Pimp my ride

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Pimp my ride

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:51 am

Friends,

My old 2001 Honda Accord has served me well, but I think it's time to get something with better gas mileage. I drive 47 miles a day to work and back, which ends up being around $7 in gas each day. Major bummer. I'm also sitting around 165,000 miles, so probably getting to be about that time.

I know next to nothing about cars, and I know many people on this board do! Any suggestions on where to start? Nothing is really off the table at this point.

Things I care about
Fuel Economy
Price/Maintenance Cost/Insurance Cost
Practicality
Safety
Comfort

Things I don't care about
Style
Room
Horsepower

I'm very much looking for a day-to-day vehicle that gets met from A to B efficiently. I don't know how to drive a manual transmission, fwiw.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Merk » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:13 pm

You can't go wrong with a Chevy Volt!
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:23 pm

Merk wrote:You can't go wrong with a Chevy Volt!
But Merk, you goofball, that's the car my girlfriend drives!
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by SoDeepPolaris » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:51 am

Don't buy new.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by MonMotha » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:24 am

If you're really looking to save on operating costs and just have the commute to worry about, I think you're barely within the range of a Leaf, and those are "reasonably" priced. The Volt is also a real option, but you'll still have the maintenance hassles of the ICE since it's not full-electric, at which point you may as well consider one of the plug-in varieties of the Prius, too.

The Tesla S would of course handily have the range, but I doubt you're really looking to spend that kind of cash.

If you want a conventional ICE, a lot of people I know are liking Mazdas these days. A Mazda 3 with the smaller (1.8L on the older model years, dunno on the current ones) engine can push 35-40MPG at modest highway speeds (55-60), and the new GDI "Skyactive" engine should be able to do even better. I think they may be offering a 6-speed automatic, now, which is nice for you since you don't want a manual. The CX-5 does well enough and has plenty of cargo space, if you want something "practical" in that regard as a single vehicle. The Mazda 3 is also available as a hatchback wagon.

Regarding the other major Japanese makes, I had an old Camry that I loved, but I don't really like the new Toyotas. They have too much "technology" and pointless body styling and not enough car. I dunno much about Honda or Mitsubishi, these days.

I can't say I'm up on modern American makes, though I hear they're much better than the shitboxes they were putting out a decade ago.

European (mostly that's going to mean German with the notable exception of Volvo) cars can do well, but watch out for the maintenance costs due to esoteric parts, even on something as seemingly common as a VW. The luxury brands are also pushing lots of comparatively pointless "technology" that's half obsolete by the time you buy the car, let alone 5-10 years from now when you might actually consider replacing it, and at exorbitant prices to boot. Mercedes is especially bad about this. I know you can still get a "car" from BMW, at least in the 3-series and 1-series, but good luck finding it on the lot; they'll mostly have stuff with all the pointless options since they make better margins on those. You can get most European cars in a wagon form for some extra cargo space and ease of access, and you take almost no hit on the fuel economy in doing so.

In general, the above applies to both new and late-model used stuff. If you're going older, more than ~5 years, YMMV (see what I did there?).
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Potter » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:01 pm

SoDeepPolaris wrote:Don't buy new.
Riot wrote:My hair alone is like 5mb.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:17 pm

Just curious, why not buy new?

Brandon: Thanks for the reply. Been a busy work day, but I'll go through it in more detail later.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Ho » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:39 pm

You pay a premium for new in that you lose a huge portion of the value of the car driving it off the lot that first time. If someone has already done that (i.e. used car), then that person has taken that hit for you. So, basically, you can get a lot more car for your money buying used...even if it's only used by like a year or two (as in a lease turnback or something like that).

On the flip side, buying new usually gets you much more aggressive financing and/or incentives and a better and/or longer warranty. You are also the first and only owner, so no one has potentially abused the car before you. Although buying from a reputable source and/or having the car checked independently before you buy would hopefully catch this condition.

There is also the intangible feeling of just having a new car. However, based on how you've presented your search criteria, this may be completely unimportant to you.

For the record, the last 4 car purchases I've been a part of have all been brand new. So, while I understand and do not necessarily disagree with reasons to not buy new, I've still chosen to do so anyway.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Potter » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:17 pm

Potter wrote:
SoDeepPolaris wrote:Don't buy new.
Riot wrote:My hair alone is like 5mb.
Merk wrote:Badyyyyy.. wanna go fiiiish? wanna go.... fiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIsh?? Wanna go fishin'?!?!?! Him's a Badyyyy

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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by MonMotha » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:14 am

In general, the only reason to consider new is if you REALLY want that new car smell or you want some obscure combination of options that is very rare or commands an inordinate price premium (thereby erasing some of the cost benefit) on the used market.

The automakers have at least attempted to address the immediate depreciation factor. Many are now offering no-charge maintenance on top of fairly generous warranties making buying a new car less risky in terms of unexpected and potentially large repair and maintenance costs of used vehicles, and the financing offers can be super aggressive - you can sometimes find 0% for 5 years! You still will generally save substantial money going used, but no longer so much at the 1-2yr mark (though sometimes you can get good deals off-lease) but really pushing more toward the 3-5yr old mark once that's all factored in vs. new. This does depend highly on the make (warranty/maintenance/financing terms) and model (used market), options, condition, etc.

There have also been some amazing advances in fuel economy even over the past few years. You obviously won't get those on the used market, since you'll generally be buying things that are at least a couple years old, so that may drive you to buy new since fuel economy seems to be a major factor in your decision. You might also consider a diesel. These are generally hard to find used (and not easy new). They will get pretty amazing fuel economy, and they tend to be torque happy, if that's your thing. Most filling stations have auto diesel these days.

If you plan to keep the car a LONG time, 7-10 years or longer, you can probably justify buying new even economically. This has historically been how my family operates, for example (the '84 Camry is still in the family - 1 owner!) You'll easily handle the depreciation over that term and be no worse off than if you'd bought several semi-junkers, and you can get exactly what you want, in new condition with excellent warranties, etc. If you only plan to keep it for maybe 5 years, you should probably look at the "previously owned" market, probably 2-3 years old. If you only want it for 1-3 years, you might actually be better off leasing.

If you are going to buy used and don't plan to pay cash, it often pays to work out financing with a local financial institution beforehand. You won't get the super-promo financing deals on used cars, even from a dealer of the same make.

FWIW, I've had my car going on 7 years now, and it was about 5 years old when I got it. I actually got it from the dealer off their used lot. They had all the maintenance records, only one previous owner, and it was in pretty good shape. It certainly hasn't been maintenance-free, but getting it for well less than half of what it cost new has made owning a premium vehicle far more affordable over the long run, probably no worse than a new low-to-mid-range sedan, and I still get to enjoy the nice car.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Ho » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:48 am

FWIW, I've had my car for over 10 years and I should be rolling 205,000 miles today. I don't feel bad about having purchased new.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Merk » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:43 am

While were on the topic of cars, how much of a fucking should I prepare myself for? My car is about to hit 110k miles and I've had no real problems. I get the oil changed every 5,000 miles and the only maintenance that I've had to do is get new tires, change out the battery, and get body damaged repaired due to a hail storm earlier this year. I am so neurotic that I'm convinced that my car is going to die or have to have some sort of major repair any second now since I've gone this long without having to fix something.

I guess my question is, when does shit start to break on a 2007 Toyota Camry XLE?
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Potter » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:14 pm

you have a long while. my first car, a piece of shit 1990 vw, didn't start giving me issues until 230k, and even then it was little things, mostly electrical. if you've serviced it regularly and not driven it hard every day then 100k+ miles is nothing
Riot wrote:My hair alone is like 5mb.
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:14 am

Here's the current list of cars to check out:

Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic
Honda Fit
Mazda 3 sport
Subaru Impreza 2.0i
Subaru Legacy 2.5i
Nissan Juke
Honda CR-V

I know a few have already been mentioned in this thread, but I'd like to hear thoughts from anyone that owned or knows someone who owned one of these. Do any particularly stand out? Are any of these crapo?
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Re: Pimp my ride

Post by Merk » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:17 am

What is your budget?

Comedy option is the Nissan Juke! Doe-doe-doe-don't stop it yeah! do it from the back! yeah! do it from the back! yeah! doe-doe-doedoe-doe-doedoe *clap* do it from the *clap* ay all my jukers in the club awwwwwWWWWW yeah!
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