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Narrowing down my next car purchase

I went ahead and got into a fender bender with my 2007 Honda Accord that has 192k miles on it. Not to serious damage but the airbag did deploy and some body work would be needed. So my insurance has damaged the car out. Not sure how much I’ll be getting for it, I don’t expect more than a few thousand. So that’s the background…

What I’m actually posting for is advice on the next car purchase. I’m a bit torn, trying to decide between an Impala, Accord, Maxima, or Legacy. I think I’ll be aiming for a 2014 year model.

Anyone with experience in these cars have any comments or suggestions? I would like to do most the maintenance on the vehicle myself to save cash and because I enjoy it, but wouldn’t want a car that is problematic. I’ve looked up each and know they are all decent overall, but looking for some feedback that will help sway me in my decision.


Any one would be fine. Have you read the Consumer Reports car buyers guide?

If you’re an Accord fan, I might stick with it. The Maxima would be faster, poorer mpgs.

…and with much worse reliability.

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  1. Don’t just sit around waiting for the check and take the first offer. They’re gonna lowball you. You didn’t say what kind of mileage yours had, but looking around my area, '07 Accords are selling for 6,500 to almost 10 grand. They owe you replacement value, not some arbitrary lowball junk figure. Make sure you get what you paid for when you bought insurance.

  2. Of the vehicles you listed my picks, in order of preference, would be Accord, Maxima, Legacy, Impala.

The Accord will be the most reliable of all of them.

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My '07 had 192k miles on it… honestly, I could have easily hit 250k. I checked kbb for my car and it was just under 4k. They gave me 3.8k minus my 1k deductable… leaving me at 2.8k to put into buying the next one… can’t imagine my car is worth so little, but that is indeed a lot of miles.


A little more about my list of potential cars…

Maxima, I like it visually, and will definitely enjoy the extra power it comes with.

Accord, I’ve only owned a 1993 and a 2007 Accord since I started driving… they are the best and most reliable cars.

Legacy, Heard a lot of praise directed towards subaru and the AWD drive is a nice bonus. Plus, a friend works at a local dealership, the type of friend to drop the commission entirely to help me out.

Impala, similar to the Legacy, I have heard many people praise their Impalas and I know Chevy stepped its game up a bit a few years back… but it’s still a US auto maker…

I know it’s not exactly apples to apples… but each one has it’s perk. Are their any known issues that commonly show up with any of these? It’s easy to say the Maixma will be less reliable… but in what way?

Just buy what you like and if anyone else will be involved in this purchase that is the opinion that counts. But since you asked I would not buy an all wheel drive used vehicle.

I’m quite partial to the Impala it rides nice it’s kinda got an older car feel to it which I find swell. next I’d prolly go legacy because Subarus are cool! after that I wouldn’t touch the other two.

If you want to save money buy the most reliable car that meets your needs. The Impala is probably too large and the Maxima unreliable and expensive to maintain. Similarly the Legacy will cost more to operate, gets worse gas mileage and will incur expensive repairs earlier than an Accord.

I would look at a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Hyundai Sonata as well as a Mazda 6. All are very good cars and easy to maintain.

I doubt if you will be able to do any maintenance yourself other than changing the oil.

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That sounds like you had a choice.

haha it sorta does sound like a choice… If it was a choice I would have chosen differently.

@Docnick I’ll be doing most the maintenance. I’m always up for a challenge.

Most modern vehicle are not DIY friendly other than oil chances and filters. You may be offended but I looked at some of your other posted topics and it reaffirmed my feeling that some of us just should not be working on cars.

Coincidental to your post today, J.D. Power and Associates released its new list of the most dependable vehicles. The Camry is number one. You can find the full list of cars in this class at this link. All the cars on your short list are good and have their areas of greatness. I’d argue the Legacy is the safest on your list. It earned a zero driver death rating from IIHS and HDLI. It is also a perennial Top Safety Pick Plus vehicle. AWD is a plus and the Legacy gets excellent mileage to boot. Having owned two Accords, I don’t recommend them to anyone anymore, but the V6 is a real rocket in this segment. The Maxima is nice, but be sure you like the CVT transmission before you buy. Since you are shopping for a newish car, consider a CPO car from a dealer. Then you can take a year off of doing any repairs. Let us know what you get!

Add Nissan Altima here and you have the full set :slight_smile:
2010-2012 Altima is yet another good one: last of the previous model ine, all the problems are pretty much flushed, price is good.

I’m sorry, but IMO you got played for a fool. I’ve had older cars totaled, and gotten MUCH more money from the insurance. And they weren’t exotics or sports cars, either

I suggest you do your homework and find your own comps, similar condition, mileage and trim level. I suggest you find actual listings for cars being sold

The insurance clearly found the cheapest, worst condition 2007 Accords, so that they could lowball you

I don’t know why people say you can’t do maintenance on modern cars. Brakes, belts,hoses, master cylinders, alternators, oxygen sensors, spark plugs and coils etc are all easily doable even for a decrepit old codger like me.

If we are going to call each other fools things could get quite busy around here.

A ten and a half year old Accord with high miles has a trade in value of $2170 and a private party value of $3,650. Why should the insurance company pay more?

From my perspective, I would say get the Impala, just because it looks very different from the others.

Maxima are nice, but pricey, and no one knows that it is a premium vechile

Legacy . . . boring and goofy looking, (in my humble opinion, please don’t be mean to me)

Honda . . . great if you are a co-ed

Impala . . . looks different, looks muscular, and very comfortable ride . .

  • ; )

Nevertheless, the fact remains, I’ve been paid SIGNIFICANTLY more . . . thousands more, actually . . . for totaled cars that were several years older than that, at the time

and as I said, they weren’t particularly rare, sporty, exotic, or fast

I think OP’s insurance played him for a fool . . . my opinion hasn’t changed

The insurance lowballed him. I believe he should have questioned the offer, and asked to see their list of comps

Maybe I’m just a shrewd negotiator, but I don’t really think of myself that way

I think it’s more that OP’s insurance was very shrewd, and decided to throw a lowball offer out there, which was apparently accepted

Insurance companies apparently do that, from time to time, and hope their offer will be met with little or no resistance.

I second the suggestion to add some other cars to the list. The new Accord 4 cylinder has a CVT, I would look at the Camry, also add Sonata and Optima to the list. Probably can get a better deal on a 2015 used Sonata as a CPO from a Hyundai dealer.

Also, not that matters, but I think the Impala and the Maxima are one size larger than the Accord/Camry.

I’m not wild about the Impala as the one from a few years back was already an older design and felt it, with fewer niceties. The Maxima has little going for it either, except power, and most modern cars have plenty of that and get better gas mileage. The Legacy makes sense in places where the AWD is an advantage, especially if you drive on poorly maintained roads in a cold climate. It’s reliability is decent, but the AWD does add complexity and reduces gas mileage a bit. The Accord is as solid as ever and a safe choice.

Other good cars of similar size with fine reliability are the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima (mechanically related to the Sonata). The Nissan Altima is a bit behind the very best models, but at the right (lower) price could be OK. Of domestics, the older Ford Fusion (before the last redesign) was a highly reliable car, if a bit bland, mechanically similar to a Mazda6. The current Fusion is lovely and stylish, but considerably less reliable.
If you would like a bit more room, consider the Toyota Avalon. It is like a stretched Camry. The older ones were especially plush.