Non-Hockey => Anything But Hockey => Topic started by: Broken Bones on May 22, 2015, 08:35:57 AM

Title: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 22, 2015, 08:35:57 AM
Lets get this ABH forum going with more than jokes and music!


I am looking at purchasing a new car and have test driven the following.


1. Honda Civic
The drive was smooth, and I liked the overall layout of the interior.  The finance options at 0.99% no matter the term is attractive as it is not a "promotional rate" that only the top credit scores get, but is their standard interest rate.


2. Mazda3
Drove smooth as well. Interior design was laid out nicely.  Finance options are reasonable with interest rates varying on length of term.  My idea would be a 5 year term at 1.49%.  I give this one the edge over the civic and Mazda adds a bit more "bang" for your buck with standard features that are only available on update models of the civic, such as a rear view camera.  I don't have a camera in my current car, but I do like the idea given where I park downtown, it would be nice to have a clear view of the "curb" I have to back up into.


3. Ford Focus
Nice car, drove smooth. Major drawback was lack of leg room in the rear seating area.  The cars primary use is a daily commuter between work and home.  We have a van for family hauling.  However, there are times I need to bring a kid, or both, with me in the car.  It too has similar financing rates as Mazda and seems to add a bit more standard features compared to the Civic.

I plan to look at the following cars as well, hopefully this weekend.

VW Jetta, Nissan Sentra, and Hyundai Elantra.

My past car history includes a '96 Nissan Maxima and my current '07 Dodge Caliber.  I have always missed/regretted getting out of the Maxima.  The biggest perk I miss most you ask, is the "auto" setting for climate control.  You set the desired temp, and it adjusts the fan speed as needed.  A small perk, but noticeable.

The one "must have" in any car I get (aside leg room), is heated side mirrors.  Iced up mirrors in the winter suck!

I'm all ears!
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Sasquatch on May 22, 2015, 09:53:50 AM
I find that Mazda look old fast.. I have had a few friends with them and some family and they all seemed to get rust and the paint broke down really quickly.


I have had a Focus and it was one of the best cars I ever owned. I had it until 230,000kms and only had it in for major repairs twice, the rest was regular mainteneance/wear items (tires/brakes)...Mind you it was a 2001, I dont know how the current models fare...


I bought a 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Im really happy with it. The Hyundai warranty is amazing. A family member also bought an Elantra GT and she loves it.


I personally have had, and a few friends have had, VW's.... Never again. The car's are nice but the parts and service are ridiculous expensive, and EVERY single place I have taken my car to get fixed the service people were A-holes.Ottawa, London, Toronto, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, and one in Michigan.... all A-holes.... It was Unreal.
I know the common denominator here is ME, but I have never run into service/parts people like that. Ford was awesome, Hyundai is awesome, Honda guys are hit and miss, and Chev and Dodge were both great to deal with...
Im sure there are really great VW people out there but I haven't run into them.
The VW community (of owners) though, is second to none. People will wave and talk to you just because they also have a VW. It was really strange at first but became one of the most fun experiences of car ownership for us.

Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 22, 2015, 12:24:27 PM
I find that Mazda look old fast.. I have had a few friends with them and some family and they all seemed to get rust and the paint broke down really quickly.



You're not the first person to mention this to me during my search.  Because of that I find myself looking at any Mazda I spot on the road (all of them mainly being Mazda 3's).  It is surprising to see how many have rust on the back, seemingly starting from the central rear brake light and down.  But then at the same time, I turn my head and can see a Mazda that appears to be similar in year and it has no rust...

I like what the Mazda offers, and the body style of the 2015 model, but this is a concern to me.

as for the VW, that is my concern, mainly that the parts themselves are expensive.  Is VW similar to Toyota, in that you have "Toyota Certified" mechanics out there?

We have a Napa garage in Navan, the guy that runs it is great, no BS.  I plan to chat with him shortly about potential cars and I would prefer to use him for ongoing maintenance of a new car vs. going to the dealer.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on May 22, 2015, 04:48:24 PM
The Mazda rust problems were in the older models, up to I believe 2011. Starting with 2012, major changes were made and those issues seem under control.

For the record, I bought a Mazda 3 back in February. I loved my 2002 Mustang, but the rear main engine seal was leaking and not being a mechanic, it wasn't worth the cost (over $1000) to get it fixed, not to mention that removing the transmission on a 14 year-old car can open up one hell of a can of worms.

And also, I do not believe in buying new cars, but still wanted something fairly new. I found a 2013 Mazda 3 (with the SkyActiv engine, which was optional then) at Bank Street Mazda with only 13,500 km on it. Original owner had to leave the country. So far I am really happy with my purchase. The SkyActiv engine was a big factor in my decision, but other than the rust issues, Mazda's reputation is pretty good all around.

My search was pretty much including all the same cars you mentioned (Focus, Elantra, Civic). My final decision came down to being between the Mazda and the Mitsubishi Lancer (which I'm surprised you haven't mentioned). And another I'm a little surprised isn't in your list is the Corolla.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 22, 2015, 08:58:58 PM
I have been looking at the Lancer online a bit, I may end up looking at it.  I have not looked into the Corolla, and that is mainly due in part that I could spend a year looking at all the cars in this class of vehicles.

I wanted to narrow it down to 6 to start with and go from there.  I figure, if I start with six, and can narrow that down to 3 or 4, it then makes it a bit easier to look at other cars.  I didn't want to overwhelm myself with having 10 very good cars to choose from.

I had also heard that regarding Mazda, that they have addressed the rust issues.  Most things I find online about rust issues seem to be from 2013, so you're looking at cars that are likely 2009-2012 that are being discussed.  I wondered if it was because there hasn't been enough time that has passed to really evaluate how they have resolved the issue....

I chatted with my local mechanic today to get his input.  He gave me some sound information on all the cars I was considering.  I think the Jetta is now out as he mentioned that the long term maintenance costs of them are high, which is something I need to strongly consider given the length of time I do keep my cars.  The only thing he mentioned about Mazda in general was that parts are a bit more difficult to get, and slightly more expensive, but overall, no major concerns.

Based on the 3 cars I have tested, it is really between the Civic and Mazda3, the Focus is likely out due to the lack of leg room for the rear passenger.

I am hoping to get out tomorrow to check out the Nissan Sentra and Hyundai Elantra, and might as well swing by Mitsubishi to check out the Lancer.  Depending on my time, I could pop into Toyota on my way home.

I thought about going the "gently used" route, but because I do like to keep my cars as long as possible, I am hesitant to go 8 years with a car that is already 2 years old and potentially run into bigger issues sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on May 22, 2015, 09:41:08 PM
I hear you regarding "gently used", but if you can luck out the way I did, then it's as good as a new car.

One big advantage of the Lancer (most Mitsubishi cars, really) is the extra long warranty. This goes well with the long-term mentality you have with cars.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 23, 2015, 08:32:56 AM
I hard forgotten about that.  and I even remember seeing commercials in the past about that and thinking to myself, Mitsubishi must be on my list when I look into cars!
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on May 23, 2015, 04:31:19 PM
For me it came really close between the Mazda and the Lancer. The used 60,000 km, 2012 Lancer's warranty vs. the extra low mileage on the 2013 Mazda. The Mazda won, but not by a whole lot.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 23, 2015, 06:27:52 PM
I test drove the Lancer and Hyundai Elantra today.  I find the Lancer and Civic to be similar in that both have a higher price compared to the other vehicles I am looking at but include less features.  The one thing I find odd is that the Lancer, no matter what trim you go with, the rear back up camera and navigation is not available.  The only improvements you get in that aspect in the higher trim levels is the radio becomes touch screen activated.

The interior of the Lancer didn't impress me at all.  It looked nice, but the plastic was very rigid, similar to what I have in the Caliber.  All other vehicles I tested have a "soft touch" interior, in that the dashboard, armrest, etc have some "flex" to them.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on May 23, 2015, 07:21:15 PM
Cool. I was throwing it out there to make sure you remembered it. :)

But if there's one thing I learned when I was looking around, it's that unfortunately, no car has everything one might want vs the price. Most likely your favourite 2 or 3 cars would all make you relatively equally happy.

One thing you seem to have a little more of than I did is time. While I wasn't exactly rushed, my oil leak was getting slightly worse by the day, and so I didn't have weeks to test drive them all whenever convenient. You seem to have more time, and so you really should use it to your advantage.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 24, 2015, 01:52:49 PM
Yes, having time on my side is a huge benefit.  Only downside is by taking my time, I can't take advantage of Hyundai's invoice pricing event if that is the ultimate route I take.  Though at the same time, I get the impression it would be more difficult to negotiate on the pricing/admin fees etc with the invoice pricing on the table, I may be able to get a better deal when sales start to slow down after the promotion ends at the end of May.

Right now though my brain is now saying "check out some used cars" in hopes of finding a newer vehicle at a lesser value.  I'd only want to do this if I can happen to find a 2014 or even a 2015 car is possible.  Benefits would either be get the same models I am currently looking at for a lesser amount, or get a higher end vehicle within my existing budget....

I hate car shopping, aside from driving all these news cars.

I can't wait to get AC again.  Mine died 3 years ago.  Spend $1500 for the local Dodge dealer to fix the leaks it found ultimately for it to fail again and again, each time finding new leaks.  Finally switched garage's to our local Napa garage, they charged a reasonable diagnostic fee the first time, and repaired the issues they found.  It died shortly afterwards again, which they took it in for further diagnostics without charging me.  They finally determined the issue was the pump itself and estimated it to be a $1,200 repair (given the cost of the pump itself). 

The past few summers have been reasonable commuting to work and back, and we tend to luck out on missing the heat waves here while we vacation in PEI.  It felt like death a couple weeks ago when it hit 30 degrees one afternoon.  I was sweating as I sat in traffic for 40 minutes, unable to cool the inside down.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on May 24, 2015, 03:12:06 PM
If you are willing to wait a few months, that's when the 2016 models will come out and bigger discounts can often be found on the newly outdated inventory. But it would mean another summer without A/C.

As for me, I haven't used A/C in a car in over 10 years. I am rarely stuck in traffic (I just avoid the major slowdowns heading to work Eastbound from Bells Corners around 3pm), so there's always the possibility of windows down for a good breeze.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 25, 2015, 08:07:58 AM
I can mainly go without AC as well as the morning commute is cool, and it is the odd day which the afternoon commute is unbearable.  However, there are times which I take the kids with me to places and have recently elected to take the van rather than my car due to the lack of AC.  3 and 6 year olds don't particularly enjoy the wind blasting their faces while I drive 80km/h+ with the windows down and sunroof open.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: BlindDruid on May 25, 2015, 08:12:02 AM
My son has a 2014 Elantra and my wife has a 2013 Tucson and both really enjoy them
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Sasquatch on May 25, 2015, 09:30:12 AM
Like I said, I have a 2013 Veloster Turbo and My Aunt bought a 2014 Elantra GT and we both love them...
the standard warranty is 5 year 100,000 but also bought the 160,000/8yr extension.

this is what we bought from Kanata Hyundai (Myers)..


(http://www.veloster.org/forum/attachments/hyundai-veloster-turbo-discussion/9257-finally-got-date-supposedly-first-mt-light-pearl-grey-canada-vt_lgp.jpg)
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 25, 2015, 10:52:41 AM
My son has a 2014 Elantra and my wife has a 2013 Tucson and both really enjoy them


BD, any chance your son has kids of his own?  I only ask as I would like to know how everything "fits" with young kids, boosters, car seats, etc.  It seems the Elantra is the most spacious of all cars I have checked out.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: BlindDruid on May 26, 2015, 07:22:13 AM
No.  He is still a young 21 year old.  He has had the car full of his buddies who are not on the tiny side and they looked comfortable back there.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 26, 2015, 09:52:48 AM
Good to know.

Since I am in no particular rush to buy a car,I plan to look are the Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, and Nissan Sentra.

I know Toyota and Nissan are reliable brands, it is the Subaru and Kia I know nothing about.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Sasquatch on May 26, 2015, 11:12:55 AM
Kia and Hyundai are the same company are they not?
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 26, 2015, 12:35:27 PM
Kia and Hyundai are the same company are they not?


A quick google search tells me that Hyundai owns approximately 30-35% of the shares of Kia, but does not control the company.   
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: BlindDruid on May 27, 2015, 08:22:51 AM
I drive a 2009 Kia Sedona with almost 170,000 km on it.  I have had no issues and the only maintenance has been the usual brakes and tires and regular oil changes. 
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Sasquatch on May 27, 2015, 11:09:48 AM
Yeah I said that wrong.. I mean the cars are basically the same with a different skin.
Tech and all that are the same on many models, I think there are only a few that are unique to each brand.


Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on May 27, 2015, 12:22:52 PM
Yeah I said that wrong.. I mean the cars are basically the same with a different skin.
Tech and all that are the same on many models, I think there are only a few that are unique to each brand.


I get what you mean now, similarly how the Ford Focus and Mazda3 used to be the same car until Ford pulled out of Mazda ownership.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: psahlgren on May 28, 2015, 04:18:30 PM
Hyundai SantaFe is an excellent vehicle; I own a 2010 myself, just love it.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on June 08, 2015, 01:12:43 PM
On saturday I went out and test drove the Subaru Impreza, Nissan Senata, Kia Forte, and Toyota Corolla.

The Impreza is a nice car, and the salesman was great (as we were test driving their service vehicle vs. a new one) in that he encouraged me to test the AWD by pulling off onto the gravel shoulder and accelerating to feel that the car doesn't want to pull you into the ditch like FWD cars do.  The only drawback I have on the car is that it lacks "value" in terms that you have to go to a pretty high price point to get 95% of the features I am looking for, and the trim line that addresses just my "needs" as oppose to "bonus wants" is only slightly cheaper than other vehicles that give offer me 100% needs and wants.

The Nissan Sentra was a nice drive, but I found the interior to be surprisingly "cheap" looking compared to other manufacturers with comparable models.

The Kia Forte is a nice car and has made my short list. One surprising yet very "cool" feature was the cooled front seats.  Not only do you have a heater for the winter months, but you can turn on the seat coolers which essentially gives you AC on your butt/lower back.  A very pleasant experience when I got into the car with black leather seats on the sunny day.  The Forte also includes air vents at the back side of the center console for the rear passengers.

Toyota Corolla S has also made my short list.  Pleasant drive, nice body design and well finished interior.  The only "knock" on it in comparison to the Forte was the lack of cooled seats and the rear air vents.  Though at the same time, no other car but the Kia Forte offered both of these.

So out of all the cars I have test driven, I have made a short list in no particular order.

Toyota Corolla
Kia Forte
Hyundai Elantra

And on the bubble is the Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza due to pricing/value.  To achieve 95/100% of my needs/wants I am looking at a +$30,000 car after taxes and negotiating discounts.

As dumb as it may seem, the Hynundai Elantra is nearly "off" the list simply because everybody has these cars.  Given the fact that it is essentially the same vehicle as the Kia Forte, you don't see as many Forte's out there as you do Elantra's.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on June 08, 2015, 11:24:31 PM
Kia has come a long way, but still tends to get a bad rap. Whether or not it's justified (or still being judged for past issues) isn't for me to say as I'm not knowledgeable enough for that.

Most cars you (and I) looked into are all over the road, from the Elantra to the Mazda 3 or the Corolla. It's just that most people are not willing to shell out astronomical amounts when a car at half or a third of the price would be just as good for 99% of us.

Now that you're almost there, it's time to dust off your negotiating skills. :)
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on June 09, 2015, 08:54:29 AM
Yes, in reviewing many sites, included Consumer Reports, the reliability rankings for each brand is as follows.

Toyota, Mazda, Kia, and then Hyundai, all of which are in the top end of brand reliability.

And yes, these cars are all over the place.  But my impressions are this.  A huge portion of the Hyundai Elantra's I see are of the current design (2013-2015), the majority of Mazda3's are pre 2014 design (2007-2013 I believe), and I haven't spotted any current designs of the Toyota Corolla.

When I purchased my Dodge Caliber I was drawn to it for one main reason, the design, it stood out from the rest.  All other hatchbacks in 2007 looked like jelly-beans on wheels and the Caliber actually had an aggressive design like it could, potentially kick some ass on the road, which was likely achieved by the SRT version of the Caliber.

I like the Mazda3 because of its design and the positive reviews it gets in comparison to other brands.  It has style and good handling making it fun to drive while being fuel efficient.  The knock on all other brands is that it misses out on the "fun to drive" aspect.  For me personally, it is also a cost issue.  All my needs, wants, and fancy desires can be achieved with the Mazda3, but at a price.  I'd have to cut out half of these aspects to get a model that is more competitive in terms of pricing with the other brands.

Right now I am trying to decide between the Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte.  The Mazda is simply on the bubble as I like it, but it comes down to value as well.

I obtained invoice reports from Car Cost Canada for each vehicle which has put me in contact with large dealers closer to the West end of Ottawa.  Mazda is the only local dealer that is referred through CCC, which happens to be the dealer I visited when looking at the cars.

I'd like to buy "local" vs just going to these mass volume dealers, so I will be taking the numbers/offerings from these big dealers to my local dealer to give them a chance to beat it, or at least match and toss in some free winter tires.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on July 31, 2015, 03:51:15 PM
I decided to go with the fully loaded Corolla S.  I tried dealing with Orleans Toyota but they weren't willing to negotiate on anything below MSRP of $29,900.  My wife and my in-laws were so kind to remind me that my in-laws season tickets are beside the owner of the Toyota dealership in Brockville and they offered me $28,300.  After informing Orleans Toyota of the offer, suddenly they were able to offer me $28,200, but I couldn't have the manufacturer finance assist rebate of $500.  Well the Brockville Toyota wouldn't stop me from using it as it is a manufacturer rebate, not a dealer discount, no skin off their back.  They are also offering me $300 more on my trade-in, sight unseen, and committed in writing on the price.

I should have the Corolla on Thursday... I won't be missing my Dodge Caliber!
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Metalhawk on July 31, 2015, 10:41:10 PM
Nice, but unless the offer from the Orleans dealer was significantly better, I still would have gone with the Brockville one out of principle. Just like Banks vs Mortgage Brokers at renewal time. The bank's absolute best, can't get anything better offer suddenly gets a lot better when they realize you talked to a mortgage broker that can offer you a much, much better rate.
Title: Re: Looking at a new car...
Post by: Broken Bones on August 05, 2015, 08:22:47 AM
After the run around I had no real interest in dealing with Orleans Toyota unless they were able to beat $28,000.  I had told them they needed to beat that amount for me to consider purchasing the vehicle they had on their lot (black one) vs. having them run around trying to get me a preferred colour choice (red or blue).  Brockville dealer does have a $400 admin fee, which Orleans Toyota does not, which they won't budge on.  I am satisfied in paying it in this case as they have had to absorb the expense of swapping cars with another dealership, which either would be in Cornwall or Kingston.

Orleans Toyota would have only gotten my business had the actually beat $28,000 and didn't play games with the Toyota manufacturer rebate.