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Help Me Choose!



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    P.S. try putting a battery pack in your laptop... then you can carry it around, and use it during a thunderstorm.

    Haha, well, if you want to fit the bill for the $173 battery that Sony wants for this Vaio's new battery (it lasts about 30 minutes now that its worn out) I'll be happy to let you. Otherwise, I'll just use this bad boy when its plugged in! :P
  • whitallwhitall Posts: 189
    Helping my son make decisions. He will spend $12,000 to 15,000 on a used car. He really likes the Altima and can get a 2006 with mid-high 30,000 miles for about 12k. He can get a 2008 with mid 20,000 mileage for 15k+. These are all pretty entry level cars without upgrades.

    I vote for the 2008 because it had warranty left on it and comes with lots of airbags and ABS. Some of the 2006's have ABS, but not side airbags. He is 19 and could care less about safety.

    He will (without a doubt) be putting bigger rims on it, I've herad him mention 20's, 18's minimum. He WILL be putting in a sub, amp and head unit (wants some DVD thing). So there is no point in getting one with upgraded sound and steering wheel controls.

    This stuff will void out parts of his warranty, right? Making the warranty on the '08 less of an issue.

    Altima redesigned in 2007? Is that year one to stay away from? I had told him re-design years are usually bad. I have an 06 Murano that is great (really low miles though) and read horror stories on the early model years, that is why I am afraid of the 2007. SHould we be afraid of the '07? 2007 would give him a little warranty...I like the idea of him getting the "newer" design for value, but the '06 has a nice price! (most of the cars with good prices are fleet or rentals)

    OR, he hasn't looked at the Accord. HOw does that compare safety wise, price wise?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Accord will run a little more than a comparable-miles Altima. Safety-wise, the Accord got side airbags and standard ABS long before the Altima. The V6s even got standard ESC with the previous generation (in all Accords starting with 2008). But I guess that's a moot point, since you said your son could care less (sic) about safety. If you are able to change his mind on that, you could probably find a nice previous-gen Accord I4 with ABS and SABs under $15k. A V6 might run a little more.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If it were me, I'd go with a 2006-2007 Accord. The bugs were all worked out by then, and 6 Airbags (Head Curtain, Front, and Front Side) with ABS are standard equipment on all models.

    It received 5-star frontal crash test ratings from the NHTSA (an admirable 4-stars on the side crash test), and a "Good" rating on frontal and side crash tests from the IIHS.


    The fact that this Accord is from the previous generation means it should be somewhat cheaper than if it were a current-generation model.

    According to Kelley Blue Book, you should be able to get a 2006 Accord LX (4-cylinder, 5-speed Automatic) for $10k-$13k, assuming 60,000 miles.

    A 2007 Accord LX (4-cylinder, 5-speed Automatic) with 30,000 miles should be in the $13k-$15k range.

    The 2007 is identical to the 2006.
    LX models come with the power amenities expected in this price class (PW, PDL, A/C, Auto Up/Down driver's window, keyless entry with remote roll-down windows, 6-speaker CD, Cruise Ctrl, lighted vainity mirrors and glovebox, etc). You aren't paying for the alloy wheels that come on the uplevel EX trim level cars though, something to consider since he'll be getting larger wheels.

    Hope this helps!
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The '07-'08 Altima and the '06-'07 Accord both have 5-star Frontal crash ratings and 4-5 stars in all other categories. The '06 Altima also has a 5-star Frontal rating, but side impact is only 3-stars.

    According to Consumer Reports, the '07 Altima is more reliable than the '06, despite being the first year for the redesigned model. The '06/'07 Accord have the highest CR Rating for Reliability (Much Better than Average) and the Altima is 'Better Than Average'.

    I definitely suggest taking a serious look at the Accord. For '06, they added the 'LX
    Special Edition' model which adds EX's alloy wheels, 6-CD changer and a few misc trim changes. Those SE models and the EX 4-cylinder are the best of the bunch. An LX V6 could also be had for under $15k, if you can find one.

    I just bought an '07 LX V6 with 22k miles for only $16k. It's a Honda Certified Used Car, so that includes powertrain coverage to 7yrs/100k miles!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    A few other things I forgot to mention in my previous posting...

    A lot of late-model Altima 2.5S models are former rental/fleet cars. You don't want to end up with one that's been abused, so it's best to steer clear of them. Honda doesn't sell to rental fleets, but it's still a good idea to pull a Carfax on any car before you buy it!

    Besides the Altima and Accord, have you (or your son) considered the Ford Fusion? A 2007 (or 2008) model with V6 is well under your $15k budget. They also have a 5-star frontal impact rating and have been very reliable. The V6 isn't quite as powerful as the Altima or Accord's V6, but that could be a very good thing for a 19-yr old.

    The audio modifications (especially a new head unit) may be an issue. The Altima and Accord have non-standard 'head units' that are integrated into the center control stack. See below-

    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    You can buy a brand new Honda Fit or Scion in that price range. New car warranty, latest safety and lots of add-on accessories to customize the car. By the time you add wheels and tires to an altima you can trick out a new Fit [my choice] but don't know your son's taste. And yours as well. By the way, is dad footing the bill?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    There are fitments made for new stereo equipment, at least in the Accord you pictured.

  • whitallwhitall Posts: 189
    I did some looking last night and I'm sure the Altima can be made to fit an aftermarket head unit. The Accord I think can be made to accept it, but not as easily, and doesn't look as good. I think he will lean to the Altima.

    Therefore, do you think the '07 will be reliable? I guess I should ask on a Nissan specific board. Always leery of new model year.

    I'd prefer the Honda for the safety rating, but at least I am pushing him toward the '07 and '08 Altima which have more safety features than the '06.

    Hubby and I just saw the Ford Fusion yesterday in a parking lot and liked it too. Problem is that he has a Taurus that he is dying to get rid of and I don't know if Ford has the image he wants. He wants to get rid of the Taurus because it has integrated climate control and he cannot change the head unit. It CANNOT be done. I'll have to look at the Fusion some more and point it out to him. What year did that come out? Long term reliability is a big question on new designs, isn't it?

    I know there are smaller cars out there, like the Fit, but I grew up in a bigger is safer household and still hold that belief. I wish he could afford a Maxima! (so does he)

    We paid half on his very used Taurus and will throw him about $2k toward this one. He is footing the bill for the rest. He goes to college and works A LOT. He will be paying for all his upgrades too, and any increase in insurance.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Problem is that he has a Taurus that he is dying to get rid of and I don't know if Ford has the image he wants. He wants to get rid of the Taurus because it has integrated climate control and he cannot change the head unit. It CANNOT be done. I'll have to look at the Fusion some more and point it out to him. What year did that come out? Long term reliability is a big question on new designs, isn't it?

    The Fusion made its debut in 2006, and according to Consumer Reports, has better reliability than the Accord, Camry, or Altima. Class-leading in quality and reliability, and not bad to drive either. Plus, it looks distinctive and sharp, unlike the big-butt Altima, and relaitve yawns of the Accord and Camry (I'm 21 years old and like the Fusion exterior better than that of my 2006 Accord). The Accord's interior from 2006-2007, however, is as good as any in my opinion.

    Trust me, the Fusion "ain't no Taurus." :)
  • Has anyone gone from a TL to a TSX? I have owned 3 Tls ('00, '04 & currently '07). I am thinking of leasing the 2009 TSX with the tech package. I don't like the look of the new TL but the 2009 TSX reminds me of my current TL. On the test drive, it seems to be fine, maybe even a bit more peppy than the TL and lower speeds. I am thinking of pulling the trigger but I don't want to regret it a few months down the road. I'm thinking of looking at the Accord EX-L V6 but somehow, the idea of going from an Acura to a Honda seems like a step back plus from these forums, it doesn't seem like there will be much of a price difference. Also thinking of the Altima although the wife doesn't like the idea of a Nissan. Also, back in 2007, I looked at the Altima and it priced the same as the TL (granted the Altima was a new model then, so no leasing discounts). Any advice?
  • Thanks for the responce. My budget allows me to lease in the $300 to $500 range. I do prefer the Acura brand over Nissan, Honda, Mazda plus the longer warranty covers me for the entire 36months 45K. The car is used as a daily commuter for my wife and I into downtown Boston each day. I do require the navigation system & XM radio, which is offered in the cars mentioned above. I'm just thinking the TSX is a bit too small, especially in the back seat yet the Accord seems too large plus the Accord back end is just plain ugly. Not sure what other makes/models that will work. I do really like the look of the TSX though....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I have always told myself that one reason I spend so much time researching cars is because you never know when you'll need to buy a car fast... like if your car is totaled in an accident. OK, I do it because it's fun, but what if I had to buy a car without notice?

    I have that predicament now. My 2005 Jetta was hit by a guy running a red light this week and was declared a total loss by his insurance company. So I need to buy a car tomorrow because I won't have time for car shopping for the next few weeks after tomorrow due to a heavy work schedule. Since I just went through this process at the end of last year, when I bought the Jetta, I have a pretty good idea which cars I would want to buy. I am relating my thought process here in case it is useful for others facing this decision--and if you are reading this discussion, you probably are facing this decision.

    Main requirements: Reliable (preferably with manufacturer warranty for at least 2 years); safe (must have 6 airbags, decent crash test scores, and ABS minimum); economical (e.g. I4 engine, no bigger than mid-sized); clean CarFax (not a guarantee, but better than nothing); automatic tranny (more for other drivers in family than for me); power windows/locks/mirrors, remote entry, cruise; good blend of ride and handling (not too firm of a ride, as the roads are bad in my area); styling/color I can live with (e.g. no black cars); and price ceiling of $13k before T&L (could go a bit over that if needed). Would prefer something closer to $10-11k.

    Plusses: Higher the fuel economy, the better; electronic stability control; moonroof; power seat; "certified" car.

    The Short List (Car / Price before negotiation / Miles / Notes), in general order of preference:

    2007 Fusion SE / $9k / 37k / Does it have ABS? Why is it so cheap??
    2008 Milan Premier / $13k / 20k / Loaded car!
    2008 Mazda6i Sport / $12.4k-12.9k / 14-20k / Several samples available
    2007 Civic LX Coupe / $12.8k / 41k / How much to certify?
    2005 Prius / $13.8k / 51k / Looks/drives like new, Pkg 4, good price for a Prius
    2005 Jetta GLS 2.0 / $11.8k / 25k / Not VW certified (but is certifiable), moonroof
    2006 Jetta 2.5 / $12k / 49k / VW certified
    2005 Jetta GL 2.0 / $11.3k / 32k / VW certified
    2005 Jetta GL 2.0 / $11k / 42k / VW certified
    2008 Sonata GLS / $10.8k / 39k / Hyundai certified, ESC, moonroof

    A few others I saw online that were a bit out of my price range but intriguing were a 2007 Accord LX with 15k miles for $14k, a 2006 Accord SE with 25k miles for $13.5k, a 2007 Civic EX coupe with 30k miles for $14k, and a 2008 Civic LX 4-door with only 9k miles for $14k. I might make a play on some of these, see if the price will come down any.

    My attack plan is to check out the Fusion, Milan and Mazda6s first, since they are all at the same dealer. If the Fusion checks out and has ABS, that could be it. If not, I'll move down the list, trying to negotiate as low as possible on the price (since I have many options and there's more where these came from).

    In case anyone wonders why the Sonata is so far down the list, given it meets my requirements well and is priced reasonably: I looked at it the other day and it needs a little work (broken driver's mirror, door trim damaged, small hole in rear seat back, smoky interior). Also, it was advertised as pearl white, which I like, but it is actually plain white (which I can live with but am not excited about). It drove fine and the body is pristine, and it has a clean CarFax, so I'd consider it but there's other cars I like better.

    Got to get to bed so I can hit the dealers first thing in the morning!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Epilogue: I bought a car. However, it was none of the cars on the list I posted earlier. It was a car I found out about this morning, doing another search on the Web before I left for my hunt. So the lesson learned there is, never give up looking until you've handed over the money. But my research paid off I think because I was able to tell the sales rep truthfully that if he did not meet my offer, I would head off to look at all the other cars I had zeroed in on in the $11-12k range.

    Oh yes... I bought a 2007 Rabbit 6AT, blue, 34k miles, 4 years/40k of VW warranty left (including 2 years of VW Certified warranty). Paid $11,050 + T&L. Got 4.09% for 60 months from Think Mutual Bank (highly recommended for folks in the Twin Cities or Rochester, MN areas--their 48 month rate is 3.99% now). Since this is an upgrade from the car that was totaled (2005 Jetta GL) and I lowered my payment about $80/month, I almost don't mind the knot in my forehead now. :)
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The Fusion was introduced in 2006. Although it is a Ford, it is based on the previous generation ('03-'08) Mazda6 platform. My best friend has an '08 Ford Fusion SEL V6 and it it feels more like my Mazda3 than a traditional Ford.

    Consumer Reports rates the 2006 Fusion as Better Than Average and '07-'08 models Much Better Than Average (Excellent) reliability. The Mazda6 gets similar ratings, especially '06-'08 models.

    The Fusion and Mazda6 are sportier-looking than the Altima or Accord, IMO. The cars share powertrains- 2.3L 4-cylinder with 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic or 3.0L V6 with 6-speed automatic.

    The '07 and '08 Altima are rated as Average (4-cyl) to Better Than Average (V6) reliability, so the '07 seems like a safe bet even though it was the first year of the current model. For a 19-yr old, the 4-cylinder is the safest bet...both for safety and insurance cost. The Altima with 175hp 2.5L is among the quickest 4-cylinder sedans. The 270hp 3.5L V6 is more power than I'd want my kid to have! :)

    Another consideration with the '07 and newer Altima is the transmission. Instead of a conventional automatic transmission, they have a CVT. To date, the CVTs have had no reliability issues, but there's no long-term, high mileage reliability info yet. If he hasn't driven a CVT-equipped Altima, a thorough test drive is a very good idea. Some folks (myself included) don't care for the CVT's driving characteristics.
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    It's unfortunate that the new TL is so hideous. The last two generations ('99-'03 & '04-'08) were among my favorite cars!

    I agree that the TSX is much better looking. I'd suggest a long test drive in a TSX before making any decisions. If you have a relationship with a particular Acura dealer, they often will let you take one overnight. If the 4-cylinder has enough power for your driving style, go for it!

    FYI- the 2010 TSX will be available with a 280hp 3.5L V6, if you aren't in a rush to buy!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    What about the Infiniti G37 Sedan? They currently have a $379/mo 39-month lease deal on them....
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • I thought about the G37 Sedan but I live in Boston so I'd need the 4 wheel drive option which may price it out of my range. I think I might ask my Acura dealer for an overnight test drive as recommended in one of the posting. I've had 4 Acuras but all purchased from different dealers. The V6 TSX might be interesting but maybe too powerful. I post my update if I can snag an overnight test drive.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,968
    V6 TSX??
    Did I miss something?

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

  • See post 1832. I have also read that Acura is coming out with a V6 TSX. Dealer confirmed it when I was trying to get my ovenight test drive. Has anyone been successful in getting an overnight test drive? 2 dealers said no. Maybe I'll try in person this weekend....
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,968
    oh, i did miss that. Thanks.

    Wonder why they would do that. I mean, the TL now gets SH-AWD, pretty much making the RL useless, and then they give the TSX a V6. What's the point? The sizes really don't differ all that much. Although, I suppose neither do the 3-series and 5-series.

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

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The TSX will be getting a 3.5L V6 with 280hp. I presume it's the same engine found in the standard TL. The TL SH-AWD has a 3.7L 305hp, which is the same unit found in the RL. Hopefully, the base model TSX will still have the 201hp 2.4L 4-cylinder.

    The TSX V6 and the base TL seem redundant....and the TL SH-AWD and RL are also redundant. I'd just dump the hideous TL and drop the RL price a bit! The TSX and RL are gorgeous in comparison to the TL, IMO.

    I was expecting the 240hp 2.3L Turbo I-4 from the RDX to show up in the TSX instead of the V6. Perhaps it will replace the non-turbo I-4 eventually???

    The technology and powertrains are near-perfect, just what you'd expect from Honda. But stylistically, Acura has really lost its way....
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    Have you thought about the 2009 Mazda6? It's not a "premium" brand but in the higher trim levels, it looks and drives like one! The mid-level Touring and high-end Grand Touring trim are available on the 4-cylinder (i) and V6 (s) models. You can get cool features like Xenon headlamps, LED tail lights, Blind Spot Monitoring System, rain-sensing wipes, Bluetooth connectivity and Bose Audio system. The Touring models interior is part-leather/part-premium cloth, which is a nice option for those of us who aren't huge fans of leather.

    Just a thought. ;)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    Sounds like you got a great deal, have to keep us posted on your impressions of the Rabbit.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,968
    I was expecting the 240hp 2.3L Turbo I-4 from the RDX to show up in the TSX instead of the V6.

    So was I.
    Would have brought the tuners back to Acura, that's for sure.

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

  • New TSX comes with V6 :shades:
  • gerri1gerri1 Posts: 11
    Hi all, there doesn't seem to be a Help Me Choose SUV forum but another CarSpace host sent me this way. We need a car for our 22 year old son who's environmentally conscious, good safety record, and starting a new job. We want quality, reliability, safety and something that doesn't scream old surburbia. He needs an SUV v a sedan since he wants to cart around his dog. We are happy to do used v new. We've been looking at hybrids frist but boy, there just doesn't seem to be a lot options. Scared about the Ford Escape's brake issues, or is that overblown? Don't want the boxy, quirky of the Kia Soul, etc. Shoudl we just be looking at a good, used fuel efficient non-hybrid SUV and if so, what would you recommend? Wouldn't want one any older than a 2007. Thanks tons!
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Congratulations on your new-to-you VW! I liked your piece on your thought processes in deciding on a car, and I just thought I'd add that another consideration sometimes in deciding what car to get is how many dealers in your area can do the warranty work. Example, there is only about one Volkswagen dealer every 100 miles in Oklahoma, so no matter how much I may like VWs, the lack of VW dealers is a deterrent for me even though there are quite a few late model/off-lease cars on the used market. It's a similar situation here with Hyundai and Kia. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Honda and Toyota dealers, on the other hand, are almost dime a dozen. Therefore, sometimes it pays to not always go with your first choice for the sake of the convenience of having someone nearby who can service it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Yes, availability of dealer service is definitely an important criterion, especially if the car is still under factory warranty (as mine is). Fortunately, I have one VW dealer five minutes from me and another, the one I bought from, 15 minutes away, plus at least one other within 30 minutes. So that was not an issue for my purchase decision.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Have you looked at the Sportage? Excellent utility for its size, good reliability record, good active and passive safety (not tops in class in crash tests but not too bad either), and attractive pricing. Dealers in my area are offering 2009 Sportages (new) starting at $14k for the I4. Fuel economy is not as good as a hybrid of course, but it will cost a lot less than a new hybrid SUV and it has the benefit of a long factory warranty. I almost bought a Sportage I4 FWD last year, decided to go with a used minivan instead. Its twin is the Tuscon, but I like the Sportage better and the Tucson is being replaced soon by an all-new (and very impressive, based on early pics and info) SUV design.
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