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Old 10th August 2015, 20:30   #4921
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by Cesc View Post
jalajprakash's fully paid up lease on Ford Fusion SE has given me ideas. Probably I can do that for Audi A4 2.0T? I dont mind throwing away 15k for driving a good car for 3 years as opposed to buying anything pre-owned for around that price and getting something like 10k back in resale. Is that kind of a lease possible for Audi A4?
No reason why you shouldn't be able to pay the lease up front for Audi. I had similar reasons for getting a new car instead of a used one. I looked at used examples of cars I had in mind and their resale values compared to a new one and I figured I would not be saving too much if I went down the used route on top of the hassle of looking for a buyer 3 years down the line (any buyer who knows that you are leaving for sure will definitely use that to his advantage while negotiating) but the warranty on those cars would not extend for the complete period of use and I would have put more effort, time and money if something went wrong. So for the sake of a hassle free experience, I went down the new car route.

If you do decide to go with a new vehicle, look if Audi has a similar Family/Friend discount. I got nearly $800 off because of it.
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Old 11th August 2015, 07:09   #4922
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Finally down to buying my first car here. I test drove a 2010 Jetta 2.0 T Wolfsburg Edition with 52200 miles on it and 6 Spd Manual. The car is a blast to drive and I just loved it.But it has 3 previous owners and the carfax is fine and no problems reported.

Since I just graduated and don't have credit history, getting a new car seems tough as of now.

However I did test drive the 2015 Hyundai Sonata ECO with a 1.6 Turbo and 7- Speed DCT first in segment. The car is probably the best Hyundai so far and the dynamics are spot on, especially in the sport mode. They offered 4.5 K off MSRP and new graduate discount of 400 $ with 3 deferred payments and I thought it was an amazing deal. But problem is the sales guy is doubtful of getting my credit application through.

So what are your thoughts should I go with the Jetta priced at 11, 300 $ or Sonata if at all the credit app gets done? The sonata max price I see is
19,000 $ with all the offers.
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Old 11th August 2015, 09:40   #4923
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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  1. Personal leases come with a 3 yr-36000 mile limit commonly. For every extra mile exceeded, I think the penalty is 2 cents. The number can vary; but the obvious value proposition is the lesser number of miles commonly seen on leased cars. (With rental cars, it's common to see 1 year old cars with upwards of 20,000 miles on the odo.)
  1. The charge for extra usage is usually 25 cents/mile for luxury cars and around 15 to 20 cents for regular cars based on their value.

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    Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
  2. There are heavy penalties on personal leased car damages. A dent or mechanical repair which would have cost a regular car owner $X to repair would cost $2X or $3X under the lease. Lessors would have taken great pains to avoid heavy penalties. This means that leased cars are bound to be better maintained.
Leased cars are abused very often.
-->Engine idling (very common when you want AC to run in hot summer)
-->Filling regular gas when Premium (Min 91 octane) is recommended by manufacturer.
-->Credit card size dent is allowed on each panel on the car including doors in lease agreements.

Dents can be removed easily and scratches can be buffed by the dealer for a shiny look but I would like to know how the engine was maintained.

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Finally down to buying my first car here. I test drove a 2010 Jetta 2.0 T Wolfsburg Edition with 52200 miles on it and 6 Spd Manual. The car is a blast to drive and I just loved it.But it has 3 previous owners and the carfax is fine and no problems reported.
For recent graduates, many car companies are all right with no credit history as long as you don't have a negative record somewhere for late payment. If you can afford a Sonata with your current income then you should be fine. The car salesman will always use scare tactics and in your situation an excuse to jack up your APR to make you pay more in interest since he'll get kickback from the financial institution which financed your car. I would suggest you to ask the salesman to show you the approved credit from Hyundai financial services or any manufacturer. If he doesn't agree then go to a different dealer. Good Luck!

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Old 11th August 2015, 10:31   #4924
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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The charge for extra usage is usually 25 cents/mile for luxury cars and around 15 to 20 cents for regular cars based on their value.


Leased cars are abused very often.
-->Engine idling (very common when you want AC to run in hot summer)
-->Filling regular gas when Premium (Min 91 octane) is recommended by manufacturer.
-->Credit card size dent is allowed on each panel on the car including doors in lease agreements.

Dents can be removed easily and scratches can be buffed by the dealer for a shiny look but I would like to know how the engine was maintained.

!
My experience and understanding of lease cars/contract is very different,

Please note that engine idling isnt necessarily engine abuse. If I sit in a traffic jam for four hours I will run the AC all that time. AC only puts a bit of load in the engine. A properly maintained engine will have no measurable negative effects due to prolonged idling.

It depends a bit on the lease, but if it is a full operational lease the car will have been maintained in accordance with the manufacturers specifications at authorized dealers. Safest way to go.

Filling up with regular instead of Premium might not cause any damage (just about all modern engines have pretty sophisticated anti-knock sensors and system) at all, just a bit of loss of performance.

It it does, primarily through knocking I doubt you would make it to the end of lease period of 2-3 years.

I have bought dozens and dozens of second hand cars over the years.

So how do you go about, factually, establishing how an engine was maintained????

Becaue clearly whether a car was leased, rented or bought doesnt necessarily proof one thing or the other. Although I have my own preference, which would be leased (full operational lease), privately owned and never a rental.

Jeroen
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Old 13th August 2015, 04:01   #4925
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Karma is a B****

This weekend i had a pleasant phone call which i was waiting for 4 years. A honda dealership called me which had treated me like crap when i was looking for a car.

Little background: New on a job and new to town with no credit i was looking for used cars. The honda dealership had listed a accord for 12k. I took a cab and went there and got talking to a salesman.

Few points:
First they were unable to locate the car
They then talked pricing and as i didnt have a credit history literally pushed the price of the car from 12k to 17k. I kid you not! I vaguely remember this.
When i was trying to negotiate they asked me to put atleast 6k down. When i said thats not possible they literally asked me to ask my dad for some money to buy the car.

To rub salt on it further they say " this will help you build your credit history".

Not one guy to show pride but that day i was pissed.

Thankfully they did call me. The convo went like this.

Him: Hi, I am calling from Bell Honda. Looked like you did visit us in 2011. Would you be interested in checking out the 2015 hondas?
Me: Bell Honda right? I will NEVER buy anything from you guys.
Him: Sir why?
Me: I was treated like a piece of rag the last time i visited.
Him: Sir we have changed the management.
Me: I dont care. I wont step in that building again. I was being sold a 12k car for 17k and they called it a good deal for me.
Him: I am a salesman too and i hope to make it up for you. Would you want to sit in a new honda.
Me: i am sorry but i have a new car and dont think i am will ever buy a honda ever. Also it doesnt make sense taking on a new loan when my car payments get over in a year.
Him: we can lower payments.
Me: Na, doesnt ever make financial sense.
Him: I hope you change your mind.
Me: Never, dont call me back.

I know this is long but i had a sigh of relief at the end of it. The sales guy had patience which is nice. Sorry if i annoyed any honda folks. Its the dealership which i have an issue with.

Bought a nice smile for a dull day.

Maddy
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Old 14th August 2015, 10:43   #4926
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

That was great, Maddy. I love it. But it prompted me to wonder how many of the new H1B and similar guys, possibly here for a temporary stay, fall for this nonsense. Thanks. Very useful post, man.

Never understood the thought process behind considering paying for a new car, when you're not even certain how long you'll be in this country. Especially, when the second hand market is so awesome and varied.
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Old 14th August 2015, 18:44   #4927
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Wow, Maddy! Talk about carrying a grudge, eh!

But having said that, I am yet to meet one Honda salesperson who won't play any dirty tricks to jack the price up. I guess they are that way because that's what the dealership requires of them. Nissan dealerships are no less either. No wonder many dealerships sell Nissan as well as Honda.

As for used cars, I guess it is ok to go that route for newly landed people if they don't mind driving a run of the mill car that has run out of its warranty and they are willing to take the risk of repairing the car as and when it breaks down. I have seen so many desis come into a Midas, begging the mechanic to do whatever they can to keep their 100k mile old Corollas or Civics running. God only knows what they will uncover when the annual inspection comes up! But what about CPOs? Well, you lose the price advantage and then you are back to dealing with the dealerships. Given all that, it makes sense to buy a new car, drive it with peace of mind and build a decent credit score while you are at it.

Why would one want to put their family in a car whose history they dont know, in a land they are unfamiliar with and at a stage in life where they want to minimize current risk factors to the extent possible? Now that is beyond me. Yeah they might have to leave the country at some point but they will need to sell the car anyway, whether it is brand new or second/third/fourth hand.

But that's just me. I guess I prefer to live in the moment

Last edited by amitoj : 14th August 2015 at 19:06.
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Old 14th August 2015, 23:28   #4928
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Yes, you need patience and research to land a good second hand car. But there are plenty of excellent second hand cars available. And if you cannot land cars better than crap like 100,000 mile Corollas/Civics, you simply haven't done your homework.

To me it's simple, until you're certain of your residency situation here, check the difference on your payment between a second hand and a new car, open a Mutual fund portfolio online (85 stocks:15 bonds) with with somebody like Vanguard or T Rowe Price and put it there and don't touch it, even if the market crashes, they always come back in time. See how much you have, when you decide to buy a new car, heck if you take a long enough time deciding, you might even have enough to buy one outright. Or, you have the choice of buying a new car as your first car, have/decide to leave the country after say three to seven years (max for H1Bs, I believe), never have the chance to even experience the incredible choice of cars in this country, lose close to 50% of your investment - does not matter Jap, European, American.

In most cases, you need to own the car for at least five years after the payments are done, to break even. Things to think about if you're here on a temporary basis.

It's your life, your money, your choice. Not applicable to people with FAT PAY CHECKS.
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Old 14th August 2015, 23:52   #4929
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Yes, you need patience and research to land a good second hand car.
And you need time to do all that. That is precisely what people don't have once they land here. They have to go house hunting and then furniture shopping. If they have kids, then that eats up more into their time. If they land up in a place that does not have a good public transport system (which most places in US dont) they have to rely on cabs or friends/colleagues to drive them around for even groceries. Add to that anxiety of a new place, new country and new job.

Their priority is setting up their new life and ensure a smooth transition for the family. Not applicable to people who land up straight into the arms of their extended families

Besides, cars are not an investment. It is a depreciating asset. You will lose money when you sell it, new used or CPO.
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Old 15th August 2015, 01:49   #4930
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

In my opinion, adjusting to a new country is probably when you don't want to take on a new car payment.

Once you get your license, why not just rent a reasonable car for a few months at a monthly rate and then decide - new or used. Gives you plenty of time to do research, both for the car and what's best for your finance.

Well, here it is folks, most of the options are listed here. Like I said - your money, your choice.

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Old 15th August 2015, 02:18   #4931
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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That was great, Maddy. I love it. But it prompted me to wonder how many of the new H1B and similar guys, possibly here for a temporary stay, fall for this nonsense. Thanks. Very useful post, man.
Especially, when the second hand market is so awesome and varied.
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Wow, Maddy! Talk about carrying a grudge, eh!

But having said that, I am yet to meet one Honda salesperson who won't play any dirty tricks to jack the price up. I guess they are that way because that's what the dealership requires of them. But that's just me. I guess I prefer to live in the moment
I was so pissed and was kinda literally in tears outside that dealership.

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
And you need time to do all that. That is precisely what people don't have once they land here. They have to go house hunting and then furniture shopping. If they have kids, then that eats up more into their time. Besides, cars are not an investment. It is a depreciating asset. You will lose money when you sell it, new used or CPO.
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In my opinion, adjusting to a new country is probably when you don't want to take on a new car payment.

Well, here it is folks, most of the options are listed here. Like I said - your money, your choice.
True points! The car market here is amazingly crazy and diverse but the lack of proper transportation makes people go nuts and take insane decisions. Some of the used cars needs to be driven with a couple of gods names on your lips with the hope that it doesnt stall.

Some of the things i noticed amongst a lot of It folks coming in are
1) The company doesnt specify the period they will be here for.
2) No support from the company on getting you settled down. Your given 1-2 weeks and expected to get a house and be able to work.
3) Financially given 5k and do everything in that budget. Try renting an apt and buying a car in that money.
4) Folks look for cars especially only Japanese. The only service done on it will be oil change. No budget kept for repairs above $500.
5) Have you ever met people using USED TIRES? Gosh i was shocked when a guy with 2 kids was mentioning that! I live in phx where the temparature is 110 as i type this now. Guess whats the temparature on the highway surface. You can boil an egg outside!
6) Lastly the belief that we should buy only Toyota or honda! Especially buying something with 150k miles while you can get a Chevy with 70k miles at the same price.


This is the best car market folks! Enjoi it while you can.

On a side note: Anyone has owned a Land cruiser? What do you think of buying a used land cruiser?

Maddy
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Old 15th August 2015, 05:34   #4932
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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My experience and understanding of lease cars/contract is very different,

Jeroen
Our perspectives and experiences are different on leased cars. I've leased cars and seen others who have leased cars as well. I've seen the attitude of many who treats them like long term rental cars, don't even give them a basic wash the car deserves from time to time, forget about getting the underbody cleaned from the salt and road dirt it accumulates in winter and rainy seasons.
Coming to your point of engine maintenance, I noticed many in my professional and personal circle who run their cars even when the car screams "Service Due Now"; excuses like didn't get appointment, didn't get time, will get it done next week! I don't wait to change the oil till its life is 100% done but at 20% of its remaining life. Thats the most important and basic engine maintenance one needs to do! I'm not talking about engine idling at signals but running the engine for more then 15-20 minutes to run the AC in summer & heater in winter when there's a significant wait time. Looks like you and many on forums have figured out that engine idling/knocking is safe but hey... I'm old school. I'm no expert on engines nor did any research on longevity of engines based on idling them or using lower octane fuel than what the manufacturer recommends but I do believe that cars should be maintained as per or better than than what's recommended by manufacturer. I'm not saying everyone does that but majority of them treat lease cars that way.
I understand you have experience of buying dozens and dozens of cars over the years but I've hundreds of examples where cars were driven with low engine coolants, radiator getting heated up, maintenance overdue but still driving to reach destinations on weekends from long drives; Result being the head gaskets blown off, cylinder heads replacements and these issues will be chronic.
The very same people when it comes to cars they own have a completely different attitude towards maintenance.

Last edited by Technocrat : 19th August 2015 at 03:14. Reason: please quote selectively as a long quoted post causes inconvenience to our mobile readers, thanks
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Old 15th August 2015, 09:39   #4933
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Our perspectives and experiences are different on leased cars.
Yes, but that's fine, it doesn't make yours of mine better or worse, just different. Forums like these are about sharing different experiences and perspectives I think

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Originally Posted by VIPER_SRT View Post
I noticed many in my professional and personal circle who run their cars even when the car screams "Service Due Now"; excuses like didn't get appointment, didn't get time, will get it done next week! I don't wait to change the oil till its life is 100% done but at 20% of its remaining life.
I'm not sure how you can tell a car screams "service due now".
If you owners manual stipulates an oil change at say, every 10.000 km and you change it at every 2.000km that is fine. But really, you are wasting your money. If it gives you piece of mind, by all means you should continue, but there is no technical reason to change out oil at 20% of the manufacturer recommended interval.

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Thats the most important and basic engine maintenance one needs to do!
Unfortunately that is a huge myth if not incorrect statement that is very persistent in car enthusiast communities. Oil changes are necessary obviously. But as long as you use an oil that complies with the manufacturer's recommendation you are good to go. If the oil change interval say 10.000 km and you overshoot by a couple of 1000s km it is really no problem. You will not be able to measure the effect of that in terms of wear and tear.

Providing you are using the correct oil the main factors determining wear and tear on an engine related to lubrication are:
- High revving and loading of an engine in which the oil hasn't reach normal operating temperature
- Low cooling water temperature (when start up cold and or a faulty thermostat)
- dirty oil filter
- dirty air filter

You will find many threads on this and other car forum on oil, but very few on filter. And with modern oil it is actually the filter that is the weakest link in the chain so to speak. In fact the recommended oil change interval is often more related to the oil filter then the oil as such. But on just about all cars, both are changed at the same frequency. A dirty oil filter has a much bigger impact on wear and tear then oil that is overdue. Also, filters get very little attention. People will easily shell out big bucks to pay the best oil money can buy and than also install a dirt cheap filter.

Also the air filter is relevant as a dirty air filter will immediately cause more problems for your oil filters, because that's where the dirt ends up!

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I'm not talking about engine idling at signals but running the engine for more then 15-20 minutes to run the AC in summer & heater in winter when there's a significant wait time.
Any modern properly maintained engine you can idle for as long as you like, that's what they are designed for. Millions of cars proof this very point every day sitting stuck in endless jams running their Acs.

Most Acs don't run in the winter as they tend to cut out at temperatures below +/- 4oC. Running your heater during the winter doesn't put any strain on the engine. All that happens is you divert the cooling water through the car's heater and you have a fan blowing. The one thing you might want to watch is the cooling water temperature. Modern diesels are notoriously efficient and when cold, really cold, they can take a long time to get to normal operating temperature. That's when excessive wear and tear occurs! By opening the heater you actually cause that to take longer!

I have been in a Volkswagen Diesel in Norway at -26oC and during long idle period we could actually see the cooling temperature dropping a bit. But that is only under extreme circumstances.



Quote:
Originally Posted by VIPER_SRT View Post
Looks like you and many on forums have figured out that engine idling/knocking is safe but hey... I'm old school. I'm no expert on engines nor did any research on longevity of engines based on idling them or using lower octane fuel than what the manufacturer recommends but I do believe that cars should be maintained as per or better than than what's recommended by manufacturer..
I never said that knocking is safe. I said

Quote:
Filling up with regular instead of Premium might not cause any damage (just about all modern engines have pretty sophisticated anti-knock sensors and system) at all, just a bit of loss of performance.

It it does, primarily through knocking I doubt you would make it to the end of lease period of 2-3 years.
If knocking is controlled by the anti-knock systems there is no knocking, so its safe. If there is knocking you will see some problems pretty quickly.


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Old 17th August 2015, 08:49   #4934
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Hello all,

I bought a new 2015 Honda Accord EX. My other car 2005 Camry was failing badly in the last two days. It started giving low humming sound, ABS lights and Battery warning lamps were on and off alternatively. So I had to get rid of it. With less time and lot of uncertainty on my stay in US, had to go for a safer bet and hence chose Honda Accord.

It is a grey and rides very smooth. Already drove for 500 miles. I stay in Tampa FL and drove to Orlando today. It was a breeze.

I went for EX mainly for the Start Stop button and wife liked the Lane switch camera. The total cost was 20350 after trade in for my Camry. Basically he has taken my car for 2500 and by transferring plates, registration and sales tax reduction, I can safely state my old car gave me $3000.

Because the Camry was failing, I lost the negotiating power it was like I may have needed a tow truck even for a ride back home, If I had not bought that day. I also used the Costco Auto program so we started off from better discounted rate - His very first price quote was 24800 Out of door for the EX and then we negotiated down to 20350 with All weather mats, Tank full gas, mud flap and trade in.

Thanks Locusjag, Jalagprakash, Vineeth and Maddy for your time and suggestions.

Used Car - I did not have time or car to research for good second hand car. Checked Renting a car for a week to this research but for some reason it was horribly expensive. Eventually did rent for 3 days and paid $82.00 that too including the Costco rental discount. When I checked with rental guys they were saying that since it rains badly in Summer in Tampa area, many cars are in the garage for mechanical problems and thus demand for rental cars are high and so does the cost.

Lease - I have been reading reviews of lease cars in both ways so kind of skeptical.

Honda pilot is in my mind . If things go well, may upgrade after 2 years.

Last edited by Ananthang : 17th August 2015 at 09:04.
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Old 17th August 2015, 10:04   #4935
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hello all,

I bought a new 2015 Honda Accord EX.

Thanks Locusjag, Jalagprakash, Vineeth and Maddy for your time and suggestions.

Used Car - I did not have time or car to research for good second hand car.

Lease - I have been reading reviews of lease cars in both ways so kind of skeptical.
Honda pilot is in my mind . If things go well, may upgrade after 2 years.
Congrats on the purchase. Accords are very good usually. You're right in that used car buying requires a lot of time and efforts.

I am somewhat taken aback by the negative outpouring of some members towards leased or ex-leased used cars. Because I plonked 16K on a ex-lease compact SUV and so did another team-BHP member plonk 18K just this past Saturday on an ex-leased SUV...we have reason to believe in them.

As regards the Honda Pilot - 2 years is a long time. You may yet find another 4x4 more interesting. Just walk into a Chrysler-Jeep showroom for starters!
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