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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,330
    If it's a crapshoot then betting on Honda must be like taking 1-11 and betting on Chrysler must be like taking 12 and only 12......

    I would buy any 150K Honda that still drives like it should (and is supposed to) in a second! Risk of expensive repair..... nil.... Risk of cheap repairs..... some... but not much...
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I'm not too impressed by the warranty either. It is a gimmick unless you plan to keep the car for along time. Chrysler is banking on what Hyundai did with their warranty in counting on buyers to buy their cars and keep them a few years, and then sell them to void the longterm warranty. Thats what most people do with the auto industry average still about 5-years before trade in.
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Reviewing my friends that have owned Chrysler products, all have had reasonable luck, even though most never adhered to a routine maintenance program, and that includes oil changes.

    I recently sold our 1994 Grand Caravan with the 3.3L V6 and 4-speed automatic that we purchased new in late 1994. After 170K miles, the engine was only using about a quarter of a quart of oil between changes (3K or 3 months), and it had the ORIGINAL 4-speed automatic, and it still shifted fine. I used Mobil 1 synthetic, and change ATF every 24k. During trips it would deliver 26MPG with a full load of family and luggage. Many purported economy cars today don't do too much better.

    I really believe that much of the poor reliability with any car relates to extremely poor preventive/routine maintenance by the owner.

    As to Chrysler's new Lifetime Power Train warranty - I believe it may be a tactic of the new private equity firm owner (Cerebus) to improve sales in the short term (3 to 5 years) to bolster the stock price, and then they will dump Chrysler at a decent profit. After all, that's what private equity firms generally do!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    they won't exist in 10 years anyway, so the warranty won't be worth the paper it's written on.
    as much as I might agree with you on the quality comments, and the forbodding 'purchase' by Cerebus might support this, remember that it was Chrysler that required all those loans on the last 'bail-out' several years back and it was the K car, the minivans, and the SUVs/trucks combined with some lower gas prices that allowed Chrysler to pay everything back with interest - early. It may be a little early to declare C, Ford, or GM dead. It would be generally devastating to this country if this would happen to any of the three, in any case.
    I've always thought that Chrysler had a penchant for one thing - styling - but also that their products were crappola otherwise. A Sebring (or 300) in my driveway, not a chance, warranties notwithstanding - more like I wouldn't want to have to deal with what I would anticipate being the aggravation of ever owning one - who is actually paying for those repairs being secondary!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I'm wondering how much Chrysler is going to charge people for their mandatory drivetrain checkups every 5 years. It would probably add up to the cost of an extended warranty, at least.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I would buy any 150K Honda that still drives like it should (and is supposed to) in a second! Risk of expensive repair..... nil.... Risk of cheap repairs..... some... but not much...

    I guess "expensive" repair is relative. I have a '96 Accord LX (Auto, I4) that currently has 174k. It drives nicely, if a little floaty (I'll need shocks soon). My last repair was $564 for a new radiator - 172,000 miles. Before that, a new brake master-cylinder, which was about $310 - 160,000 miles. Before that, the main cooling fan motor went at somewhere around 140k-150k miles (the actual mileage is escaping me at the moment). That was $350 or so.

    For a car worth $4,000 or less, I've spent $1,100+ not including brakes/tires/gas/oil changes/body repairs since I've had the car. Sure, some cars will cost you that before you hit 100,000 miles, but life isn't perfect on the north side of 150k either.

    To its credit, I have entirely original exhaust system, alternator, fuel pump, and transmission, things that often are shot by this point in a car's life.

    (By the way, I got the car in Aug. 2002, when it had 121,000 miles on it = 5 years and 53,000 miles under my ownership).
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,330
    Those are all cheap repairs in my opinion. An expensive repair is one that costs more than $500. So your new radiator is borderline, and that happened at 172K miles.

    In my domestic it seemed almost every repair ended up leading to at least 2 issues to be repaired; which ended up always costing $400 or more (WITH MANY BEING $1,000 OR MORE) way back in the late nineties. With inflation I'd say the figure should be $500 now.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    thats the whole reason I wouldn't buy a car with over 150k miles one it. You can go ahead and take your chances andres, but there is no part on any car that will last forever. those asian cars that run problem free for over 100k miles can quickly begin to nickle and dime you to death. Sure, the engine will continue to run fine, but with so many miles on original parts, the odds of having to fix something are far to great for me.Now if the car is cheap enough, thats a different story.

    I'll give you an example. My 98 200sx with 147k miles and 9 years old has everything on it original. with the sole exception of the front brakes and the battery. that leaves the rear brakes, altenator, starter, power motors for the windows, and moon roof, distributor, water pump, radiator, clutch, exhaust...........i could continue, but you get the point.........with a lot of age and miles on them. I'm not expecting it to, but with so much original equipment that thing could easily turn into a repair nightmare (or mechanics dream depending on your POV :P ). I think its the one way the reliability of asian cars can come back and bite you in the [non-permissible content removed]. It could very easily turn into fix something every 3 months. nothing on its own major or expensive, but enough of them and it starts to add up.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I guess "expensive" repair is relative. I have a '96 Accord LX (Auto, I4) that currently has 174k. It drives nicely, if a little floaty (I'll need shocks soon). My last repair was $564 for a new radiator - 172,000 miles. Before that, a new brake master-cylinder, which was about $310 - 160,000 miles. Before that, the main cooling fan motor went at somewhere around 140k-150k miles (the actual mileage is escaping me at the moment). That was $350 or so.

    Relative! You can say that again. There are some outrageous charges here. Dealerships charge way too much, IMO. I guess the charge for the radiator is not too bad, but $310 for a MC, and $350 for a fan motor. That's highway robbery.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    "Virtually" identical price may be the key. Price range is considered. In distunguishing from one price range to another, a line is drawn (i.e. 1 to 1,000 vs 1001 to 2000). There's not much difference between 995 and 1004, but if the line is drawn at 1,000 there will be a difference.

    I just checked the ISO rating symbols and saw that a 2006 Audi A3 "sport" or "premium" have the same rating symbol--18.

    The question about trim is probably a standard question that must be answered in a computerized rating/quoting system and has nothing to due with the name a manufacturer slaps on a car for marketing purposes. Do you really think that a Dodge Caravan "Sport" is "sporty?"

    Insurance companies have been working toward providing the most accurate quotes possible so there won't be any unpleasant surprizes at the time of purchase. To improve accuracy they need more detailed information than they needed a few years ago.

    Why does that make you "annoyed, suspicious, and rightfully angry?" Do you get angry about other questions they ask, some of which may lead to discounts?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    You know what you have got into it, and its paid for, so you might as well keep it if its not boaring you.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    According to what I have read, there is no charge for the inspection. I still would be leary of the fine print and what maintenance they expect you to perform and where. Other than the Viper, Chrysler cars don't do anything for me but to each his own.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    agreed. thats why I kept it when I bought my altima instead of tradding it in. But, I'd never buy one like it. at least that high of mileage and that age because of the reasons I mentioned. Not unless I was getting it for a steal.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    And, if you can believe it, this dealership is the cheap one in town!

    Labor is $70/hr

    Sheesh.

    At least they stand behind their work (its been proven over and over with my family).

    It's time for the timing belt soon, and I'll be having it done at a local mechanic my grandfather uses; his quote from the dealer for a change of all belts (timing belt included) and water pump was about $250 less at the mechanic than the dealership.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You know what you have got into it, and its paid for, so you might as well keep it if its not boaring you.

    That's the other side of the issue. It is a known entity. It has been treated well for its whole life, and it is worth more to us keeping it in the "fleet" of family vehicles than the cash from the sale of it would be.

    It is my family's "extra" car. We are so used to having it, that if we got rid of it, we'd have to get another one, and that would cost more than the cost of keeping this one running (which is about $300 a year + oil changes + gas + cheap insurance).

    Also, my vehicle is my 2006 Accord (i drive both regularly though), but since we have the 1996 in the fleet, I'm insured as the primary on the '96, and my mom is "Primary" on the 2006. Saves us money in a roundabout way.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Try $85 an hour in California! I do know of one mechanic which will do some basic work for $45 an hour. But some things have to be done at the dealership or somewhere they are all the equipment for the task at hand. Dollar wise, I think a doctor charges about the same as these dealerships do per hour ;)

    Loren
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Well, I can't report 250K miles (which I think is excessive to expect even in this day of an easy 100K car) on our 2000 Elantra, an early enough model that apparently doesn't qualify as one of the "greatly improved" products Hyundai builds these days (built in the "bad old days" for Hyundai). But, its quality is good enough to have traveled 161.5K miles with only an alternator/battery replacement. Sure...tires, brake parts etc have been replaced. My son drives this car 100 miles per day and since he is in Chicago for a week I have been driving it. It has been some time since I have had the opportunity to do so and I am amazed at how well it runs..drives. Still like new and I didn't have any fear taking it on a 300 mile trip last week-end. So, one man's tale with a 7 year/161K mile old Hyundai.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    for me to plug the new Dealer Ratings & Reviews feature again. ;)

    Several of you are making comments about service experiences that would be helpful to share with the world.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,330
    So why do Insurance Companies use retarded things like "ranges" when they should be using "ratios" to be more exact and accurate.

    A 19,001 dollar car should not cost that much more to insure than a 18,999 dollar one (if they are otherwise virtually identical). To be honest, fair and ethical, shouldn't insurance companies stop using ranges like 12-15,000 miles, and start using mathematical ratios to figure out that the difference between 12,000 and 15,000 miles driven per year is significant, but the difference between 11,950 and 12,050 miles/year is less than 1%?
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    I've never had my insurance rate change because of the number of miles driven. What insurance companies do you deal with, or are you just very young (under 25)?
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    $70 to $100 seems to be the typical hourly service rate at dealerships, unless you own an exotic. My dealer charges $90 an hour - and, I'm in Illinois.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    I remember reading a few months back that the Mazda6 was one of the least costly to insure compared to other cars in this class. Part of the reason, I would think, would have to do with the a relatively low cost to repair to the bumpers and the rest of the car compared to other cars in this class according to the study done by the insurance companies. And perhaps another part may be that better handling cars will have a better chance at avoiding an accident. Of course using this logic, a sports car would have very low insurance rates, which they don't, so maybe this theory shouldn't be emphasized too much, but I'm not sure what else would explain the differences... maybe the mazda6 looks so nice, other cars don't want to hit it? :shades:
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    Price ranges are the starting point for physical damage insurance; the line has to be drawn somewhere, just like a city or state boundary line, or voting district boundary lines. Live on one side of the line and you're in a different category than w neighbor who lives on the other side of the line.

    After the price range starting point other factors are considered such as frequency of claims and damagability. It's not an everyday happen stance, but it's not unusual for a more expensive car, whether a couple bucks more expensive or even a few thousand bucks more, to have a lower rating symbol than a lower prices car.

    Regarding you annual mileage concern: I'm not familiar with that as none of the companies I represent use that criterion. But, again, for those companies that do, a line has to be drawn somewhere. The system is not individualized but is based on large numbers. If it were individualized and you had a somewhat serious accident, you might never be able to afford car insurance again and without insurance you might not be able to register a car or drive.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    And perhaps another part may be that better handling cars will have a better chance at avoiding an accident.

    The handling differences are not that great. So that statement is about as likely as this one.

    maybe the mazda6 looks so nice, other cars don't want to hit it?

    It's all about the cost to repair. It costs less to buy, costs less to repair, and therefore costs less to insure. Makes sense huh?
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    Elroy, you're on the right track, but the car that is less expensive to buy is not necessarily the less espensive to repair after an accident.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    On average, I'd say it's true. If you crash a Buick, and a Benz into a wall at 20mph, the Benz will likely cost more to repair, even if it has a little less damage. "Crumple zones" are meant to protect passengers, but it doesn't bode well for the crumpled car, when the repair costs are added up.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    It's all about the cost to repair. It costs less to buy, costs less to repair, and therefore costs less to insure. Makes sense huh?

    If only things were that simple as that kind of logic...actually, as bhmr59 mentioned, there is not a big correlation between the cost of a car vs the cost to repair a car. In the IIHS study that tested most of the midsize cars, the Sonata in a full frontal fender bender cost 4 times more to repair than the Mazda6! And the Altima cost nearly 3 times more in a rear fender bender in comparison to the Mazda6 (probably because the Altima has those huge faux crystals on the back that they call taillights). And the accord cost 3.5 times more to repair a front frender bender than the Mazda6.

    Of course deductables make these costs not as significant to the owner, but this would help to understand why the Mazda6 was found to be one of the least expensive to insure in the midsize class.

    The handling differences are not that great.

    Tell that to the girl in the passenger seat of a bmw that made a sudden left hand turn into my lane a couple weeks ago... going by the test results by many car mags, if I were driving an Accord or Altima, I would have not been able to stop in time and that girl would have a few reasons to be very unhappy.

    Oh, and the latest poll clearly found that when given a choice, people prefer to not hit good looking cars, especially the Mazda6 :P
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    ...with an A/T that has a above average fuel economy and has descent power.

    I understand the new Altima fits these requirements. Consumer Reports says the 2.5 S Altima goes 0-60 in 8.0 seconds and it does better at the pump than the 4 cyl Camry or Accord. So the 07 Altima 2.5 S has better fuel economy AND has more power!

    Also the Sentra SE-R has a 2.5l engine and, under the governments new ratings, does better at the pump than the Altima! Consumer Reports had nothing on 0-60 time on the SE-R. Seems the Spec V is more popular and gets more press.

    Comments or advice appreciated.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, as an Accord owner that hasn't driven the 2007 Altima (so keep that in mind and take what I say with a grain of salt) let me say that I am more than happy with the economy my Accord gives me. I've gotten above 35 MPG on every single highway-only trip I've taken (and I drive between 70-80 MPH typically). In mixed suburban driving, 28-30 MPG is typical for me.

    It is also plenty quick, although I believe testing shows the Altima to be faster.

    Go drive them and form your own opinions. Accords can be had well below invoice at this point, and in-turn, may give you more bang for your buck.

    The best advice I can give is to drive as many vehicles as you can before making a decision.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    Based on the things you've said so far, you want something both fun and frugal with an automatic. It also sounds like you don't mind a slightly smaller car so long as it has 4 doors (which is why you'd consider the sentra).

    Some questions I would ask before making a recommendation would include...

    1 - would you like to be able to haul somewhat larger items without having to borrow a pickup or SUV? in other words, would a hatchback or wagon be desireable as long as it looked ok?
    2 - how much do you like to drive? do you like twisty roads or do you just want enough power to get past the slowpokes? or is a car just a way to get from a to b?
    3 - how long do you think you'll keep the car? will the length of standard warranty be a factor for you?
    4 - if you could save money on the car purchase, would gas mileage be as important (think of the savings on buying the car as a gas allowance...)?

    or if you don't want to think that much, the Altima would be a good choice as long as you can get used to the funky transmission. the Accord is always a good, although a bit too common, choice. and of course the Mazda6 (yes I'm biased...that's what I have) will be fun to drive in the twisties and will have the option of the hatchback which looks like a sedan but can store/ haul big things. The 4 banger automatic is a bit slow though...but you can get it in some markets for 6k+ off of msrp. The Sonata would be another choice that could be described as "practical" and "value oriented."

    In the end though, grad is right...drive many of the cars, and don't make a decision too quickly. and never let a saleperson know that you really really like their car!!! always say it's nice, but so was the other car (insert name here). and don't drive a car that you can't afford or don't really want (like a 2 door coupe)... you may make a decision you would regret later.

    You'll find many opinions here, so if that's what you want, you've come to the right place!
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