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Advice on buying a new car..


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Audio.Trench

 
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So I recently found out a few weeks ago that my wife and I are expecting a little one!

That in mind, I've been driving the same 2000 Toyota Echo 4-door for the past almost 3 years, and it honestly doesn't fit a baby seat in the back! It's basically one step up from a go-kart, hah!

Anyways, my income tax return for the past 5 years is coming in within the next month or so, and this is my chance to actually invest in a new vehicle.

When you buy/bought your new car, what did you choose? Why? What's the process? My current toyota was purchased used off a family member for pretty cheap, so I've never dealt with a dealer, or anything like that. Side note, my credit isn't 100% awesome or anything, but I've been working on fixing that for the past 6 months.

I'm expecting to have anywhere between $3K - $3500 CDN to put down and I want to keep the cost between $8-$10K. I really would like to avoid a monthly payment if I can (buying privately), however after looking around at places in my area, that seems like it might be the only way to go for me. I refuse to buy a car that's NOT e-tested/certified. I do not want to buy other people's problems.

My only requirements are that it be a stick shift, have great fuel efficiency, and be able to fit a baby seat in it, I mostly do in-town driving, but with my wife being classified as a high-risk pregnancy, we do travel on the highway more often than we used to.

The VW Jetta has been my favourite car since I can remember, so something in that size would be good, even the Toyota Corolla. I'm not limited to the age of the car, but I would like it to be within reason. No "extra" features are honestly needed either.

So my question again, what did you choose, and why? How was your buying experience through a dealer? Any info, tips, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated. I want to make this new investment as smooth as possible.
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First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the big news!!

Unfortunately, being certified does not mean it won't have problems. Been their, done that. Now I avoid everything, and buy only new, unless I'm looking to make money off it. I recently bought the new 2013 Accord Sport when it first came out, and my dad just bought a new Avalon XLE premium 2 weeks ago. I, as well as my dad, value reliability and dependability over anything. Not only because it's a convenience to have a car that doesn't break down or have issues as much, but I can depend on it when I need to get to work when someones life depends on me. In your case, your family depends on this reliability in case of emergencies. I would say stick with Honda or Toyota, though they are not the only reliable cars. I traded in my 2011 Pilot to get my dads 2013 Avalon, and got a really good deal on both trade-in and sale price.
I'm kind of confused as to what the actual price you want to pay for a car. Is it $11K-13.5k? I know the car market is more expensive than down here in the U.S. for most of the new cars, but am not too familiar with their used car market. The new Accord has a GREAT stick shift! It's literally one of the best manuals you can get in a family sedan. It also has excellent gas mileage figures. I can get 40+ mpg average driving 21 miles from home to work, which included ~30% city and 70% freeway. It also has PLENTY of room in the back seat for child seats. I know you said you didn't want any "extra" features, but the new Accord comes standard with a backup camera. You know why that will be important to you with your children.

I had a 2005.5 Jetta, and even though I loved it as a lease, I would not recommend for someone to buy it used. It had plenty of issues, but most of them were taken care by me because of the service at my dealership at the time was on par with crap. Their diesels can go far, both in terms of engine longevity, as well as miles per tank, BUT, and this is a HUGE but, they are EXPENSIVE to repair! This is coming from me who loves the Jetta GLI MKIII.

I am a fan of Honda's manual setup, and out of the various cars, I would suggest a new Accord base model, even though it's new and you wanted used. The other reason why I suggest it is that it is the safest family sedan in the segment. It even is safer than ALL Mercedes models currently out! If you are die-hard set on a used, the Corolla is pretty good in terms of reliability, and can easily be found for the price you want, but it's nowhere close to the Accord in crash test ratings. The Civic is a nice model too, depending on the year. I would pick the Civic over the Corolla because of the better manual.

I got nothing but love for the new Accord.

PS: I swear, I'm not a salesman

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Haha, Iggy sounds like a Honda salesman, I'll probably sound like a Subaru salesman.

Congrats on the little one!

My current car, and the one car that I still love after having it for 3.5 years (I can't say that for any other car I've owned) is a 2006 Subaru Impreza wagon. Plenty of room to fit my 6'8" (2.03m) in the front seats, and room still for a baby seat in the rear. On top of that, its a wagon so lots of trunk space for all those baby needs. I purchased the wagon because I do a decent amount of outdoor activities, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, etc, and wanted room to fit gear and friends if needed.

Its a fun car to drive, and mine has a 5spd and full time all wheel drive. I can on a good day, get 30MPG, but average more around 25ish combined driving.

Subaru has a very good record of being Top Safety Picks, and dependable cars. They hold their value very well, so if you do sell it later, expect to get good money for it. Plus ALL WHEEL DRIVE, for those months of blizzards you receive in the winter. (I live in central NY, and our winters can be pretty bad. I've only gotten stuck once and that was because I tried to pull into my sister's driveway when it wasn't plowed and couldn't swing the car back around to get out.)

If you can manage to get the most recent generation of Imprezas, interior passenger space has increased, but you do lose some of the cargo room. They also get 36MPG. My dad has one of these, and I can fit in the back OK, headroom is a bit cramped, but I can suffice for a short ride.

My parent's driveway could double as a Subaru dealership somedays when most of the family is home, many of us drive Subaru's fantastic cars.

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And here comes the BMW Salesman...

I kid (only slightly though.. )

I used to be a new car buyer until we bought my wife's certified pre-owned Lexus. It looked like new, drove like new and had the warranty like new but saved us a good amount of money. When it came time for me to get a new SUV, I went down the CPO route as well with my BMW and couldn't be happier..

The number of vehicles available with stick shift (my choice if it was available) is a paltry few so you really have to work through those..

If you want to fuel economy, start by looking at 4-cylinder engines that will usually yield you at least 30 MPG if not more..

Technically any four-door sedan or mini-SUV will serve your purpose well I think..

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Subaru was the other car I was going to mention, but the have a new Impreza coming out soon from what I hear. Their good, but they feel like a tin-box at highway speeds due to their lightness. You can't argue against their Symmetrical All-wheel Drive though. Both of my cousins drive Subarus(they live in RIchmond Hill, Ontario Canada. One is an Impreza, and the other is a new Legacy.

Stretch, nice Impreza wagon you have! Those are becoming hard to find, and it just happens to be my favorite Impreza model ever made.

It's pretty hard to fault Subaru vehicles as a family car, especially for up their in Canada with your winters.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Audio Trench...I don't know what your financial situation is...but if it were me...I wouldn't purchase a brand new car. I would buy something that's 2-3 years old. There's just too much depreciation on automobiles...especially in the first few years.

Also (sorry Raz0rEdge)...don't purchase a BMW or any other higher end vehicle (BMW, Lexus, Volvo, etc.):

- They're expensive up front
- you pay thru the nose when you need servicing
- replacement parts are expensive
- if you don't like rear wheel drive...then you don't want a BMW. Unless you go the BMW SUV route.

You need to have a big income to be able to afford and keep these vehicles (initial purchase price & cost of servicing).

- Nick

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Here's my wagon the day I got it. I had decided I wanted one of these shortly after I had started driving. I had a short list of requirements though that made it hard to find. Wanted a 2006 or 2007h, had to be a wagon, had to be stick, and couldn't be red. I actually got lucky and found this one at a semi local dealer for an excellent price with 48k miles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iggibar View Post
Subaru was the other car I was going to mention, but the have a new Impreza coming out soon from what I hear. Their good, but they feel like a tin-box at highway speeds due to their lightness. You can't argue against their Symmetrical All-wheel Drive though. Both of my cousins drive Subarus(they live in RIchmond Hill, Ontario Canada. One is an Impreza, and the other is a new Legacy.

Stretch, nice Impreza wagon you have! Those are becoming hard to find, and it just happens to be my favorite Impreza model ever made.

It's pretty hard to fault Subaru vehicles as a family car, especially for up their in Canada with your winters.
I feel the opposite on the "tin-box feel" I think they feel well planted and nimble but nothing like the lightweight and cheapness of my previous cheap Chevy coupes.
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Quote:
Audio Trench...I don't know what your financial situation is...but if it were me...I wouldn't purchase a brand new car. I would buy something that's 2-3 years old. There's just too much depreciation on automobiles...especially in the first few years.
Ah Nick, man after my own heart! We haven't purchased a new car in 15 years. Like Nick we look for top of line used around 2 - 3 years old. I've had very good luck with buying used Toyotas (Camry). We drive it until it has around 150K to 200K and then look for another 2 to 3 years old.

I especially look for one that has been leased for 2 or 3 years because the mileage on it will be low compared to one that was purchased outright.
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Dude! No pictures of snow when it's nearly 80 outside..only sunny beach pictures please..

Nice wagon though! My first car was a 1984 Subaru GL wagon in white..built like a tank and only recently died after being passed around many drivers over all this time..

The manual transmission in there was awesome and it had the selectable 2-wheel/4-wheel drive option...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Audio Trench...I don't know what your financial situation is...but if it were me...I wouldn't purchase a brand new car. I would buy something that's 2-3 years old. There's just too much depreciation on automobiles...especially in the first few years.

Also (sorry Raz0rEdge)...don't purchase a BMW or any other higher end vehicle (BMW, Lexus, Volvo, etc.):

- They're expensive up front
- you pay thru the nose when you need servicing
- replacement parts are expensive
- if you don't like rear wheel drive...then you don't want a BMW. Unless you go the BMW SUV route.

You need to have a big income to be able to afford and keep these vehicles (initial purchase price & cost of servicing).

- Nick
Haha! I was going to preface my post saying I'm the wrong guy to get advice about which car to buy since I always buy the most expensive ones (both purchase and maintain) and I end up going with all the options they offer..

I, however, have gotten away from buying new to CPO..so you at least gotta give me that..

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Hey Stretch, what's that white stuff? It's 100 F outside right now and our temps will hit the century mark all week. Usual weather here in Forth Worth during August. No need for a four wheel drive wagon unless you want to go mudding!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Here's my wagon the day I got it. I had decided I wanted one of these shortly after I had started driving. I had a short list of requirements though that made it hard to find. Wanted a 2006 or 2007h, had to be a wagon, had to be stick, and couldn't be red. I actually got lucky and found this one at a semi local dealer for an excellent price with 48k miles.
I feel the opposite on the "tin-box feel" I think they feel well planted and nimble but nothing like the lightweight and cheapness of my previous cheap Chevy coupes.
Nice! I don't remember how the wagon drives...it's been a long time since I last drove one, but the 2011 model sure feels light. Light enough that slight highway breezes disrupt driving. It wasn't pleasant driving it 600+ miles two winters ago. The new Impreza hatch is nice too imo, especially the sport version.
Don't even mention Chevy Never had such horrible service and reliability from their cars and dealer service. Never had a GM vehicle that my dad or I kept for more than 2 or almost 3 years. We were just in that stage where we only wanted to buy American brands, and believed that their new models would be better. Nope. I lemoned my Last GM car, and will probably never go back...unless I'm in my midlife crisis and need to buy a Corvette, which I have no problem doing

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Thanks for the input every one!

I forgot to mention that safety was another key factor, as you've all picked up on.. Of course, reliability is a crucial element to my purchase as well.. Driving in the winters here can get crazy. My Echo only ways around 1300kg and it is TERRIBLE in ANYTHING but a dry road, which even then, the traction is not good sometimes.

It's insanely good on gas, which i love, it barely takes $45 to fill, even with the absurd prices on fuel, and I can make that stretch just over 2 weeks of back-and-forth to work driving, and the odd trip out of town.

I'd like to keep my entire cost $10000 or under. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, top of the line, or brand-spankin'-new.. I'm looking for a used car that can be a few years old, I'd even say nothing more than 5-6 years old.

My Echo has almost seen its day.. Needs a new steering rack, new HP steering line.. front headlight assembly.. rocker panels.. suspension for the back redone.. my e-brake is toast, even though i've been told nother is wrong with it (complete BS if you ask me). Just to name some things off the top of my head.

Cars i'd likely buy would be honda, toyota, subaru, and VW. I'm not a big fan of domestic cars, as every one i know who has owned one in the past has told me nothing but horror stories, and ended up switching to something of the aforementioned.

I know I'm probably asking for a lot within my price range, but I don't want to screw myself either with a huge monthly pay for when my wife takes her maternity leave.

There's a place local to me that sells good, used cars that are refurbished, get new breaks, tuned up, etc before the buyer takes it, it's like buying a new car, but has been previously owned.. My mother in-law just purchased an 08 (or 09, can't remember) Hyundai accent hatchback for about $9K there, and it's as if she bought it brand new. Plus they give a 1-year warranty I believe, and they're one of those "good credit, bad credit, no credit" places, so it might be worthwhile for me to check..

My step-father also works there in their body shop, so I might be able to get some kinda discount. They deal with everything from Ford, to Honda, to VW, and have a huge stock..

This is more difficult than I thought it was going to be!

In short, this is what I need:

- $10000 or under (Canadian)
- Reliable
- High fuel efficiency
- Safe
- Stick shift
- Something in the mid-sized sedan/be fairly roomy (really, anything that can accommodate a child's seat)
- Forgot to mention, the only "extra" feature I'd like is A/C.. It's been getting close to 50*C this summer, and my Echo has none.. it's brutal..
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Hey guys, that white stuff? It's snow. I know many of you don't get to see it much, but its August where I live, and it will be on the ground in about 2 months. And unlike much of the country, we don't shut down and freak out when we get a tiny dusting of white stuff on the ground.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
Thanks for the input every one!

I forgot to mention that safety was another key factor, as you've all picked up on.. Of course, reliability is a crucial element to my purchase as well.. Driving in the winters here can get crazy. My Echo only ways around 1300kg and it is TERRIBLE in ANYTHING but a dry road, which even then, the traction is not good sometimes.

It's insanely good on gas, which i love, it barely takes $45 to fill, even with the absurd prices on fuel, and I can make that stretch just over 2 weeks of back-and-forth to work driving, and the odd trip out of town.

I'd like to keep my entire cost $10000 or under. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, top of the line, or brand-spankin'-new.. I'm looking for a used car that can be a few years old, I'd even say nothing more than 5-6 years old.

My Echo has almost seen its day.. Needs a new steering rack, new HP steering line.. front headlight assembly.. rocker panels.. suspension for the back redone.. my e-brake is toast, even though i've been told nother is wrong with it (complete BS if you ask me). Just to name some things off the top of my head.

Cars i'd likely buy would be honda, toyota, subaru, and VW. I'm not a big fan of domestic cars, as every one i know who has owned one in the past has told me nothing but horror stories, and ended up switching to something of the aforementioned.

I know I'm probably asking for a lot within my price range, but I don't want to screw myself either with a huge monthly pay for when my wife takes her maternity leave.

There's a place local to me that sells good, used cars that are refurbished, get new breaks, tuned up, etc before the buyer takes it, it's like buying a new car, but has been previously owned.. My mother in-law just purchased an 08 (or 09, can't remember) Hyundai accent hatchback for about $9K there, and it's as if she bought it brand new. Plus they give a 1-year warranty I believe, and they're one of those "good credit, bad credit, no credit" places, so it might be worthwhile for me to check..

My step-father also works there in their body shop, so I might be able to get some kinda discount. They deal with everything from Ford, to Honda, to VW, and have a huge stock..

This is more difficult than I thought it was going to be!
This kind of research is right up my ally. I co-own a used dealer, so I might be able to find more available cars online through an online registry(can look up anything for sale that is listed in the U.S. and Canada), and better judge used values for your area for something that costs no more than $10k. I'll look into it and see what the best prices are for your relative area, dependability, reliability, and light on mileage and use. I'll let you know tomorrow, because I I can't do anything today.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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