Last post on Dec 05, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#2390 of 3637 Re: Please help me buy a car for $25k [twitchhd]
Sep 22, 2011 (6:47 pm)
If I had to pick one of these, probably the Sonata SE, although I like the Fusion too. But if I were you, before plunking down $25k on a car, I'd drive others in this class, including the Optima (has advantages over the Sonata IMO), Mazda6, Accord, Passat, and (available very soon) 2012 Camry. With quiet/comfy ride a key criterion, you might really like the Passat and Camry in particular. Might be hard to get a new Camry or Passat with nav for under $25k, but could you live with aftermarket nav?
The Elantra is in a completely different class. If it meets your needs, great, you'll save a few thousand, but the same could be said for cars like the Cruze and Focus.
#2391 of 3637 Recommend a car in the mid $20k range for a techie
Sep 23, 2011 (4:31 am)
I did goto the Toyota dealership and looked at the camry briefly, just not very interesting. The 0% financing on it is great though. The lack of technology isn't very enticing either. I have aftermarket nav on my current Audi and use it only during unplanned times. It does crash and leave me in the middle of nowhere with no where to turn. A terrible feeling. The radio reception is terrible, even with hd radio. I used to have a mazda 6, and never grew fond of it. Dad has the accord. audi and VW, trying to stay away from. Haven't looked at the optima. Will take a look. Thanks.
EDIT: From consumer reports on the kia optima : Lows - Ride, road noise.
I suspect it is hard to step down from an audi to a more affordable car yet still retain some of the benefits of an audi. The elantra/sonata comes very close, except for the weak engine. The SE trim on sonata is notorious for road noise.
#2392 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mattsk42]
Sep 23, 2011 (8:28 am)
Subaru Forester 2.5XT. Turbocharged with 220hp or thereabouts, under 7-second 0-60 times. Not sure about reliability because of the turbo, but Subes generally are among the more dependable brands.
Not much else will have this combination of power, 4WD and affordability. They've been making them since 2003, but even so they might be hard to find because they're just aren't that many of them around. You'll notice them by the scoop on the hood.
#2393 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mr_gone]
Sep 23, 2011 (10:24 am)
Well, not sure why you would just limit to the Forester in that case. Legacy GT or even WRX would qualify, too.
However, and this is why I asked if we're talking automatic or stick, I wouldn't suggest a turbo subary with an automatic, personally.
#2394 of 3637 Re: Recommend a car in the mid $20k range for a techie [twitchhd]
Sep 23, 2011 (6:59 pm)
This was the 2012 (all-new) Camry you saw? I didn't think they were at dealers quite yet.
The Legacy has a smooth ride also, since that seems to be your chief criterion. And they are pretty reliable.
200 hp is a "weak engine"? Then you must be looking for a V6. That will be hard to do in a new mid-sized car with the equipment you want.
#2395 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mattsk42]
Sep 24, 2011 (2:01 am)
If I was shopping within your parameters, there are three cars that would make it on my short list-
2008-2009 Nissan Altima 3.5SE (Coupe or Sedan)
2009-2010 Mazda6 s Touring/Grand Touring
2008-2009 Subaru Legacy 3.0R
All of them are fast (0-60 in the low 6-second range or below), reliable (rated above average by Consumer Reports for reliability) and you can find them for around $20k with under 50k miles.
The Altima will be the most plentiful and easy to locate. The only thing I don't like about it is the CVT (rather than a conventional automatic transmission). But that's a personal preference and they sell like hotcakes anyway. It would be hard to go wrong with one of these.
My personal favorite would be the 2009-2010 Mazda6 s. It's the best looking (inside and out), best handling and most fun to drive of the bunch. It also has a sweet 272hp 3.7L V6 (courtesy of Ford) that pulls like a locomotive! =)
The Subie is also a great car, but harder to find. It has standard AWD and a probably the nicest interior of the bunch.
Hope this helps....good luck!
#2396 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mattsk42]
Sep 24, 2011 (6:22 am)
You are basically looking at a full size, overbuilt car. GM or Ford, due to the price range and the desire for a higher power engine.
Front wheel drive...
The best car for you is to get a Buick Lucerne CXS, used.
It's as reliable as a tank, it's quick enough (Northstar V8 in it), and repairs are much much less than on a typical import. The suspension is also lifted from a Corvette (CXS model only), so it handles quite well. Prices are quite reasonable and if you get a low mileage one, it'll last ten years quite easily. The transmission on the first two years is also the older more reliable (and dirt cheap to fix) 4 speed automatic. With a V8 behind it, you don't need 5 or 6 gears as there's plenty of torque.
A second choice would be the Cadillac DTS, which is the softer suspension model of the same thing, basically. These can be had for well under $20K, used. These are basically a front wheel drive version of a police car, but without the stigma and ugly looks.
Note #1 - this coming from the most knowledgeable transmission person I know of in all of Los Angeles: The most reliable transmissions in the world (for passenger cars) are made by GM. The lowest cost and most reliable model from GM is the plain vanilla 4 speed automatic that they used for 20+ years in multiple cars. He's also the only person I know of who correctly identified the actual design problem with the Honda Odyssey's transmission, because he repairs them all the time. Yes, he's the guy everyone in the San Gabriel Valley (So Cal region) sends their transmissions to get rebuilt instead of replaced.
Note #2 - If you asked for a list of the most reliable engines in the world made in the last 20 years, from any actual automotive engineer, the Northstar V8 would be in the top five. The GM 3800 series would also be in the top ten of all time.
The key to reliability long-term is to choose a good engine, and reliable transmission, and to buy something that is overbuilt so that you barely stress it while driving it.
My dad's similar V6 powered Park Avenue Ultra is going on 16 years now. He did have to have the original transmission replaced at 15 years old (solenoids gave out, not actual wear). $1600. Hardly anything has gone wrong with it aside from minor crap like the power antenna and normal maintainance items that fail like water pumps and starters and so on as it got over ten years old and well over 100K miles.
Same story with most GM full-size cars. Big, last forever, and while the looks aren't great, the cars are very reasonable to own. The good thing about the Lucerne CXS and Cadillacs, though, is that the suspension is a lot better than a typical rental car. Also, the rental companies boughty exactly zero CXS models as they were $35K+ new.
Certified, $20K. Same story with the DTS - tons and tons of examples under $20K.
#2397 of 3637 $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles
Sep 24, 2011 (9:38 am)
Looking for a car for 17 year old son. The wrinkle is he'll be putting ~ 500 miles a week (20-25k/yr). This is 2/3 Highway 1/3 Country roads in Ohio Snowbelt. "Beater" sounds good in theory, but we also need safe in this case...and the beaters I'm seeing ain't lookin' too safe. Given the miles involved, a high mpg would be great, but we'll give that up over safety & price if necessary. Was hoping for $5-$6k. Any ideas?
#2398 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [podunk1]
Sep 24, 2011 (9:55 am)
Probably my best suggestion is a Mazda Protege. Much much cheaper than the Hondyota equivalents and just as reliable. FWD takes care of the snow problem with good tires. Should be able to score one with quite low miles in your price range.
#2399 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [podunk1]
Sep 24, 2011 (9:56 am)
Can't get much for under $6k these days. If you want something with good fuel economy, one idea is a Saturn SL or SC. The steel cage construction is good for crash safety (for a small car), and you can find them under $6k with a lot of life left. If you can find a Protege in good condition, that would make a nice car for a teen also.
If you don't mind something bigger (more gas), you could look for something like a Taurus or Century or Malibu. Not exciting, but pretty safe and lots of them around for under $6k.