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nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

Ryand-Smith posted:

Proposed Budget: 10-15k
New or Used: Used (certified?)
Body Style: 4 door
How will you be using the car?: Daily Driver, long moves every 3-4 years
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
Nope, fairly basic is fine.
What aspects are most important to you?
Reliability, gas millage not being too terrible, snow driving

Hey thread, I currently have my very decent Nissan Cube, and after doing a 700 mile move, I realized something. It is small. Very, Very, Very small, and it fit all my things, after doing voodoo/magic and amazing packing. I want to upgrade to something bigger, that can drive in winter if needed, and still haul enough stuff to fit into a small bachelor pad. Thanks in advance!

A u-haul would probably be cheaper than a new car for a move 3 years from now.

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Quixotic1
Jul 25, 2007



Proposed Budget: 7-10k give or take of cold hard cash
New or Used: Used
Body Style: No preference, although half the people I know are 6ft+
How will you be using the car?: 40 mile highway commute to and from work and school total. With maybe estimated 460mi est round-trip up to visit family near Orlando maybe once every other month or two.
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
Only ever driven old basic cars so can't say I would.
What aspects are most important to you?
Starter car which I hope to last me 4years or more. Reliability,gas mileage and handle South Florida(Miami) traffic with it's blatant disregard for road rules or life. Insurance cost should be no problem since my options are limited to 5+yr old cars it seems. I'd also like if it had a somewhat modern look to it, but no deal-breaker if it doesn't.

The cars I've driven over my lifetime are: a '97 Camry and '01 Corolla(with no overdrive), with a couple of times borrowing my brother's '05 Honda Civic and his '99 Gallant. Don't know if it's because both his cars were red but after driving the Civic and Gallant, the Camry and Corolla felt slow as molasses. Don't like the Honda's rear window, looked to small for me to see out of. Also everyone selling cars in South Florida is insane; it's either a beater car or way overpriced; I'm seeing 2003 corolla being asked for 10k regular. Here are some cars I've found with autotempest, with the knowledge from this thread I've been able to ingest (I'm way over my head here,first time buyer with everyone I know always saying they got ripped off with car purchases):

'06 Pontiac Vibe for $7,775 with 93k miles https://bit.ly/Udjsqc
'06 Toyota Matrix for $10,295 with 74k miles http://bit.ly/SsCc0y
'05 Toyota Matrix for $8,995 with 61k mileshttp://bit.ly/RYw9QK
'04 Mazda Mazda3i for $7,595 with 85k mileshttp://bit.ly/PypJbs

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




LittlePea posted:

Thanks for the advice guys but are you sure? I just feel like my 99 grand am seems to have more and more issues every year (specifically with the brakes)...I'm trying to get rid of it before I end up with a huge problem that would potentially "force" me into making a rushed decision because I need wheels. It also seems that every mechanic I've been with tells me that it's a huge pain to work on so I can't try to do any fixes myself. With 130k miles on it already I don't realistically see it lasting too long without needing major replacements.

I'm probably naive because I don't really know how auto loans work (I'm still researching) but I figure I could pay more towards it when I am able to without penalties instead of having a significant downpayment/paying cash. Through a credit union (and as it turns out not through USAA) I know I can be approved at a 5% interest rate.

If you think that my particular vehicle can make it substantially longer then by all means, I'll keep it.

Just for the sake of looking, I can definitely go smaller, but how much smaller? I really do not want a coupe.

Can you tell us specifically what the issues with the brakes are?

Looking at service intervals, you don't have anything huge coming up. Why not keep it til you run up against a major service interval? It looks like the major service intervals are 90k and 180k.

I think your car can make it at least another year or so. What are you driving, about 15k a year?

The more money down you can put to a note, especially a used car note, the better off you'll be. Not having money to put down is a red flag in my personal book in terms of "Should I be Buying This Car." You may be able to pay down against principal above your monthly loan payment, but make sure you read the loan contract carefully - some loans are locked-in so that the bank makes its interest money regardless.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Quixotic1 posted:

Proposed Budget: 7-10k give or take of cold hard cash
New or Used: Used
Body Style: No preference, although half the people I know are 6ft+
How will you be using the car?: 40 mile highway commute to and from work and school total. With maybe estimated 460mi est round-trip up to visit family near Orlando maybe once every other month or two.
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
Only ever driven old basic cars so can't say I would.
What aspects are most important to you?
Starter car which I hope to last me 4years or more. Reliability,gas mileage and handle South Florida(Miami) traffic with it's blatant disregard for road rules or life. Insurance cost should be no problem since my options are limited to 5+yr old cars it seems. I'd also like if it had a somewhat modern look to it, but no deal-breaker if it doesn't.

The cars I've driven over my lifetime are: a '97 Camry and '01 Corolla(with no overdrive), with a couple of times borrowing my brother's '05 Honda Civic and his '99 Gallant. Don't know if it's because both his cars were red but after driving the Civic and Gallant, the Camry and Corolla felt slow as molasses. Don't like the Honda's rear window, looked to small for me to see out of. Also everyone selling cars in South Florida is insane; it's either a beater car or way overpriced; I'm seeing 2003 corolla being asked for 10k regular. Here are some cars I've found with autotempest, with the knowledge from this thread I've been able to ingest (I'm way over my head here,first time buyer with everyone I know always saying they got ripped off with car purchases):

'06 Pontiac Vibe for $7,775 with 93k miles https://bit.ly/Udjsqc
'06 Toyota Matrix for $10,295 with 74k miles http://bit.ly/SsCc0y
'05 Toyota Matrix for $8,995 with 61k mileshttp://bit.ly/RYw9QK
'04 Mazda Mazda3i for $7,595 with 85k mileshttp://bit.ly/PypJbs

These are all great choices. I personally like the Vibe since you can usually get it without the Toyota Tax and it's the same drat car.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




nm posted:

A u-haul would probably be cheaper than a new car for a move 3 years from now.

Yeah, my strategy for the moves that I do is econoline van from rent-a-wreck or UHaul or Penske, then plane ticket back and drive my car in a second wave. Total cost is pretty reasonable compared to paying a premium for a newer vehicle over several years.

RushMix
May 16, 2007


RushMix posted:

As per this thread, I'm looking at this car: http://www.cars.com/go/search/detai...onal&listType=1

Apparently the head gasket on this model WILL blow, given time. Will a mechanic be able to tell fairly easily if it has been replaced, if I can't drag the info out of the dealer?

Are there any other problems you guys know offhand about this model/year? If I can get this car, and it works well for a long time, I'd be as happy as a clam.

Is it likely that I'll be able to get the dealer to knock off ~$800 or so to help me pay for the new head gasket if that's necessary, or should I just demand that they do it?

I imagine they'll tell me to piss off, but I'm new to this whole buying a car that's worth more than two grand thing.

PrettyhateM
Apr 17, 2002


Using the knowledge in this thread I purchased a 2006 Toyota Matrix with 47k miles December of last year for $11500. I have payed down the loan to the point that I owe $8,000 exactly right now.

Its a great little car and so far has proven to be a pretty solid purchase. I did have to replace the rotors, drive belt and the oil pan gasket for around 250 bucks about a month ago. Aside from that its been very solid.

I bought the car because I got a new job that is 50 miles each way. So 100 miles a day in commute. San Francisco to Cupertino. Now I have been driving everyday so the gas has been hurting me a bit, also almost once a week I see a major accident on the highway (280). So it got me thinking that I would have purchased a safer car? This one doesn't even have ABS which I think is pretty standard now a days.

So I decided this weekend I would stop by the local Toyota dealer and look at their used selection. I ended up looking at a 2010 Toyota Prius with 18k miles for $20,840 at 1.9%. It was toyota certified used so it still had the original warranty in place. We ended up test driving it and it has some minor dings on the car. It appeared to be a city car. After we talked about it he said they could take my Matrix as a trade in for the entire amount I owe left on it ($8k).

I told the salesman wasn't ready to make the purchase, so at that point they were really trying to push it hard. He had the manager come over and talk to me, even said if they would increase trade price to $9k. Then asking what amount would I take to make this purchase right now. I didn't even make a counter offer and told them I need to think about it more.

So after doing some math I gathered I would be saving $100 dollars a month in gas if I drove a Prius, which will be the difference in loan payment if I put down a $5k as a down payment for the Prius (Prius $325 a month; Matrix $220 a month). Also this car comes with airbags all over the place and has a better crash rating. So that covers the two areas of my concern.

I guess I am just making sure I am not making a stupid mistake here, the reason I am not looking at a new car is because I live in San Francisco and I have to park on the street. This will result in scratches and dings from people parallel parking next to my car, having that happen to a newly purchased new car would be sorta heart breaking and aggravating.

Sorry this is so long. Just making sure I document my thought process here so it makes sense. Also after all taxes the Prius would actually be $22k.

Proposed Budget: $15,000 to $20,000
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Hatchback if possible.
How will you be using the car?: 100 miles a day work commute, 95% of which is on highway.
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
Eh the most I want is come kind of connectivity to my iPhone, i listen to a lot of podcasts on my commute.
What aspects are most important to you? MPG and Safety.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






There's nothing wrong with trading up to a Prius, particularly if you're concerned about safety and want ABS. What's the price premium on your life?

But you made a minor blunder in negotiations by talking about your trade-in before settling on the price for the Prius. The problem now is that you cannot discover (from that dealer) what their bottom dollar would have been for the car; they're instead negotiating on the value of your trade-in. You did very well to refuse to buy that day though: you've clearly informed them with this behavior that you're not a total sucker.

What I might suggest is look around and see if you can find another comparable Prius at a different dealer or private party - they're not that rare, so it should be possible. You can then negotiate price, and only after you've settled on that, see if you can get 9k for the trade-in (or whatever).

Having said all that: you seem to be comparing per-month payments, which is useful for understanding your monthly budget but not apples-to-apples comparison of cost if one note has more months than the other.

You are actually talking about paying $8k for the remainder of your note on the Matrix, vs. paying (21k - 1k diff between your payoff and the tradein value) ~20k for the Prius (8k of your tradein goes to pay off the matrix so only 1k is left to pay down the prius, leaving you with 20k in cash and financing to pay for).

At $100/mo in gas savings, that takes 200 months to break even: 16 and two thirds years. Not remotely worth it.

But I'd say it's not a terrible idea for safety reasons.

One last thought: have you looked into Caltrain? It depends a lot on where you are in SF whether it's worthwhile, but the train ride is not unpleasant and it's a lot safer and less aggravating.

Leperflesh fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Sep 17, 2012

Captain Narwhal
Dec 4, 2002


Going to try this again now that I have a bit better of an idea of what I'm looking for

Proposed Budget: As close to $30k as possible (some flexibility here)
New or Used: Used/CPO
Body Style: Luxury compact sedan or coupe 2+2
How will you be using the car?: mainly as a daily driver, shortish 20-30 minute highway commute
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
I don't need all the gizmos (dont need navigation, rear-view camera, etc) but Bluetooth or some sort of iPhone connectivity would be great
What aspects are most important to you? Looks, comfort, reliability, value, should have a little pep in its step (I think any of the cars I'm considering qualify)
Cars I'm considering now, thoughts, etc: I'm looking at Audi A5 and A4, BMW 328i and 335i, Cadillac CTS (would prefer the coupe but don't see any available in my price range).

I've really fallen in love with the look of the A5 and am planning to test drive both the 2.0T and 3.2L models. The problem I'm having is getting an A5 within budget. In the Bay Area, the cheapest CPO A5 I've seen is listed at just under 37k. I haven't gotten into any discussions with them about this yet, but, any idea how much a dealership would be willing to negotiate below sticker? Would it be cheaper if I financed through them or paid in cash? In a perfect world, I'd find a 2008/9 A5 2.0T base model or close to it with less than 40k miles for $30k. Please tell me if this is a pipe dream.

Anyway, after the A5, I'm unsure what I'd go with. The A4 is nice but the 328i just seems like the most reasonable and logical choice of all the cars I've considered. I took a 2010 328i for a test drive and it was reasonably quick an felt very solid but the overall look is a bit meh. My problem with the 328i/335i is, and I'm not usually bothered by this sort of thing, but, I just can't get over how many people in this area drive 1, 3, and 5-series BMWs. Because their look and styling is so consistent across all of those models it'd be like having the same car as half of the population.

Moving away from the germans, I like cadillac styling in general so I'm starting to look into the CTS. I don't love the look of the CTS sedan like I used to but Ive heard good things so I am going to try to get around to taking a test drive. On the other hand, I do love the CTS coupe but they are more rare and too new to be within my price range from what I can tell. I've also thought vaguely about a new Nissan Altima or Acura TL.

Any insight into reliability, repair/maintenance costs for these would be very helpful. Also if you have suggestions of other cars to look at, let me know. I haven't looked at Mercedes at all so far (I only mention Mercedes because it seems like the obvious omission) because they generally don't really do much for me but I'm open to any suggestions.

PrettyhateM
Apr 17, 2002


Leperflesh posted:

Lots of extremely useful information.


I realize after the fact that I should have held off mentioning any kind of trade in at all till the price of the car was understood. Though he did mention that the prices are fixed and there would be no negotiation on that but there would be on the trade in. As soon as I heard that I had red flags go off in my head as I don't know how to handle that kind of situation. That is when I started to back away, and decided I need to do a lot more research on this.

Also I hated to have to think of it in terms of monthly payments. That isn't really what I wanted to gauge my purchase on, but I think I was somehow trying to justify the purchase price. I am kinda nervous purchasing a car that is $20,000. I would love to spend just a little less then that, but it seemed like I was trying to have my cake and eat it too with quality/safety/mpg/newer car. When I went to purchase the Matrix last year, I went with the mind set that I did not want to spend more then $15k. I did a lot of research online and found the matrix at a great price. I was able to talk them down a couple grand on the final price. I actually really like the car, though I really wish it was safer. Then I realized that I could afford a better car and that if I spent a couple grand more I might have gotten a newer car with more standard safety features. That's where I am now.


Also my company is about to start a shuttle route that is pretty close to my neighborhood. So I will be taking that the majority of the week soon too. (Wifi, leather seats, bathroom)

Maybe something cheaper than the Prius is better? If the savings on gas wouldn't be substantial enough to warrant getting a hybrid.

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Captain Narwhal posted:

Going to try this again now that I have a bit better of an idea of what I'm looking for

Proposed Budget: As close to $30k as possible (some flexibility here)
New or Used: Used/CPO
Body Style: Luxury compact sedan or coupe 2+2
How will you be using the car?: mainly as a daily driver, shortish 20-30 minute highway commute
Do you prefer a luxury vehicle with all the gizmos?
I don't need all the gizmos (dont need navigation, rear-view camera, etc) but Bluetooth or some sort of iPhone connectivity would be great
What aspects are most important to you? Looks, comfort, reliability, value, should have a little pep in its step (I think any of the cars I'm considering qualify)
Cars I'm considering now, thoughts, etc: I'm looking at Audi A5 and A4, BMW 328i and 335i, Cadillac CTS (would prefer the coupe but don't see any available in my price range).

I've really fallen in love with the look of the A5 and am planning to test drive both the 2.0T and 3.2L models. The problem I'm having is getting an A5 within budget. In the Bay Area, the cheapest CPO A5 I've seen is listed at just under 37k. I haven't gotten into any discussions with them about this yet, but, any idea how much a dealership would be willing to negotiate below sticker? Would it be cheaper if I financed through them or paid in cash? In a perfect world, I'd find a 2008/9 A5 2.0T base model or close to it with less than 40k miles for $30k. Please tell me if this is a pipe dream.

Anyway, after the A5, I'm unsure what I'd go with. The A4 is nice but the 328i just seems like the most reasonable and logical choice of all the cars I've considered. I took a 2010 328i for a test drive and it was reasonably quick an felt very solid but the overall look is a bit meh. My problem with the 328i/335i is, and I'm not usually bothered by this sort of thing, but, I just can't get over how many people in this area drive 1, 3, and 5-series BMWs. Because their look and styling is so consistent across all of those models it'd be like having the same car as half of the population.

Moving away from the germans, I like cadillac styling in general so I'm starting to look into the CTS. I don't love the look of the CTS sedan like I used to but Ive heard good things so I am going to try to get around to taking a test drive. On the other hand, I do love the CTS coupe but they are more rare and too new to be within my price range from what I can tell. I've also thought vaguely about a new Nissan Altima or Acura TL.

Any insight into reliability, repair/maintenance costs for these would be very helpful. Also if you have suggestions of other cars to look at, let me know. I haven't looked at Mercedes at all so far (I only mention Mercedes because it seems like the obvious omission) because they generally don't really do much for me but I'm open to any suggestions.

Can I make some comments and then a suggestion?

The base A5 is a nice looking car, they are sex . That said, it will be expensive to own in the long run (check reliability ratings online). It is not a fast or quick car, especially with the smaller engine. You need to go to the S5 for that, which is way out of your budget. It's just a good looking "meh" to drive car with a nice interior.

With the cars you are looking at, I was suprised not to see the Infiniti G37 on the list (you do mention the Altima, which means you're not opposed to a Japanese car). The G37 is quick (0-60 in ~5 seconds), super reliable (again, check the ratings), and generally provides the best overall performance/reliability value out of the 328, A5 and CTS, in my opinion. It will outperform all of them. The 335 is different, it has a small performance edge, but costs loads more than the G. Go drive the G sedan or coupe, they perform identically. Put your foot down, push it around some corners, you'll see what I mean. It is a better car than any of the ones you listed, again, a personal opinion, but you should at least drive it to see if you don't think so too.

Saltin fucked around with this message at 00:12 on Sep 18, 2012

Guinness
Sep 15, 2004



You seem really hung up on "safety", why?

The Matrix isn't an unsafe car. It might not be topping the charts in crash tests or whatever, but a 6-year old Toyota is not a deathtrap by any stretch of the imagination. What do you perceive to be so unsafe about it?

If you like the Matrix, you should just keep it and save a boatload of money. It's a reliable, efficient, practical car that will likely run over 200,000 miles without too much trouble.

Guinness
Sep 15, 2004



Saltin posted:

Can I make some comments and then a suggestion?

Totally agree that the A5 is much more bark than bite especially given its quite lofty price and competition. It's a fantastic looking car with typically good Audi design inside and out, but both engine options in the A5 are pretty lackluster, especially compared to the rest of the segment. It's a bit of a dog and if you really want a true sports coupe, you've unfortunately got to step up to the S5 which is WAY more expensive, but is also WAY more car.

As for the G35/G37, I also agree that it should be considered in the comparison since it is in a similar market segment and price range. Great car all around, and definitely one of the most well-endowed under the hood. I personally think the 3-series (or at least the 335i, maybe not the 328i) is a better car, though, all things considered.

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Guinness posted:

As for the G35/G37, I also agree that it should be considered in the comparison since it is in a similar market segment and price range. Great car all around, and definitely one of the most well-endowed under the hood. I personally think the 3-series (or at least the 335i, maybe not the 328i) is a better car, though, all things considered.

The 335 is a better car for sure but it is seriously way more expensive (new anyhow) than a G when equipped equally, and the performance isn't seriously much better.

PrettyhateM
Apr 17, 2002


Guinness posted:

You seem really hung up on "safety", why?

The Matrix isn't an unsafe car. It might not be topping the charts in crash tests or whatever, but a 6-year old Toyota is not a deathtrap by any stretch of the imagination. What do you perceive to be so unsafe about it?

If you like the Matrix, you should just keep it and save a boatload of money. It's a reliable, efficient, practical car that will likely run over 200,000 miles without too much trouble.

I don't know, I have been honestly just seeing tons of really bad accidents on my commute to work, almost every other day. It just makes you think, like hey this car doesn't even have ABS. Why dont I own a car with what comes standard on cars that are a worth a little more then mine.

Every time I mention this I get the well whats your health worth?

Costello Jello
Oct 24, 2003

It had to start somewhere

Actually, I remember reading a study that showed that people with ABS brakes were slightly more likely to be involved in fatal-to-occupant crashes than cars with regular brakes.

It seems strange for that to be true, but I wonder if it's because people don't know how to use ABS properly. It definitely feels weird when you have to slam on your brakes hard and the ABS engages, because it sort of feels like your car is slipping when one or more of the tires disengages the brakes slightly to maintain traction. What you're feeling is the brake slipping, not the tire slipping, but I bet people sometimes panic and react poorly, or pump their brakes to compensate even though they don't need to, thereby increasing stopping distance, since the car is already reducing braking power because of the engaged ABS.

Guinness
Sep 15, 2004



ABS is a pretty minor safety feature unless you regularly drive in very adverse weather conditions. For commuting on the freeway in a part of the country without "real" winter ABS really isn't making you much safer. Can you even recall the last time you emergency braked so hard on the freeway that your ABS kicked in? Much less one of those incidents where it may have actually mattered?

ABS is standard on most cars today just because it is fairly cheap and pretty reliable. It was an option for so long on economy cars because for people who just want a commuter car it is really not going to make much difference. Even the nannies at NHTSA have avoided making ABS mandatory because real-world crash statistics don't have actually prove that ABS does much good at all.

Guinness fucked around with this message at 01:57 on Sep 18, 2012

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Alright - screw it. The hassle of buying a user car is getting to be too much for me, and I think in the long run a new one might be as worth it or at least close...and I can afford it. So I'm going new.

Right now, the Mazda3 sedan and Corolla look best in terms of price and reliability, which are my only two concerns. And I'm leaning toward Corolla because I know from experience how long they last.

I'm trying to figure out my buying strategy. Should I immediately contact dealers, and say "I've got $16,000, what can you do?" or should I go in first, and then talk price, so I can walk out if they don't meet my expectations?

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

What car currently sold in the US doesn't have ABS standard? The last gen Viper is the last one I can think of.

There are some places in the SW US where sudden rains seem to pull oil out of the asphalt and turn the roads into oil slicks. I'm from Canada, I can deal with snow and ice and I almost lost it and rear ended someone with a rental car in Las Vegas after a rainstorm.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Throatwarbler posted:

What car currently sold in the US doesn't have ABS standard? The last gen Viper is the last one I can think of.

There are some places in the SW US where sudden rains seem to pull oil out of the asphalt and turn the roads into oil slicks. I'm from Canada, I can deal with snow and ice and I almost lost it and rear ended someone with a rental car in Las Vegas after a rainstorm.

I think a few Daewoos had ABS as an option. Maybe some KIAS a few years back.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

Saltin posted:

The 335 is a better car for sure but it is seriously way more expensive (new anyhow) than a G when equipped equally, and the performance isn't seriously much better.

The engine on the G is buzzy and strikes most people as unrefined and the interior is pretty low rent. The performance is there undoubtedly but I think it sort of betrays its roots(the Nissan Skyline) as being more of a Japanese market Camaro than a Japanese BMW.

In which case, the performance is also undoubtably there in a Camaro or a Mustang too. Surely Shelby GT500s are getting into the $30k range? Those will get you to the next stoplight quite rapidly.

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Throatwarbler posted:

The engine on the G is buzzy and strikes most people as unrefined and the interior is pretty low rent. The performance is there undoubtedly but I think it sort of betrays its roots(the Nissan Skyline) as being more of a Japanese market Camaro than a Japanese BMW.

In which case, the performance is also undoubtably there in a Camaro or a Mustang too. Surely Shelby GT500s are getting into the $30k range? Those will get you to the next stoplight quite rapidly.

The 3.7 is a big improvement over the 3.5 in that regard but if you are talking about the 3.7 i dont know what to say. The interior is certainly not as good as Audi or BMW but it is still decent. Again it costs significantly less. Anyhow I dont want to come off as a G fanboy because i have owned several of the cars we dscussed and they all have good qualities (a4, 335 and g37). I just like the performance to value metric of the G best. I think it has the best body too, but thats a personal thing.

halonx
May 4, 2005



I couldn't find a thread about Fiat Spiders, so I figured this might be the best spot for this question. I'm looking at a 1979 Fiat Spider 2000. It is listed for $2600. Claims to have been garage kept its entire life, only issue is some slight shudder in first gear. Interior looks good, etc.

Does anyone have any experience with these cars? Anything I should be looking for? Are parts available?

Agronox
Feb 4, 2005


Ramrod Hotshot posted:

I'm trying to figure out my buying strategy. Should I immediately contact dealers, and say "I've got $16,000, what can you do?" or should I go in first, and then talk price, so I can walk out if they don't meet my expectations?

What you should consider is trying to figure out a general idea of what the car is going for in your area and what the incentives are. Check out Edmunds, CarsDirect, and Truecar.

Even then, hunt around, because you should be able to beat all three of those sites' prices without too much effort. Do as much web research as you can, and try to cast a wide net. Some of the bigger dealers have their inventory online with non-bullshit prices (though many more still want to show you MSRP). I ended up getting my Mazda3 one state over, but I saved $1,000+ over the next best priced local dealer.

Captain Narwhal
Dec 4, 2002


Thanks for the responses guys. I have had the G35/37 in mind but in the background like the Altima. I'll definitely take a closer look. In any case, this gets to the crux of where I'm at in this. Even comparing the A5 to the 335, how much is that added acceleration, etc worth in luxury/style sacrifices on the other side of the equation? I guess I'll have to test drive them

Captain Narwhal fucked around with this message at 06:04 on Sep 18, 2012

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

General question:

Is there a reason I haven't really seen anyone recommend Lexus recently? Too expensive? Personally I would choose a Lexus over an Audi/BMW/Mercedes etc. any day.

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

Red_Fred posted:

General question:

Is there a reason I haven't really seen anyone recommend Lexus recently? Too expensive? Personally I would choose a Lexus over an Audi/BMW/Mercedes etc. any day.

Boring and overpriced for what you get. With the exception of the LS, none of their cars approach class leader.
The ES is a decent car for people who would have bought Buicks a decade ago and the RX is decent for suburban soccer moms with too much money. Not exactly an SA demographic.

While Lexus's are reliable, so are Infinitis and they won't bore you to death.

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

nm posted:

Boring and overpriced for what you get. With the exception of the LS, none of their cars approach class leader.
The ES is a decent car for people who would have bought Buicks a decade ago and the RX is decent for suburban soccer moms with too much money. Not exactly an SA demographic.

While Lexus's are reliable, so are Infinitis and they won't bore you to death.

What about the IS? That was really the model I was thinking of. The other's are pretty old-manish you're right.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

Red_Fred posted:

What about the IS? That was really the model I was thinking of. The other's are pretty old-manish you're right.

Most car buyers are old men(or women) especially luxury cars so it's not like that's a bad thing for them. I think the people who bought Buicks in the past should be buying Buicks right now, the LaCross is legitimately a better car than the ES in technical terms, has a choice of engines and availible AWD. So is a Lincoln MKS, or a Hyundai Azera for that matter. I do like the exterior look of the Lexus better, and the new model looks pretty nice on the inside too.

Most of Lexus' models are not class leaders because they are old while the competition is all newer. The new ES still has the same powertrain and no direct injection. The IS is very old, too small for the North American market (It's smaller than a Corolla and all its competitors are larger and more roomy), and only comes in a limited choice of engines and body styles - no manual trans on the larger engine, no manual trans with AWD, etc. It's hard to find a reason to recommend it over any of the competition. The facelifted IS-F has apparently gotten very good in terms of track performance, as they completely revamped the suspension and added a Torsen LSD 2 years into the model cycle, but it's still got the same issues as the regular IS and it only comes with an automatic which I'm sort of against on principle. I guess if you want something like a C63 AMG but cheaper and smaller with much better reliability and fuel economy it's the car for you. Of course they did zero marketing on all the changes, so no one knows about it and no one takes it seriously. Seems like the kind of thing GM would do in the 1980s but I guess that's how Toyota rolls these days.

There's been a couple of new models that just came out fairly recently though. The new GX is by all accounts very good, but I doubt many of us here have much firsthand experience with them and in any case few people here are asking for advice on which brand new $60k luxury sedan to buy.

Throatwarbler fucked around with this message at 08:52 on Sep 18, 2012

Falcon2001
Oct 10, 2004

Eat your hamburgers, Apollo.

Pillbug

Update for here: decided to take the advice of the crew here and I'm going to hold off picking up a new car for a few months. This was prompted by the fact that I wasn't able to get a better trade-in price on my Maxima than 3k under blue book, or 7k under what I owe on it. Going to hold off a few months, pay it down more, and try and figure out how to manage a private party sale when we only have the one car.

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Captain Narwhal posted:

Thanks for the responses guys. I have had the G35/37 in mind but in the background like the Altima. I'll definitely take a closer look. In any case, this gets to the crux of where I'm at in this. Even comparing the A5 to the 335, how much is that added acceleration, etc worth in luxury/style sacrifices on the other side of the equation? I guess I'll have to test drive them

The 335 is a better car in every way, aside from the styling. There aren't many cars on the road that drive as well as a 335, I suspect if you drive both you'll forget about the A5 assuming you like performance.

Easychair Bootson
May 7, 2004

Where's the last guy?
Ultimo hombre.
Last man standing.
Must've been one.


How does one go about finding the true invoice price on a car, and what's a reasonable offer above that?

We're shopping for a Lexus IS 350. autos.aol.com puts the invoice at $37,500 on a car with an MSRP of $40,300. Sound about right?

Scrot Eel
Jan 22, 2002

Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!

GroovinPickle posted:

How does one go about finding the true invoice price on a car, and what's a reasonable offer above that?

We're shopping for a Lexus IS 350. autos.aol.com puts the invoice at $37,500 on a car with an MSRP of $40,300. Sound about right?

Go to edmunds.com, punch in your car and options and it'll give you the market price for your area. Try to shoot just below that.

Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


Is Edmunds the best tool out there for estimating depreciation? I know everything that's not a Civic / Corolla / Accord / Camry will depreciate like crazy, but their little calculator is telling me that a V6 Mustang will hold its value pretty well while a Hyundai Genesis Coupe will depreciate off a cliff, while my gut instinct tells me that Ford is selling a billion V6 Mustangs and one would be worthless in 6-9 years and the current Genesis Coupes are pretty good cars with a strong warranty that should hold their value better. I'm sure I'm biased, the Edmunds calculator just seems to give me strange results.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Captain Narwhal like Agronox mentioned don't be afraid to look outside of the bay area for a car. You can get much better deals where there is more competition. Hell I know a guy who bought a truck here in Texas and drove it back to the bay area it was such a good deal. Try looking in the Vegas market, the economy there is still hit pretty hard and luxury cars might be more aggressively priced there. Phoenix might be another area to check out.

Personally I'm not a fan of Audi cars if you plan on owning one out of warranty. I think they're great leases, a CPO model is compelling as long as you get rid of it before the warranty expires. Post warranty though poo poo gets expensive fast and they're not known for their reliability. All the electronic gizmos and goodies get really expensive to repair and troubleshoot down the line.

Red_Fred posted:

General question:

Is there a reason I haven't really seen anyone recommend Lexus recently? Too expensive? Personally I would choose a Lexus over an Audi/BMW/Mercedes etc. any day.

nm pretty much nailed it. Lexus makes a fantastic vehicle but they're very middle of the road. They don't do any one thing great, but do lots of things well. They're not the fastest, have the nicest interior, etc, but they do make a compelling package when put all together.

I wouldn't mind a GS sedan, I do lots of highway miles so I prefer a nice comfortable highway cruiser that is quiet and has a great stereo. A Lexus GS would be a great car for me, enough power to pass on the freeway, big enough for the kids in the back, etc. BUT for the money a GS sedan would cost me I can think of a few other cars I rather have instead.

GroovinPickle posted:

How does one go about finding the true invoice price on a car, and what's a reasonable offer above that?

We're shopping for a Lexus IS 350. autos.aol.com puts the invoice at $37,500 on a car with an MSRP of $40,300. Sound about right?

Yeah, that's about right. Edmund's usually has lots of nice details with their TMV calculator, and in their Prices Paid forums as well. Unless you live in a large metro area with more than one Lexus dealership, invoice +500 is a fair deal. They'll have a few fees on the sales agreement, maybe make a point on the financing end of the deal, you'll get a reasonable deal on a car.

Weinertron posted:

Is Edmunds the best tool out there for estimating depreciation? I know everything that's not a Civic / Corolla / Accord / Camry will depreciate like crazy, but their little calculator is telling me that a V6 Mustang will hold its value pretty well while a Hyundai Genesis Coupe will depreciate off a cliff, while my gut instinct tells me that Ford is selling a billion V6 Mustangs and one would be worthless in 6-9 years.

I've found KBB's True Cost to Own calculator to be reasonably close to estimated depreciation. As a broad sweeping generalization you're looking at 20% of MSRP the first year and then 10% each year after that for about the next 5 years. Look at lease residual values to get a good idea of expected depreciation. Cars that have big rebates on them depreciate faster. After 3 years and 45K you should be around 55% of MSRP on most vehicles.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 17:16 on Sep 18, 2012

Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


skipdogg posted:

I've found KBB's True Cost to Own calculator to be reasonably close to estimated depreciation. As a broad sweeping generalization you're looking at 20% of MSRP the first year and then 10% each year after that for about the next 5 years. Look at lease residual values to get a good idea of expected depreciation. Cars that have big rebates on them depreciate faster. After 3 years and 45K you should be around 55% of MSRP on most vehicles.

Thank you, I'll check out KBB's as well. I'm just confused because the Mustang has some rebates, I have them set up for identical MSRP, and Edmunds is saying the Genesis Coupe will lose 20% more of its MSRP over 5 years than the V6 Mustang.

Edit: KBB's depreciation calculator tells me that a used 2011 Camaro is worth $126 less than a new 2012. This depreciation thing confuses me. I get the feeling I should just not worry about this too much and plan to drive whatever I buy longer.

Twerk from Home fucked around with this message at 18:40 on Sep 18, 2012

Costello Jello
Oct 24, 2003

It had to start somewhere

Weinertron posted:

Is Edmunds the best tool out there for estimating depreciation? I know everything that's not a Civic / Corolla / Accord / Camry will depreciate like crazy, but their little calculator is telling me that a V6 Mustang will hold its value pretty well while a Hyundai Genesis Coupe will depreciate off a cliff, while my gut instinct tells me that Ford is selling a billion V6 Mustangs and one would be worthless in 6-9 years and the current Genesis Coupes are pretty good cars with a strong warranty that should hold their value better.

I think your assumption that a Hyundai Genesis would hold value better just because it's rarer than a Mustang is flawed. It seems like you are assuming that because there will be less used Hyundai Genesis Coupes on the market, that people will be willing to pay more for it, because they don't have a huge competitive glut to choose from like a bunch of used Mustangs.

But that's ignoring the most important thing, which is that the reason Ford sells so many Mustangs is just because more people WANT Mustangs.

Captain Narwhal
Dec 4, 2002


skipdogg posted:

like Agronox mentioned don't be afraid to look outside of the bay area for a car. You can get much better deals where there is more competition. Hell I know a guy who bought a truck here in Texas and drove it back to the bay area it was such a good deal. Try looking in the Vegas market, the economy there is still hit pretty hard and luxury cars might be more aggressively priced there. Phoenix might be another area to check out.

Personally I'm not a fan of Audi cars if you plan on owning one out of warranty. I think they're great leases, a CPO model is compelling as long as you get rid of it before the warranty expires. Post warranty though poo poo gets expensive fast and they're not known for their reliability. All the electronic gizmos and goodies get really expensive to repair and troubleshoot down the line.

So if I'm reading this right, it looks like you're telling me to take a vacation to Vegas? I think I like you.

Actually, most of the searches I've done have been for anything within 500+ miles and have noticed a decent number of better deals in Vegas, Texas, and SoCal. I'll be in LA this weekend so I may buy something there and drive it back if I find the right deal.

As for warranty, I think you're right, and I've been mainly looking at CPO vehicles in general. I don't know if I have the energy to go around looking at private seller used cars, getting them checked by a mechanic, and then living without a good warranty.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Familiarize yourself with California's laws on registering a car bought out of state before you do that, though. Due to our emissions laws, you generally can't buy a new car out of state and register it in CA right away; used cars have more ability to do that but you'll want to know about the emissions testing/rules because all other states are more lenient than CA.

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PaulAllen
Jul 10, 2007


Proposed Budget: $10,000

New or Used: Used - Certified Pre-owned

My current car, financial, and work situation: I currently drive a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass. When I purchased the Oldsmobile I was working in an office which was across the street from my apartment. I did not need a vehicle other then something big and comfortable to occasionally drive for pleasure. The Oldsmobile suited that purpose perfectly. I am now a delivery driver six days a week which has made a 26 year old car that gets around 8 - 10 miles to the gallon completely impractical. I am looking for a very fuel efficient and reliable car. I have no debt and perfect and credit, however, I now work off the books.

Body Style: Compact car - 2 or 4 door would be fine.

How will you be using the car?: This car will be my delivery car and everyday vehicle.

What aspects are most important to you? Reliability and fuel efficiency are a top priority.

I am interested in a late model Ford Focus. I would like to purchase an American car. I have never been to a dealership before and I have never financed a car so what should I expect?

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