growing up - getting a car

123578

Comments

  • Reply 81 of 146
    _ alliance __ alliance _ Posts: 2,070member
  • Reply 82 of 146
    casecomcasecom Posts: 314member
    The hard-to-find used Passat GLS V6 might hit your sweet spot. A 2002 would run you in the high teens. The FWD V6 gives you a good performance/MPG mix, and the GLS model lacks the power seats and other doodads you don't need anyway. Passat V6 reliability is "average" according to CR; it's the used Jettas, Beetles and Golfs you want to stay away from.



    Otherwise ... I've always liked Civics. The Civic hybrid would run you 20k but it sounds like you want more performance than it would give you.



    Take a look at a Mazda3 ... I've never seen one in person but I've read good things about them.



    Or a Focus SVT? I'd consider those since reliability has improved.



    I like Acuras but personally I'd prefer the TSX over the RSX. Just never liked coupes, a personal preference. The TSX is pricier though, probably above your range.



    If you want some utility without getting a gas-guzzling SUV consider a Forester X ... a good value at $20k, and MPG in the low 20s. I like Subarus, and the new Legacy coming out this year looks promising. I guess you don't really need the AWD in Houston though.



    Good luck!
  • Reply 83 of 146
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I definitely do not need AWD. Houston is flat and snowless. Austin has some hills, but Houston is flat.



    I'm going to go by Apple leasing today.



    trumpt:



    Yes, I have student loans. We will start off with a nice chunk of debt, but our combined income is going to be pretty high when all is said and done.
  • Reply 84 of 146
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    if you want something a little more unusual, (if you can find them)

    a couple of arms of Mercedes make choices at opposite ends of the spectrum



    for the humongous hummer-bashin' ... find a used Unimog

    these behemoths go anywhere... road, rail, glacier, amphibious... utility defined.

    [edit: ah, just read it's flat terrain in Houston.]



    at the Mini end of the scale with huge mpg and fun... Get Smart

    (hmmm... looks like US launch is behind Europe and Canada, we see a few of these already.)



    the Mini sounds like an excellent choice if it fits budget.

    roomier/sturdier than it looks, likely to have great resale, lots of smiling drivers.



    if perhaps, you're having a murbot moment, you might admit that given said budget,

    what you'll really want is a $15k car that's extremely comfortable for using with your new 17" G5 PB to wardrive the streets for free WiFi with... or maybe a dealer who'll swap the in car dvd player with a G5 in the trunk and a dash-mounted Cinema Display



    seriously... unless the modern conveniences are critical for you (you said manual windows are fine), I'd look at older=cheaper used cars and spend the difference elsewhere or not run as big a debt.



    Early (90's) Acura Legends and Vigor (awesome car) can be found used closer to $10k.

    just make sure airbag replacement was done right (almost a grand to fix, IIRC)



    what's the weather? require air conditioning? convertible?
  • Reply 85 of 146
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Well, let's see.



    Here's an unusual choice: Mazda Miata. My dad has two of them. One's over 300K miles and starting to get cranky; the other's over 200K miles, and it purrs along like it did the day he bought it. The latter has only ever had routine maintenance and replacement. The former only started breaking down after 250,000 miles, and then not often. No V6, but when your car's that small you don't need one to get a lot of go-fast, and you can dart between those big lumbering SUVs as if they were standing still. My only reservation would be that I remember you're about my size, and I just barely fit in those things. You'd definitely want to see if you fit in there.



    I can put in a good word for Saturn, too. I can hear the squawks from the car enthusiasts already, but you can get one stripped of almost all electronics for a very reasonable price ($10K-$12K), the dealers rock, the gas mileage is great (29 city/40 highway for mine), rust and dings are not a problem because of the plastic side panels, and mine, purchased November 2000, still has a perfect reliability record. My brother's, from 1998, has only been in the shop once for a leaky seal. And if one of those SUVs tries to run you over, there are few better cars to be in.
  • Reply 86 of 146
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    trumpt:



    Yes, I have student loans. We will start off with a nice chunk of debt, but our combined income is going to be pretty high when all is said and done.




    Famous last words.



    Then there is saving for the first house, then furnishing that new house, then there are the new professional wardrobes. (2 of them) Then.........



    Love ya Grove...



    Nick
  • Reply 87 of 146
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I am 6'2" 235-240lbs, so the little cars (MINI, Miata) are out. Though it would make for smiling drivers as they see my fat ass climb out of it.



    I remember when the Miatas first came out, I was 8 years old. My dad and I went to the car show and I sat in one and it would have been perfectly comfortable for me to drive... at 8 years old.



    And the Miata looks too much like a penis car for me (no offense to your entire family). I am also a hardtop man. Not only do I not want a convertable, I refuse to buy one.





    Also, no one answered this:

    Is it better to finance through a dealer or through a bank?
  • Reply 88 of 146
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Trumpt:



    What kind of good American would I be if I didn't drown myself in debt?
  • Reply 89 of 146
    thttht Posts: 4,449member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I am 6'2" 235-240lbs, so the little cars (MINI, Miata) are out. Though it would make for smiling drivers as they see my fat ass climb out of it.



    The MINI will fit you. Driver and front passenger room is larger than average (including SUVs and larger cars). It's just that it really doesn't have a serviceable backseat.



    Quote:

    Also, no one answered this:

    Is it better to finance through a dealer or through a bank?




    I think it really depends on the interest rate and the institutions involved. Don't get a 60+ month loan though. 48 is about the most you should go.
  • Reply 90 of 146
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    then there are the new professional wardrobes. (2 of them) Then.........





    You know, before I graduated and moved off for a job and all, I was told by one of my profs that no one considers how expensive it is just to buy clothes for the new job. I didn't either until I got moved into my new house and was staring down the new semester and realized I couldn't just wear my grad student teaching clothes (t-shirt and jeans).
  • Reply 91 of 146
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    Trumpt:



    What kind of good American would I be if I didn't drown myself in debt?




    I would seriously suggest minimizing your debt if possible. The power of compounding is astonishing when witnessed. A few years can set you ahead thousands of dollars, which can then be used to set you ahead ever more thousands of dollars. The reason most people are drowning in debt is because although they might have an education, (just like you have gotten, congrats again) they don't have any financial education.



    Now a ding to myself and others on here in helps of motivating you Mr. Grove to answer this second question for yourself.



    Quote:

    Is it better to finance through a dealer or through a bank?



    You could answer this yourself and start your financial education. Head on down to Barnes and Noble/Borders/where ever you go and start reading up on buying a car, depreciation tables, buying vs. leasing, etc. In fact I would recommend buying at least three books on the subject. Even if they cost you a hundred dollars, they might save you thousands while making you smarter financially as well. You've already proven yourself as a smart person who can read and digest large chunks of information. This should be right up your alley.



    I know I sound like a broken record but I cannot emphasize enough how important financial education is for young people. The number one issue newlyweds fight over is money. You've already hinted at some classic money traps in your comments here.



    Imagine you and your soon to be wife are getting ready to jump in a boat together and row somewhere. Debt is a hole in the bottom of that boat. Income is the buckets you are going to bail out the boat with. Claiming you have two big or even good sized buckets doesn't change the fact that the boat has a hole. You can't row the boat while you are busy bailing it out which means you can't get ahead or go somewhere. Income doesn't really help you GO somewhere. Often it just brings more obligations that eat up most of the income.



    How does this work out in real life? Well the second you start earning more income, you also owe everyone else more. Income seldom stretches as far as people imagine it will. We have a progressive income tax system. You and your soon to be spouse were likely barely taxed as students. Now you will be married and have joint income which could move you instantly into the 25-28% bracket. So perhaps you thought, gee, we will go from earning $10k each as students (or perhaps less) to earning $80-100k as young professionals jointly.



    But of course Uncle Sam takes a good chunk of that, say 15-20k of that in taxes, plus the 6.7% Social Security contribution. You have to begin contributing to your 401k/pension/retirement. So 80 really becomes say $60k after taxes and $50k after retirement contributions. Now you have to begin paying those student loans down since they are no longer deferred.



    You are sick of giving the government a quarter of your income, so you start looking for a deduction. Time to buy a house. Bigger house, bigger deduction right? (Or so many think) But time to save for the down payment in after tax dollars. You want that house bad because sheesh the small apartment was tolerable as a student, but for crist sakes, now we are married adults earning all this money, and we deserve a nicer place and nicer things, etc...etc...etc...



    Time to work on the weekend to get that downpayment saved. More income, and sheesh, we owe even more in taxes. The income isn't as much as I thought it would be. I'm disappointed and now I'm worked to death. I'm sick of not seeing my beautiful wife. I'm know let's go on a vacation, I don't care if we charge it. I deserve it working 60 hours a week...etc...



    That is what all those "Americans drowning in debt" say when they sign the slip of the swiped card. Most never get ahead. Most have an average of $9000 in credit card debt. They have little to nothing saved for retirement and plenty of them make buttloads of money.



    Please go do some reading for your car buying/financial education. The only way to get ahead is to work smarter, not harder and have an understanding of how money can work for you instead, of you working for it. Even if you don't deserve that wonderful woman you love does.



    Don't make the same mistakes that 80% of everyone else does regarding finances. Even most middle class people are totally broke. The average person has a net-worth of only about 125k when they retire today and almost all of it is home equity. Most boomers and younger folks are even refinancing out that money and spending it, so they won't even have that. They've earned thousands through the years but were busy bailing water and never getting ahead.



    Lastly, don't trust your future to some turds on an Apple message board (myself included). Go out, read for yourself, get your own information and make your own judgements. It's what you do in every other area, why not the most important, your finances.



    Nick
  • Reply 92 of 146
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Smiley face = joke.



    I was actually considering taking a personal finance correspondance course after I graduate. I may just do that.





    --

    So 80 really becomes say $60k after taxes and $50k after retirement contributions. Now you have to begin paying those student loans down since they are no longer deferred.

    --



    Her uncle is a CPA, we have talked for hours and hours and hours on this subject. CPAs are amazing people, it's like a little world inside our world only they are privvy to. Fascinating stuff.



    Not nearly as bad as I thought, actually. $60k take home is not bad at all.



    Helping the credit card problem is the debit card. I don't have an active "credit card". I use it like a credit card, but if I don't have the money in the bank it does not get purchased.





    --

    You want that house bad because sheesh the small apartment was tolerable as a student, but for crist sakes, now we are married adults earning all this money, and we deserve a nicer place and nicer things, etc...etc...etc...

    --



    That is one problem with getting married so quickly, she wants a bigger apartment. She is as unmaterialistic as females get, I think, but you cannot touch a computer nerd like me for low maintenance. I could honestly live in a 400 sq foot efficiency and my only splurge would be a new computer every 3-4 years and high speed internet.





    --

    Please go do some reading for your car buying/financial education. The only way to get ahead is to work smarter, not harder and have an understanding of how money can work for you instead, of you working for it. Even if you don't deserve that wonderful woman you love does.

    --



    I plan to, thanks for the advice.
  • Reply 93 of 146
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat



    --

    You want that house bad because sheesh the small apartment was tolerable as a student, but for crist sakes, now we are married adults earning all this money, and we deserve a nicer place and nicer things, etc...etc...etc...

    --



    That is one problem with getting married so quickly, she wants a bigger apartment. She is as unmaterialistic as females get, I think, but you cannot touch a computer nerd like me for low maintenance. I could honestly live in a 400 sq foot efficiency and my only splurge would be a new computer every 3-4 years and high speed internet.





    This is my situation exactly! Well, I am living the bottom paragraph (350 sq ft efficiency, high speed internet) and couldn't be happier with my living quarters. however, i fear the wifey may want the 'luxury' of a one-bedroom.
  • Reply 94 of 146
    gspottergspotter Posts: 342member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I remember when the Miatas first came out, I was 8 years old. My dad and I went to the car show and I sat in one and it would have been perfectly comfortable for me to drive... at 8 years old.



    And the Miata looks too much like a penis car for me (no offense to your entire family).




    What is your definition of a penis car? (BTW: I'm 5'7" and my car is a '91 Miata which I bought last year))
  • Reply 95 of 146
    _ alliance __ alliance _ Posts: 2,070member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by GSpotter

    What is your definition of a penis car? (BTW: I'm 5'7" and my car is a '91 Miata which I bought last year))





    yeah, i dont understand how the miata is a penis car either...

    compensation cars usually are vehicles like hummers and SUVs and big ass pickups, or the other extreme like ferraris (although i love them despite having nothing wrong w/ my penis) and most mercedes.



  • Reply 96 of 146
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member
    Man, I'm 20 and I still gotta take the bus or rapid. In fact, I'm prolly gonna take the 5, 14, and 34 so I can get an ID card. Can't drive either.....dont got a liscence but its not like I could buy a car even if I had one. The thing is people look at you like you arent from earth if you are my age without a car and stuff. Plus, seems thats all girls care about...if you have a car and money. \ I like public transportation too.....but its kinda limitin, I go downtown on the train sometimes but other than that you gotta take the bus and the bus doesnt go everywhere.
  • Reply 97 of 146
    It is too bad that in most places in America, you do need a car. Coming from Detroit, we don't even have a real public transportation system. I think there's one bus to goes around masquerading as our system.



    My brother has lived in Boston and New York City for years without a car. It's possible, but not so easy.



    Glad to hear you're not an SUV guy, but currently truck and SUVs have a higher re-sale value (like Fellowship, if I understood his post correctly).



    I'd hate to recommend it, but a small pickup truck with a V6 can be practical for a lot of people. It has good acceleration, decent gas mileage, and a huge trunk. Unfortunately, there's some social stigma about strapping baby seats in the truck bed, but you can't have everything, I guess.



    Hondas are a good, if overpriced, choice. You get what you pay for, though. We drive our Civic on the autobahn, and it's extremely reliable. My wife typically drives 115 MPH (she thinks 180-190 km/h is a reasonable speed) daily with it, with no issues.



    I love to drive. But I hate traffic. I'm very happy to be able to live in a city (Regensburg, Germany) where I can either ride my bike (summer) or take a bus (winter) to work, or pretty much anywhere. Like one of the first posters said, Have you considered moving?



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    Groverat : life is too short. Buy the car you want. The only real issue with cars are money.



    I agree!!! That's why you should always eat dessert first, and buy an S4 Avant (station wagon). Or Lotus Elise.
  • Reply 98 of 146
    Oh-- and growing up is overrated.
  • Reply 99 of 146
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    Also, no one answered this:

    Is it better to finance through a dealer or through a bank?




    ALWAYS through a bank. Shop for the best terms before you walk into the dealership. The dealers always get their come-uppance when you go to their finance department and they tack on a million hidden charges. If you walk in and say that you have financing set up, and you can afford $X for a car, no more, then they will find that car for that money because they can't get more from you. Also, never buy a car on the first visit. Go walk them up and down the lot, find a car, walk away. Since you have your financing in hand, they can't threaten you that a car won't be there or their deal goes when you do. Come back the next day, give them a time limit, like an hour, to get everything sorted out, bring your financial info, and walk out with a car for the the money you planned with.



    PS: take your time with student loans, especially if you consolidate them at current interest rates. Banks offer really low interest rates for college grads, so paying it off now and being dirt poor doesn't save you a whole lot. Paying a little extra each month makes a huge difference without having to take your standard of living down a few notches. For other types of loand or debts, pay them NOW.
  • Reply 100 of 146
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    The car buying rules:



    Rule number one. NEVER buy new. NEVER. A car is a depreciating asset. The more money you pump into it, the more you lose. Buy only what you need -- sometimes this varies according to travel time, business purposes, etc etc.



    Rule number two. NEVER lease. NEVER. Forget the always be in a new car mumbo jumbo, leases costs more over any given term, and even though the asset depreciates, you don't even get to own it.



    Grover, and others, you're all doing very well to this point.



    But I was surprised that some even had to ask about rule 3:



    Rule number three. ALL car dealers are scumbag, piece of shit, good for nothing weasels that would bite off their mothers' nipples if they thought they'd get more milk for their efforts. They were born that way, some with the teeth already showing.



    What to do?



    Don't even finance.



    Do you have 4-5K lying around?



    Now look at the market. You don't want a 4 cylinder machine, forget about it. You don't want anything marketted to youthful people, you don't want an SUV, or sport cute. Just forget about them.



    You want a more geriatric offering. They're big, they're comfortable, the gas mileage is surprisingly good, and sensiors rarely rack up big miles or drive in less than perfect conditions.



    Your choices should be '95-'97



    LeSabre

    Park Avenue

    Regal



    The 3800 V6 is that good, the thing never breaks. Might need to get the lock converter changed on OD trannies, but that's it. I wouldn't even take the Regal unless it's in absolutely pristine low mileage condition, just because of who the drivers tend to be, like some of the pontiac products (which are ugly beyond words to boot). The body of the Park Avenue and the LeSabre is more comfortable, and the cars are better built and often very well cared for. You can find plenty of examples that are very clean at 100 000K (60 000M) for 4000-5000. Excellent comfortable anonymous motoring for peanuts. Actually the Park Avenue is quite a handsome large car once you get past the target market and anti-american bias of the less informed.



    Crown Victoria, if you can get it before the cabbies do. Not as good on gas, but very reliable, and very safe.



    One key item to remember. Low compression is your friend.



    EPA fuel economy ratings don't reflect how you drive. Unless an engine is really small, under two liters, and city driven, the savings over a larger car often don't materialize. If you want the car for long commutes, I can tell you that the large V6's will run just about equal to a a standard 4. It'll last longer too.



    If you want to go a bit higher, there's a selection of excellent Olds, Caddy and Lincoln products to choose from.



    Remember, big, low compression, geriatric. Equals, comfortable, safe, cheap, reliable.
Sign In or Register to comment.