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Would you recommend a first car (for a 22 y/o)?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by greatfire, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. greatfire

    greatfire Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Hi,

    I am working on getting my license and I'm also thinking about what I should do for a first car.

    I'm male, 22 y/o, live in the South Bay area, and I don't know anything about cars.

    My budget will probably top out at about $10K, but I'm not letting the price bother me (too much), because if the car is worth it, then I'll go the extra mile.

    I would love to have something modern and urbane.

    That aside, what do you think would be a good first car for someone like myself?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lucky7

    Lucky7 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
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    Sep 30, 2008
    Tell us a little about your wants/needs. Creature comforts? Do you travel a lot? Do you need space.?
     
  3. greatfire

    greatfire Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
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    Aug 7, 2006
    I'm not that picky. I would love for the car to not look like a POS. For example, I like the 2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S. I don't know if its a good car, but I like the way it looks.

    I'm "medium tall" (6'1"), and from driving lessons in a Cavalier, I know the car needs to have some leg room, or I'll get sore.

    I don't travel very much, and the car would mostly be used for getting to and from work/hobbies.

    I care about mileage, but I don't want that to get in the way of getting a good car. Good mileage is a nice to have.

    Basically, I'm looking for something that looks good, is reliable, and is great for someone new to driving.

    A luxury/comfortable interior would be nice. heh.

    I don't know what else.
     
  4. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,202
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    Aug 15, 2008
    Honda Accord

    Reliable, low price, lasts for a long time, cheap maintenance, good gas mileage, etc
     
  5. theguy

    theguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    NY
    I would say an 03 or 04 infiniti i35
    Basically the upscale version of a maxima
    very reliable, decent interior
    I looked into the tl about 2 years ago and found they have tranny problems
     
  6. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,458
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    Jul 28, 2003
    what is your credit like? if you have no credit, or bad credit, you will get raped on the finance charges. i suggest you buy a car you can afford to pay off in a year, then sell it, use that money as a trade-in, and you'll have good credit for financing your $10k car.
     
  7. micbain

    micbain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I'm not that picky. I would love for the car to not look like a POS. For example, I like the 2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S. I don't know if its a good car, but I like the way it looks.

    I'm "medium tall" (6'1"), and from driving lessons in a Cavalier, I know the car needs to have some leg room, or I'll get sore.

    I don't travel very much, and the car would mostly be used for getting to and from work/hobbies.

    I care about mileage, but I don't want that to get in the way of getting a good car. Good mileage is a nice to have.

    Basically, I'm looking for something that looks good, is reliable, and is great for someone new to driving.

    A luxury/comfortable interior would be nice. heh.

    I don't know what else.


    I used to drive an 03 Acura TL-S. It was a pretty nice car but you should be aware of the fact they have transmission issues - luckly, mine was covered under warranty and had to be replaced. They also have really shitty fuel efficiency and used premium gas. Other than that, it was a nice car which had more leg room than the Honda accord.

    I know this isn't the most practical option, but how about an older E-class? 2001-2002 ish you can get for pretty cheap. Maintenance is expensive but its a great highway cruiser and has a lot of leg room (I'm 6'3" and I find it roomy).

    Good luck.
     
  8. huy

    huy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    241
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    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    I think the TL would be a great car for you in your price range. It is an entry level luxury car made from Honda so it is reliable. Gas milage is pretty decent too at 17/27 mpg. Looks good too.
     
  9. J'aimelescravates

    J'aimelescravates Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    America's Venice
    I used to drive an 03 Acura TL-S. It was a pretty nice car but you should be aware of the fact they have transmission issues - luckly, mine was covered under warranty and had to be replaced. They also have really shitty fuel efficiency and used premium gas. Other than that, it was a nice car which had more leg room than the Honda accord.

    I know this isn't the most practical option, but how about an older E-class? 2001-2002 ish you can get for pretty cheap. Maintenance is expensive but its a great highway cruiser and has a lot of leg room (I'm 6'3" and I find it roomy).

    Good luck.


    I was going to suggest a W210 E-class as well! Solidly built car. Will be relatively reliable, is luxurious and the cabin if fairly large and you will fit just fine. I'd recommend adding and extra 1 or 2 K to your budget to be able to purchase the facelift version. Cabin has more features and the body is updated as well. Drawback: Maintenance at Mercedes is expensive. But, with an '01 or '02 most of the bugs should be worked out and fixed by now. Just make sure to get service records and carfax and read them thoroughly.
     
  10. coachvu

    coachvu Well-Known Member

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    628
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    Apr 10, 2006
    Mazda 3. Reliable, cheap, plenty of leg room up front. You can get a hatchback if you need more storage space, as well.
     
  11. username79

    username79 Well-Known Member

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    2,144
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    Apr 1, 2007
    Mazda 3. Reliable, cheap, plenty of leg room up front. You can get a hatchback if you need more storage space, as well.
    +1 absolutely. More fun to drive than a Honda as well. Hands down my favorite rental car.
     
  12. coachvu

    coachvu Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    628
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    Apr 10, 2006
    I was skeptical when my girlfriend bought a Mazda 3, but they are lots of fun to drive. The styling is better than the Honda models, and they are cheaper. It's the car I always recommend for young people on a budget.
     
  13. zeni

    zeni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    I'm your age and I got a VW Rabbit last year. I love it, it's reliable, spacious for a 2 dr (I'm 6ft, and I can fit loads of stuff driving to and from college), fun to drive (lightweight + peppy), and has features you'd expect in higher priced cars (side mirror defrost and blinkers for ex). I tested the Mazda3, also a great car, but the features, styling and drive of the Rabbit won me over. If you want to stay right around that 10k mark, my friend got a Nissan Versa (I think they start at 9something). Nice car and reliable too. Don't have a lot of experience with American cars, so I don't know if all the stereotypes are true, but there might be some decent discounts on them these days. Another friend has a Jeep Compass that's rather nice. Anyway Good luck
     
  14. turboman808

    turboman808 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    878
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Although I love sports cars and spend a great deal of money on them I still have a honda accord for doing the family and friends and being out late kind of stuff.

    For 10 grand a civic or an accord would be a good choice. From toyota a corralla would be good as well.
     
  15. KBW

    KBW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    995
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    Novato, CA
    I'm your age and I got a VW Rabbit last year. I love it, it's reliable, spacious for a 2 dr (I'm 6ft, and I can fit loads of stuff driving to and from college), fun to drive (lightweight + peppy), and has features you'd expect in higher priced cars (side mirror defrost and blinkers for ex). I tested the Mazda3, also a great car, but the features, styling and drive of the Rabbit won me over. If you want to stay right around that 10k mark, my friend got a Nissan Versa (I think they start at 9something). Nice car and reliable too. Don't have a lot of experience with American cars, so I don't know if all the stereotypes are true, but there might be some decent discounts on them these days. Another friend has a Jeep Compass that's rather nice. Anyway Good luck

    Not trying to be an ass but are you a female?
     
  16. humza

    humza Well-Known Member

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    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Not trying to be an ass but are you a female?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. zeni

    zeni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    97
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    Aug 23, 2006
    Offering a friendly reply is grounds for derision? Fuck off.


    To the OP, I forgot to add that I'd avoid used cars. My friends who went that route (an Audi A8 and a BMW Z4) ended up with mechanical issues and neither car had high mileage. Parts for both were naturally expensive and hard to track down. The Z4 it seemed like every month something was going out. For the A8 he started having engine trouble and we found small cracks around hard to spot areas of the engine block. It turned out the previous owner had been in a collision and just replaced cosmetic stuff and parts to keep it running, then sold it off. A few years worth of repairs later and the tranny died.

    Moral of the story, if you do go used, be sure to inspect every inch.
     
  18. Lucky7

    Lucky7 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 30, 2008
    Greatfire,

    Go check out some of the cars mentioned previously by other members...namely the Japanese makes. Go drive them, and see what you can get the best bang for your buck on. I would not recommend the Mercedes. As a MB owner, I can tell you the maintence/reliability issues can be a nightmare...(note my MB was towed from my driveway bright and early yesterday to the dealer to be fixed..it just wouldn't recognize my key..and its a 2008 model)
     
  19. Beta

    Beta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    404
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    May 30, 2008
    i would second the mazda 3...my buddy picked one up new for his wife for 12k...which was an absolute steal for what it is. hell, i liked driving it.
     
  20. coachvu

    coachvu Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    628
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Offering a friendly reply is grounds for derision? Fuck off.


    To the OP, I forgot to add that I'd avoid used cars. My friends who went that route (an Audi A8 and a BMW Z4) ended up with mechanical issues and neither car had high mileage. Parts for both were naturally expensive and hard to track down. The Z4 it seemed like every month something was going out. For the A8 he started having engine trouble and we found small cracks around hard to spot areas of the engine block. It turned out the previous owner had been in a collision and just replaced cosmetic stuff and parts to keep it running, then sold it off. A few years worth of repairs later and the tranny died.

    Moral of the story, if you do go used, be sure to inspect every inch.


    For his budget, he's pretty much going ot have to get a used car. I think the key at the $10,000 price point is to buy a car that is normally not that much more expensive and has very few miles but is now within your price range simply because of the normal (and drastic) depreciation all cars undergo. Buying a BMW, Audi, or Benz that is old or has lots of miles doesn't make sense. Maintenance will be horrendous, and you won't have the car for long. Plus, he can easily find a used car within his budget that still is under the factory warranty.
     

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