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Best new or used vehicle for $30,000



  • xkiddx13xkiddx13 Posts: 122
    taking the car to a dealership you trust, cause an indepented may not be honest or trust worthy either but a dealership, for example if its a honda, take it to a honda dealership that is respectable in the community, they will try there best to help you, they want your business and your return business as well..
  • 2006 Accord Hybrid has been delayed. It might not be available until mid-year.

    For $30K:

    You have a 6-speed IS250, 6-speed G35 sedan/coupe, Avalon Limited, Loaded Leather Prius, BMW 325, S2000.

    Or in two years a uused E320CDI

    It all depends on what you want and what you consider most important besides just the $30K.

    Reliability, Handling, mileage, performance, number of passengers, cargo space, asthetic value, features

    Double sixes,

  • xkiddx13xkiddx13 Posts: 122
    the '06 hybrid will be out in april, but then what does that matter if your saying to wait for two years to get a used car.
    plus you got the honda backing. it is already febuary, you can get all the info you need on the hybrid to design the exact color style accesories that you want in it and have it deliverd right to your house...

    though the BMW 325 is a good pick as well, even though you wont be able to get one fully loaded for under $30k
  • when is someone gonna suggest a Milano?!!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,639
    are you suggesting it?

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

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,243
    Do you mean the old Alfa Romeo?

    Or, the Pepperidge Farm cookie?

    Or, the Mercury Milan?


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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,639
    see that?
    Its so incredibly uninteresting we can't even be bothered to remember its name. ;)

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

  • yes yes - you are both right

    the "Milan"

    they say it gets over 30 mpg - so it meets that "spec" - not sure about the others

    I think I need a thread - "Most Fun Cars that get 30 mpg and that you'd be willing to drive at 80 mph on a freeway every single day back and forth to work 20 miles away? (no price limit)"
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'll take the cookie. :P
  • If a person needs a lot of room, Hyundai Azera or Toyota Avalon, brand new.
  • I'm an old guy so how about a 3 or 4 year old LS430? I also like the new Azera pick.
  • irv88irv88 Posts: 1
    I went through this process two years ago when we needed a second car...although on a slightly lower budget. I agree that looking at new cars and quality used cars around the same pricepoint is beneficial and a good way to shop. I looked at American, Japanese, and European makes (I found this to be the most important classification).

    I looked at new and used Buicks (I know), Ponitacs, Fords, Chevy's, etc. On the surface I wanted to buy American just because I'm a bit patriotic I suppose. The interior/exterior design and materials are just sub-par compared to the other cars in the market. They generally boast more HP and options, but you can't feel it or see it when you're driving the car. I realized American cars weren't going to work after a lot of wasted time test driving Grand Prix's, Impala's, and the like. I went to the Japanese market.

    I tried a new Mazda 6, new/used Accords, new/used Camrys and Avalons, and new/used Altimas. I liked the idea of a Japanese make because of the affordability, reliability, and all the rave reviews. I just couldn't do it. I am a tall driver, and couldn't even get in the Camry even though it's front leg room measurements are better than most (goes to show that the numbers aren't everything). The Japanese cars are relatively expensive on the used market and the feel of the cars is "tinny" inside and out. Light doors, light steering, light brakes...I just didn't like them. Of the Japanese segment, I was down to an Altima or Mazda 6 which offer a lot for the money and drive pretty well.

    Off to the European segment. Used BMW 3-series, Audi A4s, Saab 9-3 and 9-5, and new/used VW Passats. The BMW is hands-down the best pick except they hold their value well and, like the Japanese segment, are expensive on the used market. The Saab's are a great value, not as tight as the BMW, plus there isn't a service provider near me. I wound up purchasing a two year old VW Passat CPO with 25K miles on it for half the price of this thread's market. When I drove off the lot I had what sums up to be a 4yr-50K warranty and a car that was still worth what I paid for it if not a little more. The car drives well thanks to it's German pedigree and has every option except an automatic xmsn and leather (my only regret).

    I don't think I'll ever BUY a new car again. I'll either buy used 1-4 years old, or lease new (I'm a car addict, it just may make more sense). If I had more money I would have gone with the BMW. For the money I paid for the VW I would have ended up with a 98-99 328 with 75K on it or more and no warranty which was a bit more used than I wanted. It seemed to me that all the American cars were about the same, Japanese cars about the same, and European cars about the same. Really, the European cars have the biggest difference across the market segment in my opinion.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,639
    The Subaru Legacy GT just won a 7-car AWD sedan comparison in one of the big mags (either C&D or R&T, i can't remember) against big hitters like the BMW 325 and G35. At 26 mpg, its a bit below the desired 28 mpg, but, for a 7% gas penalty, you get WAY MORE than a 7% performance gain. :)

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

  • calancalan Posts: 5
    I may be taking a job in the near future that will require me to make a two hour commute each day. So I am in the market for a comfortable large or midsized sedan.

    Given the fact that GM will more than likely end up in bankruptcy in the next 6 months to a year, I am not considering any GM cars.

    So Far, I have looked at the Nissan Maxima, Ford 500, Honda Accord V6 EX, Ford Fusion, Toyota Avalon, and the Volvo S60.

    Nissan Maxima
    Honestly, There have been a couple of factors that have all but counted out this car. First was when I went to, and got a website for a computer company. The company claims it is being sued by Nissan America for copy right infringement, and claims they were using the name long before Datsun switched over to Nissan. Weather or not this is true, it makes Nissan America look quite bad. The next strike was at the Dealership. I ended up taking a test drive with a 'Salesman' who was just barely 20, and I knew a lot more about the car than he did. His sales manager did not help much when he told me Ford could not make a reliable vehicle. Apparently, he didn't see the Ford Escape I drove onto the lot (and have been driving for 2 years without a problem). I checked out a couple of Maxima websites, and there appear that the current generation of cars has had more than it's share of teething pains. I like the styling of the car, but I don't think it will hold up very well to my 25k a year driving habit.

    Ford Fusion
    I sat in a fusion at the dealership, and I might schedule a test drive soon. The price is right for me (around $24k with the options I want). I like the exterior styling of the car, but the interior is somewhat lacking. I know Ford is using the same double din radios in most of their cars and truck, and the same AC interface, but after seeing the Honda Accord, and the Toyota Avalon, I think Ford needs to try to get away from this habit in favor of an interior that flows better, and does not appear to have been designed by the finance comittee.

    Ford 500
    I looked at the limited, with AWD, and the cvt, and just about every option. It drove nicely, and I could get used to the smoothness of the cvt. I have the same complaints about the interior as I have about the Fusion, plus, my wife thinks the car is UGLY. I could live with the looks of the car, but for the $30k price tag, I could be driving an Avalon.

    I will hand it to Ford, of all the dealers I have been to, their sales people were the best. I told them up-front I was just shopping, and they still spent a lot of time with me, and appeared quite to know there products quite well.

    Honda Accord V6 EX
    Is it just me, or does every honda car pretty much look the same up front? I have owned a couple of Honda's in my day, including a CRX, and an Insight. The interior of the Accord reminded me a lot of the Insight. All of the controls felt the same, and the dash layout was similar (with the obvious exclusion of the speedometer). My biggest complaint about the car was with the ergonomics. I am a big guy (5-11, 205lbs), and I felt like my elbows were too low, and the steering wheel was too close. Honda deserves kudos for getting away from a standard din radio, but I think they may have taken it a bit too far by combining the radio with the AC controls. It took me a while to learn to operate the AC in my Insight, and I imagine there would be a learning curve on the Accord Radio/AC system.

    Toyota Avalon
    I think this would be the car for me if it weren't for the price tag. I admit, I want leather, I want the heated seats, I want the navigation option...Unfortunatly, all these wants add up to over $37k msrp. I have considered buying a used one, but it appears that used 05's with under 20k miles are quite hard to come by. If I do buy one, it will be a XLS.

    Volvo S60
    I sat in one at my local show room. (Im sorry, I didn't SCHEDULE a test drive). Coming from Fords and Honda's, the layout of the control on the Volvo seemed very foreign. The AC control seem down right goofy to me, with the dial temperature controls. To ge the options I could get on the Honda or the Avelon, I am afraid I will end up spending quite a bit more than $30k.

    So there you have it, the ramblings of a car shopper. I still have not made up my mind...
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    You wrote, about the Honda Accord V6 EX, "My biggest complaint about the car was with the ergonomics. I am a big guy (5-11, 205lbs), and I felt like my elbows were too low, and the steering wheel was too close."

    Perhaps you didn't realize that all Accords have tilt and telescopic steering columns. The EX-L also has 8-way power driver seat adjustment.

    Those ergonomic amenities should permit you to customize the driving experience to your satisfaction.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,639
    you might want to try out a Nav-equipped Accord. With the voice controls, all you have to do is tell the car what temp you want it at. Doesn't get much easier than that. :)

    On the S60, they are about $5k off sticker right now. So carsdirect tells me that a 2.5T with premium, convenience, and climate packages would run me $30,442. So I think the street price might be right there in competition with the others.

    Since you are looking at the Ford products, you might want to check out the Mercury and even Lincoln equivalents. The interior upgrades might suit you better, and the exterior styling might please your wife more.

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

  • calancalan Posts: 5
    you might want to try out a Nav-equipped Accord. With the voice controls, all you have to do is tell the car what temp you want it at. Doesn't get much easier than that.

    Ok, I didn't know that, and it borderlines on cool...

    Actually, last night I took a took at the Acura TSX, and that may be a contender.
  • I'm not telling you to buy one, but do go look at and test drive a new 2006 Hyundai Azera and a new 2006 Sonata LX. You can get either one brand new for less than or even way less than $30,000. Buy one new for less than the used cars you might be considering. Check out to find out what rebates you qualify for.
    Either car has more features than any of the competition and at lower prices too. The performance and quality are excellent. The warranty is a great feature: 5 years/60k miles bumper to bumper and 10 years/100k miles on drivetrain.
  • So how much, before adding tax license and title, did your used Passat cost? Is it a 2003? Or a 2004? And what motor does it have? Is your warranty good until the odometer reads 50,000 miles? What date does your 4 year warranty expire?
    Although your post is not clear on it, I am guessing you paid $15,000 plus tax license and title.
  • omrsteromrster Posts: 2
    Just got into the market for a convertible and found a 2004 BMW 325, prev executive lease car, auto, premium, cold weather, 6 CD changer with ~6400 miles offered at $36000 with 18 months left on 48mo warranty. The dealer tells me the car was a manufacturer buyback in another state becasue of a transmission problem and the transmission was replaced and so the car is not CPO. I've looked around, but am not sure how worried to be about buying a car with a branded title.
    Any thoughts?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,243
    I would be very worried...

    I don't know the options on that particular car, but a brand-new '06 325Ci convertible stickers for around $45K.. I'd say $36K would be the right price, if that car had no issues and was CPO..

    With MBB on the title? It might be worth $6K-$10K less than that.

    If you were certain that the vehicle didn't have any other issues, and you were going to keep it for 5-6 years, and you were getting a great deal... it might be worth it..

    But, you can't be certain, you probably won't keep it that long... and that surely isn't a great deal....

    The low mileage may be clouding your judgement on value... You would be better off buying a similar car with 30K miles and a CPO warranty.. The price should be in the same ballpark.

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  • Thanks for he input. Too much to be concerned aboutwith the MBB.

    Started negotiating on a 04 325ci, auto with 13,700mi, cold weather, HK audio, PDC, premium pkg, sport pkg, rear airbag, xenon headlights with 27months left on original warranty, CPO, $39k.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    You ought to be able to get a certified, 2-year-old manual s60R for 30K.
  • zodiac2004zodiac2004 Posts: 471
    but I don't think it will hold up very well to my 25k a year driving habit.

    At that kind of mileage, if money is a consideration at all for you, I'd steer clear of European and Korean makes, and most domestics as well.

    If style and comfort are important to you, find a good independent mechanic, and buy any >95 LS/GS 400/430 you can afford, and call it a day.

    After 98, Nav was an option on them, and probably half of them came with them.

    In terms of reliability and keepiing you comfortable at high speeds for a lot of miles, those cars are unmatched. Of course you will lose a lot of value when you sell them - but that's true of any car you mile up unless you buy beaters.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    So, do we think the new Toyota Camry Hybrid qualifies for this discussion?
  • See message #1:

    "...What would you buy if you had 30k burning a hole in your pocket? Please assume that your needs are: sporty, yet comfortable on the highway; 4 seats minimum; over 28 mpg, and reasonable reliability.

    Our discussions always focus on new cars, but shouldn't our discussions start with price, and thus include used cars, as well?

    I think comparos between new cars and equal-priced-but-more-expensive-when-new used cars are valuable..."

    This is a good topic, but no posts here for a long time. How come?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,639
    well, maybe its all been said already.(?)

    In any case, since you've brought it up, I would like to throw the EOS into the arena.

    starts at $28k.
    seats 4.
    probably pretty sporty.
    should be comfy.
    with the 2.0T that gets over 30mpg in the Jetta, 28mpg is a reasonable expectation.
    And you get the added bonus of a droptop hardtop!

    Only part of the equation up in the air would be reliability. Alot of folks have become disenchanted with VW over the years.

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

  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I also think it is a great topic - so post some ideas, Joe!!
  • New cars: Sonata or Azera.
    You can bank the leftover money.
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