Used Car Purchase desisions


#1

Hello my car talk family.

First off I would like to say thank you guys for a wonderful show. I am a new member, and I am very excited to be apart of this family.
My question today is i am very interested in getting either one of these cars…
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza Wagon
Subaru WRX
Toyota Avalon
Acura TL
Nissan Maxima
Honda Civic Si ??
All these cars I listed above are the 04 to 07 models preferably. I am having a hard time deciding.
What can you tell me about them such as maintenance cost, reliability, easy to work on. blah blah lol
The subaru looks like so much fun to drive, but not much leg room in the back anyways any advise will be AWESOME.

Thank you again.


#2

Hmmm. I don’t think any of them are easy to work on anymore, outside of general maintenance. I even have to have someone else put on serpentine belts because of the clearance and inability to even see where some of the belt loops around.

We had our TL in the shop yesterday for some warranty work and would have to say the TLs are very dependable and well satisfied, plus the 5 year warranty. The Acura dealer also is a Subaru dealer so I happened to look at some of those to replace my G6. It appears that all of their models have the CVT transmission except for the manuals. That knocks them off my list at this point. Who needs the issue?


#3

The first question would be what do you really need out of the car, the reason for asking is you have compact sporty sedan’s/coupes mixed in with larger more luxurious cars. One is most likely to be found with a manual transmission and the other is basically Automatic only. The OP is asking about cars pre CVT for most if not all of the above

The Avalon is a supersized Camry so repair costs should be pretty low and Reliability high, most of them were bought in place of a Buick of some sort (I’ts meant to be a larger cushier vehicle than the camry, but mechanically it’s the same)

The Impreza’s are great cars but the WRX models are more likely to be modified/thrashed than the regular Impreza. I work with someone with a WRX with a launch control system and other goods and he’s trashed 3 transmissions in the process. A stock WRX with the full service history should be fine although there is the turbo to consider as far as repair/replacement costs. The Subaru owners I know all love their cars and aren’t bothered by the repair costs. Sedan/Wagon is up to you, the condition of the car and the service history is most important. If Leg room in the back is an issue possibly look at a Legacy or a Legacy GT from the same era. My brother and his family love their 06 Legacy wagon and they haven’t had any issues but they’ve also been taking it to Subaru specialists since day one.

The Maxima is typically a little sportier than the TL but either should be reliable. The late model Maxima owner I know is a Nissan superfan and trades up every few years for something different/better. Before the Maxima she had a string of Altima’s

The Civic Si is a heck of a lot of fun to drive but you do have to be aware that this is another car that attracts people who like to drive fast and hard. Reliablity should be typical Honda provided the car was well cared for and kept as stock as possible. Higher theft risk than some others.


#4

Civic Si would likely be the most fun to drive. I’d look for signs of “hard use” by previous owners. The WRX would also be a hoot to drive, but same issue as the Si - as used cars these cars are often driven hard by their previous owners.

The Avalon is a totally different ride, but likely the best of the bunch for longevity and just cruising down an interstate.

The Maxima and the WRX will get really poor mpg. It seems you are all over the place in the cars you are considering. You need to better line up just what your needs and priorities are for this used car purchase.


#5

What will you uses the car for? How many people does it need to seat comfortably? What kind of mileage do you expect? Do you want a manual or auto transmission? The WRX is manual only, and many of the others are auto only.


#6

My vote goes to Maxima and Avalon

Fairly roomy
Common as dirt, so you have many choices as to who’s going to work on the car
Avalon reliability is very high, I believe
Both of these cars might be cheaper to insure than Subaru . . . this is just a wild guess
No AWD, so simpler and easier to work on
Less likely to have been abused by young punk previous owners
Decent ride quality


#7

@db4690 Yes, Those would be my choices, with the Avalon as the first choice. A colleague, who is a consultant, has an Avalon and drives may miles a week. His is now 5 year old car has been bulletproof and very comfortable and roomy. His sometimes oversize clients love the backseat room!


#8

Welcome @BobbyKnuckles. I used to have a friend who lived out of state (I lived next door to his grandmother) named Bobby Knuckles. I haven’t heard from him in about 40 years. Could you be the same Bobby or his son? I like both the Avalon and the Maxima but all the cars on the list are pretty good vehicles.