help pick a car

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Jan 12, 2005
ok my friend is looking for a good new car for about $12,000 or less. I know this doesn't sound realistic but that's all that she can afford since she is going to college. She looked at the KIA Rio and she thinks it sounds good for the price but I was wondering how reliable they are. I also told her to look at the Hyundai Accent. Any other cars that I should recommend? Thanks.
Hyunda and Kia have good warranties. Sounds like one of them could be a very wise choice.
Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent are basicaly the same car. For a New car in the Sub 12 range, not a whole lot of choices. I think the Focus is in that price to for the cheapest model. Maybe one of the Scion's? Also, a year or 2 old Elantra can be found for that price (or less), and would still have 3 yrs/up to 60k miles on it's warranty.
I also give the Elantra a vote. Solid car. Hyundai's still don't hold resale value so you can probably get it for even less.
Look at a used Toyota Echo- if you can find one. Car is one of the most reliable on the road, very fuel efficient and holds it's value well. Lots of room and handles well.
I bought an extended warrranty on an older high mileage car a while back. The more I read it the more I felt I paid way too much and the coverage was way too little if a major repair was needed. I cancelled it with full refund while I had a chance. I didn't receive a written copy of the warranty until a couple of weeks after purchase. It was after I read the details of coverage that I cancelled.
Don't buy a Korean car, you will regret it. Even though they have good waranties the cars are junk. A good quality car doesn't need one of these waranties because it should last well beyond 100K miles. Kia's are really bad on tranys. Go with a slightly used Japanese or American car and you really can't go wrong! Heed my warning
I second a new ford foucs, we have had our 02 for three years and 36K trouble free miles! great car. I asked the dealer to look at the brakes and he said they were close to needing replaced, well I ordered new rotors/pads and when I switched them, the old brakes still had another 20K miles left in them. Dont believe all the crap about focus problems, I think they probably had a run of problems the first model year or two and they have been ironed out for the most part. I WOULD NOT buy a kia, my brother has a friend at a dealer and you wouldnt believe how many motors they replace in those things! I wouldnt risk it. Buy the Focus, or a used corolla (the 2002 and below are a tried and true breed, I am not sure on the newer ones- time will tell)
Korean cars are junk? Festivas/Aspires are known to go well over 300k, they're designed by kia, mazda drivetrain built for ford. Any new car can have problems just some fewer than others. I have friends with Hyundai's and no problems. Kia had poor quality when they first came out but they've come along way since then. Warranties Honda 4 years/60,000 miles up to 7 years/100,000 miles, ford 3yr/36,000, toyota?, kia/hyundai 10yr/100,000.
Some to consider... - 2005 Mazda 3 - 2005 Scion xA - 2005 Hyundai Elantra - 2005 Kia Spectra The Mazda 3 is a very nice car, and not so far off her budget. Scion's are ugly (except the coupe) but they should be reliable. Hyundai's are getting better. Skip the Accent, go for the cheapest Elantra as a minimum, like others have suggested. My wife's niece has an Accent which has been reliable (no issues in couple years), but it is very "spartan" overall. I wonder how much Hyundai's "influence" made it into the new Kia Spectra (Hyundai owns Kia now). It looks nice and well built for a small, cheap car... If an used car is an option, look for a Toyota Corolla or Chevy Prizm (essentially a Corolla too) like others have suggested. You can frequently find those coming out of a lease for a decent price. Have fun. [ July 05, 2005, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: GimmeTorq ]
Her budget has to stay where I said for a new car cause that is all that the credit union approved her for. And if she gets a used car it has to be $8000 tax and title included. I tried to convince her to get a used Corolla but she just wants a new car and doesn't want to go through the hassle of having to get a used car checked out. Oh well I tried.
I'd get an Elantra (2002-2003 and up), better than the Aceent, and not much more $$$ than Accent, and has all the "power" things standard...and better in every dept. than the accent. We've been very happy with my wife's 2003 Elantra. Have 32k trouble-free and very fun miles so far...and she drives the heck out of and hwy beater! on our last hwy trip it got 37-38 mpg. Hyundai is not what it used to be...Elantra and Sonata are pretty good cars, and soon they'll be in demand...they've already proved to be well-built, quality cars..
does your friend have $12k cash, or want to finance $12k? Depending on the financing, a $9k car can easily cost more in the long run than a $14k car. Ford now is matching GM's "employee discount" program. Dealers here arae giving the "employee discount" + giving the customer the dealer rebate from the manufacturer that mopst consumers dont even know about. I would look for a strip'd down Chevy Cobalt for $12k out the door. Good car with new warranty. They are way better that the old Cavilers.
Used 95-99 (I prefer 97 or 98) Nissan Maxima, These things are real reliable and will last for ever, there also selling real cheap, and there very nice, quick decent on gas, and they have nice interiors
I'd get a beater and pump money into it when needed. College is all about being poor and having a junky car (if you are lucky enough to have one). [Smile] Does she expect to drive a lot over the course of a year? A lease may not be out of the question if she doesn't drive much and only plans on keeping the car for the time she's in school. If you buy a vehicle on credit you are stuck with getting full coverage insurance so that's an added cost. Steve
Get a junky looking thing with sound mechanicals. Thieves love to wander college parking lots, stealing items inside and sometimes the vehicle. A nice car will receive a plethora of door dings and the idiots unable to operate a vehicle will surely bump the car..... so, buy something you don't care if it is damaged.
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