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Help Me Choose!



  • rik4rik4 Posts: 90
    i would add the new malibu you can get deals and lots of options are std on them. i would also add a mini. but be careful if you test drive one you will buy it. seems 4 drs are in order so a mini clubman . great resale value in a small bmw brand. lots of fun to drive. and exceptional mpg. also big discounts on altima.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    If you can wait a bit, the 2010 Mazda3 will be out soon and is a re-design with a lot of improvements.

    If fuel economy is real important to you, the Civic will top the Mazda3 there. But IMO the Mazda3 is more fun to drive, and as a hatchback much more versatile than the Civic. The test drive should help a lot. Be sure to drive the cars over the roads you would normally commute on. I've found both cars have quite a bit of road noise, probably moreso on the Mazda3 with the low-profile tires. I recently drove a 3 for a few days on LA freeways and would describe the ride as "punishing".. not pleasant to put up with every day. If you want a quieter ride, you could go for something like the Malibu, or maybe the Accord or Fusion. Camry and Sonata would have softer rides also, but given what you have and are looking at I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be happy with their handling.

    I am curious why you aren't considering the Rabbit or Jetta this time? Also have you considered getting a portable nav unit? Since the car will be used mostly for commuting, it doesn't seem you would need the nav much. That would reduce the price quite a bit and give you a better choice of cars.
  • Hi -

    Thanks for the responses. I hadn't considered the Malibu - perhaps out of some fear of buying a Chevy right now given the state of American auto makers.

    Yes, I think I probably will look at a portable nav system so that it can be used in both cars. I'm an electronics gadget guy so I think I'm probably compensating for the step down from the Audi with as many gadgets as I can :-)

    Perhaps I should look more closely at the Rabbit. Frankly, I've been a bit disappointed in the reliability of our Jetta which is probably why I've shied away from them.
  • I did consider the Mini - in fact, it was the first car I considered. My main concerns are that they can get pretty expensive once you start tacking on the options and there's little to no negotiating leverage given how popular they are.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Trust me, you're not the first person who has been let down by VW/Audi reliability. I hope you have better luck with your Audi than the VW.

    Personally, I like both the 3 and the Civic (I'm a 2-Accord owner here, but am not overwhelmed with Honda quality as of late - never been stranded, but had a few niggling issues with my 2006 Accord; misaligned gas-flap from the factory, inside rear-view mirror glass wasn't attached, and actually fell out of the housing, needed a new center console lid because the fabric came unattached around 33,000 miles, and a new CD changer was necessary at 37,000 miles; all covered by warranty).

    Have you test-driven anything yet?
  • Hello, I'm new to car buying (I've never done it) and can use some advice. I am 27 and about to buy my first car. I just got my license and am trying to figure out what I can afford and what to get. I've heard that a car payment should not exceed 20% of your monthly salary, so I was thinking a car that costs between $9,000 and $11,000 would be best for me. Hoping for a monthly payment of $200 - $250, these are my choices that are in the same tier.

    1. post-2006 Honda Civic Coupe
    2. 2006 Mazda 3
    3. 2005-06 Nissan Altima

    Any advice would be great
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    It looks like you could go with either a compact or mid-sized sedan, so here's some other choices in your price range of $10-11k:

    * 2006-7 Mazda6i
    * 2005 or 2005.5 VW Jetta (get one VW Certified, with warranty if at all possible)
    * 2006 Fusion or Milan
    * 2007-8 Sonata
    * 2007-8 Optima (but be careful, most do NOT have ABS/ESC)

    I've seen all of these in your price range, and they are all pretty reliable and safe.

    If you go with a Civic, try for a 2006+ (I know, hard to find under $11k). They are much improved in crash safety over the pre-2006 Civics, and all trims have ABS standard. A used Mazda3i is a good choice, but be sure it has the optional ABS and side airbag package.
  • Thanks for the info. I was really leaning towards the Honda when I came across the Mazda3. For some reason, I don't like American cars. Whether it be the style, reputation, or the negative feedback I have gotten from friends, I just don't see myself driving one. Here is a little extra info about my position...

    I am 27 with a medium-high risk credit score. The most I can honestly afford would be $250 a month. I am worried about insurance, but gas should not be a problem. (I live less than 1 mile from work.) Is it even feasible to get financed for a car that much at a dealer or should I look towards another lender. I have already been turned down by Citibank via and I fear that asking for money I might not get will do more harm than good. My girlfriend told me that dealers will only finance a car that is 5 years old or newer. Is there any truth to that?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    No, dealers will finance anything they sell as long as your credit is good enough. Credit is tighter these days. The turn-down by Citibank isn't a good sign. But keep trying.

    If it were me and between a pre-2006 Civic or a 2006 Mazda3, I'd take the Mazda3 in a second. A whole lot more car.

    Another thought, if you continue to have trouble securing a loan, is wait until you can save enough cash for a decent car. It might not be a $10k car, maybe a $3k car, but it will get you to/from work and on dates with your girlfriend (or maybe she can drive ;) ). If you have a little cash saved now, you could save enough for such a car in less than a year. As an example of what you could get for that kind of money, my oldest son drives my 2000 626 ES now as his get-to-college car. It has a private-party value of about $3000, has 102k miles on it, but it runs strong, everything works, body and interior are still good.

    Another route many young people take is to borrow money from parents or relatives. You can give them a higher interest rate than they could get on savings, and you get a car. If you do that, draw up a formal loan agreement though--treat it just as seriously as a bank loan.
  • Here are the quotes I got:
    Honda Civic EX: $18,398
    Mazda 6 i touring: $19,450+$1250(sunroof)=20,650 ( I like sunroof)
    What would you choose based on the performance of the cars and their prices?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,102
    What would you choose based on the performance of the cars and their prices?



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

  • If you had the option to get this car for about $13K-13.5K with under 20K miles, would you do it?
  • mpe3mpe3 Posts: 2
    I' m seeking some advice. I currently own a 2001 Accord lx-v6. Great car, but time for a newer one. Looking at a Black 2008 Accord EX-L 4cyl with 14k mi. Dealer is asking $22,979 and will sell it for $22,500. Not sure what to counter. I'm thinking $20k. Dealer is 100 mi away and I need to see it in person.
    Any thoughts?
  • I found a Altima on craigslist and ran the carfax report. The report says :

    " Are you buying this car? Then make sure you are buying it from a licensed dealership. Otherwise, you could be a victim of curbstoning, which is illegal. A curbstoner poses as a private seller to sell vehicles for a large profit. Be sure to buy this vehicle from a licensed dealer."

    The rest of car history looks clean..

    I called up the owner and she said that she works for a dealer and the car is with her. She is going to show the car at a local target but said that final paperwork will be done at the dealer. I searched for the dealer on google but coul not find any information.

    Does it seem like a scam or I am reading too much into it...
  • leif2leif2 Posts: 1
    I just bought a new 2008 elantra with Anti lock brakes and Kumho tires. Living in Minneapolis, there is alot of snow and ice on the roads. The elantra reqires much more stopping distance on snow and tires slip more on packed snow than my previous car, a 96 mazda protege. I could not make it up a sloping hill with packed snow. that never happened in 7 years with the mazda.

    I love the new Elantra but the loss of traction is a real concern. Would different tires make a difference. The elantra is heavier than the protege, so do not understand why the traction would be less favorable.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Since you live in a place like Minneapolis (I also live in the Twin Cities), maybe you should have bought the Elantra SE with traction control (also electronic stability control).

    Tires could make a big difference. You might get a good set of winter tires. Also your Hyundai is considerably more powerful than the Protege, with more torque, so you may need to use a lighter foot than you are used to in such conditions.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    backy, to your valid points, one must also consider the "type" of snow. (It may not have been an issue in your area.)

    The most slippery roads we get in CT is when there is rapid accumulation and the temp is freezing +/- about 2 degrees. That's because the snow will start to melt but will then freeze as more snow falls. We had one of those storms about 2 weeks ago. No more than a half inch of snow & cars were sliding all over. There's a bad hill near my house. During that storm there 2 cars facing sideways at the first curve. I turned around and took an alternative route.

    When the temp has been in the 20's for a sustained period and the roads are colder, I can get up that hill (but it is still an adventure).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I figured he meant the slippery, packed snow that we often get when the road has been plowed but not down to the pavement. It's more like ice than snow. We've had that a lot on secondary streets this winter. Traction control would help on roads like that, but unless it's a very steep hill a combo of winter tires plus a very light throttle might do, especially if the Protege was able to handle similar conditions. I don't think Proteges of that vintage had traction control.
  • If you do goggle search you will find examples of Curbstoning. Simply put, if you can't do the deal at the dealers place of business "stay away". Most states have laws against it. z=1T4GGLJ_en&q=curbstoning+meaning
  • Buying a vehicle a 100 miles away from home can be a hassle if you need service.
    I recently purchased a used 2009 Murano. Upon delivery I noticed the center dash electronic display would shut off when the lights were turned on. The dealer gave me a rental and it was repaired in a week. Luckily he was only a few miles away and I picked it up after work.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Only if there's not ANY dealer of the same make closer. You can get warranty/service/maintenance at any dealer of the same make and expect the same service. Buy your new Murano in Orlando and get the screen replaced in Seattle. It doesn't matter.
  • yukayuka Posts: 9
    Traction among tires varies considerably depending on rubber compound and tread design. You can go to tire rack or discount tire and check out tires for your car with tread wear performance, wet and dry braking, traction, etc. Here is a link to what they say about the Kumho original equipment tire. us+KH16&partnum=055HR6KH16V2&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&place=62

    It is an all season tire = compromise and balance. They are made to perform average in all conditions. You might need a snow tire in your climate. And SOME all season tires do have more aggressive tread patterns for more winter driving. Check it out. :)
  • travfam1travfam1 Posts: 5
    Hi. I was wondering if the headlights from the 09 Accord Coupe will fit the sedan. I'm considering the 09 Accord as my next vehicle, but I don't care for the way the headlights bulge on the side. If anyone knows of this or has successfully done it, I'd appreciate the info. Thanks.
  • I am trying to decide between a 2009 Honda Accord or a 2009 Toyota Camry.
    I like the Honda and my husband likes the Camry. He is not real crazy about the racket pinion steering on the Honda, I love it.
    Trying to get an out the door price on a Honda Accord. Can anyone give me what they have paid recently. How about a Toyota Camry. Looking at the basic model, no extras?
    Has anyone compared the two?
    Any thoughts on this?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Here's a few thoughts on it... often people like the Accord because of its crisp handling, especially when compared to the Camry. And people tend to like the Camry because of its smooth, quiet ride. If this is true in your case, here's some ways to mitigate the difference:

    * Try the Camry SE, which has sharper handling than the other trims.
    * Try the Fusion or Milan, which have a nice blend of ride and handling that many people like. Also the Fusion/Milan are rated above Accord and Camry in predicted reliability by Consumer Reports, and they cost quite a bit less in real-world pricing than the Camcord. If you can wait a few weeks, the 2010 Fulan will be out with many updates including more powerful engines and higher fuel economy.
    * A couple other cars you might check are the 2009 Optima, which also has a nice blend of ride and handling and has excellent predicted reliability, and the Malibu, which has a good ride/handling balance and is rated close to Accord and above Camry in predicted reliability (assumes you don't mind taking a chance on GM at this point).

    If you will both regularly drive the car, it's important you both like how it drives, for the sake of continued domestic bliss. :)
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    The chevy malibu should also be on the list. Lots of choices -- all safe reliable vehicles. Test drive them all then deal online -- great prices all around. You will have to work much harder to get the best price in the showroom than online. Take the time to testdrive all the contenders and be happier with your choice.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Uhm... I did mention the Malibu. :confuse:
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    Sorry -- concentration level a bit on the low side today.
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    If you enjoy driving buy the Accord. If you want quiet comfort buy the Camry. Hard to go wring with either one.
  • nydnyd Posts: 1

    I am new to this. I want to buy an accord for my mom. She probably isnt into high performance or gadgets, but can anyone recommend which one to buy to get nice seats for her? If you dont get leather what are the seats like? Do all come with lumbar supports? Some people dont like the lumbar supports.

    Many thanks, we want to buy car tonigh.
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