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Love the website. Here is my conundrum:
My wife and I have two cars. A 2007 CR-V that I use mostly for a 75 mile round trip commute several days a week to San Francisco and a 2004 Infiniti FX35 with 52,000 miles. While the CR-V has a ton of utility, I am tired of driving it. It has quite a bit of road noise, the sound system sucks and frankly it’s kind of a female car. The plan is to keep the CR-V and let my wife drive it, and use it as our family car while we sell the Infiniti and I get something for that daily commute. The Infiniti was purchased from a friend and is in great condition, but I feel like it is a ticking time bomb and want to sell it now to take advantage of high used car prices. Plus the mpg is horrific, it doesn’t have satellite radio and the tires are still original and will need expensive replacing shortly. Read More >
Welcome to New Or Used Without Borders, where the international team of TTAC answers your intercontinental car shopping questions.
My wife & I are about to have our first child in December. We visit Brazil (SJC, SP) typically twice per year to see my wife’s relatives. Usually each trip lasts about a month (I’m only there the last week or two). My wife has talked to me about possibly buying a car in Brazil because of our frequent travel there and our need to get around with an infant/toddler. During past visits, I drove or we took the bus together. Now that she’ll be taking an infant with her, she wants to be able to drive herself when I’m not there. We are also worried about safety using public transportation — A single mother & a baby/infant who may speak English at an inopportune time may appear to be an easy target for criminals. In any case, our current transportation options won’t work because they are not automatic & not as safe in an accident as we’d like.
Our current options are:
1974 (IIRC) VW Beetle with a 4 speed, 1.5L, 40′ish hp. — Not in any way safe enough for the baby.
2004? 2005? VW Polo, 5-speed, 1.8L. Not sure on HP but I’d guess it’s 90′ish ? 100? — 5 speed.
We are trying to decide if we want to buy new, or have my father-in-law help us look for something used. I’ve asked my wife about renting, but it’s not safe to leave an unsecured car outside overnight (and my in laws don’t have a gate secured spot in their house for a third car). I don’t think my brother-in-law would be opposed to an upgrade of his Beetle, so that is what we’ll most likely do.
Here are our requirements in order of need … (Listed in the response.)
Marcelo answers from Brazil: Read More >
Hi, I read the piston slap section alot and figured could use a second opinion on my car situation. I currently dont need to drive as I take a train to work, but can not own a car, so i currently have 2. A 96 Explorer eddie bauer with all options and 145k on it, and a 97 TJ sport with 76k that only does summer duty and gets to live in a garage the rest of the year since the Explorer is more than adequate in NY snow. The explorer has been having issues for the last 10k miles, tranny is starting to shift hard and even though the body looks great the frame is looking more rust then metal. I think its on its way out, but i have owned it for 6 years and have grown way to attached to easily let it go. Read More >
I realize opinions are like…elbows. But right now I am looking for a hit to the ribs.
I am moving to Northern California, and intend to live up in the hills around Skyline Blvd. / Highway 280.
I am debt free on a 2006 Mitsubishi Montero Limited. It is such a fantastic sleeper of an SUV; as rugged as I need for weekend camping, rock climbing and/or surfing excursions, and also cleans up well for mid-week business meetings (I work from home, so only need to drive to the office or customer site a couple days per week).
The Monty is in great condition, with 75K miles on the odometer, and still worth approx. $15-20K. It is safe for my wife, infant, and possibly future brood. The Monty is a gorgeous ”carbon grey metallic” color, without the cheesy spoiler option. It’s a stellar SUV in the classic sense.
That stated, I have the itch to sell the Monty and use that cash to buy a slightly ”lesser” vehicle (in terms of value), as well as an enduro-type motorcycle; perhaps a used BMW F 800 GS. Read More >
TTAC Commentator bigev007 writes:
Sajeev and Steve,
Been going back and forth on my buying decision for about 8 months now and I’m hoping to glean from the wisdom of yourself and the collective.
New job last December, 100km from home. Mostly highway (very hilly) only one stop light where I have to wait (but it is about 2 minutes at the bottom of a long hill so it is great on my rotors.) Currently driving a 2000 Impala, averaging 26-28mpg so I am spending about $520 a month on fuel. Read More >
Hi Steve and Sajeev,
I’m in high school and I need a car. Before anyone makes assumptions, I actually have a need for owning a vehicle. There is no public transportation where I live, my school doesn’t have buses, and it’d be a long walk especially during the lengthy winter (which sort of rules out riding a bike too). My budget is about $1000 to 2000. Read More >
TTAC commentator Philosphil writes:
I’m looking to replace my 03 Jetta wagon soon and have test-driven many vehicles. I have periodic back issues and so want a vehicle that has easy ingress and egress (so that ideally I neither have to climb up nor drop down when entering or exiting the vehicle). I’m about 6’, but have a relatively long upper body. I’m also looking for something in the $17,000-$20,000 range (Cdn, or about about $15,000-$18,000 US). Of the cars I’ve tested so far, the ones that seem best suited to my needs are the boxes (to my wife’s dismay–they tend to have the largest opening between the driver’s seat and the top of the door sill). I would also like to keep this car (and actually like it as well) for 8-10 years. Read More >
Dear Sajeev and Steve,
My wife has recently started insisting (more along the lines of demanding) that I get a new(er) car. While the junkyard gem 97 civic has only served me about a year, it has only cost me $1000 total. With 270k on the odometer and counting, it is really starting to show its age but runs 80 down the road with cold air and no issues. I drive 130 miles round trip everyday with practically all of it on the interstate. The civic gets 34-38 mpg which is the part I like, but I am starting to question the reliability.
So now I am looking for a good commuter car. The only option that I am dead set on is cruise control for the obvious reason. While initially an 08 Impreza hatch grabbed my attention, 26 mpg was unacceptable for me. So now I am left searching again. I have test drove the Mazda2 and Fiesta and either would meet my needs as far as size goes. They both seemed pretty peppy for all 100 hp. I have plans to test drive an Accent but havent made it that far yet.
So now for the question, what else should I consider? I have no issues with buying CPO or used. We have an extra car in case something did happen to the civic so I am really in no hurry except for the nagging about how much dislike there is for the civic. Read More >
Sajeev and Steve,
5 months ago I bought myself something of a quarter-life crisis gift – a CPO 2008 Honda S2000. I love this car to death, which is why I was left heartbroken when it was rear-ended quite badly as part of a 5 car accident on the wonderful roads of Los Angeles. Thankfully I’m OK and insurance is picking up the $5300 tab to fix the car, but the whole incident has put the fear of the traffic gods in me. Now, with the car in the shop for the next 2 weeks, I can’t help but think it would be better to keep the future miles off of it and get a daily driver I’m less passionate about instead. Read More >
TTAC commentator DougD writes:
I put the snowtires on Dad’s 2007 Kia Rondo yesterday, and right on cue we’ve got snow today. While we worked we talked about cars, of course. My parents are in their mid 70′s, Dad bought the Rondo new and there’s a lot to like about it. Upright seating, good ingress for seniors, easy to park in the condo parking spot. It’s been reliable and still looks good, so the Rondo’s held up well. Read More >
My wife has requested that I get a jeep type vehicle that we can use to do some light off road driving, i.e. she wants to drive on the beach. I see this as an opportunity to buy a fun 4×4. I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it stuck. My requirements are that it be a 4×4, cost $15000 or less and can support a winch. It does not need to be a daily driver, and manual is OK, but automatic is slightly preferred. Finally, I am not looking to buy myself a job as a mechanic. Read More >
Hi Sajeev and Steve,
I’m a longtime TTAC reader and I was hoping you guys could give me a bit of advice about an upcoming car purchase. I recently graduated college, and with no debt to pay off and a fairly good income I’m looking to get myself a second car. My current car is a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis in incredible shape with around 130k miles on it, It currently has some minor powertrain and suspension mods as well. I have no plan on getting rid of this car, as it has quite a bit of useful life left in it and is extremely practical. I’d like to keep it as a winter car/possible project car, and the residual value of it (~3kish) is low enough that it doesn’t make sense to trade in. However, having wanted a sports car since I started driving, I’d like to go ahead and get one now that I’m in a position to do so.
My (possibly strange) requirements are as follows:
1. It must be fun and engaging to drive
2. It must be blue
3. It should be a convertible, preferably a 2 seater (I’m open to a fixed roof car as well, but would prefer a convertible)
4. Must be either a manual transmission or a dual clutch
5. I would prefer that it be a rear wheel drive vehicle
6. Fuel economy is a non-issue so long as it gets above 20 mpg highway
7. I don’t mind some maintainance, but I would like something thats fairly reliable and not TOO expensive to maintain (I don’t expect panther-like reliability but, for example, $1500 spark plug changes on a Boxster would be a bit much)
I can spend a max of $30-32k on it, but ideally I’d like to keep it ~$25k. I’ve looked at a new Miata, Mustang GT (Convertible is rather pricey), and the Genesis coupe (it’s not a convertible but I liked the looks and interior enough that I’d consider it). I’ve also given some thought to the following (newer, low mileage) used cars: Honda S2000 , Mazda Miata, Porsche boxster(mentioned above), BMW Z4, and a co-worker of mine also mentioned that I might consider a C5 corvette as well. I think they’re all great cars, and each has its own strong/weak points. The S2000 and the Miata are probably the most serious contenders, but I’m trying to keep my eyes open. I’m torn as to what I should get, and I’m also wondering if there’s any cars that I missed that are worth looking at.
Please let me know what you guys think, I’d love to hear back from you on this.
Sajeev answers: Read More >
Dear Sajeev and Steve,
I work as a research scientist, and currently we have a visiting scientist from South Africa working with us for six months. Normally visitors stay in university housing and are able to take the shuttle bus to our lab, but our current visitor is bringing her husband with her and staying in a house they found themselves. She should have about a 30 minute 20 mile drive to the lab and just looking for reliable transportation around a medium sized city, and maybe the occasional weekend sightseeing trip. She does already have a rental scheduled at the airport for the first week (probably an Impala), but for more long-term what type of newer car should she be looking for that will retain its value when she goes to sell it at the end of her stay, or would it be more reasonable to rent for six months? I will mention she drives a Land Cruiser most of the time in South Africa and seems to like it a lot.
Read More >
I am a financially stable 27 year old engineer living in the Bay Area, where it seems BMWs and Audis are about as pedestrian as Camrys. I’ve been getting the car itch, but I don’t like the idea of getting an entry level luxury car like everyone else.
Almost by accident, I stumbled upon the idea of buying a early 2000s Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante, which can be had in the low to mid $40s. Aside from the car being gorgeous and powerful, I get to pretend that I’m not just another boring Silicon Valley yuppie (which, believe me, I am) while not being overly flashy (it’s old enough to have a “classic car” vibe). Financially, I would also like to think it has steadied out in depreciation, and if I sell it a few years from now, I may be able to recoup more of my investment compared to getting a much newer car. Finally, there’s something attractive about the idea of having your dream car while you’re young, rather than waiting until you’re 65. So the question is: is this a stupid idea?
Read More >
TTAC Commentator Supaman writes:
Hey Sajeev and Steve,
Got another head scratcher for you. A friend of mine was involved in an accident over the previous weekend which totaled her car (2006 Corolla S). She still had a year’s worth of payments left and the money she gets back from insurance leaves her with a smidge of $4000. Read More >