Hey! Wanna help me buy a car?

Bellesfleurs

New Member
Location
Atlanta, GA, USA
No, silly, not financial help. Unless, of course you really want to. :) Nope, what I'm looking for is some ADVICE, some ideas on what to shop for.

I'm driving an ancient SUV that's always been too big for me (it was my husband's car). It's a 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer with 230,000 plus miles on it. It still drives pretty good but I'm sick and tired of how I have to get into it: Stand on tippy toes, throw half my butt up on the seat, use the steering wheel to pull all the rest of myself in, settle down a bit and affix seat belt, pull the door closed. And to get out, I have to slowly stretch one tippy toe to the pavement, then ease/slide out while holding onto the top of the open door.

I want a smallish sedan (4 door) no older than 2015 (and probably more like 2016 - 2018) that'll fit in my garage. That stupid SUV won't.

I want:
* wonderful and adjustable lumbar support,
* feet perpendicular to the floor when I'm in it driving
* easy to get into & out of (see below)
* a large enough trunk for my rollator to fit in easily
* a pretty color would be nice
* great mileage
* LOW mileage (50,000-ish?)
* one owner, no accidents
* fun to drive - IOW, a little zip to it (unlike me)

I think all of these are negotiable, depending. IOW, if I get everything but one owner, it might work. Or most everything but higher mileage. Etc.

I had my heart set on a Jetta because I owned and loved one in the 1990s. So I called a dealer and went to test drive a 2017 Jetta. Oh my! I couldn't get into or out of that thing without hurting myself. I'm 5'3" - why the H should I be hitting my head on the door just getting into it? Seriously, that makes no sense. When I opened the door to get out, there was so much stuff (looked like various types of levers or other things) between the seat and the door opening that my legs wouldn't stretch that far so my feet could find pavement to get out on! Wild. And if all that wasn't bad enough, the darn thing was actually a bit longer than my SUV so wasn't an answer to my desire to have my "new" car fit into the garage. This Jetta was 13' long - 2 or more feet too long. Unbelievable.

So, I guess I need to start looking at Hondas, Toyotas? What else? I've been told Kia and Hundai are much better quality cars than they used to be. I'd really like a car with a little style and class - not high end, just high taste. :D

So -- whadyall think? Any ideas? Advice? I've thought about electric hybrid but TBH, I'm not sure I'm up to dealing with a new technology so dropped that idea for now.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Gaer

"Angel whisperer"
Well, I bought mine online. They delivered it from Colorado.
Start looking at some used car dealers online.
Gradually, you'll start eliminating what you DON'T want.
After a while, You'll decide on what you DO want.
Isolate the year and model you want.
Pay attention to the mileage , the year and the price. Are you paying cash?
If not, Pay attention to the interest rate on a loan.
Vehicles older than 2012 may have problems.
Call the dealerships and ask a lot of questions. Do you need a 4wd?
This is time consuming. Try to find dealerships close by your home.
Make sure it's been checked well by a licensed mechanic.

Good luck!
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
Well, I bought mine online. They delivered it from Colorado.
Start looking at some used car dealers online.
Gradually, you'll start eliminating what you DON'T want.
After a while, You'll decide on what you DO want.
Isolate the year and model you want.
Pay attention to the mileage , the year and the price. Are you paying cash?
If not, Pay attention to the interest rate on a loan.
Vehicles older than 2012 may have problems.
Call the dealerships and ask a lot of questions. Do you need a 4wd?
This is time consuming. Try to find dealerships close by your home.
Make sure it's been checked well by a licensed mechanic.

Good luck!
I notice they make it easy to buy online now but don't you have to sit in the car, get a feel for it and see how comfortable (or not) it is? Do you go to dealers and try out the models before purchasing online? I think there are websites that have information on potential purchases, including what to be aware (wary) of. I don't know if Kelly's Blue Book is one.
 

Gaer

"Angel whisperer"
I notice they make it easy to buy online now but don't you have to sit in the car, get a feel for it and see how comfortable (or not) it is? Do you go to dealers and try out the models before purchasing online? I think there are websites that have information on potential purchases, including what to be aware (wary) of. I don't know if Kelly's Blue Book is one.
I WISH I could have done that, but where I live is nowhere near a city.
Absolutely, If you have the opportunity to sit in it and get the feel of it, drive it, YES! DO IT!
I didn't have that opportunity. My old vehicle could not be trusted to go very far.
I didn't want to drive 500 miles to a city and not be able to get home.
Yes, I had to trust the salespeople over the phone!
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
I WISH I could have done that, but where I live is nowhere near a city.
Absolutely, If you have the opportunity to sit in it and get the feel of it, drive it, YES! DO IT!
I didn't have that opportunity. My old vehicle could not be trusted to go very far.
I didn't want to drive 500 miles to a city and not be able to get home.
Yes, I had to trust the salespeople over the phone!
Well I hope you liked and are comfortable in whatever you purchases. What make and model is it BTW?
 

mrstime

Member
Location
BC,Canada
DH says be sure it is easy to get in and out of. In the past 25 years we owned a Honda CRV, loved it until we bought our Toyota Sienna easily the most comfortable car we have ever owned.
 

win231

Well-known Member
Location
CA
I've had my Honda Accord Hybrid for over a year. Love it.
Even Honda's basic gas Accord has lots of extras.
 

Manatee

Well-known Member
Location
Florida
You want to try that rollator in the trunk before you buy. My wife's is a real PITA to load in the trunk of our Chrysler 200.
In your situation I would look for a Toyota RAV4 or a Honda CRV. They are not sedans, but they offer a lot more flexibility.
 

senior chef

Member
Late model Toyotas are hard to beat for gas mileage and reliability. Also much cheaper to repair, should it have a problem in the future.
If you buy from a dealer, just keep in mind that the ASKING price is NOT the price they would come down to. Whatever price they quote you, subtract 25% and offer that. Stick to YOUR offer. You can always go to another dealer. The sales person is NOT your friend. He/she is there to gouge you.
OH yeah, absolutely DO NOT trade-in your current car to a dealer. No sense getting ripped off TWICE. Sell it to a private party.
edit to add: insist on a guarantee. It's normal for a car to have 10K miles/year of age. BE fussy. Be a pain in their neck. Don't tell them a single thing about if you are financing or not .
 
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Gaer

"Angel whisperer"
Yes, i put my old car out by my front gate with a for sale sign and phone number. In 20 minutes I had nine calls on it and it was sold !
The man said "oh. I only have this much money with me."
I said,
"Well, Look in your other pocket! Otherwise, no deal!"
Hm-m! He DID have the rest of the cash in his "other pocket!"
 

senior chef

Member
So many Things to tell you.
keep a poker face. Even if you absolutely love a particular car, never let the salesperson know that. Say something like ,"Well maaaaybe.
Take a GF with you for moral support. Have her be the one to say, "I thought you said you liked that blue Nissan at such and such a dealership ?

If possible , buy on a rainy day OR on the last few days of the month. Better deals then.
Remember, a dealer would obviously like to make a profit of 2,500 on a particular car, BUT when all is said and done, the dealer will accept a profit of $200-300.

If sales will not accept your bid, walk away, BUT leave your phone number and tell salesperson to call you if they change their minds.

Shop. Shop. Shop.
Take a legal pad with you and write down the type, year, mileage, color, location and price of every car you are interested in. Keep referring back to that list.
 

terry123

Well-known Member
Location
Houston, Tx.
Late model Toyotas are hard to beat for gas mileage and reliability. Also much cheaper to repair, should it have a problem in the future.
If you buy from a dealer, just keep in mind that the ASKING price is NOT the price they would come down to. Whatever price they quote you, subtract 25% and offer that. Stick to YOUR offer. You can always go to another dealer. The sales person is NOT your friend. He/she is there to gouge you.
OH yeah, absolutely DO NOT trade-in your current car to a dealer. No sense getting ripped off TWICE. Sell it to a private party.
edit to add: insist on a guarantee. It's normal for a car to have 10K miles/year of age. BE fussy. Be a pain in their neck. Don't tell them a single thing about if you are financing or not .
You are exactly right. I worked at dealerships for years and agree on all points!
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
I suggest you look into the smaller SUVs. Much easier to get into than sedans! Toyotas, Kia and Hyundai are quite reliable. I tend to stay away from Honda. Some of their models have issues with certain years. The most reliable all-around model they make is the Accord.

And that tip on your rollator fitting in easily is important. An SUV will have a trunk area that is a good height for "slide in, slide out". Not having to bend over and lift/stow an item makes life MUCH easier! I would never buy a sedan again for that one reason.

Used cars are in short supply and the prices are running 10-30% higher than pre-pandemic. I would suggest you do as much research as possible beforehand, sit in and test drive at least a few models, and then get your financing in order. When you find the "perfect" used car, you will probably have to jump on it immediately. A friend just sold her 2010 Ford Fusion with 70K miles -- she had 3 offers within the first 2 hours of listing it.

Also, if you are getting a used car in the 2016-2018 years, be SURE to test the infotainment system. Many of the early infotainment systems in that period were clunky and hard to use by today's standards. We are talking 'hard to adjust interior temps / turn on AC / and/or change the radio station' type of klutziness from some of those early systems.

Even today the Toyota, Subaru, and Honda infotainment systems lag well behind Kia/Hyundai in ease of use. My 2017 Ford Edge with the Sync3 system is much easier to use than many of its competition from that year. It was one of the major reasons I bought this model/year. My neighbor just bought a new 2021 Hyundai Kona, and its infotainment system blows mine away - incredibly easy to use with great voice recognition.

Oh, one last thought - since all the infotainment systems have a GPS navigation system, ask how much it costs to update the maps. Some companies charge hundreds of $$$ to update maps, which is ridiculous. Not all 2016-2018 cars had Apple and Android connectivity to enable you to use your cellphone for GPS and traffic updates. My Edge's CD map update is only $70.

Good luck!
 

Lewkat

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey, USA
Take a look at the certified pre owned Subarus, Toyotas and Kias. We've owned all three and they are terrific. If you can get a Prius it's a great economic car. A little drag in speeding up due to its being a hybrid, but not enough to prevent a person from getting one. Most of these vehicles have lots of bells and whistles on them.
 

dseag2

New Member
No, silly, not financial help. Unless, of course you really want to. :) Nope, what I'm looking for is some ADVICE, some ideas on what to shop for.

I'm driving an ancient SUV that's always been too big for me (it was my husband's car). It's a 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer with 230,000 plus miles on it. It still drives pretty good but I'm sick and tired of how I have to get into it: Stand on tippy toes, throw half my butt up on the seat, use the steering wheel to pull all the rest of myself in, settle down a bit and affix seat belt, pull the door closed. And to get out, I have to slowly stretch one tippy toe to the pavement, then ease/slide out while holding onto the top of the open door.

I want a smallish sedan (4 door) no older than 2015 (and probably more like 2016 - 2018) that'll fit in my garage. That stupid SUV won't.

I want:
* wonderful and adjustable lumbar support,
* feet perpendicular to the floor when I'm in it driving
* easy to get into & out of (see below)
* a large enough trunk for my rollator to fit in easily
* a pretty color would be nice
* great mileage
* LOW mileage (50,000-ish?)
* one owner, no accidents
* fun to drive - IOW, a little zip to it (unlike me)

I think all of these are negotiable, depending. IOW, if I get everything but one owner, it might work. Or most everything but higher mileage. Etc.

I had my heart set on a Jetta because I owned and loved one in the 1990s. So I called a dealer and went to test drive a 2017 Jetta. Oh my! I couldn't get into or out of that thing without hurting myself. I'm 5'3" - why the H should I be hitting my head on the door just getting into it? Seriously, that makes no sense. When I opened the door to get out, there was so much stuff (looked like various types of levers or other things) between the seat and the door opening that my legs wouldn't stretch that far so my feet could find pavement to get out on! Wild. And if all that wasn't bad enough, the darn thing was actually a bit longer than my SUV so wasn't an answer to my desire to have my "new" car fit into the garage. This Jetta was 13' long - 2 or more feet too long. Unbelievable.

So, I guess I need to start looking at Hondas, Toyotas? What else? I've been told Kia and Hundai are much better quality cars than they used to be. I'd really like a car with a little style and class - not high end, just high taste. :D

So -- whadyall think? Any ideas? Advice? I've thought about electric hybrid but TBH, I'm not sure I'm up to dealing with a new technology so dropped that idea for now.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Just my opinion, but if you can continue to hold onto your current car you should. Now is absolutely the WORST time to buy a new (or used) car. There is a shortage of microchips for cars, so there are cars just sitting waiting for chips. Since new cars are are so scarce, used cars are also sky high. During my last service visit to Mazda, their lot was empty. I also just saw that prices for new and used cars have increased by 24%. Dealers are adding huge premiums to the sticker price due to supply vs. demand. If that does not concern you, go for it!

With that said, hard to go wrong with Honda, Toyota, Kia or Hyundai. Great products. Maybe you can get a better price on a sedan since SUVs are all the rage these days.
 

Michael Z

New Member
I am a Toyota guy all the way.

As far as buying a used car. Stay clear of Used Car Lots unless you know for sure that they have a shop to do repairs on cars they obtain. Typically, used lots get cars at auction that new dealers get rid of. Then they sell without doing any repairs. A new car dealer, on the other hand, generally (but not always) inspects the car and does repairs and puts on new tires. A new car dealer may even provide a limited warranty on a used vehicle they sell. A new dealer will cost you a bit more, but it is worth it. New dealers generally do not like to be selling junk, although there are exceptions. I have only dealt with one above-board used dealer in my life that inspected and repaired all his vehicles - they rest were shams. And I have dealt with a few new-dealers that tried to pawn off used cars that needed repairs.
 
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Manatee

Well-known Member
Location
Florida
We bought our car 6 years ago, I looked online to find one that I liked. That way I avoided driving all over the area looking on car lots. I found a nice blue one with only 13000 miles on it. It was down in Sarasota, 60 some miles away, but we drove directly there, liked it and bought it.
 

Alizerine

New Member
No, silly, not financial help. Unless, of course you really want to. :) Nope, what I'm looking for is some ADVICE, some ideas on what to shop for.

I'm driving an ancient SUV that's always been too big for me (it was my husband's car). It's a 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer with 230,000 plus miles on it. It still drives pretty good but I'm sick and tired of how I have to get into it: Stand on tippy toes, throw half my butt up on the seat, use the steering wheel to pull all the rest of myself in, settle down a bit and affix seat belt, pull the door closed. And to get out, I have to slowly stretch one tippy toe to the pavement, then ease/slide out while holding onto the top of the open door.

I want a smallish sedan (4 door) no older than 2015 (and probably more like 2016 - 2018) that'll fit in my garage. That stupid SUV won't.

I want:
* wonderful and adjustable lumbar support,
* feet perpendicular to the floor when I'm in it driving
* easy to get into & out of (see below)
* a large enough trunk for my rollator to fit in easily
* a pretty color would be nice
* great mileage
* LOW mileage (50,000-ish?)
* one owner, no accidents
* fun to drive - IOW, a little zip to it (unlike me)

I think all of these are negotiable, depending. IOW, if I get everything but one owner, it might work. Or most everything but higher mileage. Etc.

I had my heart set on a Jetta because I owned and loved one in the 1990s. So I called a dealer and went to test drive a 2017 Jetta. Oh my! I couldn't get into or out of that thing without hurting myself. I'm 5'3" - why the H should I be hitting my head on the door just getting into it? Seriously, that makes no sense. When I opened the door to get out, there was so much stuff (looked like various types of levers or other things) between the seat and the door opening that my legs wouldn't stretch that far so my feet could find pavement to get out on! Wild. And if all that wasn't bad enough, the darn thing was actually a bit longer than my SUV so wasn't an answer to my desire to have my "new" car fit into the garage. This Jetta was 13' long - 2 or more feet too long. Unbelievable.

So, I guess I need to start looking at Hondas, Toyotas? What else? I've been told Kia and Hundai are much better quality cars than they used to be. I'd really like a car with a little style and class - not high end, just high taste. :D

So -- whadyall think? Any ideas? Advice? I've thought about electric hybrid but TBH, I'm not sure I'm up to dealing with a new technology so dropped that idea for now.

Thanks in advance for your help.
I bought a Honda Fit Sport. It is small, fun to drive, easy to park, good on gas and the rear seats fold down for extra hauling. My last car was a Toyota Matrix, pretty cool but I don't think they make them any more.
 


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