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The W - One Question... - What car should I buy?
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
Well it looks like Volkswagen might be interested in offering me 2.9% on a 2006 Beetle, but should I automatically get what I had before?

That Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an "SUV" but it also gets 30mpg in the city - of course, I have to blow my ENTIRE insurance settlement on a down payment and probably STILL pay $500+ a month for 60 months, which isn't all that appealing to me.

My father suggested I find a "beater" and wait until winter is over just so I can demolish it driving through the snow if I have to, as opposed to getting a new car and trying to get through a winter with it. I'm not inclined to follow this suggestion, but he IS old and wise. Well....he's older than me, anyway. Your thoughts?

I could get one of those things my brother bought. Ha ha ha, no way. I'm not sure if I'm even supposed to tell you what he has, but consider that in the past he's owned an Infiniti AND a Kia. Does he know something I don't?

Would I be better off spending all the money now as a down payment, or putting some in the bank and making a smaller down payment, since interest rates are (hopefully) ridiculously low and if I'm going to be in debt, it might as well be THAT kind of debt?

All this may be moot as, by the time you answer, I'll have already bought another car. This may also be INCREDIBLY doubtful. What I DO know is the Kia Rio goes back to Enterprise on Monday afternoon and I can only ask my in-laws to chauffeur me for so long. So all you people who have been dying to tell me what to do, here's your BIG FAT CHANCE. I may totally ignore you, but you MAY have the one piece of advice that steers me in the direction of MY BRAND NEW (possibly slightly used) CAR!!



CRZ
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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
    Originally posted by CRZ
    That Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an "SUV" but it also gets 30mpg in the city - of course, I have to blow my ENTIRE insurance settlement on a down payment and probably STILL pay $500+ a month for 60 months, which isn't all that appealing to me.


You could buy an Equinox and save enough to more than cover the cost of gas, I'd think. Our Equinox gets 20 mpg, easily, and we have a good chuckle everytime we see a Highlander because we test drove one and the base model Highlander cost more than our almost loaded Equinox.

This may be an unappealing option if: (A) You were only thinking "SUV" because it was a hybrid due to ecological concerns, and/or (B) you have some silly anti-Chevy bias.

At any rate, happy car hunting!




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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Do you need a larger vehicle? Why not go with a Toyota Prius? They have a decent size, good mileage and are very dependable.

Or you could go with a Subaru Outback or Forester if you want size, gas mileage and very well built vehicles.



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Since: 11.12.01
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87


I vote with your father and get a beater. Winter driving will wear you down enough without worrying about wrecking a new car. For commuting, I drive a 1997 Mazda Protege and it gets about 35 miles to the gallon. Any reliable beater will do, though. You may ignore this advice at your own risk. Please remember I caused you to get the $13,000, though.

(edited by pieman on 13.10.05 2217)




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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
Get a used car and then get another one and another - as needed. NEVER buy a new car. They devaluate 40% when you drive off the lot.



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Since: 9.11.03
From: Bedford, Michigan

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.05
I say you should pick up a DeLorean.



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Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.77
I second AWArulz. Shop around for a solid car with less than 10,000 miles on it. If you're really against getting a car without the dealer services, their certified pre-owned cars are usually pretty good deals for that. And whatever you do, don't buy any Dodge/Chrystler/Plymouth vehicles. Every mechanic I've ever had (plus personal experience) has said that those are total crap.
CANADIAN BULLDOG
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Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.34
I agree with the used car idea... makes so much more sense, especially if you can land one with a decent warranty package.

As for which car NOT to get (which I realize isn't the point of this question, but I'll weigh in anyways) -- a Saturn. Years ago, I was suckered in by their quirky ad campaign and the notion that this was a "different" kind of car. Four years later, it is one of the most unremarkable (and often undependable) vehicles I've ever driven.




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Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.65
    Originally posted by CANADIAN BULLDOG
    As for which car NOT to get (which I realize isn't the point of this question, but I'll weigh in anyways) -- a Saturn. Years ago, I was suckered in by their quirky ad campaign and the notion that this was a "different" kind of car. Four years later, it is one of the most unremarkable (and often undependable) vehicles I've ever driven.



Agreed.

My best friend bought one. He said it was the absolute worst vehicle he had ever owned (and he has owned ALOT of vehicles).

I personally always thought they were nothing but overpriced Cavaliers.



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Since: 11.12.01
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87

    Originally posted by Tenken347
    And whatever you do, don't buy any Dodge/Chrystler/Plymouth vehicles.


While my commuting car is a 1997 Mazda, our family vehicle is the Chrysler Town & Country. We think it's great and have had no problems whatsoever.





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Since: 16.1.02
From: The Off-Center of the Universe (aka Philadelphia)

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
A friend of mine who bought a Scion a couple years ago recently commended it to me (as I'm about to start a job that involves a 45-minute commute both ways). He says it gets great mileage.



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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Get a used car and then get another one and another - as needed. NEVER buy a new car. They devaluate 40% when you drive off the lot.


AWA is absolutely correct. I have a car salesman friend and he will never buy a new car as they are not worth the money. Buy one a couple of years old after the worst depreciation has occurred.

As for the hybrids, none are considered worth the money one must pay for the technology, at least yet. Toyota just recalled 60,000 for software glitches.

If you live in snow county, buy a decent one a beater for winter. Old corollas run forever and are pretty cheap.



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haz
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.04
    Originally posted by Kevintripod
      Originally posted by CANADIAN BULLDOG
      As for which car NOT to get (which I realize isn't the point of this question, but I'll weigh in anyways) -- a Saturn. Years ago, I was suckered in by their quirky ad campaign and the notion that this was a "different" kind of car. Four years later, it is one of the most unremarkable (and often undependable) vehicles I've ever driven.



    Agreed.

    My best friend bought one. He said it was the absolute worst vehicle he had ever owned (and he has owned ALOT of vehicles).

    I personally always thought they were nothing but overpriced Cavaliers.


Wow, I couldn't disagree more... My wife and I bought a Saturn back in 1996 and it has been the best, most reliable car we have ever had. In fact, we have gone through at lease 3 other second cars since then...

It's up to about 200000 KM so far and does not seem to be slowing down.





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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
Personally I am very fond of my Geo Tracker. But, if you dont want to get laughed at for having a wannabe jeep, I would suggest finding a decent Olds Alero. My girlfriend has one, and I think it drives very well, gets low 30s MPG on the highway and mid 20s in the city. Not a bad little car.
Mr Heel II
Lap cheong








Since: 25.2.02

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.66
I agree against hybrids. The added mileage isn't worth the extra money up front, and the car mag "experts" all say the batteries won't last forever and are insanely expensive to replace. I just don't see them as a viable option yet.

Hybrid model aside, the Highlander is an interesting choice. If you can find a solid late-model one, that might be worth the bother. The base model ones don't do too bad in the gas mileage department and can be had far cheaper than the $33,000 Hybrid.

I'd also suggest Corolla. They can be had cheap, hold value better than average, they're notoriously reliable, not bad handlers, and the base model with manual transmission gets upwards of 40mpg. They seem to have a pretty good ground clearance too. I've rented a couple for road trips. Found myself surprised with the ride height. I may go with one next time I'm in the market.

If you go back to VW, I might suggest looking at the new Jetta, Passat, or forthcoming GTI. They're on VW's new platform (more solid, better handling), while the Beetle is carrying over the old one.
Von Maestro
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Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.64
CRZ-

Is leasing an option for you?

I've leased my last three cars when they were brand new & have been very pleased. The car is always under warranty, I can pretty much drive it as hard as I want & beat the crap out of it (for the most part), & I never have to worry if it gets stolen since I always structure the lease with little or no money up front.

If owning a car is not that important to you, leasing is an option you should look at...
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
1) Absolutely under no circumstances should a non-business entity lease a vehicle. Just don't do it.

2) I have a Scion XB. I love it. I get between 30 and 35 mpg. This is great, because my total end to end commute each day is 4.4 miles. I bought gas twice in September and have not filled up yet this month.

3) Don't buy a hybrid. You won't make your money up on it, and the eventual battery problem is pretty earth unfriendly.

4) I rented a Highlander and I really liked it.

5) You can get 3.4% interest on a savings account at ING Direct (if you want to get one, let me refer you so I get $10 and you get free $25). Actually, let me know and instead of mailing you a check, I will "gift" you the money that I owe you to start your account. If you can get an APR that is 2.9 or 0% you should probably bank the cash and open an ING account. Emigrant Direct is advertising 4.0% on a savings account right now, but I've never really worked with them on anything. That's savings on both of these - $100,000 FDIC insured.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Also, on the XB - they feature no haggle pricing - all Scion dealers offer the same car for the same price. They are low priced, but good quality. There is a nice stereo, and a ton of headroom. I'm 6'5" and I have about 1-2 inches of headroom left when I have the seat all the way up, but I usually lean it back a little.

You get ABS, two airbags, mp3 cd player, and a nice fold down back seat for cargo carrying. It's not an SUV, but its way more convenient than most cars for carrying around stuff.

So - laugh if you want on the shape, but its super convenient and gets great milage. Just don't buy the racks, from a friend I can pass along that they hum a lot.



Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Either a PT Cruiser...or my personal favorite, try to get an original, classic, Volkswagen Beetle.
Rudoublesedoublel
Potato korv








Since: 2.1.02
From: Kentucky - Home of the 8 time NCAA Champ Wildcats

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.04
Can't recommend a PT Cruiser. My company has them and I'm not a fan.

Guru has really hit on something, but be sure that they're talking 2.9% APR, not a 2.9% rate with a bunch of fees that will jack the APR up over 4%. There is always concern as well that dealers don't "haggle" as well when you finance through them - the low rate replaces a lower price in many cases.



University of Kentucky basketball isn't a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that.
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