Cars: Lease or Buy

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I hate the Toyota Yaris we got our daughter, but it doesn't quite fit the specs Ed listed anyway.

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Monday, 30 April 2012 14:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Civic would be great, no hatchback in the US. Insight has been OK when I got one on zip car, but if and Insight why not go the whole hog and get a Prius. Don't get so much of the benefit of having a hybrid when its all highway driving (highway milage is good all the same).

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 30 April 2012 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Kia Forte 5 is at the top of my list when I go car shopping at some point in the next 2 years. I've already test-driven one and it's delightful. Kia and Hyundai both are about halfway to displacing Toyota and Honda at the Asian leaders in the US car market, and the reliability and quality of them has gotten so much better in recent years.

Anyway, this is my two cents...

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 05:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have a 2002 Mazda Protege5 hatchback that I like, it's the equivalent to the 3 they sell now, but I think the engine is even larger now (2.5 l vs. my 2.0 l). I get about 24 mpg around town and 30 on the highway, so I doubt the current 3 will get 35 on the highway. Mazda has a "2" model now, maybe look into that one. A co-worker has a Honda Fit that he likes.

And small Asian cars are still made in their native countries as far as I know, it's the big ones thay make here (SUVs, Toyota Avalon, etc).

nickn, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 06:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Two brand new inexpensive cars I'm liking at the moment are...

2013 Dodge Dart - it's called a Dodge, but really it's an Alfa Romeo Giulietta chassis/suspension set-up. I heart the Alfas quite a bit, and it seems that Fiat didn't allow Chrysler group to screw it up. There's a lot included for the price, but I'm wondering how fit & finish will age over time. One thing I've never liked about Toyotas and Nissans is that after a couple years of average use, the interiors just look like rentals cars that have been beaten up.

2013 Ford Fusion. Haven't seen too many details about the mechanicals except that it's borrows a lot from the European Mondeo. For a smallish mid-size car, I think it looks pretty good, but I think I'm just responding to the outright theft of Aston Martin's front grill.

Reality Check Cashing Services (Elvis Telecom), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 07:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd be wary about Mazda at the moment. They've had four consecutive years of losses and a couple months ago their CEO said publicly that they "are actively seeking a partner and/or exploring all options." Too bad, as the Mazda3 is a nice car and you can probably get a pretty good deal on it.

Since you're going to be in rural PA and dealing with winter driving, is it too much of a cliche to consider a Subaru?

Reality Check Cashing Services (Elvis Telecom), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 07:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

the dart is cool.

subaru is a cool option, too.

instead of a fusion, you could get a focus, or even a fiesta, which would be less dowdy and a good 10 grand less for a well equipped model (leather seats + sunroof + shit like that).

but my choice out of what's been mentioned is the golf tdi.

dylannn, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 08:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

ford edge just fits into the fuel economy requirements, too, i believe.

dylannn, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 08:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I really like the dart and the Multiair engine is a thing of wonder. Its an Alfa Romeo Giulietta underneath, but they've ruined it by not offering it with a hatch.

Subaru is a sound option although I didn't like driving my friend's outback, driving position is too SUV like. Fuel economy could be better but the Impreza is probably in the mix.

That Kia looks good, I've not specifically driven a Kia but every Hyundai I've driven has been comfortable and boring in a very well made and reassuring way, so I imagine the Kia's are similar. As you might have guessed I'm not really looking for excitement in my drive to work. I assume the Hyundai Accent is the same car with a different badge. Not quite as good gas milage as the Mazda or the VW but a hefty chunk of change cheaper.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

i have a yaris and i like it! but it's like driving a kid's car and it looks like a jellybean. it does get 35+ in the summertime though. i get 40 mpg on the drive between home and parents' house which is 6 hours

kneel aurmstrong (harbl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

Actually, scratch that, depending on engine and transmission it can beat the Mazda.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

the Kia/hyundai that is

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

can you get yr hands on a skoda over there? highway mileage nearer 60 than 35 from my 02 diesel octavial

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

i like the mazda 3 or impreza. i don't think i will ever not have a hatchback. also there is toyota matrix, it has 4WD, which i would want in western PA

kneel aurmstrong (harbl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Toyota seems to want me to use a car to have 'Antics' with dodgy indie bands

http://www.uptheantics.com/

I need to think about this 4WD thing. I think I've been lulled into a false sense of security by the mild winter. On the one hand driving a FWD car can be a bit dicey in the Snow; on the other, do I want to lug all that extra weight around for the 10 days a year where I have to drive in the Snow?

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't need a new car and I'm not going to buy a new car, but I want that new Fiat 500 pretty bad

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

in my fantasy world where I am still a teenage boy racer and I drive a lot and don't worry about peak oil, I would buy a subaru brz/toyota 86 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_86

vroom vroom

dayo, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

bought a ford fiesta last year, no problems, get about 37-38 MPG on avg. it's small, but I prefer that. I liked the hyundai elantra when I test drove it, if you are looking for a little more room + generous warranty.

arsenio and old ma$e (m bison), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

I need to think about this 4WD thing. I think I've been lulled into a false sense of security by the mild winter. On the one hand driving a FWD car can be a bit dicey in the Snow; on the other, do I want to lug all that extra weight around for the 10 days a year where I have to drive in the Snow?

obv FWD is better than RWD re: snow driving (my folks had FWD cars in MN up until I was in high school) but AWD really will make a difference when you have an actual winter; I would not take this year as any indication whatsoever of what NE winter weather is like as it basically felt like we'd magically turned into Tennessee

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is typical SWPA winter idiocy

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

I had my taste of proper winter driving the previous winter and it has convinced me that people are fucking idiots when it comes to winter driving.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

Are Chevy and Dodge still the most unreliable cars? It's been ten years since I've looked into buying a new car, but those two brands were given the kiss of death from Consumer Reports back in the day (along with a few others I can't remember).

musicfanatic, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

Every Dodge that's been in my family over the last ten years has had issues, except the one I drove which went along just fine until the timing belt snapped at about 140k miles (because, oops! I'd forgotten to go in and have it replaced at about 100k). By that point, it was as much to fix as the car itself was worth. But I don't think there is a single Dodge made now that meets Ed's wishlist.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

140k miles ain't too bad! You were pretty lucky I guess. My Honda Civic's transmission went out @ 65k miles (and I took great care of that car; no neglect!) so you never know what you're getting.

musicfanatic, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

fwd vs. awd. i grew up on the frozen steppes of western canada, where 90% of cars are fwd (the remaining 10% are aging early-90s econobox awds, eagle wagons, dodge shadows, a very few subarus thrown in) and driven with all-season tires. i've found it very hard to get a fwd car stuck in the snow. add in winter tires + abs + modern traction control, i don't think awd should be top of your list but.

i've owned a string of awd cars and they're FUN. when i moved to the west coast, i bought an impreza wrx and nearly killed myself in it countless times on muddy backroads trying out sega rally championship shit.

dylannn, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

we had a Focus when our car was in the shop and I couldn't stand it. Is my 2 cents.

that Dodge Dart looks like a thing I would want

we have a 4 year-old CRV and I like the room but it has no guts and I'm growing less enamored of it with every passing year

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

that was exactly how I felt about my Rav4... which led me to buy a BMW, lol

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

oo er

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

we kept our 96 Acura, and while roomwise it's a clowncar, I cannot overstate how delightful it is to drive something that responds with a VROOM rather than a delayed SCREEE when you floor the accelerator. I appreciate the Acrua much more now after driving the CRV every day.

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have a '12 hyundai accent hatchback & think it's great, zero issues after 6k miles, 35-38 mpg even with snow tires in the winter (though tbf much of that is highway).

boxall, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

we kept our 96 Acura, and while roomwise it's a clowncar, I cannot overstate how delightful it is to drive something that responds with a VROOM rather than a delayed SCREEE when you floor the accelerator.

^^^

we have a Prius. You have to gas it on Monday if you want it to pick up speed on Wednesday

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I love that Dodge "Dart" too, but it's giving me cognitive dissonance. This is a Dodge Dart!

(hope that's not too big)

nickn, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

true. love the old Darts <3

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

One of the best made American cars, I still see early 70s ones around.

nickn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 00:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

my friend has a 67 Dart that I adore

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 00:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like the curved rear screen.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 00:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Does anyone have any views on the Lease vs Buy question? I'm tempted by leasing, getting to work is just an expense I need to cover, but given I will need to commute ~80 miles a day/20000 a year, lease costs may be prohibitive.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 00:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd say buy a 2-3 yr old car. How long will you be commuting?

nickn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 01:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Leasing is OK if you don't drive much and your financials are good enough that you assume that you'll always be making a car payment for the rest of your life.

Reality Check Cashing Services (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 01:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

FWIW, I know a couple people who have had excellent CarMax experiences and recommend them highly.

Reality Check Cashing Services (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 01:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

^ good advice. Everyone I know who's ever bought something at Carmax has relayed positive information.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 02:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I did a double take when I first drove by a Carmax dealership. I had no idea they had physical locations.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 02:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like the idea of Carmax but the nearest locations are Columbus and DC.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 03:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd lean toward buying and buying new. 0% financing, 5 or 6 years on the loan, not bad....

dylannn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 09:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, if you can get that kind of deal, snap it up
leasing really sucks in my opinion

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 13:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

If you're in a credit union you can probably 3-4% financing. That and a 2-3 year old car is probably a better deal.

nickn, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have to see what I can qualify for, finance wise, I have a good job and nominally good credit rating but my history in the US only goes back 3 years. PNC has some good deals on loans, I have to see what I can get.

The key is to see it as an expense not an asset and make sure the loan payments stay ahead of the depreciation. used values are pretty good right now but who know how long that can last.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 3 May 2012 02:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

"but I want that new Fiat 500 pretty bad"

I know, right? I don't often do a double take when I see a car but I did when I saw this the first time

but then I saw a non two-tone one and thought it looked like a PT Cruiser so I'm not sure.

akm, Thursday, 3 May 2012 04:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

You guys do remember why Fiat didn't sell cars in the US for about three decades, right? They're shit.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 3 May 2012 04:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

The only reason I can forsee buying new is its the only way I'll ever get the color/option package I want. Pretty happy with my oft rain-soaked 14 yr old Miata that refuses to die, but yellow manual trans glass-roofed Veloster, I'm looking at you.

Leasing new is for those who willing to absorb first 3 years of depreciation (which ranges from 32-68%) and have nothing at the end. Possibly makes sense on some cars that don't depreciate as much.

The Painter of Blightâ„¢ (Sanpaku), Thursday, 3 May 2012 07:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

New Fiat is hugely different from old Fiat. My parents had one of those pea green old Fiats in the late 70s and it was such a steaming pile. Wouldn't start above 80 or below 40. The former was no big deal but the latter was a problem in northern New England.

My wife wants the new 500. I'm up to try it but I'm not sure I'll fit in one comfortably. I have issues with little cars; my knees often hit the sides of the steering wheel or my head hits the roof. Can't comfortably drive a Prius, for example. Leg cramp city.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 3 May 2012 13:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I used to drive an Austin 1800; my tall friends loved it, they never had to put the seat back. Acres of room!

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I never notice new cars and even I noticed the Fiat 500. I'm actually going to be buying my first ever car in the next few months if things go to plan. Not sure what I'm after but I'm in the UK and want an automatic so my options are a bit more limited than for a manual. Toyota Yaris seems p good.

kinder, Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

If the Fiat X1/9 came back (and was affordable, as it used to be), I'd jump on that.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:29 (2 years ago) Permalink


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