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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!



  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited April 2013
    The remote starter is another thing that is pushing me towards the Altima. It's not just that it's standard. but it is better integrated.
    On the Honda Accord, the dealer will charge about $700 installed AND it requires a separate keyfob to use it. I really don't want to carry 2 fobs for the same car in addition to all the other keys and fobs I need to carry in my pockets. One reason I want push start is so I don't have to worry about the weight of my heavy key ring on the ignition slot.

    I see that the estimated 60 month retained value of a 2013 Accord is 46% of MSRP vs about 40% for the Altima. If I pay a lower percentage of MSRP for the Altima and not have to blow $700 on dealer installed remote starter it could easily be a wash or even in favor of the Altima after 7 or 8 years.
    I could even get an Altima SV with convenience package and tech package to bump up the backup camera screen to a size closer to the Accord and have the price be around the same as the Accord EX which does not have available nav.
    I think the Altima purchased at the right price is going to win on cost even after resale differences. I'll only get the Accord if I like it a lot better and feel like the extra cost is worth it.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    Hi folks,

    I’m in a bit of an odd situation. A friend of my mom’s has a 2010 Infiniti G37 Journey 4-door and her lease expires in a few weeks. Initially, I just gave her some recommendations on certain models to check out and a few good lease specials that also might interest her. But now I’m basically her ‘wing man’ and I hardly know her. She is a very nice, classy, attractive 60-year old...but she’s also quiet, has a’dry’ or ‘hard-to-get-to-know’ personality, which freaks me out! My mom’s personality (and mine) are the polar opposite and neither of us ever meet a stranger (but my mom is a total sweetheart and I can be a real smart-@ss)...anyway, the most frustrating part is that she is IMPOSSIBLE to read based on facial expressions and body language. I feel like Agent Boothe trying to communicate with Dr. Brennan on BONES!

    But she has been very open and forthcoming in answering all my questions about money and a few delicate questions about her future plans and personal life. Long story short- her husband is a jerk and she is planning to leave him by the end of the year. I needed to determine her current financial situation and how a divorce will affect her cash flow. I also had to figure out if she would be open to some upscale cars that may not have a ‘premium’ badge on the trunk!

    She pays $497/mo for the lease on the 2010 G37. She was expecting it to stay close to same, just not over $500/mo. She cares more about the look, design and function than the brand name, which opens things up! And she drives like a librarian, so she probably has no clue what has been lingering under her left foot for the last 35 months in the G37. So less power is fine also....

    Her credit score is in the 780s and she owns a Physical Therapy practice that cleared over $200k last year. So qualifying for top-tier deals should not be an issue.

    I had her do some drive-bys to see several models today-

    2013 KIA Optima SX-Limited
    2014 KIA Sorento SX
    2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring
    2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring/GT
    2013 Acura TSX 4dr
    2013 Acura TL ‘Base’
    2013 Hyundai Sonata
    2013 Hyundai Azera
    2013 Hyundai Santa Fe (both versions)
    2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6 (killer lease deal)
    2013 Volvo S60 T5

    So....she completed all of her assignments except she didn’t make it to the Hyundai dealership. But I was surprised (and impressed) that she took notes on all the others!

    She initially loved the Optima SX-L, but the KIA logo was huge and ugly enough to be a deal-breaker! I didn’t say a word to influence her opinion before-hand, but the KIA emblem is as huge as a belt-buckle and looks cheap! It ruins otherwise world-class designs...and my mom passed on the 2013 Sorento for the same exact reason, so it’s not just me!

    The Mazda6 was love at first sight! She liked it better than her Infiniti, any new Infiniti/Lexus/BMW or anything else. She saw it in SOUL RED and (amazingly, considering her personality) would want it in that color! If her, dare I say...enthusiasm, continues after the test drive, we have the front-runner right here! I’m curious to see what the lease payment would be for 36mos on a GT.....

    The Acura TSX was acceptable to her, but she thought the TL ‘Base’ was as boring and ugly as the Mazda6 was gorgeous! She also threw me another shocker- she liked the TSX Wagon best of all! Again, I didn’t say a word to her, but these are all my opinions as well. The TL ranges from boring to hideous depending upon trim level and I would pay MORE for the TSX before I’d drive a TL! I have a 2010 TSX V6, so I obviously love them....especially that Wagon!

    Honda Accord EX-L V6- kinda plain, but still classy and upscale looking; couldn’t find a single exterior color that appealed to her, but maybe she didn’t see ALL of them....and for $0 due at lease signing and $380/month for 36 months with 12k miles per year, she could learn to like dishwater-dull beige!

    The Volvo S60 T5 was the other near-ringer, 2nd only to the Mazda6. But all three local dealers have them in one of two configurations- Base T5 with no options in Ice White or Black Stone (the non-metallic ‘free’ colors) OR Premier Plus/Platinum with every option box checked and a $40k sticker price! Leather, moonroof and maybe even metallic paint would do very nicely on the base T5 and keep the price around $33k...but they don’t seem to order them that way....

    I still want to her to see the Hyundai models, especially the new Azera. I ended up renting one a few weeks ago and, I’m not ashamed to admit, my 38-yr old butt would join AARP right now if they’d give me one of these! Her only two complaints about the Infiniti are the (too) firm ride and low fuel economy. I was very surprised that the new Azera is NOTHING like the previous Azera! It handled somewhere between an old Buick and a parade float, even bouncing a bit after expansion joints on the freeway....the new car is very comfy, but firm and not floaty at all.

    I also want her to see the entry-level Audi models, perhaps the Infiniti CUV models and (even though I’m not a Lexus fan) we’ll ride thru the lot and see who falls asleep first from sheer visual boredom!

    What else am I missing??? Maybe the Nissan Maxima?
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    edited April 2013
    If she likes bigger cars, then the new 2013 Toyota Avalon drives like a luxury car and is much more sleekly styled than last year's design. She can even get a 40MPG hybrid model.
    If she doesn't need a big car, she may like a BMW 320i or 328i or an X1.
    If she really likes the Mazda 6 and is not bothered by the road noise on the highway, she could get that and save some money.
    She might like the Buick Lacrosse or even a Verano is she doesn't mind smaller cars.
    High trim VW Passat or Passat CC can be nice also.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    NEW Development....I’m very seriously considering buying her G37 instead of her turning it back in to the dealer!

    I’ve never seen the car before and I just assumed it was a Journey with Premium Package, like 99% of leased G37 models. I tried not to think about why she was paying $500/month for it and a 2013 can be leased for $299/mo....but I just got the answer about an hour ago.

    I had her scan and email her lease contract so I could check out the turn-in requirements and any nit-picking b.s. It stated the car’s MSRP as $44,470 and a discount of $3900 for a Cap Cost of $37k and change after down payment. But the Journey with Premium Pkg MSRP shouldn’t be over $ she sent me a scan of the window has EVERY freakin’ option available including the SPORT Package, NAV, Tech Pkg.....

    My mom had said it was Silver, but it’s actually Graphite Shadow, which is a plus for me! It has Graphite Leather with Real Maple Interior Trim.

    No wonder she thinks it rides too firm- it has 18” W-rated Summer Performance tires, 225/50 on front and 245/45 on rear AND a sport suspension package....duh!

    It has all of the following-

    Premium Package-
    Power Moonroof, 10-speaker Bose Audio System, Power tilt/telescope steering wheel, 2-position memory w/ steering wheel, mirror and seat position memory, Smart Key w/ seat/mirror memory

    Technology Package-
    Adaptive Cruise Control
    Front pre-crash Seatbelt System
    Brake Assist w/ Preview
    Collision Warning System
    Advanced Climate Control System
    Rain-sensing wipers

    Navigation Package

    Interior Accent Package-
    Real Maple Trim on Door Panels, Dash and Console

    Sport Package-
    12-way Power Sport Driver’s Seat
    Sport-tuned steering, suspension & brakes
    Solid magnesium paddle shifters
    Aluminum pedal accents
    Viscous Limited Slip Differential
    Sport front fascia, side sills and unique sport headlights
    18” Premium Alloy Wheels
    P225/50WR18 Performance tires (front)
    P245/45WR18 Performance tires (rear)

    The dealer has an identical looking one w/o Tech Pkg or Maple Trim for $28k. Her lease-end purchase option is $20,874 per the lease contract! So I can buy it at that price....right at $22,300 with tax, tag and title. I told her I’d buy it for that and put $1k toward the down payment on her new lease!

    This is so crazy! I just bought a CPO 2010 Acura TSX V6 on 4/13....two weeks ago yesterday! I love it but it doesn’t have the Tech Pkg (no NAV or Premium Audio) and this G37 is beyond loaded! I was fortunate enough to pay cash for the Acura, so I’m taking it to Carmax tomorrow to see what they will give me. If nothing else, I can finance the G37 until I sell the TSX....

    I’m going over to her house first thing in the morning (this morning now) to see and drive it! But I can’t see any reason not to go for it! She didn’t even realize how loaded it was and figured all G37s had those features...even though she didn’t use or know how to use a lot of!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    You may need to work something out with a dealer (carmax could probably do it along with buying yours) because most lease buyout are for the leasee only. So in other words SHE can buy out the lease (and pay sales tax on it or however your state works) and then sell it to you (and you pay sales tax again!). But if you work out the deal properly, you should be able to get a dealer to buy out her lease from her and sell it to you at a predetermined price and take your car in on "trade". They usually like to make a few bucks on a deal like that (i've paid $300-$500).

    You should probably find out what she could get on trade for her car and make her whole on the deal. I'm guessing she's got more than $1,000 in equity if she were to trade it in on her next vehicle. Then again...she may REALLY like you and not mind taking care of her sugar baby.....ha!
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    After talking with two friends in the business (one is the GM at a Toyota dealer, the other is a Used Car Mgr at a Honda dealer), I think I have it figured out.

    I can add her name as co-owner to the title of my Acura. Then she can trade it in on the Infiniti and buy out the lease and have it titled in both of our names just like the trade-in.

    When I get the hard copy of the Infiniti title, she and I can go down to the County Tag office and have her removed leaving my name only on the title. If we trade the Acura (which has no loan) I can cover any difference to buy out the Infiniti in cash, so there won't be a loan complicating the whole thing....

    I already have 1mil/1mil/100k liability limits on my auto policy plus a $2mil umbrella on top of that. That will protect her assets during the time her name is on the title of the car I'm driving. If anyone questions any of these actions, I'll tell them she's my Cougar/Sugar Mama...until we remove her name from the title eventually, then she'll be the Cougar that chewed me up spat me out...give 'em something to gossip about!

    Trading the Acura would reduce the tax on the G37 purchase by at least $1350, so I'll give the $1k plus $1350 ($2350) to put down on the new lease. If she were to decide to go with an Acura instead of the Mazda, they also have a $1500 Conquest Bonus offer that she could get with her name still being on the Infiniti title....

    I talked to her just a few minutes ago and told her that it was easily worth $23,500 trade-in or more and I wanted to pay her what she would get on trade-in. But she flatly refused and told me even knowing that she could buy it and turn around and immediately trade/sell it for $3k more, she wouldn't go thru the hassle and paperwork! Did I mention that she made over $200k last year? Must be nice....

    Besides, she considers my time and effort in finding her the best new car fit and getting her the best deal on it very valuabele. I really don't mind doing it at all, but she seems genuinely grateful for my help! I don't think anyone has ever done that before..... =)

    So she feels that things are 100% equitable with me paying the lease buyout and no more. She says she won't accept any of the $2350 I plan to give her for down payment, but I told her that I'd be there with her and I'll hand them the certified bank check for $2350 when we walk into the F&I office!!!

    Of course, it is pouring rain here in Georgia today and thunderstorms for the rest of the day....I'm still going over to look it and drive it, but won't be able to really try it out until the roads are dry....dangit...
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    "Then again...she may REALLY like you and not mind taking care of her sugar baby.....ha!"

    She and my mom were joking about that earlier on the phone and then mom called to give me a hard time about it.

    Let's just say that there is NO chance of anything like that ever happening.

    I'm trying to think of the best way to put this....

    I'm 1/16th Cherokee Indian and my best friend and I went to Cherokee NC to the Casino and Reservation several years ago. I wanted to meet an Elder/Chief who could give me my 'Cherokee' name, but we got tired of waiting in line after an hour or so. We went back to the Casino and started gambling and getting hammered. Once I had a good buzz, my best friend (since 7th grade, 25+ years) christened me "Dances With Boys" and in return, I named him "Flaming Arrow"....understand?
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 24,879
    LOL. I think you could have just said it bluntly, but thanks for the story. :)

    '18 Stelvio Ti; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 46-car history and counting!

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    Well, you know that my people have a flair for the dramatic, so the story was the natural way to go....

    I have a cousin who loves to call me a "Confirmed Bachelor" and loudly ponders my plight at family funerals and other inappropriate a thick Southern accent, "Jason, son, I'm starting to worry about you! You are 38 years old and it keeps me up some nights wondering when you are finally going to meet the right girl? And it breaks my heart that instead of being happily married with a few kids and rentin' that single-wide next to ours, You are still living with your college roommate in that big old new 4-bedroom Craftsman style home inside the Atlatna city limits with all the sin and evil right in front of you every day, almost like it's in your own bedroom....But I still have faith that Jesus has one picked out there for you somewhere....y'know, that cashier at the Piggly Wiggly, the one who had to go on Workmans Comp cause she was so fat she collapsed the stool at her register, I think she's single and she's lost almost 20 pounds, only 380 more to go and she can fit in one airlplane seat..."

    I kid you not, this happens out loud where others can hear it...I triple my daily Valium dosage (and chew them) during those warm family moments...;
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Short story long...haha! Most women want a friend of your you could still be the sugar baby...just not much sugar.

    I think the title dance is a lot of work to get to the same place as a dealer just processing the paperwork for a nominal fee. I've done this numerous times and it's never been a problem.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    "Short story long...haha! Most women want a friend of your you could still be the sugar baby...just not much sugar."

    Haha, she's very resourceful and made one of her own, it took about nine months and he is 24 now!

    That is actually how she and my mom became friends. Mom was seeing a physical therapy at her practice and overheard her having a conversation with another therapist about her son, Jordan. She was very worried about him because he struggles with bi-polar depression. After mom's therapy was finished, she took her outside and gave her a big hug and they talked for over two hours. That was three years ago...

    Also, I'm the very rare sub-type of gay that is not good sidekick material for most women....they didn't even know my kind existed prior to me....I am what is known as a "boring gay"....a few years ago, I attended a charity event with my best friend and a drag queen was hadning out "Most Likely Awards" to random audience members. I was named "Most Likely to Be Mistaken for A Soccer Dad!" =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • marcus216marcus216 Posts: 78
    I also looked at both cars, but from the V6 perspective, though I did test drive both in the 4cyl models as well. I thought the 4 cyl/CVT combo in the Nissan was very loud and just too busy for me. The 4cyl/CVT combo in the Accord was significantly better, but I just don't like CVT transmissions. I settled on V6 EXL Accord because the gas mileage difference was not that great when upgrading to the 6 cyl car. And i felt the Accord was a bit more upscale than the Altima is. Just my opinion and again, I don't like CVT's. I am a stickler for tracking gas mileage. I have 2,000 miles on my Accord V6 and am averaging about 23 MPG in town and on my one interstate trip of about 200 miles, I got 34.8 going about 72mph. Most 4 cyl cars are hard pressed to match that.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    Don't know if you can come in under $26k for a V6 though. I agree, Nissan CVT is really loud when it starts up; Accord is much quieter. And the gas mileage is better with CVT. After a V6 Maxima, I felt we could live with a 4cyl CVT. So far no problem.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    Steer her to the TSX wagon. It'll come in handy after the divorce.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    I'm not to sure about that. She owns the house and she has a prenup! =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The V6 gas mileage is not that bad and compares well to some 4 cylinder turbo cars with similar HP, but the 4 cylinder versions of both of these specific cars do much better with mpg. You would probably get closer to 40mpg on the same interstate trip and a few mpg more in the city with a 4 cylinder 2013 Altima or Accord.
    Plus, it not just fuel costs. There is the higher purchase price, plus there may be an insurance premium jump and higher maintenance costs over time.
  • marcus216marcus216 Posts: 78
    I agree with you regarding cost. I did have to pay a premium for the V6 over the 4cyl, no question. And it will cost me about $150 per year in added fuel cost. These are all variables that I evaluated when making my purchase. But the added power ans smoothness is important to me. the V6 is very quick and powerful. Ans since I intend to keep the car 8 to 10 years, I felt it was worth the added cost. But again, I drove the 4 cyl and found it very competent.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I stumbled on another car that is not meant to be a competitor to Accord and Altima, but might meet my needs for everything listed except the rear HVAC vents.
    There is a redesigned Kia Soul coming out in the fall that has push start available in an option package in the mid trim Soul Plus level.
    The current generaton Soul is too noisy buzzy for me, but apparently they really improved the driving refinement on the 2014s and they said it is 3db quieter than a 2013.
    I will have to wait for road test reviews and my own test drive to see if it is still too loud even after the NVH improvements for 2014. I will also wait for small overlap crash testing and first owners reports on quality issues, but if everything is fine, this could be another option.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    A reporter would like to speak to a recent buyer of a Ford Focus ST who considered buying a VW GTI. If this fits your description and you'd like to share your story, please send your daytime contact info to [email protected] no later
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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Hello,
    I am in need of some advice regarding the car I should purchase. I have three choices:

    1. 08 Avalon XLS 61000 Miles Certified $16500
    2. 11 Hyundai Sonata SE (leather and nav) 45000 Miles Certified $17500
    3. 08 Honda Accord XLE (leather and nav) 58000 miles not certified $17400

    I am wanting a car that is dependable and will last. All three cars listed above are in excellent condition.

    Thanks for your help :)

  • Hey everyone,

    Hopefully I posted this in the right area. Sorry if I didn't.

    In any case, I'm going to give you the long story of this question, so you have a better idea of everything.

    Three weeks ago, I got laid off after 10 months of working at a place and moving across the country (midwest to new england) for a job. Two weeks after that, I ended up totaling my car after an encounter with some deer on the interstate. Since I got laid off, I can't finance a car even though I have stellar credit and I also don't plan on staying around here for that much longer. I'm applying to jobs all over the country, so who knows where I will end up.

    With that said. I got my insurance check and a little more money, so I'm looking for a car in the 7000$ range at the highest. I can't drive a stick and I would rather have a car over a truck or anything, just because of gas. I also don't know much about cars in general. I can check the fluids and tires, but that is about it. Everything else I'm clueless about.

    I've spent this entire week going from dealer to private person, test driving, carfaxing, and everything. Looking at craigslist, autotrader and about everyday.

    I'm pretty open to most cars, but I keep hearing good things about Hondas, Subarus and Fords.

    I had a Chevy Cobalt and I never had major issues with it and got to 120k miles, before I crashed the damn thing. I bought it new, but also financed it back in the day. This not financing thing, makes it feels like I lack options, but maybe I'm just not savvy enough at the car shopping bit.

    So far, I've came across 3 maybes. (I'm not sold on them, so any other suggestions I would love to hear.) All of them are from used car dealerships, which are always shady. For whatever reason, I can't find a decent car from a private person or when I finally get ahold of them, the car is already sold, though it has been a week.

    Anyway, the first car was a 2005 Ford Taurus with about 87K miles on it. The engine kinda revved up and down slightly when it was idling, but I don't know if that is normal for a ford taurus or if I was looking too much into it. It also had some weird rust spots on the under side, also I don't know what is normal vs what is bad. The dealer wanted 6200$.

    The second car was a 2005 Honda Civic with 119k miles on it. The brakes where kinda bad, but other than that everything else seemed alright. The dealer wanted 6900$ for that.

    The Ford and the Honda was from the same dealer, who out of all the ones I've met, has been the most helpful and "honest" guy. I don't really trust anyone selling a car, because I've just came across to much bs. But I mean, he said he wouldn't sell anything to me until he delivered me carfax reports (his computer was messing up, he showed me, seemed legit) and he also wanted to do some regular maintenance because the cars were new. Also, when I googled the shop/dealer it got stellar reviews. Not to mention, he said I should take any car I want to purchase to a mechanic of my choice. The fact that he recommended it to me, before I brought anything like that up also makes me like the guy, if that makes any sense.

    The last car I've came across was a 2003 Chevy Malibu with 82K miles on it for 4200$. The car drove the best, but reeked of smoke. But I mean it didn't idle weird, fluids seemed to check out, brand new tires, overall really nice. Since I'm trying to do research before I buy anything, I told the guy I was leaving and he immediately dropped the price to 3000$. I mean, it seems like a good deal, but it also seems like TOO GOOD of a deal, if that makes sense. He was also hesitant on a car fax report, so I did my own and it was clean, but still, the dealer seemed like a regular slime ball.

    So that is where I am now. Any advice? Should I continue to look? Anything else I should check out on the cars? I need a car within probably 2 weeks, because I will be moving again.

    In any case, anything you will tell me will probably be helpful.

    Thanks in advance!
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Civic is probably the only one I would consider. I'm not sure if that's a decent price or not but if it's super clean and brought up-to-speed on brakes/maintenance it might not be too bad. At least that one should be easy to sell down the road if you decide to get into something else. I'd probably also recommend trying to only spend $5,000ish so you have a little cushion for repairs down the road.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    I would not consider any of them. You will have much better success if you look at used cars at a new car dealership. Any car you buy should be checked out by a mechanic first. Any car that reeks of smoke will reek of smoke forever so don't buy it unless you have no sense of smell. Check out older Buicks or Pontiacs. They cost less than Japanese makes but tend to be very reliable and are cheap to repair. If you can find one a Pontiac Vibe is a good bet. And yes, don't spend more than 5k because you are not in a position to repair it since you have no income. And as the last car experience showed you, you should negotiate a user car price just as you would a new car. Owning a car is expensive though. Could you get by with public transport until you find a job? In the northeast that might be possible.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • almaiunraie22almaiunraie22 Posts: 2
    edited May 2013
    Hello everyone. First I would like to say that I wish I would have known this was here years ago, probably could have saved me money long ago.

    Moving on... I am looking to purchase a used car, I really want a reliable vehicle that needs minimal repairs. I have had the worst luck with cars. I now own a 2005 Chevy Equinox and have had too many issues with it and now want to get something else. I have heard a lot about Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. Everyone always says.. they last forever. What does that really mean?? How many miles is too many when you are looking to purchase a used Honda, Toyota, or Nissan?? I don't want to get a vehicle with 100,000+ miles and then have to do a bunch of repairs.

    Also, of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan which is the best buy, and what models? I would like to stay with and a SUV, but can go back to a sedan. I am looking to spend $12,000 and would like to have it for at least 2 years to allow me to finish school. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    If you want the most reliable used brand that would be Toyota! No question. I would suggest a sedan, the Toyota Camry, because it is better on gas. We bought a used Camry for our daughter with 90k on it and we sold it only because she no longer needed a car at 169k. You will have repairs with any used vehicle because parts wear out and have to be replaced, so put some money aside for that. Another good choice that is cheaper is a used Buick, Century or LeSabre. If you want a SUV I would suggest the RAV4 or a hatchback like the Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe. Make sure an independent mechanic checks out any vehicle before you buy.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,004
    edited May 2013
    There are a lot of reliable makes. Honda is certainly considered one of the best.

    When I was a student I wasted a lot of time and money by buying used. I wish I had just bought a new Honda to begin with and kept it longer than the used lemons I used to own. If you have $12,000 I think you should just buy a new car instead.

    Why? Because used Hondas keep their value. You might pay c. $15,000 for a 4 year old Civic LX with 50,000 miles. But you can get a brand-new 2013 Civic LX for c. $16,990 in many markets. And financing is often available.

    Then, rather than having a car you need to trade or repair in a few years, you can just keep it for c. 10 reliable years and save big in the long run. Or, if you need or want to sell it sooner, it will have good resale value.

    My 2 cents.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Which do you like driving better? The Avalon in particular should drive differently (e.g. softer, more isolated ride) than the other two.

    If that's not important to you, all of these should be pretty reliable but the Avalon has the edge I think because 2011 was the first year for that Sonata, and 2008 the first year for that Accord. If the Certified Sonata includes extending the bumper to bumper warranty to 10 years/100k miles, that could be a big factor for you. Be sure to ask the dealer about that. At the least, the powertrain warranty should be extended to 100k miles on the Sonata as a Certified vehicle and you'd still have at least two years and 15k miles left of the b2b warranty.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    I vote wholeheartedly for 2011 Sonata SE!

    Did you happen to check out any CPO Hyundai Azera models? They were introduced in 2006 as a direct competitor to the Avalon....I really like them. The less expensive models have the same V6 that was optional on the Sonata during the same years. The top-end Azera Limited had a larger 3.8L v6 with more power and it is one smooth operator!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    Why not get a new or 1 year old slightly smaller version: elantra, civic, or corolla? Is there a reason you need a midsize car? For the same money you could be in a newer and even more reliable car.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,004
    edited May 2013
    My recommend: Get a new 2013 Accord LX. It's better, stronger, faster, safer, gets higher mpg, has blue-tooth, back up camera, alloy wheels, etc., etc. All on the base model.

    Crest Honda in Nashville has one for $20,292, and Honda dealers in most major metropolitan areas will get close to that.

    If you buy a new Accord, it's highly likely you'll only have to do minor maintenance (oil changes, mainly) and buy one set of tires for the next 10 years & 100,000 miles. This will simplify your life and save you a lot of time, money, and headaches. You'll save in the long run imho, and have much better resale whenever you do want to get another car.

    1.9% financing for 5 years is available directly from Honda.

    2013 Honda Accord LX
    2013 Honda Accord Sedan
    2.4L I-4 cyl
    Continuously Variable
    City MPG:
    Hwy MPG:
    Ext. Color:
    Alabaster Silve…
    Int. Color:
    Stock Number:
    Crest Honda

    MSRP $23,270 Dealer Discount $2,978 True Price $20,292
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
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