Sign in to follow this  
Satty

Car shopping

28 posts in this topic

Well, since the crash I knew I was going to need to get a new car, its inevitable. Since the crash I've been driving around in a less than perfect 1992 Honda Accord LX 2-door 5-speed. I figured that as long as I had it I wouldn't need to make a rash decision on a new car and I'd be able to save some money up, put some money towards baby-related stuff and get my finances in order before deciding on how much and what I want. Well, last night the Accord lost second gear (it just grinds when I try to put it in second, makes driving interesting) and I dont have high hopes for the rest of the car. So I figured that I would take suggestions/comments from the peanut gallery before jumping into a new ride (which I did last time when I got a car that I loved, then wrecked). I would prefer four or more doors to three or fewer, the whole baby seat thing and cars/wagons to SUVs/trucks, drivetrain isn't a big concern. I dont want to go too much higher than what I was paying for the Solara (about $14,500). Some of the cars I've seen/thought about so far:

2005 Chevrolet Malibu MAXX--$12,495--35xxx miles--"Hail Sale" special, a couple grand below book value--Downside: Interior, exterior--Verdict: Its the front-runner

2001 Buick LeSabre Custom--$8995--79xxx miles--Side airbags, decent safety ratings--Downside: Old man's car image, not sure it has a cd player--Verdict: So spacious and cheap its really tempting

2001 Pontiac Grand Prix--$10,500--80xxx miles--Extremely clean, runs great--Downside: Overpriced, bad dealership, Pontiac interior--Verdict: I almost bought it, glad I didn't, I would consider a GP, just not the one I test drove.

1998+ Ford Taurus--Haven't look at any in particular, but they're cheap and attainable.

1999+ Oldsmobile Alero--I've window shopped a couple and they're also cheap and attainable, but I'm not sure I'd be allowed to buy one since I'm not a sorority girl.

1996+ Jeep Cherokee--I hate SUVs, but at least these aren't toal soccer mom SUVS.

Honda CR-V--The SUV thing plus the power-to-weight ratio make thm somewhat unappealing, but I could live with one.

Honda Element--I want one, but I'm not sure I'd trust the back seats with an infant seat.

Comments and suggestions would be great.

*Edit: The GP I drove was an '01 not an '03

Edited by Satty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also take a very strong look at a 1st-gen Aurora (like Fly's) if I could find one somewhat near ZIP 65802/ SPringfield MO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would seriously go for your front runner if I were in your situation. The "hail sale" info further explains the low price. If the hail damage isn't too bad and it's in overall good condition otherwise, that's the one. Drive it, see how it behaves. The back seat is huge on those things, plus with the hatchback... dude it's one of the most versatile cars on the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The low roofline on the GP might give you issues when loading things in and out of the back seat, especially sincve you're a rather tall guy. You'll probably end up bonking your head a few times. I like the Maxx and the Lesabre of that bunch. An Aurora would be cool too, but if they're not taken care of they can present expensive problems.

Have you thought of an Escape or maybe an Equinox?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would seriously go for your front runner if I were in your situation.  The "hail sale" info further explains the low price.  If the hail damage isn't too bad and it's in overall good condition otherwise, that's the one.  Drive it, see how it behaves.  The back seat is huge on those things, plus with the hatchback... dude it's one of the most versatile cars on the road.

Agreed. Plus, you can probably find someone to fix the damage for cheap..

They are quite nice..does it have the DVD in the back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No DVD player, and I cant actually see any hail damage, the skylight thingy on it isn't chipped or cracked or anythig, I kind of assumed that hail would hit the top of a car and the big sheet of glass on top would be quite vulnerable, so thats what I looked at first. There are a couple of other MAXX's, program cars, at another dealership priced similarly, so I'm going to look into those too. If I do get a MAXX, I am so making Fly change my name to SWMOHarry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only Saabs I've found that fall into where I want to go with price have either a ton of miles or black leather interiors, which I swore I would never do again, after my Saturn. Speaking of which, it would appear that L-Series are appreciating in value, I bought my '01 L200/35xxx miles/5-speed for $5900, I've seen '00 L200 automatics without the leather and sunroof my car had, with 70,000+ miles going to $8k.

Edited by Satty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A base Fusion is a decent idea, I found one for $15,300, but it was gone within a few days. Supply is an issue, plus the fact that I could get a used car with more features (Keyless entry, sunroof, etc) for the same money or less, and with a good portion of the factory warranty still in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a nice, cheap Cobalt SS SC :)

You are?

What about your Camaro?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not bothered by the minivan image, how about a Grand Caravan with Stow n' Go? Plenty of room, great engine (3.8L V6), great seating system.

If you still are into an Aurora, try here

I know they're not 1st-gen, but a 2001 4.0 for $10,590 sounds good to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word on Classic Auroras.

They're good buys if well-maintained. Get one that someone treated casually (or worse, beat on it) and you're looking at a nightmare. Its a tempermental but lovable beast and will reward you with silky smooth performance, a surprisingly roomy backseat (for making more babies), good fuel economy, fantastic ride and handling, and of course luxury. Naturally, the lower the mileage, the better, but as long as its well-maintained, you're fine. A few Classic owners on the Aurora Forums have some between 200-250k, even nudging 300k with normal maintenance.

The MAXX and LeSabre are good choices, though. If you're looking at a LeSabre Custom, expect a floatier ride than a Limited with the Gran Touring suspension. Plus, they're very safe and very depandable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are? 

What about your Camaro?

:yes:

If anybody else would like to know, I'll post the PM I sent him.. and an update to it :AH-HA_wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:yes:

If anybody else would like to know, I'll post the PM I sent him.. and an update to it :AH-HA_wink:

I sure would like to know. Though I'm glad you're looking to join the Cobalt family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sure would like to know. Though I'm glad you're looking to join the Cobalt family.

Okay.. look for a new Lounge thread shortly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a Subaru Forester? My neighbor is selling an '04 2.5 for $13K.

I haven't found any nearly that cheap anywhere local, they seem to run $17k+ even with 100,000+ miles.

If you can find a Cherokee with a 360 V8 you'll have lot's of power to play with as well as a decent amount of room, but your mileage will be $h!.

The Aleros are hell on brakes, which will get old fast.

The Taurus isn't much for power or economy, my Dad's get's 21 city and 27 highway, but there is plenty of room and are very safe.

A supercharged Buick or Pontiac would be my choice, but the Malipoo is solid if not really ugly.

I have no need for a bunch of power, since there really isnowhere I can exploit it. Aleros and Taurii are pretty cheap, though both have their reliability faults, Aleros with their brakes and the paint on the radio buttons and Taurii with just about everything, as far as I can tell. But they're cheap.
6s are ok cars, but the ones I have seen in my price range aren't very well equipped. I delivered to the guy selling the second one, the one in Nixa, a few times.

If you're not bothered by the minivan image, how about a Grand Caravan with Stow n' Go? Plenty of room, great engine (3.8L V6), great seating system.

If you still are into an Aurora, try here

I know they're not 1st-gen, but a 2001 4.0 for $10,590 sounds good to me.

I dont think I'm ready for the minivan stigma yet. And secong-gen Auroras dont do it for me, their design doesn't elicit the emotional response the first gens do.

A word on Classic Auroras.

They're good buys if well-maintained. Get one that someone treated casually (or worse, beat on it) and you're looking at a nightmare. Its a tempermental but lovable beast and will reward you with silky smooth performance, a surprisingly roomy backseat (for making more babies), good fuel economy, fantastic ride and handling, and of course luxury. Naturally, the lower the mileage, the better, but as long as its well-maintained, you're fine. A few Classic owners on the Aurora Forums have some between 200-250k, even nudging 300k with normal maintenance.

The MAXX and LeSabre are good choices, though. If you're looking at a LeSabre Custom, expect a floatier ride than a Limited with the Gran Touring suspension. Plus, they're very safe and very depandable.

Thanks for the Aurora advice, I just doubt it'll help since there are like none around. And hey, maybe if I buy the Buick, I can "sporty" it up, springs, 20's, maybe a spoiler.....

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll take some of them to heart and others *cough*Caravan*cough* I will discard. I've done some looking and found a lot of local MAXXs, which I take as a sign. I am destined to carry on the WPBHarry tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ask me:

1. LeSabre

2. G. Cherokee

3. Maxx

If the Pontiac is being sold by a dealer$h! wiht bad customer service

only consider it if you're getting it at like 65% of KBB. Nothing sucks

more than a shady dealership. In the time of our one month of

"dealership warranty" with the Q45 they spent about $1100 in small

B.S. repairs and check engine light gremlins.

If the guy was not very much on the up-n-up we'd have been f%#$ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I skipped work today to go to the doctor with my girlfriend (or at least thats what I told my boss, who knows my gf) and I ended up test driving an '05 Maxx. The one I drove was a silver program car whose interior was beat to $h!, sticker was $11995. I'll say this first, I actually like that the DIC is integrated with the radio, since I dont plan on putting any aftermarket audio in it, that wont be a concern. And the 9000 adjustable thing(ok, exaggeration, but there are a lot) make finding a good driving position a snap. The electronic steering that everybody bitches about felt fine on the test drive that included tight quarters, several turns and some highway driving. And as long as you dont look at the steering wheel, you'd never know its ugly. The car hadn't been detalied yet so there were some stains and stuff, and the floormats and knob for the dimmre was missing, but it seemed really solid, has some of th factory warranty left, and has the baby-friendly sliding rear seat. They have a couple of gold ones that werent programs with similar mileage counts for the same price or less, but they've got the neutral interior with the plood. I think it'll come down to what they have in stock in a week or so.

I checked on insurance, it will be a little more than the Solara was, plus when my policy renews in December I am going to lose my good driving discount, but I'm going to get an "adult" rate in August when the baby is born, so I'm not going to get raped by State Farm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad's MAXX has been very reliable except for the steering column recall, but I don't think the '05s have that problem. He likes it pretty well but then again he isn't a car guy. I think he gets like 24 MPG on average and that's mostly city driving, so it's pretty economical.

I've driven it a few times and it's pretty nice, though I found the radio to be confusing at times and the HVAC controls feel pretty cheap. All in all it's good reliable transportation that would be good for hauling around a baby and can haul a good amount of cargo with the rear seats folded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this