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Help Me Choose!



  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    I'm checking these out now thanks! Looks very good. I dont care about badge, my current car is a Kia Optima SX :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    You just described two cars. The G37 and the Cadillac CTS.

    You can easily get one that's a year or two old (CPO) for that much. Probably closer to 30K if you shop around. Let the other guy eat the initial 10K in depreciation. Both companies have excellent CPO programs as well, so just shop for on that has 20K or less and wasn't a rental.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    If it's a dealer then they should have some sort of an accident history check done like Carfax, and they should have done an inspection of some sorts. Did you ask them for the information?

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    OK well I was sticking to the luxury brands based on your list as that seemed like where you were going. The Accord is a good idea and I'd also tell you to take a look at the new V6 Nissan Altima.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    edited February 2013
    Saw a CTS today in a parking lot and thought of this post. I will check them out.

    Anyone have any thoughts on Mercedes? I've always wanted one. My parents had a white one with green interior when I was really small. Maybe a CPO E class? Or are they way more money than I'm thinking. I dont know if the C is big enough.

    Just to add, I fell like Mercedes is very over priced. Not that they aren't good cars, just shocked by what they charge for anything beyond base models.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited February 2013
    My parents were wanting a new car and the final three were the C class, the CTS, and the G37 in that order. But they got the CTS due to my dad's getting a better rebate and cashing in his credit card points.

    The C class is perhaps the best car in this segment if you want a perfect little luxury car. You want the C300 with only the panoramic sunroof and the spoiler. Sand Beige Metallic is the best combo with the black of the sunroof. White is a close second. No other options. This keeps the cost down. - - - - gId=335126964
    Here is a typical CPO example. Note how the entire top is dark glass, essentially. Why pay $40K?

    Note - the E is basically a stretched C class and offers no real improvements over the C class/it's not really a step up. The C class is quite agile and you really don't need the sport package on it unless you like mountain roads and a non-luxury ride (the tires are just too stiff, IMO)

    The CTS was a close second, almost too close to pick between the two. Different looks, but much of the same feel. GM essentially stole away engineers from BMW and Mercedes over a decade or so to work on its new line which turned into the CTS. German built engine, tested at the Nurburgring, and assembled in North America.(so electronics and interior bits are reliable). Honestly it drives almost exactly like a BMW 5 series, but the CPO models are outrageously low priced. Get the luxury model as the sport is far to harsh of a ride. (yes, there's unfortunately a pattern here as of late)

    The G37 is basically a Japanese 5 series, IMO. It's put together perfectly, IMO. It feels great, drives great, and looks great. But while it is a great car, it doesn't have the bling factor or *quite* the refinement of the Cadillac or Mercedes. That's usually a major factor with the wife, IMO. :P

    Note - IMO, if you want a bit of status as well as luxury, while there are a lot of people leasing BMWs and other makes, almost nobody leases a Cadillac. Poor people don't drive them as a rule. The same image applies to Mercedes as well. Even when I was driving around in my 1967 230S years ago, I got looks from people as it still commanded respect and a bit of jealously as it wasn't anything like a typical sedan. :shades:

    Of course, you could get this and be done with it/not need a car for another decade or two: 3359552

    A little bit over budget, but... yeah, it's the real deal. If you're even remotely looking at the E, just get a CPO S. Nobody that I know of has ever regretted buying a S class. Well, I suppose there are some, but... very few. Black, white, and green are the only colors. It's like a Ferrari. Red or black. Anything else is just wrong.
  • Hi,

    I am absolutely new to buying a car and need some help here. Apologies in advance if I ask any questions I should have googled - I have been doing a lot of research but like I mentioned I'm a car newbie so please bear with me.

    I am looking to spend about 20k and after various test drives of new cars, I realized none of them match up to the luxury feel of a pre-owned ES350.

    The ES-350s I have shortlisted are as follows:

    1.[B] 2009 ES350 (CPO) with 45k miles and navigation - $20k [/B]- Link - [url] 0a0a004901a53d8fad3f4fcb.htm[/url]

    2. [B]2008 ES350 (CPO) with 55k miles, navigation and ultra-luxury package - $22k [/B]- Link - [url] 4dr_Sedan-Rockville-MD/1931645133[/url]

    My questions -

    1. Between the 2008 ultra-luxury for $22k and 2009 for $20k, which one do you think would be a better deal. Is the ultra-luxury package worth the extra 2k and 1 year?

    2. Typically how much can one haggle for a pre-owned in a Lexus showroom? (I understand it's probably case to case but are there any known tips and tricks I should be aware of)

    I am planning to move to a new city over the weekend and therefore need to make this decision as early as possible today itself. I would really appreciate any tips as this is a very new experience for me and I'm extremely nervous of spending so much money and having buyer's remorse later.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    1. I would have to want something that's in the "ultra-luxury pkg" pretty seriously to pay $2k for a year older car with an extra 10k miles. So that's your call...if there's something in that pkg you want bad enough.

    2. As you alluded, it's pretty tough to say how much you can bargain. It comes down to what they happen to have in the car and how good you are at bargaining. Telling them you're desperate to buy a car ASAP is not going to help...I would start with "what's your best price if we close this deal today". Honestly neither seem like a bad price as-is.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    For starters, lets discuss colors…

    The 2009 with less features is Gray with Black interior.

    The 2008 Ultra Luxury Pkg is Sapphire Black Pearl with Cashmere interior (very light).

    Would you be happy with either of those two color combos?

    The good news about the Lexus CPO warranty is that covers the vehicle for 3-years from the time you purchase the car OR until the car has 100k total vehicle miles. The 2009 has 45k miles and the 2008 has 52k miles, a difference of 7k miles is negligible.

    The Ultra-Luxury Package on the 2008 is actually rather impressive. It was a $5280 option when the car was new and it adds all of the following features-

    Power Glass Moonroof
    Perforated Leather Seats, Heated and Ventilated in front
    Rear seat electric blind
    Slightly lower profile tires for cleaner, upscale look
    Rain-sensing automatic wipers
    Memory settings for Side Mirrors, Steering Column adjustments and Driver’s Seat
    Bluetooth Audio
    Lexus Premium Audio System and Navigation System
    Voice activation functionality for NAV and Bluetooth devices

    Wood & Genuine Leather Steering Wheel and Gear Shift Knob
    Rear Seat Side Airbags
    HID (high intensity discharge) headlights
    Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) beams turn at same angle as front wheels, literally lighting around curves or corners

    Out of these extra features, the ones that appeal to me the most are-

    Perforated, Top-Quality Leather Seats with Heated and Ventilated (cooled) Front Seats
    Upgraded Lexus Premium Audio System
    HID headlamps with AFS
    Real wood and genuine leather steering wheel and wood shifter knob

    Those are all features that I have experiences in various Lexus models and they definitely make the interior feel much more luxurious.

    Unfortunately, the 2009 doesn’t have a lot of detailed info listing options other than Navigation. It doesn’t even have photos of the actual car, just stock Lexus photos.

    I checked the pricing of both cars with KBB and Edmunds and both cars are fairly priced, especially the 2008 which has a CPO Retail value of up to $26,125 according to KBB! The 2009 is worth around $22,500 unless it has more high-value options that I didn’t’ include in the calculation.

    If you like the exterior and interior colors of the 2008 model, I strongly suggest going for that one! It is only $2000 more and you will probably keep this car for 5+ years! Pamper yourself and go for it! It’s a wise investment also because the Ultra Luxury Package will increase the value and make it much more desirable when the time comes that you do sell it or trade it in on a new one! =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    I'd go with the newer lower priced, lower mileage model unless, like others said, you love some or most of the features of the ultra luxury package.

    Also if I read correctly the newer one has a dark interior vs the older one has a light interior. Depending on the region you live in, light interiors can get dirty quite fast if you live in a region with lots of rain, slush, mud, and will age your vehicle quite fast.


    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • Plekto - thanks for your detailed message. Helpful dialogue going w/Dash 5's
    "problem" - especially since I have some of the same issues as his & your parents
    (of which, at 70, I'm either same generation or older).

    I'd really like a wagon - as a widow I need some hauling capability, but few out there. Want lux & "badge" on inside more than outside. Looked at CTS wagon - but the lux, gets expensive very fast (as a 70 year-old, still too much image of "senior" wealthy man.)

    My car history: VW bug, Karman Ghia, '70's Audi Fox, 76 BMW 530i, '88 Acura Legend, '97 Infiniti I30 t (only car didn't like - felt too much like going to weekly
    ladies' club meetings) , 2003 Murano SE. Suggestions for next GREATLY needed. Hot/cool 'bout CPO 2010/11 Infiniti FX 35 - it's the outside that bothers me, not the inside. ANY help much appreciated.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Funny that you should mention that. My mom is looking for a new car as well. It turns out while she likes the CTS, she also wants a smaller wagon or SUV for hauling stuff. My dad I think has also been secretly coveting the CTS as his LeSabre is approaching 15 years old now. (grin)

    It is unfortunate that the best larger wagon out there is the CTS. Which GM has decided to do the typical markup on that you'd typically see with a convertible. That is, just because they can and not because the car is really any different other than one part of the car being different/changed.

    Cadillacs drop value like a stone, though, so a CPO wagon can be had a couple of years old for $30K or less. But that's true for most luxury cars. You are best to buy them CPO and keep them until the wheels start to rust off. That said, the CTS wagon does drive well and not like a SUV.

    Yes, the Inifniti simply looks like a boot on wheels. It's oddly squashed and curved and looks just a bit off to my eyes as well. Nice car inside, though. Drives great. Just that Japanese styling as of late is looking more and more like a cartoon. They even try to make the cars have "faces" on them. :P

    The only other luxury wagons out there that are any good, are the Audi A3 and A4 allroad since 2012, the Volvo C30, and the E class wagon (pricey).

    My vote based upon your previous cars is the A3 since it's like a luxury version of a Fit or Mini but it actually is a proper car instead of a fashion statement for young people. It can also be had with a TDI engine which gets it hybrid mpg and a bit of bling not because of the price but because it does something other cars don't. The price, new, is also quite reasonable. The A4/Allroad is the same thing but bigger. It also has the excellent (real) AWD system as well.

    The only down-side is that Audi is stopping importing all wagons for next year according to my local dealer. So supplies are getting tight unless you want to pay to have one made and wait 2 months.

    As for SUVs and Crossovers, the best is still the original, the Lexus RH. The Cadillac SRX is basically a CTS on steriods. Id's rate this as 2nd choice if it weren't the fact that the CTS wagon is a better vehicle in almost every way, especially gas mileage and handling. A CPO RH is about the only crossover that I'd recommend. Not because it is better than the others so much as it doesn't fail in critical areas or drive like a truck like most of the others.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Thanks very much for this plekto. That white C brought back the memories of my parents old Benz in a much sleeker and more modern package. That car is beautiful in white. I have a guy who knows a guy... kinda thing with a Mercedes dealership. Supposedly he always buys his cars there, nice guy etc. Will have to check that out.

    That said, I got my car back from the shop yesterday and I did miss it. It's got two strikes, next problem I'm getting rid of it and look at the C300 and CTS.

    That Honda V6 others mentioned is great on paper, and I dont care too much about badge (again I'm driving a Kia Optima SX atm) but it just looks like a boring car. I would end up checking it out though in person to see if my opinion changes.
  • Plekto & Dash5 - With your MB memories it brings to mind my father's 1954 (last year made?) I think 220 convertible (not gull wing but handles at other end of door
    to open into space rather than door panel); very small back seat & trunk but has
    luggage fit to it. I & brothers still have, paying thru nose for repair to sell! Would
    LOVE to buy brothers out but can't afford!! (And, of course has NO hauling!!)

    Pletko - do you have my number!! 'Tho I haven't ridden in/driven it, I think (except for $) my ideal car would be an Audi Avant 6 (no longer sold here). Daughter thinks an A4 would be great for me, I think it's too small - plus not sure I'm up for repair costs. Car & Driver are Audi maniacs;however, the Allroad hasn't received their supreme approval. Lexus has always been "squishy" driving to me-comfort over tight suspension. Car I almost bought ('cause of no real wagon alternative) 'till I discovered last year was it's last was the Mazda CX-7
    because of it's more "sporty" handling.

    Soooo many thanks for your help - both of my daughters are ready to disown me due to my lack of decision-making on this problem!!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The A6 Avant was replaced essentially by the Allroad. It;s kind of in-between the A4 and A6, and is lifted an inch or so due to the Quattro system.

    It's a great car. And a shame that it looks like 2013 is the last year it will be imported.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter would like to speak to a recent car buyer who purchased an American brand car, like Ford or GM, after owning a Japanese brand car. If you would like to share your story, please send your daytime contact info to no later than Tuesday, 3/5/13 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.
  • nicolaipnicolaip Posts: 4
    Hello Motor Enthusiasts! I have a dilemma and I need your help!

    So I'm selling my 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder because I've come to realize it is not a very practical car for a 21 yr old Law Student. I need help deciding what kind of car to get. I've been researching and researching (more than I have been for school) but I cant seem to narrow down my choice, so I must turn to your wise hands for help!

    What I'm Looking For:
    - Uniqueness
    - Gas Efficiency
    - A Sedan
    - Below 90k miles
    - 03 at the oldest

    I know realistically that all of these qualities can't be found in a single car, but I want the most that I can, with Reliability being the most important!

    What I've looked at:
    -Audi A4
    - VW GLI
    - Acura TL
    - Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V
    - Saab 9-3

    Any information on what is better (or even a new car I haven't mentioned) would be incredibly helpful. I'm going insane trying to pick the right car!

    I should also mention that my price limit is 10k, but below that is fine too!

    Also I live in Chicago, so snow is a factor.

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    Hi Nicolai,

    If reliability is your number one priority, then you might as well remove the Audi A4, the VW, and the Saab 9-3 off your list.

    The Audi and VW will have frequent issues and cost more than average to repair and the Saab 9-3 will be expensive, as Saab has been discontinued, parts are scarce and expensive, and it might be harder selling it later on.

    Teh Acura TL is a very good choice and the Nissan Snetra SER too. Personally I'd go for an Acura TL and would also suggest a Subaru Legacy sedan GT. They redesigned them in 2004 so 2004 and up you can find for under $10k.

    In my opinion they are nice cars, reliable, somewhat sporty, look good, and have AWD, and are within your price range.


    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • nicolaipnicolaip Posts: 4
    Thank you for your input! Are Saabs really that expensive to repair, I really love the look and feel of the 05 or 06 models. Also, would any Volvo models be a good idea in your opinion?

    Thanks again!

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,118
    Have you looked at a Mazda 3 or 6? Nice drive, reliable, and affordable. The newer ones are good on gas too.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    My mom had a Saab 9-3, I think it was an 04 model. When Saab shut its doors, only one place remained in our city to get anything fixed and to get any parts. Parts took a while to arrive because they wouldn't order one part, but rather in bulk, after they had enough orders for a specific part, so it took months for parts to arrive.

    Then when it was time to sell it, everyone was scared to buy it because of parts availability and small network of repair shops to fix the cars.

    Volvos are decent but I do't trust them personally. Every Volvo I ever came across in my 10 years of auto sales, whether it was a 10 year old Volvo, or a 3 year old Volvo, had some sort of an electronic issue.

    Looks if you want reliability and luxury, then go for a Lexus, but otherwise if you choose anything European, prepare to spend a good coin on upkeep and maintenance.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • nicolaipnicolaip Posts: 4
    I've been hearing that about Saab from everyone unfortunately :/ (damn I really liked their logo!)

    Any suggestions of an affordable domestic car that can meet some of my "wish list"?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,303
    Well, let's see... I think one of the toughest of your requirements is uniqueness. You certainly aren't unique in a TL. I would suggest a 3-series, but, again, not unique by any means.

    In any case, for your price cap, you'd have to go to a pre-'04 TL, which I believe only came with an auto trans that has reliability issues.

    I'd also suggest avoiding the spec V. It has a fatal flaw where the precat can spit debris back into the engine and destroy it.

    And, as previously pointed out, you can write off Audi and Saab if you want trouble-free motoring.

    So we have the aforementioned 3-series if you can overlook the commonality of it. An '04 325i is actually cheaper than a TL. A base model with under 90k could be had for about $7k retail, while a more loaded model would push $9-10k. Snow isn't an issue with snow tires.

    NOW, a VW... you could feasibly get an '07 GLI very close to your cap. That would be the far more reliable 2.0T. There are a couple of issues to be on the lookout for, so you'll want to get it checked out. The biggest being the fuel pump cam follower. If it was ever let to wear through, it can score the cam. It can easily be inspected prior to purchase and then its just a matter of checking it periodically and changing it once in a blue moon.

    Another suggestion? WRX. Or even a Legacy 2.5GT, although neither of those will return very good gas mileage.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,303
    Oh, thought of a few more.

    A G35 or a 3.5 Altima. Only the manual trans because, while gas mileage still won't be great, it is far better than the automatic in the real world. Will be tough to find, though.

    I'd also suggest trying out a 2.3 mazda3 5-spd. While not exactly speedy, it is a very fun car. Or, if you can manage to find one, a low-mileage mazdaspeed protege. That will be a bit older, of course.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I agree with where gbrozen is going with this...the TL and Sentra from that gen is not the most reliable....nor are any of the others on the list. The 3 can have issues...but a good indi mechanic should drain the account too much...but I would still recommend something a little more main stream. The altima is a good choice but you might also look at the Acura TSX. Fairly fun to drive too.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    You might want to look at 2006 and up Chrysler 300 or Dodge Chargers. They're decent cars but won't have great fuel economy but you should be able to find them at under $10k now.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • nicolaipnicolaip Posts: 4
    But aren't Chargers RWD? I love the look of those cars, but idk how it would do in the snow here in Chicago :/
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,303
    RWD is not an issue with snow tires, like I said. When my wife was pregnant with our 2nd kid, I drove a RWD '91 Benz with no electronic nannies but with snow tires through, not 1, but 2 different snowstorms to the hospital and back. The only issue I had was squeezing past all the other cars that were stuck on on and off ramps on the highway. My FWD volvo with snow tires doesn't even do as well since the front tires have to do the steering and acceleration.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,118
    Stick with front wheel drive. Make life easier on yourself. Snow tires are another expense you don't need if you get Front wheel drive which are the majority of cars nowadays for a good reason.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,303
    which are the majority of cars nowadays for a good reason

    yes, because they are cheaper to build.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

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