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Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



I'm in a very similar situation to Josh wow, and I have 2 questions. I'm in Madison WI, and my girlfriend is looking for a car for 2000-5000. She has been driving an automatic, but she knows how to drive a manual, so we're kind of leaning in that direction, for reliability reasons (is that a myth? I've always heard manuals have less transmission issues). We're both in school, so we're looking for something to get us through the next 3ish years with as few issues as possible.

I've never used car shopped, so I'd love opinions on what we're looking at.

Civics:

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1479787655.html - Edmunds has the TMV price at around $2400, and we wouldn't consider this if he wasn't willing to come down to around that.

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1480793860.html - Higher trim level with less miles than the last one, but TMV price is higher, so less room for negotiations here.

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1479936852.html - Suspiciously low price, might be hiding something (TMV is $3,422). If it's just the body damage, we'd be ok with that.


Edmunds "best bet" used car is a 2002-2007 Hyundai Elantra. I've had good luck with recent (2002 and forward) Kia/Hyundai cars (I drive one, and my parents have had 2, all with good luck).

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1473915113.html - Obviously well maintained. Edmunds suggests he's overvaluing the car though, they say it should be around $3,050.

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1443140511.html - Again, very overpriced according to Edmunds ($3,145)

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1461503508.html - The Kia. I currently have a 2002 Kia Rio Cinco (the 5 door). This is not a fancy car by any means, but it has been very reliable, and that's really all we're looking for.


Passat:

http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/1481332335.html - She liked the look of this car, but I've heard that VWs have some reliability issues. MSN Autos is ok with this model, but I'd love to hear opinions.



The second question is what to do with her current car? It's a 2002 Saturn L200 with 130k miles. The reason we're getting rid of it is due to a ton of electronic issues. To name a few, the headlights stay on even when the car is OFF, the windshield wipers turn on and off on their own, the car dings and flashes it's interior lights constantly, and when she opens the door, the trunk pops open. The trunk/wiper/interior lights have been diagnosed as a faulty body control module (BCM), which we were told would need to be fixed by the dealer. Our mechanic estimated it would be at the very least $500. Since that's a lot of money, and wouldn't necessarily fix the headlights issue, and this is only the most recent in a series of issues for this car, we're not going to fix it. How the hell do we get rid of a car like that? The best suggestion I've heard so far is a new car lot's "push pull or drag" sale, but we can't afford a new car.

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Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



I knew someone who lost on Judge Judy, she was pretty pissed.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



You definitely can find a reliable car for that amount. 2003-2007 Hyundai Elantras are very reliable (Edmunds best buy), and the ones around 2003 can be found for around that on craigslist. I just bought a 2003 Ford Focus in very good condition (except for highish milage, 110k) for $3300, with new tires/brakes/rotors/belts. I've heard good things about late 90s Volvos (see: cornholio, and a friend of mine) and the Geo Prizms like Lenk says.

I'd look around in junkyards for a new engine just to be sure they're as expensive as you think they are (I think you're right, but no harm in looking), and look for a craigslist car.

EDIT: Obligatory "do regular maintenance" edit.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



moana posted:

Really depends on what kind of deals I could get.

What size of car are you looking for? I've done a ton of research, but I'm mostly looking at smaller hatchbacks (Fit, Mazda2, Fiesta, etc).

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



moana posted:

Nooooooooooooo that makes me very sad. I'm sure every car has problems, I just never had any issues with my Civics other than regular maintenance and it seems like every time I turn around my Passat has poo poo itself. Anecdotes, sure, but I'll never recommend this car to anyone.

I'm going to research the new (2009/2010) Civics before buying anything, but if you have any cautionary tales please feel free to regale me with them.

Buy a Korean car, seriously. They're like what Honda/Toyota were back in the 90s. Their quality has improved WAY faster than their reputation, so they're cheap.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



hobbesmaster posted:

Serious on the Ford thing. I've driven recent a Focus and Fusion with somewhat regularity and they're great cars.

Agreed, I drive a Focus (after driving a Kia for a very long time), and I really want buy a Fiesta.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



I'd definitely try a Mazda5, or if you can wait for it, a Ford C-Max. Personally, I'd much rather drive either of those.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



drat Bananas posted:

Thanks for the help, guys. CornHolio thanks, the more I understand about how ABS works the better.

I'm not a mechanic by any means, so take this with several grains of salt. I have been in contact with a car that had this issue. The pulsing brakes felt exactly the same as what you're describing, but it turned out to be warped front brake rotors. Maybe have someone take a look at those?

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



MN-Ghost posted:

I've read a lot about having a mechanic doing an inspection when buying a used car. That sounds like a good idea, but I'm completely clueless about how this works. What, do you just take the car over to your mechanic while test driving? Wouldn't it take a while potentially? Wouldn't I need to make an appointment first? What if my mechanic is on the other side of town?

Conversely, if I'm selling the car, do I just let the prospective buyer drive off in my car? How do I ensure they are coming back?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just don't get it. Only bought a used car once from a dealer, and didn't get it inspected first (probably should have). I am thinking about selling a couple cars in the future and am still trying to figure out what to expect.

The one time I did it, the seller (me) drove the car to the buyer's preferred mechanic, after the buyer had paid the mechanic to do a used car inspection. I drove it there in the morning, went to class, and got it back when class was done. I don't know if this is the normal way to do things, but it's how it worked out for me.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Leperflesh posted:

Also, and I direct this more generally than at you in particular, it seems that many people greatly overemphasize the cost of maintaining even an older car, compared to the cost of buying a new one.

Seriously. My girlfriend and I share a 2003 Ford Focus with 160K+ miles on it. We bought it for $3k, and have had it for ~40K miles. I don't think the previous owner took particularly great care of it. Our maintenance during the time we've owned it, apart from oil changes and stuff:

-Recall covered replacement of the entire front suspension (probably would have been pricey if not recalled, but also might not have broken if it wasn't faulty)

-Clutch Master Cylinder (Can't remember exactly how much this was, but it was less than ~$300, with labor)

-New tires

-Brake rotors (did it with a friend for ~$100)

The only thing that has recurred a bunch that could fit the definition of flaky old car stuff is that I have to replace the headlight bulbs way more often than normal (I've gone through 5-7 bulbs). They're ~$10 a piece.

I'm not a mechanic. I can change my oil, and a few other simple things, but that's about it. I also don't think we got a special snowflake of a car. The guy before us drove it pretty hard. It rattles some, and has a few paint scratches, but no rust, no major dents, nothing you can see without getting up close and looking.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but seriously, if you're looking to cut costs, doing some research on the right used car and trolling craigslist for a month or two can save a fortune.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Leperflesh posted:

On many engines, including many used by Toyota, if the timing belt breaks while the engine is running the pistons will collide with the valves, destroying the engine. This is called a "collision head" or "interference head". If your engine has a collision head, you must do the timing belt according to the schedule.

Listen to this. My younger brother ruined a car doing exactly this.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Throatwarbler posted:

Focus: The generation from before that was available as a hatch, but they are old cars at this point and were never great on reliability.

All good advice, I just wanted to share my experiences with this.

I was researching cheap 5 speed hatches a few years ago, and I came away pretty impressed with that generation of Focus. I didn't really see people saying they were unreliable (except for the 2000 model, the first year). Maybe slightly less than the gold standard, but very underrated, reliability wise.

Anecdotal, obviously, but I bought one with 140k miles (poor student) had no problems with mine before selling (for the price I bought it for) it for parking availability reasons, and the girlfriend's, which we bought at 120k miles is still been going strong at ~160k now. The 5 speed hatch was reasonably fun to drive too, considering the price range of the car of course. We bought both right around $3k, and they've both worked out great.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Eglamore posted:

Alright, I've been debating about asking in this thread about this since I'm still fairly torn but maybe you folks can help me out.

You're proposing to PAY $2k to trade in a car whose history you know for a car whose history you don't, more than double your miles, stay roughly the same, maybe a slight upgrade, in reliability (the Focus's reliability is underrated, and Toyota's, while very good, is overrated). The only thing you'd gain is two doors and a very little bit of extra space.

I can understand wanting a bigger car, given your situation, but this is not the car for you. I think you should either keep looking, or keep your current car.



EDIT: According to MSN autos, you'd definitely be gaining some space, but I still don't think it's worth the trade you're talking about.

Focus
Length (in.) 168.50
Width (in.) 66.70
Height (in.) 56.80

Vibe
Length (in.) 171.90
Width (in.) 69.90
Height (in.) 62.20

Double Edit: My motivation for looking up the dimensions of those cars can be summed up in one sentence: "Walker told me I have AIDS"

Grumpwagon fucked around with this message at 04:25 on Jun 16, 2012

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



saintonan posted:

The only two things you need to guarantee are a) there is no prepayment penalty, and b) there is no minimum time the loan needs to be open. As long as those two conditions are met, you're getting a nifty rebate for the cost of a few days interest.

I agree with this, but I'd add a 3rd thing: Make sure you're not passing up on dealer cash back worth more than the financing incentives.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Ramrod Hotshot posted:

Anybody got the scoop on Labor Day sales? I'm in the market right now (your basic, reliable Civic/Corolla type of vehicle) and up until now had convinced myself that new cars were overpriced (although I'm finding that that's a thin margin with Civics and Corollas because depreciation is so low) and now my family is trying to convince me that I can save big by looking for deals this Labor Day weekend, that dealers will be dying to get rid of extra stock so they can make room for '13 models. Since buying a car doesn't work the same as buying a TV (30% off!) it's pretty hard to research how much I'd be saving without going to a dealer first. Is the Labor Day hype true? Any experiences either way?

I saw a commercial for what looked like a national $2k extra cash off '12 Focuses, which would be my recommendation for you.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



skipdogg posted:

People hardly ever pay off their cars. They drive them until they're about even on the loan and then trade them in. I did that for years and now we just lease my wife's (primary family) vehicle. We choose to spend a portion of our disposable income driving a nice family vehicle and historically we've traded in every 2 to 3 years so leasing works well for us.

That doesn't make it a good idea, especially in a thread that's ostensibly about financial advice

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Red Robin Hood posted:

OK. Lets say I drive 10 cars and still think I love it. Is that a good price?

No. At least not around me. Try going to edmunds.com and appraising your car. I saw dealer retail for $7500 (and that's before negotiation). Having said that, I am in a cheaper car area, and I didn't include any options.

Enter it in there and see what they say. I think you're going to find it's overpriced though.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Leperflesh posted:

Depending on the car (and I haven't done it on a focus) replacing a rotor might take you an hour if you're really hesitant and slow about it. Just as an example.

I have done brake rotors on a Focus and they are very easy, and I'm far from a mechanic.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



nm posted:

I don't know about Canada, but in the US $8k gets you into a 2006 Mazda 3.

The 2005+ focus has a much better engine reliability wise than the earlier models (excluding the 2.3PZEV which is fine in pre-2005 vehicles). The Zetec might be ok in earlier models as well, but the base model is a turd.

The Zetec is quite good. My friend works in a fairly small junkyard and has 16 of them because no one ever buys them. The owner told him to list one on eBay for $300.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



charliecantsurf posted:

If you are hoping to stick with US cars: seems like you could probably get a decent little Ford Focus in that budget, just avoid the first few years.

Agreed, but even the first few years are fine if you get the Zetec engine (the ZX3 has it standard, it's a somewhat rare option on the sedan).

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Internet Explorer posted:

I guess I've already made up my mind, but I am looking for second opinions.

I know you said no domestics, but the Focus/Fiesta ST are in your budget, hatchbacks, and very fun to drive. They're generally regarded as the best of the hot hatches, I believe. Not AWD, but snow tires matter a lot more than AWD in the snow.

Maybe that's too many compromises for you from the WRX, but I'd cross shop them and see what you think.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Faded Sloth posted:

Proposed Budget: as of right now ~$3,000
New or Used: used
Body Style: 4 door Sedan
How will you be using the car?: Drive to work on weekends, snowboarding trips. Occasionally drive to/with friends during summer/winter.
What aspects are most important to you? reliability, cost of ownership/maintenance, 25+ combined MPG.

I'm 20. This is the first car I will ever buy. If it can last me a solid 5-6 years without making me pay out the rear end to maintain it that'd be great. That's also why my budget is only $3k - I know I'll still need to pay for insurance. I'm willing to go higher but I really don't want to.

Cars I've seen recommended are 2000 and 2005 Honda Civic, a Honda Accord, 00-03 Camry, a Corolla, 91-96 Acura Integra, Toyota Celica, and Ford Taurus. I checked autotrader.com and it seems like to get anything good I would need $6k. Thoughts?

You're going to need to do work on any car in that price range, but it's doable. I have a DOHC engine Ford Focus that I bought for 3k 3 years ago. I've spent about $1k/yr on it for maintenance, but that includes a motor swap (not the car's fault, engine got flooded due to user error) and minorish body work from when I hit a deer. That's doing my own work though. Parts for the Focus are super cheap (a 55k mile used engine cost me $333), the car is pretty reliable, and because they're domestic, they don't come with the import tax. I'd definitely add a Focus to the list, but those other cars you mention are fine too.

Make sure you get a DOHC engine though. I'd highly recommend a manual, since at the age of car we're dealing with, transmission work is a real possibility and can be a pain.

Having owned both, I'd personally recommend a hatchback, since it's your only car. You can stuff a bunch more stuff in the back of a hatch, but that's a matter of preference.

Also, cheap cars = craigslist. Don't bother with autotrader at this range.

Grumpwagon fucked around with this message at 14:34 on Dec 31, 2013

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



The default recommendation in the thread for around that budget, especially as a hatch, is a Focus. The cargo space could be better, but it's pretty good. The 5 doors are harder to find than the 3 doors, but it's still a pretty common car, so easy to find in a hurry. The hatches all come with the DOHC engine (which is a good thing). Gas mileage is like cargo space, could be better, but pretty good (I tend to get ~30 with mixed driving).

If you stretch your budget, you may be able to find some Mazda 3s, but they're on the upper end, and not as easy to find.

Private party on craigslist is the way to go at this price level though. Just look it over, and if you find one in good condition, get it inspected. You can get one for $2500 with a ton of miles, but for $4k-$5k, you should be able to find a pretty decent one. You'll have to put some work into any car, but as long as you find one that's not falling apart, parts are cheap.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



worstrobot posted:

Proposed Budget: $14-$17K
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Sedan or a hatchback. Either will work.
How will you be using the car?: Primarily commuting, it's not a super long commute and I'll be hauling a couple of tool boxes around. Nothing too major. Longer road trips in the spring and summertime, so decent fuel economy is a must.
What aspects are most important to you?: I like to keep my cars for a long time, so reliability is pretty high up on the list for me. I'm about 6'2" so nothing too squeezed and awkward would be nice as well. I've been looking at the Mazda 3 I live in Ontario so we get a lot of salt in the winter time and I'm concerned about rust. A lot of the older 3's I see have a ton of rust around the rear wheel well, is this an issue with the newer models?

You'll probably want to narrow it down a bit more. You have a ton of options. To start a test drive list: Ford Focus/Fiesta, Mazda 2/3/6 (I believe rust is still an issue, but chime in), Honda Accord (I don't think the current Civic was received very well), Toyota Prius. I don't know anything about GM/Chrysler, but I think people like the Sonic/Cruze. I'm sure someone else will chime in with more about that.

Out of those, I'd get a Mazda3 if rust isn't a concern, or a Focus, but that's just my biases/preferences showing. AFAIK any car on that list will serve your needs well.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



QuiteEasilyDone posted:

Can anyone tell me about late/current model hatchbacks? I thinking about leaning towards a '12 Ford Focus but want to know what my resources would be for getting my research off the ground cause at this point anything is looking better than a 96 F-250

I love the Focus. You can also look at the Mazda3, although you'd really want a new one, it was just redesigned. If you're getting a Focus, either don't get the MyFord Touch, or use it first and make sure you're ok with it, because lots of people say it's really really annoying.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Zokalwe posted:

Since it's manual gearbox (which is fine for me)I'm wondering: should I be wary of them? As in, since people in the U.S are mostly not used to them, it could have been treated roughly... How do I ensure the gearbox is in good shape?

As long as it wasn't a rental (and who has ever heard of a rental manual Civic?), this shouldn't really be a problem. I mean, people who don't know how to drive manuals don't buy manuals. Even if it was used to teach a few people how, I'd be more worried about the clutch. That's a wear item, and will need to be replaced at some point, regardless.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



an skeleton posted:

I see what you're saying but this is the first Civic I've found in my price range with <100k miles and in good condition in my area, so I'm going to snap it up for better or worse I suppose.

I like how you've made like 25 posts here asking about cars, then ended up buying an overpriced car from a marginal generation.

I mean, I'm sure it will be fine, and if you like how it drives, who am I to tell you otherwise? It's just funny.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Does this seem too good to be true? http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/4347612312.html

If it's really an RS spec, Edmunds has this priced at $18k private party, but it isn't setting off my usual scam alarms. I don't really want an automatic, so it probably doesn't matter, and I don't know anything about the Sonic, but I do like small fastish cars (I'd love a Fiesta ST, for comparison).

So, any opinions on that listing, and the Sonic/Sonic RS in general?

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Throatwarbler posted:

The RS is just a tape and stripe package, there's nothing of any actual value added. I wouldn't get an auto either especially since the Sonic's manual is a relatively nice 6 speed which is rare in the segment.

EDIT: Oh, I guess the RS also adds disc brakes in the back instead of drums. Measure twice, post once I guess.

Doesn't it also have the turbo?

EDIT: Or is it just one of those use a turbo to make up for the small engine, fuel economy type setups?

Grumpwagon fucked around with this message at 03:55 on Feb 25, 2014

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



I think I can guess the answer to this, but do the extreme "stripper" base models of cars actually exist in any meaningful numbers? I'm looking at the "build your own Fiesta" tool on Ford's website, and I'd be pretty happy with a manual hatchback with basically no options, but no one has them.

Do they exist? Could I order one? Is there some reason this is a bad idea?

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Motronic posted:

When you order a car you typically pay pretty much full price for it. You could probably get something that is actually on a lot and lightly optioned for the same price as a complete strip model that you special order.

I thought that was a myth, and that you could negotiate a decent price on an ordered car.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



skipdogg posted:

There are 37 Fiesta S Sedans with no options around me, only 1 hatchback. I'm guessing the hatch sells better. Ford's inventory checker is pretty good, just search extended inventory around your area, then throw the VIN into Google to find out what dealer it's at as Ford wants you to go through their system to get info about the car.

I totally didn't even see the Ford inventory search (just their "give us your info and a sales person will call you"), and was trying to do it dealer by dealer, so thanks a lot for that. Found some.

That said, I had to share the listing for the first one that came up.

CHECK OUT THAT PAINT SCHEME!!

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Brennanite posted:

I'm in a bit of a pickle and trying to decide if it makes more sense to repair our current car or buy a new one. The car in question is a 2005 Chrystler Sebring Coupe, with 135,000 miles. For those who don't know, the coupe model is a Mitshubishi Eclipse sold under the Sebring name. We bought it for $5000 cash four years ago. We dropped $2600 on repairs and new tires for it back in early December.

Normally I'd say fix the car, but I'm pretty sure the Eclipse is a terrible terrible car. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will say otherwise, so don't sell on my word alone.

Neither option is great. To add another option, you could also buy a more reliable model of car for around 3-5k instead of either. Still, at that price, there are no sure things. At least around here, there are plenty of 4 door ford focuses you could buy for that money. Not sure if that would really solve the problem though. In that price range, there's always going to be work, and if you're not doing it yourself.... well, focus parts are cheap.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



DO YALL WANT A BOXC posted:

Would I be better off splurging for a new Prius C? Is there something else I should do?

Pretty sure the Prius C's interior isn't nearly as nice is the "normal" Prius. They're still fine cars, but the thread doesn't recommend them nearly as often or as whole heartedly.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



A Mazda 5 is almost not a minivan. I happen to like the way they look (and if you were ok with a Prius V, so do you!).

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Zombie Plague posted:

This is both good advice, but I have my heart set on a Civic or a Corolla, because they're such good cars.

How old should I get the car, recognizing I won't save much.

Yeah, for what it's worth, recent models of Mazda 3 (definitely) and the Ford Focus (probably) are frequently considered better cars than the Civic/Corolla.

Don't get me wrong, if you're heart is set on Civic/Corolla, get one. They're both fine cars, but be aware you're paying extra for a reputation that isn't necessarily true anymore.

Grumpwagon fucked around with this message at 16:41 on May 21, 2014

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



If you like the Focus, but want something more fun, you can easily get a Fiesta/Focus ST for well under $25k

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Crotch Fruit posted:

*please don't say search craigslist, I want to buy from a dealer instead of some random flake on the internet.

That's fine if you don't want to use craigslist, but understand you will be paying more for the privilege of not using it, oftentimes a lot more. Edmunds prices for private party vs dealer retail can differ by thousands. Granted, you'll negotiate that price down at a dealer, but the savings are non-negligible.

Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



Traitorous Leopard posted:

Going by Internet prices I've got roughly $5k in equity in my current car. I know it's less convenient to sell privately, but how much so?

Finance-wise, I should be able to swing the payments provided the dealership is able to give me a decent (but not unreasonable) deal. All the budget planning I've done with this lease in mind has used conservative numbers, and while it is on the upper bounds of what I can responsibly afford, I think the amount of fun this car can be will be worth it.

I know you've been down this road with the thread already, but stretching your budget to the limit to lease a $55k car seems like a dumb idea to me. There are plenty of fun cars that cost half as much.

If you're going to do it though, selling a car private party is pretty easy, especially if it's in decent condition. The main issue it sounds like you'll have is if you have a loan on the old car, can't be without a car, and can't support both payments, you'll have a juggling act. You'll have to find a seller, go to your bank with him/her, pay off the current note, the bank will give the buyer the title, then you'll have to immediately go to the dealer and lease the new car.

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Grumpwagon
May 5, 2007
I am a giant assfuck who needs to harden the fuck up.



IOwnCalculus posted:

Congratulations, you are a future AI poster because the answer is Miata!

No, seriously, stop laughing. They're cheap to buy ($5-7k should get you a decent pick of '94-'04 models), dirt cheap to run, and for anything remotely near as cheap, the Miata is the definition of fun.

Is there anything particular to Miatas to look for in that price range (trims to get/avoid, years that were worse, options that are/aren't worth it, etc)? Or is it just "find the best condition available for your price range?" What about roof options? Are any more trouble than they're worth/dramatically change the price, etc?

I feel like this has probably been covered somewhere in the thread already, so if anyone knows of a post/off site article about buying a cheap Miata, I'd love to see it.

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