Good New/Used Car Bets

Well I received some great responses to my last post, ?97 Ford Probe- Fix or Sell?, and I think I have decided to sell it and but something new. Anyone out there have any suggestions on what I should look at? I am considering both new and used and I have a budget of around $20,000. So far I have looked at some used 2008 Ford Tauruses and came away pretty impressed, lots of room, nice interior and plenty of power. Anyone have any experience with these cars? Or the earlier Ford Five Hundred on which it is based?



I think the ex-rental Ford Taurus is a good option.

In new cars check out the Ford Fusion. I think they are dealing and these are good cars.

In used cars some “off lease” lower mileage Toyota Camry’s and Honda Accord’s. If you want to get exotic a few Lexus, Infinity, or Acura’s with about 50K miles might just touch your price range from a private seller.

I assume you live in Victoria, Canada, and are buying in Canadian dollars. For $20,000 you can buy a NEW Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, all well enough equipped and all reliable for about 10-15 years, depending on your driving.

With respect to a used “Taurus”, I would avoid the Ford 500 (same style as the Ford Taurus), because of the continuously variable transmission (CVT)and anemic engine. This is not a pleasant car to drive through the mountains. It’s also a heavy car and gas consumption will not be good.

The continuously vairiable transmission was one of the things I did not like about the five hundred as well. Fortunately when ford changed the 500 to the taurus they replaced the engined and the transmission. The 2008 taurus has a 6 speed transmission now, not a CVT.

Thank you for your other suggestions but I would like to buy from Ford or GM if possible. Any ideas?

I must admit that I am tempted by a used lexus. However the repair bills for a luxury car scare me a bit.

Have You Checked Out The Chevrolet Impala Or Malibu?

The Ford Fusion, or Mercury Milan, and you can buy one new for about $20,000. Also the Chevrolet Malibu is now an excellent car. Go for the V6, the 4 cylinder engine is a little rough. I would stay away from the Chevy Impala; this car still has its problems.

The reasons for the short Ford/GM list is that these companies basically lost interest in making good CARS, and concentrated all their effort on trucks, mini vans and SUVs.

I have considered the Malibu but it seems a bit pricey new and also seems to be holding its used value very well. The Impala I am less sure about. I feel that it is a pretty good deal, but all the taxis and cops around here drive them and that kind of kills their appeal. Still maybe I should look again.

A 2008 Malibu LTZ (6 cylinder) should be priced at about $19,000 US on a dealer’s lot. You should get if get at least 10% less from a private buyer. Be sure to have it examined by your trusted mechanic before buying, even on a one year old car.

Get a copy of Consumer Reports annual Auto Issue. Is is LOADED with great information about new and used cars, including which are good bets and which are not.

Some Of The Cops Around Here Drive Chargers And Mustangs. That Doesn’t Spoil Them For Me.

My Son Loves His Impala.

It seems like you want a sedan. If so, check out the Honda Accord. The base is around $20K. The four-cylinder has plenty of power, and it has luxury options without the price.

It is an interesting idea, but the platform they are built on is pretty out of date. Still if the right deal comes along (especially on a 2006 and later SS version) who knows?

Thank you for the advice. I don’t really like the “feel” or the style of japanese cars. Plus, and this is just my opinion, I find them overpriced in the used market.

At this time, and especially last year, Japanese cars were rather expensive used. The Mazda Protege and Hyundai Elantra/Sonata were the only good deals. I bought a NEW Toyota in 2007 for that reason.

Perhaps you can explain what it is about the “feel” of Japanese cars you don’t like. I realize that style is a very personal thing and has nothing to do with the intrinsic quality of the car.

With $20,000 to spend there is a good selection of NEW cars avaialble; there is no need to buy a used Japanese car, unless you want a fully equipped mid-size or older luxury car such as a Lexus or Acura.

I am not really sure what it is about Japanese cars I don’t like. The interiors always feel “off” to me, plus things like the sound the doors make when they are closed just bother me for some reason. Additionally in Canada most new Japanese midsize vehicles start over 20 grand before taxes and fees so that only leaves the compacts. I can?t stand the spaceship exterior and interior styling of the civic and the corolla is sleep inducing. I loved the old Mazda 3 but just can?t dig the new one with its weird front grin. That just leaves smaller players like Subaru and Suzuki. Subarus are good vehicles, but I don?t want to pay the price premium, plus the maintance hassles, for all-wheel drive and the Suzukis I have been in all had very ?plasticy? and hard interiors. I know it sounds like I am looking for issues, but the way I figure it is I lived with my last car for 8 years and I am going to have to live with this next one for at least 5 years if not more so I had better love it.

Nothing wrong with being picky. Except your house, a vehicle is the most expensive item you’ll ever buy. Unless you can find a cheap house and a vehicle worth more than the house. :stuck_out_tongue:

“…things like the sound the doors make when they are closed just bother me for some reason.”

I guess it’s personal preference. I have to slam the doors to close them in my Buick Regal, but they close very easily and quietly in my Accord. I prefer the light and easy movement of the Accord doors.

However, the new Accords are full size cars and ugly, to boot. Check out a 2008 Ford Fusion. Repair costs are expected to be about 20% higher than a Civic over 5 years.

"Thank you for your other suggestions but I would like to buy from Ford or GM if possible. Any ideas?
Thanks "
You obviously have a bias toward these cars and want reassurance that they are good buys…THEY ARE NOT when compared to Toyota/Honda cars and you just want us to say they are OK. So here goes…they are OK, go ahead and buy one, you have our blessing. It’s your money.