Need help buying first car - Really appreciate some good advice

Hi I’m currently looking at a few cars to buy and i was thinking of getting the “2007 Chevrolet Cobalt SS s/c coupe 2 door” with a 150000 Km’s for $5200 and this is in Canada, Ontario. If you guys can take a look at the price and the details and tell me if i’m getting a good deal. If not, what would be a good price for it? Will this car not have many problems? and how is the gas prices on it? If any additional information is needed i will provide and i will add link to ad for the car. Thank you very much!

Here is the 2007 chevy cobalt ss s/c;

Here are some others i was looking at if anyone thinks they are good;

For a first car, I believe a boring 4 door family sedan might be more appropriate

Not meaning to be a spoilsport, but that’s how I see it

I also don’t think a 11 year old Luxury car is a good choice for a first time car buyer. The fact that it’s an Infiniti may mean it’s relatively reliable, but an Accord, Camry, Fusion, etc. would be a more sensible choice, in my opinion

I think some of the GM mid-size family cars are underrated, and you may be able to get a good deal on them

Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus are very reliable, but their resale value is very high. So you’ll be paying dearly

I may be wrong, but I sense you want a luxury and/or sporty car . . .

I honestly want a decent car that has a sporty feel to it, nothing big. I just can’t find any honda’s or acura’s that are decent in looks. I know there is some civics but as i was searching some suggested the cobalt and i thought it was pretty cheap.

An observation

Generally speaking, the cars you’re looking at will have been ridden hard and put up wet

I’m not sure that makes them good candidates for a first car

I don’t mean to sound like a spoilsport, but it would be a shame if you buy some car that’s had a rough life, but was advertised for sale as a creampuff

Out of all those cars listed, the Acuras and eclipse will have been thrashed the worst

Do you know of any good cars (as in decent looking and effecient) that i can look into?

K.I.S.S…keep it simple s…
A used '‘luxury’'vehicle is always a money pitt.
Buy a simple basic vehicle with a good service life so far.
consider its future upcomming services. Who’s going to work on it and what is their preference for vehicles ?

I have a 2010 Cobalt 4 dr LS, not the prettiest or the most comfortable car, but other than new tires and a left door speaker no repairs have been needed in the 5.5 years I’ve had it. A non-supercharged 2 door Cobalt would be a safer choice in your price range. The Cobalt was also sold as the Pontiac G5 in Canada.

Ed B.

@edb1961 Yes, a couple of years ago we advised a student in Houston to buy a Cobalt from a senior citizen and one with low mileage. He did so and was very happy with his purchase.

Used Hondas and Toyotas are over priced; my choice would be a well maintained low mileage Hyundai Accent, a decent and reliable car that new sold for $11000. So $5000 would buy one in really good shape. Service for Hyundais is readily available in Ontario.

In short, as advised, don’t buy anything with “SS” on it and don’t buy a high mileage car that’s led a rough life.

Last year an acquaintance bought a VW Golf GT for his son as his first car. They’re still working on keeping it running.

You might find a 2007 or 2008 Mazda3 Sport with a manual transmission in your price range. Look at a few and if you like them, take a test drive.

It is a crapshoot, there are no cars used with a guarentee worth anything. Get a review of cars needs by a qualified mechanic, then at least you will know if it needs brakes ball joints etc. the golden rule, there is no rule.

I think those Cobalts are pretty good looking cars. Suggest to check what Consumer Reports has to say about their reliability, esp for the model year you are interested in. And before cutting a check, have it inspected by your inde mechanic. That usually costs around $100 and is money well spent.

The only viewing angle of the Cobalt I don’t like is the rear view. Maybe you can figure out a way to improve it once you buy one.

Have you looked at any used Mazda Miatas ? Those are nice sporty looking cars too, and seem to be pretty reliable.

The reason I keep harping on “reliable” is b/c there’s nothing more frustrating than when your car won’t run. You are still paying every month for it, but it just sits there in the driveway looking smug. You want to avoid a smug car.

I think you should get the car with the styling you like. But to improve your chances of reliability:

  • Choose a manual transmission instead of an automatic
  • Avoid turbo and supercharged engines
  • Avoid automatic & power door locks, power windows.
  • Avoid unnecessary electronic gadgets, blue tooth, etc.
  • Avoid AC unless it is absolutely required where you live

What price to pay? Well, that’s pretty much a matter of what’s available where you live. You have to do some homework. Look seriously at least at 2 or 3 cars, then decide based on the price and reliability factors.

I think it would be difficult to find a car w/o an automatic transmission, air conditioning, and power windows and door locks. If you are in the $5000-6000 price range, you need to go for the car a good mechanic gives the o.k. to.

When it comes to used cars they’re all a gamble. Even being physically present and doing a walkaround may not mean anything; much less going by a brand name, ad, and price.

Those cars in the links you’ve provided have a number of red flags in the ads and so I agree with db4690 about their being rode hard and put away wet.

With used cars there is no magic wand which can be waved to assure their reliability.