Last post on May 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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
#429 of 3287 Can anyone help me ?!!
Jul 26, 2002 (5:04 pm)
I am looking for a new car (2002 or 2003?? -- even
considering 2001-maybe lower monthly payments!?)
I have a 1997 Grand Am (final payment next month!!)-nice car but having a few problems with it, especially lately. Therefore, I've put all GM cars on the back burner, even though I like the Oldsmobile Alero, but V6 has rather steep monthly payments even with 1.9% financing (5 yrs.)
I've "narrowed it down" to 4 cars (first time looking at foreign models!!):
-Honda Accord SE (4 cyl. or 6--monthly payments a little too high for the 6, but worried about winter road handling with 4 cyl.)--4.8% financing (5yrs.)
-Chrysler Sebring (V6)-nice car but not as many options as Honda (2.8% for 5 yrs.)
-Dodge Intrepid (V6)-rather big, but handles well and great financing (0% for 5 yrs.)
-Nissan Maxima-heard a lot of good things about it, but didn't visit this dealer yet--don't know prices or available financing.
Bottom line: I want a good, reliable car (that won't start breaking down a few months after purchase), around the same size as Grand Am or little smaller, starts well in winter, handles well on winter roads and reasonably priced!
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all.
#430 of 3287 Silvercrown
Jul 26, 2002 (6:22 pm)
You might want to look at the Sentra. They tend to be bulletproof relieable, last forever and can be fun to drive with the right setup. The Altima is getting so much attention that the Nissan dealers might be willing to deal on the more neglected and posssibly slow moving Sentras. Those Nissan engines are something.
Insurance. Try four or five different companies. Some penalize the Pro. because previously it was considered more of a hot rod than the civic or Sentra (It had a 1.8L, while the civic and sentra had 1.5l-1.6l engines). The civic is a bit more expensive to repair and tends to be popular with thieves, so some agents will penalize it. If insurance cost is a biggie, you might find that the sentra is a sleeper here. Because of its rather dull image, some agents might not realize that some versions are hot.
Another fun-to-drive car would be a used subaru impreza. You get AWD good handling and comfort, but smallish trunk. Buying used would make all of the other cars more economical as well (financing and insuring).
good luck in whatever you choose.
Jul 26, 2002 (7:42 pm)
Your Grand Am is considered a compact car at 186". The Accord-189", Sebring-191", and Maxima-192" are considered midsize. The Intrepid-204" is full size. The main imports in your size range would be a Subaru Legacy-184" or a VW Passat-185". Smaller, would be subcompacts: Honda Civic, Mazda Protege, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra and Subaru Imprezza (all 174-178" and thousands cheaper with similar room, but less power than the mid and fullsize models).
If you want looks, go with the Sebring or Intrepid. If you want reliability go with the Accord or Maxima. Power is a tossup with a slight edge to the Maxima in base form and the Accord bringing up the rear. All will be fine in the winter, but if you are obsessed about winter (and willing to pay just a little more for the peace of mind) buy one of the Subarus (great winter grip with standard awd, well equipped, but with standard 4 banger engines in the econo price range)
Have fun test driving them all.
BTW, I strongly recommend you give the Chevy Impala a look. Its reliable, well equipped, great power and handling, good financing terms, huge trunk and its only 200" (Its considered a midsize). A lot of car for the money. Its not the best looker, but it grows on you. You might decide to give GM a second chance.:.)
You can find good deals on any of these, just remember that if you want the lowest possible price, you probably won't get all of the features,the biggest engine or biggest car.
Jul 26, 2002 (10:23 pm)
Civic and Sentra are hardly 'subcompacts.' The Civic has grown so much!
silvercrown, I said the A-Plan was worthless if you're looking to buy a nice, sporty, reliable, good-looking, value-packed car. The S-Plan is different; Mazda is always a consideration! >
Jul 27, 2002 (5:41 am)
Hydra has given you some good information and I would just like to add my opinion. The Chrysler and Dodge are attractive, but I wouldn't choose them because of maintenance issues (I own a Durango). The Accord and Max are very good vehicles that are both having fire sales right now because new models are coming out. What am I getting at? Based on your recommendations and the prices being offered right now, I would look at 1) Accord 2) Maxima 3) Subaru Impreza
#434 of 3287 check out the Altima, too, ritav
Jul 27, 2002 (7:17 am)
If you're careful not to check off too many options, the Altima can be a good deal. They're nice looking, roomy and powerful. If you skip the V6, Altimas can be bought for under $20k.
Jul 27, 2002 (7:42 am)
Get the Accord. Now is a good time to buy the 2002 since the newly-designed 2003 will be out in September. It will have several improvements. If you wanted to wait for it, the price will be higher for the first several months than the 2002. The 4 is fine for normal driving and also for winter driving. The 2002 is one of the very best cars for all-around driving according to "Consumer Reports" and others. The Nissan will be more money and not nearly as economical. The new and bigger 6 is not as efficient as the older 6. I hope this helps you.
Go to http://www.auto.com This site (front page) has a picture and an article on the new 2003 Accord.
#436 of 3287 Thank you all so much!
Jul 27, 2002 (2:38 pm)
I appreciate all your suggestions/opinions. I guess I will test drive a few more cars! By the way, the Intrepid is probably off my list--I don't
need such a big car anyway! I will now concentrate on the Accord, Civic, Maxima, Sentra (& maybe the Altima!). Do you recommend any more if I decide to stay around the same size or a little smaller than the Grand Am, and if I give GM a second chance!!?
I am truly grateful!
Jul 27, 2002 (8:08 pm)
Well, if you want to go with a Detroit brand, there's the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Taurus, and Ford Focus that would fit at least some of your criteria. Smaller than a Grand Am is a Sunfire or Cavalier. Don't go there! There, of course, is always Saturn if you dream of a "GM car aping Toyota or Honda" feel.
#438 of 3287 Changed my mind again!!!
Jul 28, 2002 (7:52 am)
It seems as though Honda and Nissan are at the top of most of your lists (cars I hadn't even considered 2 weeks ago!) Since I've read so many postings, my choices have also changed. By the way, there is no Subaru dealer around here.
What I'm getting at is: In your opinion, what is THE BEST ALL-AROUND CAR out there (MIDSIZE and COMPACT--but not too small)?
As I've mentioned, it has to be RELIABLE (practically maintenance-free). My '97 Grand Am has been giving me various problems: wiring, continuous flashing high beam light, ABS brakes, alternator, and considerable paint chipping!
It also has to start well on very cold days (Grand Am great for this--never has to be plugged in!), and handle well on highways (we get long winters with many bad snowstorms) because I do a lot of highway driving.
Finally, it has to be reasonably priced--I can't afford $600/mth. payments!
It would be nice if it had a few options (not totally loaded but not basic either) and was "roomy" enough (that's why I don't want to go VERY SMALL if I look at compact cars, too).
I'm looking forward to your suggestions and thank you all again!