How to Choose a Used Car for a Picky Hubby

We are looking to buy a used car. Hubby wants power, leather heated seats in a car rated high for safety and reliability with a low cost of ownership. It needs to have a backseat for the kids. He doesn’t want anything “too old” (maybe 2006 is oldest) or with too many miles (nothing over 100,000) and he wants it for $18,000 or less. I don’t think it exists and I’m getting frustrated at everything he has turned his nose up at. Any suggestions?

2006-2008 Infiniti G35 sedan. You can even buy them from dealers for less than %18,000. A 2008 for that price on a dealer’s lot will be difficult, but the earlier modells should be easy to find at that price

Yeah. Tell him he can shop for his own car and you don’t want to hear another word about it.

The G35 would definitely be a good choice.
However, anyone who buys a used car without getting its service records, and without having their own mechanic inspect it prior to purchase is being…VERY foolish and naive.

Don’t just go by how shiny the car is, and how it seems to perform on a short test drive. Unless you can confirm that the car has been serviced at least as well as the mfr specifies, you are taking a big chance.

And, even with good service records, you need to have a mechanic of your own choosing inspect it.
Otherwise, you may wind up with a car with prior collision damage, and/or with developing problems.
And, of course, that advice applies to all makes and models.

A friend of mine found a 2 year old Hyundai Elantra with leather seats, low ownership cost, good backseat (folding), good reliability and even a sun roof. All for a lot less than $18,000.

Agree with dadoctah that your husband needs a MATURE attitude towards car shopping. You can help him by buying a Consumer Reports Car buying Guide (available from any newsstand) which has a list of new and used cars and, most important, which ones to AVOID. Don’t let him fall in love with a used Audi or Volvo with gorgeous leather seats, for instance.

I’d also look at used Lexus ES350. I found 29 near me for $20k or less, all 2007 or newer with less than 100k miles.

For that kind of money the choices are many.

Based on what you’ve posted about nitpickiness, my suggestion would be to tell hubby to take 18 grand and go do the car purchase job himself.
Odds are great that if someone else makes this decision that things will hit the fan later on, or Sooner on, to throw in a little Okie vernacular. :slight_smile:

The OP says “we” are buying a car, and that husband is picky. She gives husband’s criteria, but perhaps wife has some criteria as well? I suggest reversing the picture, let husband research out potential cars and bring them to the wife for her approval. Then she can be picky, and eventually they might find something both can be happy owning.

Picky hubby ?
let hubby picke’.

Simple answer: Don’t.

Cars are not like pants that you can return them when hubby decides that it is not the right fit. So do a lot of online research and then go together, test drive as many as you can and take your time. It will involve some sort of compromise at some point.

Thanks for all the input! I made him narrow down the list so we’re test driving cars he feels comfortable buying. We’re going shopping today. He’s leaning toward a Saturn Aura or a Pontiac G6. I think the Saturn fulfills his safety and cost of ownership requirements and I think he likes the sportiness of the G6. We’ll see…

try a Mazda 6

I’d avoid recent ‘orphan’ cars (Saturn, Pontiac, Saab), but that’s me. The Chevy Malibu is basically the same, if not a bit improved.

I would go along with a Mazda 6. Consumer Reports rates the Pontiac G6 as “worse than average” and the Saturn Aura as “average” or for 2009 “better than average”.

Both cars are unfortunately “orphans”. The Saturn and Pontiac divisions no longer exist. When GM went bankrupt, the government creditors (US & Canadian) made GM honor the warranties of the cars they had sold, including the discontinued ones. So, any remaining warranty on those cars applies, but anything outside the warranty, like body parts, may present immediate problems.

Your “picky” husband picked two losers which will likely have some service and parts avaialbility problems in the future.

You may have been offered good prices on these cars for the above reasons.

The Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 are both great cars, as are the newer Hyundai models such as the Elantra and the Sonata. All are good value for money; much better than used Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys.

This panel has some very experienced advisors and their collective recommendations are well worth heededing.

A 2012 Mazda 6 starts out at about $21k, if he could find a left over 2011 model still on the lot, he might be able to get it for about $18k and have new tires, battery, brakes, etc, plus a 3 year b2b and 5y/60k mile warranty

While the 2 cars are orphans, they are similar to cars that are still available. The Aura is actually an Opel and is still available in Europe. It is also similar to the Chevy Malibu and may parts will be interchangeable. The G6 is also part of the Aura/Malibu family and will also have many parts available for a long time. Service will not be a problem as any GM dealer and many private garages will be able to perform repairs. There might be trim that is peculiar to Saturn or Pontiac that become scarce over time, but it is unlikely that you will need them.