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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!



  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    As GM removes much of what made Saturn unique, and gives it rebadged vehicles instead in the next few years, most of what will remain of the original company spirit will be (my opinion only) the friendly stuff as that is where all their marketing energy is focused. The 30-day money back guarantee, the no-haggle pricing (which is now being copied by some others), the friendly buying, delivery and service experience, etc.; the sort of stuff that puts it above all other brands in the customer satisfaction surveys, including luxury brands that _should_ be falling all over you after you drop that much cash on them.

    Saturn has already said that some vehicles will lack polymer panels in future, which is obvious as that is a very expensive part of the engineering, compared to deciding which re-badge gets standard cup-holders. I don't know how they'll keep no-haggle while other divisions let you haggle on the same cars -- I guess time will tell.

    This is getting off-topic so perhaps something should go in news and views if there is interest.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Actually many car dealers experimented with no-haggle pricing in the 90's and that seems to have gone by the way side. More are developing the internet sites and offering low prices (negotiated) based on interest levels of the buyer.
  • I am looking for a decent car for 5grand with four doors that is reliable and decent. I was looking at a g20 around this year with around 100,000 miles, i heard these cars run and run. What do you guys think. Something comparable to this or maybe a 626 or altima too?
  • I can't think of any car that will be more reliable over time than a Corolla or Camry, the price difference getting you a nicer Corolla for the same $$$.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Another good choose is to buy a buick Cnetury. Buick have always been some the most reliable Americna cars built. Very easy to get maintained and there are plenty to choose from. If oyu get into an import, you are looking at a lot of miles on the cars. I'm not too keen on buying a car with over 100,000 miles on it. Lots of things need to be replaced at that time interval like alternator, battery, exhaust system, shocks and struts, suspension, etc.
  • I think you would get the same auto for less money if you purchased a used Prisim. The Corolla and the Prisim were assembled in the same US plants.
  • Which do you think would be better to get the 95 altima gxe almost 100k miles good condition clean title, 95 millenium salvage title 90k miles great deal for 3k to 3.5 k got hit from rear but repaired. Last choice is the 95 g20 with all the options and about 95k miles clean title. I am going to be using this car to go from sanfranciso and vegas and mexico from la. What are the pros and cons to each car for what I need it for.
    Thanks for any input.
  • Sorry the prices for the altima is 4k and g20 is 5k. I am on an extreme budget so the millenium looks good since I am not going to sell it and run it into the ground.
  • I'd probably go for the Altima, though I'm sure you'd enjoy the Millenia a bit more. If you really want the Millenia I would take it to a different body shop and have them take a look at it to make sure the body repairs are okay.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077


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  • I am about to purchase a new car, and I have come down to a choice between a new Jaguar X-Type or a new Audi A4. Which one would you choose and for what reasons? Thanks for your time and effort.
  • I have narrowed my choices down to these three and I was wondering about everybody's opinion on these cars.

    Also, would you be a car with manual transmission if you could only test drive an automatic?
  • be a = buy a

    "would you buy a car with....."
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    ...or at least reserve the right to ixnay the deal if you don't like it. Cable clutches vs. hydraulic clutches, short or long throw shifters, light or heavy use of bushings in the shifter, short or tall gear spacing, etc. all affect things quite a bit and thus you may or may not like it. The last car I bought I went in thinking stick, but test-drove both and bought the automatic instead. For most people who really want a stick, it is a very personal choice so make sure. Go to another dealer who has a manual in stock if you can.

    That said, the usual short test drive isn't long enough to find out if you like most manual trannies. Try to take a decent long test drive to really get used to the clutch and gears to make sure you like it. Even autos, especially today's auto-adjusting electronic models, take some getting used to. Some buyers go so far as to rent a similar car for a weekend but with new cars like the 2003 Matrix and Corolla you can't do that.
  • I answered your question in your original thread in Smart Shopper. Of these three, get the Corolla. Unless you are in your younger 20's, then the Matrix may do for you. IMO, the Matrix is a gimmick. The compact wagon was popular a couple of decades ago, then went away. Apparently it is making a comeback, but will go away again. The compact sedan has been around forever and will never go away. In other words, Matrix=parachute pants (if you are old enough to remember this huge fad--and if you are, then you are out of the Matrix target market). Corolla=tan chinos. Been around forever and not going anywhere. The Sentra seems to have had some problems lately. This current design has had about 3 recalls including a major engine failure recall most recently. However, the Nissan dealer will probably bend over backward to sell you a Sentra. The Toyota dealer will make you bend over because they are not about to "wheel and deal" on either of these hot new cars. Good luck in your decision.
  • Not the pretties, sexiest, fastest or most fun car out there, but for well over 30 years it has always been one of the best.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    for my tastes, I would lean towards the Corolla out of the 3. the Matrix/Vibe really intrigue me as well as the rest of the new sports wagon designs. The styling is a bit much for me but really like the concept. Lots of interior space without the penalty of a SUV or minivan. If the styling were a bit mor tame, I would pick the Matrix over the other 3. NOt gimmicky at all, just a sign of things to come.
  • spudmeatspudmeat Posts: 7
    I've been looking for an entry level luxury sedan. I'm tired of shifting in heavy traffic so I really appreciate the auto-manual features. Here is what I've tested in the past year:

    Acura TL & TLS - The TLS was semi-fun to drive. Has a lot of features for the price. I found the rear seat room better than the Edmunds review. Some interior looked cheap - especially in beige w/wood. The black and gray looked much better. It keeps getting to the top of my list, but the styling is sooo boring that it keeps falling back off.

    BMW 330i - Great car, few cars drive like a BMW. Rear seat to small. After all the options pushes over $40k and drops way out of the price range.

    Infiniti I30 - A nice luxury car for a dull person who doesn't care about sportyness at all.

    Infiniti G35 - Can't wait to try this one!

    Lexus IS300 - I thought this car handled better than the BMW. I like the styling inside and out except for the back seat and trunk are too small, the rear end looks like it was chopped off, and I hate clear lenses.

    Nissan Altima SE 3.5 - I didn't drive it, but the interior plastic looked so bad and the cloth was fuzzy. I looked like a skinned Chihuahua.

    Nissan Maxima - Interior was the same as the Altima. Go head for the nearest Infiniti dealer.

    Volvo S60 T5 - What an amazing disappointment. I think the turbo was broken. The car was so slow and felt so spongy I couldn't wait to get back to the dealer. The rear seat was the smallest of the bunch.

    These are just my opinions. I hope they help someone.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Gotta ask... where's the A4? It seems like it would fit into that list neatly. I also test drove most of those cars (no Volvo, no Altima and CL-s instead of TL-s) and found the Audi to be my second favorite car of the bunch.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    spudmeat - if you think the interior of the Altima is the same as the Maxima, you need your eyes checked!.....there is simply no comparison, Maxima's interior is so much better. Go to the Infiniti and all you are doing is wasting money - the Maxima is the best bang for the buck....
  • spud's mood may have been ruined by the Altima and he may not have liked the Maxima no matter what. I agree--he should go back and give the Maxima a clean slate. Also, he keeps going back to the TL, but goes way again because he does not like the styling. That seems to be the knock on all Honda products. The TL may not be the most exiting looking car in your group, but you know it will run forever and treat you right. Maybe you should just go with it--since you keep coming back to the TL anyway.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I think both Claywater and godeacs are dead on with both of these cars. They both are in the near luxury arena and are "great bang for the buck" cars. Both have nice engines and interiors but won't kill your wallet. The Acura may be boring looking but I'll take boring if the car is ultra reliable.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    A major midwestern newspaper is interested in speaking with folks who have anecdotes and opinions on rear wheel drive vs. front wheel drive in winter driving conditions.
    We're also looking for people who recently switched one way or the other and what they like/dislike about what they're driving now.
    If you are interested in participating, please provide your city/state of residence and your daytime phone number to [email protected] no later than March 20, 2002.
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  • ottawaguyottawaguy Posts: 15
    I was reading a few posts back wrt the Forester/Sonata decision and was thinking - wow - there really are people just like me out there...! ;) j/k


    I have some very similar needs, but my choices are quite different.

    We're down to 2 vehicles. One contributing factor is that I get the GM employee discount, so I will buy a new GM, in all probability.

    So - the choices: A Pontiac Grand Prix GT, and a Jimmy/Blazer.

    The factors:

    -We live in a northern part of the world, lots of snow, and the inlaws live on a beef farm. Gotta negotiate some rough terrain getting up their drive after a good dump of the white stuff, but I believe the GP's traction control + snow tires would suffice.

    -Both of us love driving, and have always like the GP - in fact its one of the only cars we both do like...!

    -But, of course, the wife wants to drive a "cool" SUV, which sits high on the road. What's up with that? She would possibly relunctantly settle for the GP, but I'd prefer a more symbiotic decision, so would appreciate any input.

    -other criteria:
    -Size, we're both tall and presently cram ourselves into an old Saturn SC.
    -Power: want enough oomph to keep up with our highway driving ;).
    -Cargo - planning a family, don't want to limit the room for baby, kid paraphanelia, etc..

    I really believe the GP suits our needs, but must admit I do not want to find us limited in a year or 2. But I just don't want to buy a lot more than I need, which the Jimmy/Blazer would be, IMO.

    Points? Opinions? Tips?

  • I would get the Grand Prix. If you are planning a family in the near future, get the sedan. A family of three will fit in a GP sedan without any problems. I believe you will be safer in the GP anyway. I don't know about the new Trailblazer, but the previous Chevy Blazer was rated the most dangerous SUV on the road. Every time I read about an overturned vehicle and people are killed, it's an SUV. Whenever I see a vehicle overturned in a ditch, it's an SUV. People have this false sense of security because they think they are safe in an SUV. The fact is that with their high center of gravity and the false sense of security by the driver, they flip very easily. I just read about the guy with the Padres who was killed when his SUV flipped. The Mets had a player die last year when his SUV flipped. A man where I live had his children killed when he ran a red light in his Suburban and he got hit by a bus. I guess he thought he was invincible in the Suburban--know he knows differently. We don't get much snow here in Georgia, but when we do, there are always pictures of things like Grand Cherokees laying sideways in a ditch because the driver falsely thought his truck was built for that environment. For your question, I would get the sedan.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    on safety of SUVs. People think they are safer then let down their guard and boom....sense of false security gets you everytime!

    Of course, I've never understood their popularity: expensive, gas hogs, not the easiest thing to drive. IMO, there are far too many on the roads and they adversely impact the safety of others due to their size....
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I don't really understand why people come here and ask for comparisons between totally different vehicles. I mean, what do you want us to say? The GP handles better than an blazer. The GP is quicker than a blazer. I'm not trying to bust your chops, but you really have to make a decision as to which way you want to go, and then compare. But here's some opinions, at no charge!

    The blazer/jimmy are horrible vehicles. Rattle traps, doors fall off, tranny good for maybe 130K if lucky. The new Trailblazer seems to be a better built vehicle and a better option in your case. It drives alot like a car, pretty low center-of-gravity, good power, lots of room. Not going to get you anywhere off-road, but certainly won't have trouble with snow-covered roads.

    The GP is a pretty nice car. I think some of the "plastic" packages are bit much, and the interior has enough buttons to control a 747, but alot of people must like that. If your Saturn can make it up your in-laws driveway, then I'm sure the GP can. If the saturn doesn't make it, I doubt the GP would. Traction control doesn't get you that far. My in-laws have a killer driveway, and the last time they were SUV shopping, a couple of them couldn't make it up during the test-drive. It takes a real 4X4 with real tires to make it up their drive when it's snowy and you don't want to walk 300 yards with the groceries.

    And I agree, if you really have no need for 4X4 or an SUV, please don't buy one. You're really making life miserable for the folks like me that actually need a vehicle that can cross muddy fields, tow trailers, and get out snowy roads that haven't been plowed/salted. The SUV's/trucks are turning into wimped out minivans with 4-doors and suspensions that can barely get over a curb.
  • black_tulipblack_tulip Posts: 438
    "And I agree, if you really have no need for 4X4 or an SUV, please don't buy one. "

    Well, we don't need one but we are about to buy a Toyota Highlander. Why? Because I'd like to see around me for a change. I'm tired of waiting at a stop sign for a right turn because a SUV wanting to make a left turn at the same sign completely blocks my vision to the left. And, I'd like a decent chance of survival if one of these monsters piloted by a cell phone happy person happens to hit me. These things are self perpetuating. Scary.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I just hope you bought a FWD model since you didn't need it. That at least sends a message that people want SUV looking vehicles but not 4X4. What's screwy about the whole situation is that the small SUV's that actually have some utility keep getting cancelled. Why? Because everyone wants a minivan that looks like an SUV and makes them feel safe from all the other SUV's. So what does the person that needs utility do? They have to buy a bigger vehicle! In a few years, if you want a real 4X4 system and the ability to tow anything you'll have to buy a heavy duty truck. I have one I use for towing horses, and it weighs over 7000# empty.

    Wouldn't you just love for everyone that currently can get what they need out of a Cherokee, Blazer, or 4runner, to buy Tahoe's, Expeditions, Excursions, or 1-ton trucks? The RX300 won't make it up my in-laws driveway when its snowy, and the last test Car and Driver did on small SUV's, the only ones that could make it through their snow course was the Cherokee and Xterra. That was two out of 11 vehicles that could perform as designed.

    I drive my wifes car alot, and we're looking at getting an A6 for traveling. I'm not going to sit around popping Paxil all day worrying about an SUV plowing into me. There's always vehicles bigger than you regardless of what you're driving. If I'm not in a situation that requires a utility vehice, I'd much rather get down the road at warp speed in an A6 rather than a Jeep or 7000# pickup.

    A couple seconds at an intersection isn't that big of deal when you can drive a superior performing vehicle 99% of the time. I'm not sure how I could ever get along without a truck or SUV with my lifestyle, but if I lived in town and had no need for 4X4, I'd be in a sports car of some sort. It's not like you can't get a helluva car for what I spent on a diesel pickup.
  • black_tulipblack_tulip Posts: 438

    I just hope you bought a FWD model since you didn't need it.
    I wanted a V6, and it is extremely hard to find a V6 without AWD. Also, I am very impressed with my A4's AWD. How good is Toyota's system compared to my Audi's, remains to be seen of course.

    There's always vehicles bigger than you regardless of what you're driving
    True. But, if I am in a small car(like my A4), chances are that in a relatively affluent suburban neighborhood, 4 out of 6 cars will have a much larger mass than my car. On the other hand, if I am in a SUV, that number will probably drop to about every 1 in 6 vehicles.

    A couple seconds at an intersection isn't that big of deal ...
    That was just an example. And, it is far more than a couple of seconds because as soon as a SUV makes a turn, another moves in to fill its place. The real problem here is that it is very hard to see in general when you are driving in a sea of SUVs around you. That is a real safety hazard in my opinion.

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