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Old 19th November 2013, 09:24   #3451
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Carmax quoted the best price so he'll go with it. It's sad to see the car going for a paltry amount where he paid a premium to own it. The 7 series is such a majestic car. Inside & outside still looks new and it's barely run . When it's on the road, not a single driver passes without glancing it.

Carmax is located in Modesto, which is 85 miles from San Jose. It's in the north east of San Francisco.
Maybe he will get a better quote if he gets rid of the check engine light (if its a small sensor) and sells it privately on craigslist or something?

I'd suggest taking to Bavarian Motorsport in Milpitas. They do a good job and charge MUCH less than dealerships, for both parts and labor.

Another option is to tradein for a new BMW if he'd like to do that. I noticed BMW dealerships offer a much better tradein than other dealerships (other dealerships quoted ~12k for my 335i, BMW dealership took it for 19k in the end). Of course, I agreed to buy a new car from them .
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Old 19th November 2013, 14:21   #3452
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Wow! So much action in past few days. Guess i missed all the fun. Not having access t-bhp at work is the most saddest thing that has happened to me recently.

Anyways, lots of things to cover and i am just gonna concentrate on Activ's replies for now as he seems to come from Uranus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
Corolla is plain-jane because it wants to be. It's USP is that it is the easiest car in the world to get into and drive. They actually did a surevey in the UK a couple of years back that found this to be the case!

Altima's VQ series engines are known for the bad NVH. They sacrificed smoothness for more horsepower while Toyota went the path of buttery smooth and is probably the only V6 engine that is as smooth as the I6 engines (inherently smoother) from BMW. What Nissan could've invested in is better engine mounting and insulation. Instead they went CVT and Low Rolling Resistance tyres :O

If you could influence your friend to go for one or two last test drive before settling on the Accord, it should be to the VW and/or Ford showrooms. I can understand the badge factor in California not permitting him to consider the Sonata (which, frankly was the best midsize 4-pot I've driven), but the Fusion looks like an Aston and has the reliability of a Camry. The VW is p-good too and with a very upmarket feel interior compared to the Accord and both would be better on price.
I trust you to come up with such weird suggestions and statements. Let me get started one by one.

Corolla being easier to drive in UK doesn't count in USA since the roads are totally different. If you live in MI (USA) you would know what i am talking about.

Please provide source for your survey instead of blanket statement. I am pretty sure if that was the case, they would have produced the old one even more than the new one. Alas, its not the case.

What Bad NVH is to your ears for VQ35 engines in Nissan/Infiniti its music to my ears. And yes, that has been the case for 2 years now and i don't seem to get bored of it. Actually i miss it if i don't drive it for certain times.

Drive Maxima/G35/G37 and Q50 back to back and you will notice the smoothness and NVH improvements they have bought to the engines. You do really need to drive a Nissan/Infiniti to know what the CVTs of these cars are capable of. You also need to drive the CVT of Honda to know how much improvement CVTs have made and are closing the gap. Just imagine, even with low rolling resistance, the performance of Nissan/Infiniti is top notch. Ever wondered what a proper tire set up would do to the buttery smooth V6 of Toyota?

I do agree that they should now bring in a new gen but the current is one of the best performer in the market. Even your so called smooth buttery V6 from Toyota is a no match in IS250/IS350. No wonder it keeps sliding and melting like a butter does on the bread (Sales - old and new). When it comes to revving the engine out of its comfort zone VQ engines do much better than its counterpart. May be Lexus/Toyota should learn how to develop more power and torque from Nissan so it is an even fight.

Forget badge factor when considering mid-size sedan, VW will be the last showroom people in USA would like to visit now a days if you look at the sales. Their 5-cylinder engines need big time change and their interior and infotainment needs a major upgrade to even come close to Hyundai let alone a Mazda6/Accord/KIA. May be they can compete the more plasticky Toyota but not others.

Ford Fusion is a good car but it has many issues that plague the new car which makes it tough to recommend especially their 1.6L Ecoboost.

Also, don't forget the huge price difference when loading up the Accord/Mazda6 compared to Passat and Fusion. They get terribly expensive and not VFM at that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
The German brands have miraculously managed to keep the premium image while de-contenting their vehicles to the point of cheap. If your friend hasn't seen the old BMWs, then he probably wouldn't know why the E46 & E39 are still counted as the 'good old days' coz, nowadays anyone paying the ridiculous sticker prices for the cheap 'soft-touch' plastic interiors must be stupid.

As for Lexus, I have to disagree. No matter how boring their cars, they do a fantastic job with reliability and their ergonomics are flawless. The E90 gen and B6 gen both had NavScrns that folded into the dash. Nobody thought of the problems that moving parts cause in terms of warranties. Guess whether they'll ever be seen again?
If you knew about those 'good old days' you would have known that options on the Germans were always expensive and always carried a premium image due to the way they are build. No wonder when Lexus decided to take on the mighty s-class they had to price it at much lower price point than others. Apart from reliability, nothing else would make me consider a Lexus. And it seems market agrees with me as you may have seen the sales of Merc and BMW shooting through the roof while Lexus sits and thinks why their F-Sports are not selling while also depreciating a lot in their first year of sale. (Look at how much Edmunds sold their GS350 F-Sport)

If you find the soft-touch plastics of German cheap and those buying it stupid, i suggest you get a reality check yourself by going to dealership of a Mercedes and Lexus back to back and check who has more soft-plastics. I bet Lexus will win that one since many of the stuff in Mercedes can be order in Leather/MBTex which is Napa quality that Lexus can only dream of.

I agree that the reliability of the Germans is not the best but driving experience is one of the best you will find that Lexus/Acura will PROBABLY never match no matter how hard it tries (Think F-Sport).

This weekend i drove the last gen 328i. The driving experience was awesome. It was as good as my G35 and at times even better. The only thing missing was the soundtrack which is hard to match in that category. Infotainment wise, i believe the newer ones are much improved as i compared the 2011-2012 C250 with my friends 2013 C250. Its a big difference and with 2015 C250 coming, its gonna take it to another level.

Infiniti tries very hard to target that experience and at times succeeds (Q50 Hybrid and others) but they still have a long way to go.

I believe with Japanese Luxury there are certain things that need to be given up for a better ownership experience which again is true for German cars too. If i can have my cake and eat it too, that would be great but that is not entirely possible and for now, in my book, G35 is closest.

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Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
The fascination that Chinese and Indians have with brands is something to do with identity crises and another to do with 'keeping up with the Jones' image'. When you drop that pretense, you can actually like what you buy.

Clearly he is shooting way above his means - he wants a Q7/X5 but can only afford the lesser ones. (a) 99% people are not racing drivers and will probably never reach even 10% of vehicle capability, nor (b) is going to be able to tell the difference in handling if he didn't read magazine reviews. So stop:

he should be buying a Grand Cherokee SRT with full leather. The capability, reliability and capacity of that vehicle will make the Audi and BMW seem foolish in comparison. And last but not least - in this country only women drive crossovers and compact SUVs. Real men buy Jeeps or trucks or Caddy Escalades.
The most recent fascination/Obsession with Chinese, Indians is Tesla. What kind of pretense will need to be dropped in order to consider it? Please enlighten.

You certainly need to open your eyes and see who drives such cars. Many Indians/Chinese are perfectly happy driving Japanese and American cars as much as they are happy driving a German car. The locals are as much fascinated by German brands as we are. Don't kid yourself if you think something else. Don't let your eyes act like Horse's eye with Cover. It will help you much better.

Do you even know this guy that you are making blanket statement without even knowing if he can afford it or not?

Also where are you getting this stats from? 99% drivers not reaching 10% of capability? Is it from coming from your brain or do you have actual source? Please enlighten us how you came to such a conclusion. Other stop provided wrong info since you don't even know the person in question forget about other 99.9999% people.

Really, of all the priced SUVs you come up with a SRT8? Do you even have an idea what a SRT8 Starts at? A base model starts at $65k while the others in question start as low as $40k. Do you see the difference? No wonder you will see the appeal of SRT8 that we all appreciate but just isn't on the radar due to different requirements of buyer. Tell me, are you one of those 99% that doesn't use 10% of vehicle capability? In that case, how do you justify the SRT8 purchase that will provide nightmare to the owner at gas station? I am not dissing the SRT8 here as its one of my fav Performance SUVs but you really need stop shooting in dark, there is no one in the room.

I am just gonna ignore your last statement thinking it was never written else it would start a whole new topic that will go on for pages and get me banned too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
A friend in looking for a new car to replace his aging car. I was happy to accompany him for TDs.

1. 2014 Mazda3
2. 2014 Toyota Corolla
3. 2014 Honda Accord EX
4. 2014 Nissan Altima SV
A few quick pointers even though i may be late.

- Please consider the upcoming, revised Civic as it looks like a good contender to Mazda3 and Corolla. It is being unveiled in LAAS so it will be in lots soon. I am sure this is to counter the new 3 and Corolla.

- Please ask your friend to consider Accord Sport with optional equipment. He will love driving it even more than the regular 4-cylinder. You know it has more power, more cosmetic upgrades and sounds better than the stock one. And it is factory provided so a pretty decent upgrade with warranty.

Sorry for long post guys and rant! And no offense to any living/dead.

Last edited by chevelle : 19th November 2013 at 14:25.
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Old 19th November 2013, 15:00   #3453
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
Buying anything because of it's 'brand' and not its ultimate function is stupid and your friend is doomed to perennial disappointment. The fascination that Chinese and Indians have with brands is something to do with identity crises and another to do with 'keeping up with the Jones' image'. When you drop that pretense, you can actually like what you buy.

Clearly he is shooting way above his means - he wants a Q7/X5 but can only afford the lesser ones. Lets drop the bs about "handling" and "look of gearshift". (a) 99% people are not racing drivers and will probably never reach even 10% of vehicle capability, nor (b) is going to be able to tell the difference in handling if he didn't read magazine reviews. So stop:

The thing to do with such people is hear them out, encourage them to test drive and ultimately let them buy what they want without ANY advice. Because if he really needs an SUV and has that kind of budget, he should be buying a Grand Cherokee SRT with full leather. The capability, reliability and capacity of that vehicle will make the Audi and BMW seem foolish in comparison. And last but not least - in this country only women drive crossovers and compact SUVs. Real men buy Jeeps or trucks or Caddy Escalades.
Hey I actually agree with you about your last statement and pretty much your entire post as well. I am not from the states but have spent 7+ years in the UK and am close to starting an opportunity in Arizona only Visa is left, so I will be looking at American cars soon and I am so sold on buying a classic American muscle or a real SUV like a large GMC or those F150 trucks.

Your crossover point is also spot on, I hate that world over the SUV is dying because of the Crossover revolution. I think the SUV really died when Hummer stopped production. But still in America with the trucks and Jeep and some old school SUV's still in production, the dream lives on.
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Old 19th November 2013, 17:09   #3454
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Seems Nissan needs an external supplier for diesel engines. Go Cummins

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/20/n...el-v8-cummins/
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Old 19th November 2013, 22:17   #3455
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
We bought my wife's Ford Focus at Carmax and sold it back to them after three years. It was the best price I could get and it is completely hassle free. You drive up, they check your car and if you agree to their price you walk out within 15 minutes with all the paperwork done!
Yes, they are pretty good you can even look up for cars across the country and they will deliver it to you.
I somehow felt they have too many rental cars. Its really a hand few they have which were personal use cars.

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Another option is to tradein for a new BMW if he'd like to do that. I noticed BMW dealerships offer a much better tradein than other dealerships (other dealerships quoted ~12k for my 335i, BMW dealership took it for 19k in the end). Of course, I agreed to buy a new car from them .
I think he was telling he is trying to steer away from BMW now
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Old 20th November 2013, 01:17   #3456
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Seems like my posts ruffled a lot of feathers here - and while I was trying to be objective, I guess the statements came out as opinions and not information. Fair enough and I will take the moderators' and your criticism to improve future posts.

Alright, so let me address the gist of the post above. While it seems like you have some point to make with your book-writing above, let me clarify a few quick ones.

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Corolla being easier to drive in UK doesn't count in USA since the roads are totally different.
No where did I say the survey was for UK market only. If you were not trying to argue every point and see the information therein, it might be easier to accept that you might not know everything since you don't work in the auto industry. The design of the car is same except for left & right hand drive. If I find the survey again, I'll edit this post and put a link. In the meanwhile, what I was trying to get across is that Toyota's aim with the Corolla has always been to make it a car that one can get in and be familiar with in the least possible time. I can attest to the fact that their focus on ergonomics is laser sharp not just because I'm in the auto industry but also since I've studied under the man who wrote 'the Toyota Way', at UMich.
Typical User Ref: http://drivingmymini.blogspot.com/20...ive-lacks.html
Philosophy Ref: http://www.superbrands.com/za/pdfs/TOYOTA.pdf see page 1

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
What Bad NVH is to your ears for VQ35 engines in Nissan/Infiniti its music to my ears.
Again, nowhere did I say the NVH sounds bad to me. Infact you've conveniently left out the parts where I said the engines were on the Wards' lists. Just what Consumer Reports (meaning Nissan customers have reported) has said time and again. As well as customers themselves (on Nissan forums) - whom you're free to go and argue with:
Ref: http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/201...ease-read.html

Btw, there's also links in that thread to Honda's CVT that you so highly praise. Same issues. Being an automotive engineer I can say that adding shift points to a CVT to make it seem like an automatic negate the advantages, while mapping for mileage can induce shudder (aka, vibration)

These are all facts, not opinion, which is informative for a new buyer and hence posted by me originally.

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Forget badge factor when considering mid-size sedan, VW will be the last showroom people in USA would like to visit now a days if you look at the sales.
If you shop with the sheep mentality of what others are buying instead of the product, then yes, it would be the last showroom you'd visit. Which sort of backs up my statement stereotyping buyer mentality, doesn't it? But if you kept in mind that VW lacks the brand recall of Toyota & Honda in the USDM, it has way less dealers and that it takes years, even decades to get conquest buyers then it might be a plausible explanation that you've twisted to support your sales theory. I've driven all the midsize sedans and I gave a qualified opinion based on what priorities I'd put in a car. I also mentioned that I'd probably go for a Sonata/Optima if I were in the market and for good reason. Fair enough if your perspectives are different.

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Also, don't forget the huge price difference when loading up the Accord/Mazda6 compared to Passat and Fusion. They get terribly expensive and not VFM at that point.
Here's where you go wrong since you shop based on opinion and not fact. In the four cylinder category that you've recommended:

Honda Accord Sport = $23715 : equivalent : VW Passat SE = $23945

Similarly, in the top of the range versions

Honda Accord Touring = $33480 : equivalent : VW Passat V6 SEL Premium = $33895

In both cases, the "huge price difference" you've stated, doesn't exist.

Ref: Honda website http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-sedan/price.aspx
Ref: VW website http://www.vw.com/en/models/passat/trims-specs.html


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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
If you knew about those 'good old days' you would have known that options on the Germans.....If you find the soft-touch plastics of German cheap and those buying it stupid, ....
I've owned an M5, so I'd say I am qualified to say what I did. I've also worked at Benz. And if you want to see what insiders have to say, read the forums:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e63-bmw-m6-forum-bmw-m6-convertible-m6board-com/303897-bmw-m6-owner-destroys-car-front-65th-frankfurt-auto-show-2.html

I've driven better cars, strictly from an engineering perspective, even though they may be the best cars you've driven.

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
If i can have my cake and eat it too, that would be great but that is not entirely possible and for now, in my book, G35 is closest.
Fair enough. I wouldn't agree with your decision, but that's the difference between CVT/automatic owners and manual owners.

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
The most recent fascination/Obsession with Chinese, Indians is Tesla. What kind of pretense will need to be dropped in order to consider it? Please enlighten.
This is true in California, not so much yet elsewhere. Tesla has beaten Lexus, Audi, Mercedes and BMW through Oct 2013 in luxury sales in Cali. A lot of it has to do with the things I mentioned (status symbol, sheep mentality) while a lot also has to do with it being a great product which is environmentally conscious. Some of it also has to do with the sops provided such as parking spaces with free electrical charging nearer buildings and so on. Why should you need to drop a pretense? You'd need to drop the pretentiousness of being eco-conscious if you considered a Prius instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Do you even know this guy that you are making blanket statement without even knowing if he can afford it or not?
As I said, he fit my stereotype. It wasn't a "blanket statement" - it was infact specific. He wanted space as well as the badge, yet was considering offerings he found too tight. The facts were stated for everyone to see and kraft-wagon agreed with my post, so I'm not sure why you need the justification.

And last - about the 99%. Maybe you're just dense, but it is a way of saying rather than an accumulated-data supported statement. Clearly what I meant is, the general public are not all racing drivers and most of them will not take the car to the limits they're built to. The percentage is a fair estimate that is also bandied by instructors not just myself, from what I've seen in my years doing track-days w/ NASA and performance driving schools. I'd be happy to refer you for a discounted track weekend with NASA NorCal to help you better understand the perspective of where I come from. That way you might also agree with me on the cars we've suggested based on capability rather than magazine comparos.

Cheers!

Last edited by Activ8 : 20th November 2013 at 01:18.
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Old 20th November 2013, 01:27   #3457
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Note From Mod - Guys please keep it civil, If you cant then avoid posting
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Old 20th November 2013, 01:33   #3458
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Seems Nissan needs an external supplier for diesel engines. Go Cummins

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/20/n...el-v8-cummins/

Jomz - Congrats on securing the deal (although your post is like months late :P). I think it's wonderful for half-tons to finally get a diesel option and kudos to Nissan for offering the best option on the market. This is probably going to see duty in the real workhorses and not the King Ranch/Big Horn versions for cruising in Houston. What they should do now, is offer these half-tons in Punjab.

What was surprising was Chrysler deciding to go with their own 3.0l eco-diesel and not the Cummins. They're worried about 26mpg when semi-trucks are going to be achieving 13mpg highway (referring Cummins-Peterbuilt SuperTruck). And thanks to that decision they're going to be late to the party.
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Old 20th November 2013, 02:30   #3459
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Jomz - Congrats on securing the deal (although your post is like months late :P).
Cannot post in public forums till the press releases come out.

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Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
when semi-trucks are going to be achieving 13mpg highway (referring Cummins-Peterbuilt SuperTruck). And thanks to that decision they're going to be late to the party.
Sssshhhh.. secret.

Oops nevermind, the press release is out. 9.9mpg - from 6.5mpg

http://www.cummins.com/cmi/navigatio...te&menuId=1050

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Old 24th November 2013, 03:33   #3460
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This got everyone's goose too, so a quick google search revealed I wasn't way off the mark in my observation.

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Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
And last but not least - in this country only women drive crossovers and compact SUVs. Real men buy Jeeps or trucks or Caddy Escalades.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
I don't know what country you're living in but most of the statements you make on this thread are just rants.

Please post only if you have something informative to add.
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Originally Posted by vineeth47 View Post
Pretentious statement of the year among all TBHP threads !! Yes I did check the dictionary.(pretentious - ostentatious, showy ..)
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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Hmm I disagree with almost everything you said.
- I know several people with good taste who drive X3s and Q5s. They are all guys. Only one of them is an Indian, and no the rest aren't Chinese. Buying an X3 versus an Jeep is not a question of gender, it is a question of taste.

Since I was asked to be informative, and have some time to waste, lets put some data up there to support what I said. Since this forum may be the only source of information for some folks, here's what the outside world thinks and sees (since some years now), along with some data:

(1) Notice the SUV buyers preferences http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelin...men-and-women/

(2) What other forums have discussed http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...e-SUVs-anymore

(3) An old study, when the trends started: http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~WS30/HKFinalProject.html

You are of course entitled to have and maintain your own opinions if you disagree.
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Old 24th November 2013, 09:01   #3461
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Hang on. You weren't referring to sales numbers in your original statement, were you? What you said is:

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Originally Posted by Activ8 View Post
And last but not least - in this country only women drive crossovers and compact SUVs. Real men buy Jeeps or trucks or Caddy Escalades.
You are talking about what "real men" would do. Let me break it down, you were suggesting that anyone who bought a Q5 or an X3 is not a "real man", or something like that. Now you are quoting sales numbers to try to support your statement.

That is like saying "real human beings drive Toyotas", "real Americans eat at McDonalds", "real dogs live in the street" and "real birds are crows".

Also I presume you are still googling data to support your other statements reg. reliability of Jeeps, capability, capacity etc?

Now in my team a female colleague drives an Audi Q7 (full sized import) and a male colleague drives a Jeep Compass (compact SUV). Who is a real man and a real woman here? Personally, I call BS on the idea that it has anything to do with their gender identities.

If you were to state "More American men tend to buy Ford 150s versus women", that would be a completely different statement and I would agree.
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Old 24th November 2013, 09:57   #3462
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Sorry for the back-to-back post but this completely a different topic: I am thinking of getting an old beater car under $5k, for the wife to learn driving. (after doing driving school etc of course - something to run to grocery stores and back, generally get accustomed to driving alone and getting around town. something that you wouldn't even notice scratches or dents on ).

She prefers a hatchback but I don't see many hatchback options in that range (I am thinking year 2000 or above, not more 100k miles, Japanese brand).

What would you suggest to be good options? I am thinking an old Civic or Corolla, but any other ideas? I noticed 2003-2004 Ford Focuses are going less than 5k, would one of those be a good buy?

Any other thoughts? Should I be a bit more flexible about the 100k mile limit?

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Old 24th November 2013, 21:22   #3463
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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
What would you suggest to be good options? I am thinking an old Civic or Corolla, but any other ideas? I noticed 2003-2004 Ford Focuses are going less than 5k, would one of those be a good buy?

Any other thoughts? Should I be a bit more flexible about the 100k mile limit?
What kind of climate do you live in? Must be very moderate if you are looking for a 100K miles beater car.

I know someone who used to drive around in a Mazda2. Could be a good reliable beater car to drive around in. Civics and Corollas at 100K and less than 5K would have already been treated as a beater car.

2003-04 Fords I think had some reliability issues. You dont want your beater car to start off with a below average reliability!
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Old 24th November 2013, 21:58   #3464
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
What kind of climate do you live in? Must be very moderate if you are looking for a 100K miles beater car. I know someone who used to drive around in a Mazda2. Could be a good reliable beater car to drive around in. Civics and Corollas at 100K and less than 5K would have already been treated as a beater car. 2003-04 Fords I think had some reliability issues. You dont want your beater car to start off with a below average reliability!
I live in Bay Area so climate is not a problem. Just that I don't want to spend 5k on buying an old car and spend another 5k on keeping it running, that would make me really stupid when it resells for not more than 2k.

Trying to find the best balance here. Maybe increase the budget to say 9k on a 3 yr-60k mile Corolla would be more prudent? Basically I want it to be a car that we won't think twice about scratches/dings, and also fetch a decent resale when we decide to sell it and lease a Mini Cooper for her when she's leant driving well enough (by which time my visa renewal would've happened and I'd be eligible for a lease again).

Last edited by rajushank84 : 24th November 2013 at 22:03.
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Old 24th November 2013, 22:34   #3465
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Talking Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Here is 3 from my collection in US. These are
1. S63 AMG
2. BMW X5 35d
3. BMW Z4

Ill Upload the other ones on retrieving them from my archive
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Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-img_20130821_185633_689.jpg  

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-img_20130823_175656_834.jpg  

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-photo13_1.jpg  

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