View Full Version : New Car!

07-26-2009, 03:14 PM
I'm very happy that I bought a new car... and not really NEW, it's a 2003 Toyota Avalon. (No real accountant would buy new.) Looks and runs great! So I went from American (Buick) to foreign.

Not sure if anyone else has been contemplating a new car... but dealerships seem to be doing pretty OK, despite the economy. RI is the second worst in the nation, behind Michigan, and I'd say the dealerships seemed pretty busy. Not bad at all!

Anyone else make any big personal purchases recently?

07-26-2009, 05:06 PM
Congrats on the new to you car.

My last big purchase was the townhouse I'm living in. That's already going back to the end of last year, but the economy did play a part in my decision. With housing prices and interest rates so low it seemed like a good time to buy.

A new (to me) car will be the next big purchase most likely, but I think I'm a year or two away from it.

07-26-2009, 08:44 PM
I think that similar sentiments on the Car dealership industry is here in Australia as well. Yes there has been a definite drop in money being spent. Or so it seems. However i read an article a few weeks ago about one of the BMW dealers in Australia who were experiencing their best sales period.

I suppose the interesting question would be is if more people are buying new or used cars, and if they are actually buying or leasing.

Dan Furman
07-26-2009, 10:34 PM
We're getting a new roof, siding, and the bathroom redone. Coming out of our "we're going to move" fund, because we're not going to move anymore. So we figured we'd put the $$ back into our home.

07-27-2009, 08:35 AM
I bought a new condo last year, for much the same reasons Vangogh did. Lately I've been wanting a new car, but I can't bring myself to spend the money yet. My old car is paid off and still looks and runs fine, so I'm not quite ready to trade it in.

07-27-2009, 11:50 PM
We'll be doing the new-to-me car thing soon. My Explorer has 180k miles on it, a check engine light and an ABS light that won't go out, the drivers door doesn't lock anymore, one of the rear doors won't open from the inside because the handle is broken and there is some pretty obvious rust in one of the rear fenders and inside one of the doors. The seal on the back window has come loose, the back windshield wiper doesn't work anymore and the 4WD is making a funny sound if you engage it but the truck still runs good and doesn't really look that bad - except for that one fender, so hopefully I can get another year out of it! I don't HAVE to drive in bad weather anymore so the 4WD shouldn't be an issue this winter.

We'll probably buy a different house next year too but we should have 40 to 50 thousand dollar equity in our house (even with the "bad" economy) when we go to sell it so that should help us with the down-payment. In the meantime we're spending a little money and doing a bit of bartering to get the house fixed up and ready to sell.

Right now we owe my grandma a bit of money and other than that and our house have no debt and we plan to keep it that way so we're saving to replace my SUV - we've got about $5000 saved right now - if the truck can last until we sell the house and get ready to move we'll probably just put 20% down on a bigger house (we're looking at houses in the $100k to $130k range) and keep the rest of our equity to replace my SUV, do any improvements we want to do right away at the new house and pay my grandma off then put any money that's left into paying off the new mortgage a little faster.

Business Attorney
07-27-2009, 11:59 PM
We're getting a new roof, siding, and the bathroom redone.

That's on tap for me, too. We need a new roof, new electrical service and need to completely gut and redo 3.5 bathrooms. That, and out-of-state college tuition (and two more kids in high school to send to college) are all the big purchases I can take on right now.

Dan Furman
07-28-2009, 12:11 AM
new electrical service

Did this last year. Went from 100amp to 200amp. Worth every penny.

07-30-2009, 07:59 AM
Congratulations on the new car.

Good choice picking a brand name thats not bankrupt!!!

I Sued GM on my last new Chevy Avalanche and got $15,000 and got to keep my lemon

on my 3rd new Toyota...having lots of problems too!..48,000 miles (tires went at 18,000 - rims peeled(now replaced) - leather seat cracked at 30,000 - radio went - power back door problems - i know there were atleast 2 other problems also)

Im considering Honda on my next one...

Toyota Engines will go 200,000 easy w/o problems ...my current chevy work van was purchased w/ 40,000 miles and burns a quart of oil every 3,000....my last Toyota pickup didnt burn any oil and was sold at 180,000

I feel the materials Toyota uses are very cheap...paint seems to chip easier, doors are very light, metal seems thinner, plastic materials inside scratch easy and are flimsy...for the extra money they charge the quality of materials should be better.

Im only sorta knocking Toyota here...My Minivan is a partial lemon, but my old pickup truck only had ONE repair in 180,000 miles. I may buy Toyota again...hopefully ill be able to go Lexus or Acura....hmmmmmm

07-31-2009, 04:42 PM
Congrats on the new car! I'm personally glad to not be shopping for a new one though. Since I have a Pontiac Bonneville and a Saturn, I am certainly thrilled that GM is dropping both. Of course, that is sarcasm. Seriously, I am extremely pleased with both. Mine are older, but well made and both are like new yet. The Bonneville is a 1999 and still looks great and drives like a new car. GM finally started making some decent vehicles in the 90's (some of them anyway), but later reverted back to being almost as incompetent as they were in the late 70's and all through the 80's.

Many of the GM woes were self inflicted IMO. Take the Bonneville for example. From the 1992 redesign through the 1999 like I have, they made an excellent product. Then in 2000, they redesigned it again. I won't argue the looks of the redesign because I liked the looks, but the other changes made proved to be unpopular and led to Pontiac dropping the Bonneville just short of their 50 year anniversary. What a shame!

Is it any wonder that Pontiac went to the chopping block? Cars like the G6, c'mon. With their line-up over the past few years, it was a disaster waiting to happen. Even though the Grand Prix was still nice, it couldn't save the brand. The G8 finally seems like another good car (name stinks though), but it came too late.

Maybe I'm being harsh, but I like my Pontiac, and now because so many people made foolish decisions, the dealerships to get service are closing. GM had the ability to engineer and produce a superior product, but they squandered it. One of the factors that led to my purchase of a Bonneville is that I test drove older ones to see how they felt with high mileage. I could barely tell the difference from a brand new one. Mine has 111k and still feels new! I seriously doubt GM will be able to continue that legacy.

When the time does come for me to buy a new car, I hope there will be something worth buying. I'm not at all impressed with Toyota. Just the bland looks are a turn-off for me. I know I'm a car snob, but if I'm gonna spend that much money, I need to like the way it looks. Very few car companies have the ability to really design a nice looking car, and most of the nice looking ones are just nice looking junk.

Just the opinion of a car buff who too often gets underwhelmed, for what it's worth.

08-01-2009, 02:33 PM
I also just changed my car last year, I went from a Ford Fiesta to an 05 Audi A4, that was a hell of a change, but definitely a good one. Its due a new timing belt though, so that will be my next major purchase, ive been quoted £300 for a new one, assuming just the belt needs changed.

I am also considering purchasing a new PC in the next few months, my current desktop is getting a bit long in the tooth, besides I could do with a server.

No plans to purchase a house any time soon, although I will need to one day so have a deposit saved up ready. blessed: I nearly choked when I read your post, $100k wont get you a one bedroom flat around here - the 2 bedroom flat I am in now is about $233k, a house would set you back $500k. That's the downside of Aberdeen, mind you even elsewhere in the country a house would set you back at least double what you quoted.

Is that price about average for your side of the pond?

08-01-2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks everyone. :-)

My first car was a 94 Pontiac Bonneville, and I loved it. My biggest issue was paint chipping, but I totaled it in 2005 after hydroplaning. That was tough to move on. I moved "up" to a 99 Buick Park Avenue, and that car was excellent. Fully loaded, and pretty advanced for its time. It started developing issues over time, and bundled together it was well worth the change. My 03 now lacks a lot of features that I used to have -- and it's hard having "nothing". No more auto-dimming rear-view and side-view mirror, automatic speed-adjusting windshield wipers, stats on lots of things with my car (fuel economy, when oil needs to be changed, etc., etc.). So while I did go foreign this time, I do hope GM gets their act together.

I'm glad to see so many people "cashed" in on the "Cash for Clunkers" program. It apparently was very successful and went quicker than the government anticipated.

Luckily I haven't had any issues with the Toyota, but anytime you see product reviews of anything, those that experience problems have problems with EVERYTHING in the product. Nothing is worse than a lemon.

08-01-2009, 10:24 PM
I drive about 20 miles a week. Fixer upper house so Home Depot and the grocery store. Ahhh, maybe the liquor store as well. I bought a damaged Ford Ranger in 2002 ish when I needed to move some stuff for $1700 dollars, a broken odemeter at over 100k miles, bashed in passenger door etc.

It turned into a vehicle that wouldn't die. I drove it a lot until 2 years ago and after that just to the store and back. My only vehicle, but I can't justify a BMW to drive to the grocery store.

So my Ford Ranger died a couple of weeks ago. Because of the body damage etc it wasn't worth fixing - $800 in repairs on a $600 vehicle with no guarentee of success didn't make sense. So I just bought a new 94 Ranger. Same year, a few differences and in a lot better shape for a 15 yo vehicle.

I actually like having an ugly vehicle and daring people to run their shopping carts into it. Not literally, but having had nice cars in the past, it's kind of nice not to care.

If I drove a lot, say covering a state as a sales guy I'd drive something nice on the road. Either a Porche of which I've had a couple. Or a BMW which is a 4 seat sports car. The Germans just plain make quality cars.Rarely have problems, but get a second on your house if you do.

The other thing that kills me - My wife was looking at cars and really wanted the one with 33mpg over 21mpg. She drives 15k mi on average per year. the break even was 5 years and I don't see her going 5 years on the same vehicle. Paying top dollar for good economy made no sense unless you want to be green. Point is, how many people do the math?

08-01-2009, 10:32 PM
Toyota Prius's are reasonable, relatively, for their fuel economy and capabilities. I can sorta fit in one of those, as a front-seat passenger. Wouldn't want to drive it... not at 6'9".

08-02-2009, 09:03 AM
super small cars can get good milage but what happens when a suburban crosses the center line in front of you?

you saved $200 in gasoline this year...wow....it can say that on your tombstone...

small cars are dangerous....i did read somewhere about how the Prius had the quickest payback of all the Hibreds

08-02-2009, 03:40 PM
Prius's are not that small. And you're assuming that there aren't any safety features. The odds of surviving at any head-on collision are severely reduced.

And what happens with your suburban when it's an 18 wheeler thats on your side of the road? Same result. No amount of "protection" will shield you with the realities of driving.

Prius has about 48 MPG on the highway and 50 in the city...

08-02-2009, 06:24 PM
As a general rule, modern cars are the safest ever built (of course there are exceptions). They look horrible after an accident because they design the cars to "crumple" and absorb more impact, so your chances of surviving are better than the old days where you were the one absorbing the impact instead of the car.

What's ironic to me is they spend all those years making cars safer and the SUV's skate around the standards so they stink on safety. You may feel safer in the big tanks, but that's usually a false sense of security.

I certainly wouldn't want a compact car, but the idea that bigger is safer just isn't true.

08-06-2009, 05:41 PM
No plans to purchase a house any time soon, although I will need to one day so have a deposit saved up ready. blessed: I nearly choked when I read your post, $100k wont get you a one bedroom flat around here - the 2 bedroom flat I am in now is about $233k, a house would set you back $500k. That's the downside of Aberdeen, mind you even elsewhere in the country a house would set you back at least double what you quoted.

Is that price about average for your side of the pond?

In my part of the country right now - we can get a 1600 or so square foot 3 bedroom house on a basement in a decent part of town for $100-130K pretty easily. That certainly isn't the case in lots of other parts of the country!

08-06-2009, 05:51 PM
As a general rule, modern cars are the safest ever built (of course there are exceptions). They look horrible after an accident because they design the cars to "crumple" and absorb more impact, so your chances of surviving are better than the old days where you were the one absorbing the impact instead of the car.

Right now my Dad has an 83 Jaguar - 4 door sedan. It's probably the safest car anyone in the family owns. One of my sisters was clipped by another driver and lost control of the car and ended up spinning across I-15 in southern California, in rush hour traffic, on a holiday weekend three or four times and finally stopped when she smashed into the front drivers side wheel/fender of an F-350 Diesel, pulling a camper up the pass. She was able to drive the car home and just suffered a bit of whiplash, her dog was a bit traumatized too. The bumper absorbed most of the impact of both collisions and one of the mounts broke, but the other one held. Damage to one of the front fenders and headlight assembly and the hood. Daddy was able to pick up another Jag - same year, color and model that had a blown motor to replace the broken pieces with. He saved all the useable stuff and scrapped the rest.

She was really, really, really lucky - God was definitely looking out for her since all the other drivers were able to avoid hitting her and if she had not hit the truck she would have gone over the cliff since there wasn't a guardrail there. But - the car did a great job of keeping her safe too. I told my Dad that he needs to keep it in running condition so that when my kids are old enough to drive they can have it to start driving :)

08-07-2009, 06:20 PM
My wife and I bought a 1500~ sq. ft townhome back in April for C$219K (taxes included); it hasn't even been built yet and the value has gone up $10K. Plus it's right on Lake Ontario too. Not too shabby if you ask me.

I'm buying my Saturn at the end of the lease in September. 800KMs per tank (roughly 43~ litres)? Sign me up. It's an Ion II (no longer made) and a standard transmission.

I will never go back to automatic. Never. If, by some strike of weird fate I do, then you can quote me on this and I'll gladly eat the user's manual on camera.


08-10-2009, 12:20 PM
I will never go back to automatic. Never.

Amen. I don't mind an automatic in a car like my Bonneville, but I have long said there are two kinds of vehicles that I would refuse to buy with automatic transmissions: pickup trucks and sports cars. It totally defeats the purpose of having either one if they are automatic.

With smaller cars, I totally prefer manual. My Saturn is 5 Speed manual. With a 1.9L engine, I wouldn't be able to stand driving it as an automatic. With manual transmission, it at least has some guts.

08-10-2009, 12:56 PM
You drive a Saturn too? What model do you drive? I'm disappointed they stopped making the Ions, however the Aura looks pretty decent (saw one in the display room and I have to say, I likey).

But I've found my dream car, and that's a new Jag.



08-10-2009, 06:21 PM
You drive a Saturn too? What model do you drive?

The original. It's just called a Saturn. It's a 1994 but it looks and drives like new yet. It's been very well maintained, and for something 15 years old, it's low miles at only 131k.

It's really just our "scoot around" car. If it weren't for my daughter driving it, it wouldn't get used that much. My wife and I don't use it much, so before my daughter started driving, we probably didn't put much over 3 or 4 thousand miles a year. In fact, it was 5 years ago when it crossed the 100,000 mile mark, and most of the 31,000 since then has been in the last couple years.

08-11-2009, 07:41 PM
Wow. I bow to thine vehicle of virgin proportions.

Mine just crossed over the 100,000 KM mark; had a good ol' $269 repair bill on it today to:

1) change the oil,
2) Rotate the tires, and
3) Fix the latch on my hood.

My hood wouldn't latch properly when shut. I had a huge risk of it flying up on me should I be doing high-speed driving on the Hwy 401. Since the wifey and I are off to Ottawa this Friday for a trip, it wouldn't be a good thing to occur should the hood decide to just pop up like that. The only thing holding it down was the manual latch you release once it's been popped. That was it.

But 800 clicks per tank ain't bad at all. If I wasn't so much of a prude I'd hug my car every evening. Just complete body to carbody love.

I love you, Saturn *hugs*


08-12-2009, 12:17 PM
I've done very well with mine too. I got it a little less than 6 years ago from my wife's sister and brother-in-law. She bought it new so I know the history of the car. We got it at 98,000, and other than gas, oil, and wiper blades, our only repair bills so far have been front brakes, new battery, new exhaust system, and a set of new tires. Not bad at all for almost 6 years.