Car buying advice, full sized car under 5K?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by highwaycat, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    I was considering a Toyota Camry or Mazda, but I've come to the conclusion I want a full sized car because it's what I'm use to(97 Buick Lesabre that doesn't run anymore) and I may need the extra room if in a pinch. Plus I think it's a safer car. I don't mind the mpg, I put only around 8k miles a year.

    So I've been looking at:
    A 2008 Mercury Sable for a very low price.
    Toyota Avalons but Toyotas are often overpriced around here. Confusing to shop for one.
    Hyundai Azera's from around 2007-2009 in my budget.
    And the Buick Lucerne is another cheap option.
    I'm trying to get as new as a car as possible, like at least a 2007.
    My 97 buick was a total lemon and I'm shaken and afraid of buying another lemon.
    I can't go back to work until I buy a car.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. RegularJim

    RegularJim TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    95
    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Location:
    Winthrop Harbor, IL
    You could do well with an Impala or Grand Prix, or a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. They're well proven.
     
    drf64 and TheGoodTexan like this.
  3. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,329
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I just sold a 2003 Mercury Sable with 144k miles on it for $2300. It had brand new tires and brand new brakes. The only mechanical problem was that the AC did not work.

    It was a terrific car. All leather interior and every power option for that year and model. Plenty of room in it too. There were never any recurring problems with it.

    The only negative for the whole car was that I didn’t care for the looks of it. But that’s completely subjective of course.
     
  4. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,329
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    My advice would be to pay a qualified mechanic a reasonable fee to give any car that you’re considering “the once over”. That is, if it’s something you’re not qualified to do yourself.
     
    Pualee and rich815 like this.
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,078
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Advice?

    Don't but the Azera.
     
    william tele likes this.
  6. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Location:
    Waxahachie, TX.
    I drive a 2000 Accord that still runs beautifully. You might want to check one out.
     
    drf64 likes this.
  7. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    7,427
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI

    ^^^agree. Don't get the Mercury Sable. I knew too many people who had trouble with the Sable/Taurus. I had a Grand Marquis, 1996, that was the best car I've ever owned. The Grand Marquis/Crown Vic engine/transmission may be the best thing ford ever mass produced.
     
    Art VanDelay likes this.
  8. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    7,427
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI
    Hondas and Toyotas are the only thing I buy used these days. Car wise. Chevy/GM for trucks. And I never buy new.
     
    trippercaster and RyCo1983 like this.
  9. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    3,243
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Location:
    GCDB
    At a auction near you..


    Seriousy at 5K every thing is a crap shoot unless you buy it from a know source like a close relative, even then something is going to go wrong on a 10 year old car and will be $$ unless you turn your own wrenches.
     
    bendecaster likes this.
  10. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    Thanks. My mom drives a crown vic, I personally don't like it and wouldn't buy one although I agree they are every reliable. I borrow it sometimes.
    I'll look into the Impalas.
    I've been looking at these lists: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/used/2009-affordable-large-cars
     
  11. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    I have a feeling the Grand Marquise will drive and feel just like the Crown Victoria. That car is harder for me to drive for some reason, I don't like the visibility for some odd reason. My 97 buick is super easy to drive and more responsive in comparison. Is there something similar?
    That's why I was considering the Buick lucerne. But I heard 07 might be a problem year.
     
  12. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,806
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    In the Ford family, if you want rock solid, cheaper replacement parts, proven that you can really rack up the miles,
    Ford Crown Victoria, or the Mercury Marquis, no doubt about it.
    You aren’t getting the best mpg, but if full size is required, then that’s the pay off.
    They aren’t the most stylish, but they are dependable.
    In the GM line, Monte Carlo, Impala, are very dependable and I know for a fact that the 3.8 liter V6 can get better than 300k if properly maintained and treated once a year with Z-Max.
    Z-Max is a must for older engines regardless of brand. Look them up. I’ve used it for 25 years with very satisfactory results.
    In all cases where you are considering a particular car, obviously you want low miles, but that isn’t always definitive.
    Some people can trash a car in 20k miles, some can run and look like new with 200k.
    If you don’t know how to evaluate car, then take it to someone who can, it can be money well spent.
    Also, don’t trust individual sales any more than a used car lot, people lie as much or more than dealers.
    There are plenty of great cars out there take your time and find a good one.
    Good luck.
     
    Artunes likes this.
  13. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,737
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Location:
    Crawfordville, FL
    If you're going to buy an older modern car, at least stick with drive by wire and fuel injected cars. My GDI Hyundai has been a nightmare. Bought it before I knew about or researched the GDI problems.
     
    rich815 and Piggy Stu like this.
  14. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    I'm definitely doing my research so that you all don't have to answer every question, but I'm still having a hard time figuring out what years are the problem years for Avalons and Accords. I figure I'll just look what's available.
    Lots of scammers sell Toyotas around here, it's a huge problem.
     
  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,763
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
    I agree with Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Lincoln Town Car. If you don't like them then Buick LaCrosse/Lucerne might be your best bet.

    If you were looking for a newer car I would say go Chevy. Almost everything they are making is very good these days, IMO. Die hard Honda and Toyota
    lovers should look at some reliability rankings and new data-- they might be surprised at how well Chevy is doing Plus take one
    for a ride-- they might be surprised at how well dialed in they are these days.

    When you're down in the $5k range I think you need to look for the right situation and pay less attention to the specific make and model.
    Down in that price range how a car has been treated is probably going to matter a LOT, and while make and model are important, they become
    less of a determinant. I'd probably prefer a Chrysler product that has been babied with TLC and has low miles over a Honda or Toyota that has been abused, even
    though new out the door the Honda/Toyota's reliability and total-cost-of-ownership would typically blow the doors off almost any Chrysler except
    perhaps their minivans.

    Also at $5k things like the condition of the shocks, ball joints, CV joints, tires, and brakes are really important since fixing these could easily add a couple grand to the cost.

    I had a friend who liked to buy vehicles that had ugly cosmetic damage but otherwise were sound. For example a pickup truck where there was a big dent in the side of
    the truck bed but the frame was still straight. Or maybe a car that had defective paint and the paint burned away in the sun but it was actually a sound, smooth operating car.
    Some of these ugly ducklings can be a great deal and the risk of getting them stolen goes down, too.
     
  16. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    Ya a friend of mind keeps telling me to buy a salvage title car. He had good luck with one.

    Ya I figure I should try to keep car pooling to work and not buy a car unless I have at least 7k-8k. But this may not be an option.

    My bank said if I pay my credit card's 3k balance I can get a loan for a car 2012 or newer. Would this be a bad move? If I pay it off then I wouldn't have a lot left over for a car, that's why I'm holding on to my car spending money.
     
  17. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    27
    Posts:
    1,332
    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I would've suggested something like a Camry so I won't try to speak for anything else since I don't really know.

    But, regarding safety, something like a Camry can actually be safer. It is more maneuverable than a couch boat like a Buick so it's easier to avoid accidents. The safest way to have an accident is to not have it at all.

    Food for thought :)
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,895
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    205,000 on a Taurus.

    Choose a US vehicle as parts are cheaper to get and easier to find. $50 starter vs $500 starter.

    Do be diligent about maintaining the vehicle. That's where the problems arrive.

    When you get the vehicle, replace all the belts and hoses you can (maybe not all at once but soon) as they are the first to fail.


    .
     
    william tele likes this.
  19. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,837
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    northcentral/western Pennsylvania
    I have a mechanic friend who thinks the Impala is a great car. And, when they do need something, parts are cheap and they’re not too hard to work on.
     
  20. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,630
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    My experience with large cars comes from having them as rental cars. I typically rent standard or mid size and get bumped up to something nicer. The one that stands out in the crowd is Ford Taurus. It's big and comfortable and a pretty good driving automobile for its size. My last rental was a Cadillac XTS and while Taurus may not have air conditioned seats, it's a far superior automobile in every way. Older Ford models like Crown Vic or Mercury Marquis are clumsy and uncomfortable. Taurus may be at the upper end of your reach but IMO, well worth it. Best of luck to you. As much as we like them, we don't need guitars. A reliable automobile is indispensable.
     
    rich815 and william tele like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.