if buying a new car or new car to me???

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Jun 24, 2006
Roanoke, Texas
If buying a new car or a used one which ones would yall stay away from? Whether it is a sludge monster or just other headaches related to them. I personally lean toward the hondas, nissans, and toyotas myself but looking for input from people that actually drive these or others that they like or dislike....
When buying used, I'm more concerned about the history of a vehicle than the brand. I look for privately owned with a clean carfax and maintenence records.
Love my new Impala. It really does get 32 Mpg.highway, and feels as secure and stable as a bank vault. The HHR that I had was nice too just not quite enough room for 1.5 families on vacation
. Good luck. Rickey.

Originally posted by mikemc:
When buying used, I'm more concerned about the history of a vehicle than the brand. I look for privately owned with a clean carfax and maintenence records.

yep, exactly. If there's no history, don't buy it. You'll want to see regular maintenance performed at the recommended intervals. Otherwise, you could get a used lemon from any brand.
After looking at many, many websites and other reports, I've concluded that, due to good old capitalist competition, there are very few truly bad cars out there (not counting used cars that have been abused). If I needed a car today in the $13000 to $16000 range, I would buy a used Honda Civic or Accord with a MANUAL transmission (5 speed automatics have had some problems), a Toyota Corolla or Camry or a Nissan Altima. If I had a bit more to spend, I'd seriously consider the new Hyundai Sonata with the V-6, which for some reason strikes me as a beautiful car. And yes, get as much info as possible about a used car! Just my 2 cents.
I'm with mikemc and webfors... maintenance history and care are of paramount importance.

A poorly maintained Toyota or Honda would probably be a disappointment compared with a well-maintained Saturn or Escort.
Yes, records, records, records... It is nice to get a car that has a big stack of reciepts f all the maintenance done on it.

I prefer to buy new, but some cars (like my MB) just are not available anymore. Id rather buy a used car with 120k and full records (preferably all maintenance done at the dealer) than a car with 30-60k and not much of anything.

I always believe that if someone intends to keep the car for merely 30-60k miles, they really arent going to care about it much, and theyll do bargain basement PM and whatnot - this certainly is not what I want.

I agree with Ken, but Id suggest not getting a lease return, as you can be almost guaranteed that those people did not care about what they did to ther car - they were going to return it anyway.

I like buying something with a track record so you can expect this-or-that.

Used cars, certainly, but new vehicles with long-running powertrains are decent bets too.

Sometimes they'll make a subtle change-- smaller coolant passages for warmer heads and more sludge. But sometimes they'll eventually reengineer something with a horrible reputation up to be tolerable, like a ford or chrysler 4-speed automatic transmission.

So the "first of a model year" rule sort of applies-- but you can find out if an old powertrain has been reskinned... I'd be comfortable in a scion with a camry powertrain for example.

I agree with all JHZR2 says too. You should monitor bulliten boards for the specific model you want, b/c nissan and toyota make the occasional dud too.... if only for one motor, one year, you'd want to know about it if you saw one used.
JHZR2, I kinda agree about being wary of lease returns but BMW maintains the car under warranty and limits the milage to 10 to 12 thousand miles a year under the lease provisions. A three year old 325, low milage with full maintenance records, that someone else has beaten the initial depreciation out of is still something to consider.
maintenance isnt the whole picture, though... treatment by the leasing driver can have a big impact on longevity, which isnt realized yet at the 36k tradein mark...

I generally refer to the Conumer Reports Used Car Reliability Report. It deatails areas of specific concern for various vehicles by year and model. This is my first "guide". Next, I look for Carfax Vehicle History Report (wouldn't buy used withoutone) and a good maintenance record.
JHZR2, it would take a particularly evil-minded driver to ruin a car in 36K miles. Most of these cars are leased by normal drivers who just want a BMW and can't afford to buy one outright. If the car had been leased by the motoring equivalent of Hannibal Lecter, it would be readily apparent, I believe, to someone who knows cars.
well, I dont appreciate people not driving gently for the first 1000 miles, nor do I appreciate jackrabbit starts, attempts to see what the car can do by driving unecessarily hard, excesive downshiftng (in MT or AT), etc. People who dont know hwo to drive gently, or dont care will do these things, and IMO down the line they will effect longevity.

The problem is, I dont think youll be able to quantify to extent of how hard theyve used the car if you get it at 36k when things are relatively new. The difference will be in quality and operation of the vehicle at 150 or 200k - in fact, it could make the difference between if the car is only a 150k car or a 200k+ car.

Get a real car. Find a lease return BMW 325 with full warranty. You'll likely pay a bit more money but you won't be stuck with a wheezy front wheel drive appliance-car.
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