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New Car Help/Advice - Please

Hey guys,

So, I need your help, advice, and thoughts on what car to buy. My wife is giving our son her 2007 Acura TSX with 190k miles on it for school. I have a 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. While I love the AWD, the car is kind of boring to drive. The Acura was a lot more fun, but the AWD will work better for my wife with her long work commute.

Anyway, I don’t want to break the bank buying a new car, but I want something sporty and “fun” to drive. I looked at the new WRX’s and drove one. They’re fast, fun, AWD, and stick, however, they’re not cheap. Additionally, I would prefer an automatic since I drive in bumper to bumper traffic for my commute. I have been looking at things like the Nissan Sentra, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze (not a huge fan of Chevy’s though), Honda, etc. I would love to get another Acura, but I am not paying that much for a name badge again!

Last, I am looking to buy a brand new car. Also, how many miles do you think that Acura TSX will go with regular maintenance? We haven’t had one issue with it yet (knock on wood).

Any thoughts, advice would be awesome!

I own a 2011 Cruze, and love it. It now has 142,000 miles, and still runs and drives like it did when new. You have to get the model with the sport suspension, like the ECO model, not the standard suspension. yes, it makes a big difference. It’s probably the best handling unmodified car I’ve ever driven. Mine has a stick, as I’ve always preferred to row my own boat. I’ve driven both, and believe it to be a better car than a Focus.

Best long distance commuters are Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Toyota Camry. Let your wife drive these since she will be the main user. Good winter tires are more important than AWD.

What kind of car would you want? Stay with a sedan or maybe up the fun factor with a coupe? The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is one hell of a fun car to drive, and it’ll easily run away from the TSX - but the interior material quality is not going to be as high as on the Acura as is to be expected. I even seriously considered trading my TL in on one - it was that good.

As to how long your TSX will last… Keep up with the maintenance and should last a very long time. It’s a Euro-spec Accord under all that luxo trim, and as with many Hondas, they tend to run forever. I’ve seen people get half a million miles on their Hondas.

I have a 2005 Accord EX V6 and commute 43 miles one way over a 1.5 hour period. It is comfortable, quiet, and handles well. I’m sure the accord has changed a lot in the past 11 years, and probably improved. My daughter has a 2012 Chevy Cruze LS with auto trans. She has about a 20 mile commute and likes her car a lot. The Cruze has been reliable so far. The Cruze is more in the Civic/Corolla category. Chevy is coming out with a Cruze hatchback in 2017 if you plan to wait for the next model year.

Another possibility is to buy a 2 or 3 year old car with low mileage. You could buy a luxury car like a Lexus IS 250 or ES 350 and it would cost about the same as a new well optioned Camry. If you like the extra amenities the luxury brand offers, go for it. If the extra cost seems unnecessary, buy the less expensive car like the Camry. Your money, your choice.

You can get a WRX with an auto, its the sti version that is only manual and costs $10k more. The WRX has a 2.0l turbo where the sti has a 2.5 turbo. Then there is the regular Imprezza for even less, but that would be about as exciting as the Legacy.

There are a lot of cars out there, you just have to muddle through them to find the one you really want. Consider the V6 Mustang.

2016 Honda Civic. If you want fancy get the touring model. It has a turbo 4 cyl. and should provide plenty of fun and good mpg for your commute. More basic models are still going to be nicely equipped.

Have you considered a used Porsche Boxster? Maybe there happens to be one for sale locally in your area. No harm to take a look. Certainly fun to drive, and are rated to be pretty reliable, although just the routine maintenance is probably quite a bit more costly than a high sales volume car.

Whatever you are getting, make sure you get an insurance quote. The WRX might do a number on your insurance. I had a Focus sport/5spd and even though my teen would not drive it, the insurance cost was way up there.

Recently, based on consumer report, the Acura quality has been going down. This is usually caused by too much electronics, but still a consideration. I will just buy a regular sedan, Accord or Camry (both boring!) or a Mazda 6 for better handling.

Consumer Reports is expressing much caution about the newer Acuras, not every model, but if I recall correctly the TSX is on that list. Apparently there’s been a bevy of problems reported about the automatic transmissions.

I am going to test drive a WRX tomorrow (stick) no auto’s on the lot. I just ant a basic idea of how the car drives/handles.

I am also going to go look at the Accords, civics, and a few Nissan’s. I will let you all know what I think and drive.

Also, where do you guys go to get the consumer reports on the cars? Can you do it online? Thanks much!

You’ll have to subscribe to Consumer Reports online for complete access to the vehicle reviews;

Just type any vehicle you want followed by reviews (2016 ford fusion reviews ) into google and you will have all kinds of reviews to choose from for free. So simple a caveman can do it.

I buy the Consumer Reports at the local bookstore. It allows me to ponder the data easier than an electronic format. It’s worth the small price to me.

The Acura should, with continued proper maintenance, be good for another 50,000 miles at least.

As far as picking a new used car, nobody can do that for you. Our tastes are all different and we all have our biases. My only suggestion would be to not buy anything you can’t test drive thoroughly and take to your mechanic for a good look-see. And, if during the test drive something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and keep looking. People will sometimes buy a car that they know has something wrong with it thinking it’ll be an easy fix and discover it isn’t… and also discover why the previous owner got rid of it.

I am cheap, I read the consumer report at the local bookstore, but I pay for my coffee and muffin and end up buying some books for my kids. I think it is a good deal for the store.

My public library subscribes to Consumer Reports. Maybe yours does too. If it is not on the shelf, ask at the desk.

Library or bookstore. Since it is the end of the year/start of a new one, CR has published a new car reliability guide I see, stocked at the local Barnes and Noble. That’s not a good as the library, since the library will have that guide plus several others plus all the back issues of the magazine for you to review. But it is more fun to go to Barnes and Noble since you can buy a cup of coffee and a brownie too for energy while reading what you need to read up on.

It is possible I think to subscribe to CR in electronic format too, then you just read it on the internet. Useful if living outside the USA.

I have a friend who is a car fanatic and really likes his Volkswagen CC. I have never ridden in the car, much less driven it, so I have no idea about its handling. It is a sharp looking car in my opinion. The current Ford Fusion is similar in appearance. I drove a Ford Fusion of the first generation on a 100_mile round trip. It was a typical fleet car from the fleet of the institution where I was employed. I was impressed with the Fusion. It handled well and,had,a, comfortable driving position for my,6’ 2" frame. I think the newer version is better looking and with the right equipment might be fun to drive.

So, i ended up driving several cars, and I am really liking the 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium. Its a fun car to drive, and has a lot of nice features in it. The Ecoboost puts out a decent amount of power as well. I need to do some research on the car, but so far I am really leaning towards it.

I did drive the WRX, and although a total blast to drive, it has too rough of a ride for daily driving in my opinion.

Just wondering, for all of that have or driven a 2010-2014 Subaru Legacy, what was your thoughts of it (exterior styling, interior, handling, AWD, etc.)?

I guess we will see what happens this week :slight_smile:

I have never driven a Subaru but driven in a few. Overall all find the styling on all of them very bland. I know they are supposed to be an A to B appliance but still think they could be more appealing.