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Help Me Choose!



  • I am looking to purchase a certified used Acura at the end of the year. Which model should I get for a family of three.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    I think we need more info in order to help you.

    Family of three... how old is the child? In what part of the country do you live? How many miles are you going to drive per year?

    Most importantly... what kind of driving experience do you enjoy? There are several models that members could recommend, but if you like sporty, they're going to say TSX. Sedan, solid, practical - the TL! If you need or like an SUV experience, MDX is a suggestion.


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  • Deciding between these two:

    Current offers:
    2012 SE: $22500+TTL
    2011 EX-L (I4): $25500 - $500 (loyal customer bonus) + TTL

    I am in the Cleveland area and plan to use this vehicle for 5+ years. The 2012s are rolling into the lots and I don't find many 2011s left. For 2011 models, I can take advantage of the $500 loyal customer bonus but I guess the dealer knows that and may use that to raise the price a bit too. Anyway, appreciate any suggestions.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,749
    jayinfo.. I'm going to guess that you are shopping for a Honda Accord?


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Sorry, guys. Yes, I am shopping for an Accord. Thx for pointing that out, kyfdx.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    First decide if you really need the extra features of the EX-L and if they are worth $2500 to you.

    If so, get the EX-L.

    If not, get the SE.

    And enjoy!

    P.S. I assume you have already shopped around and this is the best price you can get on the 2011 SE and 2012 EX-L. Given this is a holiday weekend, you might find a dealer willing to beat the price on the EX-L at least (will be in greater supply than the 2011 SE). If you haven't checked other dealers yet, I recommend you do that. Call or email the Internet sales managers at other area dealerships, tell them you are going to buy a car TODAY and ask them what can they do for you. Also I think there's 0.9% 5-year financing on all 2012 Hondas this weekend (at least in my area there is).
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    did you get a price on a 2012 EX-L? If it is less than $2500 more than the '11, it is the better buy (because the '11 will be worth at least $2500 less 3-4 years from now).

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

  • Good advice about shopping for the EX-L, but I'd disagree about the premise being whether he "needs" the features that it offers. These are luxury items (leather seating, sunroof, etc.), so it's only a question of wanting them and being willing to pay for them, not what is "needed." A need is basic transportation to get to a job or buy groceries. If that was the sole criteria, both of these choices are far beyond the "need" category. Rather, he'd be considering a used LX with a lot of miles but good mechanical condition.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited September 2011
    I hear you, but I'm not going to tell someone what they think a "need" vs. a "want" is. Otherwise we can all take the bus or train or bike or walk for basic transportation. And certainly not be buying an Accord of any kind. ;)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    we can all take the bus or train or bike or walk for basic transportation

    Not where I live. :P

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

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Well, for you there's a nice 1986 Excel. :P
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,749
    Seems a little luxurious... How bout a Yugo? :P


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    edited September 2011
    Can't I at least have something that won't break every day and has some parts available? :sick:

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

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Sounds like a "want" to me! ;)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, what you want then is what police departments use.

    But in all seriousness, MPG aside, a Grand Marquis is cheap to run, cheap to repair, and nearly impossible to kill short of massively abusive driving. And it actually is pretty fast merging into freeway traffic.

    That you can get them for nearly nothing used is a good thing as well. Just make sure you get one that isn't a police or taxi. The easy way is to find one that has the optional two-tone paintjob.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    Agree on the GM. But were any GMs used as police or taxi? I believe those were all Crown Vics. And then the Towncars used as Limos/taxis. I think the GM is pretty safe.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    Oh no. Cause I NEED to get to work. :P

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

  • mjl0690mjl0690 Posts: 2
    edited September 2011
    Thanks gbrozen. After saving up for a few months and considering your advice, I ended up going for the new 2011 F-150

    I greatly appreciate your advice!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    edited September 2011
    congrats. Enjoy it.

    Certainly a departure from the Foci you were looking at. ;)

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

  • Thx, guys. I ended up purchasing a 2012 EX-L as the price gap between 2011 and 2012 isn't that much since most dealers do not have much 2011s left in their lots.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yeah, very few Grand Marquis were bought by fleets. Another sure-fire used bet is a Mercury marauder, which is a decked-out and more aggressive suspension version of the same car. In back, it looks very nice, actually.

    If you need to get from A to B at any cost, you're either looking at a big GM or Ford car, or a late 80s Toyota truck. Maybe a late 80s Volvo 240 as well.
  • What sedan would you buy brand new that is in the mid $20k range. Here are some I've tried:

    1) HYUNDAI ELANTRA / SONATA: Love all the tech in the 2012. Wasn't impressed with bluelink in sonata. I do like being able to send to gps from google maps to my garmin gps, but looks like the sonata doesn't support this feature. The Elantra seems to be similar yet costs $6-8k less. The acceleration and the noisy rpm grind for both leaves much to be desired. I can't seem to find a comfortable sitting position in both cars. In my current Audi I like being able to see the hood of the car to get a sense of how far I am from the car ahead. With both these I need to crank up the seat height quite a bit till the top of head is mashing up against the roof of the car and I'm not that tall either. If I lower the seat i get a slightly more comfortable position. The rear view is limited as well. On the other hand, the braking of this vehicle (along with all the tech abs/ebfd/esc/etc) are great and should safer on turns when it rains and even with some snow on the ground. The other car I had driven way back was a pontiac g6 that was fun to drive back then (probably cause it had v6, I guess). Currently leaning on the elantra but I want it in white exterior, beige interior and navigation + rear view dimming, and this is a hard combination to get in the new england area (or so I'm told by the dealers here). One offered to get one for me but there goes my negotiating power plus he wants a $500 deposit which he claims he will refund even if I don't buy the car. But this means I'm paying full MSRP, forget trying to get amex zag pricing. OTOH, if I get one in stock then i could possibly save about $800, but it won't be the color i want. Also I dislike the lack of automatic climate control on the elantra. At the same time I can't justify the additional $6k for sonata to get the climate control. There is a $500 incentive through motozuma/Hyundai but I have to wait 30 days to buy (which i can).

    2) FORD FUSION : Love all the tech, or so I think. I haven't been able to test drive one with a navigation unit as they all seem to be reliant on a chip manufacturer in Japan that is still reeling from the tsunami. Seems odd, but this is what the dealers tell me. The non navi unit I drove was a SEL without v6. It also seemed somewhat noisy to me. I did prefer the front window view and rear view on the ford from the driver seat. Not quite as cramped as the Hyundai. I like the fact that v6 is an option but haven't test drove one yet. Availability appears to be very limited. I dislike the fact that if you add navigation you're leaning closer to $28k, or $30k if you add v6. I do like that owner satisfaction is high in Consumer reports. For such a tech car it is a shame they don't offer key less entry.

    3) NISSAN ALTIMA: Similar to Ford fusion, once you add the navigation/ tech, you're close to $30k but with incentives it brings it down to $28k. The financing is great on this car. 2012 for 60 mos at 0.9% plus an additional $500 for recent college grad is great. However, similar to ford fusion I can't get navigation currently because everyone seems to be out of it. I have yet to test drive the altima. I'm not particularly fond of the external appearance but do not weigh that as much. Keyless entry is a plus

    So what car would you get from the above?

    Items on my would like to have list:
    (a) quiet / comfortable ride
    (b) navigation
    (c) stability control / anti lock break / ebfd / other safety tech
    (d) send to gps from google maps would be a plus
    (e) moon roof
    (f) tech - key less entry would be nice
    (g) would prefer HID lights
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    If I had to pick one of these, probably the Sonata SE, although I like the Fusion too. But if I were you, before plunking down $25k on a car, I'd drive others in this class, including the Optima (has advantages over the Sonata IMO), Mazda6, Accord, Passat, and (available very soon) 2012 Camry. With quiet/comfy ride a key criterion, you might really like the Passat and Camry in particular. Might be hard to get a new Camry or Passat with nav for under $25k, but could you live with aftermarket nav?

    The Elantra is in a completely different class. If it meets your needs, great, you'll save a few thousand, but the same could be said for cars like the Cruze and Focus.
  • twitchhdtwitchhd Posts: 10
    edited September 2011
    I did goto the Toyota dealership and looked at the camry briefly, just not very interesting. The 0% financing on it is great though. The lack of technology isn't very enticing either. I have aftermarket nav on my current Audi and use it only during unplanned times. It does crash and leave me in the middle of nowhere with no where to turn. A terrible feeling. The radio reception is terrible, even with hd radio. I used to have a mazda 6, and never grew fond of it. Dad has the accord. audi and VW, trying to stay away from. Haven't looked at the optima. Will take a look. Thanks.

    EDIT: From consumer reports on the kia optima : Lows - Ride, road noise.

    I suspect it is hard to step down from an audi to a more affordable car yet still retain some of the benefits of an audi. The elantra/sonata comes very close, except for the weak engine. The SE trim on sonata is notorious for road noise.
  • I'd like a list of 3 or 4 cars to choose from, with these as the guidelines. I'm not opposed to any other suggestions, but I've already decided on a few things, so don't be offended if I say no.

    Can NOT include:

    1. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW - Where I live these just don't have the service/parts I need in case of a problem. I've had many friends forced to drive 500 miles to get what they need.
    2. Rear wheel drive - No chance at all to buy one of these
    3. Anything more than $20k or 50k miles


    1. Front wheel, 4 wheel, or all wheel drive (MUST)
    2. Fast - Faster than a stock V6 on similar cars
    3. Dependable - "well I've personally had one for 10 years and never had a problem" doesn't count. Need reports of some kind.
    4. $20,000 or less - Used or new
    5. No more than 50,000 miles

    Don't care about: (bonus factors, not determining factors)

    1. Gas mileage - meh
    2. Exterior Appearance - Not going to sway my opinion at all
    3. Interior "materials" - Leather, nice trim, all extras for me. Nice, but I don't care enough to make it a real factor
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >3. Dependable - "well I've personally had one for 10 years and never had a problem" doesn't count. Need reports of some kind.

    That is going to be a difficult category. You're going to be relying on hearsay from magazines, rating services, etc., who have different values than you likely do. In some cases they have downright prejudices for certain vehicles.

    I think your better method for finding a car requiring less service is to find a brand that has a quality service dealership AND/or local mechanics who know those vehicles and can usually fix them well.

    If you look at the recall lists and problems of varied and many cars, you'll see they all have their short comings. Some highly vaunted brands have problem posts in topics here on Edmunds. I always chuckle when someone says that they bought brand XXX because of their reputation--reputation is last year. What you buy this year is where they cut costs and quality or changed supplier for certain parts.

    I recommend listening to the reputation of certain brands' garages and independent repair shops to find a vehicle you will be more satisfied with when something does go wrong. Really great is a garage that will tell you that something should be replaced or maintained 10 or 20K miles in the future so you can plan. That is opposed to the garages who try to add on extra maintenance items when the car is in so they can increase their profit for the week or month.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    stick or automatic?
    does your rule against BMW also rule out Mini? (although even a Mini S is not as fast in a straight line as your standard V6 family sedan)

    G35/37x sounds to me like your car.

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

  • Subaru Forester 2.5XT. Turbocharged with 220hp or thereabouts, under 7-second 0-60 times. Not sure about reliability because of the turbo, but Subes generally are among the more dependable brands.

    Not much else will have this combination of power, 4WD and affordability. They've been making them since 2003, but even so they might be hard to find because they're just aren't that many of them around. You'll notice them by the scoop on the hood.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,099
    Well, not sure why you would just limit to the Forester in that case. Legacy GT or even WRX would qualify, too.

    However, and this is why I asked if we're talking automatic or stick, I wouldn't suggest a turbo subary with an automatic, personally.

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

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    This was the 2012 (all-new) Camry you saw? I didn't think they were at dealers quite yet.

    The Legacy has a smooth ride also, since that seems to be your chief criterion. And they are pretty reliable.

    200 hp is a "weak engine"? Then you must be looking for a V6. That will be hard to do in a new mid-sized car with the equipment you want.
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