My First Car.. Need Help Comparing

cooledwhipcooledwhip Member Posts: 1
edited July 2017 in Mitsubishi
Hey all. 17 year old male, going into senior year of high school. Looking for my first car! :).
I live in chicagoland so I need something quick. Not fast, but quick. 4 doors, automatic transmission. I want something sporty, like a sport sedan, something that I can put upgrades on.
Anyway. I'm looking at a few cars and mitsubishis look pretty sick. Evos are gorgeous obviously but I can't get a turbo car as a first car.
I'm looking at a used lancer 2015. Considering either a lancer touring or GT or something, I'm new to all of this stuff so I don't know anything about the models that were released. My main concern is that I've been told these cars aren't reliable. Is this true? I'm weary to buy one if this is true. I need a car that can last me easily 5 years. I've got 4 years of college and this one year of my senior year left. Also I will be bringing this car to chicago where I will most likely go to school, so I need it to handle city traffic.
I'm worried about the CVT. Does that mean that it's only 1 gear? I've heard CVT transmissions are only 1 gear....

My other cars I was considering: I was looking at a subaru impreza. I was looking at the 2007 model specifically because I like it. I'm just worried if it's too old and unreliable. I need something that I can use in the snow because the snow here is awful. I would rather have a subaru wrx because those are snow beasts but that's not an option. I'm considering the Lancer, Impreza, or a BMW 330i E46 or a BMW 330ci. Mainly looking at the first 3 I mentioned though. Please help. Thanks


  • pensfan83pensfan83 PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 2,294
    What type of budget do you have? Your listed options go from compacts to entry level luxury sedans. Knowing what you have to spend will help folks make recommendations that fit your budget and needs.

    From personal experience I would not recommend an older BMW/Audi/Mercedes vehicle. The insurance will be high and the cost to repair and maintain those vehicles can get expensive very quickly. I owned an older Audi A4 when I wasn't much older than you and I had to dump it because I was getting buried in repair bills. An Impreza would give you AWD and some level of sportiness with the right trim. I'm not familiar with with the upgrade capability on them but I understand them to have solid reliability. The Nissan Maxima is another option, though I'm not sure when they started putting the CVT's in them if that's a concern.
    1997 Honda Prelude Base - 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD - 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road DC - 2006 BMW 330Ci ZHP
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 13,284
    Consider going for a cheap FWD reliable compact car. You don't have to have it last 5 years as you stated, you could easily flip it 2-4 years from now if you so choose. Allows greater flexibility if you don't spend your last dollar now. If you do save money, don't go spending all the savings in one place :smile:

    IMO if you want absolutely trouble-free reliability it is Honda or Toyota. My bosses company CRV just needed a new AC system put in, but it's a 9 year old car. Since Toyota limits sportiness, Honda is the way to go. Of course, you could consider a CPO BRZ and/or FRS.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • tbirdmarcotbirdmarco new yorkMember Posts: 3,838
    would go Toyota car brand with least amount of problems compared to the rest!
  • tbirdmarcotbirdmarco new yorkMember Posts: 3,838
    would go with Toyota car brand with the least amount of problems!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,338
    mazda3. end of search.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE, '92 Nissan Gloria 3.0; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel. 65-car history and counting! '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works on the way; Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • ChaseBellowsChaseBellows Member Posts: 76
    @cooledwhip Thanks for reaching out to Edmunds! What's your budget? In my opinion, I love the BMW's, but they're cheap for a reason. Expect a much higher maintenance cost. Among the most fun to drive on your list but you get what you pay for ;). The other's are right, Honda/Toyota will be your best options for reliability if they have a good history of maintenance.

    As far as a CVT goes, it is an infinite amount of ratios instead of one gear. It will adjust the ratios depending on how deep you are in the gas or what type of driving you're doing. Typically, they aren't a fun to drive.

    Overall, it depends on your budget. Your budget will dictate what you can and can't consider. While fun to drive is great, reliability should be first. You don't necessarily want a fun to drive car with a $1,000 repair bill while you're in college!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Mazda 3 is a great choice. Nothing wrong with Mistubishi except horrible re-sale value, so don't pay too much---also a Lancer is not a particularly exciting car to drive. As for the Impreza, on a car that old I wouldn't consider it unless it passes a pre-sale inspection with flying colors. Honda and Toyota are of course, well-known for reliability but for a nice clean used one you'll always be paying a premium. The others might seem like bargains in comparison.

    Also avoid extreme high mileages. Try to stay well under 100K miles on the older cars, and under 50K on the newer ones. If you get some warranty that's left, all the better.
Sign In or Register to comment.