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Paolino

So, I'm Quasi-Screwed...

36 posts in this topic

I'm going to end up getting pushed into getting a car before I wanted to... and I have a wonderful dealer not too far from me that has very reliable cars. My family has worked with them for years, and my brother even was a salesman there for a while.

I ideally wanted a new (as in 2007/08) LaCrosse, Lucerne or Malibu, sometime next September. I can't wait that long.

Here are my options:

2002 Buick Century - 43,000 miles, Bronzemist/Neutral, cloth, doesn't even have a CD player, $8,995

2004 Buick Century - 22,400 miles, Gray/Gray, leather, alloy wheels, CD/Tape, $11,995

2003 Buick LeSabre - miles currently unlisted, Gray/Gray, cloth, CD player, $10,495

2004 Buick Regal - 25,100 miles, Beige/Neutral, leather, auto climate control, alloy wheels, CD player, $11,995

They have a lot of beautiful LaCrosses and Lucernes, but I just can't swing that right now. Out of all of those, what would you consider? Although I love a big car, I'm leaning away from the LeSabre because I absolutely hate the cloth interior in that car, and the wheel covers on it. I'm leaning towards the Regal because it has a lot of features I like.

Any mechanical reasons I should steer clear of one car versus another?

Here's the link to the dealer's used car inventory: Arnold Buick/Pontiac Preowned

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Only thing that comes to mind is the G-bodies tend to warp the hell out of front rotors. Seems to be a problem with every G-body I've encountered.

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Only thing that comes to mind is the G-bodies tend to warp the hell out of front rotors. Seems to be a problem with every G-body I've encountered.

Well, that I can cope with--not to mention, my commute is so short now. I'm just praying there are no hidden engine/tranny problems. I know the 3800 and its tranny are rock-solid... I'm not sure about peoples' opinions on the 3100.

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There is a 3100 in a regal?

3800 > 3100 in just about every way.

No, but there are 3100s in both Century's I posted.

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Of those cars, I cast my vote for the Regal followed by the '04 Century. Don't be afraid of the 3100. I think the only major thing to look out for is the intake manifold gaskets issue, which may or may not be fixed in the 3100 and 3800 of the model years you're looking at. Any of these cars will last you quite a long time with just periodic maintenance.

So, is the fat lady singing for your Century?

EDIT: I'd also see what I could do about that white '07 LaCrosse CXL for $14,995. It's what you want clearly, and not a terrible jump in price from the cars you're looking at. Maybe you can haggle a little.

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Of those cars, I cast my vote for the Regal followed by the '04 Century. Don't be afraid of the 3100. I think the only major thing to look out for is the intake manifold gaskets issue, which may or may not be fixed in the 3100 and 3800 of the model years you're looking at. Any of these cars will last you quite a long time with just periodic maintenance.

So, is the fat lady singing for your Century?

Well, not exactly singing. Here's the deal... I have 3 problems... all don't prevent the car from running. They prevent the car from running well. And to fix them all, well, it's going to be VERY expensive--not money I'm willing to part with on a car with 175,000 miles. The 3100 has been awesome... but things are starting to go south. I asked my mechanic if it can last until the summer, and he seems to think so, because my commute is so short. He just wants me to frequently check the oil.

I'm leaning towards the Regal too. But who knows if it'll be around when I purchase a car--I'm just thinking it has to happen well before the summer.

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I'd try to baby the current car along until you are ready to get what you really want. Just do what you can to be ready a bit sooner than planned.

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I'd personally go with the LeSabre but it's up to you- all those cars and their engines are among the most dependable in JD Power.

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Ditto on the Regal thing. Also ditto on holding out for what you really want. If you could push your current car another year ( a huge IF, I know) $4000 in payments you don't make could knock $80-100 a month off that nu Bu.

Also, you could look for another older car with the 3800 and pay cash. I paid 3 grand for a pristine, pristine 94 Concorde about five years ago. Drove it like I stole it for 80,000 miles and when it died I sold it for $300.

A clean used car with 80k or so shouldn't be that hard to find, right?

You might be able to pay for a clean used 3800 powered car by putting it on your credit card and paying your credit card off quickly, which is how I bought that Chrysler. I know Paypal on Ebay takes Credit, and not everyone on Evilbay is out to screw you.

Personally I just hate being in debt and having car payments. But I'm probably going to have them for awhile now, as you will also.

The Regal is damned fine car in its own right, though. If you go that way, negotiate like hell because the economy is down and nobody seems to be selling cars.

Chris

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I'd try to baby the current car along until you are ready to get what you really want. Just do what you can to be ready a bit sooner than planned.

Trluely wise...

Chris

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You know you want a Millenia instead.. Don't deny it. :P

Of those mentioned, the Regal is the only one I'd consider. After riding in my friend's mother's Century, while feeling like a race car compared to the Cutlass, the 3100 isn't completely adequate for it and doesn't get much better gas mileage than the 3800, if at all. Plus, the Regal would have more desirable features over the basic Century. As for the LeSabre... The styling alone would keep me out of one. Only a true geriatric could love it. The Park Avenue is a much more attractively designed full-sizer if you wanted a large boat.

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EDIT: I'd also see what I could do about that white '07 LaCrosse CXL for $14,995. It's what you want clearly, and not a terrible jump in price from the cars you're looking at. Maybe you can haggle a little.

I know, that's haunting me! An 07-08 LaCrosse CXL or CXS is exactly what I'd want and be totally happy with. Arg!

As for what's going to happen, well, let me see what I get back in taxes this year.

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You know you want a Millenia instead.. Don't deny it. :P

Of those mentioned, the Regal is the only one I'd consider. After riding in my friend's mother's Century, while feeling like a race car compared to the Cutlass, the 3100 isn't completely adequate for it and doesn't get much better gas mileage than the 3800, if at all. Plus, the Regal would have more desirable features over the basic Century. As for the LeSabre... The styling alone would keep me out of one. Only a true geriatric could love it. The Park Avenue is a much more attractively designed full-sizer if you wanted a large boat.

I'd love a boat... but unfortunately of the used Park Aves I've found around here, mileage and prices are higher.

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So, just took my near-death (she's got "the bug") friend's 2004 Impala to the drug store to get her some Pepto and tissues (cause you know, my friends have not one, but 2 guys they want to introduce me to on New Year's Eve, so it seems about right that I'll catch Catherine's virus and miss it), and I have to say, I'm going to like having a newer car no matter what I get. It's the little things like:

A functioning gas gauge.

Trunk release within the car.

Remote Entry.

More power when I hit the gas.

Smoother running.

Wipers that don't sound like a dying cow when they're on (and yes I've replaced the blades).

Little things like those people take for granted, but it does make a difference.

What's disappointing is, the Impala, albeit like 8-10 inches longer than my Century (I think--I can't remember the length of my generation Century), felt identical in size... I didn't feel like I was driving a larger car at all.

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That Lacrosse would be a great deal.

Sounds like it is time for the Century to go.

Chris

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Here's an ebay find:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/06-LACROSSE...1QQcmdZViewItem

2006 LaCrosse CXL, 35k miles, dual zone climate, leather, alloy wheels, $12,495.

Nice find... even has the tushy warmers. I get a little nervous about the thought of buying off of eBay though--plus I'm nowhere near to give it a test drive. For now I'm going to stick to near me.

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Pauli, go with the Regal. I assume it's an LS or you would have stated it's supercharged. I personally would recommend looking for a GS.

3800, better resale than Century down the road, smaller than LeSabre, nicely designed interior, options/features stated above.

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Thanks guys for your help. Sounds like I'll go for the Regal... I'll hold off as long as I can, but as soon as this car goes, I'm getting something. Hopefully I'll be able to hold off enough to get a LaCrosse CXL.

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hold out if you can for what you want.

otherwise, hey, you can assume my 500 lease til its up (nov 08) or maybe my dad would part with his 92 seville with 80k on it. I've kind of eyeballed trying to pry that from him to drive for a couple years. My father in law wants a new car but can't quite figure out how to pay for one, until then he keeps driving his olds 88 with like 175k on it.

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I'd agreed with holding out for a while...

What about getting a 2000-02 Lesabre?

You can usually find them cheap (less than 7 grand), they are nice and big-and if you find one cheaper (under 5) you could pay it off pretty quickly...even trade it in for a LaX.... :scratchchin:

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And I forgot to add that they are pretty easy to finf with low miles...

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I'd agreed with holding out for a while...

What about getting a 2000-02 Lesabre?

You can usually find them cheap (less than 7 grand), they are nice and big-and if you find one cheaper (under 5) you could pay it off pretty quickly...even trade it in for a LaX.... :scratchchin:

And I forgot to add that they are pretty easy to finf with low miles...

Cheap yes, with low miles? I didn't think so--any I've ever found were upwards of 65K... I would want something less than 50K. Other thing is, I hate the cloth interior in the last gen LeSabre so much--I think it's horrendous, so it'd have to have leather for me to even consider it. I rather go with a smaller car just so I don't have that horrible material.

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I just looked on this website for a LeSabre and found 2... one was for $6,995, but had 96,000 miles on it, and the other was $11,995, and had only 16,100 miles on it. It had alloy wheels and although it had cloth--it didn't have the fugly cloth I find in most LeSabres. That would be a possibility.

Edited by Paolino
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