Need advice on buying car


I recently left a high paying job to work in the non-profit sector helping low income kids get into college. I love my new job, but I took a pretty big cut in pay.

I need to get rid of my car payments and so plan to sell my 2 year old Lexus RX330.

I don’t mind buying used, but want a new car in the $20k range that is safe, gets reasonably good mileage and still feels luxurious. Any recommendations?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.



I think it is great that you have gone into your new position. I’ve been in the education field so long that I’m not certain what a luxurious car is. The cars I drive make the interior of a school bus seem elegant. My Dad was in education, and when I was a kid, I thought a luxury automobile was one that had a sunvisor on the passenger side,ashtrays in the back seat, and a radio. For what it is worth, I have a colleague who drives a Toyota Prius. I’ve ridden with him on numerous occasions on a 26 mile round trip to band rehearsals. The car seems well assembled and the interior appointments are nice and the fit and finish is very good. He got over 50 miles per gaallon on his last long trip.


I suggest you look at a Hyundai Sonata. Brand new it should be under $20K and it is their “luxury” entry. They have pretty good reliability and mileage. If you don’t like that idea, maybe a Honda Accord VP (Value Package) would appeal, again available under $20K brand new. Go check them out, and see if either fits your idea of comfort and style. If not, tell us what you didn’t like and maybe we can suggest other options.


Consider a Honda Civic coupe or sedan. Civics get great gas mileage, are reliable and as cheap as anything to maintain, and should last you 20 years or 200,000 miles. If you feel adventurous, look at the Si version which is faster and handles better, but is rougher riding and uses more gas. Toyota Corollas are similarly good transportation, but less fun to drive.


He said feels luxurious. I don’t know of anyone that would consider Corolla or Civic luxurious. The Camry is a good choice though.


Look at a Buick Lacross CX and a Honda Accord EX with a 4-cylinder.