CaddyXLR-V

Shopping for a used car

   9 members have voted

  1. 1. Which car should I get?

    • 06 Passat 2.0T
      1
    • 03 BMW 530i
      8
    • 04 RSX-S
      0
    • 03 A6 3.0L
      0

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32 posts in this topic

06 Passat

06 Passat black int

03 530i

04 RSX-S

03 A6

So my favorite is the BMW, but it is also the most expensive. The A6 is the cheapest, but also has the highest mileage. The Passat is one of the cheaper ones, and the newest, but the biggest drawback for me is FWD. Same for the RSX-S, but both will be better on gas. I'm really leaning towards the BMW or Passat, but am having a hard time deciding if I want to pay $2k more for a 3 year older car, as it would be stretching my budget right now.

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I VOTE PONTIAC!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait....

It says used, yet there is no used Pontiac choice.

What happened?

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I VOTE PONTIAC!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait....

It says used, yet there is no used Pontiac choice.

What happened?

3726239808_1a75a9d4d6.jpg

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If I could afford a G8, it would be on the list. Actually, if I could afford a G8, there would be no debate at all. But a G6 isn't as good, or anywhere near as good as a Passat.

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I'm trying to get an automatic sedan, since we could use the extra space. I loved my 05 GTO, and couldn't go into a 04. And the only way I would get a GTO again is if I was getting a manual. I may get another GTO sometime in the future though, just not right now.

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Without checking reliability figures I would go for the first Passat ( I prefer the 2-tone interior). Newer, so less likely to go wrong, unless of course the BMW has a sterling reputation, then I might lean toward that.

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The only choice here, then, is the BMW or a used G8. My vote goes to the used G8, although I voted Bimmer in the poll.

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Oh believe me, I would love to get a Porsche. Me and my wife will be sharing the car for a while, and her nieces will be going places with us sometimes, so we need a backseat, and a sedan is easier. When we get another car, that will be the "toy". That's when I'll be looking at GTOs and Porsches. But for now, I still want something that is fun to drive, but still with some space for the kids.

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Without checking reliability figures I would go for the first Passat ( I prefer the 2-tone interior). Newer, so less likely to go wrong, unless of course the BMW has a sterling reputation, then I might lean toward that.

Yes, that's what is making it so hard to pick the BMW. Higher cost and maintenance costs, and I do like the 2 tone interior more also.

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If the Charger looked more like the 99 concept, I would definitely consider it. I don't like the high door line on the current Charger, and I don't care much for it's looks. I did consider a Lincoln LS V8, and a CTS. My wife likes the CTS, but I couldn't find any cheap enough.

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What about keeping something cheap and easier to pay off..then you can get something really cool a few years down the road...

With 4 doors, a Ford Fusion V6 would be a good choice.....or an older Mazda 6.

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What about keeping something cheap and easier to pay off..then you can get something really cool a few years down the road...

With 4 doors, a Ford Fusion V6 would be a good choice.....or an older Mazda 6.

I considered both, along with Accord V6s, and Mazda 3s, but I keep coming back to the VW and the BMW. I like the feel of the German cars more. They are all possibilities if I decide I don't want to spend as much.

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German cars have a unique, very solid feeling of alacrity over the road.

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German cars have a unique, very solid feeling of alacrity over the road.

+1

Chris

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Of the choices presented, I'd go with the 530i without thinking twice. That said, how about instead of one $14,000 car, you get seven $2,000 cars, you'd have a different $h!pile to drive every day of the week!

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The Passat and A6 are unreliable piles of crap- I know people who've had both and they were nothing but a cause for headaches. Go for the BMW, it's your smartest buy of the crop.

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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The Passat and A6 are unreliable piles of crap- I know people who've had both and they were nothing but a cause for headaches. Go for the BMW, it's your smartest buy of the crop.

That is another thing I am worried about. I don't want a car that I will need to be fixing ever other week. How reliable are the BMWs?

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Going by ConsumerGuide Auto [Link] it seems most of that generations trouble spots were pre-`02 models. It also lists repair costs for common items.

I have no idea how you feel about them but what about a a 300M Special like this one? Excellent handling and brakes (sportiest of all the Sporty LH cars), most powerful, spacious, lots of features, and if uncommon is your thing, only 4,500 Specials were made. They're fairly easy to work on, not that expensive to have worked on or for parts, they're reliable and durable (I know a guy with over half a million miles o his) and there's four sites dedicated to these cars with lots of knowledgeable people. Plus at $4,500 it undercuts all of your other choices by quite a bit, and `02 is the year to get since it was the year before Daimler began cost cutting.

Although if it were me, the first thing I would do is change the interior color scheme, or go for one that had the Dark Slate on Light Taupe already, and ditch the fake carbon fiber for the real walnut trim some 300M's had, but that's me.

Will say say though that if you are interested at all in any LH check the a/c system, and find out if the evaporator core was replaced previously. These cars have a habit of going through the original evap cores.

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That is another thing I am worried about. I don't want a car that I will need to be fixing ever other week. How reliable are the BMWs?

Not the most reliable from my experience. Last January I bought an 03 325i with 59K on the clock (similar mileage to the one you posted) Since then it has had over 7.5k in extended warrenty repairs, which is quite alarming. It seems that right about out of the factory warrenty period everyting requires attention, in my case especially the suspension. Unless you can afford the high maintenance/repair costs or have an extended warrenty I would be cautious buying a used 7 year old BMW.

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I frequent Passat (and by extension, A6) and BMW forums, as we have both a 5-series and Passat.

The key with any used European vehicle is finding a good independent mechanic who specializes in your car, and staying informed through owners' forums, which can save money and time. Basically you should be interested in your vehicle... an appliance it's not. Check out passatworld.com and bimmerfest.com.

With that said, most of these vehicles go through the same problems, so there shouldn't be anything unexpected. Our E39 (1997-2003 5-series) had a few niggles during its warranty period, then suddenly nothing went wrong for 40K miles (post-warranty, you're nowhere as anal). At 90K miles, the radiator developed a small leak, and I went for a complete cooling system overhaul (thermostat, water pump, radiator, fan clutch, belts, etc), as is customary. At 110K miles, the straight-six is still great, the transmission (GM Europe) is strong, and it drives better than most new cars out there. The suspension could go for an overhaul (bushings, tie rod ends, shocks, etc), which again, is typical for cars with high mileage.

My observations:

'06 Passats - these are nice cars, still the best midsize family sedans out there, but '06 was its first year and both cars are out-of-warranty; the newer Passats are more complicated... I'd buy them only if they were cheap

'03 530i - this is a very base model, with no leather, premium package, or sports package; $13K is too much

'03 A6 3.0 - this is FWD only, meaning questionable CVT transmission

I'd go for the Bimmer, but negotiate hard for discounts for future mods and maintenance.

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My vote is, none of the above. I would go with a used Bonneville GXP, Grand Prix GXP, Cadillac Seville STS(02-03), Chevrolet Impala SS (06-09), Cadillac CTS, or a Charger.

How about this?2005 Bonneville GXP

Edited by gm4life
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