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Old 08-27-2012, 03:57 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,149 times
Reputation: 16

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I'm the type that typically researches things to death but I'm in a bind and need to replace my Acura with 200k that has died.

I've always owned a Honda and for the first time in my life i'm wanting to purchase a vehicle outright and NOT finance a penny of it. I have my heart set on a vehicle that will be exactly what I want (and what I can afford) in 3-4 years. So I need an interim vehicle to last that 3-4 years.

I need a 4-door midsize sedan that can get me to and from work efficiently and occasionally take kids with me (safety is important).

I'm looking at an absolute max out of pocket of 10k. I'm considering alot of brands I know little about and wanted to ask the community to share their insight and experience.

What brands should I be considering?

Ones that have crossed my radar include: Hyundai Elantra (bang for buck?), Mazda 3 or 6, Toyota Camry...

Any strong recommendations? Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:44 PM
 
17,400 posts, read 21,267,091 times
Reputation: 22711
First, I hope you realize that you are...all over the page, so to speak...regarding the cars that you are looking at.

You say that you are interested in a mid-size car, but then you throw the Elantra and the Mazda 3 (which are both compacts) into the mix. If you bounce from compacts to mid-size and back again to compacts, you are just going to confuse yourself. So--either look at just compacts (Elantra, Mazda 3, Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza), or look just at mid-size sedans (Camry, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Sonata). Otherwise, you are "comparing apples to oranges".

My best suggestion is to pick up a copy of the Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers Guide, which can be found at Barnes & Noble and some other well-stocked news stands. This will show you the pros and cons (including historical reliability data and pricing information) of everything that should be available on the used car market in the US. After educating yourself via this comprehensive publication, you will be better able to make some decisions in the marketplace.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 16,293,868 times
Reputation: 11130
While I'm sure Retriever has the best of intentions, I wouldn't let the rice wine drunks at Consumers Report evaluate a lawn mower....oh wait, they managed to screw that up too. Look to Edmunds if you want an online car evaluation..... and it's free. If your looking at a compact, the Focus is as good as any on the road. They can be bought fairly cheap. Looking for more luxury, look to the Buicks with the V6s, it's GMs best they make regardless of price.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:01 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,047,744 times
Reputation: 14800
And an opinion from a mechanic, BRAND of car doesn't really make much difference. Since you're buying used and local, look to see what's in your budget that fits your wants/needs. Then find a good mechanic to do a PPI (that's 'pre purchase inspection') on the car and buy the one that's in the best condition. A good mechanic will nearly never be found at a dealership. If you need help finding a good mechanic, you can try the resource here:

Mechanics Search | Car Talk

I haven't seen bought/faked reviews, they tend to be informed and reliable, by actual consumers.


Do NOT discard newer cars with high miles, and do Not favor old cars with low miles (I'm talking less than 5k a year average). Vehicles like being used and tend to accumulate issues when left sitting.

Both my vehicles were bought for right at 10k miles. Both were about 3 years old, right around 100k miles and have been with me, and trouble-free, for 9 years. One of them now has 234,000 miles and is still going strong (diesel VW Jetta), returning ~50mpg the entire way.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:41 PM
 
248 posts, read 715,417 times
Reputation: 212
Just fix yours and then get what u want in 3-4 yrs
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:58 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 5,273,005 times
Reputation: 1871
What happen to your Acura? The repair(s) might not be that high and it might be best to fix it instead of dumping $10,000 into a car right now.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,436 posts, read 66,261,702 times
Reputation: 42269
If it were me, I'd look at the 2006 or 2007 Ford Fusion. They got 20-28 mpg with the 3.0 V6 (4 banger was underpowered)
and run $7-10,000. Check the reviews, they have done very well. I have rented several of them from 2006 to 2012 and
if I wanted a car (rather than SUV/Truck) I'd go for a Fusion.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:50 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 5,273,005 times
Reputation: 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
If it were me, I'd look at the 2006 or 2007 Ford Fusion. They got 20-28 mpg with the 3.0 V6 (4 banger was underpowered)
and run $7-10,000. Check the reviews, they have done very well. I have rented several of them from 2006 to 2012 and
if I wanted a car (rather than SUV/Truck) I'd go for a Fusion.
I always thought the Ford Fusion was a very reliable car but recently I have read of them suffering from transmission problems.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,824 posts, read 50,916,524 times
Reputation: 15621
Quote:
Originally Posted by talmania View Post
I'm the type that typically researches things to death but I'm in a bind and need to replace my Acura with 200k that has died.

I've always owned a Honda and for the first time in my life i'm wanting to purchase a vehicle outright and NOT finance a penny of it. I have my heart set on a vehicle that will be exactly what I want (and what I can afford) in 3-4 years. So I need an interim vehicle to last that 3-4 years.

I need a 4-door midsize sedan that can get me to and from work efficiently and occasionally take kids with me (safety is important).

I'm looking at an absolute max out of pocket of 10k. I'm considering alot of brands I know little about and wanted to ask the community to share their insight and experience.

What brands should I be considering?

Ones that have crossed my radar include: Hyundai Elantra (bang for buck?), Mazda 3 or 6, Toyota Camry...

Any strong recommendations? Thanks!
Your Acura was not alive in the first place, so it can't "die". What is actually wrong with the car? You may be better off spending "more than the car is worth" (to who, for what?) to fix it, since you know everything outside of the problem you are dealing with now is good.

It would help to know what region of the country you are in - rust country or not? Do you have to pass smog or not? etc.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 28,143,755 times
Reputation: 9250
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
While I'm sure Retriever has the best of intentions, I wouldn't let the rice wine drunks at Consumers Report evaluate a lawn mower....oh wait, they managed to screw that up too. Look to Edmunds if you want an online car evaluation..... and it's free. If your looking at a compact, the Focus is as good as any on the road. They can be bought fairly cheap. Looking for more luxury, look to the Buicks with the V6s, it's GMs best they make regardless of price.
You mean the same magazine that says the Fusion is more reliable than the Camry or Accord? Or says the Yaris and the Prius C are cars to be avoided?

I don't think you actually read CR.

I think the OP should look for cars slightly out of favor but are are otherwise good, just not so popular.

The Mazda6 fits this category. It is the chassis upon which the Fusion is based. With a 4 cylinder it is quicker than the Fusion 4 and handles just a bit better.

The previous gen Focus is certainly an adequate car. But it is a gross exagerration to say it is as good as any compact car on the road. The Mazda3 - with many mechanical similarities is better (but more expensive used).
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