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IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I had a Mazda5 as a rental and - for being a minivan - I loved it. I'm 6'4" and I fit in it fine, but keep in mind it is much smaller than every other minivan on the market. It's available only with four-cylinder engines and really does show off the fact that it is a Mazda3 with a different body configuration. My daily driver is a Mazdaspeed3 and I fit just fine in that too - the seating position, at least in the front row, is near identical.

Whether the fact that it's a rebodied Mazda3 is a positive or not is up to your situation. You won't be able to get the sheer volume of things into it like you would any of the others, but you can still get a lot into it. It drives very much like the Mazda3, so it feels much more like a compact car than a minivan. From purely that perspective, I doubt any of the others could top it, but if you want to move sheer massive quantities of stuff it may come up short.

On the others, the Odyssey is a solid recommendation. Kia seems to make a good one too; my sister just picked up a used '09.

Also, of the trade-ins? I'd trade the Aveo. It's already worth less than the Civic and will continue to slide even lower, whereas depending on where you're at, as long as the Civic is in decent shape it won't go much below where it's at.

You should also consider whether or not to trade. If you trade, you may pay less in sales tax, but you're also getting less back than if you sold it outright. The Aveo you could probably sell quickly on your own for $3500-$4000. Put the Civic on Craigslist for $4k cash and I bet you move it within a day, $4500-$5k would still be fair.

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IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Don Lapre posted:

Take them to a mazda dealership, they will probably let you test fit them.

Probably? Honestly, any dealership that wouldn't let you do this to buy what is almost exclusively used as a family hauler for people with young kids would just be pissing away money and sales.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





If you really want it to be a beater, you don't need to spend that much. As soon as I get my Miata sold (or maybe before if I find one cheap enough) I'm buying a '98+ Ranger. The Ranger is a particularly unique option here because aside from stylistic changes, and a revised engine lineup in '01/'02, the brand new 2011 Rangers you can buy today are identical to the '98.

In my searches locally, I'm targetting something around the $2500 price point (after negotiations) and I'm coming up with plenty of '98+ Rangers that meet my requirements (four cylinder, five-speed stick, not wrecked).

I also don't quite get how your "current price to current odometer reading" is supposed to tell you which truck to buy - it'll point you at the cheapest, highest-mileage truck there is.

Across all of those trucks, parts and maintenance costs are going to be fairly similar. The big differentiator is going to be fuel costs (which can be a significant difference if you compare a 4cyl Ranger to a V8 Silverado), how beaten the truck has been over the years, and your initial purchase price.

Also, in case you didn't know, the Mazda B-series is simply a rebadged Ranger. Strangely, everyone I find with a B-series to sell wants more than people with equivalent Rangers do. If you do go for an older Ranger, stick with '98+ as there were some pretty decent upgrades to the truck that year.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I've found that Craigslist (and very occasionally, kijiji / ebayclassifieds.com) has more or less killed everyone else's auto listing business for cars at or under about $4k. Nobody wants to pay for an Autotrader listing on a car that cheap.

The downside is that on CL, you'll have to wade through terrible ads written by people who think they're being charged by the line like in a newspaper, and terrible ads written by people who are just plain illiterate. Plus all of the ads labeled "1994 SHITBOX WILL TRADE FOR S10 RANGER FRONTIER VIPER CRX 240D"

Mileage-wise, it varies; they're all 100k+, with the majority at 130-160k. A handful of them are over 200k.

IOwnCalculus fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Jan 15, 2011

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





trashy_j posted:

can I get some opinions on Mazda 3's? Thanks

I adore my '07 Mazdaspeed3. The only non-maintenance / non-MS3 specific issue I've had with it so far is a wiring issue that was fixed under warranty, and is apparently quite rare.

The other issues I've had have all been MS3 specific - throttle body, which is unique to the turbo Mazdas and was revised (I still have the old revision), and EGR which is an issue due to how dirty the turbo Mazdas run.

Not bad for flogging the car to 75,000 miles already.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I've only dealt with one bank for auto loans but they expressly state that any amount paid over the required payment goes towards next month's payment, not principal balance (unlike a mortgage, where it does). If I wanted to go after principal I'd need to send them a separate payment specifically for it.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





CornHolio posted:

I still say most Hondas and Toyotas are overpriced, especially in the current market.

Absolutely. Hondas you have two problems with - inflated perceived value, combined with the scarcity of a cheap Honda that you actually would want to buy (ie not riced to death). Toyotas have the second one, I just sold a '98 Camry that quite frankly would not be worth nearly as much if it wasn't a Toyota. It's one of the big reasons the two newest vehicles I've ever owned are both Mazdas.

Anything in this price range is going to have some issues, but buying wisely can reduce that a lot. You do need to figure out first what you actually want in a vehicle before you can really narrow anything down.

IOwnCalculus fucked around with this message at 19:30 on Apr 4, 2011

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





One thing to keep in mind with the Jetta - and part of why the reviews of the current model are so much worse than past models - is VW purposely went downmarket on a lot of features and materials used in the car in an effort to lower the price tag, while everyone else is moving to make their low-end cars nicer.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Cornholio: I went through the "do I buy a beater truck" thing myself a few times. Reality is, unless you absolutely need a truck a lot, renting one from UHaul when you need a truck (while somewhat less convenient than owning it) will almost always come out cheaper, even with their assrape per mile charges. Adding a third vehicle to a two-driver household never makes financial sense - if the mechanical and/or financial situation with one or both of the primary vehicles is so bad as to actually justify it, the more prudent decision would be to get into primary vehicles better suited to your needs. Insurance and registration alone mean you would need to be renting a truck at least three or four times a year to even consider it as an extra vehicle, and that's before you account for purchase price and actual running costs.

This is the least AI post I have ever written.

The only way I was able to make the truck thing make sense was when I realized I was at a point where having a truck made more sense more often than having the Miata. So the Miata is gone and a cheap-rear end Ranger is in its place.

Now, granted, I do have three vehicles for a two-driver household, and the third vehicle is also a truck, but in body only; since it's under classic insurance it can't be used for any sort of hauling. it is inherently an absolutely horrible financial decision as its primary purpose is to take up room in my garage, and the secondary purpose is converting money into tire smoke.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I bought a tire/wheel protection package with my Miata. The one time I ever tried to use it for a flat tire, Discount tried for half an hour to even get a hold of the fuckers, before telling me that companies like that are notoriously impossible to actually deal with, and just fixed it for free anyway.

The only time that package makes sense would be if you managed to smack something hard enough to break all four wheels, and even then you could just make a normal insurance claim under your collision insurance.

Window tint I would hardly call a scam, but you can almost certainly find someone cheaper to do the same or better work at an independent shop.

Tire-wise you have a lot of choices that aren't Goodyear, anyway. Goodyears do tend to be good tires, but they are very expensive for what they are. Tire Rack has both Hankook and Kumho tires for $189 in that size that will offer the same or better performance (but probably with shorter treadlife), and a Continental at $229 that might not grip quite as well but is an all-season with better tread life.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Duckman2008 posted:

We are paying the $500 now to replace that, but the turbo part worries me. My fiance is freaking out now thinking we got a bad deal or got ripped off, and its just an awkward situation. Curious on anyoner's input on if i should just keep driving the Turbo like we have been or just get it fixed? Did we get a good deal?

"The turbo part" is absurdly vague, it'd be like someone handing you an Evo and telling you "It doesn't work".

You did get ripped off on the diagnostic most likely, depending on how in-depth they went. If they just pulled the code and talked to you, that should have cost you exactly $0 at an Autozone or similar parts store. With some more information on what that issue is - what code is/was set, are there any symptoms, did they do any in-depth diagnostics like a compression test and if so what was the result, etc.

Get that extra info together and post a thread in AI.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





They should take out personal loans / CC cash advances / sell blood and semen until they can get the principal on the loan down to under the resale value of the car, then sell that fucker ASAP.

Alternatively, while it still puts your grandfather's credit at risk if they can't make the new loan payments...can he get a loan that's not secured by the car (or ideally, by anything at all) that would get the payments where they need to be?

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





The Welper posted:

TBH, I think any reluctance to answer this question is a giant red flag. Sirens going off... Maybe someone is offended that you're trying to pry into their personal life, but in all honesty that is a legitimate question that one should EXPECT when selling a used high-value item like a vehicle.

Completely agreed. Strangely, it's also a question that seems to indicate a buyer's seriousness in the matter - I don't think anyone who just emailed me over and over without ever wanting to come look at it ever asked me that when I was selling my mother-in-law's Camry, but the two people who actually came out and looked at it did. Both got a kick out of the story (Camry's master cylinder failed, I lent her my Miata while I fixed her Camry, she fell in love with the Miata) and the second guy bought the car.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I really do think you're at the point of diminishing returns on that Oldsmobile. Condition trumps mileage on those Hondas - just because it's over 100k doesn't mean it's done.

Also, search more if you can't find a 3 below $12k, Craigslist for Indianapolis (since I don't know where in Hoosierland you're actually at) just came up with this and this.

It also came up with this but since this is BFC, I'm not going to say it's a good idea. I'm going to AI and posting it there and telling one of them to buy it

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Lord Of Texas posted:

I would definitely do that if I wasn't stranded at home without a car (why I'm in the market in the first place).

No, you don't get it - this car never existed, there was no car to "get".

If you had kept up the discussion it would've turned to "WIRE CASHIER'S CHECK HERE AND WE SHIP THE CAR", and then you'd be out of money. Anytime you see a car that's way cheaper than it should be, it really, truly is too good to be true.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





A Carfax wouldn't necessarily have helped verify the listing - 95% of those scams copy the text and info wholesale from another legit listing, so there would be a VIN and a history to go with it.

On the econobox 'bubble', that absolutely only applies to their used valuation. The only car company I can think of that has actually lowered MSRP on a new car in recent years is Volkswagen on the Jetta and Passat - and that's because they purposely redesigned them to a lower price point than before. If you're going to buy new, you shouldn't worry that a year later the MSRP on the same (new) car will be less, regardless of gas prices. Even people who bought the older higher-priced VWs I mentioned earlier don't need to worry because their cars are actually significantly nicer than the new cheaper models.

It does potentially affect your resale value, but resale shouldn't be a major concern here (since if you're talking purely financially-driven decisions, the best choice is to buy one of these cars and run it for 200k+ miles).

Mazda3 versus Civic, that's a hard choice. I'd probably do the 3 and trade a small hit on fuel mileage for a little more fun on the road. They're both very nice cars though. Leperflesh is right about inflated Civic prices, though when comparing new versus new, that may be minimized. I've always shopped Hondas when I've looked for used cars, but I never end up buying them; people just want too much drat money for used Hondas.

Also, if you're seriously considering new, look at Hyundai and Kia as well (same company). They've been massively improving their product and especially in the compact market, they build a very good car, that no longer needs the "for the money" qualifier you had to use for older Hyundais.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Mr.Radar posted:

I have a few questions. Firstly, where should I go to research tires? So far I've mainly been looking at online reviews at Tire Rack, are there any other good places to look? Second, are any "cheap" tire brands actually decent? Specifically I've been looking at General Altimax tires because they're not too expensive with a decent average rating, though the reviews are mixed (people seem to complain they only last about 30,000 miles and some people praise them for their performance in snow while others trash them). Third, would something "name brand" like Michelin Harmony (which cost almost double but get much more consistently good reviews) be worth it over Generals, especially if I don't plan on keeping this car for a long time?

TireRack is the best place out there for that, to the point where I rarely look anywhere else for tire information. If you're concerned about better handling, tire lifetime is one of those things that will need to take a hit; one of the ways to improve handling is to use softer rubber, which will be shorter-lived.

Those Generals should be fine.

Iron Squid posted:

Need some advice: I wanna buy a Jeep Cherokee XJ for about $1000-$1500 as a car to learn on. The problem is that right now I'm a full-time student and currently unemployed. I'm wondering what my chances are of getting a car loan?

Currently my credit score is 818 on Experian.

And I *will* be working by mid-Summer so I'm not too concerned about taking on a small loan right now.

If you're unemployed, how do you plan on paying for the loan?

It's also going to be impossible (and a hilariously bad idea) to get a loan on a car that cheap.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





CornHolio posted:

And unless they have electric brake assist and electric power steering this is incredibly dangerous and I don't recommend it to anybody ever.

Even with that it's still dangerous as all hell, if only for the fact that there is that pesky steering column lock to deal with if you turn the key too far off.

Coasting in neutral - engine off or not - is actually illegal in many areas anyway. Not that it'd be easy to catch someone doing it.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





What are you getting and define special order? You can certainly haggle on it, and if it is something at all common that is all the more reason to haggle around.

In the case of my dad, he special ordered his car from a dealer out of state that he never even set foot in. They made a hell of a deal and arranged to have it delivered to the local Chevy dealer with the absolute lowest delivery fee.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Okay, but with a Cruze your special-ordered combo will still probably be relatively common. You absolutely have some major haggling power here. Start off simple - shoot your request to every dealer in the area that can order your car. Keep going for a few rounds until you've got a price low enough to go for.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Having your grandpa sort through a yard he runs seems like as good an option as any. Seconding CornHolio that this holds up as long as you can either do the work yourself, or perhaps have friends that don't mind helping you for the price of a case of beer or something like that.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Unplug your ABS fuse. It will disable your ABS but no ABS is much safer than the way yours is malfunctioning.

As far as what happened, yes you still need to pay. What kind of car is it?

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Grumpwagon posted:

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?

Pulsing brakes are one thing, but pulsing brakes that cause you to overshoot your stop, combined with an ABS failure, screams ABS system issue.

I'm sure the brake shop won't disable ABS because it's a bit of a kludge and they don't want to be on the hook for you locking them up and killing a bus full of orphans. But, I think I would rather treat the car as non-ABS and pull the ABS fuse, than to wonder every time I stop in traffic if I'm going to stop when I should or 30 feet further.

If you intend on keeping the car you should certainly get the system more thoroughly diagnosed (and since there is no standard on ABS computers like there is for engine management, even just pulling the codes from it will be a pain in the rear end) but disabling it temporarily is as simple as finding your owner's manual, looking up the fuse box diagram, and finding which fuse or relay is labeled ABS, and removing it. Your ABS light will stay on, and if you panic stop you'll need to properly threshold brake.

Edit: You may want to call a dealer. A few hits on Google indicate there was a recall on some '98 and '99 Rodeos for ABS problems. Should be able to call them up and give them your VIN and find out A) if your vehicle was subject to it and B) if it ever had the work done.

Question then is, with Isuzu out of the consumer vehicle market, who do you call?

IOwnCalculus fucked around with this message at 16:01 on Jul 22, 2011

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Leperflesh posted:

The answers you got to this question in the AI stupid questions thread are correct. It is likely your car will be written off.

Also it sounds like your insurance company sucks. Taking over a week to get damage inspected is inexcusable.

If it's Progressive, sounds about right. Took them nearly two weeks to decide whether or not my Miata was totalled.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





JackRabbitStorm posted:

This made me laugh, it is Progressive.

Funny thing is, they were paying my rental coverage too. It's not like they didn't have an incentive to get it done quickly, and what they had to look at on mine was a lot less involved than yours...relatively low speed hit directly on the driver's front wheel.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





It sounds like he wants to take it to a dealer and trade it towards something he's buying there. Dealer trade-in inspections tend to be rather lax, but they also tend to utterly gently caress you on the value of the trade (whether they tell you or not is all a matter of the numbers game they play).

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Dealers do that sort of thing all the time, but be very careful when you're in that situation - it's a very easy way to end up way, way upside down on a car. You've taken a major depreciation hit on your first car, and you're going to roll the debt from that car into another new car, which will take a similar hit as soon as you drive off the lot.

Financially it's almost always a very poor move, unless somehow as part of the deal you're going from a loan with absurdly high interest rates to one with absurdly low rates (unlikely). Since this is BFC, I have to ask, what are you trading in and what are you trying to get, and why?

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Unless there's something horribly wrong with the Focus, it should be worth a good deal more than what you owe on it, even in trade-in and even with the history (if it really does have a clean title, that means more to a dealer than whether or not it actually has wrecks in its history).

In your situation, trade-in will be considerably more convenient than a private sale, but you should absolutely not accept any offer where they lowball you on it and tell you they'll roll the difference into the new loan - you should be coming out ahead by at least $1000-$1500 if the car is even in fair condition.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I paid just under $10k for a '99 Miata about six-seven years ago. You should be able to get into a NB for closer to half that amount.

If I had sold my '99 with about 100k on the clock on the open market instead of trading my mother-in-law for it, I would've been asking between $4k and $5k.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Given that I've never heard of a Kia Picanto, I'm guessing you're not in the US. The way you are budgeting is perfectly manageable since most expenses will be roughly mileage based, as long as your "rate" is high enough to account for insurance / etc.

In the US at least, insurance must be prorated if you cancel it for any reason. I always pay six months at a time when I renew because they discount it significantly to do so. I could renew, then cancel the next day and only pay for the time used.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Red Monkey posted:

The peeps in the Newbie Personal Finance thread convinced me to sell my car that has $9500 left to pay and buy something outright for around $2k.

I was looking at '91 Honda Prelude for $2k. I'm sure I can probably get it for less. They didn't think that was a good idea.

Would you all recommend the Prelude or something else?

I would personally hesitate, but only because in Phoenix, at least, there is simply no such thing as a $2k Honda anything in "good" condition. If a Honda in Phoenix is only $2k, something horrible lurks beneath - crash damage, major mechanical abuse, poor modifications, etc. They don't rust here, so they only go away when they've been utterly beaten to death...and the ones that don't get beaten seem to have a price floor at $3k.

At $2k, focus more on the condition and history of the car than anything else. A Honda that's been raped every day of its 20-year-life is a worse buy than a Ford Focus or Mazda Protege that's been treated reasonably well for 10 years.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Dead serious if you can find one cheap and don't mind a bit of a hit on fuel mileage or a tiny cab - any 4cyl compact truck, especially a Ford Ranger - they're cheap to buy, cheap to run, and so simple there's nothing to break really.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Depends on how bad the $rape is for labor, really. Rental + DIY would probably be cheaper for almost all repairs, since anything cheap enough labor wise to make renting a shitbox cost more, should be something you can hammer out very quickly.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





If you really like new car smell, and/or must have a specific set of options that is difficult to find used, and/or you want a car that when found used has often been beaten on hard (i.e. sports cars).

Commuter? Go back a year or two and save a shitload.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Trucks are an interesting market.

First off, the T100 is an odd duck. It was too big to call a compact truck (though it's not much bigger than a modern Tacoma) but was still a decent bit smaller than the half-ton domestics or the modern Tundra. I would probably just go with KBB and see if you get any bites, unless that looks ridiculously low for your market.

Second, you may want to strongly consider the current F150 with the V6. It actually gets better mileage than any of the V6 Rangers, and finding a four-cylinder extended cab Ranger is near-impossible. I know, I looked and I ended up settling for my single-cab. They supposedly exist but because of the extra weight, almost all extended-cabs get at least the 3.0 if not the 4.0.

Finally...if you do go Ranger, realize that the truck has received no major changes since 1998, and very few minor ones since 2003. Parts are absolutely dirt goddamn cheap for these things so I would have a very hard time stomaching $12k for a Ranger, no matter how new / low-mile.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Phone posted:

I definitely understand where you're coming from. If I was looking at BMWs or Mercedes, it'd definitely be different.

I just wanted to make sure that I'm not barking up the wrong tree when it comes to looking at financing and dealing with the dealer. I have the math and a scientific calculator, so I can probably beat their finance guy to the punch when they have to run numbers.

If you're getting a loan from your CU, it's really easy. Go to TrueCar, get a price guarantee, and then if you really want, see if you can negotiate lower on your own. Let the dealer see if they can match/beat your interest rate if you want, but if you're not trading something in and you have a price set, there's really not a lot else to gently caress with.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Hell, comedy option try Carmax. Worst they can do is lowball you so hard you walk out laughing.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Yeah, if you can pay it off then you can sell it private-party, which will in 99.9% of situations, net you considerably more than a trade. Technically you can still sell a car with a lien private-party as well, but it's a pain in the rear end and would limit your buying pool somewhat.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





You're looking at this from a very sensible perspective. Buying a new car is never the most financially prudent angle (by many accounts, finding the right cheap-rear end used car and replacing them when something major needs to be replaced is one of the cheapest ways to go) but there's an awful lot of convenience and value that come along with owning something new instead of a $2000 beater.

If the used car market wasn't so jacked up from the lack of cars coming in from ~2008-on, it would make sense to buy a lightly used version of one of these cars instead and save a good chunk right off the bat...but whenever I look at a Mazda2, for example, the used ones (sometimes with as much as 12k miles) are almost right at MSRP for new.

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IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Thwomp posted:

I'd still take a Fit over a Mazda, Ford (size reasons, I felt real cramped in both of those and I'm 6'1"), and Nissan (overall cheap feeling and poor safety).

Really? I'm 6'4" and felt quite comfortable in the Mazda2. I also love how it felt to drive, since it really felt like my old Miata (minus about 20hp and the convertible top).

CornHolio posted:

Are you guys suggesting GM has actually made a decent small car?

I'll be damned.

By most accounts it really is pretty drat good. It actually looks pretty nice in pictures, outside and in. The fact that the best fuel economy in it comes from a turbo and a six speed manual doesn't hurt either.

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