Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 16th, 2012, 2:59 pm

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Scott Bennett
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Come on guys, he's not a car buff (so won't be fixing stuff himself), doesn't have a bunch of money for repairs, and he's doing 60 miles a day in a state that is over 100 degrees most of the year. A 2002 or 3 series convertible would be an insane choice. It's the kind of thing I'd do.

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 16th, 2012, 3:58 pm

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rkuchinsky
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Ok, a 2002 is a bit crazy, but I just wanted to prove that you can think outside the (beige) box. Plus, a lot of those older cars, if they've made it this far, can be pretty reliable and don't have much to go wrong on them and are a lot simpler so less potential problems.

That being said, for under 15K, you can get a used Mini, New Beetle, TT.. even a Boxster not to mention lots of Bimmers and older rides.

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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 16th, 2012, 4:32 pm

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Mr-914
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VW, Porsche and Mini are not reliable. BMW is in between on reliability, but the parts cost 2-3 times the parts of a Japanese or American car.

Leave the crazy stuff for Scott, Richard and I.
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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 16th, 2012, 4:42 pm

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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 7:18 am

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That is Porsche in annual road inspections. Meaning, owners of Porsches make sure they are regularly maintained. If you have the coin, you can keep anything on the road.

Porsche are extremely reliable for race cars, but race car reliability and road reliability are two different things.

The Porsche that I've been around were plagued with cam chain tensioner problems and oil circulation problems at medium mileage (50k mi. +). Newer ones have had problems with the metal used in the engine crank cases. If replaced under warranty, it's no big deal. If you have to pay, keep $8k+ handy for a new engine and labor. All Porsche have dry sumps. That means 12 liters of synthetic oil at your oil changes ($120 if you do it yourself). Newer Porsche have really big, soft and expensive tires that last maybe a year at normal mileage. That's $800-$1200 / year. I don't know about the brakes, but I expect they need maintenance every other year at twice the price of an ordinary car. Plus, the fuel economy is 2/3 that of a Camry and 1/2 that of a Civic.

I haven't even started on all of the expensive electronics that can go south, or the plumbing. Porsche have water radiators and oil coolers in the front and 16 feet of pipes and valves running to the engine in the back. The radiators can be easily damaged because they are mounted low in the front bumper.

Mind you, if you have the coin, go for it. I'd get a 993 (made from 1993 to 1998). Last of the air cooled. They fixed most of the problems and fitted a great rear suspension. Interior is really awful compared to even a Lada today. But, filled with character. I'd buy one in a NY minute if I didn't already have two cars and live in a big city.
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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 7:57 am

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I bought a 2009 Honda Fit Sport and love it. It's young, funky, has a small engine with a huge heart and is super practical to move arround your stuff or for sports, the MPG is amazing, super reliable and you'll stay under the 20K mark even with the sport version.

I'm a big VW golf fan, but we're not even in the same ball park MPG wise...

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 9:02 am

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The Fit is a good suggestion I think.

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 11:17 am

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Johnathan
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Thanks for all the good suggestions guys. I think you are right that I'm not enough of a car buff to take good care of or appreciate the more classic cars. I'm open to the sportier models as long as it's not a gas guzzler. Some of the models I'm currently looking at are the Civic, Ford Focus or Fusion, and maybe a Fit or KIA Soul. What do you guys think the sweet spot for miles on the odometer is before further depreciation is eaten up by repair costs? or is it typically just a matter of doing a complete inspection before buying?

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 1:05 pm

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Have a mechanic do an inspection. If they are good, they will see things that you will miss & be able to tell you what to watch out for in the near future. Mileage is only relevant for negociating.
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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 1:10 pm

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Scott Bennett
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Any modern entry level car is going to be mechanically fine up to 120k-150k miles as long as you change the oil once in a while. Other than moving parts, it's more age than miles that does stuff in. Plastic components start to break down, electronics fail, etc.

You'll be putting on ~20k / year, figure you're keeping it for 5 years, I'd say keep your search to cars under 36k miles. Most cars coming off a 3 year lease will be right around that. I'd stay away from ex-rental cars, a lot of them don't even get their oil changed, and they get driven like rental cars. They live a very hard life. Leases usually include free maintenance, so they tend to be better taken care of, and if you get it from a dealer, it will probably be a certified car with an extra warranty.

An inspection is especially good for spotting crash repairs, which often don't make it onto Carfax.

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 4:01 pm

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mo-i
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In my eyes 120k miles is a bit high an estimate. These things are engineered to cost and purpose. We do have a new Turbo and new gearbox in my wifes Touran minivan at 40k miles. (Golf chassis) Previously we ran a 316i compact from 40 to 140k miles that only needed fluids, suspension bushes and brakes. That was a piggy bank on wheels.

You should make a total cost of ownership calculation before you decide if you invest that much money as a recent grad.

If you really decide to spend 14k on a car hold on another 4 weeks for the " year end" fire sales when dealers clear their inventory to cash in on supplier bonuses. Should enable you to pull a 2012 Focus on your driveway with a realistic 20% rebate.

2 year old used cars are less attractive in depriciation and maintenance..

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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 5:59 pm

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Johnathan
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Thankfully the old car has been repaired and is working at the moment. That gives me quite a bit more time to make a decision (a few months rather than days.) That could let me wait for year end deals or look longer for a good used car. Any other advice/suggestions? and once again thanks for the help.

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 17th, 2012, 7:47 pm

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October is the best time to buy a new car from a dealer. At least historically, anyway.
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Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 18th, 2012, 8:21 am

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Scott Bennett
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mo-i wrote:In my eyes 120k miles is a bit high an estimate. These things are engineered to cost and purpose. We do have a new Turbo and new gearbox in my wifes Touran minivan at 40k miles. (Golf chassis)
There's no excuse for a gearbox failing at 40k miles. I've got almost 100k on a 20 year old Lotus with a Japanese engine and gearbox. As you would expect, virtually all the electrical systems (lights, windows, instruments) the Brits designed have gone wrong, and it leaks in the rain, because apparently waterproofing is a low engineering priority in a country where it rains every day. But the engine is still perfect. Of course, now that I've said that, it will probably blow a head gasket next time I start it.

Re: Need a new ride, budget edtion

October 18th, 2012, 8:28 am

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I like the 4-door hatchbacks. Small, fun, easy to park, great utility - you can haul anything, good milage. Mazda3 gets 40mpg. The Fit is smaller. Toyota Matrix is bland. The Golf and Mini are great but cost an extra $5K. The Lexus is an extra $10k. Never tried the new Focus, looks good though. Don't know much about the Korean hatches, they are relatively new.
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