Used (or new) Car Advice

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ElMonoDelMar, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. ElMonoDelMar

    ElMonoDelMar Senior member

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    I had a guy pull out in front of me over the weekend, so now I'm in need of a new car. In the past, I've always bought used beaters (<$10k). Now that I've got a decent job and spend a lot more time in my car, I'd like to get something a bit nicer. I thought I'd post what I'm looking for and see if The Garage can steer me in the right direction. I know a lot of the decision is going to come down to personal tastes and how the car fits me, but I would like to get an idea of what I should be out driving to find the one that fits me best.

    Budget: ~$20k
    Model Year Range: 2010-2013 (I don't like the idea of buying new, but if there are some steals out there on new 2013 models, I would consider it.)
    Yearly Mileage Driven: 45k (Mostly highway so fuel efficiency is a major plus)
    MPG: 30+ (I will be using this car for work and I am reimbursed for every mile I drive. The better MPG I get, the more money I can pocket from my mileage reimbursement.)
    Size: Not too picky on this, but I am 6'2" and 235lbs so the inside has to at least feel roomy even if it is a smaller car.
    Trans: No preference. Last car was a manual and I enjoyed driving it, but I know that autos are easier to come by in the used car market.
    Cargo Space: Not really an issue. Extra space would be nice, but I know that's hard to come by with high fuel economy.
    Must Have Options: Leather Seats, Sirius/XM Radio, All-Metal Wheels (no plastic hub caps - I think they look tacky as hell), power windows/locks, remote keyless entry, AC, cruise control...the usual stuff.
    Nice to Have Options: Keyless ignition, bluetooth, 2 12V outlets accessible from the front seat

    I really like the Jetta TDI wagon, but those are hard to come by in my price range without going over 60,000 miles. :(
     
  2. Mermaidman

    Mermaidman Diamond Member

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    2012 Chevy Impala. Even the base model has alloy wheels and a 300 HP engine! On paper, highway 30 MPG. Great highway cruiser, very roomy for a tall guy like you.

    You're driving 45,000 miles a year, and depreciation is going to hit you bad, so I think you should avoid a car that would otherwise not depreciate as fast. Not a factor with the Impala ;)
     
  3. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Jesus, 45k miles annually?

    This isn't even a hard choice, Prius or Jetta TDI.
     
  4. A5

    A5 Diamond Member

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    If you find a dealer with 2012 stock left, you could probably get a new Mazda 3i GT sedan for $20k (Truecar is showing $19,962). It would have everything you want except keyless ignition and Sirius/XM ($400 option). Assuming you fit in it, 40 MPG highway is the best you're going to do outside of a diesel. You probably don't want one from 2011 or earlier because the pre-SkyActiv models get pretty bad mileage.

    A used Golf TDI would probably work too, but I don't know how the pricing runs on those.
     
    #4 A5, Nov 11, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  5. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    Worst. Car. Advice. Ever.

    Also not sure if serious. Haven't you driven the Chevrolet Rentalcar?
     
  6. SandEagle

    SandEagle Lifer

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    2013 Honda Civic
    or
    2013 Nissan Altima
     
  7. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    Get a cheap anemic hybrid or diesel for your needs. You sound like you need something that isn't going to break the bank on fuel, and those are your best bet. Small, weak, boring, but it's what you need.
     
  8. Dr. Detroit

    Dr. Detroit Diamond Member

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    Easy choice - Used Prius or VW TDI (Golf, Jetta, Passat)

    I'd go TDI over Prius, at 45K miles a year the batteries in the Prius could become a serious issue. Plus the TDI excels at freeway cruising while the Prius gets better mpg in city routes.
     
  9. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

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    Prius battery life is a non issue, proven by many of them that are quite old.

    Op get a Prius!
     
  10. ElMonoDelMar

    ElMonoDelMar Senior member

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    I can't find gently used Jetta TDIs for my price range, otherwise I would be all over that. Also, I don't fit in the Golf. My old Cavalier felt like it had more room around my knees. I think the center console sort of juts out into the driver's side a bit.

    I will check out the Civics to see what they run but I would be surprised if I could afford a 2013.

    How about smaller cars from the Big 5? Any of those worth investigating?

    EDIT:
    Yup, new Civic is off the list. The lowest trim package that offers leather is going to run me right around $20k before taxes and fees.
     
    #10 ElMonoDelMar, Nov 11, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  11. Dr. Detroit

    Dr. Detroit Diamond Member

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  12. Jumpem

    Jumpem Lifer

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  13. ElMonoDelMar

    ElMonoDelMar Senior member

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  14. Mermaidman

    Mermaidman Diamond Member

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    Many times! I speak from experience. You cannot argue that it does not fit the OP's criteria. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Oh hell yeah! The Impala is one of the best cars ever made! I drove an Audi S5 the other day for a few hours, and it was a pathetic experience after already having driven the current-gen Impala! It really does make you think that every car should be FWD, it's that good! Also I bet if you drove it correctly, you could get 45-50MPG! But it's hard to do that, the engine and transmission and suspension are so good, I constantly race when I drive an Impala! I don't know what the car mags are thinking, but I think they handle at least as good as the Z06 Vette does!

    :)
     
  16. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    60k miles is barely anything on a gas engine. 60k miles on a diesel might as well be brand new.
     
  17. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Member

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    GAWD! Not the Impala. The Merc dealer was out of loaners so I got one of the "nicer" Impala's. What a fuckin piece of shit that car was. My Merc with almost 100k, not only was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY faster, it handled better, was quieter and even had more creature comforts. What a hunk of shit that Impala was. I'd never recommend it to anyone.
    Pretty much. Chevy's make really bad cars IMO.
    ^this.
     
  18. Vic Vega

    Vic Vega Diamond Member

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    The 2012 Impala I rented did in fact go like stink and do 30+ on the highway. Beyond that, it's the most terrible car I have driven in the last decade. The good news, they're cheap as a new model is coming. The bad news, the car is terrible.
     
  19. Vic Vega

    Vic Vega Diamond Member

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  20. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    It's not all Chevy or GM vehicles. Not that I'm much of a fan.

    But the Impala is truly terrible in a way than can hardly be conceived. Utterly dead steering, a hard brake pedal with no feel, and a similarly oversprung gas pedal with programming that would make those who complain about TBW piss their pants with glee.

    The thing is a complete paradox. All the driver inputs are heavy and tiresome yet imprecise and unpredictable.

    I rank the Aveo and Cobalt above the Impala. At least I feel in control of them when I'm driving.
     
  21. Vic Vega

    Vic Vega Diamond Member

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    The Malibu is simply an outstanding car by any measurement and anyone who has driven one knows that, I've had a bunch of Malibu rentals, they're great. How can the same company make a turd like the Impala? Hard to understand indeed.
     
  22. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    I didn't exactly think the Malibu was great. But lightyears ahead of the Impala...basically, it's like someone cornered some engineers, gave them the Impala, and said 'make this not drive like shit.'

    '...and also, make the interior look less like something someone would die of natural causes in.'
     
  23. ElMonoDelMar

    ElMonoDelMar Senior member

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    So give the Malibu a shot or no?
     
  24. leper84

    leper84 Senior member

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    Malibu is alright... The first couple model years of the latest body style were pretty terrible but I don't see them breaking too much lately. Its a decent looking car until you spend more than 10 minutes in it and realize everything is still that GM cheap-shit horrible fitting plastic just prettied up some. From my experience they don't exactly get that great of mileage either. The good thing is they still have horrible, horrible resale value so you can get a hell of a deal if you look right.

    I would try something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Seda...2970651?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item257729139b

    or even better this

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2012...9416363?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item43b5978aab
     
  25. ElMonoDelMar

    ElMonoDelMar Senior member

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    I will go test out a focus today to make sure I fit. I do like the look of them. A Fusion would be nice if I could find a gently used one in my price range near Central IL.