Last post on Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Hyundai Accent
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Accent, Coupe, Hatchback
#603 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [windgrace]
Jun 09, 2011 (9:55 pm)
I've owned 3 Hyundais over the past 10-1/2 years: 2001 Elantra (sister owns it now), 2004 Elantra (still have it), and 2007 Sonata (wife's car). Note the two Elantras are two generations removed from the current car, and the Sonata is the prior generation. Even though Hyundais have improved with each new generation, these cars have been very reliable. I felt I was taking a chance on the 2001 Elantra back in the fall of 2000. It was a new design, and Hyundais had a reputation for poor quality back then. But Hyundai started focusing on quality vs. just having a low price in 1998, backed by their 10/100 warranty (first in the business). I liked that Elantra better than anything else I looked at back then, including an all-new Civic, Corolla, Focus, etc. Plus it cost less than the others and had the long warranty. So I took a chance. I was glad I did. The 2004 was an easier decision--fully loaded, sporty-looking hatchback compact with mid-sized interior room for $13.2k. I bought the Sonata used in November 2009 and it's been a great car. That was before used car prices skyrocketed, fortunately. Its KBB value is about the same as when I bought it! And the 2004 Elantra is valued at 1/2 what I paid--pretty good after 7+ years. The 2004 drives like new (just had the 60k servicing) and would look new if not for a few door dings.
But don't take the word of one owner, even a repeat owner... or especially, don't take the word of someone who has never owned a Hyundai or possibly hasn't even driven one in the past few years. Check out the JD Power and CR reliability studies, ask owners you meet what they think about their cars, and be sure to drive all the cars that might interest you including the Accent.
Now if it were me, I might look at the Accent, but if I lived in the "snowy parts of the Sierra Nevadas" like you do, I might take a hard look at a Subaru. But I'd wait, if possible, for the 2012 Impreza, a new design that looks like a much improved car especially in fuel economy. It's supposed to be out pretty soon. In the meantime, you can save up a little more money towards the car.
Another car you might look at is the SX4, which is AWD, made in Japan, is reasonably priced, and is a pretty good car, often overlooked.
#604 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [backy]
Jun 09, 2011 (10:50 pm)
That's fantastic to hear about your experience with Hyundai! I've been keeping an eye out for last gen Sonatas for sale because they're some of the earliest vehicles to have things like stability and traction control in the midsize class, and they're two features I'd very much like to have. Any word on when these used car values are supposed to drop? I'd prefer not to spend every dime I've saved on a car (did I mention I'm a college student? heh) but if it's worth it in the long-run I will.
The 2012 Impreza looks fantastic, and as you mentioned...the jump in fuel economy is incredible for a vehicle with AWD. Something like 36 on the highway??? Crazy! My mom recently purchased a 2010 Legacy and with 14k miles on the odometer and nothing but oil changes and whatnot the care has had 0 problems (most people around here love their Subarus). We easily get 33 on the highway, sometimes up to 36 depending on where we're traveling. I think the price on a new Impreza will be significantly higher than a new Fit or Accent, though...
I believe the Camry is due for a re-model soon...? If the prices of used cars ever drop I'd like to maybe look for one...although I'm if-fy on Toyotas too after the acceleration debacle. But it seems like it's kind of disappeared, no? I haven't heard about anything in a long time about it.
#605 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [windgrace]
Jun 10, 2011 (9:07 am)
Only time will tell how much the new 2012 Subaru Impreza costs. But in terms of the worth compared to a FWD vehicle like the Fit or Accent, it's worth the money; just that bit more for an AWD vehicle that gets comparable or even BETTER MPG, has about the same reliability rate, low repair costs, it's totally worth the extra money. The price just can't be beat for Subaru's AWD, the better and impressive MPG (27/36 city/highway), and their reliability. The 2012 Subaru Impreza gets better MPG than the SX4, and the Subaru AWD system is better overall to say the least.
Total cost to own (especially repair costs), I'd pick a 2012 Subaru Impreza over a 2011-12 Suzuki SX4.
The Toyota sudden acceleration issue was mostly due to driver error as it always has been. I'm sure some people on this forum will argue against that though (in favor against Toyota). At any rate, if you're that worried, you should familiarize yourself with how to stop your car if you have a sudden acceleration problem.
Either way, AWD or not, you still should think about purchasing a good set of winter tires after you purchase the vehicle of your choice. No matter how sophisticated and powerful an AWD system, your tires are the ones that touch the snow or ground. In short, FWD with winter tires > AWD with all-season tires; FWD with winter tires < AWD with winter tires. Oh and I'm also in the same boat as you, albeit with a lower down payment. If I had that much money as a down payment, I'd go with purchasing via financing through a (low interest rate) loan and buying the 2012 Subaru Impreza. I wouldn't try to foot the bill with a used car and repair costs no longer covered by the warranty. Especially if I'm going to college. I can afford a steady payment, I could probably not afford a sudden huge repair cost. I feel more secure with the warranty and lemon laws in addition to knowing I'm the first and only owner.
#606 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [imaginary]
Jun 10, 2011 (9:54 am)
Yes, the 2012 Subaru Impreza looks like an incredible upgrade in terms of mpgs. The new Legacy was a similar case, and Subaru managed to drop the starting price of the new Legacy by several thousand dollars. I doubt that a drop like that will occur with the Impreza, but it might be worth waiting and seeing what kind of price a base model with automatic would run me when it does come out. I know nothing about Suzukis...I think I'd rather buy Hyundai over that. Growing up, my mom had a Ford Taurus from the late 90s that has really soured the entire brand for us.
I've been reading a lot of articles about Toyota since the 'sudden unintended acceleration' incidents started occurring, and it does seem like driver error is really at fault. It's just, as mentioned before, re-sale value and buying used cars right now makes absolutely no sense vs buying a new entry level vehicle from Honda or something. I also priced a new Fit vs a new Accent, and the price is only about $800 more for the Fit. As impressive as the new numbers coming from Hyundai look on paper, I think Honda still has a far superior product.
#607 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [windgrace]
Jun 10, 2011 (12:39 pm)
Since you are looking at mid-sized cars, another one to consider, new or used, is the Fusion (and if used, the Milan also). I know you can find them used for well under $15k with low miles. They are also good deals new, with some pretty big discounts. They are reliable, get good FE with the I4, and have a nice blend of ride and handling. You might find a better deal on a used Milan than Fusion because Mercury is dead (Jim). But you can get service on it from any Ford or Lincoln dealer, and IMO the Milan looks better inside and out than the Fusion.
Another one to check out is a 2009-10 Optima. Has all the safety equipment and the same I4 powertrain as the Sonata, but a bit smaller than the Sonata and a little crisper handling. And since it's a Kia, the resale value should be less than for a Sonata or most anything else.
#608 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [backy]
Jun 12, 2011 (8:08 am)
I have thought about the Fusion before...however as I mentioned before the thought of getting a Ford gives me the heebee jeebies, considering I grew up with a late 90s Taurus that spent more time in the shop than driven. Literally was a fixed or repaired daily car. However, talking to friends and neighbors with Fords from 07 on they seem to really love their cars. I agree the Milan is much more attractive...but can you get one with a 4 cylinder? I'm not interested in 6 cyl, because fuel economy is much more important to me. There would be no issues getting the vehicle serviced now that Mercury is dead?
Yes, my original question would apply to Kia as well as Hyundai. How do people feel about Kia as a brand and in terms of longevity of owning a car compared to a Honda or Toyota how do they hold up?
Also keep in mind, being 20-21 means my insurance is way up. If I could get away with $12k or less, I'd much prefer it. Give me more money in the bank and save me on insurance. Does anyone have any idea when used car prices are expected to drop? A year ago I could have gotten a Fusion/Milan/Optima with <35k miles for $10k....
#609 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [windgrace]
Jun 12, 2011 (8:21 am)
You can get Milans with the I4. As I mentioned, you can get servicing at Ford or Lincoln dealers. The Milan is the twin of the Fusion except some exterior and interior details.
Kia doesn't have quite as long a quality rep as Hyundai but has made huge strides in the past few years in product quality and reliability. And since they share major mechanicals e.g. some powertrains with Hyundai, those parts will be just as reliable as on Hyundais.
If anyone could predict with any accuracy when used car prices will drop, they would be able to make themselves a lot of money (and would probably be spending most of their time in Vegas vs. on these forums).
Don't waste your time lamenting over what was. If you need a car now, find the best one you can within your budget. There's good cars out there for under $10k. My 22-year-old son just bought a 2007 Accord SE with stick for about $9000 + T&L. It had 90k miles on it but they were "highway" miles and the car was in great condition, and it drives like new. He also got low insurance rates from Progressive. But he lives in a small city in Iowa and he's 22, not 20-21, so that helped him.
#610 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [backy]
Jun 12, 2011 (8:32 am)
Yes, I just did a little search online and I managed to find an 08 Fusion with 1-owner history and like 50k miles for $11k. I also found an 01 Camry with 2-owners but clean Carfax and like 53k miles for $9500. I guess my question is a 08 Ford more reliable than that 01 Toyota?
Surprisingly, I have yet to find an Optima or Sonata worth looking at less than $14k around these parts...
Did your son buy the Accord from a dealership or from a mom-n-pop shop? Are those shops even worth looking at? I will be turning 21 in October and I'll have 3 years of clean driving coming up in August, so my insurance will be going down (thankfully) but it's still insane! Granted, I am under my mom's for now and I'm paying $120/mo for about $500k coverage...I couldn't afford that on my own for sure!
#611 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [windgrace]
Jun 12, 2011 (10:56 am)
The Accord was from a store specializing in used cars. The store was worth looking at, for him. Remember, you're buying a car, not a dealership.
I'd go for a '08 Fusion rather than a '01 Camry if it were my choice. Fusion has more safety features, better handling, and hasn't had ten years of use. It still has a little powertrain warranty left also. The Camry might have been driven a lot of short trips, which is harder on a car than driving on the highway.
My son found out that paying for his own insurance cost a lot less than keeping him on my coverage. You can get online quotes from some companies... you should check that out if you haven't yet.
I found several 2009-10 Optimas from dealers within 100 miles of me with 20-40k miles for under $14k, on cars.com. You must live in a higher-priced area than I do.
#612 of 624 Re: College student buying first car...Hyundai? [backy]
Jun 16, 2011 (11:39 pm)
I have found an 08 Altima with 100k miles at a dealership that has 1-owner, no accident Carfax and routine maintenance performed that's been sitting on the lot for 3 months. I know nothing about Nissans, and from reading reviews on this sit it looks like it gets pretty good reviews but I'm noticing a lot of transmission complaints? Is there a recall or something? Might be able to get it for $10k OTD price. Missed an opportunity to nab an 04 camry xle with similar history, 70k miles and a $11k price tag.