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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Twerpling, you are in almost the same exact position I may be in. I had what feels like serious engine misfires from my 2000 Honda Accord SE. It's got 117k miles on it and I'm very nearly done putting any more work into it. Depending on what the dealer says is the problem and how much it'll be to fix it (and how much they'll meet me on the cost), I may be ditching it real soon. I was also looking at the Fit and Elantra.


I feel guilty for thinking about financing a new car. I'm pretty proud of how well I've gotten my finances under control in the last 3-4 years. I know the frugal wisdom is always buy cash and never new. But part of me really feels like saying "gently caress it, most people buy cars this way" and wanting not to care just so much about it. That's countered by my rational and frugal side, but still, I can't pay cash for a new (or used) car so it'll be my only option.

I'll still shop around for the best financing rate and then best price but I wish I wasn't so goony feeling guilty about something I should be excited about.

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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

sanchez posted:

Why are you taking a 11 year old car to the dealer? Don't do this.

That car should have another 100k left in it at least.

The CEL was flashing (which is no excuse but I don't have a mechanic I trust so I brought it to the dealer).

After a day of them looking at it, turns out bad spark plug wiring was causing one cylinder to misfire. Still had to pay their diag fee but my Dad and I bought new plugs and wiring and did it ourselves. Total cost parts and their diag fee was less than half what they wanted for just doing the parts with labor.

My accord (knock on wood) continues to avoid the scrap pile another day.

Twerpling posted:

I blame cash for clunkers

Funny you mention this. Our dealer, after we asked if the problem I was having would affect turn in value, told us exactly that. They'd take my car in whatever condition it was in for way more than it deserves due to Cash for Clunkers.

All those beaters were suddenly off the market, never to return (they told us the government poured liquid glass into the engines of every clunker turned in, gently caress!). Now the average age of a used car is 5-9 years and it's all going into the private market (which is sending prices up for used cars). The dealers can't get a hold of anything.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 02:07 on Apr 6, 2011

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

The conventional wisdom is major stuff (engine, trans) are more susceptible to failure after 100k but I don't think that's really true (generally). It's true that given how old the car is and wear and tear, bigger things than oil changes and brakes do start happening (shocks, suspension). However, that's still typically less than an auto payment.

It's also true that the average American replaces their car at about 100k. I would start making imaginary car payments to a car fund now. That way, you've already made the necessary budget adjustments and adapted to having less money but you're growing the car fund for when the Grand Am gives up the ghost.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Zuph posted:

Demand is so high, or stock so low (in my area, at least) that dealers aren't really willing to negotiate much on pricing. The sticker price is $2-3k above MSRP, and the average paid (according to TrueCar) in my area is ~$1k above MSRP.

Plus, for the same price, the Honda has fewer features than the others.

I'm looking at for cars under $16500, and the Sonic is just a bit above that.

Just to chime in since I did my own test driving of the subcompact segment and I'd have to agree with this opinion of the Fit. It's got great versatility, visibility, and style. However, I found its got bad engine/road noise problems. It lags in fuel economy (behind Ford w/, Hyundai/Kia, and a Chevy w/manual). It also lags in warranty (Hyundai/Kia standard and powertrain and just Chevy's powertrain). And that's all before inventory issues which drive the price way higher than what you could get at one of these competitors.

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).

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

IOwnCalculus posted:

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).

Well, I did fit in it but the seat was all the way back, destroying any legroom in the backseat. Also, getting in and out was not the most pleasant experience.

If it was just me, I'd probably be okay with it. But I'm personally looking for something that could carry 4 people comfortably on occasion.

quote:

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.

It actually is really nice. When they finally bring an auto to their turbo engine and I found a really great deal on it, I'd jump on a Sonic in a heartbeat. It had great style, feel, and utility. It also had several little touches that, honestly, I felt would be more natural seeing in a Honda than a Chevy (cubbies, thoughtful little touches, etc).

It's just a bit too pricy for its current fuel economy and warranty.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

OctaviusBeaver posted:

2: What's the deal with American cars? I've heard that the Focus is pretty drat good these days, but I am really worried because all of the used American cars I have owned (usually mid-late 90s models) have been complete poo poo that fell apart. Have they really improved? Can you trust these to perform for 150,000+ miles like the Toyotas/Hondas?

4: Anyone have some other cheap cars to recommend besides the Corolla or the Focus? I am looking for something affordable that gets good gas mileage and will last a long time.

2: American cars began an upswing in quality around 2006-7 and are now almost completely filled with non-terrible lineups. GM was a major abuser until about 2008 when they redesigned the Malibu. Since then, they phased out poo poo cars like the HHR, Cobalt, and Aveo and replaced them with really nice models (Cruze and Sonic).

Ford started turning things around before GM and has a nice lineup if you like slightly sportier stuff. The new Focus is really nice and so is the Fiesta (if you like small cars but don't value versatility). Be sure you test/learn about the Sync/Touch stuff if you go this route. Some people hate it, others love it.

Chrysler's still playing catch up but will finally have something again in the compact segment with the Dart (which looks loving sharp) this summer (the Caliber). Most of their lineup is due for major revisions in the next few years but the current stuff has seen recent significant refreshes. But nothing is really in your current market yet from them.


4: Other cheap stuff include Scion xD (if you want a Corolla hatch), the aforementioned Hyundai Elantra is almost always an excellent value, and you may want to look at Kia for either a Soul or Forte (the latter being in need of a refresh but it's quality is still up there with the rest of Kia).

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Typically, most publications/reviewers can get looks at how cars are made or re-designed and gauge reliability on that. Obviously, stuff happens throughout the life of a car and you can't always predict if a model will have defects. Normally, it's just a minor thing and not a Pinto/Toyota-brakes level thing.

Reliability is more of a manufacturer-wide thing (through best practices, etc) though I find it more of a plant-wide thing.

Around 2006, most American automakers started realizing quality products = reliable machines (with a side bonus of people actually wanting to buy your products). So they began re-designing vehicles with that in mind (using better materials and better production methods).

For example: the 2008 Malibu re-design marked GM's first big push to quality. It's generally regarded as a much better car than the previous generation with higher initial quality and most 3 year reliability surveys showing it faring better against the previous Malibu as well.

That said, you're right that it'll take a long time for attitudes towards American cars to really turn around. New stuff like the Focus, upcoming Fusion, Sonic, and Dart should help that along. I want to say former GM exec Bob Lutz said that it takes many years/several model generations to build up make/model reputation but only a couple years to destroy it (see: where the Civic is right now).

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Eggplant Wizard posted:

If we're following Latin, it should be "Priora" for the plural. Prius just means earlier, before. Probably they mean the adverb version, which doesn't change between singular and plural, but if they meant the adjective version (earlier thing), priora would be the plural (earlier things).

What's all this B segment C segment D segment business? You all keep using those words but they mean nothing to me. Perhaps you could explain them and I could throw it up in the OP or something.

Here's a quick primer for North America:

A Segment (micro-cars): Smart, Scion iQ
B Segment (subcompacts): Honda Fit, Mazda2
C Segment (compacts): Toyota Corolla, Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus
D Segment (mid-size): Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord
E Segment (full size): Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala

Note: like the other poster said, it's not very strict as it's based on cargo volume rather than set vehicle lengths/sizes. You get situations where the Chevy Sonic and Hyundai Accent are both "subcompacts" but are nearly as big as the last generation of compacts.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

LorneReams posted:

My wife wants a new forester, but I was thinking she's just married to the Subaru name brand. I was wondering what is comparable in the market space to test before she makes a decision. There is a Hyundai and a Nissan that looks comparable, but I have no experience with anything like this. Any ideas/suggestions? I really want her to try other types instead of just relying on brand loyalty.

Well, that really depends on what about the Forester she likes. Is it the wagon style (related to cargo room)? Or is it the AWD? Or is it just the cross-over feel of an SUV that drives like a car? Is it Subaru's attempt at conveying itself as highly reliable?

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

LorneReams posted:

Cargo room, AWD, and the driving "height". She likes sitting up, as opposed to being low to the ground like in a car.

Then the Forester may be the best fit. I was going to recommend a Toyota Venza and (to a lesser extent due to proportions ) the Honda Crosstour, both of which have 4WD options but they are generally more expensive than the Forester (and slightly larger).

They would be the closest comparisons to the body style of the Forester though. Most comparable vehicles to it are usually small SUVs (at which point you'd get into looking at Ford Escapes, Mazda CX5, and Honda CRVs).

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

If you want to steer her towards more traditional SUVs, you've got a lot to look at.

Tucson - Hyundai is doing really well at the moment so I'd highly recommend checking it out.
Murano - More of Nissan's mid-size CUV offering. If you are looking for something smaller, check out the Rogue. Otherwise, Nissans are hit-or-miss.

Other small SUVs to consider:
Honda CRV - Recently redone. Always a good choice but I find the interior kinda meh and they didn't change it much with the new model.
Mazda CX5 - Newly redone and gets excellent gas mileage. Cargo room is always an issue with Mazdas though.
Dodge Journey - I love the space you can get out of the Journey and driver comfort is seriously nice. Reliability is yet to be seen with post-bankruptcy Chrysler vehicles.
Toyota Rav4 - It hasn't been refreshed in years and its showing its age. But some people swear by its reliability.
Ford Escape - The new Escape rolls out this summer and offers a more sporty ride. Not quite Mazda but not CRV in sportiness. Also boasts excellent fuel economy.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Thewittyname posted:

Thanks for this, it was really informative. I'm glad to know that the '07 model turned out OK. I've been really disappointed in what Ford has done to the Escape, the last two re-models have looked horrible.

Any thoughts on the quality or reliability of the Chevy Volt? They've only been out for two years, but I'd like to know if there are already common problems. (Colorado offers a sweet $6,000 (refundable!) tax credit on top of the 7.5k federal credit for the Volt, bringing the effective base price down to $25,700, which seems very reasonable.)

From what I've read and seen, Volt quality has been pretty good for a first generation, brand-new model.

Here's Edmunds.com's long term Volt blog
and
Here's their wrap-up article

Both of those should be very helpful with figuring out if the Volt is a good fit.

It's still too early to tell about the reliability for its powertrain, what with it being a brand new piece of engineering.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Jastiger posted:

I have a 2006 Ford Focus ZX5, fully loaded. It has 77K miles on it and has a few dings on it, but nothing major. My wife and I are looking towards getting a slightly larger vehicle since we want a family eventually. We really like the Venza and the Edge, but want to keep our auto costs down. I recently had to put new front tires on it (again) and am worried about additional costs coming in for it. I don't want to dump more money into the Focus as I want to save up for another vehicle.

Should I keep the focus and ride it out until it dies, or should I try to sell it now and put the money towards a new vehicle?

Do this:

-Figure out a basic ballpark for car payments on whatever you and the mrs fancies. Figure a small downpayment and average loan rates.
-Start setting this aside every month in a separate car fund.
-Use this fund to cover basic maintenance on the Focus or smallish items that could be taken care of (a/c recharge, minor belts, plugs & wires, etc).
-Once a more major maintenance item starts appearing on the horizon (suspension, engine, trans, etc), start seriously considering trading it in/selling it.

There, now you are simultaneously preparing yourself financially for a new car payment, saving to decrease the cost of the new car, and establishing a fund to prolong the life of the Focus until you're ready to trade it in.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Gail Wynand posted:

I was a bit surprised not to see Hyundai on the previous poster's list. I am still a little skeptical of Korean automakers but there's no doubt that Hyundai is making some great cars these days, at discount prices and with great warranties. If I were in the market, I would at least go to the dealer and have a look.

Maybe I just really didn't start looking at or hearing about Hyundais/Kias until recently but all of their current stuff is really great and I didn't really get where all the hate on them came from. I've since learned about their early entries into the US, borrowing Chrysler engines (yikes!), etc. But even their last generation stuff, while not flashy, seemed to have the old 90s Honda feel to them.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Hyundai becomes the new Honda. Reliable transportation, good fuel economy, and a good value overall. It's hard to say how the styling will play out 5-10 years down the line, but if reliability holds up, used models could definitely see a Hyundai bump to their resell value.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Radio Talmudist posted:

So what's the consensus on Old Jeeps? I've always loved the brand and want to buy an Old Jeep beater someday.

Oxford Comma posted:

To do what? Daily commuters? gently caress no. Rumble down fire trails on BLM land. gently caress yes! You should ask in the Jeep thread in AI.

Also, a bunch of congressmen yesterday are asking Chrysler to investigate wobbling in Wranglers when moving at speed and hitting a bump. But it's just due to the off-road ready nature of the Wrangler.

So now you've people who bought it but never take it off-road complain the trade off (off road capable vehicle vs standard road fare) sucks rear end so Chrysler is all .

The point is, get a Jeep if you will actually take it off roading. Otherwise, consider the choices and trade offs.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

jackpot posted:

One thing I learned a few days ago, which surprised me, is get ready for an attempted loving on the interest rate if you finance through the dealership. The first place I asked for a price quoted me 5.99%, and the second place told me 6.99% . Jesus, my five year old niece has a credit rating worth better than that. The guy even had the gall to act indignant when we laughed at him; he came dangerously close to calling my wife a liar when she told him that her rate, three months ago when buying a used Sentra, was around 3.85%.

This should go without question whenever you go to purchase a car from a dealer.

1)Get a quote from your local bank and get a quote from a local credit union.
2)Take the better of the two to the dealer and keep it in your back pocket.
3)Offer to finance through the dealer if they can beat the bank/CU quote.
4)If they beat it, keep an eye on fees and make sure they don't gently caress you on that end.
4a) If they don't beat it/only match it, stick with the back pocket quote.


Edit: Anecdote incoming! I've got good credit and my wife has only okay credit. Together, we were still able to qualify for a 2.93% rate through our main checking bank (as of last month). That beats almost all manufacturer special APR rates.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 19:46 on Jul 13, 2012

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

oneof3steves posted:

Proposed Budget:
15,000-20,000 ish
New or Used:
Either, probably used.
Body Style:
Sedan or small wagon, We have a small garage so nothing huge, our current 1999 outback barely fits,
How will you be using the car?:
We're having a baby in the next two weeks, and conveniently our outback has decided to call it quits. We don't drive very far, my wife drives the 2 miles to work and back daily, apart from that it's to the grocery, or other little trips around town. Rarely anything more than 20 minutes.
What aspects are most important to you?
Reliability, cost of ownership, safety (Minnesota roads).

Haven't ever properly bought a car as we got our current one when my wife's dad died, I'm pretty open to anything. Cursory Research suggests:
Ford Fusion
Toyota Camry
Honda Accord
Mazda 6

I'd shy away from the Mazda 6 (it's a weird clone/semi-clone of the Fusion) since I've already heard bad things about it. The rest of your midsize sedans are all good options for reliable driving applicances and can be had in your price range used. I also always heard good things about the 2008+ Chevy Malibu.

MMD3 posted:

So in talking to my girlfriend more about her ideal car it's sounding more like she wants a crossover. She likes the ride height of an SUV a lot better as well as having more space for moving things around and throwing her bike/snowboard/etc. in the back.

I'm making a short list of SUV crossovers for her to check out and based on your guys recommendations the Hyundai Tucson (potentially Santa Fe) and the Kia Sorento (possibly Sportage) are on that list...

I'm also putting the new Honda CRV, VW Tiguan, and Mazda CX-5 on that list but I'm hoping some crossover wizard can tell me if there's a compelling reason to leave any of them off of that list and/or elevate one way above the others?

Any major reliability concerns or anything else to be cognizant of going into this?

Someone previously mentioned the Tiguan as being perpetually in the shop. I'd agree with that.

Really, the crossover segment is getting more specialized players, each doing something a bit better than its competitors.
2013 Ford Escape - Technology dodads and fuel economy.
2013 Mazda CX-5 - Fuel economy and driving feel.
Hyundai Tuscon/Kia Sportage - Value and warranty.
Chevrolet Equinox - Interior room.
2013 Honda CRV - One of only a couple of real general players. It's does everything well enough.
Dodge Journey - See CRV. General player.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

MMD3 posted:

as far as the 2013 ford escape... what kinds of tech dodads are they offering that others don't have already? any real breakthroughs? It looks like their mileage is 21/30 which is about in line with the other compact crossovers, seems to be about the same as the CRV and CX-5

They are pimping their new automatic lift gate which you can activate by waving a foot under the bumper while you've got the keys in your pocket. Handy if you've got hands full of stuff.

Aside from that, Sync with MyFord Touch (voice commands, touch screen controls, customizable displays), park assist (semiauto-parallel parking), and blind spot alerts.

Again, a lot of this stuff is offered on other Fords but a lot of it is still better than what most other crossovers offer. Oh and the small ecoboost engine option will return 23/33.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

El Ste posted:

Proposed Budget: Under about $18,000
New or Used: New
Body style: 4-door sedan
Usage: Daily commuting to and from classes and work, occasional road trips
Aspects important: Cost of ownership (preferably not incredibly expensive to repair, something that doesn't cost an insane amount in insurance monthly) and MPG

I know that doesn't leave out a lot of options but this is a pretty novel experience to me and my ignorance knows no bounds! Cheers.

For a sedan, you'll probably be able to get into a decently equipped subcompact (Sonic, Versa, Fiesta, Accent, Rio), a base Fit, or a base/spartan compact.

Of those choices, the Accent (Hyundai) and Rio (Kia) return the best MPG on paper. They also come with great warranties. The rest all hover a few ticks lower on the MPG scale (some offer special packages/engines for better MPG). Combined mileage for all them them sits somewhere around 30-33 MPG.

Most of the players in this segment are all pretty new models so insurance will be ever so slightly higher but the Sonic is the only one to get a 5-star overall safety rating so it might get an offsetting discount.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

nm posted:

But the hatch not the sedan because sedans are dumb in that class.

I should've mentioned this too. You should really consider a hatch because most of them are really much better than their sedan counterparts in both function and looks.

In fact, the Sonic was designed as a hatch first and the sedan design came after. The Versa hatch, while kinda old at this point, is a really a nice design and can be had pretty cheap (especially with the new sedan out) if you don't mind the slightly lower safety ratings.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

HondaCivet posted:

Proposed Budget: $6,000 or under
New or Used: I think it's gonna have to be used
Body Style: Don't care much but would prefer something not tiny and not huge
How will you be using the car?: Scooting around town and the suburbs on errands, occasional road trips. Will only see use a couple times a week tops.
What aspects are most important to you? (e.g. reliability, cost of ownership/maintenance, import/domestic, MPG, size, style): Reliability, cost/ease of ownership and maintenance, reasonably pleasant to drive or ride in, doesn't have a jillion miles on it
Where?: Portland, OR, USA

Right now we have a 2005 Prius. We moved out here from the Midwest a year ago and we've only put about 2K miles on it since then. It's a great car but we just don't drive enough to justify keeping it around. Instead of continuing to pay off the loan on it, we want to sell it and buy something more practical with cash. I don't want a beater, just something humble so I don't have to feel terrible about leaving it outside and people door-dinging it constantly. I'm OK getting something with less-than-stellar gas mileage because we drive so little. Any ideas?

I hate to be the one to say this but why not just keep the Prius? You didn't say how much you had left on the loan but Prius models have shown to be some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Plus they get their high gas mileage, retain their value pretty well, and have average to lower maintenance costs.

Is it possible to just pay off the loan as quickly as possible?

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Necc0 posted:

Since we're posting our final outcomes:




What's crazy about this is that I new standard transmissions were unpopular but I had no clue that they were THAT unpopular. Using Ford's website I filtered out all the coupe v6 standards and only got a very small handful of cars. Finally found one that both had the options I was looking for in the color I wanted. Got roughly $4k off the sticker. If they'd known how hard I was looking for this car I doubt they would have given me that deal.

I'm pretty sure the take rate on most high volume/popular models is something like 90-95% automatics.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Maneki Neko posted:

Found a new vehicle I liked, and noticed that it has 500 miles on it. It's a 2013, being sold as new. How the hell could a new vehicle get 500 miles on it?

I'm assuming that's something I can use as a bargaining chip?

Eh, it's probably more likely it may have been used as a loaner/demo unit for the dealer.

It's possible you could maybe work a bit off the price but not much.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Drewski posted:

Argh I am in a quandary. I can't decide between the 2013 Mazda CX-5 and the 2013 Ford Escape.

It looks like the 5-year total cost of ownership is around $3,000 cheaper for the CX-5. The CX-5 could also be less expensive up-front, although I have access to an X-plan pin to get an Escape at or around invoice which means I can get more features for my bucks. The Escape has some amazing features which the CX-5 doesn't have.

But there are also some pretty serious recalls going on with the Escape and I haven't seen any for the CX-5.

As far as long term maintenance is concerned, 5 years worth of maintenance costs for the Escape are estimated to be $1000 cheaper than the Mazda - can I expect that trend to continue?

Almost completely impossible to predict. Both are brand new models with unknown long-term maintenance issues. The Escape has already had two recalls (the fuel line one being a "get out of the car and let us tow it back" kind of recall) on it. Who knows what will show up later on at 50k+ miles.

Ex. The 2006 Ford Five Hundred was a decent enough large sedan. But when those hit about 60-70k miles, they all had their transmissions go. It was an almost universal thing but no one knew until they all starting hitting those mileages.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Leperflesh posted:

I've noticed that there are very few Hyundai recommendations when people are asking for inexpensive, reliable, low-mileage late model used cars with good fuel economy. Any particular reason?

Honestly, they're very fine cars. They don't hit a lot of people's radar because 1) reliability takes time to develop a rep (the previous gen of all their models were reliable enough, if a bit ugly or bland) and 2) only the recent introduction of models since 2010 have really put everything together (style, mileage, warranty, etc).

As such, you're looking at newish Hyundais which command a newer car premium. Also, Hyundai lacks a car/wagon with AWD which goons apparently go nutty for.

I'd bet money that Hyundai's built today will be the late-80s/early-90s Hondas that last well into the 2020s.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Leperflesh posted:

Fair enough.

But, for example, here's the first hit on my local craigslist for "hyundai" (sale by owner only):

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/cto/3197717997.html


Well inside Zorak's budget and quite close to his mileage requirement.

I have no opinion as to whether this is a good car, or a good price for this car, of course - just that I was wondering if it's off the Goon radar because they're not cool, or something.

The accents prior to the 2012 model year were 3 door hatches or four door sedans. They got average fuel economy and were reliable enough. However, they were pretty small and most of Zorak's options requirements (A/C and cruise control) were optional of those models.

Compare that with the 2012 which got a big size bump, looks sharp, gets 35 combined MPG and comes with a 10yr/100k mile powertrain warranty. Also, all but the very base (low volume) model come with a/c, usb, cruise control and like 8 airbags standard. Options include a touch screen system and bluetooth. You could be forgiven for forgetting about the previous generation (and this could be said of most, if not all, of Hyundai's current offerings, not just the Accent).

Would it be impossible to find an older Hyundai that fit his needs? No.
Would he be better served by something a bit more appropriate in the used market? Possibly.
Should he check a new or slightly newer used Hyundai if the price was right? Absolutely.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Deus Rex Machina posted:

Is a Prius really a good value? It seems like the initial cost is pretty significant vs. what they save you.

What age/mileage should I be looking for for a good value?
Aside from the gas mileage, they're rock solid reliable. Long term battery issues still aren't well understood but if you can find a used one, they're great. Not so much for speed and handling though.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

With that budget and those really general guidelines, he's probably best off with a compact sedan or a hatchback if he really wants the cargo room.

In the compact arena, each automaker is trying to establish their own space.
Ford wants to be just a bit sportier than expected from a Big 3 automaker.
Chevrolet wants to provide good comfort and amenities along with a no-frills driving experience.
Dodge has a new compact (Dart) that's big on style and sportiness with maybe a bit less on space/room.
Honda still wants to be everything to everyone and the Civic manages to do that but does little to inspire.
Mazda's 3 is...well a Mazda (sporty, good handling).
Hyundai wants to give you the best bang for your buck.


With so much highway mileage, a Hyundai Elantra may actually hit the EPA highway mileage quote (40mpg) depending on driving style. The Cruze/Focus/Dart all need an extra trim/package for their highest mileage ratings but are still perfectly acceptable cars. If he can cope with a little less room, a Mazda3 with the skyactiv engine should get close to 40MPG on the highway too.

If he wants to go down a class, he can get more car perks and just as good mileage (if he likes extra perks like sunroofs, touch screens, and the like). The Fit, Sonic, Accent, and Rio are all excellent offerings with good cargo room.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 18:42 on Aug 13, 2012

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Incompl posted:

This is kind of a multi-parter. So I have a 2002 Suzuki Aerio which my dad bought for me in my last year of college for $2000 in 2009. 3 years later I've spent around a total of $3000 in repairs. I actually had the alternator and a different part (some kind of bracket for the belt) replaced for ~$1300, which I thought would let me save up for a bit longer (like a year) but today the drat thing broke down again, and wouldn't start. I'm taking it to the shop tomorrow to have it looked at, but I'm leaning towards finally getting a new car.

I've never done the car buying thing, so I've been reading a lot of the forum posts about buying cars, other sites + books about buying cars and so on. It seems like the best idea is to do as much of a downpayment as possible and if needed, get a loan from a credit union. I have about $18,000 saved up in cash, but I think I'd like to use $10,000 of that at most, and move the rest around for saving up for a house downpayment...but I digress. So here are my questions:

1) Would it be unwise to put more money into repairing the car? I don't really know when it's time to call it quits.
2) I'm not currently a member of a credit union. Is it difficult to join a credit union and get a sizeable loan almost immediately? My credit score seems to be decent, I checked at the beginning of this year, and it was between 700~725. If I were to get a new car, I'd like to get one asap.
3) Finally...if I were to get a new car, what's the best fit? Below are my answers to the template.

Proposed Budget: max is $25,000
New or Used: Either works, but I'm ok with a used car.
Body Style: Coupe is preferred, but a small+sporty sedan works as well
How will you be using the car?: Daily drive, would like to have some fun with the car though.
What aspects are most important to you? : Biggest thing is reliability. A close second is probably the looks (style + relatively small vehicle), and finally the cost of ownership (would like to avoid super high insurance)

Sorry for the lengthy post, this is all new to me so I'm limited to what I've read and the small amount I've heard from people I know.

Generally, credit unions are happy to have your business. Just take the time to walk in and explain your situation and you shouldn't have any issues getting a member rate.

As to your other questions:
1) Look at repairs as just another form of an auto payment. If you've put in $3k in 3 years, that's a monthly payment of $83 a month. Even with that extra alternator amount added in, it's still about $120 a month in maintenance costs. Compare that to possible monthly payments on a new car of at least that (if not much more) plus increased insurance costs. Is it worth it? It's really up to you so don't feel bad for wanting a new car.
2) I already answered above a bit but auto loan rates are at rock bottom prices. At the very least, get two loan offers from a CU and your local bank. Take them both to the dealer. Take the best deal between the three options.
3) You can either get a subcompact with all the bells and whistles (Sonic, Mazda2, Fiesta) for your price-range or get a sporty compact (Civic Si, Elantra Coupe, Mazda3, Veloster). If you really wanted to tap the budget, you could get a base model Mini or Veloster Turbo. Reliability in this range is a bit hard to say since so many of the available options are recently introduced models. However, you're just as likely to get a bad car from any automaker nowadays so have an open mind with all the automakers.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 18:59 on Aug 28, 2012

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

It's hard to say without knowing more specifics.

It's possible he has access to dealer-exclusive auto auctions where used commercial fleet/rental fleet/etc vehicles are sold off to dealers at rock-bottom prices.

I don't know the particulars about what would be involved but it's possible this person isn't full of poo poo.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

If you're buying new and you hate salesmen, and you know approximately what you want (in terms of model) email the internet/online sales managers of the dealers in the area, let them know what you want and tell them to make you an offer. Then shop the guys against each other. They'll typically make good, no bullshit offers because a) it's their job to deal with online inquiries and b) you already know what you want, so they don't have to sell you on the car and c) they can move cars pretty quickly without too much trouble.

If you can't get down to a couple hundred over invoice pretty much hassle free, I'd be shocked.

Necc0 posted:

I did this and ended up getting ~$3k off sticker without any haggling. Definitely recommend this route

Going off of Agronox, there are definitely floors that dealers won't usually breach so researching the current market for a specific model is a very good idea.

Also, while tales of getting $3k off via playing dealers off one another is a great motivator to try the method, the amount you'll get off greatly depends on how much the initial car is worth. This is why you can routinely hear stories of pick-ups being sold at many thousands below sticker (because the starting price is in the high 20s or low 30s). But a subcompact may not go far beyond a thousand, if that.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

lol internet. posted:

Thought this thread might be a bit relevant to ask my questions:

1. Pros and cons of dealership mechanic vs wal mart mechanic? I was told the transmission and transmission fluid needs to be replaced by the Toyota mechanic.

2. When do you know the transmission needs to be fixed? Is it mileage based?

1) Ignore both and find an independent shop. Check Yelp, ask around (someone you know knows someone who's REALLY into cars), and try a couple of different garages out. You'll be amazed how much better you and your car will be treated by a trustworthy and independent mechanic.

2) Transmission stuff usually revolves around checking the fluid once every great while. If its dirty, it probably just needs changing. If it's dirty far prior to the regular interval, something may be wrong. Anything beyond fluid gets expensive real quick because transmissions are pricey.

It's one of those issues where if it looks like it's going to go south, you just have to wait for it.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Scrot Eel posted:

I don't see to many suggestions for Hyundai in this thread. Is there a general consensus against their cars for some reason?

I was thinking about test driving a Sonata and an Elantra soon, so just wondering.

If you are shopping for new cars, Hyundai/Kia should be on your list. Any of their recently refreshed cars seem to be solid. They have a big focus on value with high MPG figures (there's some debate if they are tuned especially to score high on the EPA tests) and long warranties. I have heard of some issues with the steering being off but nothing else really major.

The only models I'd say to stay away from are the current Kia Forte (rolled out just before the Koreans' big push around 2010 and being replaced for the 2014 model year) and the outgoing Hyundai Veracruz (being replaced by the 'new' Santa Fe which is not the same as the old Santa Fe which is actually being replaced by the Santa Fe Sport. Yeah. ).

Just be aware that, while all signs point to solid reliability at the moment, long term reliability is still an open question but that's an issue with almost any new car that's only been on the market for 2-3 years.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Sep 5, 2012

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Geckoagua posted:

Lady totaled my reliable Accord '01 from behind, now I need a car by Monday!

Proposed Budget: 25-30K
New or Used: New, or at least certified pre-owned.
Body Style: 2DR Coupe or 4DR Sedan
How will you be using the car?: Driving to work 15-20 minutes weekdays, usual weekend driving.

What aspects are most important to you?: Reliability/Warranty, Fun to drive (Accord felt week with 4 cylinders). I like luxury items like sunroofs and gadgets, but there's only so much I'm willing to pay for leather. The closer to 25K the better, but since I intend to drive this car until its demise, I'm willing to pay more for a long-term payoff.

I had been looking at Nissan Altimas, Kia Optimas, but people I've talked to seem down on either brand. I know nearly nothing about cars, so any and all advice is very appreciated.

For your price range, you could fully trick out a compact (Civic, Elantra, Focus, Cruze) with bells and whistles or get another midsize at a mid-level trim with fewer luxuries but more room.

Don't believe what you are hearing on the Optima as it's a great car. Some people (like me) believe Kia's seats are a little too firm but that's like...your own opinion man.

The Sonata is a nice alternative if you don't like the Kia but still want the same MPG and warranty.

The 2012 Fusion is being replaced by the new Aston-lite 2013 Fusion but it was still really solid and you could score a deal on it possibly.

The other major player is the Camry but it's probably the least fun to drive in the segment.

I don't know enough about the Altima to give you a decent report. It was recently refreshed for the 2013 model though.

The Accord just had its new model unveiled so if you want another one you may be able to get a good deal on a 2012 like the Fusion I mentioned. It's boring but it's still an Accord.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

PaulAllen posted:

Do you have any tips for negotiating a used car?

-Look up KBB/Edmunds/Cars.com values for said vehicles.
-Start negotiating/offering below those values.
-If a dealer seems to be in the ballpark, ask if you can have it checked out by your own mechanic first. If they agree and the mechanic clears it, sign the deal. If they don't agree, you could proceed but do so with caution.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer


So you're in the market for a compact. It's a high volume segment and everything brings a little something different to table.

Major Players
Civic - it's a Honda and is generally generic. It'll have a price premium because of the H on the front.
Corolla - If you want another bullet proof Toyota, you could always go for the Corolla. Again, it's pretty generic but a redesign is in the near future. Could be a possibility if you are leaning more towards buying a year from now.
Focus - Focus is big on style, sportiness (doesn't match the 3 though), and technology. If you aren't a big fan of Sync/all its buttons, maybe not worth it then.
Cruze - Cruze is a bit of GM's version of the generic-ness of the Honda/Toyotas. Offers a bit more "comfort" (car speak for it feels good to drive, not necessarily sporty) than everything else.

Other Contenders
Elantra - Hyundai is big on value so you'll get a lot for your money. Not really sporty but excellent warranty and theoretical gas mileage.
Dart - Brand new model from Fiat/Chrysler. Has really sharp looks and offers a lot of options for tech or sportiness.
Mazda 3 - Offers superior driving/handling/sportiness. Can feel kinda cramped though.
Jetta - Really depends how you feel about owning a VW. Some people love it, others won't go near 'em.
Sentra - Nissan is refreshing the Sentra in a few months so it may be worth a look.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Trip Report: Just bought a new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic and thought I'd just post my experiences here because, you know, this is the car buying thread.

I traded in my 2000 Honda Accord and put a bit of money down just to make the payments a round number. I paid just a little over dealer invoice plus destination fees. I also accepted the dealer's loan financing offer after they beat my best lender quote.

Some notes:
-Definitely play dealers off each other. Email them and ask for the best price, mention if you'll be trading something in but focus on price. After two days, you should have all the serious quotes you'll get. Take the lowest one and send it to the other dealers asking them to beat it. You'll have to do this a couple of times.

-Do get a quote (or two) for auto loans ahead of going to the dealer. Do get your car appraised by Carmax or someone else in writing. I can't stress how much easier this made our buying process at the dealer. After we settled on a price, that quote from Carmax saved me a serious chunk of my trade-in value. And going back to the finance department to officially buy the car was a breeze since I had a loan approval already so the dealer just beat it. Easy as pie.

-Get all your backup stuff done ahead of getting quotes. This includes applying for a loan and getting a trade in appraised. The reason for this is that at the very end of the dealer quoting phase, you're definitely going to get some dealer that says "I'll beat that lowest price by X but you've got to come in tonight." It may be worth at least a look so being prepared helps.

-Also, be wary of those "beat that lowest price by X" offers. I got caught at a dealer who said they'd beat my lowest offer by $500. I took a look at it and the vehicle had graphics all over it, part of the badge on the back was missing, and I generally just got a funky feeling the whole time. Definitely do not buy if it doesn't feel right. Like I said, it may be worth it and it might not.

-The roughest part was finally settling on a price. No matter how much you pound away at the dealers for the lowest quote, there will always be something they will leave out. For me, it was destination charges (legit) and "accessory" charges (not so much: VIN etching, door guards, etc). Since I wasn't informed of the accessory charges ahead of time, I was a bit rightly concerned. The sales manager came over (bit of a greasy air to him but whatever, it's his job) and I got him to agree to waive the accessory fees. Always, always, always remember to be prepared to walk out, even if you don't want to.

-On that same note, it's okay to feel seriously stressed if it's your first time buying a new car (like it was for me), but if you've done your homework and you've got backup offers in your pocket, just relax once the numbers are settled and it goes back to finance. It'll be alright unless something seriously shaky goes down.

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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Even better: when you get your as-is trade in quote, ask for a quote if the cosmetic damages were nonexistent.

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