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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!



  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    The new Infiniti I35 is one fine-looking car, and seem to be a hell of a bargain.
  • stebustebu Posts: 204
    I agree with corsicachevy. You could be missing a golden opportunity. The Q45 certainly lives up to the $59K price tag if you consider what you get from the other cars your considering at (or above) that price point. Also, consider that the Q45 comes from a company that is decidedly on the up swing. The soon to be released G35 can only generate more interest in the whole Infiniti lineup.

    I seriously doubt that you will see a car as good as the new Q depreciate anything like it's predecessor. It's better to choose a car on its merits. You'll have a much better chance of living with the choice down the road.
  • peteri1peteri1 Posts: 21
    Thanks for the comments. I do think the Q offers the most technology and packs the most features of almost any car out there. However, here in Illinois, dealers are quasi-stonewalling on the premium package Q's. What they're saying is "we're holding pretty much to sticker, but with low money factors and fair residuals, the leases are competitive."

    My point is soft money is a function of the economy and has nothing to do with the sticker. I've got a few months. I'll take a Q for a spin in what's soon to be lousy Chicago winter weather. If it can handle snow and ice, like the dealers claims and like my 1995Q45t couldn't, I would certainly reconsider. By that time, if their sales are still lagging, maybe they'll spare me the economics lesson.

    As for the Volvo, I drove (extensively) the S80T6 before I opted for the 99GS400. I loved the Volvo seats, but there were nagging squeaks and rattles, loose trim etc.. I think the Volvos have come a long way, no longer quirky, IMO, like the Saabs.

    One more thing about the Q--it IS distinctive. The Volvo S80 looks like the S60. The A6's, except for some fender flaring and emblems, are all identical. The LS430 looks like so many Mercedes models, with a 3.5RL rear end.

    My worst fear is that there will be a 2001 740i Sport leftover available which will scramble all my thinking. If Acura had only come out with their V8 model!!
  • vbnmvbnm Posts: 21
    peteri1, why wouldn't you consider a 740i sport? i think this car is one of the best looking on the market, saying nothing of its superlative performance. if you haven't already heard, with the introduction of the new 7 around the corner, dealers are HEAVILY discounting this year's 7-series. people on other message boards have reported driving these cars off the lot for as low as $56k. that's absurd. and a tremendously good deal, imo. if you're shopping an A8, the high-end A6, or the rear-drive infiniti/lexus i think you owe it to yourself to check out this classic.
  • peteri1peteri1 Posts: 21
    That's my point.. If they're still around, I most definitely would consider one. That would just confuse the issue even more. The 740i would bump the LS430 off the list and probably run to the top of the list. Since I'm leasing, not buying, I wonder how the 740i, as a 2001 model (being 16 months old at that point), would hold it's residual value in light of the 2002 model being an all new 745i version?
  • vbnmvbnm Posts: 21
    sorry, peteri1, misunderstood you. on the one hand, your dilemma about the resale value is a legitimate one, but this is not an ordinary car. more to the point, there are, clearly, many people who DO NOT like the styling of the new 7, and prefer the looks of the current version. this might help the current 7's resale value down the road. the same phenomenon occurred with the current and previous generation porsche 911, which some purists thought became too soft in both aesthetic design and visceral appeal, and with the current and previous generation mercedes s-class, which many thought lost its admirable, anvil-like solidity. anyhow, not to say that the new 7-series won't be a technical marvel, but it's equally certain that, come trade-in time, there will be plenty of people looking for a low mileage 2001.
  • I am looking for a used car for my daughter in the $4,000 dollar range. I have looked at 96 Mazca Protoge (71K) 91 Toyota Corrolla (79k) 92 Toyota Corrolla (79K) and 92 Prizm (98K).

    The Camry is very clean and although older runs great and is a bit more substantial. The Mazda may be the best buy and in decent shape. All have automatic. Corola is clean as well but at same price Camry seems better buy. Any opinions on these cars or other suggestions are appreciated.
  • Hello,
    I am new to the message board so here goes.
    I am deciding between the 3 cars for 2002 models. I am leaning toward the Altima, but am not very familiar about Nissan or its reliablity record. I know the 2002 is all new and I have driven all of the cars.
    I know the camry had been the to rated vehicle 4 or 5 years running, but I liked the altima better and felt for the money I could get more. Have had Jetta diesels in the past and my husband is sold on them. But I prefer something bigger and automatic. So if anyone can give me some advice I would appreciate it.
  • considering the 2002 Passat and the 2002 Altima, but have since decided on the Passat. It is safer (or I assume it is, because of the 2 extra standard air bags, even when the Altima is equipped with the Airbag option.) The interior is much nicer, and I also didn't notice that much difference in the way the two handled. I am interested in seeing what other people have to say though.

    Good luck.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    tennisnuts - where's the Camry? I'd pick the Mazda because it is a good car and it is newer.

    Passat .... I'd probably pick this one over the new Altima. The VW has a better interior and has a better warranty now. However, if you are into performance then the Nissan would be the way to go.... with its cheesy interior.
  • With the radical improvement of the Altima, there are now four excellent family sedans to choose from: Accord, Altima, Camry and Passat. Anyone trying to decide which to buy should spend time scanning the discussion groups for these cars and then do as much test driving as the dealerships will allow. When cars are this good, your decision will come down to little factors of personal preference that you have to make based on your response to the car.

    But let me add another consideration. New car dealerships vary FAR more in quality than these cars vary. No matter how nice your new Camry or Altima, etc, might be, if the dealership sucks your experience with the car won't be good. Putting it the other way around, many folks would be delighted with any of these cars if they bought it from and had it serviced by a really outstanding dealership. It's an area well worth taking time to research it.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I don't know about Audi or VW or Acura's manumatics, but for the last year I have been driving my Chrysler 300M in the AutoStick mode 90% of the time. It is pretty good in stop and go traffic. The auto tranny would constantly shift up and down and seek gears. With the AutoStick, I can just tell it to stay in 2nd all the time.
  • hello friends, i am new at this townhall. i have been looking around for a good used C280's and C230's. knowing that Mercedes always keep their resale value, i also saw the new Altimas. since the price of a new Altima is about the same as the C230 kompressor w/ 50k miles that i am interested in, which car do you think would still keep their value at the end of 4 years? i will be financing it. will the Benz be a better choice? friends say "yes" but i thought i'd consult Edwards townhall for better answers. am i right?
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Since cars lose most of their value in the first year of ownership, the Mercedes will hold its value much better than the Altima. Resale value on the Altima is unknown since it's a new model, but because prices for the car can range from $18k to $29k, it might not be good. Then again, if the car is a huge hit, everything could change.

    One thing to consider about the Mercedes is that it will be expensive to maintain and repair. It will probably cost you considerably more to own the Merc than the Altima. Also, 50k miles is a lot to have on a '99 car. Have the Merc checked out by a mechanic to make sure it's in good shape.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    C230 might be a good choice because it has better build quality. However, I am wary of the supercharger (from reliability standpoint). Yeah, 50k is a lot on a four cylinder with supercharger, but I think most of those miles are on the highway so the stress on the engine is not that bad. Since you seem to like MB then that could be the car for you, but just make sure that you have some good warranties. Good luck!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    will be more expensive than the Altima per visit, but you should be visiting less. I believe MB is on same maintaince schedule as BMW which is every ~15k.
  • anon70anon70 Posts: 82
    i have $2500 in rebates from my GM card that's expiring.

    my 93 nissan sentra w/180k miles has started giving me grief within the past 3 months. (battery/alternator/starter/and now it looks like i have to replace the flywheel, which was quoted at $700 at the dealer).

    Anyway, i've looked at the grand am, prizm, sunfire, cavalier. according to edmunds reviews, the prizm is the best of the bunch. But i would like your thoughts?


    ps- Edmunds review on the prism says 0% apr till 1/15/2002???

    pps- anyway i can combine the $1500 cashback w/the 0% apr?
  • The best car on your short list is the Prizm, and for a sad reason. It is primarily Japanese. The others are primarily American. That means the Prizm is more likely to be well designed, pleasant to drive, reliable and economical to own. If you study cars very much, the evidence is overwhelming that the Japanese are doing a better job than Americans these days with car design and manufacturing. That's the bad news. The good news is that American cars are definitely getting better, and so your chances of having a good experience with a Cavalier or Grand Am are better now than they would have been a decade or two ago. Good luck!
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    Trying to stay under $30k, but a couple of my choices will probably be just over. This car would be mainly a commuter and some highway miles on weekends. Safety is paramount, but I'd like some speed and handling to go with it if possible.

    I guess my benchmark for comparison is my Jetta 1.8T. I really like the car overall, enough to consider another VW, but I may want to spend more and get something built better. VWs are nice, but not the pinnacle of quality control to be certain.

    Okay, anybody who's owned or test driven one of these, or just have strong opinions, I'd like to hear it. Thanks!

    -VW GTI: 180HP 1.8T or 201HP 24V VR6 (undecided)
    The new 24V six comes out in spring '02, and I
    like my 1.8T, but would like more punch and think
    a naturally aspirated six might be fun with VWs
    new 6-speed manual. Also the cheapest on the
    list at around $20k 1.8T, $22k VR6.

    -Volvo S60: Great looking car, reputation for
    safety. I'd keep the options list simple, with
    the 2.4L 168HP non-turbo 5-cyl & 5-spd. MSRP is

    -BMW 325i: Good reputation for build quality and
    handling. Rear wheel drive and balance supposed
    to give handling like nobody's business.
    Popular car, probably no bargains out there. With
    sport suspension and HK sound, leatherette
    probably still around $30k.

    -Saab 9-3: I don't know jack about this car. I've
    always liked the style of Saabs, and they're
    supposed to be safe. But they're obviously
    different than everything else out there, and
    Edmunds said they have mucho torque-steer.
    MSRP is $27995 for the 2.0L Turbo/5-speed with

    -Audi A4 1.8T: 170HP 5-speed. I'm thinking this
    is just a nicely trimmed Jetta. Cool options
    like Xenons and Bose sound available though.
    MSRP $25500 Not sure build quality would be up
    there with BMW/Volvo/Saab.

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I always wonder when I see such different cars being asked about. Grand Am and Prizm may both be sedans from GM but they are very different cars. What are your wants and needs? Do you need/want styling, driving/handling, passenger/cargo room or what?
  • anon70: I think the best GM small sedan is not on your list. It is the Olds Alero. It is similar to the Grand Am, but has a 5 Yr./60K warranty. The styling is very sharp in my opinion. I helped my daughter buy one last summer, and she likes it a lot.
  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    under 30k... I think that you are better off with a Passat since you are familiar with VW. I doubt that you can get a 325i for under 30k or an S60.
  • Just for fun test drive a 2002 Subaru Outback VDC Sedan -
  • I would also consider saturns if eligible, as well as the olds alero, very nice style on coupe and sedan, although the grand am is aclone with lots of body cladding and wierd interior. The prizm is a safe choice too.

    Passat/Altima/camry/accord debate, I have a 01 passat and love it, such great comfort, style and handling, plus the warranty is improved, not the bland car the others are, and the interior much better, IMO than the new altima, which looks a little too pontiac inside.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I don't know about the states right now but the GM Card is definitely available on Saturns in Canada.
  • I'd like to buy a used Volvo, something under $3000, 10+ years old is fine. I haven't had a car (haven't needed one in the city) since my 72 Beetle. I wouldn't drive a bug or anything less than a Swedish Brick with all those SUVs bearing down on me. Japanese steel is pretty flimsy.

    Anyway, what's the best old volvo to buy for reliability and the least expensive to maintain? I'd like to spend as little as possible (who wouldn't?) but of course don't want to end up paying for it later.

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    My dad has good luck with 240 and 740 Volvos, and currently has, I think, an '86 240 sedan and an '87 740 wagon; both have been very good. He looks forward to getting a car from the '90s next! This is his first 740. He's had lots of 240 series and some have been very good, others bad:

    Don't get the 4-cyl with carb and 3-speed auto as it is terribly underpowered. Even with manual tranny, the carb engines are to be avoided if possible. Also, don't get the 6-cyl (bad old Renault engine) or the turbo on these cars as it was just too early and is a repair nightmare -- most people with these engines replace them with regular 4-cyls if they keep them at all. The fuel-injected 4-cyls with 4-spd + overdrive manual or auto have usually done him well.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Your dad is like my dad. His car-buying cycle is measured in decades!
  • some body help find a beater, for winter, for cheap, but it has to run and have heat.
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