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Used Vehicles Best Values



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,101

    No child under 12 in my house, mister :) And one's a driver.


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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,302
    Scary thought, huh?
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    ...some of the threads of the conversation have gotten confused!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,302
    We're doing fine here. It'll get back on topic soon.

    Another lackluster car that makes a pretty good value as a used car would be a Saturn. Plain, bland cars that seem to hold up pretty well. Not a car that inspires much passion but not bad cars for the money in my not so humble opinion.

    See, I got it back on track!
  • I recently saw a 2000 Saturn LS with 65 K miles at a Chevy dealer for $7000, which didn't seem bad at all. Could I haggle down the price to $6500 or even $6000 for a cash payment? The car looked decent. However I do wonder about the fiberglass body. Does that make it less safe? Expensive to fix? It sounds to me that it will then require major repairs after any fender bender....

    Also I saw that 1999 Corolla CE with 88,000 miles and the guy is offering it to me for $5800, which is about $100 more than KBB private party but it was in quite good shape. Which of these two is a better deal?

    Many thanks!

  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    On the Saturn, I would offer $5000 and hope to take it home under $5600.

    I think that you generally do better buying Saturns at non-GM dealers if you are looking for great deals.
  • The body panels are plastic not fiberglass. Plastic is better then fiberglass since it is a bit more flexible and is more likely to bend then pop back out in a minor wreck then fiberglass that will probably just shatter.

    I think the newer saturns have stopped using plastic though because it has gotten to expensive. Improvments in sheet metal stampings have made it much cheaper to use steel.
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    I don't know if these are great deals (at least here in the Midwest, used cars may be more expensive where you are.) Is is a compact or a midsize Saturn? It is 6 (7) years old... And the Corolla is 7 getting on 8.

    The Corolla twin, Chevrolet Prizm, has been recommended on these boards by people who know. Same car, but resale values are a lot lower (though with gas these days, Prizms are harded to find.) Something like this.

    If the budget is around 6k, I would also look at a 2001 (maybe even a 2002) Protege, maybe a manual transmission Mazda 626. Altima, Taurus/Sable are good choices. May be possible to find an Impala in that price range, too.
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  • So...your kids fit in the back seat of a CR-V, but not in the back seat of an Accord

    I didn't say that they didn't fit, I said it worked better. It's easier to get into, they sit up and can see better, and you can recline the seats a little for better comfort. Plus, if you slide the back seat all of the way back, they have a lot more leg room and don't knee my in the back, which is always a good thing.
  • It does seem that used cars cost more here in Oregon, I guess mostly because we don't get snow and cars don't rust. I priced a 2002 Prizm on KBB from a private party and it came to $6200 for a car in good condition.

    I am unlucky that I live in a smaller town and most people here sell pickups/SUVs. It does also seem that there aren't many used cars available in the 4-7 year old range, at least on respectable dealer lots. If they have any they want a lot for those cars (like one Chevy dealer who had a $7000 sticker price for a 1996 Accord with 160 K miles!). In the paper I see very few ads (10-20% of all car classifieds) of people selling their car privately. I guess most people opt for the trade-in "deal."

    Thanks for the tip on the Prizms! You're right they are hard to find, a quick search on autotrader only yielded 1 result in my area and it's rather far (1 hr drive) away. I made an offer of $5800 for the used Corolla CE (1999 with 88 K miles), which is about $50 higher than the KBB but the guy had the car in good shape. From the reviews posted on the Corolla forum those cars last forever and get the highest JD Power ratings I've seen yet. (5/5 for long term (5 yr) dependability)).

    I have looked at several cars so far and it's a crying shame how people abuse their cars (let the dog tear out the back seat doors, mud all over the carpet, piles of leaves on the a/c intake, etc. So far the Corolla is the one I best like. I guess when searching for a used car one can't be too choosy.
  • rltxrltx Posts: 1
    Hi folks,

    My car got was burglarized on 2/15. After police made the report, i called my car insurance directly as a procedure and gave them the police report. But since this was my first experience, i did not know that agent would automatically filling my report as a claim. Then, i found out the estimation below my car insurance deduction. So, it will not worth to file a claim for this burglary. But the insurance adjuster told me that i already filled my claim, i could not cancel it. Is that really like that? I think that adjuster just wanted to earn some benefits from this filling.

    I just think that even i can't cancel the claim, as long as i never send them the bill of the reparation, it means that i don't want to claim to insurance. Is that right?

    Anyway, cancel or not that automatically filling claim, will that hurt my insurance premium later?

    I need all folks advices.

    Since that experience, i just think that if we get an accident, we should not call our insurance right away as a procedure. Because if we do it, they will put our report automatically as a claim. Am i right?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 167,419
    Filing a comprehensive claim (theft, etc.) will rarely affect your insurance rates..

    If you file a lot of them, they may assume fraud and cancel you... but, it isn't like having a lot of at-fault accidents..

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  • I filed two comp claims *on the same day* and my agent said not to worry.... unless we file another one. In Aug 04, my son totalled a car a month after getting his license (his fault: $2k for his car, $5k for the other guy), then in July 05, our car was hit in a parking lot (we weren't in the car at the time) in Atlanta while we were on vacation. When we got home, we found out our son's car (the same one he had totaled the previous year) had been broken into and the stereo stolen. So the following Monday we filed a claim for the car that got hit in Atlanta and also for my son's stereo. Even with those three things in less than a year, our insurance barely changed. One comp claim generally doesn't have much effect.

    (I suppose that if you're a 22 year old male, though, the insurance company won't be so "understanding". We've been with the same agent for almost 20 years, so that may have worked in our favor.)
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    If the claim for this loss was below your deductible level, I don't understand why the insurance company is going ahead with filing it as a claim.

    But as kyfdx said, it's not likely to affect your insurance rates anyway. You're not going to be getting any money from them since it's below your deductible level.

    If you have an accident, you should still tell your insurance company right away (assuming the amount of damage is ABOVE your deductible level).
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    If you have an accident, you should still tell your insurance company right away (assuming the amount of damage is ABOVE your deductible level).

    In my opinion you should ALWAYS notify your insurance company of any accident, not matter how little damage there is. You would be surprised the number of times people make claims month later claiming damage or injuries.

    A few years ago, I was rear ended. I was paid $350 in damages for my bumper. A year later, a passenger in the car that hit us filed a large claim with State Farm (the driver's insurance co.) claiming serious injury.

    Insurance companies resist paying when they are not notified of an accident on a timely basis.
  • My son is going to college 800 miles away and we may get him a car this summer (or possibly next). He's 6-5, but doesn't want a big car. The plan was to give him my wife's Taurus but he doesn't like it. So Plan B is to think about getting him a decent used car. Our concern, though, is that he's not into cars at all, so I worry about him staying on top of maintenance and repair. Other factors are that he is going to school in Iowa, so it should be a good cold weather/snow car. Also consider it should be reliable enough to take him back and forth from Iowa to Texas once or twice a year.

    He learned to drive on an Escort and would probably not mind taking that car, but I don't trust him to stay on top of repairs and don't trust the car to make the 800 mile trip. Besides, our younger son is about to get his permit and needs something to drive around.

    Based on what I read here, it looks like a used Saturn or possibly a Mazda Protoge might be a good car for him. Do you think I can get something to fit our needs for about, say, $5k? (or a little more?)
  • Can't go wrong with a honda or toyota and many times they have a surpising amount of head and leg room.
  • The problem with those cars, I think, is that they have high resale values. I'm looking for a good car at a bargain price. That said, we'll compare prices on Civics and Corollas. Thanks.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    The plan was to give him my wife's Taurus but he doesn't like it. So Plan B is to think about getting him a decent used car.

    Used Taurus's make great college cars. They are safe, pretty reliable and cheap and easy to fix if there is a problem. OTOH, it make not be the best car for picking up girls and being 'cool'. I think you could offer him two choices. Your original offer of GIVING him the Taurus or he could go out and BUY his own car.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,130
    I think you could offer him two choices. Your original offer of GIVING him the Taurus or he could go out and BUY his own car.


    good grief. "he doesn't like it." gimme a break. I don't like work, but the alternative is being homeless and carless. So I do what I gotta do. That's life for ya. What we want and what we gotta settle on are not always compatible. Better he learns it now.

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

  • Well if he does not fit in the Taurus then that is another issue though. At that point it would be more of a safety issue being so tall and being cramped in the Taurus. If he really does have enough room and is not cramped to the point that it is unsafe then I would go with that plan.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,130
    well he said the kid learned on an Escort and wouldn't mind having one. Go figure.

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

  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    If he's not into cars, you don't trust him to maintain it and stay on top of repairs, he doesn't want the Taurus you're prepared to give him - why give him any car at all? Does he need one to get around campus? Probably not.

    He can rent a car a couple times a year to make the trip between Iowa and Texas, maybe rent a car on weekends every so often, and probably still come out way ahead of buying something it doesn't sound like he really wants anyway.

    I'd put the $5,000 into a "transportation fund" and give him, say, $1200 a year for the next four years to pay for car rentals.
  • I'm not asking for whether you think I should provide my son a college car or not. Assuming I'm going to do so, what would be a good car to look at?

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    One problem .. most rental agencies will not allow anyone under the age of 25 to even drive, much less rent, a car.

    I'm having the same issue with my daughter, who is also going off to college this fall. Fortunately, it's only 90 miles from home. We've gone back and forth on the idea of a car for her. She currently has a car to use full time - school and work, mostly.

    I admit that while on campus she really won't need a car, but getting her home would be a bit problematic. Plus, if we decide to sell the extra car before she goes away, then decide later that she needs a car, we have to start over with payments (wife is not into the idea of a used car .. don't ask).

    So, we're still undecided on the whole thing. Like the other poster, our kid isn't into cars, other than the fact that she does not want to learn how to drive a stick shift.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    Just a thought. Didn't mean to offend you.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Several points:

    1) At that price range, you are looking at a 5-7 year old midsized vehicle (say a Taurus/Impala/Intrepid) and the like or a much older import.

    2) Mazdas are OK but are more expensive to repair than some of the more mundane selections.

    3) Whatever car you buy is not going to last very long if the child does not take care of the vehicle. Many students - especially those who are given a car as opposed to spending hard earned money - never have the $20 for the required oil changes.

    4) If I expressed my true opinions on this subject, I would probably be banned from the board but the phrase "beggars can't be choosers" might give you the general idea. A couple 800 mile trips on Greyhound may produce the necessary attitude adjustment.
  • I'm looking to spend at the most 12k for a 4-5 yr old accord. generally after 99 till about 2003. also it should not have more than 80k miles on it. Automatic+sedan. I checked out and different dealers have so much diff. in thr prices. This is in and ard Chicago. How do i start negotiating with the dealer. Also should i purchase a warranty and if so how mcuh is it for? once i like the car what is a good place to get it checked at?
  • Just a thought. Didn't mean to offend you.

    No offense taken. We are looking at those options too but that's not why I posted here.

    The thing is he will be doing internships and stuff like that probably starting his junior year. That may mean we put off the purchase another year (he's a freshman now). Our original plan was he got the Taurus, Mrs. Doohickie got a new car. Whether it's this year or next we hadn't decided.

    It actually may work out to be much less out of our pocket, though, for my wife to keep the Taurus a while longer since she doesn't mind driving it, and buying junior a used car instead of my wife a new car.

    People keep talking about midsize cars, but he prefers a smaller car, I think for parking/maneuvering sake, and also for cost of operation (gas, tires, etc.) It's what he learned on; it's what he's used to.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    How about a used Sentra, Corolla, or Mazda Protege?

    I'm a Nissan fan from way back, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. On the other hand, a tall-ish friend of mine a couple years ago tested those three cars (and others) and ended up with the Protege because he felt it just fit him better.

    You might start looking at 4 year old versions of the above, see if any of them feel comfortable and fill the bill financially.
  • New to this forum. Have read most all of the messages on this forum & now am google-eyed. Have been looking for a used Accord, Civic, Camry, & Corolla & have not been able to locate anything here in Montana near the Edmunds TMV price. I offered TMV price to a guy (private party) last year for a decent (not exceptional) used Camry & he was very offended. Didn't even want to negotiate. TMV price was about $1,000 below his asking price. He ended up selling it for near his asking price which I thought was alot. People are asking $4-5K for older early 90's used Accords with up to 150K. SOOOO, I am now considering either a Malibu 4cyl or Impala 3.4L. I don't want to consider a Taurus because I have never had any luck with Fords I've owned. There are many 2004-2005 malibu's & impala's available here. But the prices are in the mid 12K range for the Impala & 9-11K range for the Malibu. I wanted to spend less. So, my question for the Malibu is - in what year did they change over to what is the current 2005 model style & powertrain? Are the 2002-2003 Malibu's reliable? For the Impala, are 2002-2003 models as reliable as 2004-2005 models? Is there an issue with the Impala's valley gasket leaking oil leading to a costly repair?
  • My choice would be a good 1995 or 96 Maxima. Excellent cars with engines that last forever. You should be able to find one in your suggested price range. Good luck.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    He likes small cars, the Prizm is basically a Toyota Corolla, but it's quite a bit less than the Corolla.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    If you are looking at a 4 cylinder Malibu I would go with a late model Malibu Classic (2004 or 2005). These cars were sold to rental agencies and maintained the older body style. They have the 2.2 Ecotec engine which is a better engine than the previous 4 cylinder engine (2.4). Also, the older Malibus tended to have brake problems which I believe has been corrected on the more recent models. The Impala's 3.4 liter engine has had problems with the intake manifold gasket. Other GM cars which have decent reliability and may be in your price range are the Buick Regal and Century and perhaps the Pontiac Grand Prix. Good luck.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,634
    $4-5 for an early '90s Accord? I wish I lived near you! I have a 1993 Accord that has been used by two kids. Been hit by a deer, a telephone pole, and a retaining wall (it was all their fault!). The muffler just fell off and it has nearly 160000 miles. I have been thinking, how can I even give this thing away?

    On a more serious note, have you checked out a Buick (Regal or Lesabre?? I don't know how much less you want to spend, but they have a pretty steep depreciation curve and are pretty reliable as GM cars go.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • That is true. My mother has a 1995 Maxima with close to 200k miles on it now. My sister wrecked it twice, the second time totaling it, my mom bought it back from the insurance company and had it rebuilt. Nothing serious has ever failed on the car and repairs are not that expensive even at a Nissan dealership.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,634
    After my rental car experience with the 4 cyl. Malibus, I would not want to drive one in any kind of hilly situation (isn't the poster in Montana?).
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    Your mom is one dedicated Maxima owner! I know the feeling; I have a 2000 Max. GLE with about 80,000 miles, and hope to keep it for at least another 5 years and another 80,000. So far, so good.

    Many people think the mid-90's Maximas were the best of the bunch; that's when Nissan was advertising them as "the four door sports car." If doohickie can find one in good shape for his son, could be a very good college car. And it's not really a big car, so might meet his needs.
  • Yeah if you go one body style older then the 1995 style you can actualy find some Maximas with the 4DSC(Four Door Sports Car) stickers on the back door glass.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I'd stay away from these cars. The seating is horrid and on my trip up north last year, I lasted 1 day in the Malibu and back it went to Hertz for a more back friendly rental. I ended up with a Grand Am with a power bottom seat and with the 6 cylinder, it really moved!
    Eventhough the interior was very sophmoric, it would be a great 1st car for a college freshman. Remember one thing though, freshman can only generally park on campus on weekends only, so parking could be a real adventure. At least at Tulane it was.

    The Sandman :)
  • mimeomimeo Posts: 10
    I now work out of my house and want to dump the car payment and pay cash (@$10K) My wife has the Honda Pilot, so I want a decent backup family car (2.5 kids). I can get a 2 yr old Taurus or Impala with low miles or 5-6 year camry/accord w/ high miles. Obviously I respect the [non-permissible content removed] cars, but I am realistic that older cars have more potential problems. What do you think? R there any cars that are that I am missing?
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    If you need to fit your 2.5 kids and your SO in your backup car more than once a month or so, you would really benefit from something with a 3-rd row seat. Not many choices in the 10k range, but your could probably find a decent 01-02 Villager/Quest or an 02 Mazda MPV for close to that amount. 3 kids in the back seat of even a larger sedan or a wagon just does not work so great...
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Have this as a rental tonite and it's like Fred Flintstone's car...what a piece of crap! It's a '06 model with just over 21k miles and it drives horribly. The tires have no grip whatsoever and the seating position is on the floor. Compared to this, my 3 year old Sentra is a luxury car...I can't belive they still make these. No wonder why the foreign companies are doing so well in this segment...our big three should just give up this market. At any price there's no way I'd ever buy this...unadulterated CRAP!
    Surely America can do a much better job...are you listening Detroit?

    The Sandman :(
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I have had two Neons break down on me with under 1k miles in three rentals ... now I tend to prefer to rent from Avis/Hertz where I get better cars than through Thrifty/Dollar and the like.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    It was at the dealership, so I had no choice actually. They gave the nicer of the 2 to a paying customer, as mine is being paid for by Nissan...warranty work.
    The service writer left and I had to find another guy to ask about my vehicle. At this time it was 6:15 and they came back and said I'd have to leave my vehicle. I guess beggars can't be choosers, but I didn't expect such garbage. If it's longer than a day, I'll switch the Neon out, as it's not back friendly either and just the 10 minute ride home left me almost unable to walk...even with my cane!
    Sorry for my rant guys!

    The Sandman :sick:
  • We had the same rental Neon, apparently. I can't see how anyone would buy one; they are really spartan. No better than the Ford Aspire I used to own.... and worse in some respects.

    I hope the new Caliber will bring Chrysler to competitiveness in the segment. It's actually the exact configuration I prefer (4-door fastback hatch), so I may look at one down the road. But if they don't have an interior worth bragging about, they'll still do poorly. The Hyundai Elantra I recently purchased is *very* nice on the inside and includes all the goodies like power windows/locks; good, firm seats with lots of adjustment, and enough room for me in the front (and I'm 6-2).

    Hopefully the Caliber can compete with that.
  • mimeomimeo Posts: 10
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have never looked at those vans. I was hoping to avoid having an SUV and a Mini van, but it may be the best choice.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I brought the Neon back to Enterprise after work and they had a '06 Sebring waiting for me. I called earlier and explained with my handicap, I need a car with a power seat, and after I mentioned about the poor condition of the Neon to them, they bent over backwards to accomodate me. It's a 6 and it can definitely move out of it's way. I still would never buy one though, not quite up to the standards set by the Camcords!
    The Nissan dealer is having problems diagnosing the problem, so they said just keep the rental...something about a coil or something in my engine gone bad. Could take a few days yet to fix. No matter...the rentals on them!

    The Sandman :)

    (Lucky for me this happened now, as my 3 years of warranty is up the end of May.)
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    Oohh - what's your Nissan, a Maxima? Sad news is that the coils have been a weak spot for them. We just replaced all of ours (to the tune of some $700), about 5,000 miles ago (car had about 70k on it at the time, it's five years old).

    We had replaced one coil last year, but another one started to go bad a few months later, so decided to bite the bullet and change 'em all.

    This has been a great car and we've had no other maintenance issues, so figure we're still getting our money's worth from it, and then some, considering everything.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Our car is a '03 Sentra and I still have no idea how many coils are bad. How many are there in a Sentra anyways?

    The Sandman :confuse:
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