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Old 04-06-2010, 10:08 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,286,780 times
Reputation: 4005

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Well, if you aren't "tight on cash" then why are you only looking at vehicles around $8K-10K? You can be frugal, but I would invest a bit more in getting something you really want. If you bump up your price range to $15K or $20K you can get a much nicer vehicle that you WON'T have to worry about surprise repairs. Makes sense, don't it?
We just bought two homes over the past year (the most recent being two weeks ago) in cash and my mother tends to be very frugal if she knows she can get something for less. On top of that, she has a car that runs perfectly fine although its not the prettiest thing. Combine these issues and you can see why she's not aiming overly high. $15k is not out of the question but it's going to have to be one heck of a deal. We looked at a 2008 Lexus LS (Salvage title) and a 911 Porsche on auction but they are still hitting above that mark. She will never buy the car unless she knows she's getting a steal.

Last edited by iTsLiKeAnEgG; 04-06-2010 at 10:16 PM..

 
Old 04-06-2010, 10:46 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,209,716 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by iTsLiKeAnEgG View Post
We just bought two homes over the past year (the most recent being two weeks ago) in cash and my mother tends to be very frugal if she knows she can get something for less. On top of that, she has a car that runs perfectly fine although its not the prettiest thing. Combine these issues and you can see why she's not aiming overly high. $15k is not out of the question but it's going to have to be one heck of a deal.
Honestly, all I see is someone frugal having a cow when a $8K "luxury" car comes with a $2k repair bill for something. Or two $1k bills within 6 months.

Consider this for a 2yr ownership cost:
  1. $8k used German car: Spend, say, $3500 (it could easily be more) to keep it running for 2 years. It loses 20-25% in depreciation in that time. You've spent $5K+ (and that's without any catastrophic failures).
  2. $18-20k CPO: Spend, say, $500 on routine maintenance while repairs are covered under warranty. With similar % in depreciation, you've 'spent' the same amount of money over the same timeframe, but you've driven a newer and/or nicer car and never worried about repairs.
Despite being a big german car fan, I struggle to think of many models I'd buy at the $8-10K range. I'd either spend 20+ on a CPO or I'd spend 4-6 on a simpler, more reliable, older model that I personally adore (e.g. W124 E-class or W126 S-class) and put away the rest for a repair/maint. fund

Two other cars which haven't been mentioned yet and are relatively rare compared to the ubiquitous Lexus ES are the Infiniti Q45 and 1st generation M45 (2003-2004). The combination of their somewhat avantgarde designs and relative rarity means the average person has no idea how old they are (assuming in good shape). I'd look into those to see what their reliability is like.
 
Old 04-06-2010, 10:53 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,286,780 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post
Honestly, all I see is someone frugal having a cow when a $8K "luxury" car comes with a $2k repair bill for something. Or two $1k bills within 6 months.

Consider this for a 2yr ownership cost:
  1. $8k used German car: Spend, say, $3500 (it could easily be more) to keep it running for 2 years. It loses 20-25% in depreciation in that time. You've spent $5K+ (and that's without any catastrophic failures).
  2. $18-20k CPO: Spend, say, $500 on routine maintenance while repairs are covered under warranty. With similar % in depreciation, you've 'spent' the same amount of money over the same timeframe, but you've driven a newer and/or nicer car and never worried about repairs.
Despite being a big german car fan, I struggle to think of many models I'd buy at the $8-10K range. I'd either spend 20+ on a CPO or I'd spend 4-6 on a simpler, more reliable, older model that I personally adore (e.g. W124 E-class or W126 S-class) and put away the rest for a repair/maint. fund

Two other cars which haven't been mentioned yet and are relatively rare compared to the ubiquitous Lexus ES are the Infiniti Q45 and 1st generation M45 (2003-2004). The combination of their somewhat avantgarde designs and relative rarity means the average person has no idea how old they are (assuming in good shape). I'd look into those to see what their reliability is like.
I'm not sure about the Q but the M is a very reliable vehicle. I spoke with her earlier and for now it looks like she's sticking with the auctions (copart.com). She's retired and spend a good deal of time at home so she has plenty of time to scour until she find something she likes.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,750 posts, read 25,526,667 times
Reputation: 6676
Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post
The early builds of the W211 E-class (introduced in late 2002 as a 2003 model) were terrible. Stay away. The rest of your comments I mostly agree with.
True, there were some issues early in the W211 series, that I had forgotten, since I haven't had experience with that year, before and after, but not the first year of the new series. I want to say that I remember something about the audio system having some bizarre computer problem that could not be fixed, just reset, but that fix was not permanent. The end of the W210 was not bad, however, especially compared to the earlier years of the series, though as they age, an extended warranty might not be a bad idea (depending upon cost) for one bought used, since the repairs can have expensive parts.

The most important thing with any Benz, however, is the mechanic, since some dealerships have complete clowns who know less than I do about repairing vehicles, and I'm far from a mechanic. All they want to do is replace every part known to exist in the car, one trip at a time.

I also think the OP was wise to give the S-Class a wide berth, since they are just now coming back to the reliability that they once had.

If you don't mind spending a little more, or could find a deal on one, I'd look for an Acura TSX for a smaller car, but still bigger than the Sentra that you want to replace.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:37 AM
 
404 posts, read 1,209,378 times
Reputation: 219
hows about a Jag X-Type? a 2.5 ought to be enough for a mom but a 3.0 can probably be had, too



EDIT: ok i have just been informed by LVD this is a crap car

carry on

or, how about a milk carton on wheels with a nice carpet?

Last edited by ploopy; 04-07-2010 at 04:00 AM..
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,613,257 times
Reputation: 9173
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
The 1995 - 1999 series Cadillac Sedan DeVille is just about THE most beautiful car ever made. Your mom does herself a huge disservice by not checking them out. There are a few individuals out there that you can still find below 70k miles. IMHO there has never been a better car made.

20yrsinBranson
Oh jeez. Why would someone who likes a firm handling and driving car like an Audi want to look at a land barge?

I'm sorry. Don't mean to be rude but your recommendation is useful only to people already pre-disposed to this style of soft riding highway living room with wheels cars.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,286,780 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Oh jeez. Why would someone who likes a firm handling and driving car like an Audi want to look at a land barge?

I'm sorry. Don't mean to be rude but your recommendation is useful only to people already pre-disposed to this style of soft riding highway living room with wheels cars.
That's about right. I'm sure its a comfortable car for someone, but we don't find it attractive in any sense. The Audi was just about perfect for my mom in terms of ride quality (a bit softer than my G35) and handling. It still turned a corner really well and the steering was very light unlike my G35 which is heavier weighted (which I prefer). I am well aware of Audi's reputation and we are definitely wary of buying one used which is another reason we didn't jump to purchase the one we test drove.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:40 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,498,385 times
Reputation: 14278
I personally wouldn't buy used German sport/luxury at that age/mileage. What you save in purchase will quickly be made up for in maintenance. Used + luxury = Acura/Infiniti/Lexus all the way. I'd really be looking hard at Acura TL's and TSX's. Enough luxury and sport to satisfy and very reliable. It may push the budget a bit, but if your mom is shopping auctions and can wait some nice ones will come along.

The only other option I could think of would be a 2004+ Cadillac CTS. Not as luxurrious as some, not as sporty as others, but overall a nice blend in a decent and very affordable package. You will also have a large selection to choose from and finding one in your price range shouldn't be too hard.

PS As for the Boxster's, run, don't walk away from ~2000 Boxsters with high mileage. You'll spend more in the first year fixing it then you will for buying the car.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,810,577 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Your mom would be well pleased with a 2003/2004 Toyota Avalon. Those years of Avalon were not in the recalls and are one whale of a lotta car for the money!! Also the Avalon is a sleeper that most folk's don't know about since it markets to the older mature customer base that demands comfort and superior reliability which Avalon has in spades!!

If not Avalon then look at recent year Buick for a car for mom.

Good God, someone asks for luxury car recommendations and you offer Bucik and an Avalon?

What planet are you from?
 
Old 04-07-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,810,577 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by iTsLiKeAnEgG View Post
The ES is too pedestrian, its a comfy but lacks excitement. I've already recommended it. I'm looking at the previous gen LS, which are attainable for about $15k. Lexus vehicles aren't known for driving excitement but the ES is a huffied up Camry while the LS is in a world of its own.

My mom owns an 04 LS, and having worked at Lexus, I can tell you that a previous-generation LS would be your best bet. It's an amazing car, easily one of the most luxurious and best-feeling cars on the road.

Well worth the extra $5K, if you are so inclined. Go drive one and you will be hooked. I think they are better in some respects than the current-generation LS.
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