Buying First Car for Daughter

hyundai
used
elantra

#1

I am buying my collge student daughter her first car.



I thought I would buy something in the $6000 - $7000 range. After looking around, I think I am going up to the $9000 range.



The cars I have found fall into the following categories:



**2004-2006 Hyundai Elantras with 40,0000-55,000 miles



**2001-2003 Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics (with an occassional Camry or Accord) with 80,000 miles



**Various American cars with 40,000-50,000 miles (e.g. 01 Pontiac Grand Prix, 04 Chrysler Sebring, lots of Tauruses, 03/04 Malibus), 03/04 Ford Focus, etc.



So, if I am spending the same money, am I better off with a newer Hyundai, an older and higher mileage Toyota or Honda, or an American car?



We are buying the car in Central Texas.



Thanks.


#2

A Corolla or Civic is your best all-around choice. Try to make sure the vehicle has been maintained according to the schedule in the owner’s manual (records from the previous owner are the ONLY thing I’d trust), then make sure your daughter does the same.

A Corolla or Civic with 80K miles is FAR from worn out, and can easily provide another 100K miles, or more, of reliable, inexpensive transportation.


#3

I always cringe whenever someone steers car buyers specifically toward a Civic or Corolla. These are good choices, certainly, but it tends to slam the door on everything else.

Every car you mentioned is worthy of consideration. There are no dogs on the list. (Well, Mike hasn’t checked in yet. You’ll find out.)

Don’t limit yourself. Be aware that Toyotas and Hondas have high resale values, meaning you can expect to pay a premium. American cars depreciate more quickly so you ought to be able to get a newer model, less miles, for the same bucks.

A recent Hyundai Elantra is an excellent choice.


#4

I would ask her. After all she is the one that will end up driving it, not us. Is she going to contribute something towards it?


#5

Every car you mentioned is worthy of consideration. There are no dogs on the list. (Well, Mike hasn’t checked in yet. You’ll find out.)

No dogs…amazing…

Grand Prix - GM V6…I guess you forgot about GM’s intake manifold problems on ALL V6 AND V8 engines. Very high failure rate. And when they fail if you don’t notice it right away…expect to get a new engine.

Tauruses - Reliability and Taurus do NOT belong in the same sentence. Maybe the new introduced one will be fine.

03/04 Malibus - Again…GM V6 engine with intake manifold problems.

03/04 Ford Focus - Probably the most reliable American vehicle in the bunch. I’ve driven them a few times for rentals. Decent vehicle. Maybe ford should take what they’re doing right with this vehicle and repeat it for their other vehicles. Stay away from the 00-01 models…A LOT of problems those years.


#6

Hmmm… Now where’s that button to push? Ah! Here it is!

Hey Mike! His list also included the Chrysler Sebring!


#7

I have no knowledge of the Sebring. But a couple of weeks ago I rented a Chryco 300…what a piece of crap car that was…Numerous problems for a car with only 20 miles on it. I HOPE it was just a lemon as opposed to a major design problem.


#8

I owned a 2000 Civic for seven years, and put over 150,000 miles on it. The first problem I had was at 170,000 miles, and that was just a broken driver’s side window motor.

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a reliable car, I’d opt for a Honda. I have a friend with a 1992 Civic that has well over 200,000 miles on it, and it looks and drives well yet.


#9

what engine did it have in it? I test drove the 5.7L version(300c) and it was pretty nice driving.


#10

I hope that you are involving her in the process. She can learn a lot.


#11

Not sure…Never popped the hood.

It had about 4 problems…only ONE was engine related.


#12

either a honda or a toyota would be far and away the best choice.

CR plotted out charts tracking how well the vehicles from different manufacturers age. (4/07 issue, pg. 23. also available online)

these are the ages at which the products of different makers on overall average, get to having 100 problems per 100 vehicles: vw, 5.2 years. chrysler, hyundai, 5.6 yrs. gm, 5.8 yrs. ford, 7 yrs. nissan, 10 yrs. honda, ~10.6 yrs. toyota ~17 years.

the last two are projections, as the chart only goes out to 10 years.


#13

Wow, that is a neat chart. I believe it.

Part of the equation is how long she needs a car. In my limited opinion any main stream car will go 80,000 or 100,000 miles without major problems ASSUMING MAINTENANCE IS PULLED CORRECTLY.

The Toyota/Hondas will go closer to 200,000 miles assuming correct maintenance. I am also one who believes a Toyota with 80,000 and maintenance is still essentially a new car.

If you are positive she will only put say 40,000 miles on this car before finishing college and getting a job, buy a cheaper car. If you suspect she might put more like 100,000 more miles on a car before she is working, better spring for the Toyota.

Also, if you trust her to pull maintenance, I have some good swamp land for sale. It is possible, it is just not common for young people to do. When she comes home, look it over and do the maintenance yourself to make sure it gets done.


#14

I owned a 2000 Civic for seven years, and put over 150,000 miles on it. The first problem I had was at 170,000 miles, and that was just a broken driver’s side window motor.

My wifes 96 Accord which we just gave to our Niece who’s starting college has 210k miles on it. So far beyond normal maintenance I had to replace one of the heater knobs.