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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to sell the Mercedes and buy something more economical, reliable and reasonable but still fun to drive and something that I'd still be able to be proud of.

So along with the Roadmaster, I drove a few other cars yesterday.

Basically, my goal here is to buy a new car with a very good reliability track record, but still have it be nice to own and drive. I would like to get a new car because I found that it's just most simple that way....all I gotta do is make payments and put gas in it. Hell some manufacturers will even pay the maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles! It's one less thing to worry about! I just wanna be able to spend x amount of money on the car per month and have that be it....no more expensive repairs....just payments. I've got lots of friends who have bought cars in the 14-20k range, and still have money for their rent, food and still have money for fun....it's all just in how you spend and save your money.

Overall, my main goal is to buy a brand new car where I only have to worry about payments, pay off the Mercedes, and move out and still be able to do OK financially.

Anyways, at first, I wanted a 2-3 year old DTS, but after doing some looking around all the ones in my price range (17-22k) are all just out of warranty, which means that I'll be having to pay for any repairs....and they're Cadillacs....so they're not as cheap as other cars. I thought about a 98-00 Lexus LS400 too, which IMO is probably the finest, most reliable luxury sedan ever made, but those are getting up there in age too, and they'll need repairs too (albeit less than any other luxury car), but then again I'm paying for LEXUS prices. Not cheap. So no luxury cars. I thought of a Roadmaster or Fleetwood too, because they're so simple and durable, but wasn't impressed with how they drove.

So then I thought of a small car...something much better on gas than what I've had, plus they're so...nimble and lithe, but I didn't want something dull or bland.....it had to be fun to drive and fun to own. So basically no Toyotas. :lol: When I had my car in at the dealer last week for the blower motor replacement ($1170!! :eek: ), I test drove a Mini Cooper S and loved that...it just drove so much like a go-kart, the steering was so precise and it was very powerful. So afterwords I went and looked at a base non-turbo Cooper and it was also pretty fun to drive...if not nearly as fast.

Then yesterday I drove an '09 Civic LX Coupe, an '06 Accord EX-V6 Coupe and a '09 GTi Sedan. The Civic was so nimble and light on it's feet. It wasn't the quickest but it's very reasonable, economical and reliable...exactly what I need now. When they came out, I was mixed on the styling, now I've really grown to like it. It's better looking than that gawdawful Corolla, sportier looking than the Sentra, much better looking than the Cobalt and Focus. I'm much more comfortable with the auto than I am with the manuals, otherwise I'd take a look at the 200hp Civic Si (yeah I know it's pretty ricey, but I like cheap speed). The Accord Coupe was nice too, but it didn't have that nimble, light on your feet feeling that the Civic did, but man was that fast.

After I drove that Roadmaster and left unimpressed I drove an '09 GTi and LOVED that car. It felt so solid and teutonic, yet still very nimble and extremely fun to drive. It had the nicest, most luxurious interior with superbu build quality and many features that the others didn't. It rode better than the Hondas or Mini, yet outhandled the Honda. And man for a sweeeeeeet engine!! That little 2.0 turbo just felt so nice...the power comes on down low and hangs on through the entire RPM band, it goes like stink (0-60 in 6.7) and I hear they're quite reliable too. I've checked with consumer reports and they recommended the GTi....they don't recommend most any car, especially ones that aren't reliable. But it seems that VW reliability can be hit or miss. One year can be great and the next can be horseshit. So keep that in mind...

I'm still quite early in my search, but I really liked that GTi. Between the Civic and GTi, the Civic is the more reasonable choice, but the GTi is just so fun to drive. I'd be happy with either of them. And yes, going from the S Class to this is weird, but it'll be nice to get into a much simpler new car with no expensive repairs to worry about...

I did look for a Park Avenue Ultra too, along with the GTP and '90s Bonneville SSEi too, but they're all priced at atleast $5,000 for a good example, and they've still got 100k on them. I don't see any reason to go down that road...

But yeah, that's what's new over here. Now the fun begins...
 

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1995 FTS
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The Vehicle Dependability Study is designed to accurately measure problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles. J.D. Power based this year's results on responses from more than 46,000 original owners of 2006 model-year vehicles. For 2009, the study has also been redesigned to include 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Scores are based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores reflecting higher vehicle quality.



Since you liked the VW so much figured I would toss this out there just as an FYI
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Holy shit Blackout!! Thanks for posting that..
 

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No problem man. My buddy bought a 2004 GTI and over the next year I watched it progressively fall apart. Body panels falling off or dry rotting, interior trim pieces breaking and falling off, electrical issues, etc.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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Volkswagens are horrible when it comes to reliability. My aunt has a '00 Beetle with only 60K miles that has been garaged all its life and it is falling apart. The sunroof leaks and one of the window switches has been replaced twice and is now broken again.

Chad, what about a '00-'05 Impala? I know someone who has one with 160K miles on it (its his work and personal car) and it does great. It is surprisingly spacious and I fit very comfortably in the back seat. The seats are comfortable, it greats great gas mileage and it has some power to boot. His is the very base model but the suspension is great and soaks up all sorts of bumps but also allows you to whip it around corners if you wanted. In that 160K the only problems he has had is a clogged CAT and a broken exterior door handle (they are just plastic) but he found one at a junkyard for $10.

Also honorable mentions, Lincoln Town Car, Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria. Around here the municipalities use Crown Victorias as general vehicles, not for police duty so you can get them in good condition (they REALLY take care of these cars) with decent miles for a great price. My old high school sells their driver's ed cars, which are Crown Vics, every 5 years or so and they are great. The schools wants to keep the kids safe so maintenance is a top priority and the cars are never beat on because new drivers are afraid to take chances.
 

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Out of those I'd definitely lean towards the GTi. Don't forget VW gives you a 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, and a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. I'm actually considering a gently used 2008-09 R32 for my next car. Just read a ton of reviews, test drive another, and decide if it suits your needs better than the Hondas.
 

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Suggestions for new:
Mazda3
Mazdaspeed3
Mazda6

Check the lease rates and residuals. My son leased a Mazda6 last year for about $250 per month and the purchase price after 24 mos should be $2k less than the market price. He can buy it and keep it or should be able to sell it for a profit.

Suggestions for late model CPO:
LaCrosse CXS
Lucerne CXS

The Buick CPO program isn't as good as Cadillac's, but you can get a very nice 2 yr. old Buick for a big discount.

You should also be able to find a CPO 07 Lincoln MKZ in your price range. The Lincoln CPO program is comparable to Cadillac's. My MKZ has been very reliable.
 

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2018 Mazda 6 (Venus) 1964 Impala (Betty) 1991 Miata (Dolly)
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Since you mentioned them earlier, I'd also suggest you test drive an Acura TSX that's a year or more old. You might be able to get a certified used one for a good price. It's going to have that smaller nimbleness that you liked in the Civic and the VW, but a more luxurious feel, plus Honda reliability.

Don't let the Acura badge scare you off. The mechanicals are all Honda, so it's not going to eat you alive for parts and service any more than the Civic would. Probably less than the VW, too. I'm always a bit leery of turbos anyway. I like my power the old-fashioned way.
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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The thought of the small econosports on the long flat Mid-west highway stretches leaves me a bit wishing for something a bit more compatible with the environment in which you find youself. I don't see you in a "blahmobile" or a "geezer's delight" either. The VW GTi is a great driver, fun and capable of covering long distances comfortably .... but let's face it, their reliabilty and other problems are an expense, not to mention a time consumer to get put right.

So my suggestion is a good clean late model Pontiac GTO. There are plenty of low mileage cars around at pretty low prices. The build quality was decent and the engine pretty much bullet proof, most of the accessories were not unique to the model so they should be cheap to come by. While the 6 speed would be fun, I'v driven the automatic on several ocassions was completely happy with it. Well that's my 2 cents worth, best of luck selling your Merc ....... maybe an add in the Pan African Gazette might find a young dictator's subaltern who'd love to have it. I'll be interested to hear what you end up replacing the S Class with in the coming months.
 

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So my suggestion is a good clean late model Pontiac GTO. There are plenty of low mileage cars around at pretty low prices.
Ugh, GTO's. Good car and all but I've known 5 different people that have owned GTO's and they all have had nothing but problems. One of them was so bad that he took the car back within 5 months of buying it because every other day there was something new breaking on the car.
 

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I almost bought a 2005 GTO.. but for the same price you can get a loaded Infiniti G35 Coupe with Navigation, Xenons, and so much more than the GTO offers.


Seriously though, I can't see you in a GTi. My brother traded his DTS on a new Passat CC VR6 (all maintenance paid for 3 years). Now that I can see you in :thumbsup:





He got 1.9% APR for 60 months too! It is a really nice car and he doesn't miss the DTS one bit.


But seriously, before you buy a Civic; buy another Deville or something!! .. or you WILL lose your man card!
 

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Ugh, GTO's. Good car and all but I've known 5 different people that have owned GTO's and they all have had nothing but problems. One of them was so bad that he took the car back within 5 months of buying it because every other day there was something new breaking on the car.
Hey, Blackout, good imput! You don't know much about a acar till you've heard from those that have owned one. An Audi is a great example, great design and potential performance ......... POS to own and try and keep running right, but sure sounds good in the car mags and looks and drives well on the demo drive .... it's after it's in your garage that the problems start.
 

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.. oh, and how much are you selling the S320 for?
 

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01 STS, 92 Roadmaster, 01 SLS-sold, 88 Brougham-crushed
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Seems like all kinds of suggestions are getting thrown out there. So just for the heck of it, how bout this one. http://blogs.cars.com/photos/uncategorized/astra1.jpg
http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/48392/size/big/cat/
My gf's brother just bought an Astra and absolutely loves it. Handles likes it's on rails and while not amazing in the power department, it is adequate. He also got it for like 6k off msrp since nothing is selling right now. I have heard of people getting them for 12k brand new and after using their gm card earnings, 9k.
 

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Personally, I think you're looking for an excuse for a new car. I know because I've been there and done that, regretted it later (Range Rover) and if that weren't bad enough, have to hear Dave Ramsey call me out on it every day on the radio. If the S Class has a comprehensive warranty I'm not even sure what you're so worried about.

WITH THAT BEING SAID... Obvious choices... 2003-05 E46 BMW CPO, or 2003-05 Cadillac CTS. 15-17k will get you a perfect CPO and those things are both solid as a rock.

So stop crying your heart out, you don't think you'll miss your S Class now, but once it's gone it'll feel as if it's half the world away. :sneaky:
 

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I really like what Brian had to share. It is very nice not having car payments to worry about. I don't have to keep it in the back of my mind that I need to watch what I am spending because every month they take away $400. I have my direct deposit set up from work so 25% of my paycheck automatically goes into my ING savings account, which is currently paying like 5% interest, I haven't checked in a while.

That money I mainly use for fronting my tuition money and then I get reimbursed from my college fund. Apart from that I hardly ever touch it but there is plenty in there for whatever emergency repairs are needed and if something horrible ever happened to either of my cars there is enough for me to get another. The part that I have in my checking account goes towards whatever I want to spend it on. Either way its all my money and I don't owe anybody anything.
 
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