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Car purchase dilemma

Wife wants to get rid of Minivan (05 T&C) now that kids are a bit older (she hates it!). We are looking to replace with a new/used midsize sedan or crossover or small SUV. She prefers something sporty/fun to drive (think Audi, BMW…etc…). I would like something mroe reliable, less expensive to repair/maintain (think Honda, Toyota, etc…). Is there a compromise out there? Looking to spend 18-22K (+ TTL). Help…

The new Nissan Altima 2-door coupes are sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Infinities are Sweeeeeeeeet too, but more pricey.

New Chevy Malibu, Ford Focus, Mercury Milan, Mazda 6, Altima. All look nice, will drive much “sportier” than the T&C, good deals & incentives. All these are 4 doors and will easily handle the kids. If sporty means zippy you may be looking a V6. The 4’s in these cars get better mpg and pretty zippy also.

If you plan on trading the car in before the mfg warranty expires you might add Saab to the list. BMW is fine, just expensive.

A lot of good prospects for you, shop, test drive, enjoy.

Thanks for quick reply…2-door is out (still have the kids, but older now)…test drove a used (06)G35 and (05)M35, nice cars, luxury and sporty…but assume they are pretty expensive to maintain/repair. I like Altima (4 door), she does not.

The 4-door Altima is pretty sporty too, as is the new Maxima (a bit more cash). They’re new styling is really well executed.

The infinities will cost a tad more to repair and mantain, but…and you may want to confirm this by looing at a Consumer Reports at the local bookstore…I believe the reliability is better them most. If it doesn’t break, it doesn’t cost!

An economical (22 mpg overall), plenty of room, handles well and goes like heck (0-60 under 8 sec.) v6 Rav 4 or new Camry based station wagon 2 wd or awd. (Venza ?) I believe. Mazda small SUV’s are recommended here as well. Test drive them all for extended trips you would normally use them in…check CR. Forrester/RAV in 2wd would be good alternatives as well. Don’t worry about SUV stigma on car based; they’re just raised sedans.

Test drove the Rav4(4cyl)…I liked it, is the v6 much different (sounds like it is)? Would have to buy used for it. Mazda Cx-7 looks like a good possibility (as well as Mazda6). Venza looks great, but too much $$$.

Thanks…Mazda6 looks good, plan to test drive. Saab - worried about the company for the long term…

Rav v6 is dramatically more powerful (by 100 hp more) but dramatically more money. We like the smaller size of our 05 RAV. It’s quick and handles well but not as refined as 06 model and plenty used around. Take time and enjoy…

You will pay about 18% more for dealer service on a 2007 G35 than a Maxima or Altima. All 3 fit your price criteria, though you might have to opt for a 2006 G35 to stay under $22,000 at a dealer. If the Mrs. prefers something like a BMW, then either get one or think seriously about the G35. You can get a 2006 330i or 2007 328i sedan in your price range. Take a look at a 2008 Pontiac G8 as well. It gets the same mileage as the BMW or G35 and has a V8 engine. The handling won’t be quite as good as the other cars, but you aren’t going to race it, either. They all will be a big improvement over the minivan.

The CX-7 is a real blast to drive. Just be careful to try and stay out of the boost range of the turbo(hits at 2500 RPMs). The Ford Escape is another choice to look at, just look at it before you go to the Mazda dealership and test the CX-7 as you’ll probably be sold on that. :stuck_out_tongue:
Either could probably be had in your price range new as dealerships are hungry for sales.

Thanks for the info on delaer service costs (Infiniti vs. Nissan). I like the looks of a Maxima…going to review what is out there Used. Pontiac won’t sell with her…she’s got this thing abotu GM (she had multiple problems with a ‘Jimmy’ some time ago and vows never again for GM). Have tried to talk her out of it (better cars now, etc…)but I don’t chose that battle anymore.

The G8 has low estimated repair costs, too. If she won’t consider GM, it’s her loss. OTOH, I’ve owned 3 Ford products that were dogs, so I can understand her skepticism.