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A good first car

partyboye1partyboye1 Posts: 16
edited March 2014 in Subaru
I looking for suggestions for a good first car. I am open to your suggestions. I like the sentra, protege, forester, and legacy.
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Comments

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    sentra: tacky inside, fast outside.
    protege: nicer inside, less fast outside, but handles better.

    Both comparably cheap to buy and operate, Mazda has the edge for b-to-b warranty, Nissan for the powertrain warranty.

    Legacy is bigger and altogether different. More expensive to buy and operate, but it's a Subie!! :-) Same with Forester. Legacy drives like a car, Forester does the same but puts the driver a little higher up. Same excellent warranty as Nissan.

    Note: Mazda has the '3' coming out pretty soon now, which has better looks (and a little more power?) than the Protege.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I know this sounds weird...and I can believe I'm saying it...but, check out the Elantra. The 2003 has been getting great press and you can't beat the price.

    Otherwise, get the Protege. It's more fun. Test drive them all, you'll know.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Any Subie.

    Bob
  • gotbgotb Posts: 39
    I bought a 2003 Sentra LE with floor mats, in-cabin microfilter and mud guards for $14,200(with $1500 rebate) and out the door price was $14,702. I have 1,300 miles so far and have nothing bad to say about. I love the powerful engine and the fact that it is packed with features like ABS, side airbags, and upgraded sound system.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Glad to see you're getting some good feedback here. To add, you may also want compare insurance costs on the vehicles you're considering; insurance can be pretty high on a first car. My 2 cents.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted on your decision.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • partyboye1partyboye1 Posts: 16
    I would like more suggestions than the ones I like.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you didn't actually state your parameters here...I mean, civic SI is a good first car - cheap to buy (real world price should be no more than $17,5), cheap to operate/maintain, nice inside (great seats), fairly fast. Hondas in general depreciate slower than any other non-premium import too...although with this particular model that may not apply since there has been such a fire sale on them since the very beginning.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • spamletspamlet Posts: 22
    I purchased one as my first new car in 2001 and have had hardly a problem. I have taken it into the dealer once for a repair and it was covered by warranty.

    Pros
    -Cheaper purchase price
    -Long warranty
    -Very good reliability as shown on these boards
    -Pretty good rebates
    -Dealers will negotiate (unlike Honda/Toyota)

    Cons
    -Depreciation
    -Insurance costs

    I looked at the Sentra, Elantra, Civic, and Corolla when I bought my car. Right now, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another Elantra over any of those other cars.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    There are few cars that should be completely avoided these days, though many that may warrant some caution.

    Let us know what you're looking for.
  • carscoutcarscout Posts: 11
    Im thinking about buying either the 2003 spec-v or 2004 spec-v are there any problems I should know about with these cars? I cant find any good road test reviews on them. Is the engine reliable? Does it need tune ups often? And especially with the exhaust system?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We own 2 of the 4 cars you mention, so I'll offer up my 2 cents' worth.

    You can get a 2003 Forester X dirt cheap right now. Fitzmall.com has a new 5 speed for $18,555 last time I looked. And resale is strong, keep in mind ownership costs are what you pay minus resale. My '98 still appraises for $10,500, so $8000 over 5 years is excellent.

    My sister just bought a 2003 Forester X. She liked mine and my dad's 2001 Outback Limited. Once you have one in the family...

    It's easy to drive, too. Controls are light. Safety is excellent. It's the only one of the 4 you mention to offer side air bags that protect the head and chest. IIHS "Best Pick" in frontal offset tests, IIHS "Good" in side-impact, NHTSA quadruple 5 star safety rating. Straight As. So it's #1 in safety without question, especially with ABS and AWD standard.

    The Legacy? My wife owns it. Now the "base" model is a L/Special Edition, they are quite nice. 16" alloys, moonroof, ABS, AWD, cruise, keyless, all standard. So a base model compares to a fully loaded Sentra or Protoge. I think they're a strong value.

    Really an Outback Sport would compare more closely to a Protoge5, and an Impreza RS to a Sentra. The Legacy is a bit bigger and better equipped.

    Shop at fitzmall.com, coincidentally they carry Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru, so you can comparison shop real-world no-haggle prices for all three. How convenient, no?

    Do get an insurance quote, this varies a lot by region and owner.

    Good luck and drive safely. I always joke that a good car for a 16 year old is a Schwinn Bicycle! ;-)

    But if it must have 4 wheels, my emphasis would be on safety.

    -juice
  • partyboye1partyboye1 Posts: 16
    I am looking for a car (new/old) for about 12.5K.
  • partyboye1partyboye1 Posts: 16
    Tell me about the cars I should absolutely skip over, also.
  • All of those cars you listed sound like they would be good choices.

    I love Subies, however they will cost you a little more, but you get the AWD and a great, reliable, and safe car.

    My wife and I have a 2002 Sentra XE. This is the base model. We actually have to roll our windows down. Can you believe it?

    Our Sentra has 30,000 trouble free miles on it and we got it brand new for $12,000. Toyota dealers kept trying to sell us used Corollas with over 10,000 miles on them for $15,000, even after I told them I could get a brand new Sentra for $12,000.

    One point I need to make is that with our base model, the engine is very weak and the ride is very stiff. But like I said it has been very reliable and the price could not be beat. So it depends how much you want to spend and what your looking for. Good luck.

    Barkley
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For that kind of price, forget a new Subie. The AWD pushes prices a little higher than that, more like $16-18k. You could get a used one, 2 years old or so. The 5/60 warranty is transferable, so you're still covered for a while.

    Honda gives you just 3/36, so a used Honda has almost no warranty. Nissan has 5/60 and Mazda has 4/50, so those are better. You don't want to have a car payment and a repair bill at the same time.

    fitzmall.com does have a stripped, base Sentra for $12,110. I'm not sure what comes standard but there's a new car in your price range. That includes freight, you only add taxes.

    Their cheapest Protoge is just $11,031, that's dirt cheap. I'm sure it's also stripped, but hey, first wheels aren't usually luxurious. Same deal, add only tax.

    Good luck shopping.

    -juice
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Pick one up or go to your local library. They have a short listing broken down by price ranges and a long list of vehicles to avoid. More than I can recall off the top of my head.

    My 2 cents:

    Good ones:

    Corolla (as with all Toyotas, check struts and strut plates if over 70,000 miles)
    Accord
    Civic
    Protege
    Sentra
    Mirage
    Impreza
    Legacy
    626 (except mid-80s with the AT)
    Camry
    BMW 3-series (check out the 318i 3dr hatch), older models (newer ones are prone to electronic problems, like many newer Audi, Mercedes and VW models...KISS y'know)
    Elantra
    Accent
    Sonata
    Miata
    MR2
    Tacoma
    Frontier
    Echo
    Tercel
    CRV
    RAV4
    Impala
    Saturn S-series

    Ones I'd avoid:
    Windstar (transmissions seem to go quickly, some brake system failures)
    Kia
    Daewoo
    Cavalier/Firebird
    Neon
    GM or Chrysler trucks and SUVs (electrical issues mostly)
    Saturn L-series
    Focus (give it this year to prove the bugs have been worked out from the previous 2 years...fairly nice car, terrible reliability record...what a shame)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For the 626, it's actually 1993-2002 models with the auto and the 4 cylinder that you should avoid. That had the horrible Ford CD4E tranny, they drop like flies. Get any 5 speed or any V6 model.

    -juice
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    a 3-yr-old Integra? Does it have to be a new car? Get the GS-R - has leather and VTEC engine, only downside is you have to put in premium gas. Price should be about $12,5 on this vintage. Or for the same price you could get an '01 LS - runs on regular, no VTEC but still fast and fun. There are few cars built in the last decade as reliable as integras. And the fun factor is pretty high!

    If you get the LS, it is very likely to still be under manufacturer bumper-to-bumper warranty - it is 4/50 on new Acuras.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I'd look at the Protege LX if I were you. Many regions are offering $2000+ cash back that lowers the price considerably. Then, if you have good credit, get preapproved at a low rate, say 4.9%. Tell the dealer you're preapproved and they may give you a better rate.

    When it's all said and done, your new Pro may have a lower payment than a used $12,500 vehicle. No bank is going to give you 4.9 on a used vehicle. Plus, you'll have the security of a 4/50 bumper-to-bumper, roadside assistance, and free loaners on warranty work.

    If you can wait a bit, everyone knows the 3 is taking the Pro's spot in the Mazda line-up, inventory needs to be moved. They'll start to offer really good deals.

    For that cash, get a Protege. It's much more fun than anything else in it's class.

    Or the (Again, I can't believe I'm saying this.) Elantra.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    or Outback Sport. Maybe a tad bit more expensive than some some of the others mentioned here, but well worth the extra expense IMO. You just can't beat the (year-round) safety benefits of AWD. You also get a lot of content for the money, and Subarus are pretty much bulletproof to boot.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you're willing to stretch the price range, I agree. You can't get one in the 12s though.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    people put too much emphasis on price when they think "first car." Price is important, for sure, but it's just one of many factors. I place safety far above price, hence my choice of a Subaru.

    BTW, I put my money where my mouth is. My son's first car was a new '96 Subie Impreza, when he got his license. Haven't regretted that decision one bit since. It's been a superb car.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here's one way you could look at it.

    Generally, I recommend not making a loan that's longer than your warranty. So on Honda, that means 36 months. 48 months for a Mazda, 60 months for a Subaru, Nissan, or Toyota, etc.

    That way you're not paying big repair bills and car payments at the same time, which could get you upside down. And it might let you get a slightly nicer Subaru (or Nissan or Toyota) and still be able to afford it.

    -juice
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Juice

    Generally, I recommend not making a loan that's longer than your warranty. So on Honda, that means 36 months. 48 months for a Mazda, 60 months for a Subaru, Nissan, or Toyota, etc.

    Subaru's bumper-to-bumper is only 3/36. Their powertrain warranty is 5 years but, it doesn't cover anything that's gonna break in five years on any of the vehicles mentioned. (If it's gonna break in 5 it'll probably happen in 4.)

    Items covered under Subies limited powertrain warranty -

    Engine block and all internal parts
    Cylinder heads and valve trains
    Oil pump, oil pan
    Timing belts or gears and covers
    Water pump
    Flywheel
    Intake manifolds
    Oil seals and gaskets
    Torque converter
    Electronic transmission control unit
    Transaxle seals and gaskets


    Toyota is the same but, they cover seatbelts and airbags too. (I think everyone has to anyway per Government regulations.)

    Nissan is only powertrain too.

    By your standards, he'd be much better off with a longer bumper-to-bumper, like Mazda offers. Plus, depending on what region you're in, they often offer a 7/100 powertrain warranty. I'm not sure, do the others offer roadside and loaners?
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Impreza TS or Outback Sport. Maybe a tad bit more expensive than some some of the others mentioned here...

    Yeah, like $5,000 more. Not everyone has a daddy that'll buy them a car. It's great you could do it for your son but, it's a little off topic to suggest a kid who wants to spend around $12,500 get a car with a $17,865 MSRP plus $550 destination and delivery.

    I just got my sister-in-law into her first new car, a 03 Protege LX. I drive a Protege5.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Okay, maybe we should change the thread topic name to: "The cheapest good first car," since you obviously put the bottom line price well above any other consideration.

    BTW, for $12, 500 I'd buy a good used Subie instead of a new Protege.

    Bob
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I'd go the other way: Protege v. a Subaru. Better reliability, more passenger space (than the Impreza or Forester) and higher fuel economy. Plus, my boss hasn't been very happy with his Forester (electrical problems), so that hits a little closer to home. [Check CR's data on reliability...don't just rely on anecdotal data...every model has good and bad examples, you want statistical data indicating your likelihood of getting a bad car].

    Of course, if you needed or wanted AWD, get a Subaru. Mazda doesn't sell the AWD version of the Protege in NA.

    If you just want the cheapest good new car, it'd likely be an Echo or Elantra (between these two, I'd go for the Elantra...I just can't get over the cheap plastics in the Echo, or it's exterior looks...superficial yes, but still important to me that I don't wince when I look at my car). The Scion xA (I think...it's the shorter, cheaper one) might be worth a look too, though I think these are limited to the coasts for now.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Okay, maybe we should change the thread topic name to: "The cheapest good first car," since you obviously put the bottom line price well above any other consideration.

    It's not my thread. I'm not asking the questions, I'm giving some opinions. The person that started the thread is looking for a good first car around $12,500. The Protege is an excellent car around that price.

    '76 Honda Accord (purchased new for $3,995.00)

    The above was taken right out of your bio. Apparently there was a time when you had to be money conscious.

    BTW, for $12, 500 I'd buy a good used Subie instead of a new Protege.

    Well, you obviously have different criterion when you buy a car. I was simply saying that instead of buying a used car, a new Pro could, perhaps, serve better. Full warranty, new everything, better APR and that new car feeling. Plus, the Protege is a damn fun car to drive. If you think otherwise, you haven't driven one.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    From a safety standpoint, AWD is better for nubie drivers, as well as experienced drivers.

    Since you reviewed my profile you will note there have been many FWD cars that I've owned, one of which we still have is a '92 Prelude. I've been driving ever since 1962, and have experienced just about every kind of drivetrain out there, and I will take AWD any day of the year, whether I lived in Vermont or Florida.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It depends on the make and model, but historically, if you follow the Subaru Problems threads, the types of problems that creep up are indeed covered by the powertrain warranty. I'm talking about head gaskets on Phase I 95-99 engines, wheel bearings on pre-2003s, etc.

    Any how, I'm talking about major expenses, the powertrain warranty would for the most part cover those.

    As for price, an Impreza TS wagon costs more but offers MUCH more equipment that a stripped Protoge DX, by far. For instance:

    * A/C
    * AWD
    * ABS
    * discs vs. drums (2004 TS has them standard)
    * CD player
    * 35 horsepower
    * cruise control
    * PW, PL, PM, keyless

    So it's pretty useless to compare those.

    If you look at a P5, at least it's a little more comparable. At fitzmall, the cheapest TS is $2593 more than a P5 (half of what you claimed), and it still has more equipment (AWD alone is worth $1750).

    We had a 626 and reliability was lousy. My Miata is good, but that's Mazda's top car in reliability. My family has 4 Subies and none has been to the dealer for anything unscheduled.

    -juice
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you could get a brand new Impreza TS for around $15 anway - it is kind of the forgotten stepsister of the Impreza clan, and for no good reason. I have seen them advertised in recent months for $14,9, but those were one-off ads. Of course, I realize that is still $2500 more than the indicated range.

    Anyway, I know I have been thinking only of hatchbacks, but Elantra GT is a really good deal (and a hatch!) for this price. The content will be better than anything else new at this price, and it has decent power and the famous warranty.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    As for price, an Impreza TS wagon costs more but offers MUCH more equipment that a stripped Protege DX, by far. For instance:

    I didn't say anything about a DX, I said LX. You can get an LX Protege for $15 + up to $2500 cash back, PLUS a lower APR than he'd be able to get on a used car. Get it?????? It would be close to what he wanted to pay, it was relevant, talking about a new Subie has no relevance to this thread what-so-ever.

    If you look at a P5, at least it's a little more comparable. At fitzmall, the cheapest TS is $2593 more than a P5 (half of what you claimed), and it still has more equipment (AWD alone is worth $1750).

    I never "claimed" anything about the P5. I was comparing Protege DX to the Impreza and Outback Sport.

    From a safety standpoint, AWD is better for nubie drivers, as well as experienced drivers.

    That's an opinion. I owned an 86 Fiero, everyone complained about how it was terrible in the snow. I LOVED it. I could make that car do anything I wanted in the snow. You can have your AWD, I'll take the cash I save on the base price and the fuel. Obviously, you lived just fine without AWD for many years. (As did/does the rest of the world.)

    Mazda’s Protegé has long figured as one of the fun-to-drive secrets of the compact class, winning our last two econobox comparison tests on the merits of its lusty 130-hp 2.0-liter four, Euro-firm chassis, roomy interior, and high-quality fit and finish. -Car and Driver

    the Protege deserves the attention of people looking for a comfortably quick commuter with spicy style and a good reliability record. -Edmunds.com
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << That's an opinion. I owned an 86 Fiero, everyone complained about how it was terrible in the snow. I LOVED it. I could make that car do anything I wanted in the snow. You can have your AWD, I'll take the cash I save on the base price and the fuel. Obviously, you lived just fine without AWD for many years. (As did/does the rest of the world.) >>

    Yeah, and I've learned that AWD is better.

    Until you've lived with AWD, as I have, I'd say what you say is "opinion." I can speak from experiencing RWD, FWD and AWD. AWD is better. Period. End of discussion.

    Subarus have some of the most loyal owners out there. More than likely, when they're ready for a new car, it'll be another Subaru. That too is a fact.

    Bob
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Fact #1 - I've owned 2 RWD vehicles, 4 FWD vehicles and currently own an AWD CR-V.

    Opinion #1- AWD is a convenience. AWD is better for you. It is an opinion. Period. End of discussion. Plenty of people don't need or want AWD.

    Fact #2

    http://www.polk.com/news/releases/2003_0625.asp

    There isn't a Subie on the list.

    Fact #3 - HE CAN'T AFFORD A SUBIE!!!!!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Fact #1 - I've owned 2 RWD vehicles, 4 FWD vehicles and currently own an AWD CR-V.

    The CRV is NOT AWD. It's an on-demand 4WD. It only engages when the front wheels slip. It's a reactive system, not a proactive full-time system like that used on Subaru, Audi, etc.

    Opinion #1- AWD is a convenience. AWD is better for you. It is an opinion. Period. End of discussion. Plenty of people don't need or want AWD.

    Again your opinion...

    Fact #2

    http://www.polk.com/news/releases/2003_0625.asp

    There isn't a Subie on the list.


    Lies! Damn lies! And statistics!

    So, does that mean I now have go find some site favorable to Subaru to prove my point?

    Fact #3 - HE CAN'T AFFORD A SUBIE!!!!! GET A CLUE!

    So you're his accountant too??

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    This discussion is headed towards the gutter.

    I've given you my thoughts. Take it or leave it...

    Bob
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    good cars...

    squabbling over? Thought this might invoke a chuckle from some...back in 2000 when my sister was in just about the same position, with about the same money, I almost steered her into a Focus! That was back when it was fairly new and the press of the automotive world were sparkling with Focus news and just couldn't say enough good things about it.

    And it was/is a good car in many ways, and maybe she would have got one of the ones that didn't have nine or ten recalls and ran like a top, but all in all I am glad in retrospect that she decided to pick up a 2-year-old corolla instead...

    ...which has given her three years and 60K trouble-free miles so far - she has only done oil and tires, I can't even get her to flush the rest of the fluids and get some spark plugs...

    ...and which by the way would be a bland-but-safe option for partyboye too...perhaps even a 2002 model given the length of time the new '03 has been with us now...but then I am thinking that with that "handle", he would rather not be seen in a corolla! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    LX is still a sedan, the Protoge5 is closer to the TS, we can all agree.

    Let's go back to the first post:

    I looking for suggestions for a good first car. I am open to your suggestions. I like the sentra, protege, forester, and legacy.

    Two Subies were mentioned, we're just pointing him to the most affordable model. No relevance? LOL!

    BTW, he didn't mention any Hondas.

    Used is an option, so price does not rule them out. My first car was used, in fact most are.

    Fact: CR-V does not have a center diffy so it's limited to part-time, slippery pavement, low-speed use only. This is night-and-day different from Subaru's full-time systems. The CR-V has torque steer, Subarus don't. You feel the difference.

    BTW, Polk was a poor choice because Subaru has won that award in the past.

    The Mazda is about to be replaced. That can hurt resale down the road. They showed the new compact Mazda at the NY show, in fact I saw it in the flesh, we went up there. So buy one now and within months you'll own the "old" model.

    The Impreza just got a face-lift and will be around for probably 3 more years.

    -juice
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Good luck finding one. Most Subaru dealers don't order them or the RS. Everyone must want the WRX these days. We may have purchased a TS or RS if we would have driven one. The closest we got was a Forester. In the end, there was no arguing with the value the 2003 P5 offered. 0% for 60 months, S-Plan pricing, superb handling, styling, reliability, and economy were an unbeatable combination for us. Perhaps AWD would have been more of a consideration if we lived somewhere we needed it more than 1-2 times per year. Having had a Jeep Cherokee with Selec-Trac (Jeep calls it full-time 4WD, everyone else calls it AWD) in bad weather in upstate NY and Pennsylvania, I can vouch for its potential value. However, many people in those areas and even in Canada make due with FWD and experience no problems, so it is hard for me to recommend it considering the increased initial cost and extra maintenance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hard to find? Fitzmall.com has 7 TS wagons in stock, 15 RS sedans. Not any more, at least.

    S-Plan pricing is employee pricing, right? That's sweet, but only certain folks qualify.

    If you join the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) or ACA (American Canoe Association) you qualify for VIP pricing with Subaru, too. In fact, I did just that. And really anyone can qualify, you just have to join one of those groups.

    It's funny, a friend of mine joined the ACA and got a Subie, later he mentioned perhaps he should look into Canoes! LOL

    -juice
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I hate apologizing! But, I will, he did mention two Subies so, I'm left with my foot in my mouth (and a couple in my keester).

    I still say he'd be better served with a new Protege LX than an old Subie.

    BTW, he didn't mention any Hondas.

    Neither did I.

    LX is still a sedan,

    As the Sentra would be too.

    The Mazda is about to be replaced. That can hurt resale down the road. They showed the new compact Mazda at the NY show, in fact I saw it in the flesh, we went up there. So buy one now and within months you'll own the "old" model.

    Most of the time you can't have your cake and eat it too. If a model close out is the reason you can afford a new car, you can't very well complain about resale. Besides, it doesn't change the fact that the Pro is a darn good car.

    S-Plan pricing is employee pricing, right? That's sweet, but only certain folks qualify.

    With the model close-out, prices will be darn near S-plan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    LX sure, but not a DX. A new drive should at least have ABS, and you'll need A/C if you'll be dressing up for your first job. Plus you'll be able to sell it later.

    -juice
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    "S-Plan pricing is employee pricing, right? That's sweet, but only certain folks qualify."

    Actually, quite a few organizations qualify for S-Plan. Neither my wife or myself work for Mazda, nor do any of our friends or family. That many people qualify aside, the fact remains that there were Protegés available and no Imprezas except WRXs, plus we saved money up front and in the long run. The dealers actually told us they do not order any TS or RS models because they just sit on the lot. Perhaps you dealer hasn't learned this yet. We would have had at least a 2 hour drive just to look at the closest RS.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The WRX is a strong seller so I'm not surprised they'd have more of those. But you can find a TS or RS if you look.

    It's the same with the Outback and Legacy. They'll have 3 dozen Outbacks, at least, and maybe 1 each of the GT and L models. More L Special Editions now that those have proven popular.

    -juice
  • partyboye1partyboye1 Posts: 16
    I am not looking for the cheapest car. I am looking for a nice, reliable car. AWD would help me get through the Mid-Atlantic snowstorms but I don't really need it. My budget is around 13,500. The car can be new or used. Please suggest cars to avoid.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Told who so?

    If you can wait a bit, everyone knows the 3 is taking the Pro's spot in the Mazda line-up, inventory needs to be moved. They'll start to offer really good deals.

    That was taken from my original post. I work indirectly for Mazda, I know what they're doing, I know when you'll be able to buy a 3.

    I'm NOT suggesting the Pro cause it's the cheapest car. I'm suggesting it because it would be a fine choice.

    partyboye1, there aren't many new cars in your price range, the Elantra and Protege are about it. It's a good idea to check Edmunds owner reviews on vehicles you are considering, people that actually own the cars you want can often offer the best insight.

    As far as cars to avoid, I think someone already posted a list from Consumer Reports. While every manufacturer can produce bad cars, some are more prone than others, CR is a good place to start your research. Their web site is realtively inexpensive for a year and it offers a ton of information on new and used vehicles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Told who so? Partyboye1. So what if we pointed out the same thing (amazing, we agreed on something).

    If the new model is already out, pretty soon your "new" car will seem older than it is, was my point, and it still stands.

    -juice
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I'm not trying to take you to task, I think you're one of the best posters on this entire site. Level headed and even tempered. (I'm definately not a model poster as I'm too argumentative.) Actually, I agree with quite a bit you have to say, I don't make a point of posting when I agree with you though.

    If the new model is already out, pretty soon your "new" car will seem older than it is, was my point, and it still stands.

    And my point that a new car will always feel newer than a used car. Especially if something breaks within warranty time.

    I'm supposing partyboye1 is financing his vehicle? If so, it would go against your aforementioned standard to buy a used car. As it wouldn't be under warranty for it's financing term. Actually, unless it was certified used, it most likely, wouldn't have any warranty left.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    New car smell had gotta be the most expensive smell on earth, more than french perfume! ;-)

    I guess we'd need a crystal ball to predict what resale values would be in the future. We did fairly well with our '95 626 on purchase price vs. eventual resale value last year, but the repair bills added up to sort of spoil the value equation.

    -juice
This discussion has been closed.