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Thread: What Car to Buy

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    BigGreen's Avatar
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    What Car to Buy

    Okay, so my wonderfully reliable nissan maxima with 250,000 miles on it (which alternated back and forth between my sister and i until she bought a jeep and I officially took it over) finally shit the bed for good. Maybe the heat of late was simply too much, or maybe it just wanted to retire. Either way, I'm in the seriously in the market now for a new car; before I was just sort of planning for this day. For those of you who know, this is the "Summer of Green"...meaning I ain't doin' jack shit all summer and beaches are well within walking distance (well, not the ocean, but lakes) so I'm in no hurry.

    Anyway, I'll have 25,000 to spend, and would prefer not to loan anything out, so that's the limit, no ifs ands or buts about it unless there's something I just can't resist, then maybe. So, for that cash, I've come up with the following possibilities (i'd prefer slightly used to brand new, but that's not set in stone)

    *NEW Nissan Xterra pretty well equipped
    *USED Explorer Sport Trac pretty well equipped
    *USED BMW....likely a very nicely equipped 328 2000-2001
    *DECENTLY USED Lexus RX300...to get in my price range it'll have to be "used" used.
    *NEW Nissan Altima (3.5L engine)
    Those are just some ideas...as you can see, i'm debating between an SUV and a somewhat sporty sedan. Let me know your opinions...i see so many "car guys" on this site....could use your help

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    David B.'s Avatar
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    That money will get you into a Subaru WRX or an Acura RSX Type-S, with some money left over for tax and registration.

    The Subaru is more fun, but the Acura, being a Honda, is built better and will last longer.

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    I second the WRX, specially for a car in that price range. That is a good and quick little car for the money.

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    i really like the acura rsx type -s. but the new altimas arevery roomy and nice

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    Anything convertible. Thats a requirement I put on all my cars now. For $25g you can get quiet a variety of those too.

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    Just don't buy a diet car (Saturn, Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo).

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    I would go with the bimmer. I have had two of them (330xi and 33ci), and have loved them both. The handling, and overall quality of the car is unmatched.

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    I should also mention that, at 6'3", my inseam is only 32"....thus, I have the upper body of someone about 6'6" or 6'7", and have incredible difficulty "fitting" into cars for that reason. I don't know that I'd stand a chance in that little subaru, as I didn't even fit well in their outback model. Also, convertibles are out of the question since I'm a new englander...i'll only look at a convertible when I can afford a second car to be driven in the summer. I'm going to look into the acura, as I've heard they're quite roomy. Thanks and keep 'em coming if you have any suggestions.

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    Get a nice big jeep, something like a Cherokee or Pathfinder or wutever is nice and big.

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    The BMW is the choice of those cars but also a Lexus ls300 would be good to. German would be the way to go though

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    just dont buy a mustang.....

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    I would go with a bimmer hands down. Personally i'd drop that as a down payment and pick up and ext escalade if ya really wanna know the truth

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGreen
    I should also mention that, at 6'3", my inseam is only 32"....thus, I have the upper body of someone about 6'6" or 6'7", and have incredible difficulty "fitting" into cars for that reason. I don't know that I'd stand a chance in that little subaru, as I didn't even fit well in their outback model.
    Volkswagens are a good fit for big 'n tall types, they seem to have a lot of front seat room and vertical space. How would you feel about a Golf GTi VR6?

    --dave

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    a 2002 Honda Accord EX 2-dr. coupe or if you like acura fuck the rsx, go look at the 3.2 type s- fully loaded and 260 hp (6 speed optional) for a little over 30g

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    I used to buy foreign cars until I found out how much more expensive their replacement parts cost. If you're planning on keeping your new car for a while (long enough for it to eventually need repairs) I'd stick with something domestic, and something they make a lot of.

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    I just bought a new 4 door F150 and am very happy with it. You can fit as many people in it as you can a car, plus you have the bed to carry big stuff that wont fit in a car. And if you hit a deer its not totaled.

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    i drive an rx300.

    i love the car, but i was calculating future maintenance costs over the next 3 years and it ruined my day.

    i love the rx...drives like a car, reliable, sporty handling, and good 4wd system. ample cargo space means you can transport shit, and the standard features are great like heated seats, etc.

    make sure that you get a car with heated seats as you are from one of the coldest parts of the country.

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    Go pimp daddy style and grab yourself a Caddi, plenty of leg room for you there big guy. HA

    BG, sorry bro but I'm a truck owner myself. I've a 4x4 sport F150. I do enjoy driving that truck. When it comes to cars I have the anti-midas touch, no matter what I buy it turns out to be a lemon. Never, and I mean never take my advice on what kind of car to buy.

    Jugg

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    Big G.--I would go with the lex. rx300, being that you are a big boy. My mom has a '99 rx300 and plans on trading it in soon for a new one. Anything made by Lex. or Acura you can drive into the ground. I had an acura 3.0 CL from '99-'02 and it was very reliable, fun , and cheap to fix, but still a luxery car. I liked Acura so much that I got an Acura MDX (suv) last summer, and let me tell you, I love it! Of course I still have not completely figured out the navigation yet . I would stay away from a little car. I am not very big, but I had that one car and decided I would never own another car unless it was a second car. Maybe it's because I am from TX, but I have always owned suvs or trucks and I think you would be very happy in one. What about mercedes? Have you checked those out? They are tanks! My mom used to have a BMW...it was cute and fun, but always breaking and it always cost a ton to fix just little things. I dnno, just something to think about!

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    a lot of you have mentioned that foreign vehicles cost a shitload to fix...is it really that bad? Given I know NOTHING about cars, I'm not sure what you mean by that...2x as much on average? More, less?

    Also, I should mention that the appeal of a Nissan or Infinite is that my current gf's father helps smaller lots in rural areas set up cost effective body shops and repair places so they can do 90% of stuff on site without setting up a huge shop....many of the places he's helped out are little nissan dealerships and to this day he still gets just about any nissan-made part, if not for free, definitely way below cost. Thus the reason why she bought an altima and why I'm leaning towards either an Xterra, Pathfinder or Altima or the "altima version" infinite (the name escapes me right now).

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    You can probably get a new Sport Trac for under 25G. Ford is discounting heavily. The best time to buy is at the end of the month. They are pressing to meet their quota and willing to deal. Also if you are near a big city it is usually worth an hour drive to go there to buy. Higher volume dealers can sell for less. Try autotrader.com for used car deals in your area.

  22. #22
    LORDBLiTZ Guest
    Honda is japanese for oil leak. Get a Cadillac!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by markas214
    You can probably get a new Sport Trac for under 25G. Ford is discounting heavily. The best time to buy is at the end of the month. They are pressing to meet their quota and willing to deal. Also if you are near a big city it is usually worth an hour drive to go there to buy. Higher volume dealers can sell for less. Try autotrader.com for used car deals in your area.
    I have to say that out of all the vehicles I've test driven (and it's only been a few, since this didn't become "serious" until this week) the Sport Trac and the Lexus Rx300 were far and away the best all around drives...everything considered. Of course, they're on two opposite ends of the spectrum, and I'm leaning towards the sport trac since I do like to be able to throw the kayak on or stuff like that, and it just doesn't look 'right' on a lexus. The same might preclude the bmws

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGreen
    Okay, so my wonderfully reliable nissan maxima with 250,000 miles on it (which alternated back and forth between my sister and i until she bought a jeep and I officially took it over) finally shit the bed for good. Maybe the heat of late was simply too much,
    Oh what couldn't handle sunny 70 degree weather? Even though I dispise Fords as much as I do foreign cars, I'd say go with the Ford explorer Sport Trac. A friend has one and it is very nice reliable and yes parts are much cheaper than foriegn.

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    Needtobeswoledup is offline Associate Member
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    Why not a new maxima? I am thinking about getting one of those? Just curious but what is the difference between the altima and the maxima besides the body styles anyone know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khull_Khuum
    just dont buy a mustang.....
    Ditto! Get an F-body

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    Quote Originally Posted by ichiban
    Big G.--I would go with the lex. rx300, being that you are a big boy. My mom has a '99 rx300 and plans on trading it in soon for a new one.
    Lexus did a little update from the 300...to the rx330. I have actually been shopping around for suv's lately, and have narrowed it down to the X5(BMW) and Cayenne(Porsche). Keep me updated how your mother likes her new rx330

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    [QUOTE=BigGreen]a lot of you have mentioned that foreign vehicles cost a shitload to fix...is it really that bad? Given I know NOTHING about cars, I'm not sure what you mean by that...2x as much on average? More, less?

    ========================

    I took a few community college classes in car repair a few years ago, and one of the homework assignments was to get a price list of all the stuff it would take to do a complete engine overhaul. My Mazda 626 was four times as expensive as the Ford's and Chevy's, and the guy next to me with a Honda Accord was even higher than that.

    One thing, though, is that if your Japanese engine ever blows up and needs to be replaced, you can get a good low-mileage engine installed for around $2000. Seems that in Japan, there's some sort of law that sez that ya gotta replace the engines at 30-something thousand miles. So they export the still-good engines, and we're the beneficiaries. Aside from that, parts for 'em are mucho (4x) expensive as 'merican stuff.

    Of course, the argument could be made that Hondas/Toyotas break down much less frequently, so total cost over the long haul evens out. I wouldn't be the one to make that argument, though. I like to do my own repair work, and I like to have some elbow room in the engine compartment, and most of the foreign cars are built like watches . . . gottal have lots of special tools to get in some of those out-of-the-way spots. Of course, every now and then GM does the same thing--on some of the 90's Roadmasters, you had to pull the engine out of the car to get to change the back two spark plugs . . . not good.

    All in all, ya can't go wrong with a Ford or Chevy truck. I got me an S-10, extended cab, and it's perfect for me . . . carry lots of stuff, has lots of leg and head room, great AC, radio, all the comforts of home . . . lots of cheap, readily available spare parts, probably can get good used spare parts at the Pick-A-Part wrecking yard for even cheaper. Yah, leaves more $$$ for cycles . . . motor & medical . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tock

    One thing, though, is that if your Japanese engine ever blows up and needs to be replaced, you can get a good low-mileage engine installed for around $2000. Seems that in Japan, there's some sort of law that sez that ya gotta replace the engines at 30-something thousand miles. So they export the still-good engines, and we're the beneficiaries. Aside from that, parts for 'em are mucho (4x) expensive as 'merican stuff.
    Been there, done that. My oil pump died on christmas night 1999, and while I was looking for a place to pull over, I threw the #2 conrod. The oil light comes on as some ridiculously low pressure, like 2PSI or so, I have to wonder how long I had been going at 3PSI and not knowing it...

    At any rate, I got one of those 30,000 Japanese pull-out engines, paid around 600 for the engine, plus labor. I even ended up with a better engine, my original engine was a 1.6 liter SOHC 16-valve job, the Japanese Domestic Market version of my car had a 1.6 DOHC 16-valve, with 30 more HP.

    Of course, the argument could be made that Hondas/Toyotas break down much less frequently, so total cost over the long haul evens out.
    Apart from the engine blowing up my little 1991 Honda Civic CRX Si has been stupid reliable. It's got over 160,000 miles on it now, and still feels tight. It's my second Honda, and I'd buy another Honda or Acura in a heartbeat.

    By the way, here's the real dope on the Japanese 30,000 engine deal. In Japan, cars have to pass very strict emissions tests. The fee for getting a car emissions certified is very steep, several thousand bucks. If an older car passes the mileage where it needs to be re-certified, the fee could very well approach the value of the car. So the car gets junked instead. And if you do an engine swap, you have to get re-certified. So the used engines are of NO VALUE in Japan, it's too costly to re-use good used engines there. If a late-model car gets wrecked and totalled over there, the same obstacles apply to re-using its good parts. So they ship the engines and transmissions out of the country, to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of South Asia.

    The Japanese also ship out boatloads of used cars to Australia and NZ, cars that are still good but not worth enough to re-certify.

    --dave
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What Car to Buy-rod2.jpg   What Car to Buy-before.jpg   What Car to Buy-after.jpg  

  30. #30
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    BG:

    If you've got $25K to spend on a car, I'd suggest buying a $15K used car and invest the rest.

    If you liked your Maxima, you could probably find a '98 or "99 Maxima SE sedan for less than that.

    For a new car, have you looked at the Honda Element? I know it looks silly, but it's got a lot of useful carrying space.

    --dave

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    Hey BG:

    First of all, what's wrong with the present car? What blew up? Is it really beyond economical repair? If it's the engine, then you can get a used engine from Japan, installed, for about $2K all done, and get another 60,000 miles out of the car. Even if the cost of repair approaches the total value of the car, it's still less than six month's payments on a new car loan.

    Two final suggestions:

    1) Ford Focus ZX3 for $13K, then with the remaining cash put $3K in a Roth IRA and the rest in mutual funds

    B) Used Pathfinder for $10K or less (that'll get you a '96-'98), with similar suggestions about investing the balance of the $25K.

    --dave

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    Lexus did a little update from the 300...to the rx330. I have actually been shopping

    HeartDocMd--If I were you I would not get the BMW X5. I looked/test drove every single suv that was on the market last summer and did not like it. It was not very comfy and I did not like the way it drove. My friend has one and it has something that breaks like once a month! Thus is why I got the acura MDX.
    The porshe cayenne is sweet, if you don't have kids. My dad got one recently with the turbo and it boogies! I love it but it really is more of a sports car than a suv, although it can go offroading because of the 4-wheel drive! I guess it all comes down to personal preferance!

    BigGreen- What did you end up getting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ichiban

    BigGreen- What did you end up getting?
    Nothing yet. I'm not working this summer save for a few hours a week as a personal trainer and they gym is 1/2 mile from my place. On top of that, there is a "beach" (freshwater, not ocean, thus the quotes) about 1/4 mile away, so I can walk everywhere and anywhere I need to go. I plan on starting work in september or so, so I'll probably buy in late August.

    Currently, I'm still debating, though after a few test drives the list has been narrowed considerably to the Sport Trac (new), Xterra (new), Audi A6 or S4 (used), Audi TT (used) or Altima 3.5L (new). The Altima's on the fringe since my gf drives the same car and I don't want to be one of "those" couples. The TT is falling out of favor as I've heard from many people that it's basically a Golf platform with a fancy looking shell and suped up engine (it apparently doesn't handle well for the money). Though it is a cool looking car. The S4/A6 deal would be running away with it, but I am a bit wary concerning the repair costs of the audis should something go awry. The Xterra fits my personality and such, but is a little too "bare bones" for my liking. I can survive without heated seats and such, but do want a bit of luxury. The Sport Trac continues to impress and it is likely I'll end up going that route at present.

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    Must be nice to afford any of those cars....... like I said, I am a very poor bastard.... not kidding.

    The only vehicles I could "maybe" afford are the ones parked with a $1200 O.B.O. sticker on them..... I need a better job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG TEXAN
    Must be nice to afford any of those cars....... like I said, I am a very poor bastard.... not kidding.

    The only vehicles I could "maybe" afford are the ones parked with a $1200 O.B.O. sticker on them..... I need a better job.
    Like a new job is gonna solve the whole financial dilemna that comes with being married! Sheesh...I thought you knew better!!

  36. #36
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    I can daydream dammit!!!!!!!

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    I just got a black 03 honda s2000. I love it!

    OG

  38. #38
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    Well, BG, as in the last thread you had about this, I still recommend the Land Rover Freelander for your purposes, since you live in the North East.

  39. #39
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    Now guys lets be honest, out of all those cars, we all know a bimmer will get you the most poon, so why go anywhere else? The trucks are cool, but the rx300 is tiny inside, though i do like the look. I think the WRX is the most over rate car on the earth, though just my opinion.

    BTW, what is the price range we are working with here?

  40. #40
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    BigG-- I think you should go check out the land rover freelander (i forgot about those, thanks strut.). They are rugged but have some luxery to them. They have upgrade options as well; interior, fog lights, brush guard,etc. Also, they have the same speakers and wolfer (wolfer is in the back, 10) as the range rovers, Harmen Kardin (sp. ?).

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