4,900.00
    $2,995.00

    There are 35 1999 HONDA ACCORDS in our listings.
    $12,995.00
    $8,495.00
    $6,444.00
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    a roundabout way of saying exactly what I was talking about in #146 - that most, if not all, you pay extra for the Honda, can be recovered a few years later, and that the difference shrinks as the cars get older? The Accord, incidentally, a somewhat unfair comparison in this regard, it has the class leading resale values.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    Now, what I, personally, see in all this.
    Quite simple - loss of money in the long term ownership scenarios. An accord has to be much more reliable to justify a difference of five and a half grand in repairs over the period of 7 years.

    But, Accord is nicer, more power, etc. Looks like you're paying for this. Over long time Accord has no financial advantage.

    When I have more time, I might play with data more and see where exactly during it's life the accord stops being an investment (if it ever is).
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    did you read it right ? we just lost 5.5 grand over 7 years because we bought Accord and not a Malibu. At the end of the term the extra money we put in Accord was reduced .. what, about 2 times ?

    the graph in that post of mine a diffefence in average price for a partucular year. Accord start off costing a lot more and over the years it's price make closer and closer to the Malibu. I fail to see anything but a bad investment in Accord according to that data.

    mmm...i am tired....am I missing something ? :)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I guess I need to give up - if I paid 25 grand for a new Accord, and let's say 20 for a similar Mailbu but after 4 years the Accord is still worth 14 but the Malibu is only worth 8 (these numbers come form Kelleys Blue Book), I have really paid $11k for the Accord (25 less the 14 residual value) and paid 12 for the Malibu (20 less 8). This is not higher math, and the reason why, for example, that leases on things on Camcords can be cheaper than on Malibus, because this is exactly what provides the basis for lease payment calculations to begin with!
    Incidentally, if if really want to find a car with COO numbers that make the Camcords/Malibus absolutely sick, do some research on the Toyota Prius.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Malexbu.........The Emperor has no clothes.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I would say your math is flawed..if you are just looking at what you paid new.....what you sold if for..and the difference divided by the years owned....to truely calculate costs...you need to consider cost of gasoline, scheduled maintenance costs, insurance costs and the like to begin to determine the true cost of ownership....again..numbers...that I doubt none of us ever consider

    when is the last time anyone broke open the manual..read the scheduled maintenance requirments...then ask the dealership to cost them out for ya
  • I know it's fun to play with the numbers, but I drove around in a 2002 Cavalier (which never gave me any trouble at all and the only repair was front and rear brake job + rotors and new drums) for 5 years. It was very cheap to own, cost under 11K new but sometimes you just have to splurge a little and get what you really want and to heck with spending a little $$$. I just got an off-lease 2004 Impala 11K miles (paid $13,500) and love this car. It gets 26-28 mpg mixed driving (3.4 engine) and is way more comfy than the Cavalier. I would recommend either the Malibu or the Impala if you can spend a few extra bucks. Reliability seems good for the Impala as I have a friend with a 2003 (3.4) and he hasn't had any problems at all with 85K miles on the Impala. Sorry to get a little off-topic. ;)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I would say your math is flawed..if you are just looking at what you paid new.....what you sold if for..and the difference divided by the years owned....to truely calculate costs...you need to consider cost of gasoline, scheduled maintenance costs, insurance costs and the like to begin to determine the true cost of ownership....again..numbers...that I doubt none of us ever consider

    Maintenance, repair, gasoline, and insurance cost will be different for each individual. When you consider I did all my own maintenance, and repairs (which were very few over 12 years and 140k miles), the same car could have cost someone else (who had all services done at the dealership) much more. I think the Accord would only improve it's position, if these factors were averaged into the cost equation. And do we really want to dig that deep? Who keeps track of every dime they spend on maintenance? Most people don't even keep track of what was done, much less the cost.
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