Car buying

2

Comments

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX
    edited June 2010
    Burn this into your head: Unless you are a millionaire, you can not afford a new car.

    Now then, figure out the car you want, [this year] - 2 years and you will save Thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle.

    Better yet, Save 20% of what you want to spend for 5 months. Walk into a used car lot and demand they sell you the car for $500 less then the tag. When they laugh, tell them you will give them cash today. Enjoy your new car.

    If you take anything from my post, take this: Bring someone with you that has done this before. Car Salespeeps are ruthless. They want your money and they will try to get as much of it as possible. Also be prepared to walk away. Always know there is another car out there for you. don't get pressured into buying a car at a price you will regret later.

    -Bobby
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA
    edited June 2010
    I once forced my wife to sit with me in a dealership for 8 hours haggling. I think I still have the salespersons pants. ;)
  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited June 2010
    MAGIC wrote:
    Lol used BMW. Better off just dumping your cash into a pile and setting it on fire.
    As a general car enthusiast who just so happens to have a "thing" for older BMWs, I'm going to say that your statement is horribly inaccurate. You see, even a POS used BMW can be brought to the top of a hill (usually via a tow line), roll down, and take you closer to wherever it is you want to go than a burning pile of cash ever could. :p

    Seriously, though, the experience you'll have with a used BMW is largely dependent upon a few basic things: 1) your ability to find a car which has not been neglected/abused (most people who buy for the brand and not for the car are guilty of one or both offenses...which means that most are neglected and/or abused), 2) doing research and knowing what you're getting into (some models have some rather...unfortunate...quirks--dig through forums and learn as much about the car's faults as possible), and 3) your willingness and ability to service the car yourself (most shops will try and rape your wallet).

    Hmm... actually, those three points are pretty applicable to buying any used car.

    OP: If you were looking at a new/recent (i.e. 1-2 years old) Jetta or Malibu, I'd go with the Jetta. I wasn't at all impressed with any aspect of the Malibu when my wife and I were sopping for a new daily driver for her last year. With that said, I can't vouch for the VW 2.5L mill since all of my VW engine knowledge/experience pertains to the TSI and FSI engines found in the GTI/GLI (as well as the newer Wolfsburg Jetta (what we ended up buying), Jetta SportWagon, Passat CC, etc.). I do recall there being an issue with the high pressure fuel pumps on recent TDI VW's, though, and I don't know if it has been resolved yet (would be worth looking into if you are interested in the option).

    A used Civic is usually a safe bet (provided that point #1 from the above is observed), the consumer reports folks seem to love practically anything from Subaru (granted, the 4-cylinder boxer engines they use are, typically, less than enjoyable to work on), used first gen Miatas are awesome but likely a poor option considering that you have the words "safety" and "snow" in the same post, and, looking through the links that fatcat posted, most of those used car recommendations seem reasonable.

    ardichoke: Drooling over an E90 328i? :confused2 In all honesty, there isn't much to drool over. It's a good daily driver, the seats provided with the sport package make it comfortable on long drives (fantastic lumbar support), the interior is a nice environment to be in, and it handles reasonably well... but it's kinda heavy (and you really feel it in corners without the optional sport suspension), the slushbox shifts rather slowly, throttle response is odd (wet sponge (standard) or jackrabbit (sport mode), take your pick since there's nothing in-between), the sheer amount of computerization of the car's systems was a turn-off (there isn't even an oil dipstick...you have to check oil through the computer and it usually won't tell you jack until you've driven the car for a while), iDrive should die a fiery death, I'm not a fan of BMW's 15k mile scheduled oil changes (makes me suspicious of post-'03/'04 used models), and, most disappointing of all, I didn't really find it a compelling car to drive... it never gave me that "I want to just keep driving until I run out of road" feeling that I love so much.

    I had an E90 328i with the sport package on extended loan due to a series of BMW car shipping mistakes in 2007 and had a 328i without sport package on lease from '07-'09. I turned it in and didn't look back--to me, it wasn't worth hanging on to. However, what you look for in a car is likely quite a bit different than what I go for... so you may really enjoy one.

    Bobby1211: Good advice
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan
    edited June 2010
    Petra wrote:
    As a general car enthusiast who just so happens to have a "thing" for older BMWs, I'm going to say that your statement is horribly inaccurate. You see, even a POS used BMW can be brought to the top of a hill (usually via a tow line), roll down, and take you closer to wherever it is you want to go than a burning pile of cash ever could. :p

    Personally, I wouldn't consider a European car that was not under a manufacturers warranty. Trust me I know from experience. Repair costs will rape you if it is something you cannot manage yourself.

    In all honesty I would go with a Ford now a days. But thats my 2 cents. I still say go test drive stuff until you find something that feels good and has the features you want.
  • edited June 2010
    QCH wrote:
    I once forced my wife to sit with me in a dealership for 8 hours haggling. I think I still have the salespersons pants. ;)

    My last car haggling was two weeks ago. But I could not have the same fun since it lasted less than 15 minutes. I checked the market price from Edmunds and Carsdirect, averaged it (they were very close), subtracted 500 and wrote the number on a paper on salesman's desk. He asked his manager and we were done. By the way the price was >500 below the invoice. I knew the model and color I wanted, they had it. I had my preapproved loan from several places before going to the dealer, they matched it too. I was done signing the papers in an hour.

    Salesman was very happy and appreciative of a quick sale. I don't think they enjoy what they are doing very much but it is the nature of their business. Maybe I was particularly lucky, maybe Steve (his name) was a good salesman, maybe I had done my homework before going there, probably all of the above.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA
    edited June 2010
    It was back in 1999 and it was a used Nisan Ultima. This was also back when getting accurate car prices was a bit difficult. I had a payment in mind and I knew they wanted to sell me the car... they just didn't know it. ;)

    I got within $30 dollars of my desired payment mostly because I allowed them to throw in some extras at the end. It was my way of tossing them a bone.
  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited June 2010
    MAGIC wrote:
    Personally, I wouldn't consider a European car that was not under a manufacturers warranty. Trust me I know from experience. Repair costs will rape you if it is something you cannot manage yourself.
    You're talking to someone who owns a 10 year old M roadster... I'm well aware of the costs, which is why I said, more or less, the same thing in my post.

    Following the "if you can't fix it, don't buy it" rule and the "if you can't stand the thought of shelling out the cash to get it fixed, don't buy it" rule, with regard to German cars: I wouldn't touch an old Porsche or Audi with a 23.5' pole, I make exceptions for specific older BMWs (because either fixing them myself isn't an issue or having something I can't take care of fixed for me is alright because I knew the approximate cost of the issue and the likelihood of it occurring prior to purchase), and VWs aren't that bad (my biggest concern with modern VW's is the DSG...and I'm okay with my wife's because VW coughed up a complementary warranty extension of 10 years/100k miles for it).

    Though, since you mentioned it, yes, Ford has improved greatly over the past several years. Things are really looking up for them, what with the world platform Fiesta going on sale in the US this year (I drove one last year--impressively good little car) and the new world platform Focus arriving shortly. Granted, I don't think that even I would be able to convince my parents to consider a Ford product after what they've gone through with the '06 Focus ZX3 that I had for a year and passed down to my brother... lol Every company has a dud now and then ;D
  • edited June 2010
    Petra: You are referring to someone that drives, and likes, a Saturn Ion here. I'm not much of a car person really. My criteria pretty much boil down to it being fairly comfortable to drive (I'm 6'4" tall, not easy to find that in a car sometimes), reasonable gas mileage and reliability (my Saturn has been king on this. 2 years and I've had hardly any issues with it). That said, I didn't really research the 328i much, just kinda poked around on BMWs site a couple weeks ago and looked at some used car prices and a few owner reviews. Before I would actually buy one I'd have done some more thorough research. As it is right now, I still have nearly 3 years before my Saturn is paid off (actually less, I usually pay more than my minimums, hate interest) so I'm not exactly shopping for a car here. I was just making an observation on the fact that for 20k you could get quite a bit of used car these days.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego
    edited June 2010
    E92 328/335 coupe, unf.
  • edited June 2010
    So today I went and test drove a few cars:
    Chevy Malibu 2007
    Saturn Aura 2008
    Subaru Impreza 2006
    Volkswagen Jetta & Passat 2008
    Honda Accord 2007

    The years may be a bit off... but fairly close.
    From what I saw the Jetta and Passat were horrible, everything else was pretty good.

    The Malibu was the most "luxurious" of all the cars, the quietest and the smoothest rides, although the engine itself I'm a bit worried about in the future.

    I tried 2 Hondas a 244 hp 6 cylinder and a 4 cylinder. The 244 hp one was pretty sweet, the other one I wasn't too impressed with. Their 244 hp engine was the best engine we saw.

    The Subaru I was remarkably surprised at how powerful the car was for what it initially appears to be. It had the best turning radius by far. The accelleration on it was the best 4 cylinder engine we found.

    The Saturn aura was basically the same as the malibu, although the price was a bit cheaper and the engine was a lot better.

    In terms of rankings it depends primarily on the price, although I've decided that I do want a 6 cylinder engine if I can find a good used car with it. The Subaru was the most impressive from what I've seen.... especially if they make a 6 cylinder engine. The all wheel drive for the same price is quite nice and it apparently would last me forever and still hold its value as a car. The Malibu I liked mostly for its luxurious feel, along with its high rated safety. The honda engine just blew the others out of the water, but otherwise was not quite as nice in the other features.
    The Volkswagen cars I have 0 interest in buying now.... they were by far the worst, noisy, no acceleration, the engines were horrible and were the most pricey cars of all of those I test drove.

    Rankings:
    1. Saturn Aura
    2. Subaru Impreza
    3. Chevy Malibu
    4. Honda Accord

    These rankings do not include safety currently as I still need to research that.
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1
    edited June 2010
    Nemikan wrote:
    The Subaru was the most impressive from what I've seen.... especially if they make a 6 cylinder engine. The all wheel drive for the same price is quite nice and it apparently would last me forever and still hold its value as a car.

    Which Impreza did you test drive? There's always the WRX and WRX STi which come with turbo.
  • GattsuGattsu Orlando, Florida
    edited June 2010
    I am assuming he did not drive either. Just the normal 4 cyl. Impreza.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI
    edited June 2010
    The Subies give you better acceleration thanks to the 4WD. That, however, can also add maintenance cost in the long run.
  • edited June 2010
    Nemikan wrote:
    Their 244 hp engine was the best engine we saw.

    I agree with that. J35 (J37 newer model) engine of Honda has been in the Ward's 10 best automotive engines consistently. We have it in a Odyssey. I also recommend checking the cars with inline-4 and V6 Ford Duratec engines (i.e. Ford Fusion)
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego
    edited June 2010
    2003 Chevy Malibu owner here, I wouldn't recommend it or future revisions of the car. I've not followed it enough to know the changes they've made with the new body type and all, but it feels underpowered and sluggish. Flaws like bearings being worn down quickly simply due to design of the car and a noticeable drop in engine performance when the AC is turned on contribute to my less than impressed feeling of the car.

    But, it gets me from A to B, relatively poor mileage and all.
  • edited June 2010
    The Malibu started getting good at 2004, and really hit it off at 2006 from what I've heard. My dad owns a 2004 Malibu which I have liked.
  • RichDRichD Essex, UK
    edited June 2010
    You may like to have a look ar the pre 2007 Honda Civic Type R. Quite fast and handles very well.The new model from 2007 is not quite as nice as they have done away with the indipendent rear suspension so it doesn't handle quite as well.

    Deffinately have a spin in the Impreza WRX STI. Also very nice.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan
    edited June 2010
    RichD wrote:
    You may like to have a look ar the pre 2007 Honda Civic Type R. Quite fast and handles very well.The new model from 2007 is not quite as nice as they have done away with the indipendent rear suspension so it doesn't handle quite as well.

    Deffinately have a spin in the Impreza WRX STI. Also very nice.

    We don't have the R spec Civics in the US.

    STI is nice... so overpriced.
  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff
    edited June 2010
    Thrax wrote:
    My first car was new because I could afford it, and because I wanted a purchase I could be proud of. I bought a new car. It was a symbol of getting on in life.

    I won't do it again, nor do I advise anyone to do so.

    I never recommend to anyone living in NYC to buy new. It's just not worth it. Your car will be scratched within days.
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited June 2010
    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WWnAdB-vkXo&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WWnAdB-vkXo&hl=en_US&fs=1&"; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
  • edited June 2010
    LOL, did you make this?
  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited June 2010
    @Buddy J: LMFAO!
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited June 2010
    I didn't make it. It was on Autoblog this morning. It just seemed so relevant.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan
    edited June 2010
    Buddy J wrote:
    I didn't make it. It was on Autoblog this morning. It just seemed so relevant.

    Almost, too relevant.

    "But, she could take one kid at a time, and doing autocross together would be a good bonding experience."

    LOL in the middle of the office, woops.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI
    edited June 2010
    "Civics are wrong-wheel drive." haha

    Consumer reports is the devil..hah
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan
    edited June 2010
    To chime in. Might not be the most popular opinion, but I can't say enough good about Mitsubishi.

    We bought the wife's Lancer (OZ Rally Edition, no ABS represent!) in July of 2002. As of this morning, it has 248,000 miles on it and still runs like a champ. And that's with our standard relative lack of maintenance. I change the oil when I remember to, check the tires when I figure they slip a little too easily, and check/fix the brakes when they start to squeal. Otherwise, it just keeps on turning, day in and day out. 80-90 miles every single day.

    Had to pass someone being stupid on 23 (like everyone on 23, mirite?) the other day, and that little booger kicked up to 95 w/o even flinching.

    I'll be sad when that car finally gives it up. But it will be ok, as I don't expect to still be driving when I'm 100 years old.
  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast
    edited June 2010
    Alex: problem with Mitsubishi cars that I have: they are Chryslers. Enough said. I've owned a Mitsu in the past and it was a fantastic car, for about 5 years, then over two years I put in close to $8000 in repairs. I sold that car (an Eclipse GT, 215HP was NICE) and got my current Civic EX 2-dr 5-spd and I have been much happier.
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan
    edited June 2010
    pigflipper wrote:
    Alex: problem with Mitsubishi cars that I have: they are Chryslers. Enough said. I've owned a Mitsu in the past and it was a fantastic car, for about 5 years, then over two years I put in close to $8000 in repairs. I sold that car (an Eclipse GT, 215HP was NICE) and got my current Civic EX 2-dr 5-spd and I have been much happier.

    For some, yes. The Lancer (and the 2-door Mirage) were/are 100% Japanese-built, and it shows. 8 years and a quarter-million miles are proof enough for me.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan
    edited June 2010
    All models under a brand are not created equal. Don't judge a brand based on their worst offering, ie: Mitsu Eclipse. Lancer has been consistently top rated by Consumer Rep. and Edmunds. I would consider one.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX
    edited June 2010
    MOPAR!!!

    /me gets in his PT and humms away

    -Bobby
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