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Old 14th September 2012, 06:57   #1291
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
All my cars go to Midas for oil change, filter change, tire rotation and misc stuff. For major work, i have an independent mechanic for camry. For infiniti, i prefer a specialist in Infiniti.
Midas is the only chain which has good reviews in my city too.
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Old 14th September 2012, 18:39   #1292
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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 stick to regular oil changes, there's absolutely no harm in sticking to the recommended oil - your engine will run well on it.
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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
All my cars go to Midas for oil change, filter change, tire rotation and misc stuff. For major work, i have an independent mechanic for camry. For infiniti, i prefer a specialist in Infiniti.

Most oil change + tire rotation + inspection cost me $26 at Midas. And this is for mineral oil. I always change at 3500 miles in both the cars. Mineral vs synthetic is always a debate. But what i believe is if its a pre-owned car and it ran on mineral oil most of the year, stick to it. No need to go to synthetic as it takes atleast 3-4 oil changes in order to get rid of mineral when switching to synthetic. But if its new, switching to synthetic early will do you good in long run. Again if you are keeping it for short term, why bother?
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Midas is the only chain which has good reviews in my city too.
Thanks Guys, I think I will stick with Mineral as I am pretty sure it had run most of its 60k life with mineral oil.

Will check out reviews of oil change centers & also look for Midas near my area.

I plan to change oil when the oil life indicator shows 10%-15% (that's the recommendation i got from Accord forums)

Last edited by Technocrat : 14th September 2012 at 18:40.
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:46   #1293
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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@Vasoo:

To summarize, you want a sporty family sedan that gives good mpg’s, for under $20K and which would retain resale value (or lose its value at a relatively slower rate, to say it properly).

High mpg vehicles are usually a sap to drive, so if you want a family mover with sport suspension that also has a bit of zing under the hood, then you’ll probably not get 30 mpg out of it, (although you may!)

Here’s a few recommendations from the ‘non luxury’ aisle, that have something for the driver and can yet ferry the family in comfort. Since you’ll be buying them used, the majority of the depreciation is already done. Look at these as buy for $18K-use 15Kmiles-sell for $14K type cars.

Mazda 6 V6
Nissan Maxima SE trim
Ford Fusion 3L V6
Subaru Legacy 3.6R
Toyota Camry SE V6 (The sport tuned suspension makes this drive a lot differently than its other trims).

Also, I’d recommend buying a car that is from a later year of its generation (i.e., buy a 2009/10 car from the production generation 2007-2010).

If you want luxury vehicles, then finding “low mileage (<30K)” vehicles under $20K would be a task. You would probably be looking at vehicles in the 50K Mile range if not more, for that $.

Some used luxury sedans worth a look are:

Lincoln MKZ
Buick Regal
Cadillac CTS
Infiniti G series
Acura TL, TSX (smaller sibling)
Lexus IS series (compact but pretty satisfying).

...
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Originally Posted by mazda4life View Post
Agree with others that 20 K is on the high end of spend in case your stay is around a couple of years.

I drive a Mazda CX-9 and VW Beetle 2012 edition and for your requirements I would recommend the new line of Mazda CX-5 , stunning in my opinion and you will be able to get some relatively new ones for 15 K.

It is almost perfect both a DD as well as weekend runs , can vouch for the FE as my CX-9 gives me around 23 MPG.

http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/disp...Code=CX5#/home

My other picks-

Sedan - Nissan Maxima , Sonata ( around 15 K )
SUV - Hyundai Santa Fe , KIA Sportage 2012 edition, Nissan Rogue ( > 15K and < 20K)

All the very best and hope you get a great vehicle.
Thanks for the recommendations. I am familiar with most older models as I have lived in US for 8 years during 1994-2002. For the last 10 yrs I am bit out of touch even though I keep traveling for short trips very frequently and rent cars. Now time has come for another one year stint in an unfamiliar region (North East). Hence the query. I have lived mostly in west coast earlier which has milder weather conditions. I will TD some of these cars and make a decision. Btw, I am not very keen on the usual suspects such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia etc.

Last edited by vasoo : 14th September 2012 at 22:50.
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Old 15th September 2012, 01:47   #1294
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
Thanks for the recommendations. I am familiar with most older models as I have lived in US for 8 years during 1994-2002. For the last 10 yrs I am bit out of touch even though I keep traveling for short trips very frequently and rent cars. Now time has come for another one year stint in an unfamiliar region (North East). Hence the query. I have lived mostly in west coast earlier which has milder weather conditions. I will TD some of these cars and make a decision. Btw, I am not very keen on the usual suspects such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia etc.
If you are ok with it - go for a 4wd vehicle. The tricky weather of the NE and driving in the long snowy winters are much easier with one. I was in NJ for couple of years, managed with an old FWD Mazda though.
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Old 18th September 2012, 17:33   #1295
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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 problem of having too many choices?
I'm in the same boat, If I could, I would've a garage of 10 cars . Thankfully I cannot, and so I do not. So what do you have right now? The ones in your signature?
Yes , Got bored of the mazdaspeed 3 and wanted to buy something non sporty/semi luxurious with soft ride so that I can drive it in semi sleep after being super tired.
Test drove BMW 328 F-30 rejected - the reason being if I did not wanted a sporty car/ I was giving up speed3 for the same reason.

b/w AUDI and Merc- Mercedes appeared more luxurious and the dealer treated me like a king .
Hence a white C300 with navigation and command.

P.S.- Deep down I think I always wanted a white Mercedes.
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Old 19th September 2012, 03:26   #1296
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Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
Btw, I am not very keen on the usual suspects such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia etc.
I'd suggest you try out the Mazda - they're good to drive.
Kia has totally changed it's design approach, so it's nothing like the Kia that you knew 10 years ago.

Keep us updated though.

I drove a friend's 2010 / 11 Subaru Forrester recently. It's pretty good at low revs but at higher revs the engine sounds really thrashy.

That being said it is very spacious, well equipped and a has very good ride.


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Originally Posted by dr.abhijeet View Post
Merc- Mercedes appeared more luxurious and the dealer treated me like a king .
Hence a white C300 with navigation and command.

P.S.- Deep down I think I always wanted a white Mercedes.
Congrats on the new car!

[So, did you go in for the Sport or Luxury variant? ]

I like the design and styling of the new Mercs too.
I haven't driven the new C but I do drive a 2012 E350 occasionally and even though the steering is dumb and over-boosted at low speeds, the ride is just a million times better than my 3-Series, especially on the rough NYC roads.

Jaguar's planning on coming out with a 3-Series rival soon - would love to see how that turns out and hope it isn't another disappointment like the older X-Type.
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Old 19th September 2012, 06:35   #1297
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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
I'd suggest you try out the Mazda - they're good to drive.

I drove a friend's 2010 / 11 Subaru Forrester recently. It's pretty good at low revs but at higher revs the engine sounds really thrashy.

Congrats on the new car!

[So, did you go in for the Sport or Luxury variant? ]
.
Mazdas are too good to drive for the money.
And I agree on the Subaru, My legacy is the same, very spacious but thrashy at high revs and I hate that CVT but the car proved itself in a snowstorm in Maine.

As for the Merc,I bought the sports, I liked the grille better and I did not find any difference in ride b/w Luxury and sports.
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Old 19th September 2012, 22:11   #1298
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by dr.abhijeet View Post
Mazdas are too good to drive for the money.
And I agree on the Subaru, My legacy is the same, very spacious but thrashy at high revs and I hate that CVT but the car proved itself in a snowstorm in Maine.

As for the Merc,I bought the sports, I liked the grille better and I did not find any difference in ride b/w Luxury and sports.
Can't agree more on the Subaru's! I in fact heard opinions on this very thread before I was getting my Forester about it being a tad slow etc. I could not get my hand on a XT Limited at a great price as I was one day late to visit the dealer. So I had to get the X Limited and I did not have a luxury of waiting. With the forester, another problem I see is the fact that it is a 4 speed. Other than that, all good. Comfortable, spacious, practical, awesome visibility out of the car, all weather prowess etc. If you live in very undulating terrain, the turbo forester with the manual may be an even better bet.
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Old 19th September 2012, 22:29   #1299
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I always felt that Subarus and Mitsubishis have thrashy engines especially, at higher rpms. Same complaint I had for earlier Chrysler engines too. Don't know if this still holds true. Spoiled the whole driving experience for me. My 2 cents.

Like I mentioned before, posting a picture of the car we're discussing will really help give a visual for all the participants in the forum who otherwise, will have to spend a bunch of time on the web finding out.
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Old 20th September 2012, 22:00   #1300
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I used to love a Mitsu Galant I owned in early 2000s. The engine was quite rev happy even though a bit loud at higher rpms. It was definitely an FTD compared to the Corolla and Camry. Not driven them since then. I tried Mazda 3 and 6 during that time and they were pretty boring. Kias and Hyundais were still finding its feet in the US market then. I never liked corolla and camry whenever I rent them until 2011. Acura and Infiniti are still my preferred brands. Even though they claim Acuras are souped up Hondas, I find them pretty different in its behavior.

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Old 20th September 2012, 23:36   #1301
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Originally Posted by vasoo
I never liked corolla and camry whenever I rent them until 2011. Acura and Infiniti are still my preferred brands. Even though they claim Acuras are souped up Hondas, I find them pretty different in its behavior.
Rental cars usually come in the lowest spec or a separate fleet trim, so they don't really give a good impression of what you might actuallly buy.

They're the same company.
For a while the Euro Accord was sold here as the Acura TSX.
The US Accord was designed for this market - that's why the difference.

Ofcourse, Acura, Infiniti & Lexus being luxury derivatives have that extra equipment compared to their standard counterparts to increase desirability.
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Old 21st September 2012, 09:53   #1302
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Originally Posted by vasoo
I used to love a Mitsu Galant I owned in early 2000s. The engine was quite rev happy even though a bit loud at higher rpms. It was definitely an FTD compared to the Corolla and Camry. Not driven them since then. I tried Mazda 3 and 6 during that time and they were pretty boring. Kias and Hyundais were still finding its feet in the US market then. I never liked corolla and camry whenever I rent them until 2011. Acura and Infiniti are still my preferred brands. Even though they claim Acuras are souped up Hondas, I find them pretty different in its behavior.
Quite surprised that you found Mazda s boring to drive. They have patchy reliability , may rust but I think quite fun to drive and more so the early 2000s. But to each his own.
I agree on the Camry / corolla comment, I never test drove them when I was in the market to buy as they were very boring rentals . I can't get over the new Acura teeth though.
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Old 21st September 2012, 19:41   #1303
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Quite surprised that you found Mazda s boring to drive.
I'm surprised by that too. Of course I think the fun to drive must be when you try to find the limits of the car and Mazda's limits are higher than standard for mainstream compacts and midsizes (hell, even their CUVs). I would take a Mazda 6/3 for a rental anyday over a Camry/Corolla.
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Old 30th September 2012, 04:36   #1304
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This is slightly off topic but do you guys have any preferences for gas stations? Like chevron vs shell vs costco etc?
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Old 30th September 2012, 08:33   #1305
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This is slightly off topic but do you guys have any preferences for gas stations? Like chevron vs shell vs costco etc?
I read somewhere that all gas in US is produced by few major oil refining companies and the gas from these companies are then re-branded under various names (Krogar, Sam's , Costco, Murphy, Philips, QT, RaceWay, Citgo, Pilot, Shamrock, Marathon, Texaco, Velero, Circle, Speedway, Sunoco, Swifty ....and many many more).

I have used fuel across the board, generally when using a rental car for long drives I always use apps like gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas in town . Honestly I have never felt any noticeable difference using various brands of gas, leading me to believe that all gas is basically more or less the same across the board.
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