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Used Vehicles Best Values

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,930
    About 8-10 years ago a coworker was continually having problems with his two Volvos. And they required long waits for parts. He was going nuts with the continual hassles.

    So much for the bulletproof and simple-to-maintain.

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

  • I sold a 2002 P5 for 10,300 dollars last month. It had 53,000 miles on it and was a great driving car.

    Had new tires, brakes and a four wheel alingment done on it as well. Too bad it was about a 700 dollar loser for us but it was a car that needed to go away.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Dealer asking prices for average mileage P5 seem to be around $10k - $12k. Private party under $10k now. IIRC, ABS and side air bags were an option package with a sunroof. I should know, since I have one. :-)
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,624
    I agree, go with the Focus. I'm a big fan of Accords and Camrys but they wear out too eventually and the two you mentioned sound just on the edge. I just donated a '93 Accord with 160000 miles to the local high school auto class. It just kept needing too many expensive repairs. And at that age they don't get very good gas mileage either.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    you know as well as the rest of us that EVERY make and model of car has its ugly stories and unhappy owners.

    I was quite a happy volvo owner and, being a frequent visitor to dedicated volvo forums, i found THOUSANDS of others like me. I honestly think I have read more complaints from other "more reliable" brands that I have owned. (although I'll admit that's not terribly fair since so many other manufacturers sell in much higher numbers than volvo, so more complaints is only natural.)

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I just donated a '93 Accord with 160000 miles to the local high school auto class. It just kept needing too many expensive repairs

    The problem with miled up vehicles, even Accords and Camrys, is who keeps a car THAT long and then says "I need a new car" UNLESS there is a problem coming down the road?

    MOST people get rid of a car 1) at the end of the warranty period, 2) at the end of the lease, 3) after a certain period of time (like every 4-5 years), or 4) at a certain mileage (like 100k).

    People like ME (or someone who tries to drive a Honda Accord 200k miles) generally don't get rid of a car until there is systems failure (blown engine or tranny) or until we are tired of enjoying a weekly cup of java with our mechanic.

    That is why I am not excited about Accords or Camrys with ton of miles.
  • Taurus wagons with an extended warranty seem pretty cheap and easy to come by. If we didn't need AWD and a manual transmision, these would have been on my list.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    jlawrence01 wrote: "The problem with miled up vehicles, even Accords and Camrys, is who keeps a car THAT long and then says "I need a new car" UNLESS there is a problem coming down the road?

    MOST people get rid of a car 1) at the end of the warranty period, 2) at the end of the lease, 3) after a certain period of time (like every 4-5 years), or 4) at a certain mileage (like 100k)."

    I'm sure you're right in many cases, but in my specific case with two '80s vintage Classic 900 SAABs, one ('85) with over 200K and the other ('87) with 160K, I guess it's just the thought of wanting something new! Neither is giving us any problems, in fact the oil consumption is negligible between the 3K/3month oil changes. They both simply keep running. After almost 22 years with the 900 4-door sedan, excellent condition or not, I think I'm ready for a new car!
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    w9cw -

    I admire you. You and I are birds of a feather. "How far can we go without buying a new one?"

    Unfortunately, we are a distinct minority.

    I have a friend in a '92 Toyota Camry who has about 150k or so and is planning to drive it into the ground. He has the usual oil leaks but won't pay the $400 to repair them. (He has been putting aside $300/mo for a number of years to replace it ... and has asked me what he can buy for $45k).
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I know what you mean. Thankfully, I perform all major and minor maintenance on the SAABs, but in reality, both have needed little. The heads have never been off of either vehicle, and both are on their original transmissions - one a 5-speed stick and the other a 3-speed auto. Sure, I've replaced a starter, water pump, brakes, headliners, and exhausts, etc. here and there, but really nothing major. They're both aesthetically excellent and I probably could drive them for another 10 years! With the long time between new car purchases here, one of the benefits is the ability to pay cash for a new one, without the financing requirement. Heck, both SAABs are part of the family, and I actually hate to part with either of them - along with my other piece of Swedish Iron - a 1970 Volvo 144S, but it's still a youngster as it only has 86K actual miles.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    (He has been putting aside $300/mo for a number of years to replace it ... and has asked me what he can buy for $45k).

    Good grief I admire folks who do this. I wish I had that kind of resolve.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I've owned 3 Volvos. The older RWD ones are pretty reliable but a bit expensive to fix. I wouldn't touch the newer FWD/AWD ones. They've had a lot more problems.

    The older RWD Volvos are great for the enthuist, but I think for the average person who isn't really into Volvos there are probably better choices.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    well, that's the thing. It usually comes down to what you know and are comfortable with.

    I became very familiar with my S70 over the years I had it, so I'm the most comfortable with the 850/S70.

    My father had a 240 for many many years (actually, i think it was one of those oddball numbers ... maybe 242? if there was such a thing?), but I was too young to even know anything about it. I do know he drove it 280K miles without any major repairs before selling it. Wish I knew how long it wound up actually lasting. I bought a 740 wagon for my brother not too long ago. So far it seems to be a stout vehicle.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,930
    >you know as well as the rest of us that EVERY make and model of car has its ugly stories and unhappy owners.

    Can't agree with you more and that's why I posted the story about the person with the two cars with occasional but very expensive, his words, and slow, his words, repairs. Does 760 GL work for something from 10 years ago? He had two IIRC. I think they may both have had the same designation.

    Yup, all car brands have their problems.

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

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    And when my daughters are old enough to drive (which is way too soon), I'll seriously be thinking about another older safe Volvo.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    That was then. A decade later, the parts are cheap and plentiful. And honestly, a 940 Wagon is probably the best. Yes, the 960's engine is sweet, but the 940's is the same engine in the 240 series.

    Of the Volvos that I have owned, all have over 250K miles on them and still ran like new when I sold them. Of course, they all were 100/200 series cars - not the 700/800 series.(FWD isn't my idea of good in a wagon)

    Look - you want the tank of all tanks, just get this(or sometihng simmilar):
    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=22&paId=211- 303072

    A nice near-mint condition 240 Wagon that's from a private party. $3000-4000 and absolutely the most reliable car you'll ever own. Oh - it also looks kind of retro. 1993 has non CFC A/C as well - a nice plus/is easy to keep working.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    i think that's really overpriced, but looks decent.

    I'd say $3k is all the money if its in superb condition and needs nothing.

    Oh, and, by the way, the 740 i bought my brother is RWD. I'm actually wondering now if all the "40" vehicles up until the S40 were RWD. Maybe I'll look that up when I get the chance. ;)

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    You were kidding, right?

    I can't think of a car that causes more expensive trouble than a Volvo unless it's an Audi!

    The old 240's were tha last of the good ones!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    oh, come on now, isell, I'm pretty sure you and I have been over this before. You don't like volvos, I know. And, if I recall correctly, you've never owned one. You speak of those you take on trade, right?

    Come to think of it, I'm willing to bet you, as a honda salesperson, take ALOT of problematic vehicles from other manufacturers on trade. Unreliability is probably the main thing that drives folks over to Honda.

    By the way, try to tell some Benz and Bimmer owners about expensive repairs. Then you'll hear real sob stories. Or just ask Shifty about Porsche repairs (ok, not the same type of vehicle ... but you did say you can't think of a car with more expensive problems).

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    Actually, I had a 245 Volvo wagon. These are pretty tough but they have their problems too, mainly electrical.

    And I've even owned two PV 544's! Anybody remember those? I wish I had them now!

    I base my feelings on what I see. The Volvos we take in as trade in's can be VERY troublesome, and, yeah, that may be the reason they were traded in. Still, when they need brakes, they almost always need rotors. They seem to ALWAYS have some warning light on. We are constantly taking them to the local Volvo dealer and I see the bills.

    I don't see these problmes (usually)on the Japanese trade in's or even the domestics.

    I think my least favorite cars are Audis. Even worse than Volvo. BMW's and Mercedes are also troublesome and very expensice to repair.

    But, it seems, the people who buy these cars are aware of the pitfalls and are willing to accept that.

    People who are sweating their car payments should stay as far away from european cars as possible in my opinion!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    People who are sweating their car payments should stay as far away from european cars as possible in my opinion!

    I'd have to agree with that.

    yes, on my S70, the stock rotors needed to be replaced with every 2nd set of pads. Easily solved with aftermarket rotors. The 2 common warning lights are for a loose gas cap or ABS module. Both easy and cheap, if you know what you are doing. I think you guys need to stop going to the dealer. LOL.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    We took in an S60 as a trade. Everything seemed fine until the airbag light decided to come on a week later.

    Volvo Dealer...1200.00!
  • I'll concur with that - we had a '98 V70 wagon that my wife loved, but once it got out of warranty, it became a budget buster with the "little stuff" like the $700 ignition switch, $500 tailgate latch assembly, and the miles were getting up where the services were costing more. Great car to drive and very safe, but you don't want to be making payments on one that is out of warranty, and you do have to learn to understand that European cars all have their "quirks". Again, if the car budget is limited, stay away from the European brands. Good luck.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    what did they say it was?
    i searched the boards and found no complaint of this that wasn't a simple reset of the light (usually because the owner disconnected it doing mods of some sort and just reconnecting it will not put the light out).

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    I don't remember now but I do remember the bill!
  • Airbag lights are always expensive. Go ask your service manager how much it generaly costs on a honda to fix an Airbag problem. I bet it is nearly 1,000 dollars as well.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    heck, i would think that, unless it was in an accident, the airbags should ALWAYS be covered under warranty! In my not-so-humble opinion, airbags should be warranteed for the life of the car. Unless they are deployed at some point, what reason would there ever be for a malfunction?

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    You're right. It's just that the Honda airbags rarely cause trouble.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    For those who are D-I-Y'ers, changing brakes on a Volvo 240, for example, is easy, and not costly. New Brembo rotors are inexpensive - $41 Front ea., and $37 Rear ea. And, Brembo's are far superior to the OEM 240 rotors - either Girling or ATE.

    Whenever I change pads, I always measure the rotors' thickness to determine if it's within spec (something every mechanic is supposed to do); if not, no questions asked, I install new rotors. If you do the work yourself, never have the rotors turned at a machine shop, always buy new ones.

    The answer on parts for ANY car, Domestic, European, or Asian, is do not buy the parts from the dealer. There are a number of sources of exact OEM parts for many cars, but the parts will not have the Volvo, or ??, name on it. However, it will have Hella, Bosch, or ??, which is the same OEM manufacturer for the parts. All it takes is a little time and research, and you can save yourself a ton of money.
  • bdc2020bdc2020 Posts: 58
    We are a family of 5. 2 adults and 3 kids (all under 6 years old). 2 in booster seats, 1 in a full child seat.

    What would be a good NON Minivan vehicle for us that can be acquired used of course for $15,000 or under?

    Remember with a back seat we need a width of about 56-57" to fit all those darn carseats.

    I personally would go with a minivan as I'm not worried about making impressions, but my wife is heavily against that. She wants a sedan or hatchback of some type.

    thanks,
    -brian
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 163,795
    You just have to tell your wife that she is wrong...

    Try that out and get back to us with the results... :surprise:

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    57" across?? Is that even possible? heck, even a Grand Marquis is only 60" across at the shoulders (according to edmunds), which means where the door handles are would be even smaller.

    I think the Magnum is the largest wagon on the market right now. That comes in at 55.5" at the hips.

    edit: Ford Freestyle (is it a wagon or crossover, i won't debate) is 55.8".

    Pacifica (definitely crossover, IMHO) is 56.3". You'll have to find one with the 2nd row bench seat, though. Or put a booster in the 3rd row and make one of the kids climb back there.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Go with the minivan. It's the most practical, and generally fuel efficient, vehicle within your stated price and specs range. And, when you take a driving vacation, you'll need the extra room, especially as the kids grow. I say this from experience, having "been there and done that."
  • crimsonacrimsona Posts: 153
    Mazda 5? If you squint really hard it'll look like a 3 Sport!
  • That was my first thought too but it is not wide enough.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    What is so negative about driving a minivan?

    I have heard people say..." I can't see myself driving a minivan"

    Why not? What's the big deal anyway?
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    It's an image thing. What's so funny about it though is that if they were do get into a minivan they likely would be hooked for life.

    If the poster above doesn' get one, what are the choices? A gas guzzling SUV or a (relatively) cramped wagon of some sort. Minivans are the best of all worlds, except that which revolves around image.

    While my two sisters and myself somehow managed to survive 4 years in the second seat of a '65 Buick Special wagon when we were teens, the choices are FAR better today.
  • I've got 2 kids, 1 in booster, 1 in child seat, and I can tell you there isn't a NON minivan vehicle that's good for kids, especially for more than 2. We had a Volvo wagon before our current minivan ('04 Nissan Quest) and there's no comparison. If your wife "can't see herself driving a minivan", she'll be seeing herself driving to the chiropractor alot for the back problems she'll have from getting the kids in/out of something else all the time. The other added benefit is that with most of the minivans, the kids seats are somewhat separated, which cuts out the in the car bickering. Just my $.02 worth. Happy shopping.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,296
    Yeah, I know.

    I don't understand why anyone with three small kids would be concerned about image?

    Nobody pays attention anyone and who cares?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    First off, the older Volvos are tanks. Anything with a "V/S/C" in the name is junk by comparison, other than the one year the S90 came out(rebadged 960). I agree with you on the price of the newer models, which is why I recommended the older ones. Plenty of aftermarket parts, tons of cheap fixes and the engines almost never break.

    But.. 3 kids isn't going to be easy. 1: You will definately need smaller seats. Often the seats are fine, it's the massive armrest that comes over the top that takes up all of the space. Find something smaller.

    Volvos are right out. So are most other cars. I suggest that you look into a big full size sedan and ditch the wagon idea entirely, as any wagon dig enough to deal with three carseats in the back - well - it's only one choice - this:

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/ViewModelDetail/make=Buick/model=Roadmaster- -

    Now, these are great cars. Reliable, big engine, safe, and depreciated quickly(image problem, not reliability for once). But they are boats. Massive. And of course, handles like it looks.

    My top recommendation goes to two choices:

    #2:Used Towncar. Not the cop-car/fleet beater special Crwon Vic or the halfway there Mercury-some-lame-sounding-French-name-looks-the-same-inside, but the real deal. They are built super tough, depreciate quickly, and will fit 6 people in them. And honestly, they don't handle half bad for their size. Definately no worse than a typical minivan. Repairs are cheap, as expected of sometihng that fleets and police repair all the time(of course they abuse them like no sane driver would - another reason to go after the Towncar. No fleet sales to speak of.

    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=22&paId=133- - 040263
    This is a dealer's asking price. This is the top-end luxury model as well - so imagine how cheap the lower-trim models are (ie - really cheap) 15K is a cinch on a Towncar.

    #1:My favorite right now is a Lucerne. It's quite a nice car and handles better than the Towncar IMO. It has three seat clamps in back and with the front bench seat option, there's acres of space up front. Get this - a normal model 2005 sells for dirt cheap. But my recommendation would be to wait a year. When 2008 models come out, the top-end CXS will drop to about 15K or so used. This is the model to get. Hig-end suspension, Northstar engine, and of course, with the wheels and such, it really looks fantastic in Black. Very reminiscent in feel and size of a late 90s S420. But without the S420's repair bills.

    Why the CXS? Because the CXS has the Cadillac suspension on it. This makes the car handle like a Mercedes E-Class or Accord or simmilar. IE - nothing like the big car it is. Just astounding to drive. Not your old Buick. This is a Cadillac DTS with a Buick logo on it. That looses a huge amount in depreciation - a win-win suituation for a used car. 22-24K now.

    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=22&paId=212- - 312484
    A good example of the bench seat. Looks much better, doesn't it? The traction control button is on the very end of the gearshift lever(normally is a button in the dash) The price listed is silly and it's a CX(3.8L bland engine) - I just wanted to show a picture of the 6 passenger seating.

    Two major plusses with both of these cars is that the transmission costs HALF what anything from Honda or Toyota does. We're talking $3000-3500 for a new tranny in a Camry. The Ford and GM? $1600. Same transmission they've been using for nearly two decades in the GM. All the kinks worked out and simple to get fixed.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I second the Mazda 5. Leftover 06's are on ad starting at under $15k. For me the 5 is a perfect compromise, smaller and sportier, but still practical... and decent fuel economy to boot. I never understood the image issue with minivans.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,180
    Like others here have said you will definitely want the mini-van.

    We have three kids under 7 years old. My wife was against the bus too. She had a Pontiac Gran prix, which has one of the widest back seats in a sedan. After 3 months of busting her knuckles trying to squeeze her hand in to buckle them in, we went with the mini-van and will have one for at least the next 15 years.

    If your wife insists on the sedan, Some models with big back seats are the Gran Prix, Impala , Olds Intrigue, and the largest one I found was the Olds Aurora.
  • bdc2020bdc2020 Posts: 58
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I have nothing against minivans, I'd prefer one. I think if I pushed it she would go with it, but I just prefered to not have to 'sell' it to her. We've rented an Impala recently on a trip and they all fit back there, but we did have the 'busted knuckle' syndrome as someone mentioned on trying to get one of the boosters buckled in.

    I'll check out the Mazda5 as well. she actually liked the Mazda MPV minivan, but the 3rd row didn't split at the time (don't know if that changed) and the behind the seat storage was too small without that 3rd row splitting.

    I'd like a new Ody but too much $$. Maybe a Grand Caravan could be had cheaper (an '06 leftover).

    thanks,
    -brian
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Trust us - you'll hate a minivan. If you don't have 6 people, seating for 5 in a big sedan is better. Drives better, moves better, and even usually has leather.

    The big Buick and Fords - Mazda would need to make a Mazda12 to equal it. :P
  • Hi,

    I am looking for advice on what car to buy. The situation is this: I have about $20K (before taxes and license) to spend on a performance sedan. Ideally, I am looking to buy a used car which is good 'bang for buck.' The only limitations are that it should be 4-doors and available with manual transmission.

    I am open to foreign and domestics but I haven't kept up with all the car trends (stopped paying attention around 2000) so I am looking to the car faithful here for some good advice.

    Thanks!
    J
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    For about 10 percent more you can buy a brand new Mazdaspeed 6 complete with turbo, AWD, and a 6 speed stick.
  • comp386comp386 Posts: 56
    I'd recommend Mazdaspeed 3. It starts in the low 20s and goes from 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. The only thing is that it's a hatchback and not a sedan. Its performance to price ratio is one of the best (if not the best) in its class. They may be a little hard to find though. Mazda isn't making many of them for the US. If you have to have a sedan, I'd take a look at the Mazdaspeed 6 like the poster recommended above. Try to find someone with an S-Plan pin to give no haggling pricing.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    lightly used WRX?

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 163,795
    Ditto... MazdaSpeed6...

    I'm thinking it will be awhile before the price drops enough on the MazdaSpeed3...

    Any used WRX would make me nervous....

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,979
    me too.

    but i figure there are those out there not nearly as paranoid as me. ;)

    Besides, the limit set was $20k. so far, my suggestion is the only one that fits.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

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