Author Topic: Looking at a new car...  (Read 4325 times)

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Offline Broken Bones

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Looking at a new car...
« 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!

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #1 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.


Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 12:26:30 PM by Broken Bones »

Offline Metalhawk

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #3 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.
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you donít need it"

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #4 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.

Offline Metalhawk

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #5 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.
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you donít need it"

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #6 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!

Offline Metalhawk

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #7 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.
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you donít need it"

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Metalhawk

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #9 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.
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you donít need it"

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Metalhawk

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #11 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.
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you donít need it"

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #12 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.

Offline BlindDruid

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #13 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
Time passes, things change, the Sens WILL WIN the CUP. 
edit -  Hopefully within my lifetime.......

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #14 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)..



Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #15 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.

Offline BlindDruid

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #16 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.
Time passes, things change, the Sens WILL WIN the CUP. 
edit -  Hopefully within my lifetime.......

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #17 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2015, 11:12:55 AM »
Kia and Hyundai are the same company are they not?

Offline Broken Bones

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Re: Looking at a new car...
« Reply #19 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.