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Old 23rd April 2012, 16:25   #856
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
yeah! I just tried to configure one with technology and driver assist package (you know, lane departure warning system, mumbo-jumbo cruise control etc) and it came to 56K .

I guess I could get one within 50k without the mumbo jumbo. top end odyssey is about 43K and has none of that.
Question is, will you need all that mumbo jumbo? Perhaps you can wait for a year or two and pick up a lightly used one for 35k!
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Old 23rd April 2012, 19:18   #857
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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
Perhaps you can wait for a year or two and pick up a lightly used one for 35k!
Should I be sagacious and quote a golden rule of used car purchase that I have learned over the years ? Try not to buy a (used) vehicle that was manufactured in the first-year of the production cycle. Always buy a (used) vehicle that was produced at the latter end of its generation.

The usual re-engineering cycle for vehicles in the USA is 4 to 5 years. Manufacturers are continuously optimizing and re-tuning the manufacturing processes based on consumer complaints and market research during the first year or two of the cycle. A third/fourth year vehicle tends to be a bit different (better manufactured) than a first year release, even though it is the same vehicle.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 19:21   #858
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Try not to buy a (used) vehicle that was manufactured in the first-year of the production cycle. Always buy a (used) vehicle that was produced at the latter end of its generation.
Quite true.
Also, you may get more features for the same price (with mid cycle refreshes) in the 3-4th year of any car production cycle. Another reason for going for a model in the 2nd half of its production cycle. But then, if you really want something that's new in the market urgently (only a year or 2), you don't have that luxury.
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Old 28th April 2012, 22:29   #859
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
yeah! I just tried to configure one with technology and driver assist package (you know, lane departure warning system, mumbo-jumbo cruise control etc) and it came to 56K .

I guess I could get one within 50k without the mumbo jumbo. top end odyssey is about 43K and has none of that.
I drove and went through Infiniti JX35 yesterday. Its a good vehicle. FWD was around $50k and AWD was $52k. Obviously you can configure it the way you like and get if for less than $50k.

IMHO, its worth every penny especially with big families (4+). Soccer moms are gonna love the way it drives and with plenty of entertainment and technology packages.

Give it a shot, you may like it.
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Old 1st May 2012, 20:57   #860
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The Focus ST is coming to the US. It'll be here around mid to end 2012, sold as a 2013 model.
Ford has updated their website with the Focus ST configurator - exciting! One more to the hot hatch wars.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 21:06   #861
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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
Ford has updated their website with the Focus ST configurator - exciting! One more to the hot hatch wars.
The price is good but optional packages are not good. I mean, if i want to add ambient lighting, i had to spend $4500 as it comes as a part of ST3 package. If i want heated seats, i have to do the same.

The base price is good, but anything above that it sure seems expensive compared to mazdaspeed3. Hope it drives as well as it looks and is good competition to ms3.

The electric steering is a bit of concern which a drive will answer. MS3's steering is awesome.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 21:23   #862
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The price is good but optional packages are not good. I mean, if i want to add ambient lighting, i had to spend $4500 as it comes as a part of ST3 package. If i want heated seats, i have to do the same.

The base price is good, but anything above that it sure seems expensive compared to mazdaspeed3. Hope it drives as well as it looks and is good competition to ms3.

The electric steering is a bit of concern which a drive will answer. MS3's steering is awesome.
Very true, with an MS3, you have just 2-3 options. With the Focus ST there is a ton of stuff, you can easily get to past 32k with that. I think the electric steering is one of the key aspects of this package as that corrects for torque steer, which MS3 corrects by lowering power on offer in the lower gears. Would be fun to find out how different these two cars are. Waiting to get a hands on test drive!
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Old 2nd May 2012, 22:14   #863
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Well, if you're willing to fork out $32K, I just priced a fully loaded V6 Mustang with almost every conceivable options (includes full performance and handling upgrades including 19" wheels) for around $34K. Trust me, no Japanese or most other car makers are gonna give you that grin factor for that kind of money. And to top it, your insurance is going to be very reasonable because of the V6 instead of the V8. The V6 gives you 305 hp and the current build quality is excellent. Of course, if it was me it'll be nothing but the V8 but, that's just me.

If I were you, I would plunk that money, wave to the zillion NIMAZTOYOBARUs as you drive by with a wide open grin, make sure you floor that throttle a couple of times just to make them wet their pants a little from the exhaust note. Aahh, priceless!!
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Old 2nd May 2012, 23:25   #864
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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If I were you, I would plunk that money, wave to the zillion NIMAZTOYOBARUs as you drive by with a wide open grin, make sure you floor that throttle a couple of times just to make them wet their pants a little from the exhaust note. Aahh, priceless!!
Also depends on the climatic conditions of the places you live/drive the most in. I would be very hesitant to get a Rear wheel drive performance car if I'm in a snowy place, unless I have less riskier driving options for the snow season. I know it is possible to drive RWD cars in the snow, but I won't take that risk. It would be a little better with a FWD, but AWD performance is the best!

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Old 3rd May 2012, 00:43   #865
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Thought you're in Plano, Texas. If you're not comfortable driving a rear wheel vehicle in the snow, obviously it's out of question. I lived in the midwest and Canada for 18 out of the last 19 years. Never really had any issues with RWD on snow. My '97 mustang was my regular commuter and still is, come rain, snow or sunshine. Also drove a BMW 740iL and a CTS-V, all very powerful RWD vehicles, without any issues in snow. I think the RWD issues in snow are overstated but, it's your comfort level that should be the criteria. Only time I ever had a front wheel drive vehicle was when I was a student a long time ago. Personally, I dislike FWD and probably will never own one again as a personal vehicle.

My wife drives a 2011 AWD Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. For an SUV, the driving dynamics is excellent. After test driving all the SUVs, there was simply no comparison when it came to driving dynamics, build quality and the level of equipment offered for the price. Fully loaded (all options) OTD $35K. Lexus (snore), Infiniti (overpriced), BMW X5, MB (all rip-offs for half the options on the Mazda). Toyota, Honda, Acura - didn't bother. I just find them ugly and the deal with my wife was whatever she wants is fine, but not ugly. Nissan, only Armada interested us, but way to big for her use. Americans were as good or better than the japs but just couldn't match the level of equipment for the Mazda's price.

AWD SUVs are the most overrated vehicles for snow and you can see plenty of them in the ditches during winter. AWD don't stop any better than other cars on snow, they just maneuver better. I think they're worse than regular cars when it comes to stopping on snow and ice due to the added weight. Subaru's are probably the best suited AWD for snow, if that's a primary concern.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 02:45   #866
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Well, if you're willing to fork out $32K, I just priced a fully loaded V6 Mustang with almost every conceivable options (includes full performance and handling upgrades including 19" wheels) for around $34K.
if i am in $30k+ range, i would not buy a fwd vehicle be it ms3/focus ST. And i doubt i ever will get a FWD anytime soon. FWD just doesn't cut it anymore after driving RWD. It will be RWD or AWD.

I need to test drive ST, FR-S and BRZ to see how all handle. Its gonna be fun summer.
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Old 5th May 2012, 09:47   #867
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Guys.. just wanted to share- there are great deals going for Accord right now. Just closed a deal for 18k for brand new Accord for a friend last week. After taxes, license fees and other things it came to 20k.

PM me if you live in CA Bay Area and want the dealer name. But I think other dealers are offering it as well.

Maybe Honda is planning a new Accord. Just a guess.
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Old 6th May 2012, 13:33   #868
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I'm back with a question again - While I had earlier shortlisted ford escape, I also took a good look at all the family sedan options and the post 2009 Mazda6 impressed me very much with its reviews. I'd like something thats involving to drive and looks like this is a very good option. All the reviews I have read had given it a good rating vis-a-vis the competition.

One more thing I'm currently deliberating is buying new or used, especially when looking at these sedans where the price difference between new and used isn't much. If I buy new, I'd also get an option to configure one the way I want to and warranty for my purchase from manufacturer which will assure me peace of mind...

Please advice.
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Old 7th May 2012, 18:32   #869
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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One more thing I'm currently deliberating is buying new or used, especially when looking at these sedans where the price difference between new and used isn't much. If I buy new, I'd also get an option to configure one the way I want to and warranty for my purchase from manufacturer which will assure me peace of mind...

Please advice.
Of late the used car prices have shot up quite a bit. Due to recession fears and economic uncertainty, people are holding on to their older cars and the availability in the used car markets for higher fuel efficiency cars have shrunk. That is why you maybe seeing the prices of used and new cars not too different from each other. However a new Mazda 6 would cross 20k on the road, if that is in your budget. With little or no credit history, it maybe very difficult to finance that big a vehicle loan. However a 3 year old Mazda 6 may just be 12-13k (resale of Mazda is a little lower as compared to lets say a Camry/Accord). If you plan to use the car you buy for 5 years, then maybe a new car is not a bad idea. However if your stay in the US is only for a year or 2, a used car is better, any day.
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Old 7th May 2012, 23:43   #870
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
I'm back with a question again - While I had earlier shortlisted ford escape, I also took a good look at all the family sedan options and the post 2009 Mazda6 impressed me very much with its reviews. I'd like something thats involving to drive and looks like this is a very good option. All the reviews I have read had given it a good rating vis-a-vis the competition.

One more thing I'm currently deliberating is buying new or used, especially when looking at these sedans where the price difference between new and used isn't much. If I buy new, I'd also get an option to configure one the way I want to and warranty for my purchase from manufacturer which will assure me peace of mind...

Please advice.
When you land in USA and you are done with license, ssn and stuff, take a test drive of all available models and then decide. I would prefer you pick up the car that fits your requirement and what you like. Don't be influenced by reviews online. I have seen many which are not even partially correct. So while mazda6 is a really good option, there are better cars in market too. Who knows when you drive it, it may not fit your requirement which may appear good online or on paper. It could be other way around too.

Scribble down your options. Look up on edmunds and kbb.com for their values and make an excel sheet of models, years and price. When you are here, you will have clear idea of what cars you wanna test and what to look for in those. That will make your decision easier.

As for new/used, as Vineeth suggested. If you are here for short term, get a pre-owned car for low price. If you are here for longer term, get a new one.

Also here is what i believe in. If one is planning on getting a mid size or a entry level sedan one should get a new one instead of getting recent pre-owned one of same model. The reason is resale. Its too high and the difference doesn't make sense. For example - a brand new accord can be had for $21k OTD. If you look for a pre-owned accord - say 2009 the asking price would be $16k-$17k depending on state. IMHO, it doesn't make sense. So its best to get new one. But there are some owners who sell this cars at lower price. If you can get those deals, its a good pre-owned deal too. Example, yesterday my friend got hold of a 2002 accord(130k) for just $3900 with GPS, moon roof, alloys and stuff. Reason was that the owner was fellow Indian and he was leaving USA forever. A great deal if you ask me. The kbb and edmunds were valuing it at over $4600 and he was asking the same.

But OTOH. if you are planning on a luxury sedan say BMW/Lexus/Infiniti, you can go pre-owned and get great deals as they depreciate faster.

Hope this helps.
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