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Looking for a Car

Old 10-06-06, 02:56 AM
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Looking for a Car

On Oct 1, I ruined the engine in my 96 Ford Taurus.
I still haven't decided whether to replace the engine or buy another car, but I am currently leaning towards a new car. And I am not really good at making the big decisions.

I'm mostly interested in reliability and value for a car. My current rental is a Camry, so I am getting some extended driving experience with that. Naturally, Accord and Civic are also high on my potential list.

I noticed a few makes, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, have 5yr warranties (and even longer for powertrain) and I like the look of the Eclipse. If we were going to rate reliability and give Camry/Accord a 10, what would these brands get?

There are others that I might be interested in, but I'm not sure how well they stack up long term. If I buy a new car, I would plan to keep it ten years or more.

Some other possible cars:

Mazda 3
Mazda 6
Nissan Altima
Infiniti G35 (pricey!)

Any advice?
Old 10-06-06, 08:17 AM
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camry, accord, civic should be on your list

altima is OK as well

just buy a new car and junk the old one
Old 10-06-06, 08:29 AM
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www.edmunds.com
Old 10-06-06, 10:59 AM
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Get a new car, even if not a new car, then a newer used car. You didn't say how much was the engine repair or what happened so we'll assume it is $$$. Toyotas and Hondas really are dependable, though their parts and repair may be higher, still worth it. I say Toyota, we have both and the Toyotas' are just easier for DIY if you are mechanically inclined. Otherwise, it doesn't matter, just pick either. We don't have experience with the others so can't comment on quality. Length of warranty is only part of the equation...long warranty with more frequent visits to the shop and repairs or short warranty but less problems and issues. The Toyota and Honda resale value also hold up well in case you need to sell for whatever reason.
Old 10-06-06, 12:29 PM
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You can't go wrong with a Camry, Accord, or Civic. I personally prefer Hondas as I like their styling a lot more, but I drive my gf's Solara occasionally and it's a nice car.

I haven't heard anything bad about Hyundais or Mazdas but I would probably lean away from the Mitsubishi.
Old 10-06-06, 01:36 PM
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Out of the cars you have listed, you've got a pretty large price range.

The G35 is one hell of a vehicle...however, I feel it's overpriced. I drove one when I was looking for a car (bought an Acura TSX), and it rode quite nice, but the '07 upgrade was on the horizon, so I decided against it. It has NO trunk room at all. None.

Of the Mazdas, the 3 is miles better than the 6. I can't express how much I liked the 3, even the 3 hatch. And the new MazdaSpeed 3 is out too...mid 5's in the 0-60 for $23k. The 6 handles wonderfully...but it's in need of a mid-model-life refresh and refinement. IMO. I love the car, it's a bargain for the price, but it's just a refresh away from being great.

So that brings me to the Altima...I liked them about 3-4 years ago, but now that everyone, including my neighbors grandmother (for real) has one, fuck it. I mean, the parts market should be great for the next 10 years, but really, the thing drives 'big'. I like the engine, the power, the interior...it's a stylish car, but 2 things are against it - as I said, the handling isn't quite up to par. It lumbers a bit...has a bit of roll in corners. And the new Sentra has just come out - and it looks like a short Altima. There's a redesign coming soon (08?) on them...

Which leads me to ask, as some others have if you've looked at Honda? Or better put...Acura. The Acura TSX is probably the best bang-for-the-buck sedan on the market (it's the Japanese version of the Accord Type-R). It's got good power (could use a bit more low end torque), a whole bunch of lux, it handles like a BMW 330i (literally...I was blown away by the handling...sold me on the car), it's relatively fuel efficient (22/31...I average about 24 per tank). The style of the car screams classy and understated...and they are LOADED under $30k with a 7/72 warranty. Acura dealers are known for their service too - they hook you the hell up. The only drawback on the car is that it uses Premium gas. However, before people get their panties in a bunch about that, realize this - it works out to roughly $10 a month difference in gas price (depending on how much you drive...). That's it. I think that's a fair price of admission for a superb vechicle...

Stay away from Mitsu...unless you're buying an EVO.

And Hyundai...just think Toyota or Honda in the very early 90's (relatively speaking) and that's where Hyundai is now as a company (business wise). They make very competitive cars, but they're not quite as refined as Honda or Toyota right now.

Last edited by lordzeppelin; 10-06-06 at 01:39 PM.
Old 10-06-06, 02:24 PM
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I'll add the Acura TSX to my list of cars to look at. You mentioned a 7/72 warranty, however I see it on Edmunds with a 4/50 all and 6/70 drivetrain...
Also, did you get the manual. I regret I never picked up on stick shift despite the fact that both my parents only drive stick shift.

On the engine repair, from Ford Dealer:
- 2300 for long block
- 1500 labor
- up to 500 for misc unknown problems (possible engine mounts, water pump, etc)

Local Independent
- $4000 installed with reman from Jasper
- $1800 installed used engine w/ 30-day warranty

Another Local
- $3300 installed (engine + $1000) with Jasper 3yr/72k warranty

Last edited by Nocturnal; 10-06-06 at 02:46 PM.
Old 10-06-06, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Nocturnal
On Oct 1, I ruined the engine in my 96 Ford Taurus.
What'd you do?
Old 10-06-06, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nocturnal
On the engine repair, from Ford Dealer:
- 2300 for long block
- 1500 labor
- up to 500 for misc unknown problems (possible engine mounts, water pump, etc)

Local Independent
- $4000 installed with reman from Jasper
- $1800 installed used engine w/ 30-day warranty

Another Local
- $3300 installed (engine + $1000) with Jasper 3yr/72k warranty
Ouch! Take that Taurus to a junkyard, rip the $100 out of the mans hand, and run!
Old 10-06-06, 02:59 PM
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100% driver incompetence.
Put close to a gallon of water in the radiator and drove it despite telltale signs of a leak. I should have known there was a small leak, didn't know it had developed into to a huge leak. So basically some highway driving with no coolant. Engine still works enough that they drove it from the parking lot where the tow truck dropped it into a service bay, but they found evidence of head gasket failure and other oil and water mixing. Leak is from a freeze plug that requires removing the tranny to get to.
Old 10-06-06, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nocturnal
On the engine repair, from Ford Dealer:
- 2300 for long block
- 1500 labor
- up to 500 for misc unknown problems (possible engine mounts, water pump, etc)
be glad you don't have a european car. i've heard that the dealers want 5 digits to replace a sub-2 liter 4 cylinder motor.

in any event, i'd say get a honda or toyota if your main concern is reliability.

similarly priced to the g35 is the TL and is350, and the tsx and is250 are also good choices.
Old 10-07-06, 02:39 AM
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Test drove a TSX today on your recommendation. I guess I'm just not cut out for a sports sedan - I found the steering wheel hard to turn - I guess that's what they call 'great handling'? Subjectively, my rental Camry seems to have as much pep.
Old 10-07-06, 10:16 AM
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if you're looking strictly for a little more power, test drive the new camry v6. that's got a pretty peppy engine.
Old 10-07-06, 12:17 PM
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The Mazda 3 really suprised me. it is on my short list for an affordable but sporty car. I thought it handled really well. I love the G35, but it is apples and oranges from the mazdas. The acura is nice also.

-p
Old 10-07-06, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
The Mazda 3 really suprised me. it is on my short list for an affordable but sporty car. I thought it handled really well. I love the G35, but it is apples and oranges from the mazdas. The acura is nice also.

-p
I rode in a friend's 3 last night on the way to the bar. There were 5 of us in the car and other than it being a bit tight in the back seat, it was very comfortable and didn't have a problem hauling 5 adults around. Definitely check it out.
Old 10-08-06, 02:00 AM
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That is one thing I really like about the 3....it is smaller than other 4 doors....but it makes great use of the space it has.

-p
Old 10-08-06, 03:23 AM
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Get a used one if you can't afford a new one.


Stay away from that Hyundai and Mitsubishi crap.

The new VW GTI looks pretty nice too. But if you want reliability stick with Camry.
Old 10-08-06, 11:16 AM
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I'm digging the new GTI, though i havent' ridden in the new one yet.

-p
Old 10-08-06, 07:01 PM
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I bought a 2007 GTI a few months ago, and so far so good! if you're looking for a cheaper option, and performance isn't as big of a concern, the base Rabbit shares the same body as the GTI, and starts at under $15k. of course, vw's aren't a statistically reliable car. they do have a 4/50 b2b, and 5/60 powertrain though.

anyhoo, i talk a little more about my gti here, in case anyone was interested.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=474549
Old 10-11-06, 03:24 PM
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What do you think of the G35 sedan? It currently has $2500 off and runs close to invoice too.
Old 10-11-06, 03:40 PM
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Mazdaspeed 3
Old 10-11-06, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Arpeggi


Get a used one if you can't afford a new one.


Stay away from that Hyundai and Mitsubishi crap.

The new VW GTI looks pretty nice too. But if you want reliability stick with Camry.
Sorry, but ignorance is rampant in this posting.

I have the Hyundai Elantra GT (2002 model) and have never had any problems. I've heard the same on many message boards.

You can look at the Elantra or even the Sonata.

I personally would stay away from BMW crap.
Old 10-11-06, 04:09 PM
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Hyundais used to be shit back in the early 90's but times have changed. They are vary reliable. And better than paying for $150 Oil changes at the BMW dealer.
Old 10-11-06, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mopower
Hyundais used to be shit back in the early 90's but times have changed. They are vary reliable. And better than paying for $150 Oil changes at the BMW dealer.
BMW oil changes are actually more economical for me. The owner's manual recommends all synthetic, with changes every 15000 miles. I get a full service oil change for $90 out the door, with a free loaner car (BMW or Mini).

This is definitely a higher price than taking it to WalMart or Jiffy Lube, but you get more reliable service, a free car, and only need to do it every 15000 miles. If you did another car every 3000 miles, you'd spend ~$30*5=$150
Old 10-11-06, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Arpeggi


Get a used one if you can't afford a new one.


That's what I have. If you can find a reliable non-dealer mechanic (one who hopefully does BMWs or at least European cars exclusively) that's a plus on your side.

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