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Old 04-23-2011, 06:13 PM   #31
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Re: Buying New Car

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Originally Posted by IslandDriver View Post
I purchased a new Mazda2 Touring last Sunday, trading in a 2002 Impreza 2.5RS sedan that got 22 mpg locally. I am happy to report that I'm currently getting 37.6 mpg in rural driving (2 lane roads, 45mph is the highest speed limit).
Thanks for the post. I've now driven the Mazda2, Mazda3, Fit, Civic, Versa, Yaris, and Fiesta. I'm currently trying to decide between the Mazda2 and the Fit. I really like the sportiness and styling of the Mazda2, but the interior is not as roomy. I like the cargo space and roominess of the Fit, and it still felt pretty sporty but I don't like the exterior styling as much as the Mazda2.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #32
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Cool Re: Buying New Car

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I am planning on financing to help build my credit, since I am young with very little credit. I could afford a $3k used car, but I would prefer a new car to help build some credit. Just curious, what kind of used cars do you have in mind?
In my experience and trained eyes, I can usually find dependable cars from early 90's that are around or below $3000.

Just last Nov, I bought my wife a 1990 Honda Accord for $2500, it had 68k mi. on it.. now it has over 84k mi. She commutes about 100 mi./day.



Around the same time I bought the accord, I also spotted a 1991 Toyota Corolla w/58k mi. for $1500:



My car is a 1994 Mazda 323, bought back in 2006 for $1600 when it had 89k mi. now it has over 123k mi.



My 1998 Mazda B2500 pickup truck was purchased in 2009, it had 107k mi. $1700.



These cars I've bought, other than regular oil changes, tire/brake replacements and consumables, have yet to require more cost in maintenance.
Personally, I've never had a car loan in my life.. lower cost for insurance.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #33
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Re: Buying New Car

If the Focus is more than you intended to put into the new car I'd recommend finding a couple Ford dealers in your area. Start negotiations with one of them then go to the other letting them know what the other dealer has offered. Negotiate a price with them then go back and forth between the two or three dealers until you have hit the rock bottom price. I've found this method to work much better on domestic vehicles than on foreign vehicles probably because of higher mark up and lower shipping costs.

In 2005 I had planned on buying a new Grand Marquis, but something came up and I never made the purchase but I used this method. The sticker price on the car was just over $25,000. When I finished negotiating I had got the price down to $15300, almost 40% off the sticker price. Each one will continue to drop their price to get your business until it's no longer going to be profitable for them. I negotiated a price for my dad back in the early '90's on a Buick Le Sabre, we got within $100 of purchasing the car and walked out, because they wouldn't come down that $100. When we got home the phone was ringing and they were willing to split the difference with us so we went back and bought the car. I found out many years ago when my brother worked for a Chevrolet dealer that there was a tremendous amount of mark up on new cars and have used it to my advantage ever since. In the 70's when my brother worked for the Chevy dealer I think the mark up on a full size Chevy was somewhere between 23 and 27%, I just don't remember the exact amount.

Many dealers now will ask what you are willing pay for a car. To start negotiations don't be afraid to start many thousand dollars below what you know they will take for it. If you start too high you'll never get a great deal. When I was looking at the Grand Marquis one dealer ask me what I was willing to pay and I said $10K, he said "get realistic", my reply was "look at your sticker price, you get realistic".
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #34
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Re: Buying New Car

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Smart move, and great starting mpg. I'll bet you could easily get 40+ mpg, even with an AT, and high 40s with MT & hypermiling techniques.
It is now up to 38.6 mpg without any driving changes. I do have the MT, and I am in 5th at about 40mph.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:19 PM   #35
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Re: Buying New Car

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Originally Posted by MCamp View Post
Thanks for the post. I've now driven the Mazda2, Mazda3, Fit, Civic, Versa, Yaris, and Fiesta. I'm currently trying to decide between the Mazda2 and the Fit. I really like the sportiness and styling of the Mazda2, but the interior is not as roomy. I like the cargo space and roominess of the Fit, and it still felt pretty sporty but I don't like the exterior styling as much as the Mazda2.
I looked at the Fit, Fiat 500 (though I can't imagine subjecting any adult to the rear seat after my GF and and I climbed into it) and read reviews on everything in roughly the same price and power range. I was actually quite avid about the Fiat Sport, my GF test drove one (she bought a Audi A3 diesel in December) about 6 weeks ago, and liked the Mazda much better when I test drove it. The Mazda is actually quieter than the Audi. She does love the A3, it gets mileage in the low 40's on the highway, mid 30's around town once the engine warms up.
I'm happy with my choice so far, my driving is usually 5-6 miles, park, and either drive another short distance, or back home. I haven't really taken my spaniels anywhere yet, (the younger one gets carsick, usually at the last turn before the destination) but a crate will easily fit in the back seat, containing the problem. T J Max had a very thoughtful pet cover that hooks around the headrest bases and makes a U shape in the rear seat.
I'd be a bit happier if the seats folded completely flat. I don't haul a lot of stuff around but have already made a recycling run, I was asked if the car was electric, it idles very quietly. It is probably the first Mazda2 on the island.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:38 PM   #36
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Re: Buying New Car

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Originally Posted by Ford Man View Post
If the Focus is more than you intended to put into the new car I'd recommend finding a couple Ford dealers in your area. Start negotiations with one of them then go to the other letting them know what the other dealer has offered. Negotiate a price with them then go back and forth between the two or three dealers until you have hit the rock bottom price. I've found this method to work much better on domestic vehicles than on foreign vehicles probably because of higher mark up and lower shipping costs.

In 2005 I had planned on buying a new Grand Marquis, but something came up and I never made the purchase but I used this method. The sticker price on the car was just over $25,000. When I finished negotiating I had got the price down to $15300, almost 40% off the sticker price. Each one will continue to drop their price to get your business until it's no longer going to be profitable for them. I negotiated a price for my dad back in the early '90's on a Buick Le Sabre, we got within $100 of purchasing the car and walked out, because they wouldn't come down that $100. When we got home the phone was ringing and they were willing to split the difference with us so we went back and bought the car. I found out many years ago when my brother worked for a Chevrolet dealer that there was a tremendous amount of mark up on new cars and have used it to my advantage ever since. In the 70's when my brother worked for the Chevy dealer I think the mark up on a full size Chevy was somewhere between 23 and 27%, I just don't remember the exact amount.

Many dealers now will ask what you are willing pay for a car. To start negotiations don't be afraid to start many thousand dollars below what you know they will take for it. If you start too high you'll never get a great deal. When I was looking at the Grand Marquis one dealer ask me what I was willing to pay and I said $10K, he said "get realistic", my reply was "look at your sticker price, you get realistic".
You also have to keep in mind what the dealers pay for the car. The panther platform cars (Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, and Town Car) paid for their tooling long ago, and make a handsome profit on every one sold. Their MSRP is $25K due to their size and class, but they don't ever sell close to that. Police departments pay in the $13s for a Crown Vic, outfitted for cop duty. The panther platform cars are on a platform that dates back to 1979, and the powertrain dates back to 1992 (The Accord has introduced 5 new powertrains since then). Their last refresher came in 1998 (when Dodge was still selling the 1st generation Intrepid). Very low tech, low-cost manufacturing.

You gotta remember what you're buying: A 13-year old car with no miles and has never been titled.

Unfortunately, the panther platform cars were the last body-on-frame cars in the U.S., and they went out of production this year. So much for the prospect of ever towing a boat with a car anymore.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:34 AM   #37
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Re: Buying New Car

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Originally Posted by IslandDriver View Post
It is now up to 38.6 mpg without any driving changes. I do have the MT, and I am in 5th at about 40mph.
Keep in mind that as your new car breaks in, its fuel economy will continually improve.

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The Mazda is actually quieter than the Audi.
You may be able to reduce interior engine noise on the Audi. The VW GTI has a noise pipe that goes from the turbo to the interior; its only job is to deliver noise to the interior for people who think noise is exciting. They may have equipped the A3 with something similar. GTI owners cap it off near the engine for a tiny enhancement to throttle response (and obviously for less noise).
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:51 PM   #38
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Re: Buying New Car

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Keep in mind that as your new car breaks in, its fuel economy will continually improve.



You may be able to reduce interior engine noise on the Audi. The VW GTI has a noise pipe that goes from the turbo to the interior; its only job is to deliver noise to the interior for people who think noise is exciting. They may have equipped the A3 with something similar. GTI owners cap it off near the engine for a tiny enhancement to throttle response (and obviously for less noise).
The average fuel economy has improved slightly over the 420 miles driven so far, from 37.3 to 38.6 mpg. I'm happy.

As far as the A3 goes, it is my girlfriend's car, I don't think it will be changed. Other than regular maintenance, she is not likely to modify anything.

She has had the Audi up in the 80mph range and 40 mpg. I'm not sure her diesel would get that kind of mileage around the island, since in similar driving in a suburban setting it gets lower mileage than the Mazda2 for the first few miles while the engine warms up.
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