Car suggestion for parents

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
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508
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Need it by this weekend. Old trusty 96 camry gave up the ghost.

got off the phone with the mechanic, blown engine, said there's a hole in the engine block.

Actually got to see it the other day. there's a golf ball sized hole right below the oil filter. Looked up the 5sfe with this similar issue and i've seen another instance or two where this failure happened. It's been very well maintained over the years so i'm surprised, but maybe not since it's a 20 year old car.

Requirement
4 doors, good on gas, doesn't need to be sporty, reliable, less than $15k. Will go up to 5yrs old but maybe more.
Awd preferred but not necessary.
They are still not sure what they want in their next car. my dad mentioned that he may want to sell this car in a few years when he retires. Thoughts?


my dad says budget is 15K give or take. prefer to stay on the low side of that obviously. mom "wouldn't mind" a luxury make.
contenders are a 07+ Lexus ES, high mileage 2011 CT, or 2010+ honda CRV. all can be had below 15K.
my requirement for them - no timing belt engines, since at their budget everything will be high mileage and would require a timing belt in the near future.

Rationale:

ct200h - basically the size of the 96 camry and what they are used to in size. but great gas mileage which is one of the things they want. a 2011+ prius is just as expensive as a higher mileage CT.

2008 es350 - this is the traditional 3 box car that the 96 camry was, although it's much bigger. it'd be very familar to them a camry/accord would be considered if there was a nice cheaper one. 2014+ mazda 6's and 2012+ mazda 3's are way too expensive still

2010 crv LX - i think a suv would be the best choice for them since they are older (based on everyone here's experience with older folks and suvs), but they are resistant to change. they liked it when i showed them a newer one yesterday. its up to them to test drive it to see if they can live with it or not.
 
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DarkManX

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2000
3,796
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there are litereally dozens of options that fit your vague criteria.

Maxima, CTS, ATS, G37, Acura TL, Fusion
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
9,133
5,072
136
Need it by this weekend. Old trusty 96 camry gave up the ghost

Requirement
4 doors, good on gas, doesn't need to be sporty, reliable, less than $30k. Will go up to 5yrs old but maybe more.
Awd preferred but not necessary.
They were very vague with what they were willing to spendand what they wanted

I think an older lexus gs350 would check off those things while being entertaining (for me, ha). My parents would probably not use premium gas ever though. Mazda 6, accord, legacy are also what comes to mind. Wish I had more time to research. Thoughts?

Age of parents? Retired?
Don't buy a car for YOU. Buy one that suits their needs\income.
All the power in the world isn't going to matter if you drive speed limit.
All the tech in the world isn't going to matter if your parents have flip phones and just want to listen the station they have their radio set to at home.
Is of use, good on gas and comfortable.

Camry XLE with the 4 banger will tick off all the right check marks.
Mazda 6 is also a solid choice as well as the Accord.
If they are in the Snow belt then check the Legacy.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,901
508
126
Age of parents? Retired?
Don't buy a car for YOU. Buy one that suits their needs\income.
All the power in the world isn't going to matter if you drive speed limit.
All the tech in the world isn't going to matter if your parents have flip phones and just want to listen the station they have their radio set to at home.
Is of use, good on gas and comfortable.

Camry XLE with the 4 banger will tick off all the right check marks.
Mazda 6 is also a solid choice as well as the Accord.
If they are in the Snow belt then check the Legacy.


parents are 70. all cars nowadays have tons of tech in them that they will never use. they just want safe, comfortable and reliable. I don't think they would go down to a compact size. I know camry is a good choice, just trying to find ideas something that isn't a camry. the recent ones i've driven are really meh.

There's a very clean looking acura RL at a nearby dealership for 10K at 100K miles, that checks off pretty much every thing on the list my dad wants. Just hope he's comfortable with something at 100K.
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,445
126
Adding AWD shortens the recommendation list a bit.

I'd recommend a Subaru Legacy. Under $30K, reliable, not too sporty or overly complicated to use.

They'll probably end up getting a new Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, though.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
How old are your folks? I convinced mine (79/66) to buy a CR-V instead of a sedan mainly because of easier ingress/egress. It's hard to climb out of low sedans as you get older.

Plus, its about a foot shorter than a midsize sedan which makes parking and maneuvering easier too.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,901
508
126
How old are your folks? I convinced mine (79/66) to buy a CR-V instead of a sedan mainly because of easier ingress/egress. It's hard to climb out of low sedans as you get older.

Plus, its about a foot shorter than a midsize sedan which makes parking and maneuvering easier too.


For whatever reason they are against SUV's, think they use too much gas. i tried to tell them that a CRV is almost as efficient as an accord these days... I tried to get them in one too. We'll see what happens when i talk to them tonight
 

razel

Platinum Member
May 14, 2002
2,337
90
101
If you are doing the selling, I'd tow it back to your own place. I wouldn't want to stress my 70-ish folks out with scheduling people coming to take a look. If it has a blown engine, I'd consider having insurance pay it out Yes, your/their rate will go up a bit, but call them up and do the math, it could be still worth it. 20 year old car that needs to be towed is worth $500-$1000. $500 is junk car rate or was in CA years ago. If you are good with cars you can absolutely part it out for much more, but that becomes your hobby for half a year. :)

Reliable under 15k would definitely have to be used. New car + tax, registration and it's realistically 13k for an new econobox. There is little joy with an econobox, unless it's manual :)
 
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NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
For whatever reason they are against SUV's, think they use too much gas. i tried to tell them that a CRV is almost as efficient as an accord these days... I tried to get them in one too. We'll see what happens when i talk to them tonight
Yeah, the CR-V really does get amazing mileage now that they switched to the CVT drivetrain like the Accord.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
9,133
5,072
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parents are 70. all cars nowadays have tons of tech in them that they will never use. they just want safe, comfortable and reliable. I don't think they would go down to a compact size. I know camry is a good choice, just trying to find ideas something that isn't a camry. the recent ones i've driven are really meh.

There's a very clean looking acura RL at a nearby dealership for 10K at 100K miles, that checks off pretty much every thing on the list my dad wants. Just hope he's comfortable with something at 100K.

My vote is stop shopping for "you" and shop for them.
This may be the last car they ever buy.
Low cost of maintenance, good on gas, bullet proof and cheap to ensure.
Camry with the 2.5 hits all the check boxes. Brand new XLE meets all their requirements.
Accord 4banger or Mazda6 as well.

Pick the one that your folks feel the most comfortable sitting in
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
evident has a very valid point. For example, any trim higher than a base model CR-V would have meant a touch screen radio. Talk about a disaster in the making for my folks. Now, maybe his folks are more tech savvy than mine but only he knows.
 

TridenT

Lifer
Sep 4, 2006
16,810
45
91
Get another Camry and be done with it. It's clear that you're shopping for yourself and not them. If they were cool with having that old Camry then they'll be good with having a new one.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
9,133
5,072
136
There's a very clean looking acura RL at a nearby dealership for 10K at 100K miles, that checks off pretty much every thing on the list my dad wants. Just hope he's comfortable with something at 100K.

Honda V6's and automatic are best bought new and meticulously maintained by owners. Otherwise you better be ready to replace the transmission once you pass the 100K mark.
I would do major research if you are going to go the RL route.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,901
508
126
Get another Camry and be done with it. It's clear that you're shopping for yourself and not them. If they were cool with having that old Camry then they'll be good with having a new one.


no but sort of... camry would be an easy choice and sure we'll go look at some, but theres better stuff out there too that they'd be willing to drive. we'd get an accord before a camry to be honest. my mom has the 05 V6 accord and loves it and im sure my dad would like the 2013.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,459
854
126
evident has a very valid point. For example, any trim higher than a base model CR-V would have meant a touch screen radio. Talk about a disaster in the making for my folks. Now, maybe his folks are more tech savvy than mine but only he knows.

I almost NEVER use the touch screen in my Camry Hybrid XLE. You can control all the functions of the radio from the steering wheel. I can change source, scroll through channels/music playlists, adjust volume. I can also make phone calls using the buttons on the steering wheel and voice commands. The only reason I use the touchscreen is for navigation and I do that when stopped. It is pretty easy to use but you can't punch in address while driving.

Pretty comfy car and a great commuter and great on gas. 51,000 trouble free miles so far. Only thing I've done is put tires on it and routine maintenance.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
58,133
12,316
136
update:
got off the phone with the mechanic, blown engine, said there's a hole in the engine block and that it's a common issue with these cars after all these years. It's been very well maintained over the years so i'm surprised, but maybe not since it's a 20 year old car.
I know I'd be surprised. A hole in the engine block isn't normally the sort of thing that just "happens", AFAIK. Holes in the exhaust manifold, sure. But that's not really a major issue like a hole in the block would be.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
I almost NEVER use the touch screen in my Camry Hybrid XLE. You can control all the functions of the radio from the steering wheel. I can change source, scroll through channels/music playlists, adjust volume. I can also make phone calls using the buttons on the steering wheel and voice commands. The only reason I use the touchscreen is for navigation and I do that when stopped. It is pretty easy to use but you can't punch in address while driving.

Pretty comfy car and a great commuter and great on gas. 51,000 trouble free miles so far. Only thing I've done is put tires on it and routine maintenance.
You're not old (enough) and/or intimidated by tech so therefore you are not a valid data point :)
 

Knavish

Senior member
May 17, 2002
910
3
81
If your parents were satisfied with a 20 year old camry then why would they want to spend extra on a luxury brand (Lexus)? It would be much wiser to spend the $$$ on lower mileage / newer Toyota or Honda.

Also (as NutBucket mentioned), a small SUV is taller and makes it much easier for people over ~65 to get in and out of the car. Try the CRV, RAV4, or Escape. If you're *really* set on getting them into a luxury brand then get an Acura RDX.

Also, that Acura RL you mentioned could easily be a money pit if they try to keep it for the long term. Everyone knows that high-end luxury models depreciate fast but still come with luxury-level repairs bills.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,901
508
126
If your parents were satisfied with a 20 year old camry then why would they want to spend extra on a luxury brand (Lexus)? It would be much wiser to spend the $$$ on lower mileage / newer Toyota or Honda.

a friggin 2005 Camry is selling for $10K still. a ES350 isn't that much more.
My mom wouldn't mind a higher end vehicle. my dad wants something as cheap as possible. he doesn't think he'll keep this vehicle for long especially if they retire across the country. They are still all over the place. i'm sort of leaning towards my dad's desire for a cheaper high mileage toyota (or lexus) given his needs. it has already depreciated enough, he can resell it in a few years without much hit because he probably puts on 300 miles in a month.


Also (as NutBucket mentioned), a small SUV is taller and makes it much easier for people over ~65 to get in and out of the car. Try the CRV, RAV4, or Escape. If you're *really* set on getting them into a luxury brand then get an Acura RDX.
They actually like the CRV now, but prices are ludicrous. a high mileage 2007 CRV EXL in my area goes for like 15K.

Also, that Acura RL you mentioned could easily be a money pit if they try to keep it for the long term. Everyone knows that high-end luxury models depreciate fast but still come with luxury-level repairs bills.
agreed. don't think that RL would be the best choice. they also like a higher mileage ES350 and CT200h right now.


so far i realized that shopping for my parents is much harder and frustrating than shopping for myself. i usually know exactly what i want, and go for it. for them, they have no clear wants and needs besides basic transportation,but oh hey maybe a luxury brand, but oh hey awd would be nice, and back up camera would be nice too! oh and no white color.... good grief
 
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NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
Just buy a new CR-V. Low 20's for an LX and as you see depreciation is non-existent.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,901
508
126
mom was obsessed with the 07 ES350 w/ 80K miles for $13K. CT was sold by hte time we got there... going to test drive a few more cars before settling