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Thread: Used car advice

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    Used car advice

    So while my little car has served me (mostly) well it is time for an upgrade. It is legally old enough to DRINK, fuel gauge doesn't work, exhaust system is fairly rusted, and the a/c doesn't work.


    I am pretty fixated on getting a maroon Chevy Impala, but I know it's smart to look at different options (and not base on color). I'd be looking for a larger sedan probably model years 2006-2009. I don't want to go over $13,000 on price. So when I put my limits in, the larger sedans that show up that I'm interested in would be the Impala, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord.

    Does anyone own these cars and what do you like/dislike about them? If you could also let me know how long you've owned them and the current mileage, that would be great! Oh, and bonus points to anyone who can tell me how they handle in snowy Midwest weather!

    If you have a suggestion for a different car that you love, let me know that too! (But please don't suggest a minicooper, Yaris, or BMW) I have a budget and definitely want a larger car. My current one is a 2-door coupe that is a PITAS to put more than 2 people or groceries in. Sorry, made the mistake of posting this question on a female-dominated forum and 90% of the suggestions ignored both budget and size so now I feel the need to add a disclaimer


    Last edited by cowgirl836; 06-18-2012 at 02:51 PM.

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    Re: Used car advice

    I own a 2007 Impala LS.

    Gas mileage is mid-20 in stop and go city and low 30's on interstate. Plenty of room (I'm 6'5") and it handled just fine in Iowa winter (driver's role>>>>>>car IMHO). Seats are comfortable for long trips (several 800+ mile non-stop other than gas trips).

    Only issue was the head gasket blowing ~24K (warranty obviously) and the interior molding and trim is GM crappy, cheap.

    I now have ~45K on it and plan to run it into the ground. I wouldn't buy a GM again just out of spite for the head gasket and political reasons but wouldn't say "don't buy an Impala".


    Last edited by ISUAgronomist; 06-18-2012 at 02:56 PM.


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    Re: Used car advice

    Ford Fusion. The official midsized sedan of Cyclone Fanatic.



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    Re: Used car advice

    Consumer Reports used car buyer's guide.

    Quality is right at the top of features I'm looking for. This magazine has done me right multiple times



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    Re: Used car advice

    Reverse?



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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUAgronomist View Post
    I own a 2007 Impala LS.

    Gas mileage is mid-20 in stop and go city and low 30's on interstate. Plenty of room (I'm 6'5") and it handled just fine in Iowa winter (driver's role>>>>>>car IMHO). Seats are comfortable for long trips (several 800+ mile non-stop other than gas trips).

    Only issue was the head gasket blowing ~24K (warranty obviously) and the interior molding and trim is GM crappy, cheap.

    I now have ~45K on it and plan to run it into the ground. I wouldn't buy a GM again just out of spite for the head gasket and political reasons but wouldn't say "don't buy an Impala".

    I agree with you on the driver's role, but I've definitely noticed that for as much as I dislike my car, it handles like a champ in the snow. Much better than my husband's Intrepid or my parent's van. I think it's because it's lighter and smaller. It plowed through some 18 inch drifts one night and it blew my mind, I was preparing to call for a tow truck!



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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by KnappShack View Post
    Consumer Reports used car buyer's guide.

    Quality is right at the top of features I'm looking for. This magazine has done me right multiple times
    Husband grabbed the new car guide from his parents yesterday....definitely need to find the used guide instead!



    And I kind of have a bias against Fords....even though the Fusion is supposed to be great. I also haven't seen any (unless they are high mileage) showing up in any of my searches. Seem to be running about $4000 higher than what we want to spend.



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    Re: Used car advice

    You can hardly go wrong in the class you are looking at, unless you just happen to get a lemon. A zillion Impalas sold and a jillion are still on the road. Go for the lowest mileage for the lowest price, making sure to compare apples to apples (loaded to loaded or base to base).



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    Re: Used car advice

    'nother DyS in the house!

    Second on the Consumer Reports. Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds also good resources. You can prioritize your criteria (mileage, durability, resale, etc.) to suit your styole.


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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bringmagicback View Post
    Ford Fusion. The official midsized sedan of Cyclone Fanatic.
    This...

    I have an '06 Fusion 2.3L 5 speed S. Both of my brothers have pretty much identical cars (one's a '07 SEL, one's a '06 Milan) but both have the same engine/transmission. We all love these cars.

    If you get a Ford certified pre-owned it comes with a 100K engine and drivetrain warranty. Mine's at 96K and runs like a top.

    With your price range I would go with an '08 or '09 or newer. They redesigned the front and back ends and made it look a lot better, not that I don't like mine.

    Great cars that can carry 5 adults comfortably and are one of the most reliable and safe cars out there.


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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Naughtius View Post
    'nother DyS in the house!

    Second on the Consumer Reports. Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds also good resources. You can prioritize your criteria (mileage, durability, resale, etc.) to suit your styole.

    Woot! Dys!

    Definitely been checking out KBB and Edmund's.



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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    You can hardly go wrong in the class you are looking at, unless you just happen to get a lemon. A zillion Impalas sold and a jillion are still on the road. Go for the lowest mileage for the lowest price, making sure to compare apples to apples (loaded to loaded or base to base).

    This is probably the best thing I've needed to hear. Recognizing this is NOT a life and death choice, and that unless we really screw up, whatever car I get will probably be just fine.

    And really, as long as it doesn't need a lead foot to stop/go, the fuel gauge & a/c work, and it gets decent mileage, I will probably be happy as a clam.



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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUAgronomist View Post
    I own a 2007 Impala LS.

    Gas mileage is mid-20 in stop and go city and low 30's on interstate. Plenty of room (I'm 6'5") and it handled just fine in Iowa winter (driver's role>>>>>>car IMHO). Seats are comfortable for long trips (several 800+ mile non-stop other than gas trips).

    Only issue was the head gasket blowing ~24K (warranty obviously) and the interior molding and trim is GM crappy, cheap.

    I now have ~45K on it and plan to run it into the ground. I wouldn't buy a GM again just out of spite for the head gasket and political reasons but wouldn't say "don't buy an Impala".
    We have a 07 Impala LS and I agree with everything he says except we didn't have a problem with the head gasket. Ours has ~60k on it, with only a steering pump at about 36,000.1 miles on it. It's a nice, roomy car that isn't really fancy. Her next one will probably be something with more creature comforts.

    Pricewise, you're probably right on point for a 4 or 5 year old one or higher miles.

    I don't trust Consumer Reports, because I feel they're biased. But then again, I feel everything is biased



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    Re: Used car advice

    Quote Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
    We have a 07 Impala LS and I agree with everything he says except we didn't have a problem with the head gasket. Ours has ~60k on it, with only a steering pump at about 36,000.1 miles on it. It's a nice, roomy car that isn't really fancy. Her next one will probably be something with more creature comforts.

    Pricewise, you're probably right on point for a 4 or 5 year old one or higher miles.

    I don't trust Consumer Reports, because I feel they're biased. But then again, I feel everything is biased
    thanks!

    and here is a pic of my current car - hence my lack of concern for 'creature comforts'....pretty much any car is going to seem like a luxury car to me now!



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    Re: Used car advice

    White '03 Impala LS here, 159,000 miles. Only non-regular items (i.e. non brakes, oil changes, and tires) I've had to replace are the head gasket around 90k, battery around 130k, and the catalytic converter around 145k. The Impala engines are pretty bulletproof (both the 3.4L you find in the base, LS, etc and the 3.6L you find in the LTZ and cop car version). There is a reason that are a zillion of these on the road.

    Size is excellent, I frequently drive to lunch with four regular sized men and it is no problem (although potentially a bit awkward for the guy who has to ride backseat feet on the hump, but that's his problem).

    Snow handling is great with a decent set of all-season tires and FWD. I'm running Hankook H727's now and they are teh awesomes.

    I've been thinking about replacing this car since about 130k but the damn thing just keeps running and I'm too cheap to give up something that I know runs great for some unknown.



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