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A bit off topic

Discussion in 'New England' started by Tom S, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

    Jan 2, 2003
    295
    Northeast
    Full Name:
    Thomas Saupe
    My sister-in-law called this morning with questions about a first car for my niece. She'll be getting her license (hopefully) tomorrow. She had seen an ad for a '97 Mercedes wagon with 97K miles. The price was $6500. Although I agreed that the safety aspect of Mercedes was good, their maintenance costs are high and I suggested she might want to reconsider the car. With those high miles it's likely that things will begin to fail and the car may become a shop queen.

    So, Im looking for suggestions. As a first car it needs to be safe, good protection but also relatively inexpensive to maintain. Obviously anything she gets is likely to be high mileage, so maintenance costs really need to figure into the equation. Any suggestions for an under $7K first car? I've heard some good things about Toyota Avalons and VW Passats. What else should she be looking at?

    Tom
     
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  3. billh

    billh Karting

    May 2, 2002
    208
    central mass
    Full Name:
    Bill Henderson
    Hey Tom,

    Good to see you and your wife yesterday at the gathering in Lincoln. I wish we got their earlier to say more than just "hi".

    awesome 328 btw.

    I would say go Honda. great reliability and generally good cars. my 94 accord has 195k on it and still drives like new.
     
  4. Capt

    Capt Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    221
    North of Boston
    Full Name:
    Michael
    I'm a big fan of Consumer Reports, since they actually collect empirical data on reliability and such.

    Here is their lists:

    Repeat offenders

    Be especially careful when considering these models. They have shown several years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability. They are listed alphabetically.

    Audi A6
    BMW 7 Series
    Cadillac Seville
    Chevrolet Astro
    Chevrolet Blazer
    Chevrolet S-10 (4WD)
    Chrysler Town & Country (AWD)
    Dodge Grand Caravan (AWD)
    Dodge Neon
    GMC Jimmy
    GMC Safari
    GMC Sonoma (4WD)
    Jaguar S-Type
    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Mercedes-Benz M-Class
    Oldsmobile Bravada
    Oldsmobile Cutlass
    Plymouth Neon
    Volkswagen Golf
    Volkswagen Jetta
    Volkswagen New Beetle

    Reliable used cars

    These models showed better-than-average reliability in our latest survey; they are listed alphabetically by price range and model year. All prices are rounded to the nearest $1,000. The price ranges are what you'd pay for a typically equipped vehicle with average mileage.


    Less than $6,000
    Buick Century ’97-98
    Chevrolet Prizm ’98-00
    Ford Escort ’97-01, F-150 (2WD) ’96,
    Ranger (2WD) ’96-97
    Geo Prizm ’96-97, Tracker ’96-97
    Honda Civic ’96
    Mazda 626 ’98, B-Series (2WD) ’96-98,
    Protegé ’96-99
    Mercury Tracer ’97-99
    Nissan Altima ’96-97, Pickup ’96-97,
    Sentra ’96-99
    Saturn S-Series ’96, ‘98-99
    Subaru Impreza ’96-97
    Suzuki Sidekick ’96-97
    Toyota Corolla ’96-98, Tercel ’96-97

    $6,000-$8,000
    Acura Integra ’96
    Chevrolet Prizm ’01
    Ford Crown Victoria ’97-98,
    Escort ’02, F-150 (2WD) ’97,
    Mustang ’98, Ranger (2WD) ’98-99
    Honda Accord ’96-97, Civic ’97-99
    Infiniti G20 ’96
    Mazda 626 ’99, B-Series (2WD) ’99,
    Millenia ’96, MX-5 Miata ’96-97,
    Protegé ’00
    Mercury Grand Marquis ’97-98
    Nissan Altima ’98-99, Frontier ’98,
    Maxima ’96, Sentra ’00
    Saturn S-Series ’01
    Subaru Impreza ’98, Legacy/Outback ’96-98
    Toyota Camry ’96-97, Corolla ’99-00,
    Echo ’00-01, RAV4 ’96-97, Tacoma ’96-97

    $8,000-$10,000
    Acura CL ’97-98, Integra ’97-98, TL ’96
    Buick Century ’00-01, Regal ’99
    Chevrolet Prizm ’02
    Ford Crown Victoria ’99-00, F-150 (2WD) ’98-99, F-150 (4WD) ’97, Mustang ’99,
    Ranger (2WD) ’00
    Honda Accord ’98, Civic ’00, CR-V ’97-98,
    Odyssey ’96, Prelude ’96
    Hyundai Elantra ’02
    Infiniti I30 ’96-98
    Isuzu Oasis ’96-98
    Lincoln Continental ’98, Town Car ’96-97
    Mazda 626 ’00, B-Series (2WD) ’00,
    Millenia ’97-98, Protegé ’01
    Mercury Grand Marquis ’99
    Mitsubishi Eclipse ’00
    Nissan Altima ’00, Frontier ’99,
    Maxima ’97-98, Pathfinder ’96-97, Sentra ’01
    Saturn S-Series ’02
    Subaru Forester ’98, Impreza ’99
    Toyota Avalon ’96-98, Camry ’98,
    Celica ’96-98, Corolla ’01-02, Echo ’02,
    Previa ’96, RAV4 ’98-99, T100 ’96-97,
    Tacoma ’98

    $10,000-$12,000
    Acura Integra ’99, TL ’97-98
    Buick Regal ’00
    Chrysler PT Cruiser ’01
    Ford F-150 (2WD) ’00, F-150 (4WD) ’98,
    Mustang ’00
    Honda Accord ’99, Civic ’01, CR-V ’99,
    Odyssey ’97-98, Prelude ’97-98
    Infiniti G20 ’99, Q45 ’96, QX4 ’97-98
    Lexus ES300 ’96
    Lincoln Continental ’99, Town Car ’98
    Mazda 626 ’01-02, Millenia ’99, MPV ’00,
    MX-5 Miata ’99, Protegé ’02
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class ’96-97
    Mercury Grand Marquis ’00
    Nissan Altima ’01, Frontier ’00,
    Maxima ’99, Pathfinder ’98
    Subaru Impreza ’00, Legacy/Outback ’99
    Toyota 4Runner ’96-97, Camry ’99-00,
    Camry Solara ’99, RAV4 ’00,
    Sienna ’98, T100 ’98, Tacoma ’99

    $12,000-$14,000
    Acura CL ’99, Integra ’00, RL ’96-97
    BMW 3 Series ’97, Z3 ’97
    Buick Century ’02-03, Regal ’01-02
    Chevrolet Impala ’02, Silverado 1500
    (2WD) ’00
    Chrysler PT Cruiser ’02
    GMC Sierra 1500 (2WD) ’00
    Honda Accord ’00, Civic ’02, CR-V ’00,
    Prelude ’99
    Hyundai Elantra ’03
    Infiniti G20 ’00, I30 ’99, Q45 ’97
    Lexus ES300 ’97-98
    Lincoln Continental ’00, Town Car ’99
    Mazda Millenia ’00, MPV ’01, MX-5
    Miata ’00, Protegé ’03
    Mitsubishi Eclipse ’01
    Nissan Maxima ’00, Pathfinder ’99, Xterra ’00
    Subaru Forester ’00, Impreza ’01,
    Legacy/Outback ’00
    Toyota 4Runner ’98, Avalon ’99,
    Camry ’01, Celica ’99-00,
    Corolla ’03, Sienna ’99, Tacoma ’00
    $14,000-$16,000
    Acura Integra ’01, RL ’98, TL ’99
    BMW Z3 ’98
    Buick LeSabre ’02
    Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2WD) ’01
    Ford F-150 (2WD) ’01, F-150 (4WD) ’00
    GMC Sierra 1500 (2WD) ’01
    Honda Accord ’01, Civic ’03, CR-V ’01,
    Prelude ’00
    Infiniti G20 ’01, Q45 ’98, QX4 ’99
    Lexus ES300 ’99, GS300/GS400 ’96,
    LS400 ’96, SC400 ’96
    Mazda Millenia ’01, MX-5 Miata ’01-02
    Nissan Maxima ’01, Pathfinder ’00, Xterra ’01
    Subaru Forester ’01, Impreza ’02, Legacy ’01,
    Outback ’01
    Toyota 4Runner ’99, Camry Solara ’00,
    Celica ’01, Land Cruiser ’96, Prius ’01,
    RAV4 ’01, Sienna ’00, Tacoma ’01, Tundra ’00

    $16,000-$18,000
    Acura RL ’99, TL ’00
    BMW Z3 ’99
    Buick Regal ’03
    Chevrolet Impala ’03
    Ford F-150 (2WD) ’02
    Honda Accord ’02, Prelude ’01
    Hyundai Santa Fe ’02
    Infiniti G20 ’02, I30 ’00
    Lexus SC400 ’97
    Lincoln Town Car ’00
    Mazda Millenia ’02, MPV ’02, MX-5 Miata ’03
    Pontiac Vibe ’03
    Toyota 4Runner ’00, Avalon ’00, Camry ’02,
    Camry Solara ’01, Celica ’02,
    Land Cruiser ’97, Prius ’02, RAV4 ’02,
    Sienna ’01, Tacoma ’02, Tundra ’01

    $18,000-$20,000
    Acura CL ’01, RSX ’02-03, TL ’01
    BMW 3 Series ’99
    Buick LeSabre ’03
    Ford F-150 (2WD) ’03
    Honda CR-V ’02, Element ’03, Odyssey ’00
    Infiniti I30 ’01, Q45 ’99, QX4 ’00
    Lexus ES300 ’00, GS300/GS400 ’98,
    LS400 ’97-98, RX300 ’99
    Lincoln Town Car ’01
    Mazda6 ’03
    Nissan Altima ’03, Frontier ’03, Maxima ’02,
    Pathfinder ’01
    Toyota Avalon ’01, Camry Solara ’02, Prius ’03,
    Sienna ’02

    $20,000-$22,000
    Acura CL ’02, RL ’00
    BMW Z3 ’00
    Honda Accord ’03, Odyssey ’01, S2000 ’00
    Hyundai Santa Fe ’03
    Lexus GS300/GS400 ’99
    Nissan Maxima ’03, Pathfinder ’02, Xterra ’03
    Subaru Forester ’03
    Toyota Camry ’03, Camry Solara ’03, Celica ’03, Highlander ’01, Land Cruiser ’98, RAV4 ’03,
    Tacoma ’03, Tundra ’02

    $22,000-$26,000
    Acura RL ’01
    BMW 5 Series ’99, Z3 ’01
    Ford F-150 (4WD) ’03
    Honda CR-V ’03, Odyssey ’02, S2000 ’02
    Infiniti I35 ’02, QX4 ’01-02
    Lexus ES300 ’01, GS300/GS400 ’00,
    IS300 ’01-02, LS400 ’99, RX300 ’00
    Lincoln Town Car ’02
    Nissan Pathfinder ’03
    Toyota 4Runner ’01-02, Avalon ’02,
    Highlander ’02, Land Cruiser ’99, Sienna ’03,
    Tundra ’03

    $26,000-$30,000
    Acura RL ’02
    BMW 3 Series ’02, 5 Series ’00
    Honda Odyssey ’03, Pilot ’03, S2000 ’03
    Infiniti G35 ’03, I35 ’03, Q45 ’01
    Lexus ES300 ’02, IS300 ’03, LS400 ’00,
    LX470 ’99, RX300 ’01
    Nissan 350Z ’03, Murano ’03
    Porsche Boxster ’00
    Saab 9-5 ’03
    Toyota Avalon ’03, Highlander ’03,
    Land Cruiser ’00

    $30,000 and up
    Acura MDX ’01-03
    BMW 5 Series ’01-03
    Infiniti FX ’03, Q45 ’02
    Lexus ES300 ’03, GS300/GS400 ’01,
    GS300/GS430 ‘02-03, LS400 ’01,
    LS430 ’02-03, LX470 ’00-03, RX300 ’02-03,
    SC430 ’02
    Toyota Land Cruiser ’01-02, Sequoia ’01-02
     
  5. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

    Jan 2, 2003
    295
    Northeast
    Full Name:
    Thomas Saupe
    Thanks, Bill & Capt. Some good ideas there. Bill. we'll have to find a time to get together since we're nearly neighbors.

    Tom
     
  6. WAR EGL

    WAR EGL Formula Junior

    May 8, 2003
    726
    SE Connecticut
    Full Name:
    TWS
    Tom,
    Not sure how much your sister-in-law is willing to stray above the $7K limit, but a friend of mine recently picked up a leftover 2003 Ford Focus for a under $10K. It was a 5-speed three door with no ammenities. The question is, is it worth $3K for the new car warranty (or to have to drive a Focus)? Something to consider anyway.

    TWS
     
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  8. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,687
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Consumer Reports put out a used car guide a while back and I bought it because I was looking for a car. They consistently find that Honda, Acura, Toyota and Lexus are the top 4 most reliable cars. WHich is to say that Honda and Toyota are the most reliable manufacturers.

    I say buy her a nice 308. Might as well go around in style.

    Birdman
     
  9. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

    Jan 2, 2003
    295
    Northeast
    Full Name:
    Thomas Saupe
    Bird,

    She has a promise that once she becomes proficient with a standard shift she gets to drive the 328. That's as far as I'll go. Although, maybe she can be my excuse to buy a 355 with paddles!
     
  10. Giovanni_P

    Giovanni_P Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    368
    MetroWest, MA
    Full Name:
    John Pelliccio
    To add to the pile of anecdotal evidence, we have had great luck with Hondas and Toyotas over the years. My parents have had 2 Toyotas that they ended up donating to charity with 190k or so miles on them- in both cases the tow truck guy just started up the cars and drove them away.

    When our daughter showed up, we reluctantly sold my wife's 95 Civic DX (2 doors, tough for car seats) with 133k miles on the clock for $3300. Had an airbag and ABS and ran like a champ. Cheap to fix, too.

    Ironically, we replaced it with an 02 Camry with which we've had a surprising number of maintainence issues.

    -Gio P
     

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