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what would you buy?

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Two cars. Same price. Same class. Even the same color! Still a tough decision:

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what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 16:43
So I'm narrowing down my car options...might have it down to two choices. What would you all do?
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 16:56
For a pre-owned car that is approaching and/or past the factory warranty. Reliability is KING :king

Obviously, you are budget conscious, you don't want to poor money into a peppy sorta cute car for the next 5 years.

Stay away from Ford, Lincoln, Buick, Jeep (basically anything American). Also, avoid Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen.

I saw your post on my short-timers topic and know that you are into/understand cars. Thus, Toyota or Honda = Car Nirvana for MBA students.


EDIT: For full and fair disclosure, I currently drive a Z4. :punk BUT, if I stay in SoCal and attend USC or UCLA (if Anderson lets me in and if I can't work my way off of the Columbia waitlist), I will sadly need to downgrade to something more practical :( (read RELIABLE!). I can't worry about having my car in the shop when I need to make it to class or a social event. With that in mind, I am currently only looking at Toyota Camrys...

Last edited by ryguy904 on 12 May 2008, 17:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 17:04
ryguy904 wrote:
For a pre-owned car that is approaching and/or past the factory warranty. Reliability is KING :king

Obviously, you are budget conscious, you don't want to poor money into a peppy sorta cute car for the next 5 years.

Stay away from Ford, Lincoln, Buick, Jeep (basically anything American). Also, avoid Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen.

I saw your post on my short-timers topic and know that you are into/understand cars. Thus, Toyota or Honda = Car Nirvana for MBA students.


Agreed. Also, if a car has 74k miles, and is in the same class as a car with 33k miles, I would assume that the one with 74k miles has thus far held its value better. It will most likely continue to hold its value better. If you are making good money when you graduate, you will likely want to upgrade and therefore you need to consider the exit options here as well.

Honda, Toyota, BMW, Acura, and Lexus all hold their value extremely well - due in part to their reliability records. Nissans and Infinitis depreciate very fast, as do almost all American cars, Mercedes, and Audis.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 18:47
aaudetat,

How can you pass up "super cute?"
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 19:23
Personally, I'd buy:

0k miles, 3.5L Twin Turbo, Terrible gas mileage, Comfy ride, Totally uncute, Above-average reliability:

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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 20:02
Hmmm...if I had to guess, I'd say option #1 is some sort of VW derivative, probably either a Golf or Beetle, and option #2 is probably something manufactured by Scion (aka Toyota)? xB?

For what it's worth, here's my situation: I'm going to be buying car #4 exclusively for the purpose of driving the 100 miles round trip each day to/from school (Elise is too rough, IS350 is too nice, Accord is wife's car). I used to be in love with the Smart ForTwo...until I drove it. It's awful to drive, but it gets great economy and is the right size for an urban environment. I have a deposit down at some dealer in Buffalo Grove, I think, if anyone wants to take delivery of one in September or so.

Anyway, I've whittled down my choices to either a used Civic, used Prius, used Hyundai of some kind, or used Yaris. Something that's super-cheap to insure, keep full of gas, have some remnants of a warranty, and that I don't mind if it gets a ding or seven million while I rack up the mileage. And that screams, "USED JAPANESE CAR." Also, I'm excited because I've never owned a car on which I'd actually be willing to put bumper stickers...so I have that going for me, too! I really like this one that says, "Japanese Cadillac."
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 20:06
Didn't vote.. I don't drive, don't even hold a driving license. Never needed a car. Every place I've lived has always had great public transport systems. Actually, its one of my weaknesses when it comes to networking. A group of guys will sometimes start talking about cars/bikes etc. but its an area i have absolutely no interest or knowledge in :)
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 20:40
I belong to the low hassle, low maintainence party..personally, will go with excellent reliability, even with more miles on it...also, super cute certainly helps.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 23:33
excellent reliability is key... and super cute too. :P

I'll be keeping my Audi, since it'll remain in warranty until after I graduate, whew!!!
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 01:12
Reliability is key. I just need my car to get me from point A to point B in an efficient manner. What good is a car if it spends more time in the shop than driving you around? :-)
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 04:26
I have had a Scion xB for over 2 years now and have put about 26k miles on it thus far. It is so reliable it's not even funny. If you take a look at a couple of the Scion forums, there are people with over 180,000 miles on their Scions and they have not had a single problem as of yet.

I get about 36mpg, maybe 27 mpg when i drive aggressively (stop and go traffic in manhattan sucks!) with the AC on.

The model I have is a 2006. The newly redesigned 2008 models have nearly a 40% bigger engine and are terrible on gas. People are getting 22-26mpg with the new model. These days, every mile counts!

The newly remodeled Accords are absolutely gorgeous as well! Just throwing out some ideas for you...

Gl and fwiw.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 05:20
haha- says the guy who drives a 350z ;)

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I belong to the low hassle, low maintainence party..personally, will go with excellent reliability, even with more miles on it...also, super cute certainly helps.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 05:46
ok, phase 2:

Car one is a Ford Focus ZX5. 32k. Private party, very well maintained. This guy is the second owner. My only concern with it is it's average reliability ratings per Consumer Rpts. On the other hand, it's practically new. Clean CarFax.

Car 2 is a Scion xA. Dealer sale. Seems underpriced - don't know if that'd b/c it doesn't fit in with the rest of the dealership or if there's something wrong with it. Clean CarFax. My concern: # of miles, the sluggish engine (scary on the interstate), and several reviews that say it's not very comfortable on long trips. It's also had several owners. Does the excellent reliability make up for the cheap-feeling ride and the somewhat mysterious past?

Anyway, I have another car to look at today and then I'm going to get a mechanic to check out the xA.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 06:51
aaudetat wrote:

Car 2 is a Scion xA. Dealer sale. Seems underpriced - don't know if that'd b/c it doesn't fit in with the rest of the dealership or if there's something wrong with it. Clean CarFax. My concern: # of miles, the sluggish engine (scary on the interstate), and several reviews that say it's not very comfortable on long trips. It's also had several owners. Does the excellent reliability make up for the cheap-feeling ride and the somewhat mysterious past?


I change my vote to the first car. high mileage + mysterious past = unreliable, no matter how reliable the car's reputation may be.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 07:18
aaudetat wrote:
ok, phase 2:

Car one is a Ford Focus ZX5. 32k. Private party, very well maintained. This guy is the second owner. My only concern with it is it's average reliability ratings per Consumer Rpts. On the other hand, it's practically new. Clean CarFax.

Car 2 is a Scion xA. Dealer sale. Seems underpriced - don't know if that'd b/c it doesn't fit in with the rest of the dealership or if there's something wrong with it. Clean CarFax. My concern: # of miles, the sluggish engine (scary on the interstate), and several reviews that say it's not very comfortable on long trips. It's also had several owners. Does the excellent reliability make up for the cheap-feeling ride and the somewhat mysterious past?

Anyway, I have another car to look at today and then I'm going to get a mechanic to check out the xA.


Couple of comments.

1) 32k Focus already on its second owner - raised my eyebrow
2) Carfax is pretty close to worthless. My colleague just bought a 2003 BMW 540 with 70k miles from the original owner. The carfax was clean as well as another report (autocheck? - can't remember the name). In any event, my colleague took the car to his mechanic and found out that the car had had several mechanical issues from previous accidents and was repaired in less than optimal/original form. No indications of any kind from those two reports.
3) Shady/suspicious history is a red flag. Just walk away.
4) Ford's reliability is rising (NOTE this is a relative term :)), but still, do you think it will make it to 100k miles (not sure how much driving you plan to do) without issues? I wouldn't put $10 bucks on that.
5)It would be beneficial to know what model year the cars are. For instance, a 2005 with 74k would be well above average mileage.

As a final note, there are plenty of fish in the sea. To say the auto industry is struggling right now is a gross understatement. If you are interested in a Scion (or whatever car you really want), just keep your eyes peeled. No need to rush into anything. You do not want to save a few bucks now (let's say the Scion is $1.500 less than others you have seen), just to put a lot of money into it later. New brakes/rotors/tires will cost you $1,000+ easily, let alone any other issue you may have (mechanical, transmission, etc.).
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 07:22
A note on carfax they really mean nothing. Many accidents dont get reported on it and dealers dont usually report issues with cars they take in or often fix. I would take it to a private mechanic to take a look at it before making an offer. It wont cost much and will be able to tell you far more than any carfax report.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 07:36
mechanic appt today at 3:30 for the xA.

they're both 2004.

the guy's selling the focus to buy his brother's Mercedes. The brother is in the foreign service and posting somewhere where they drive on the left so can't take his car. He bought the focus off a ford lot when it was 2 yrs old.

if the focus were a 2005 it'd be a done deal. that's the year that ford got its act together with those cars. 2004 is better than prior yrs, but still just average.

I never said suspicious history for the xA - just unknown.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 07:42
Beware the unknown . . .
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 09:15
learned my lessons :-D no more sports cars for me...actually no more cars for the next two years. i will do my bit for the environment and do the public transportation thing..

dosa_don wrote:
haha- says the guy who drives a 350z ;)

ujjib wrote:
I belong to the low hassle, low maintainence party..personally, will go with excellent reliability, even with more miles on it...also, super cute certainly helps.
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Re: what would you buy? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 09:55
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Re: what would you buy?   [#permalink] 13 May 2008, 09:55
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