The Car Dilemma


I’ll second the Civic recommendation. They’re fun looking, well-built and are good performers (I now own a Prius, but a Civic was my last car).


Yeah, I stopped by the local Honda places too. But they were sold out of 2017s, which means no please-get-this-old-thing-off-my-lot rebates. So every other comparable car was $3-4k lower.


FWIW, I grew up in the 70s and 80s when Ford stood for “Fix or repair delay” or “found on road dead” but these days they are making really great cars. We got our kids an old-style fusion after the new version came out and it has been dynamite. When we went to go look at it, I remember thinking, hell I would drive this.

Certified pre-owned can be a great deal. Not sure if our Volvo had been a lease, but we got it with 14k miles, a longer lease than new, and way less expensive than it would have been new.


I’m sure the Ford is a fine car. Definitely not trying to talk anybody out of one. Ford’s reputation is far better today than it once was and I know a few people that have had a Focus over the years and they all seemed to have no complaints.

Hyundai and Kia (sister companies that have many models that are almost mechanically identical) have also come a long way in recent years and are usually a good used buy since they tend to depreciate faster than the usual car from Toyota or Honda. My new car is actually a 2014 Kia Cadenza I picked up used with less than 36k miles on it. It had an asking price of over $40K when it was new and it’s not hard to find decent examples that go for under $20k a few years used. That’s something of an extreme case, but you might be able to get one of their other models for a decent discount in the 2-3 years used range if that’s still an option. Another plus is they generally have longer warranties (5/10 years) so even a 3 year old car might have 2+ years left on the warranty.


Have you seen the Stinger GT/G70? Wow.


It’s not a bad entry into that niche for Kia. A bit big, and the lack of AWD and a manual (in combo) make it a non-starter for my needs, but it’s a very cool vehicle. It’ll be even better after a few years of customer R&D too.


There is AWD. And one of the two has an available manual with the 4-cyl. Can’t recall which. Or is the manual not available with AWD?


From what I gathered, no, the AWD version doesn’t offer a manual, at least, not with the 6-cyl. And I wouldn’t want it with the four banger anyhow. I’ve driven turbo fours forever, and love them, but in a car in that class, six is the way I’d want to go (though yeah, there are plenty of very good fours these days).


Fair enough. I had a pretty sweet quad 4 in an Achieva back in the 90s but have had 6s since.


I drove a Kia Soul today, and I liked it a lot more than I expected. The boxy look isn’t for me, but it handled pretty well and there’s sure a whole lot of room in there. But I’m probably going to end up with a traditional sedan style vehicle.


Are you willing to travel for a good deal? My family and I found a place in Utah some time ago that is very up-front and honest with their used cars. We’ve purchased 4 vehicles from them over the years with no problems; they’re usually many thousands less than the competition. (For example, they have a 2016 Chevy Impala Lim LT with ~40K for $7,995, and others with less miles for similar prices; clean titles and all.)

They have also been good about looking around for vehicles that we want and procuring them for us.


I love sedans for some reason. Though my current and previous cars are/were hatchbacks (which I love too), my non-Porsche dream cars are all sedans. Something about the classic shape really moves me.


Short travel I could do, but from Michigan to Utah is a bit more than I’d like!


I’m not in the market for a car, and have no particular affection for the Impala (nothing against them either - I just think of them as a decent-looking basic car), but a 2016 at that price, with those miles, I’d probably make that trip. The price seems almost too good to be true. If they’re selling all their cars with prices like that, I’m surprised they’re still in business. Loss leader, perhaps?


That’s what I thought with my first purchase, but they’re actually just very hard-working and diligent. I got a Patriot (crap, I know, but I didn’t need to burn V8 gas around town with the truck as much as I was) for super cheap, and I’ve taken it from 38K-100K now with no issues.

They have an unusual business model and have people that go to auctions all around in order to acquire good deals. They’ll also find vehicles with minor, cosmetic damage (example: cracked a bumper on a curb), document it, buy it, fix it in-house, and sell it. Any vehicles like that are well-documented; they even once advised my mother against buying a certain vehicle because they were getting a similar one in with a better history.

They also work with branded, hail-damaged titles, which is where I suspect that they get their money, but I won’t touch those. Last time I was in, they also had some SNAFU and one of their buyers bought them like 12 Smart Cars at an auction, which they couldn’t unload. Kinda funny. Win some, lose some.

I am definitely going to get my next truck from them, just because I’ve come to trust them, and I don’t mind the return drive to Denver.


Another plug here for Kia, and I should mention I got mine in a deal similar to @Dr_Killinger. A year and a half ago I picked up a 2014 loaded Kia Optima SX. Since it was a lease turn in, it had 22K miles on it, and I picked it up just a tic over 20,000, which was an amazing deal (Original sticker was 31,500 or so.) Kia/Hyundai have been going full force to try to topple a lot of the other big imports in the US and have made amazing strides. I can tell you I was stunned sitting in the interior. It had more features, more comfort, and more safety items than price equivalents than Honda/Toyota/Nissan. It’s also very comfortable and amazing quiet when driving, something I didn’t expect would be an area they excelled at.

Check reviews on them, and try a test drive.


Yep, I went by and tried out a couple of Kia models. The Soul was surprisingly driveable for something that looks so boxy. The Optima is a size class higher than I’m looking at, but you’re right that those are pretty nice cars. If I was looking for something feature-loaded, either Kia or Honda would probably win out - from what I’ve seen in my research, they tend to have lower overall cost in that situation. But I’m looking at a Chevy right now because their current incentives are better, and I have no intention of paying for features that I don’t really need.


My GF just did the exact same and picked up an Equinox. Also very nice cars, but man it’s hard to sit in american cars the same way after driving so many imports. I feel like her car is disjointed. Everything is there, but nothing flows around you as the driver. I’ve been in a few rentals where it was better, so maybe it’s just the model she’s in. It does have some nice features though for a crossover.


My wife’s 2008 Nissan Versa is caught up in that Nissan airbag recall currently. She’s called the dealerships around us and none of them will have parts to repair the airbag until early Spring! In the meantime, she can’t drive her car because if the airbag deploys she will likely have metal shrapnel fly into her face. She is looking at getting a rental she can drive for several months but apparently there aren’t enough to go around. Not to mention you don’t get a straight answer from anyone you call. Each dealership tells you something different. We are trying to be a one car family and it works out ok except for when one of us has to alter our schedule for an appointment or school holiday.

It is almost to the point where we are considering buying her a new car. This really sucks because her Versa is running great and I do NOT want car payments again.


Can’t the dealership disable the airbag?