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Buying A New Car

I’m 71 and retired. Been keeping cars 8 to 10 years and now buying “My Final Car”. Your opinion on small SUV (Sportage or Tucson) vs. sedan (Sonata). Also, your opinion on buying used late model thru CARMAX vs. local authorized dealer. Hope to hear direct from you guys. Value your judgment. Would this be on radio show or in newspaper? Thanks very much. John Kelleher, Surprize, Arizona.

Click and Clack generally don’t get involved with the newsgroup. However there are a lot of people here with a large amount of car information.

I am retied and figure my next car will be my last one also. So I plan on keeping what I have a long time ?:slight_smile:

Since your car choice is far different than mine would be I can’t offer any specific suggestions. However I suggest that the more information you can give us about what you want in you car, the better.

For example:

Why have you considering the SUV and the sedan? You live in Arizona. Do you drive out of state often? Do you go into the mountains where you may need good snow capability? Do you carry much with you, like dog, grand kids golf bags ??? How about roads, do you live at the end of a long dry potholed back road or in the city three blocks from the mall?

Anything and everything you can tell us about yourself can help.

Those are decent picks. I think the Tucson > Sportage.

For small SUVs check out the Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, and Honda CRV, too.

In the Sedan realm check out Accord, Mazda 3/6, Nissan Altima/Maxima, Lexus ISx, Camry/Corolla, Malibu.

Test drive the ones in your price range and go from there.

Also if you grab an april issue of consumer reports, it will have a comprehensive list of new and used small SUVs and cars for every price range. Hope that helps.

Good suggestions; when you are buying your “last car”, you should try to determine if you can get parts for that vehicle 20 years from now.

Hyundai is focused on becoming one of the world’s leading car companies. Their Tucson, Sonata are high volume sellers, meaning that you will be able to get parts and service for many years to come. A senior once summed it up nicely:

  1. Buy a car form a company that will be in business for a lot of years

  2. Buy their best selling model in the mid priced range.

  3. Buy from a company the has a quality focus.

  4. Buy a car with the least options, only those your really need

  5. Maintain it well and take it easy the first half million miles!

Well, depending on how well your knees work, a small-ish SUV would be better than a sedan for getting in and out of. The Tuscon would be a good buy since it’s got that 10 year warranty and Hyundai’s reliability has improved quite a bit since they came to the US, so the money you save over something like a CR-V or Rav4 would buy a lot of repairs, should you need them.

If you are in really good health, plans on a last car may not be valid. When I was 59, we bought a new 2002 Sienna, and I figured by the time I would be in my 70’s, I would probably not want to drive any more. So, we assumed that was our last car, too.

Last year, when I was 67, a man in our retirement park in Mcallen (which is where I live when I am in the States) drove in from Minnesota, and said he was 86. I told my wife we had better start saving for our next car.

With 9 years of age on it, and 168,000 miles, I am assuming somewhere around the time I can no longer get new parts, we will need a new one. Maybe another 5 years. If I had to get a new one now, it would be a base 4 cylinder Sienna, if they have a radio of some sort. Our speed limits here even in the country tend to be 60 kmh, which is well under 40 mph. No need for a big motor.

If you plan on keeping a car for 8 to 10 and beyond, I’d opt for a new car over a used car from any dealer; CarMax included. Driving a new car off the lot yourself means you will have a complete history on the car from day to year whatever. Depreciation isn’t a problem when you keep a car for a long time, like 10 years.

The only advantage of a used car is you can get more car for your money. The downside is there are unknowns about the previous driver and how well the car was maintained. No CarFax report, or similar reports from other companies, can relied on to be complete. You might not get a flood damaged car, or an abused car; but then again you might.

Personally, I prefer sedans for comfort and better gas mileage over any SUV; even the smaller ones. The trunks in sedans are really big and can handle a lot of cargo, and often the back seats go down in case you need to carry some long boards home from the Home Depot.

A gentleman in my neighborhood drives an immaculate 1976 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, the biggest car Chev ever built! He is in his eighties and bought the car off his company when it was 4 years old.

With the low humidity here he intends to drive it “forever”. The fuel mileage is lousy, but he does not drive a lot. His 36 year old car looks a little odd with all its chrome and colossal size!