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Old 05-10-2010, 06:16 AM
50 posts, read 219,629 times
Reputation: 44


I am thinking of buying a new car for my teenage children. I had very bad experience of used car purchasing in California, so I want to buy a small, affordable new car especially Hyundai. What I am wondering is that I don't see many Hyundai car on the street. For last couple of days, my family checked the brand of cars whenever we are outside, and we found only one Hyundai car on the street. Considering pretty good online reviews and better warranty program of Hyundai, I think this is weird. Is there any specific trend here about car brand like resale value? This is the first time car buying in this area, so any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:30 AM
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I see Hyundais all the time. I think that the reason you are not seeing them is because you don't really know what to look for. . . . except for a tiny badge on the trunklid. Here is what their smallest, most inexpensive car looks like.

Hyundai Accent: Safe, Small Cars - More Interior Than Corolla & Civic | Hyundai (http://www.hyundaiusa.com/vehicles/2010/accent-3-door/ - broken link)

Hyundai has made vast improvements in their quality and styling in the past few years. They still have a bit of progress to make in other areas (i.e., use of lightweight metals instead of steel, more advanced engines, etc) but I would actually consider buying one now for a family car. That wasn't the case 2-3 years ago.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:34 AM
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It all depends on how much you want to spend. Hyundia/Honda are good dependable cars. I have an '08 Civic and it is a very good car. Goto KBB.com or edmunds.com and research.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:12 AM
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,168,750 times
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There are plenty of Hyundais around, but it is a brand that only recently has been getting noticed by the general public. Personally, while I do like the design of a number of their new vehicles (especially the new Genesis, both the coupe and the sedan), I wouldn't buy one for a few more years until I see how good the reliability really is.

As a fellow former Californian, I will say you will notice much less foreign vehicles on the road here than you do out there. Perhaps that's influencing what you see.

While I understand you've been burned on used vehicles before, I would not discount them categorically. I would imagine insurance on a brand new vehicle that will be driven mostly by teenagers cannot be cheap. Perhaps a certified pre-owned vehicle with a factory-backed warranty would be a good choice?

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:44 AM
Location: Cary, NC
869 posts, read 2,533,163 times
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A new car (for most teens) is a mistake. Let them learn how to change a flat, check/add/change oil, fill tires, add washer fluid, other basic maintenance AND have the nicks/dents/fender-benders they are going to have in a good, solid, dependable used car preferably 5+ years old. It will make a world of difference on everything from insurance to repairs to peace of mind if something gets damaged on a used car. I could write for hours on this topic but here's a few pieces of advice I'll put out here for your consideration:

A good used car would be 4 cylinders (to reduce temptation to show off, and better gas mileage), some structural beef (Volvo, Subaru, small SUV) and good maintenance records. Many people beat the daylights out of their cars and just move on to another one when done with it. I have had tremendous good luck with the few used cars I have bought and they make more sense to own than new in many cases.

I am a complete Subaru fanatic. They have full-time AWD, good collision protection (beefy in the Outback, especially) and although the all-wheel drive does not give it the highest gas mileage you'll find, there's a great tradeoff with the durability of the car and the safety of the AWD and solid construction that would protect in an emergency.

Teens should know all the basics I described above regarding simple maintenance that they will need to know during their lives. Don't skimp on this. Teach them how to replace wiper blades, tail light bulbs and all bulbs, keep glass clean inside and out, the fact that sun visors also swing out to shield eyes from peripheral sun glare, loosening lug nuts before you begin to jack up the car and loosening/tinghtening them always one opposite the other and not in sequential order like on a clock. Perhaps you know all of this but I like to share.

So, I would go with 2000-2005 vehicle, do my research on best make/model/year of same and pick a winner that has been well-maintained. Have your dependable local mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection if you buy privately and you won't be sorry. There's more but the boss wants me. Good luck.

p.s. A used Hyundai would be an option I would eliminate completely. You would be regretting it instantly, IMO.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:14 AM
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,033 posts, read 5,834,235 times
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I see Hyundais all the time. We love my wife's 2006 Sonata. No issues whatsoever plus loaded well with options for her.

I think hyundai is years ahead of what they were 10 years ago.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:57 AM
1,106 posts, read 2,841,022 times
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Unless your kid has plenty experience I would't get a new car either. Just something dependable that won't bother you as much if he/she totals it.

But to answer your question. I wouldn't be afraid of a Hyundai. But I wouldn't buy their cheapest model either. I like the Sonata.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:22 PM
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I'd look for something a few years old - still pretty new but old enough not to be too expensive. The biggest factors in new-driver crashes are distractions and inexperience, so I'd go with a two-seater car - less passengers, and thus less distraction.

I'd also buy a manual transmission car - you have to pay more attention when you drive a manual, it forces new drivers (all drivers, really) to pay attention to the road.

Depending on your budget, there are plenty of good 3-5 yr old cars for a new driver. The Mini, Miata, Sentra, a Civic, or Mazda 3 are all good cars. Small enough to easily control, not overly powerful, relatively inexpensive yet appealing to a teen, and can be found with manual transmissions. Good on gas and insurance too.

Has your child expressed any interest in what car they might want?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:36 PM
Location: Midtown Raleigh
1,074 posts, read 2,753,840 times
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We had a Hyundai Sonata for awhile and really liked it- it was an 03.

If the kids pay for at least some of the car expenses on their own, they'll appreciate it more!
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:05 PM
Location: Wake County
345 posts, read 884,362 times
Reputation: 243
We bought ours an '06 Scion TC 6 months ago. 5 speed manual. Great on gas, and she loves her little car. It's got enough pep to get around well, but not so much she will be street racing in it. We spent MONTHS researching, test driving...I just about needed meds to make it through.

Good luck, and may the force be with you!! .
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