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mustang84

Helping a friend with new car purchase

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My friend is looking to replace his '99 Monte Carlo with something newer since he is graduated and has a full-time job. He mentioned that he's looking for something with four doors, compact to midsize, 2-3 years old (or new if he can afford it), and fairly fuel efficient. He said he has looked at the Focus, Sentra, Mazda 3, and some others. I mentioned the Fusion, Malibu, G6, Cobalt, Astra, and Aura. He's never really liked Dodge so I didn't mention the Caliber or Avenger. He said he's not interested in Toyota or Honda offerings...he doesn't like the look of the new Toyotas and same with the Honda Civic. I think Impala, Five Hundred/Taurus, etc. are bigger than what he is looking for. Basically, he wants Cobalt/Focus to Malibu/Fusion size.

I know Satty has a Fusion, some here have Auras and Cobalts, and maybe some have driven or own a Sentra, Mazda 3, etc. I want to know how they have been for reliability, what real-world mileage he can expect to get out of it, and how they are doing for resale value if possible. Are there any out of that list he should steer clear from? I didn't mention any VW products because of the reliability issues with them, and I didn't mention Hyundai and Kia.

Thanks guys!

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The Aura is a nice car. Our example has been solid and trouble free and we usually see mixed fuel economy at around 25 mpg or better. As for resale value, I think they do marginally well there as well.

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We LOVED our Cobalt and had 0 issues with it. More importantly in todays gas prices, we always got 38+ mpg. With the new changes in the 5 speed Cobalt, I don't know of a better deal out there.

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My bitches with the Fusion are documented around here somewhere. Basically, its been a solid car, just some little things that come with getting the base model with the stick. Single-disc cd player had to be replaced several times because it would eat cds (almost all SE and all SELs have the 6-disc) and the airbag light once stayed on during a 10 mile drive, went off and has worked normally since. The standard rubber sucks, but they've gone 39k miles and still have more than enough tread, so I cant complain too much. The transmission is my biggest complaint. The clutch feels goofy, like nothing else I've ever driven, the transmission itself is geared stupidly. 3000+rpm at 70mph is way too much. I do get high-20's doing mostly city driving, unfortunately, cruising at 80 also nets high-20's, unfortunate since my old L200 got 40mpg on a straight, level 250 mile highway cruise. The interior has held up quite well, the cloth (I have the camel/black interior) doesn't show much wear, there are no squeaks or rattles and the dash-top storage bin is the best thing ever invented.

Pre-2008 Malibus are fairly ugly but they come super cheap and get great real world mileage. MAXXs are incredibly useful, just something to look into.

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Malibu Maxx checking in. Electric Steering sucks but we get 24MPG in primarily city driving. It's peppy and versatile. If you can get past the over-assisted steering it's damn good.

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I must be the only person alive who didn't hate the electric steering on the MAXX. Driving through the tight parking lot was easy, I didn't notice anything awkward on the highway, I could have lived with it everyday.

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I must be the only person alive who didn't hate the electric steering on the MAXX. Driving through the tight parking lot was easy, I didn't notice anything awkward on the highway, I could have lived with it everyday.

Sure it stiffens up on the HWY and is good in tight lots but I don't have trouble with the Impala in tight lot spaces... so It's not a big deal to me. Most of the "Expressways" where I live only limit speed up to 50MPH. The Steering is almost as loose at 50MPH as it is at 5MPH. It's okay at 70MPH, but unless you're out on the open road, those speeds never happen. 50MPH is a bit too fast for the steering to be so loose, It's downright scary sometimes, esp. when I was driving it regularly when the Cavalier was in the shop. I usually drive the Cavalier or the Impala so it was a pretty big difference IMO.

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04-06 Bu's with the 2.2.

Bigger than a compact, gets great gas milage, cheap.....

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the steering sound reminesent of my saturn...the steering wheel felt like it was just dipped in butter it was so loose and easy to turn.

And I guess my suggestion is out on the avenger...

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I am not in the market for a new car now, since I already got the one I was dreaming about for so long on February, but I recommend the following if I may:

Dodge Charger

Dodge Challanger(Looked really good at the show)

Mercury Sable(Same as Taurus, but I like the Sable's styling better)

Since I am no longer a GM fan in terms of the new cars that are comming out now.

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I am not in the market for a new car now, since I already got the one I was dreaming about for so long on February, but I recommend the following if I may:

Dodge Charger

Dodge Challanger(Looked really good at the show)

Mercury Sable(Same as Taurus, but I like the Sable's styling better)

Since I am no longer a GM fan in terms of the new cars that are comming out now.

The Charger and Challenger are completely out of the question, and he's never really liked the 00-06 Taurus/Sable.

Malibu Maxx checking in. Electric Steering sucks but we get 24MPG in primarily city driving. It's peppy and versatile. If you can get past the over-assisted steering it's damn good.

The old Malibus are solid cars, but I don't think he is going to go for the last-gen one due to looks. He seems to really like the '08s, but I have a feeling they will be out of his price range.

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The Charger and Challenger are completely out of the question, and he's never really liked the 00-06 Taurus/Sable.

The old Malibus are solid cars, but I don't think he is going to go for the last-gen one due to looks. He seems to really like the '08s, but I have a feeling they will be out of his price range.

He could try a end of year sale on a 08 Ls....

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My bitches with the Fusion are documented around here somewhere. Basically, its been a solid car, just some little things that come with getting the base model with the stick. Single-disc cd player had to be replaced several times because it would eat cds (almost all SE and all SELs have the 6-disc) and the airbag light once stayed on during a 10 mile drive, went off and has worked normally since. The standard rubber sucks, but they've gone 39k miles and still have more than enough tread, so I cant complain too much. The transmission is my biggest complaint. The clutch feels goofy, like nothing else I've ever driven, the transmission itself is geared stupidly. 3000+rpm at 70mph is way too much. I do get high-20's doing mostly city driving, unfortunately, cruising at 80 also nets high-20's, unfortunate since my old L200 got 40mpg on a straight, level 250 mile highway cruise. The interior has held up quite well, the cloth (I have the camel/black interior) doesn't show much wear, there are no squeaks or rattles and the dash-top storage bin is the best thing ever invented.

Pre-2008 Malibus are fairly ugly but they come super cheap and get great real world mileage. MAXXs are incredibly useful, just something to look into.

that actually helps me. thanks.

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even new cobalts are cheap right now if he can swing the financing. might be a better purchase for him, actually. he won't find a used car with a payment as cheap as a new, unless he's got some cash. warranty means a lot where he is at in life right now.

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