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laurence 10-31-2005 01:01 PM

Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
O.K., so I can't hang with USC boy ;) rollin' in his fancy rides, but I have to make a car buying decision soon. We sold the lemon VW Passat, and we are driving a co-workers car, but have to give it back in about six months. So I'm trying to carefully find the best car for our needs. Requirements:

Reliability
Fuel Economy
Safety
Under 10k cost a must, closer to 5k would be ideal

Obviously we are going used, and we have no brand loyalty here, nothing is off the table. I just wonder, if I go that cheap, will I just be cruising for pain later as it falls apart on me? Markets are somewhat efficient, things are priced low for a reason, right? :-\

brewer12345 10-31-2005 01:09 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
How about a Buick Regal? They were the most reliable car GM made for years and were very unloved by the market. Should be cheap as a used car.

justin 10-31-2005 01:11 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
A Honda Civic. Get one 3 or 4 years old, and it should fit your price criteria (under $10k).


Texas Proud 10-31-2005 01:14 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Do what my sister does... buy a Camry... many good ones under $10K and they seem to go many miles... over 150,000 all the time..

Second is Accord or Civic... but civics are a bit pricey as they are the ones the kids want to hop up...

SLC Tortfeasor 10-31-2005 01:17 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Here are some ideas off the top of my head: *Used Toyota Matrix or its cousin, the Pontiac Vibe. *Those will be a little closer to $10k probably. *Or a Subaru Legacy. *Avoid getting an Outback if you want to save money. *But since the Subaru is 4 wheel drive, that probably brings its fuel economy down a little.

I've heard used Ford Escorts aren't that reliable. *Maybe a Ford Focus? *I think those have gotten some good reviews.

I get the impression you're a family man, so a Honda Civic might be a little small for you. *I scored when I bought my '90 AWD Civic Wagon three years ago with 75K miles for $3500. *I'm up to 110K miles now and the thing has been awesome. *Oh sure, it's wimpy, but that keeps me safe. *And it was cheap.

cute fuzzy bunny 10-31-2005 01:23 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Given your requirements, i'm gonna have to say accord or camry. Anything smaller is going to compromise the reliability requirement. Anything larger will ding your gas mileage. I doubt many (granted there will be exceptions) under $10k american cars are going to make your reliability needs.

You might want to kick up the money a little and just buy a fairly stripped new one. I see some deals in the paper on a regular basis that look pretty good. You'll have to buy one thats more than 3 years old to get a big drop on the price. Then drive it for 10 years.

The original cost becomes less relevant the longer you keep the car...

brewer12345 10-31-2005 01:39 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
Here are some ideas off the top of my head: *Used Toyota Matrix or its cousin, the Pontiac Vibe. *Those will be a little closer to $10k probably. *Or a Subaru Legacy. *Avoid getting an Outback if you want to save money. *But since the Subaru is 4 wheel drive, that probably brings its fuel economy down a little.

I've heard used Ford Escorts aren't that reliable. *Maybe a Ford Focus? *I think those have gotten some good reviews.

I get the impression you're a family man, so a Honda Civic might be a little small for you. *I scored when I bought my '90 AWD Civic Wagon three years ago with 75K miles for $3500. *I'm up to 110K miles now and the thing has been awesome. *Oh sure, it's wimpy, but that keeps me safe. *And it was cheap.

I get 28 to 29 MPG on the highway with my 2003 legacy, and that is with a roof rack for a canoe attached. Roughly 23 MPG around town. Given that Laurence is in Southern CA, AWD would be a waste, though.

Never had a problem with my '95 escort. My sister still drives it all over the place. Bother has a '97 and sister has a '98 tracer (mercury clone) that have been similarly trouble-free. But they are small.

laurence 10-31-2005 02:43 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Thanks, all, that's kind of the list I came up with myself, I am seriously considering the stripped new route. In fact, since this is a cash flow issue, I'm even thinking of taking up one of these really good lease offers (gasp!). I like the new civic, but for now dealers are marking them above MSRP! Camry and Accord are always in the running. Love my Aunt's vibe, but that and the Matrix are too new at this point, used price is holding up too well.

Buick Regal....totally didn't think of that...I'll look at that, too.

Anybody know anything about used SAAB's or Volvo's? Is it another reliability nightmare?

brewer12345 10-31-2005 02:48 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurence

Anybody know anything about used SAAB's or Volvo's?* Is it another reliability nightmare?

My in-laws had a Saab. They stated that they will never own one ever again and don't even like to discuss it.

Volvo might be OK, even though they are basically very expensive Fords now. The problem is that you get ganked for parts and maintenance simply because it is a luxury car. Go with a non-lux brand if you are looking for something cheap.

I have to say, if I were nailed by a truck and had my car totalled today I would either be looking at a Regal or buying a new Subaru, depending on what budget I had. Might look at a 2 or 3 YO Subie, too.

SteveR 10-31-2005 02:52 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Late wife loved her Volvos. *She was T-boned in an intersection by a guy doing 70 mph while driving one and walked *away from it without injury. *She had 6 of them over a 25 year period. *The earlier ones were boxy and required a lot of maintenance. *The newer ones were more stylish (in relative terms) but the maintenance seems to have improved. *They are not like Honda or Toyota so they do break down a bit more but they are solid and very safe cars. *I gave my son her's after she died and he has had very little repair work done despite driving it a lot and with gusto (he is 21 *::))

Audi is also another choice. *My other son has a 15 year old Audi and while it has it's share of repairs it is not as bad as a lot of US cars. *

laurence 10-31-2005 03:12 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
My wife had an '82 Volvo station wagon when we met. Sucker was a tank, blown head gasket, but limped along fine for the 5 years she kept it.

Audi A4 is the sister car to my POS VW Passat, repairs up the wazoo, hate it, trauma, done.

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345
My in-laws had a Saab. They stated that they will never own one ever again and don't even like to discuss it.
....I have to say, if I were nailed by a truck and had my car totalled today I would either be looking at a Regal or buying a new Subaru, depending on what budget I had. Might look at a 2 or 3 YO Subie, too.

Man, that's exactly what I did not want to hear! I left this board, looked at some 3-4 year old Saabs and found plenty for 10k with leather, cd, air, turbo 4 cylinder etc. Great package for the price, (sigh) now I know why. Could they just have had bad luck?

I'm take a look at your Subie. See? I say, "No brand loyalty!" but I'm a liar, the thought of having absolutely no style points for my car stings, so I keep trying to find a non honda/toyota car with honda/toyota reliability. Buick is a long shot, ex-girlfriend lived with grandparents and they drove one. A lot of baggage there, let's just say that trunk really can hold a body. :o

SLC Tortfeasor 10-31-2005 03:27 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
The Regal might be a great car--I have no idea.* But all I can say is that whenever I see one, I assume (usually rightly so) that the driver is ancient.* Do you really want to be associated with that?

Subies are cool cars.* Here in Utah, people sort of look at you askance if you don't have one.

brewer12345 10-31-2005 03:37 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
No buicks, eh? I'd suggest an Impala, but they get crappy gas mileage ( and handle like boats). Uh, how about a Saab 9-2X? They are actually subarus, but didn't sell well.

justin 10-31-2005 04:27 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurence
I like the new civic, but for now dealers are marking them above MSRP!

Getting a new '05 civic (your dealer should still have plenty or be able to get one) may be an option. They are probably pricing them cheap since the new '06 body style is out. Plus, it is the last of the 2001-2005 series, so they had 4 prior attempts to make a perfect car ('01, '02, '03, '04). The '05 is the refined product.

I bought my '00 civic right at the invoice price new in 2000. This was right as the new body style for '01-'05 came out. They had tons of them on the lot and couldn't sell them fast enough (nobody wants a car from the previous body version - it looks "old" as soon as you buy it).


FlowGirl 10-31-2005 04:29 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by justin
A Honda Civic.* Get one 3 or 4 years old, and it should fit your price criteria (under $10k).*


I'm not sure about that. When I was car shopping about 5 years ago the Civics that were 3-4 years old were almost as much as new.

justin 10-31-2005 04:39 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FlowGirl
I'm not sure about that. When I was car shopping about 5 years ago the Civics that were 3-4 years old were almost as much as new.

As with anything, prices vary. I just checked San Diego, and there are a few 2000-2002 Civics that are under $11k ask price (nobody pays the ask price, so I assume a final price of $10k). That is probably $5k less than what you'd pay new for the same car. If you go certified pre-owned, the price may not be much different. Keep in mind that a 3-4 year old civic has 10-15 good years left.

FlowGirl 10-31-2005 05:15 PM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by justin
As with anything, prices vary.* I just checked San Diego, and there are a few 2000-2002 Civics that are under $11k ask price (nobody pays the ask price, so I assume a final price of $10k).* That is probably $5k less than what you'd pay new for the same car.* If you go certified pre-owned, the price may not be much different.* Keep in mind that a 3-4 year old civic has 10-15 good years left.*

Oh, I know that. I just got rid of my 1990 Civic last year - a great car. Several cross country trips, and very few problems over the course of its life. $500 in repairs, some body work, and a new paint job probably would have kept it going another 2-3 years, but I was moving overseas.

A four year old Civic for $10K is a great value if you can find it.


brewer12345 11-01-2005 07:03 AM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Hey Laurence, I just thought of another good possibility: a mitsubishi galant. Good reliability record and low resale prices.

REWahoo 11-01-2005 07:35 AM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Laurence, you might want to give some thought to a Ford Taurus.:o Although they are not especially easy on gas, they are reasonably reliable and you should be able to find a real bargain on one.

A friend recently bought a 4 year old Taurus with 50,000 miles for $4,000.

But whatever you buy, make darned sure it hasn't spent time recently on the Gulf Coast.... :-\


73ss454 11-01-2005 08:43 AM

Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
 
Ford Taurus is a good value when bought used.

They lose about 50% of there value in the first 2 years.
If you find one under 3 years old and under 36K you can still get the new car extended warranty from Ford for up to 7 years from the original purchase date when new.

Two years ago I found a 98 with 29K for 4K. When I drove it to Fla at about 75mph I averaged about 27 miles to the gallon.
It also has the feel of a large car and a good safety record which is also important.


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