By on February 9, 2016

2014 Lincoln MKS

Every once in awhile, somebody writes in to Ask Bark with a question that makes me check my own bank account to see if I can afford my own recommendation. Today is one of those times. Sit back and relax while you read about our friend’s quest for a more powerful grocery-getter, and then see if you share in my envy.

Ben writes:

I am currently leasing a 2014 Mazda6, and the lease will be ending in mid-July. I’m in my early 30s with two kids. One of them will be in a rear-facing child seat for the next year and a half, and the other is in a front-facing seat, so I need something that is big enough for daycare pickup, Costco runs and short trips. My wife has a Nissan Murano for when we need more space, and I have a motorcycle, which may soon be sold and replaced with an older Miata.

I work remotely, so I don’t commute on a daily basis, but I do a 2+ hour each way trip into the actual office every other week. I’ve owned a 2000 Ford Focus, 2006 Mazda3, and the 2014 Mazda6, so I would like something with a bit more power this time.

I am having some trouble deciding if I should do another lease or if I should buy something used. I’d like to keep the payment in the $300/month ballpark, so I’m considering either a lease or a 60 month buy for something around $20,000 with some money down.

Some options I have been thinking of are:

Lease: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport (if it is actually available in time), 2016 Infiniti Q50 (Infiniti usually has favorable lease terms), or Acura TLX.

Used Purchase (2012 and newer): Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, 2013+ Ford Taurus SHO or Lincoln MKS Ecoboost, Infiniti G37x, Acura TL SH-AWD, Volvo S80 T6/S60 T6, or Audi A6 3.0T.

I can do maintenance and basic repairs myself if I go the used route. I just don’t want something that needs frequent work, as the kids keep me busy enough.

Please Help,
Ben

Ben,

I’m so glad that you asked me this question. Why, you may ask? Well, I’ll get there in a minute. First of all, let’s address the new vs. used question.

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of buying new. However, in your case, I’m not entirely convinced that new is the way to go. Your $300/month budget doesn’t get you much in the way of a lease right now, unless you’re going to put money down — and Rule #4 of Bark’s New Car Buying Guide (OK, I just made that up) is that you never, ever put money down on a lease. The risk isn’t worth it. You’d be better off spreading that money out over the course of the lease.

However, even if you wanna take two grand and spread it out over 36 months, that’s still only going to raise your budget by about $55/month. The base Infiniti Q50 leases right now are running $507/month over 39 months. Yowza. Let’s say the reported $35,000 price point of the Fusion is somewhat accurate — that’s still nowhere near a $300/month lease price. I’m going to confidently project that the Fusion Sport will lease out at around $450 over 36 months.

A car-selling friend of mine recently lamented the fact that there’s no such thing as a good $300/month lease any more. “Man, you can’t even get an Altima for that,” he told me. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but I don’t think that $300-350/month is going to get you the kind of car you want.

So, let’s turn our attention to the used market. You mentioned a few good options there, but one of them in particular jumped out at me. I consider this car to be the absolute best value on the used market today, and it’s the reason I got excited to answer your e-mail.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you … The Lincoln MKS EcoBoost. 

What the what, you say? Yes, it’s true — and I’ll prove it to you.

The Lincoln MKS EcoBoost AWD stickers brand new for about $47,000. This 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost AWD can be had for $23,995. This one has more miles, but is certified for a few more dollarsThat’s half-freaking-price. Half price for a car that’s three model years old with just under 50,000 miles, with another three years and 50,000 miles of warranty to go and, oh yes, it has every luxury feature that you could ever want: all-wheel drive, heated seats, satellite radio, leather interior, navigation, and a gigantic trunk. Okay, I admit that the interior space is a bit cramped for the driver, and some people don’t enjoy the — dare I say — unusual styling. But since you mentioned it as a possible choice, I really have a hard time even considering anything else on your list.

Upon further review, however, I’ll admit that there are good SHO deals to be had, too. This one in particular is stunningly good: $23,980 for a certified example with 25,000 miles. Ridiculous. Hmm, maybe I need to reconsider if the MKS, or the SHO, is the best deal. The Lincoln Certified Pre-Owned warranty is superior to Ford’s though, offering up to 24 more months of bumper-to-bumper warranty. You might find the Lincoln a tad too baleen for your tastes, while I find the Taurus to be a tad too correctional in its appearance. Either way, you’re getting a helluva lot of car and a helluva lot of power for under twenty-five large.

Sure, $24,000 is at the upper end of your price range, but these cars tend to sit on dealer lots for a while, so you should be able to negotiate down closer to $22,000 by the time all is said and done. Throw down about $3,000 up front, check for special CPO financing, and enjoy driving away with one of the biggest and most luxurious stoplight-dragster sleepers in town.

Don’t forget to keep sending your car-buying questions to Bark via email at [email protected] or through the Twitterverse at @barkm302. Bark is still waiting for somebody to ask him about the best altissimo saxophone fingering for double-high B-flat. That’s not as dirty as it sounds. 

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209 Comments on “Ask Bark: What to Do with $300/Month?...”


  • avatar
    zip89105

    What to do with $300 a month? How about pay the tickets you’ll be getting for failure to curb your tires on an incline.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Pulverizer –

      If you’re going to lease, here’s a good reference point for current lease deals on 11 midsizers (some of these are excellent deals if you live in certain region):

      http://leasehackr.com/blog/2016/2/7/midsize-family-sedans-ranked-february-2016

      Use this as rough guide, and then target dealers & get their internet sales managers to compete for your business.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        p.s. – You would save a ton of time if you can narrow the # vehicles you really like & that you would be prepared to lease to no more than TWO (ideally, one).

        This will require test drives and other prepatory legwork.

        • 0 avatar
          Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

          Thanks for posting that leashackr link. I wasn’t aware of that site.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            No problem!

            I was in bad mood this morning & was somewhat d!ckish to Bark, but I’ve negotiated enough purchases and leases for myself, friends & family members to know that there’s a HUGE variance on deals that can be had fro person to person & from dealership to dealership based on negotiating strategy, solid information (incentives – both manufacturer and dealership; true supply/demand; inventory levels; etc.), and credit quality.

            That site is good because it gives what I consider to be an “average” and an “excellent” deal price on leases, considering money factor, residuals, incentives, etc., and it puts all benefits & fees based on regional differences into the light, also.

            Too many people get reamed by dealerships because they are either too eager to do a deal, and/or are not armed with adequate information, and/or are not willing to put their business out for competition among dealers in an aggressive enough manner.

            Some people just want to pull the trigger and aren’t concerned with getting a fair to excellent deal, and that’s their choice, but not me.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Post oil collapse $300 per month keeps my truck and wife’s minivan on the road.
      I’d hate to think what kind of penalty box on wheels that would get?

      • 0 avatar
        kjb911

        Right now 300 a month give or take a few bucks gets you a LS Custom Sport Silverado Double Cab with V8

        Malibu 1LT w/ convenience pkg

        Or you could get three 1lt Cruzes to chose which color best suits your mood that day.

        I had a woman the other day qualify for every single rebate and had a gm card…she walked out with a 49.00 a month lease

    • 0 avatar
      ericb91

      It doesn’t look like you used sales tax in your calculations. I use this calculator to determine affordability. Some states require sales tax on the selling price, others don’t. Where I live the tax rate is 7% which can raise payment significantly depending on the car I look at.

      http://www.cars.com/go/advice/financing/calc/loanCalc.jsp?mode=full

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    Some assumptions in here are incorrect.

    My Altima’s lease is 316/mo, 0 down, 12k mi per year. It’s an SV with a sticker price of around $25k. I also think I didn’t get a particularly good deal. Also, an Accord Sport, the journalist approved midsized sedan, was the same price.

    • 0 avatar

      No offense, but an Altima SV isn’t exactly in the league of a Q50, or really any of the cars the OP asked about.

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd123

        I didn’t say it was comparable to a Q50, I said it to counter your incorrect statement that you couldn’t lease anything, not even an Altima…, for 300 a mo, when the truth is there’s dozens of good mainstream cars leaseable at that amount, like a more reasonable Fusion even.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Bark is no more than 40% wrong on his bizarre “you can’t even lease an Altima for $300 a month,” though (that he heard from a friend and casually repeated here like some Superbowl over/under that he heard from a homeless man).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Did you forget your meds this morning, old boy? Let’s try to take a deep breath and dial down the Hateorade before noon every day. You’re going to give yourself a stroke or something in all seriousness and I don’t want to see that happen.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “Ask Bark” tends to escalate quickly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My best friend is 35 and has had two strokes, there’s something genetic in their family which makes them predisposed to those kind of problems.

            Stress is a factor in having them, I don’t want to see it happen again esp over something so silly.

          • 0 avatar
            rjg

            Bark-

            You don’t need to be some sort of “master negotiator” to achieve a 300/month, 0 down lease on 35-40k car. I think you’re perpetuating the stereotype of car leasing a being some sort of magic hocus-pocus that only a few can understand.

            Instead:
            Spend 10 minutes googling to find models with subvented lease deals, then find the money factor, incentives and residual for your chosen model. Next,calculate what the lease will come to at 500 over invoice factoring in all incentives.

            Then, email 5-10 dealers with your numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Here’s NATIONAL pricing on many leases, in the form of a lazy link, on an array of models, from carsdirect.com, that I googled in 2 minutes.

          http://www.carsdirect.com/deals-articles/best-lease-deals

          Keep in mind that local market pricing – major markets such as Detroit, Atlanta, L.A., Dallas, Chicago etc. (b/c of dealership holdback and many other dealer/manufacturer incentives) is actually far better, with no down payments, especially if an area is overstocked – I could match or beat almost any of these prices WITH $0 DOWN AND EXTRA MILES simply by playing two dealers off against each other, and 3 to 4 if I really wanted to get aggressive..

          • 0 avatar
            Ltd1983

            “I yield to your knowledge of mid-sized sedan leases.”

            Probably a better choice than just paraphrasing friends who don’t know what they’re talking about…

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, you clearly know more than somebody who leases Nissans for a living. Here’s a hint—the average Altima lessee isn’t sporting a 700+ beacon score. Do you think it’s POSSIBLE that Nissan advertises these leases to “extremely well-qualified buyers,” knowing that 80% of people who come through the door won’t qualify for that rate?

            Nah, that couldn’t be it.

        • 0 avatar

          That was a quote from a friend of mine in the biz, not my words.

          Do $300 leases exist? Well, kinda. Most of these advertised, loss-leader specials are on base level trims that are impossible to find on dealer lots, yet they always specifically state that you “must take delivery from dealer inventory.” If you genuinely want an base trim, mid-sized sedan, then you can find one of these (with exceptional effort), but that not relevant to what the OP wants.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            “That was a quote from a friend of mine in the biz, not my words.”

            Your friend’s an idiot.

            Please don’t start repeating stock tips you hear from your friends.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re a peach of a human being, DW.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is an MY15 and not 16 BUT: Q50 $269/39mo, zero down, $700 acquisition fee, 10K per year. Warren Henry Infiniti, Miami.

            http://www.warrenhenryinfiniti.com/specials/index.htm

          • 0 avatar

            Now THAT is fascinating. So fascinating that I’ve sent them a lead on that car. I’m curious to see what they’ll send back.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Just make sure 28CL gets any commission, Bark.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Herb Chambers Infiniti, in my area, is advertising a Q50a AWD for $1999 down and $259/mo for 39 months. Sure, it’s subject to the same limits as any of the other loss-leader leases you mention, but so what? If you play a couple of dealers off each other, as DeadWeight says, and make clear you’re willing to sign on the day you show up at the dealer but aren’t able to negotiate to this price for a car on the lot, you should find someone else to do your car-buying for you.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m useful about three times a year. I am also curious to see what they say, I’m thinking they are stuck with MY15 floorplan well into MY16 and just are trying to sell it retail on the cheap.

          • 0 avatar

            ×
            Brittany L said:
            Welcome to Warren Henry Infiniti, home of the Warren Henry Advantage!
            Bark said:
            Hi, I’m still interested in that $269 a month lease on the Q50. Can you tell me more about that special?
            Brittany L said:
            Hi there! I would be happy to assist you today with the Q50 leasing details!
            Bark said:
            i spoke to Eva just now but she wouldn’t tell me anything
            Brittany L said:
            I do apologize for any inconvenience. While I look into this, how soon are you looking to get into your new Q50 lease?
            Bark said:
            very soon
            Bark said:
            In the next week or so
            Brittany L said:
            Thanks for letting me know! Allow me just a moment to look into this for you Bark.
            Bark said:
            thank you
            Brittany L said:
            Thanks for your patience! I am currently showing this leasing offer is for the new 2015 Q50 for $269 per month for 39 months for well qualified customers with $0 due at signing. I would be happy to request we share with you any additional details we may have for this leasing offer as soon as possible. Is [email protected] the correct email address to note?
            Bark said:
            yes it is. so i can come in today and get that car at that price?
            Brittany L said:
            Thanks for confirming that for me! We would love for you to come in to discuss this leasing offer as there are many factors that contribute as it is available to well qualified customers through Infiniti Financial Services. Would you be able to visit us today at 3pm or tomorrow at 2pm?
            Bark said:
            i am pre-qualified through Infiniti Financial, and I have a beacon score of 780.
            Bark said:
            What other factors contribute to the price of the car?
            Brittany L said:
            I am happy to hear you were pre-qualified through Infiniti Financial! Allow me to request we confirm the details for this leasing special as well as share with you the requirements to qualify as soon as possible.
            Brittany L said:
            To further discuss any details we may have for the 2015 Q50 leasing offer as it may be time sensitive, what is the best phone number to reach you at?
            Bark said:
            I would prefer to discuss via chat or email, as I am at work right now
            Brittany L said:
            I will certainly make note you do prefer to be contacted via email. However, we do like to have a second form of contact to ensure you have received the details for this leasing offer as it may be time sensitive.
            Brittany L said:
            What is the best time and phone number to note for this sole purpose?
            Bark said:
            Why can you not tell me if I can actually come in and get that price today?
            Brittany L said:
            As I am not directly on the Sales Floor and this special is for qualified buyers, I would have to request my Internet Sales Team reach out with more information on the qualifications needed so we can see if you would be able to get the price.
            Brittany L said:
            I will make a note you prefer email since you are at work, however if we do have any further questions regarding the qualifications for you, would there be a good phone number and time to follow up or leave a message if needed?
            Bark said:
            I have already told you that I am qualified through Infiniti Financial. What other qualifications do i need to meet?
            Bark said:
            I do not wish to provide my phone number.
            Brittany L said:
            No worries, Bark. Feel free to reach out to us directly at (866) 497-5984 with any further questions. I have requested we follow up with you as soon as possible in regards to this leasing offer.
            Brittany L said:
            We look forward to earning your business!
            Brittany L said:
            Here is the link to our current leasing specials to give you an idea of what we may have!
            Brittany L said:
            Would like you to view page http://www.warrenhenryinfiniti.com/specials/index.htm
            Brittany L said:
            Whether it’s a purchase or lease, new or pre-owned, you always get more with The Warren Henry Advantage.
            Bark said:
            that is where i saw the special. I just want to know if there is a car in your inventory that I can come and lease today for that price.
            Brittany L said:
            closed the chat
            Your conversation has ended. Click here to request a transcript.

          • 0 avatar
            pulverizer

            I’ll try contacting the closest dealer to me about an AWD premium with some other options that most of the cars on the lot have – stickers at $46K vs the advertised deals where sticker is closer to $42. They have 141 2015’s on the lot so I’d imagine they want to clear some out before the 2016’s get here.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @pulverizer

            I saw a few other dealer offers in the Googling but this was the first attractive one I found. I wish you luck with your local dealer but this may be one of those times where a trip to Miami is warranted (assuming they have Q50 AWDs at this dealer).

          • 0 avatar

            Unfortunately, this one looks to be scammy. The stock number in the ad has never existed, as far as I can tell, and they have no vehicles in their inventory that match that option set or MSRP.

            I wish that I could say that this is surprising, but with the number of dealers I visit every year…I’ll just say that it isn’t .

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Great reporting, Bark! Shame the Infiniti dealer is up to such games.

          • 0 avatar
            Ltd1983

            “Do $300 leases exist? Well, kinda. Most of these advertised, loss-leader specials are on base level trims that are impossible to find on dealer lots, yet they always specifically state that you “must take delivery from dealer inventory.” If you genuinely want an base trim, mid-sized sedan, then you can find one of these (with exceptional effort), but that not relevant to what the OP wants.”

            This is still incorrect, as many people have noted. Almost any mid-trim, midsized car is going to be available in this range. I walked into a dealership in the middle of the month, told them the colors and options I wanted, and got just that, for $316 a month. No loss leader, it’s got 17″ alloy wheels, bluetooth, keyless entry etc. And the Honda dealer across town would do the same price on an Accord Sport. This wasn’t an advertised deal or anything, just the first numbers they gave me with 0 negotiation.

          • 0 avatar

            And you picked the Altima? Interesting choice.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            ltd1983, is your Altima the 2.5L? Not trying to pick sides here, but I read Bark’s piece as “No V6 powered midsize sedans available at that $300 price” because the OP is already driving the Mazda equivalent (large NA 4) and wants more power.

          • 0 avatar
            Marone

            “And you picked the Altima? Interesting choice.” :)

            In the end, the guy still wants more power. If no money is put down, that several limits the choices when it is cost based. I find it hard to believe you would find anything under $300 besides base cars. I also buy my cars and won’t lease so who knows.

          • 0 avatar
            Ltd1983

            “And you picked the Altima? Interesting choice.”

            Doesn’t address my point that he’s wrong, tries to change the subject by putting me on the defense about my car. Interesting choice for a “journalist”.

          • 0 avatar

            Never claimed to be a “journalist.” This is an advice column. You can look back at all 100 or so of my columns here, and I’m pretty sure neither of us would classify any of it as “journalism.”

            Now, as far as my being “wrong”—I fully admit that there are bargain basement 36 month leases on 4-cylinder mid-sized sedans. That’s not what the OP wanted. Again, I said, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but I don’t think that $300-350/month is going to get you the kind of car you want.” Not that you can’t get ANY car for that—you just can’t get a luxury sedan for that (UNLESS YOU ARE A MASTER NEGOTIATOR CAVEAT EMPTOR PLAY THE INTERNET MANAGERS WHO HAVE NO SAY ON THE NEW CAR MANAGER’S PRICING AGAINST EACH OTHER).

            I yield to your knowledge of mid-sized sedan leases.

          • 0 avatar
            Ltd1983

            “I yield to your knowledge of mid-sized sedan leases.”

            Probably a better choice than just paraphrasing friends who don’t know what they’re talking about…

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Your problem is in doing anything online. You don’t exist as a customer until you actually show up at the dealership and get assigned a sales rep with a monthly number to hit.

            When I leased my GTI (4dr Autobahn with lighting package, FWIW), the best rate I could get online was $419 a month, because they know full well that you can negotiate with four dealers against each other. My local Acura dealer was willing to quote me a $299 lease on a base-spec TLX, and when I visited my local VW dealer I used that email to talk them down on the GTI to $349 a month.

            They’ll never agree to sell you a car at a loss over the phone. Go towards the end of the month, take a test drive, sit down at their desk, let them spend some time with you, and tell them that, yes, they can have a sale this afternoon if they just meet your price, and you can do a heck of a lot better.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m not trying to actually do anything online. I’m trying to verify the validity of a posted offer, which, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t actually mean that it exists at a dealership.

            Y’all do realize that I’ve bought over a dozen new cars before, right? Sheesh.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I’d agree with the Accord Sport, with the exception that the OP wants more power than a Mazda 6.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yeah, I’d be looking at something V6-powered for sure. I think the Q50 is a peach of a car. The Taurus SHO and MKS EcoBoost are two cars that I wouldn’t buy new, but I’d consider them at the sub-$25K price range…especially with a CPO warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Kyree…
          This all depends, in my opinion, on what you get for payments and if you intend to keep your car forever.
          I keep my cars forever. My MKS, a 2010 (purchased in Nov 09) top with every friggin option available was gotten for 52 and zero down.
          It now has 67K on it and I got to enjoy the car’s extremely awesome new car feel from day one.

          And I think this is why when I buy a new car I NEVER go by the values they give because they take off for depreciation. However, if like me you keep your cars until they die…what in hell good does paying more for a car that depreciates less when to you…it never does?

          I still own, or a kid or relative does, every car ever purchased. Unless it is dead from age.

    • 0 avatar
      scrubnick

      I agree with the incorrect assumptions. Two years ago I leased a Civic SI, nothing down, $260 a month, 12k miles per year.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    The MKS EcoBoost is a fun car. I got my parents into one – it was time to return the Ford leased SUV, so they were at the dealership, and the thought of returning to driving a Malibu in the depths of a Michigan winter was too much. I love the D3/4 cars – I am not so thrilled with the current generation Taurus, as the re-baptized Taurus is superior, but, the Lincoln has all the nannies and things to warn you that you don’t miss the C-pillar visibility.

    It helped we were on the the last business day of the month, but I got them down from $29k to $21k certified with about 15k miles on the clock (I think it was one year old). Like Jerry’s dad, I love to talk about the deal.

    0-60 in 3.9 seconds is sure a whole lot of fun.

    Anyway, these cars are fetching: There were four other buyers waiting outside the finance guy’s office to see if the deal fell through and to buy it up. It goes to show – if Ford could have produced them new for what they go old, they would have put Lincoln back on the podium.

    It pays to be there before it goes on the website!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “0-60 in 3.9 seconds is sure a whole lot of fun.”

      I’m sure it is, what car where you driving when this happened?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      3.9? More like low to mid 5. Still very quick, but 3.9 is super car territory.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Two words: Trifecta Tuning

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          With a Ford Ecoboost V6, the tune shop is Livernois Motorsports. They are more expensive than Norm’s tuner shop of choice though. They have a $1600 package that will turn my MkT into a 12 second car. I don’t know why I’d want that though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wonder if mileage would go up, down, or stay the same?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have a buddy that used to work for Livernois. He now works at Rousch. I’ll have to ask him.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Mileage staying the same or better seems like quite an upgrade for $1600.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            How long does the transmission last, 20 seconds?

            Seriously though, checked out their webpage—A 12 second 3.5EB Police Utility sounds like a nice sleeper to me.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            It might not hurt MPG…but it sure as hell does the warranty.
            My MKS seems to have a strange clunk on accelerator tip in. The Ford/Lincoln dealers have been monitoring for year and they were really looking to see is any changes were made.
            Back when I got it, there was a Hennessy tune that would have put it at 425 HP…but stopped short of doing it out of fer for warranty killing.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            SC5door-

            I agree. That’s the scary part. Will that tune rip 6F apart?

            TrailerTrash-

            What year is your MKS?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @SC5Door

            Ford does offer such a package but my understanding is the more common packaged ordered is the N/A 3.7 for police use. I’m told the 3.7 is “sick quick” but the transaxle in police use likes to be problematic (among other things). I suspect problems are related to too much voodoo…

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            BBall

            my MKS is a nov 2019 purchase but the model year is 2010.
            I had the 09 but could not resist the ecoboost over the 3.5 non turbo. Look…this 3.5 ecoboost, or TwinForce as the name under which it was developed, is one awesome engine. I think one of the best.
            I was beaten by my wife cause I took a hit on the exchange and she loved the pearl white on the 09 so much better than the new refrigerator white they changed to.

            Ford has pissed me off with their explanation of the AWD/PTU clunking. Perhaps others don’t notice it…but I sure as hell do.
            And that slight clunk as you touch the accelerator after and coasting or down shifting at 30 mph drives me nuts.
            They claim this noise is “within tolerance”.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            6F55 + PTU clunks at low speed. That’s just what it does.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      3.9 0-60 is equivalent to what, a base 911? I don’t think so.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Automobile Catalog gives the MKS EcoBoost a 0-60 of 5.8 seconds, which is pretty darned quick. I suspect you may have intended to type 5.9, rather than 3.9.

      I do wonder if you mistyped the price too. $21K for a MKS EB with a mere 15,000 on the clock and certified? Too good to believe.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Paging Bball and 28! Your Lincoln has arrived.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I have lots of thoughts. I could have guest penned this Ask Bark, but it would have been much too long and much less entertaining. The Ask Bark posts are quickly becoming my favorite TTAC feature. For the advice, and inevitable comments.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Sorry I’m late. I’d have to get seat time in a newer one but I’m still leaning CD3, water pump and all.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    The MKS is the way to go.

    Like Bark said, you should be able to knock some cash off the top. I was able to knock about $7000 off what the dealer had my MkT stickered at. I wouldn’t expect to get that much off an MKS, but $2k-$4K should be doable.

    Also, Lincoln Credit will finance 1.9% for up to 72 months. Sometimes it’s 0.9%. If you can find better rates somewhere, so be it.

    Buy the most recently sold CPO vehicle you can because the warranty expires six years from original sale date. My 2010 MkT was sold in 2011, so even though it had a bit more miles that other 2010s when I bought it, the warranty lasts until June 2017.

    The other benefit of a 2012+ MKS is all the bugs are worked out. You shouldn’t have an issue with the transmission range sensor, PTU, or the heater blend door actuators.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      Good info on the CPO terms, thanks. The prices for MKS Ecoboost seems to trend lower than the SHO for some reason, so I think its a good way to go if one does not care about the look.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        You are welcome. The Lincoln CPO warranty is actually Ford/Lincoln’s PremiumCare ESP. It has a $100 deductible once you get out of the new warranty. It is very good coverage, as far as CPO programs go. The only things that aren’t covered are wear items like brakes, tires, the rubber seal on the moonroof, etc.

        http://lincolnprotect.lincoln.com/premiumcare

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “The other benefit of a 2012+ MKS is all the bugs are worked out. You shouldn’t have an issue with the transmission range sensor, PTU, or the heater blend door actuators.”

      For the power train stuff, yes and no. There’s been plenty of reports of the 3.5TT cars having issues with throttle bodies causing the car to go into limp mode or stalling. Also there’s MFT to deal with and they’ve finally within the past year have gotten the issues with the adaptive headlights worked out.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The best part about the 2010-2012 MKS/MKT as compared to the 2013+ is BUTTONS! None of those haptic feedback terrible buttons. Do the 2013+ D-platform 3.5TT vehicles have the updated charge air cooler?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      If there’s any warranty left, you don’t need CPO. You can purchase Ford’s or Lincoln’s Premium Care yourself. I picked it up online for just about half of what the dealer wanted. It’s a legitimate Ford ESP warranty.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Man, this is such a poorly written, poorly thought out essay.

    It’s horrible advice to say that $300/month “can’t even lease an Latina” anymore.

    $200-$250/month can lease a whole litany of midsizers (Passat, Accord, Camry, Fusion, and on and on; in fact, Camrys and Altimas can be had for $189/month all day long), and $300 to $350 can get you into entry premium models such as the Q50, some Axcuras, Cadillac ATSs (should one dare go there; they’re routinely $279/month in metro Detroit), etc.

    If you’re aggressive and patient, there are even BMW 3s, Audi A4s and, wait for it…Mercedes C Class for $380 to $480 a month.

    I’m not even going to bother with the “never buy used” blanket remark or rest of the drivel “Bark” spat (as you ended up a used vehicle as an exception anyways), but will say that Bark’s advice is consistently nothing short of horrible and sounds like it’s coming from a current car salesman pitching a “deal.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “It’s horrible advice to say that $300/month ‘can’t even lease an Latina’ anymore.”

      DW, you have no idea…

    • 0 avatar

      Please link to this Q50 lease for $350. Also please show me where I said “Never buy used.”

      The act is getting old, DW.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You’re out of touch on pricing or are getting quotes from dealerships in Hawaii.

        • 0 avatar

          Current Q50 lease offer is $309 a month with about $4000 out of pocket for 10,000 miles a year. Change that to zero down and 12,000 miles, add taxes, and you’re right there.

          Care to provide that link?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Q50 leases for $300/mo in the Detroit area. However, if you include taxes in that payment, you’ll need $3000 down and get 10K miles a year. I don’t know if Infiniti budges from those prices

        http://www.suburbaninfinitioftroy.com/specials/index.htm?category=New Infiniti of Troy

        • 0 avatar

          Detroit pricing isn’t really reflective of the rest of the country. Poor import stores up there have to compete with the A Plan pricing that nearly everybody in the city can get. If you live in Detroit, you probably think that the Lincoln MKZ and Cadillac CTS sell really well. :)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I went to the nicest mall in the Detroit area last weekend. My wife had to return something at a store before we went to dinner. I dropped her off and looked for a spot to park. I saw more MkTs in that parking lot than most of you will see in your lifetimes. I live in a strange place.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Here’s NATIONAL pricing on many leases, in the form of a lazy link, on an array of models, from carsdirect.com, that I googled in 2 minutes.

            http://www.carsdirect.com/deals-articles/best-lease-deals

            Keep in mind that local market pricing – Detroit, Atlanta, L.A., Dallas, etc. (b/c of dealership holdback and other incentives) is actually far better, with no down payments, especially if an area is overstocked – I could match or beat almost any of these prices WITH $0 DOWN AND EXTRA MILES simply by playing two dealers off against each other, and 3 to 4 if I really wanted to get aggressive..

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Yeah… they do.

          Suburban (Troy or Novi) will go $300 with nothing down ON AN AWD and even locate a color (like, I don’t know…maybe Hagane Blue Metallic) for a buyer if need be to move the Q50s.

          They want/need to move these.

          There are many deals to be had in the deep pool that is the marketplace of stacked, commoditized vehicles, driven by volume sales, and savvy buyers can get truly great deals if they’re willing to work and be aggressive.

          • 0 avatar

            I’d be genuinely curious to see a screenshot of an offer sheet from a dealer willing to go $300 on an AWD.

            Until then, it’s all urban legend.

          • 0 avatar

            So your own link shows exactly the Q50 offer I just mentioned for a 2015. Still not seeing the magical $350 a month, zero down, 12k lease. My original numbers were on a 2016, BTW.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This place advertises $1900 down and $255/mo for 39 mo on a Q50 but its not an Infiniti dealer so I don’t know if its the real deal or a come on.

        https://www.palauto.com/detail.php?carid=124

    • 0 avatar
      vtnoah

      DW: Tell us how you really feel…

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I bet he stomps his feet and holds his breath while going off like some spoiled brat like this.

        Dude wants more power than a 2014 Mazda6. DW (among others) thinks he will find base Altimas and Camrys acceptable, only because it means “proving” Bark wrong (though he ends up proving him right). The ignorance is strong with these people, and DW is the leader of the Bull$#¡Г Brigade (a subset of the B&B i wish would just go back to jalopnik and make @§§e$ of themselves there instead).

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I question the need for a powerful engine for commuting unless you have wide open roads and no speeding enforcement.
    During 13 years of a 75 mile one way commute on interstate highways, I found the combination of power and commuting is mutually exclusive. On my congested route, traffic moved three abreast at 65-70 mph. Any 20 year old or newer car out there has no trouble keeping up.
    Only morons in pickup trucks (mostly tradespeople not paying for gas) and BMW drivers drew on the extra power they had over 4 cyl Camcords when they worked like hell to switch lanes and advance a few cars. Given the constant variability of the speed in the left lane, I would often catch up to them and plant myself next to them in the center lane. It drove them nuts. To me it was karma.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      I have had 3 4cyl NA cars in a row, would just like something different. I leave at 5:30am on the way down, so not much traffic that way, and on the way home, it’s 2/3 congested, 1/3 NJ Tpk with no traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        Slawek

        How fast can you go on NJ Tpk when there is no traffic?
        I don’t see the point of having anything powerful in US, but every time I go to Europe I wish I rent a V6 as rentals I get can only make 180-200km/h (125MPH). Many times not enough to stay on left lane.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      It depends on your location and what other extra curricular driving you may plan on doing. Plus the hours he keeps at the office could mean less congestion on the interstate as well. I don’t use the interstate anymore in my commute (finally) but I know that even a 15 min difference to the start of my commute could open the roads up and change 30 minute commute into a 15-20 minute one. Plus I had some good hills leading up to the expressway, and a long, 1/2 mile-ish sweeping curve to get on it. For the year I had my cts, it was a lot of fun (when it wasn’t in the shop).

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      He has a 4 cylinder now and wants something more. He also doesn’t commute. As a guy who traded a 328xi in on a Mazda CX-5, I get why he wants a little more power than he has now. “Adequate” isn’t what everyone is looking for. Some of us want more than the bare minimum.

      I also gave serious consideration to Bark’s suggestion when I was looking, for precisely the same reason. It was so much car for the money. Ultimately, my garage space is limited, and I didn’t want anything quite as big as the Lincoln (or an SHO). But if that isn’t a restriction, and the OP mostly drives around town with an occasional long highway run of 200 miles, I’d say it’s pretty close to ideal.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think what I appreciate in a car is low-end torque. It’s abundant in my TDI, but it’s also the thing that many of the V6-powered cars mentioned here (Q50, anything EcoBoost, Genesis) would provide that a Mazda6 or Accord Sport would not. Even in a crowded commute, I definitely like low-end torque.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    Chrysler 300C with the V-8 slots in at the 20k max. Plenty to be had with low miles. Not a bad Qship for that 4 hour commute and occasional kiddo duty.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m predisposed not to particularly like FCA products, but the 300 and Charger make a lot of sense here.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, I was the same way because of my less-than-satisfactory ownership experiences with earlier Chrysler products of yore.

        But I have evolved. The 300, Grand Cherokee and RAM have all seen humongous improvements at the hands of Daimler.

        The 300 with the V8 is a fine ride. My #2 son owned one years ago and his only complaint was the rough transition shudder to/from cylinder activation/deactivation.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Daimler?

          You mean the guys who cut corners everywhere?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Daimler?

            You mean the guys who cut corners everywhere?”

            Exactly! The very same guys also responsible for Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram’s miraculous resurrection from the dead (along with a taxpayer-funded bailout and $1.3B bribe to get Fiat to take that carcass off our hands).

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    My opinion: buy something affordable, comfortable and reliable for that budget. A Mazda3 is spacious enough for 2 kids, or if you’re feeling more adventurous/foolish, a Jetta. Slightly used Accord or the like seems like a great way to go, too. In general, taking on a 5 year debt, on especially a used car, seems like a bad way to go. Let the Miata bring you your smiles; it’s arguably the best tool for the dollar for that job. When you want comfort/practicality, take your nice, nearly-paid-for sedan. When you want fun, take the Miata. Ideally leave some money for maintenance/upgrades on the Miata. They respond very well to suspension, wheel and tire upgrades. Shocks are nearly mandatory, as they usually wear out by 50k miles, unless you have the optional Bilsteins.

    I also bought an old Miata to replace a motorcycle (Honda VFR800), and have been happy with the transition. The amount of fun had is similar, but with the Miata it’s at much lower speeds, and it’s far more usable as a daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      Good to know on the Miata advice…just need to sell my bike first this spring. That is partly why I am looking at bigger cars for the price, knowing I would have something fun to replace the bike for the good backroads near where I live.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If I can get the green light from my wife to build an Exocet I might replace the bike with that. The Miatas I can afford are cool but too close to my Civic in performance. Then again all that $$$ buys a lot of bike and gear….

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        It all comes down to what you want. If it’s straight-line performance you’re looking for, 4 wheels will never come anywhere near 2 for similar money, and a stockish older Miata is the wrong place to look.

        What I specifically like about my Miata is that it makes 80 MPH interesting, and it feels quicker and livelier than it is. And when the roads get twisty, there aren’t many riders who will keep up with an average driver in a Miata.

        To judge a Miata by the numbers is missing the point, because the numbers aren’t impressive; you have to drive one to see if it’s for you. I remember driving a buddy’s ’06 Civic after driving only my ’99 Miata for a while, and it felt like a bus by comparison.

        If modifying your toy is your game, $5-6k into a $5-6k NA/NB chassis can net you quarter mile times in the 13s without taking the cylinder head off. The online community for everything from regular maintenance, to modifying, to racing is exceptional for this car, and you’ll be hard-pressed to think of a modernish car that’s easier to work on. Consumables are dirt cheap (a set of Ultra High Performance tires goes for under $400), and the aftermarket is well-developed (nearly every track session will have some Miatas) and affordable.

        Ain’t nothin’ wrong with building an Exocet, either, but that’s another level of commitment.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    Ford SHO or Lincoln MKS == win!

    Buy car!
    go here : http://www.unleashedtuning.com/
    Buy tuner + 3-bar sensor.
    put sensor in car.
    program car for 91 octane. (Torrie will custom tune for free!)
    Gain 40+ WHP, gain 80+ WTQ
    run 13.2 @ the 1/4 and 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. (others report 4.1 but im dubious)

    Not shabby at all.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    What’s with the fire sale on these things? Cooties?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I cross-shopped the SHO when I bought my Charger and although it is *quite* fast, I found it comparably sort of dull. Living in central FL, I also have no need for AWD

    You should definitely check it and the MKS out though becuase you certainly may enjoy it more than I did and they aren’t bad cars or anything.

    With my negative personal experience on the quality of the Dodge, I can’t really recommend the FCA stuff.

    I really liked the Genesis R-Spec so that is what I’d pick on your list. Maybe give the Maxima a look too. I liked it much more than most online reviews. A last-gen CTS 3.6 with the right options (FE2/3, limited slip, larger brakes) might be worth checking out as well.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Dude I know had problems with his R-Spec. 400+ HP, a luxury interior and a big body for like $40K is just too good to be true it seems.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The R-Spec will be quite a letdown in terms of steering and suspension after two Mazdas and one of the better-sorted Fords in memory. Think crashy but not very communicative. No large sedan is going to feel as wieldy as a Mazda6, though.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Yep.

        I was holding out hope that Hyundai finally cracked the suspension DNA with the NEW (i.e. MY2015+)Genesis (they even made a big deal about the fact that they hired Lotus to tune suspension geometry, etc.).

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    you left out a couple of cars; the Regal GS can be had for around $20k CPO as can a 2.0T ATS CPO. Both are reasonably good cars.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      Thought of the ATS after I asked the question, I probably need to take a look at one to see if having 2 kids in it is going to be too much of a hassle.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I couldn’t do the ATS with kids. I had a weekend test drive from a Cadillac dealer. I wanted to buy one. The seat back touches the back seat when I drive. Frankly, it’s a worse car than a Mustang with kids.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          I was at my local auto show a few weeks ago and made sure to try the backseat of the ATS just to see what all the fuss was about, and laughed out loud when I did.

          No one seems to mention that where the seat meets the floor is actually a couple-few inches proud of the seat bottom’s edge, so while there’s not much room to begin with, the footwell is shocking. I don’t know how that goes on sale.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            See?

            I catch so much $hit for being “critical.”

            Maybe too many people in our society have become too reflexive & passive (this extends to accepting the first or second “deal” automotive dealerships are “offering,” by the way), by contrast.

          • 0 avatar
            rjg

            Absolutely- you need to negotiate over cap cost, not monthly payment. And you need to know how leases work.

            Generally, advertised lease specials are a good starting point because they are a sign that the lease being subvented. But they tend to be very conservative on dealer contribution, meaning that even on a 35k car there can be another 3-4K of room. In addition, many manufacturers have additional hidden incentives that can allow the dealer to go lower. Factoring in all incentives you should be able to get 500-1000 over (true) invoice on any mass market car.

            Also, sometimes an older “lot poison” car isn’t the best candidate for leasing because manufacturers often stop supporting the leases a few months into the next model year.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Anyone that has a kid should immediately strike the ATS from their shopping list. That’s how bad it is.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            rig – Thank you.

            My initial response to Bark was admittedly overly d!ckish, but to be fair, it’s not the height of responsibility when specifically asked about a car purchase/lease decision, for him to spout of ridiculously high numbers based on hearsay (from a car salesman friend, no less).

            Money factor, residual, manufacturer incentives (holdback $$$, volume/quota bonuses- see programs like GM Brand Essentials, etc. ) , dealership incentives, and supply & demand (often varies widely from one area to another – floorplan mistakes cost dealers huge carrying costs on inventory) all factor into final deal that can be negotiated, and the dealer IS NOT going to volunteer all the incentives and bonus cash that they’re receiving up front when dealing with a prospective buyer.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I love the Regal GS. But it’s on the cramped side of mid-sized. And the ATS’ backseat is no-good for…anyone, really.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Genesis R-Spec.

    Nice open road cruiser, tons of linear (no turbo BS) power, and a better warranty used than most cars have new.

  • avatar
    pulverizer

    I do like the MKS option from the value standpoint. I have also been seeing a lot of off-lease 2012-2013 A6’s start to show up in the 25K range (non-CPO), I’m just not quite sure I would want to risk buying one without the CPO warranty when I don’t know who had it last.
    Starting to think Fusion sport will be available too late, and for that reason there will probably not be much of a lease incentive to get it to a payment I want.

    Q50’s are leasing for a little over $300 now but with $3500 or so down – probably because the 2017’s with the 3.0T’s are coming soon so there may be a deal to be had in a couple months.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      With the A6, keep in mind you have up to 4 years and 50K miles on the original warranty, which can be helpful for any initial problems you may have. Since you are looking for power, you probably won’t be happy with the 2.0T, which is common at the $25K price point.

      Given what you will be paying for maintenance/repairs after its fourth year, I don’t see how an A6 can cost you $300/month. I bought a 3 year old A6 for $25K in 2008, and it has cost me $400/month, including depreciation, interest and maintenance/repairs.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    CPO the MKS and Taurus SHO are awesome deals, go that route. I love my CUV but there are days I return to Autotrader and stare at the 50% off CPO full size FordMoCo sedans.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I find it curious the first used choice, Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, has been forgotten in the thread. Average in MMR for MY14 is 24,9 with 18K otc, so throw a generous $4K on for CPO tribute to the dealer gods and you’re at 29,9 which at 60 mo @ 3.2% with $4K down comes out to be $467… too much… but an MY12 on average is $5K less in value so using the same formula and terms its $377. Not bad if the Hyundai warranty is any good and I would think the Hyundai product is a little more DIY friendly than all the transverse products being discussed in the thread.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      I like this option, the only problem is I can’t find any near me that are not early 2012 cars(none are CPO) – which seem to have more issues than the 2013-2014. Then when I add in a set of winter tires, I start to get to more than I want to spend.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Just perusing MMR in MY12 I see the S80 AWD trades around 23, base TL AWD around 21 and advance pkg 24, premium A6 V6 22,5-23 and change, and base G37x 22 extra clean (under 20K miles) but national average 18,6 with 37K. If we keep a 4K premium over wholesale you’re still in that $377 range on most of those except the average G37x. So hypothetically, $19 + 4 dealer/cpo premium = 23K for 60 mo @ 3.2% with 4K down is $343 on an MY12 G37x or $415 with nothing down. I think this is about as cheap as its going to get in the original list of used cars.

        • 0 avatar
          pulverizer

          Goal is that the number starts with a 3 not a 4 :)
          The lower the better but I have some wiggle room over 300, which I think is reflected in the list of cars I have there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Based on what Bark investigated above I think the $300 +/- 50 figure is going to be tight buy unless you take it out to 72mo and pay more interest. Even the standard Church of 3800 recommendation, the CD3 Lincoln Zepyhr, is going to run you 21 or so retail in AWD and clean. I think what you really need/want is something you can buy used for 15/16 in AWD -that’s not destroyed- and still have wiggle room for wearables, taxes, cpo etc. Tough proposition these days.

            How about a Subaru lease with their 3.0 H6 as opposed to the 2.5 H4? I think you have to go to the top trim to get the H6 (which is like 30K) but Subaru has excellent lease residuals and they were offering 1.49% for 48 months on 730+ credit in Jan (Bro bought one).

            http://dayapollosubaru.calls.net/new/Subaru/2016-Subaru-Legacy-Pittsburgh-1eaa63320a0e0ae77abf7d6b9e2de9b0.htm?searchDepth=39:42

            Fuel economy city: 20mpgHorsepower: 256hp @ 6,000RPMFuel economy highway: 29mpgTransmission: continuously variable automaticVariable valve controlEngine liters: 3.6Manual-shift autoSequential multi-point fuel injectionFuel tank capacity: 18.5gal.Fuel economy combined: 23mpgCylinder configuration: H-6Engine location: frontRecommended fuel: Regular UnleadedTorque: 247 lb.-ft. @ 4,400RPMDrive type: all-wheel driveNumber of valves: 24

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    About the only times when I wonder if it might be preferable to live in the USA than in Canada are:
    1) When the winter weather is really bad and I realize just how much of the US is geographically located in warmer climes.
    2) When I realize that due to the ‘economies of scale’ there is more than 10 times the chance for incompetents or the barely competent (such as myself) to rise to positions of money, power or prestige in the US.
    3) When I read about the pricing for vehicles in the US. Here in Canada $20k might get you a new Elantra/Civic/Corolla or a value package Grand Caravan. For $300 per month with zero down you could not even lease an HR-V.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    Get a 2015 mustang Ecoboost. (29-ish$ with some mods)
    go here > http://www.unleashedtuning.com/mustang/
    get tuner
    program car for 87,91,100 octane pump gas

    now go run 12’s :) .. win!

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      Mustang + 1 year with rear facing seat = big pain. Also, 3 year old in front facing behind driver seat = lots of kicking my back.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If your three year old is like my three year old, they will enjoy touching your ears with their filthy daycare shoes. In a Mustang, they will be able to reach…

      • 0 avatar
        maxxcool7421

        To bad the AWD is off your list. Take the MKS and or SHO to the same site and add on a 75$ 3-bar sensor and the same TUNE for 13.1-13.2 second car.

        But then again as others have noted a good used BMW sedan with the TT n54, or a domestic SRT sedan from dodge would also be good.

        **AVOID AUDI V8’s** (opinion)

        As a G35 sedan owner I can smile and nod on the rear facing seats :P .. if I had a coupe I might have scratched my eyes out.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My best friend bought a Mustang EcoBoost Premium. I do not care for the engine in that car. The V6 is superior and—in our experience, because they also have a 2014 Mustang V6 in the household—gets better fuel-economy. I’d get the GT anyway, but I’m still sort of pissed that Ford has made the V6 option artificially unappealing on the new Mustang by refusing to offer it with *any* options.

      But a Mustang would be a proper pain with kids in car seats. Due mostly to the fastback shape, the rear seats are nothing so much as parcel shelves, and I would call the car a 2+2.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Glad to hear your opinion of the Mustang V6.
        I really, REALLY want a convertible.And the Mustang, as much as I love the Mazda, has a back seat. OK…not useable for people long term..but it STILL has one and I could throw suitcases and other stuff there if needed.
        And the reason I compared to two was the Miata with the stuff I wanted was about 28K. The Stang base 6 convertible is 32.
        I think that is a whole lot more car for the 4 or 5 grand more.
        The Mazda and Mustang are my two choices.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          Totally different driving experience between the two but if you need the space the Mustang will be the better choice.

          As a low slung, light weight, roadster it’s hard to go against the Miata.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            I am worried this new design will not last the test of time.
            I was in love with it…but, after seeing it on the roads a few times, it just doesn’t hold it together.
            The new look just looks , well, weak and thin after awhile. The rear end just looked sort of out of sync yesterday when I followed one awhile here in Florida.
            And yet last year’s look is getting better, at least to me.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Bark, I reached the same MKS conclusion that you did (for myself) but nixed it because the MKS is freaking HUGE – it’s easily ~ 16 inches longer than a Mazda 6 and wasn’t going to fit into my garage very comfortably.

    I mean, that car is 3 inches longer than a Taurus and it’s all just plastic. Why, Ford, why?

    On edit: don’t buy from Automatch USA. Without my going into too many specifics, that dealer and its owner are just bad news. Yes, I’m local to them.

    • 0 avatar

      AutoMatch USA is a Marcus Lemonis dealership. They have a decent reputation, so I’d be curious to hear your story.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      12 inches longer….it still will fit in the garage, barely. They are very large considering the inside is not that big, but then again, that is probably a big reason for the prices they are selling at.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      Ha! That’s exactly why I didn’t get it. I think automakers need to try to stay under 200″ with any and all sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      But in all fairness, the MKS has a ton more quality stuff the SHO does not.
      I know…I test drove them all a lot.
      That Bridge of Weir leather alone is enough. And the audio…THX system, is unbelievable.
      Along with the double sun roof and crap…there is a lot more that comes with the MKS.

      My problem was, at least in the 10 through 13 models, the MKS trunk opening was stupid narrow vs the Taurus.
      They fixed it…but it kills it more me a lot when I load that 19 CuFt trunk up but have to take everything apart to fill it!

  • avatar
    tonycd

    This is such a white man’s problem.

    Call me a cheapskate scold, but how about spending $200 a month and saving the other $100? If acceleration is what flips your flapjacks, how about a nice certified ’12 Fusion Sport or ’12 MKZ? You can find the latter for $17k CPO all day long, with low miles, leather and plenty of toys. And in the next recession (or when the sprouts reach college age), you’ll thank me.

  • avatar
    rjg

    One point that always gets forgotten in discussions about leasing: lease “specials” are only a starting point for negotiation. For example, it is very possible to get a 0 down 300/month lease on a 35k16 fusion titanium. Probably less if you do some work.

    Currently I’m leasing a 60k 5 series for 450 with 0 down for example. There are still great deals to be had if you shop around and negotiate. As an upper limit, I would never pay more than 1% of msrp with 0 down (all taxes rolled in) on a lease. I generally shoot for .07-.08.

    Although the first few of the fusion sport will likely see unappealing lease deals, by this time next year I expect that low 300s will be very achievable.

    Certain brands (vw and Audi for example) tend to be much worse when it comes to leasing but there are plenty of great alternatives.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Exactly.

      Supply, demand, manufacturer and dealership incentives, timing and negotiating can land amazing deals.

      Vehicles are fungible, commoditized goods, not appreciating assets, that are mass produced, and that actually COST DEALERSHIPS MONEY TO FLOORPLAN.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Which is funny, because you’d think VW, in particular, would want to sell whatever it could these days. But what VW offers for the money is fairly uncompetitive. In fact, aside from the Golf range or maybe a used late-model Touareg, I really wouldn’t buy any of their cars because Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Honda, etc… offer far better alternatives. That’s sad.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Everyone smells blood and can afford to beat VW on price in the US. Plus, VW doesn’t currently have vehicles, besides *maybe* the GTI, that they can charge premium $$$ for. They are really missing out of the wheel barrow full of CUV cash.

        Good thing they have Audi.

  • avatar

    Sheesh. Let’s clear up a few things. Somebody should write in and Ask Bark how leases actually work.

    A lease isn’t some magic calculation, guys. It’s the negotiated purchase price of a vehicle, minus the residual value at the end of the lease, subject to an interest rate/money factor. You’re paying the depreciation fee, the interest (on both the depreciation and the residual), and the sales tax.

    Stating that dealers will magically reduce the price of a lease by $150-200 a month because you’re some wizard of a negotiator is just a fantasy. Every hundred dollars a 36 month lease payment is reduced by equals over a three thousand dollar dealer contribution. That’s a pretty rare scenario on a car that stickers for $40k or less. Does it happen? Sure—at the end of a model year or on a car that’s complete lot poison. But it won’t happen very often.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I was going to say “Accord Sport”, because I’m leasing mine for $316/month with $0 down and included rubber floor-mats.

    I completely agree that if you’re leasing, don’t put money down. Unless it’s a car that deep down in your heart of hearts, you want to own it at the end of the lease. I like my Accord Sport, but not enough to buy it outright.

    I would offer that the OP should go with “hit ’em where they ain’t”, and the big Ford Ecoboost sedans do just that. I would also look at used Genesis sedans and also previous-gen V6 Mazda6s. Although both will be very hard to find, but it could be worth your while.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    This isn’t what the poster wants to hear, but none of the suggested cars seem like much of an upgrade over the 2014 Mazda6 he drives today. One option would be to roll the lease into a purchase, which over 5 years is likely to be in the $300 range.

    The advantage to doing this is that he gets a vehicle he already knows the history on, and he gets to build equity with his payments, whereas leasing does not. In 5 years, that Mazda6 will be worth ~$9K, a great down payment on the car of his dreams (or save for college).

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      A responsible option, but I don’t like the 6 enough to stick with it.
      Too much road noise – I think they made this a little better on the 2016’s.
      Infotainment is not great, but I use my phone for everything and the bluetooth works fine so it doesn’t bother me too much.
      Everything else is fine with the car, but nothing to really make me want to keep it for an $18K buyout (its a GT with the MRCC option) when I can spend a little more and get something a little different, even if it is a year or 2 older.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Fair points, pulverizer.

        Having owned many Hondas, I hear you on the issue of road noise. That’s the problem with most car reviews, they often don’t focus on the things that really matter to long term ownership. Road noise, uncomfortable seats, propensity to rattle, glitchy electronics. These things don’t show up in the specially prepared vehicles that car mag reviewers get, but they are what really make the difference to actual owners.

        Whatever you decide on, I hope you enjoy the ride and come back and let us know what you got (so we can live vicariously).

  • avatar

    I purchased a 1999 Porsche 996 with m030 sport and m220 limited slip differential for $15,500 (it also had $5,500 worth of Champion RG3 wheels . . . )

    I put money down and was paying $212/mo to drive a 911 (which, as a water cooled car with modern conveniences, I was able to drive in all 4 seasons) – but if you didn’t put money down, you’d be at $300/month or less if you wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Firstly, let me say this. I’ve been accused of sometimes being a bit slow and not unable to see the big picture.

      Are you suggesting the OP purchase a 1999 Porsche 911? Did you pick up on the types of cars the OP wants? Did you purposely skip over the other much more suitable cars (according to the OP’s desires) or did your mind hone in on a 1999 911 the same way an AIM-9 finds the hot exhaust of a MIG?

      I’m truly curious.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Banks finance 17-year-old cars?

  • avatar
    redthree

    For years, this site was in trouble of becoming the truth about panthers.
    Thankfully, it has now become the truth about Lincolns.
    Diversity is a wonderful thing.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Bark—great article. checking out the lease availability was a plus.

  • avatar
    KenyG

    I picked up a 2012 SHO with 19k on the odometer last March for about 25k. Performance package & so many bells/whistles I’m still figuring them all out.

    If you like full size & like sleepers, the SHO fits the bill. AWD is nice and filling it with 87 octane is a benefit (not so much with gas prices now though).

    Zero issues with it thus far.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re not helping my desire to buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      just keep an eye on that AWD system. Mine seems to have developed a soft clunk after coasting and then touching the accelerator.
      I think the system is just a tad slow and noisy.

      And now suddenly there is a clicking behind the driver side dash. Supposedly a fan switch is having teeth issues.
      We will see….

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The clicking noise is probably the blend door actuator. It’s a $30 fix you can do in just a few minutes.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          that’s exactly what I think. This is the main one that fails behind the glove compartment.

          There is, however, a more difficult one to reach behind the gage cluster…and very expensive labor wise.
          This is where the noise is coming from.
          The one you speak of should not sound like its coming from the gages.
          I hope you are right.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The one behind the gauges would probably take an hour or two for you to do it yourself. It’s a PITA. Ford/Lincoln would charge you $250-$400 to do it. Do the other one first. It may fix your problem and it’s eventually going to take a dump anyway.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It appears he is content with the Murano for the day to day family grind.

    Due to the fact he only drives into the “city” on every couple of weeks makes it more appealing to have a larger vehicle to manhandle in those sometimes tight driving environments.

    I suggest he disposes the Murano and buy a little Hyundai Getz/Mitsubishi sh!tter size vehicle for the wife, or even a larger Corolla size vehicle second hand.

    I would then look at a dual cab diesel 4×4 Colorado. This can be used for family outing camping, fishing, beer drinking and BBQs when enjoying the great outdoors. This will help develop his kids into appreciating what the great outdoors has to offer.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      In this edition of “Ask Bark” we’ll break down Al’s advice for Ben:

      1) Get rid of the Murano his wife likes
      2) Replace it with a subcompact
      3) Buy a diesel Colorado
      4) Camping with a pi$$ed off wife an infant and a toddler

      Mr Al, what you’ve just said…is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could have been considered a rational thought. Everyone on TTAC is now dumber for having read this. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      A diesel Colorado has been Big Al’s response for the last few Ask Barks regardless of the type of vehicle the OP is looking at.

  • avatar
    countymountie

    I own a 2014 Charger, R/T Max, rwd. She’s my garage queen but I think the Charger is a fantastic car.

    Traded my first one off on a used 2010 Genesis 4.6. It had hail damage so I can’t really comment about depreciation on those cars but overall quality of the Genesis is outstanding. Great leather, solid feel. I’m less about handling than ride and I had no complaint there.

    My daily driver is a 2010 Taurus SHO. Has 79k with no issues and I will be doing a Livernois tune on it soon. Depreciation makes a used one a great deal, same as the Lincoln. They’re not as nice as the Genesis quality wise but the SHO is a great road car in its own right. The driver’s compartment is kinda cramped looking but you do get used to it. The trunk is incredible. Hauled 4 16″ tires home in the trunk, latched.

    I don’t think you’d go wrong on any of them as a used car. Depending on the deal, I’d take a Genesis and then an Ecoboost Mks or Taurus.

  • avatar
    r129

    I hear that you can get a great deal on a Chrysler 200 these days!

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      I know you were joking, but it is true

      The closest dealer to me right now has a leftover 2015 200 S all options (V6 AWD) for $9K off MSRP which brings it to 27K before any negotiation. I assume a lease on that would be where I wanted to be, and if I lease I don’t have to worry about a car that is getting killed off.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      As someone whose household contains both a W-body Impala (purchased lightly used) and a Cadillac ATS (leased), I was only half joking.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    I want to know more about the Genesis R-Spec. It certainly looks better than the Taurus and MKS, which have weird proportions.

    • 0 avatar
      pulverizer

      In researching it more, it seems like the ones in my price range are the first ones made(and no CPO warranty), which apparently can have some major engine issues, so I am probably going to stay away as tempting as the choice may be.

  • avatar
    pulverizer

    Everyone….Thank You!
    The discussion has helped me eliminate some options to make the search a little less complicated.
    Going to keep the MKS/SHO on the list for the buy side, and maybe I’ll take a look at a 300 to compare.

    Waiting to hear back on the 2015 Q50 from a couple dealer to get a ballpark “real” lease price.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Dodge was blowing out Hemi Chally R/Ts for $308 a month and $0 down back in January on a National Program (not metro Detroit F&F special or anything).

      You might want to check with dealers on that if you would like such a vehicle and two doors works:

      http://leasehackr.com/blog/2016/1/21/hemi-to-the-masses-dodge-challenger-rt-from-320month-0-down

  • avatar
    n_tesla

    Thumbs up on the Genesis. Look at the plain V8 as well. The difference is a few hp and 19″ wheels. I don’t think you will miss the hp and the stiffer ride. Sellers want a few thousand more for the R Spec as well.

    High points:

    You get a 5 year 60k warranty on a non CPO
    Can’t judge how great the warranty is. Only had a bad TPMS sensor and they replaced it free.
    Concierge service from Hyundai. Mine is named Randy. Helped me through Navigation updates.
    Huge on the inside.
    Quiet
    Fast
    Over-built
    Quiet
    Fast

    Low Points:

    Stock Dunlop 5000’s are crappy, but at least they are expensive.
    400ish hp, rear drive and wide tires not an awesome formula in snow.

    My “drivers car” benchmark is my 3 Series BMW with Sport Package. The Genesis is not as “nimble” but can be driven with “gusto”. Much more German in feel than my friend’s Lexus(i).

    You can get close to your $300 per month target. Mine is getting me through 2 college tuitions. Couldn’t be happier.

    OTH. You could buy the same year low spec RAV4 for the same money.

  • avatar

    How about a nice V6 Accord of some kind?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I read the first 20 or so comments and pushed the bottom of the column button. Why so much vitriol for Bark? He is learning on the fly and should be given as much slack as everyone else who has done the same thing here on our favorite obscure automotive website. Is it leftover anxiety from something his brother wrote? I will grant that he is quick on the response to anything he feels is lacking in understanding, but that just reflects his lack of a thick skin which he will develop as time goes by. And remember, twice weekly is the projected schedule, and I will bet he has this years output already in the pipeline. There is something about a person who will expose their plans for their second largest purchase and expect an anonymous commentary to be a source of wisdom, but we all have to start somewhere. But what do I know? Maybe the Brave New World requires this now. Give the young man a break. You may someday be able to say “I remember when….”.

  • avatar
    LUNDQIK

    Logged in just to reply to this.

    Take it from a fellow early 30s father – former motorcycle owner – forgo the older Miata and get a 4 seater convertible with modern safety features. Especially if you plan to drive the car at all to work or need it for day care pick up.

    I was between an 1999 NB Miata, a 2002 BMW 330ci, and a 2007 Saab 9-3 Aero.

    Came home with the Saab. For the money it was the newest, safest, and had the least miles. No its no corner carver Miata – but watch your kid’s head explode when you drop the top. Way more fun. Plus its a lot easier to get out with the family in it – than just me.

    Oh and go for the Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Many (all?) NB Miatas have an airbag deactivation switch, and child seats actually fit really well in the Miata cabin.

      2-seaters are exempt from the “kids in the backseat” law in every state I’ve checked.

      A four-seater would be nice for family cruising, but you can definitely put children of any age in a Miata.

      • 0 avatar
        LUNDQIK

        Car seats in a Miata?! NOT MY SPECIAL LITTLE SNOWFLAKE!

        Kidding… well mostly kidding.

        The Miata really is a darling fun little car. I test drove quite a few and toyed with the car seat idea. Early on in my search to replace the motorcycle it was the only option I considered. I bought into “the answer is always Miata.”

        But having a long commute (as does the OP) – the Miata would be all flaws and not enough fun to make up for it. Noisy, crammed, and slow – the Miata doesn’t really enhance the commute. Well besides being top down, and you can get that in any convertible. Rather the Miata would be the “event” car. The car I would take out for fun backround jaunts or to get lost with on errands. As father of young little ones the time for “events” just isn’t there enough to make it worth it.

        While a Miata is do-able with a single kid – you can’t take two. And with the OP having two kiddos coupled with a long commute – it really doesn’t make much sense. A convertible that can take the entire family for fun, pull daycare duty and commute comfortably will get much more use and be overall more enjoyable.

        Go for a 4 seater sport tourer drop top. Mustang, Firebird, A4, 3-series or 9-3. The icing on the cake is all those options are safer to put your kids in too.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Here in N. Alabama, a 45K Q50 is 309 with 4K upfront cash.


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