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First Car Suggestions?

kalgar15kalgar15 Posts: 2
edited December 2017 in General
I am looking for a first car. I want something that is fast and fun to drive. I want to be able to fit up to 5 people at most in the car including me, and everyone be able to be comfortable and have room. I want something that can get me through high school and through college (out of state), and be able to drive back and forth between the university and my home. I also want it to be a good looking car, preferably a sedan/coupe, and it needs to feel good to drive it, awesome for others to ride in, and something that will turn heads as I drive by. I want to buy a car used, under 20k with under 40k miles on it.

Comments

  • EDIT: Also reliable, I don't want to buy the car and have it break down in the first few years, I really want a car that will last.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 145,926
    Let me get some help for you ... I've called upon some of the regulars here who love to spend other peoples money. :smile:

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • 28firefighter28firefighter Seattle, WAPosts: 6,482
    edited December 2017
    So, I’ll go ahead and ignore my inner talk track that wants to suggest something like a base Forester 2.5i or a 2000s Buick. As a first car for someone in high school, the last thing you want is fast, fun, and flashy - my first car was a Ford Taurus. I still got in trouble with it. 

    I’ll be pragmatic instead and suggest a last generation Civic SI or a CPO 2015/2016 VW GTI. Both are fun to drive but not dangerously so, they’re safe, and the Civic especially will be very reliable. 
    2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, 2019 BMW i3 REX, 2004 BMW 330i ZHP 6MT
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,352
    I don't think a civic will fit 5 comfortably. GTI will be tight, but a really good suggestion. Fitting 5 comfortably does not work in a coupe. Even many sedans will be difficult until you get to full-size territory, and then you start to lose "fun." 

    A '15-'16 Charger R/T fits all your requirements.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 36,934
    Think the charger is too big, and too much motor.

    For a 5-6 year timeframe, can stick with the usual suspects. Last generation accord. Or, can get a new or nearly new Jetta. My nephew is buying one I find for him over thanksgiving. A 2017, about 6k on it, from a VW dealer. An SE AT, so well equipped. Paying about $14,700 for it.

    So I vote for that.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You might look at the 8th generation Impala SS, which I think was 2000-2006. Might be hard to find such low miles though, but in every other way, it fits the bill for you.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,112

    You might look at the 8th generation Impala SS, which I think was 2000-2006. Might be hard to find such low miles though, but in every other way, it fits the bill for you.

    I like this idea. But, if the OP lives in a winter weather area, add some $$$$ for a good set of snow shoes.

    Also agree....mileage might be a tough get at that price range.

    How about a used Buick Regal GS? I’d start right there.
    2019 Kia Stinger GT2
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 13,077
    The GS and SS are good choices; how about a Charger or Challenger? Even the V6 models go from 0-60 in the low sixes. A Taurus SHO might be in that price range as well.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,352
    I beat you to the Charger suggestion, RB. ;b

    I already checked on the SHO. It doest fall into the pricerange.

    i think some of you folks suggesting smaller cars are missing the 5 person seating requirement.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 145,926
    qbrozen said:

    I beat you to the Charger suggestion, RB. ;b

    I already checked on the SHO. It doest fall into the pricerange.

    i think some of you folks suggesting smaller cars are missing the 5 person seating requirement.

    Yeah, but are we talking about 5 varsity football players? Or, 5 members of the math club?

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    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,352
    3 little kids are shoulder to shoulder in a Jetta

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    5 AMERICANS. That should settle that argument :p

    An SS would be great---supercharged, roomy, inconspicuous to the police, and faster than you might think.

    The challenge of course is to find one with decent miles, clean title and no modifications. Not so easy anymore.

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,551
    A used or CPO Golf R (similar to the GTI but flashier and faster with the safety of AWD).

    I don't think you can have all your wants in your price range to be honest. You have to be realistic and give up on something to get more of what you really REALLY want.

    If you can up the money to be spent, I'd look at a used B8/B8.5 S4 which gets you a sedan, AWD, and I think room for 5 teenage Americans.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 36,934
    Well, OP also mentioned a coupe, so rear seat rom can’t be that big a priority.

    Having recent experience with the whole HS car, transition to college with it deal, especially having to support the car from afar, and knowing how they get treated (parking, etc) I might have a different perspective. But, I would stay away from anything too nice, “collectible”, older, or really large. Plus consider MPG, since college kids tend to be broke!

    A couple years old if possible is best. Fits in smaller parking spots. Won’t care that it will get beat up. And not worried about solo trips home, often at night. Reliable is key, because dealing with repairs at school is a nightmare. And you are looking at at least 5 years now, so an Impala SS would be pushing 20 years old by the end.

    Save the hemi for after graduation! If a 4 banger really isn’t fast enough, a V6 Malibu maybe? But, getting too fancy is likely going to push back the MY, or up the miles.

    Heck, right now, could get a brand new sonata squeezed into budget. Maybe not cool enough, but got the room!

    2017 Jetta and Passat are just really good used deals now, slightly used. And a turbo Jetta moves along just fine.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 10,207
    Maxima?

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2019 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    edited December 2017
    You seem to be fighting a little bit with yourself over whether practical or youthful should win the day....

    Considering all the related costs, and trying to balance the desire for fun and flashy, I still think it comes back to how much do you want it to meet your current wants (e.g., fun and flashy) versus your long-term needs (e.g., reliable, spacious, cost-effective)? Ultimately, you are going to have to pay for this and get good use out of it over the next what, six to eight years?

    I think Q's suggestion of a Charger is pretty solid in terms of balancing your criteria, but you're likely to pay out the nose on insurance. You can probably get good enjoyment in terms of sportiness out of an Optima/Sonata or Passat, and have a lot of space, and not pay a ridiculous amount of insurance because these are not "high risk" cars. Neither are flashy, per se, but these are elegant cars. In addition, you'll save a lot buying any of them at the level of "used" you have in mind. Also, they're great highway cruisers for those long jaunts between home and college, and you probably won't have to make multiple trips to haul your belongings.

    If you want to go bigger, you could consider a Flex EcoBoost. Those are deceptively fun to drive and are cavernous inside. When you get to college, you would be the king of cargo! They'll grab attention, even though they're not a traditional sort of "flashy." Not sure about insurance, though pricing at $20K will dictate a little more age and/or miles to get there for an EcoBoost example (as opposed to some of the other rides already mentioned).

    Perhaps the best part about any of these cars is that they give you room to grow into your love of driving without setting the bar too high. It's better to not pine for that S4 that you "must" have before you can reasonably afford to own it...

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,112
    What the OP might find is the shock and awe of prices for a high schooler or college student’s insurance rates on any of the “sporty” cars.

    That may change the requirements. That being the case, given the need/want of room for 5, I’d look at a Merc Grand Marquis, Ford Crown Vic, Buick LeSabre, Chevy Malibu/Impala type of hoopties.

    All are practically bulletproof, cheap to own and fix, can carry 5, and probably less expensive to insure. Add to that, given typical campus abuse, probably better suited for the rigors of college duty.

    Plus, I can think of some great entertainment any of those cars would provide during the “college years”. Those types of cars usually yield stories of epic proportions.
    2019 Kia Stinger GT2
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,352
    As typically happens, I don't think the OP is coming back

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 10,207

    What the OP might find is the shock and awe of prices for a high schooler or college student’s insurance rates on any of the “sporty” cars.

    That may change the requirements. That being the case, given the need/want of room for 5, I’d look at a Merc Grand Marquis, Ford Crown Vic, Buick LeSabre, Chevy Malibu/Impala type of hoopties.

    All are practically bulletproof, cheap to own and fix, can carry 5, and probably less expensive to insure. Add to that, given typical campus abuse, probably better suited for the rigors of college duty.

    Plus, I can think of some great entertainment any of those cars would provide during the “college years”. Those types of cars usually yield stories of epic proportions.

    Late run Crown Vic with some nice wheels, Marauder exhaust tips and Spoiler would be nice.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2019 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

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