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Old 20th February 2015, 04:51   #4471
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
I had test drove G37 bout a year ago, I was so excited bout the power and handling that I may have not paid attention to the interiors
Not that it matters, but if there was one entry level Luxury car that can start "Kitni deti hai" dialog, it must be G35/37.
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Old 20th February 2015, 07:28   #4472
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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How about the Buick line of cars? They look very nice, don't know the driving dynamics, probably a softer ride. The current Cadillac lines are simply superb, I actually prefer them to even the Germans, interior and all. Plus you get the GM Major Guard extended (bumper to bumper) warranty, typically less than $2000 for reasonable miles, which I recommend getting just before the new car warranty expires.
My friend drives a LaCrosse. And I drive it too. The ride is really plush and the car is luxurious. But it handles like a Camry at best. So I am a bit hesitant. I think it is great to travel in, but not to drive around. Can you let me know more about the Chevy Warranty that you mentioned ? I saw that Audi is also offering an extra 2yr/100000 miles warranty on CPO cars after the standard 4yr/50000 mile warranty expires. Isn't that as comprehensive as the Chevy Warranty ?

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Just to make it more difficult, the Lexus IS is also a half decent choice - must be comfy and smooth - rear room is tight, but you don't care. And brand new Cadillac ATS's are being sold at huge discounts - you may get a new ATS 2.0T or V6 at the price of your 2014 A4/ C class. They have the best chassis in the class, worth trying as well.
I searched for a few ATSs. I am looking at cars available at about $35K + or - 3K. Did not find any 2014 ATS AWDs that are available in that range. They seem to be a little more expensive. But reviews say that this car is better than a 3. I am definitely going to drive it this weekend. If the ride is not as hard as the BMW, I am definitely going to consider it. Let me know if you find any ATSs in the East Coast at the price range I mentioned.

Thanks much guys !

Last edited by DieselAddikt : 20th February 2015 at 07:37.
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Old 20th February 2015, 19:22   #4473
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Originally Posted by DieselAddikt View Post
If the ride is not as hard as the BMW, I am definitely going to consider it. Let me know if you find any ATSs in the East Coast at the price range I mentioned.

Thanks much guys !
If you're looking for a used BMW, swap the run-flat tires out for regular A/S or performance tires for a softer ride.

I used my 2008 335i for just about 7 years @ 92000miles. Only reason I changed cars was I needed something bigger, else would still be using it. I loved that car & miss it - wish I could keep two.

Also, if you get one without the Sport / M-Sport suspension, you will be fine and the car will still handle well.

Whereabouts are you located?


Note to all: Please update your location so members can help you out better.
If you want to keep your original location, just put in a slash between current and original locations.

Last edited by aah78 : 20th February 2015 at 20:10.
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Old 20th February 2015, 21:19   #4474
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by DieselAddikt View Post
I searched for a few ATSs. I am looking at cars available at about $35K + or - 3K. Did not find any 2014 ATS AWDs that are available in that range. They seem to be a little more expensive. But reviews say that this car is better than a 3. I am definitely going to drive it this weekend. If the ride is not as hard as the BMW, I am definitely going to consider it. Let me know if you find any ATSs in the East Coast at the price range I mentioned.

Thanks much guys !
I sent you a PM with search results - But I put in NYC, replace with Harrisburg to get truer results. There are a whole bunch of results in and around NYC (200 miles), maybe not so much in Harrisburg.

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If you're looking for a used BMW, swap the run-flat tires out for regular A/S or performance tires for a softer ride.

to that. Absolutely if you want a plusher ride, this is the way to go. I know a couple of friends who did likewise too.
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Old 20th February 2015, 22:29   #4475
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
If you're looking for a used BMW, swap the run-flat tires out for regular A/S or performance tires for a softer ride.

I used my 2008 335i for just about 7 years @ 92000miles. Only reason I changed cars was I needed something bigger, else would still be using it. I loved that car & miss it - wish I could keep two.

Also, if you get one without the Sport / M-Sport suspension, you will be fine and the car will still handle well.
This is true. In fact on my bimmer I felt the suspension was too soft, so I did an after-purchase upgrade to the M-Performance suspension which is even stiffer than the M-Sport (it is an OEM "M" upgrade for enthusiasts). The M-Perf is similar to the suspension setup on the M3, its almost track-focused. Feels great IMO, this is how a 3 should feel . But if you are looking for softness / good ride, the non-sport suspension will give you that "plush" feeling.

The 3 series comes in multiple "lines" depending on what you are looking for.

The heirarchy of suspension in 3 series (softest to stiffest) is like this:
- Base XDrive
- Base RWD / Luxuryline / Comfortline
- Sportline / Msport without DHP (both have the same 704 suspension, contrary to popular belief)
- M-sport with Dynamic Handling Package (the adaptive dampers make the car go slightly lower and stiffer when you switch to Sports mode. In Comfort mode it is soft).
- M-Performance (the stiffest, turns flat, very little body roll. Feels E90-ish)

Also, the tires and even wheels to some extent will make a huge difference. I am on 19s and RFTs so mine is probably the stiffest 3 you can get, this side of an M3. But if you go for 17s or 18s (lower unsprung weight) and non-RFTs (Michelin PSS is very popular) the ride will be more pliant and the handling will be better too. I will probably exchange my staggered 19s for someone's 18s with square setup, sometime later - and put some Michelins on it. But right now I like the look of the 19s too much to let them go .

Last edited by rajushank84 : 20th February 2015 at 22:34.
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Old 20th February 2015, 22:39   #4476
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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
This is true. In fact on my bimmer I felt the suspension was too soft, so I did an after-purchase upgrade to the M-Performance suspension which is even stiffer than the M-Sport (it is an OEM "M" upgrade for enthusiasts). The M-Perf is similar to the suspension setup on the M3, its almost track-focused. Feels great IMO, this is how a 3 should feel . But if you are looking for softness / good ride, the non-sport suspension will give you that "plush" feeling.

I had my car ordered with the factory Sport package (they didn't call it the M-Sport package back then) with the stiffer suspension.

The Bridgestone run-flats were really hard!

About a year or so before I traded her in, I was on Michelin Pilot Super Sports (18" same staggered size as original tires) and then later changed the Sport to the full M-Performance suspension (the only thing I didn't have installed was the rear sway bar as the garage was pressed for time).

The M-Performance was the sweet spot - I found it softer than the Sport but with less body roll. Funny how that worked.
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Old 21st February 2015, 01:57   #4477
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by DieselAddikt View Post
My friend drives a LaCrosse. And I drive it too. The ride is really plush and the car is luxurious. But it handles like a Camry at best. So I am a bit hesitant. I think it is great to travel in, but not to drive around. Can you let me know more about the Chevy Warranty that you mentioned ? I saw that Audi is also offering an extra 2yr/100000 miles warranty on CPO cars after the standard 4yr/50000 mile warranty expires. Isn't that as comprehensive as the Chevy Warranty ?
It's a GM and not a Chevy Warranty, available for all GM cars. Major Guard is the highest level of extended warranty offered. It's bumper to bumper except, for the usual wear and tear components. They have other levels below it too.

I would never get a warranty offered by anyone other than the manufacturer, in your case Audi/VW. The dealers have a tendency to push some third party insurance. If that's the case, don't even bother, in my opinion. In any case, if the car already has a warranty, I wouldn't get one unless it's about to expire soon. If you do get one, please read the fine print thoroughly to see what they cover.

The correct way to get an extended warranty is to have a realistic amount of miles you'll be putting on the car each year and the number of years you intend to keep the vehicle. Get a quote for that coverage with some additional mileage added for safety. To get an extended warranty beyond that is simply a waste of money.

The best quotes are usually got online and browsing an Audi forum should get you that information. You should have this info in hand before you walk into the dealership. If you are interested in dealers' offer, see if it's better and if not, ask him to match what you have in hand. AND NEVER, NEVER roll your extended warranty into your car payment. Just buy it outright or, have a separate payment plan arranged.

Good luck.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 10:13   #4478
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Glad to see a page for bhpians in the US. Recently got my hands on a 2003 Volkswagen Passat B5. When in India, never did I dream of seeing 10 year old cars in such good shape in the US. And buying and owing one here really makes you learn about your car and cars in general a lot more. Looking forward to the VW experience!
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Old 23rd February 2015, 23:14   #4479
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by studentonwheels View Post
Glad to see a page for bhpians in the US. Recently got my hands on a 2003 Volkswagen Passat B5. When in India, never did I dream of seeing 10 year old cars in such good shape in the US. And buying and owing one here really makes you learn about your car and cars in general a lot more. Looking forward to the VW experience!
Welcome stateside. Yup absolutely, fuel, roads, maintenance and upkeep, traffic conditions all make cars stay better longer over here. Though there are hazards from here that you won't face in India - snow, salt, sand etc!

Enjoy your car. Have fun!
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Old 24th February 2015, 02:57   #4480
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Guys i have loan question, I usually try to avoid loan & one of the main reason behind getting one for the MDX was improving the credit score.

Now, as it was my first loan & also a 2nd hand car my interest rate is high (3.99%), as I see I have following options

Option A - Refinance at a lower rate from a CU. In this case I think I might have to some extra money to close from my current provider, right?

Option B - Pay it off much earlier than the loan period(5 years) by paying large amounts say every quarter or may be like half this year & half next year.


Option A is a little cumbersome & might not make a big difference as its been just a few months into the loan & the interest rates aren't that low for a 2nd hand vehicle. Thoughts?

I am more inclined towards Option B but I am wondering if early closing of loan will mean that I don't get the necessary bump in my credit score. This also means I will loose some cash but given the great returns on Savings here , I think its better to pay off debt.

Please advice
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Old 24th February 2015, 03:49   #4481
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Option A - Refinance at a lower rate from a CU. In this case I think I might have to some extra money to close from my current provider, right?

Option B - Pay it off much earlier than the loan period(5 years) by paying large amounts say every quarter or may be like half this year & half next year.
The answer depends on your credit. I did option A some months back when I took loans from Infiniti and Toyota to a credit union. Great credit (tier 1, as they call it) meant I got a 1.49% rate. I went down from a 5.49% to 1.49% on one car and 2.99% to 1.49% on another.

And regarding the money to be paid etc. - when I did this, the credit union directly issued a payment to the financing companies and got the titles from them. They financed the amount outstanding - so I did not have to pay anything extra to anyone.

PM me if you need any contacts.

Regarding Option B, if the interest rates are so low, the same argument can be made about paying up earlier. Cost of borrowing is so low, why bother, unless the intention is just to be debt free. But yes, a longer history of payments will be better for a versatile credit profile.

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 24th February 2015 at 03:53.
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Old 24th February 2015, 03:55   #4482
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
The answer depends on your credit. I did option A some months back when I took loans from Infiniti and Toyota to a credit union. Great credit (tier 1, as they call it) meant I got a 1.49% rate.

And regarding the money to be paid etc. - when I did this, the credit union directly issued a payment to the financing companies and got the titles from them. They financed the amount outstanding - so I did not have to pay anything extra to anyone.

PM me if you need any contacts.
Thanks, that's really low, looks like I am looking at wrong CU

What I meant by extra is that I remember seeing "Principal + X" amount to close the loan, will recheck.
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Old 24th February 2015, 06:02   #4483
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I sent you a PM with search results - But I put in NYC, replace with Harrisburg to get truer results. There are a whole bunch of results in and around NYC (200 miles), maybe not so much in Harrisburg.
Thank you for the PM and details. My search criteria was a little different. Was looking for cars run under 10K miles. Hence got only a few options and they were a little expensive for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
It's a GM and not a Chevy Warranty, available for all GM cars. Major Guard is the highest level of extended warranty offered. It's bumper to bumper except, for the usual wear and tear components. They have other levels below it too.

I would never get a warranty offered by anyone other than the manufacturer, in your case Audi/VW. The dealers have a tendency to push some third party insurance. If that's the case, don't even bother, in my opinion. In any case, if the car already has a warranty, I wouldn't get one unless it's about to expire soon. If you do get one, please read the fine print thoroughly to see what they cover.

The correct way to get an extended warranty is to have a realistic amount of miles you'll be putting on the car each year and the number of years you intend to keep the vehicle. Get a quote for that coverage with some additional mileage added for safety. To get an extended warranty beyond that is simply a waste of money.

The best quotes are usually got online and browsing an Audi forum should get you that information. You should have this info in hand before you walk into the dealership. If you are interested in dealers' offer, see if it's better and if not, ask him to match what you have in hand. AND NEVER, NEVER roll your extended warranty into your car payment. Just buy it outright or, have a separate payment plan arranged.

Good luck.
Thank you for that update on warranty. And yes, I meant GM warranty. Sorry I typed Chevy.

I was down with severe flu for the past few days. The extreme climate during the weekend did not help either. Just getting better. So I will have to wait for the next weekend for test drives. Till then, it is just online browsing. Is it ok to get an ATS that has run almost 20K miles or am I good with an A4 that has run 6K to 7K miles with over 40 months warranty left (+ manufacturer warranty of an extra 2yr/50,000miles) ? Both come at similar prices. There is the 2.0T available with ATS as well as a V6. Wonder what would be more reliable. I have not looked at any car in particular. And then I see a lot of Jap marques within that price range like everyone said. There seems to be a lot of options. I am a little biased towards the Germans though.
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Old 24th February 2015, 12:09   #4484
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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There seems to be a lot of options. I am a little biased towards the Germans though.
Based on everything you describe - I think you will really like the Audi feel. Have you tried driving the A4 or even better the S4? Not sure what your budget is, but around 600-ish per month should get you into an S4 or S5 in a lease.

The downside with Audi is the bland interior but IMHO the other factors more than make up for it.

If you are into plush interior and a soft-feeling (but German) car, do check out the new C class. Nice interiors.
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Old 24th February 2015, 20:36   #4485
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My search criteria was a little different. Was looking for cars run under 10K miles. Hence got only a few options and they were a little expensive for me.
DieselAddikt, looking at your criteria - you want a reliable, comfortable luxurious car without spending German money & aren't too bothered about handling.

A Lexus IS or GS is what you're looking for - yes, it'll handle a little better than your friend's Buick.
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