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Car Shopping is destroying my soul, please help.

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My son just moved out to start his life in VT, so I sold him my wife's car for a song and a dance.  That was over a week ago.  I said "How hard can it be to buy a car today?  Hell, for once in my life i might be able to pay in cash!"

 

I've had open heart surgery.  I've had five pacemakers.  I've had one stroke.  All of them are a piece of freaking cake compared to buying a car today!

 

So, here's my question to the only group of people that I trust:  If you wanted to buy a car, but wanted desperately to pay a total of $27k or less, that's after all the BS they put into it, but you wanted AWD, would you look new or low mileage used?  A few months ago I got a Santa Cruz for myself, it's great, but I'm looking for a car for my wife.  

 

Any suggestions would be very well appreciated, and could earn you some spectacular pollock that I flash froze last month...

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If it was my money I would gladly take a look as some lightly used models 30k miles or less could still get you pretty far on $27k.

 

Keep in mind this has only been my experience but subarus seem to have an overall decent following and track record and there are plenty of models that might fit your bill and all of them are AWD

 

As a younger man around 2006 I purchased a stick shift 2004 Subaru Forester around with about 50k miles on it and drove that thing like it owed me money during my young and dumb years through 2018 when I ignorantly drove through the timing chain breaking and ultimately bricked the engine at maybe 130k miles. To this day I still regret it but that car treated me well despite my lack of care and beatings I gave it. One of my favorite cars Ive driven in the snow, good gas mileage, pretty easy to do most minor maintenance yourself and with the hatchback and fold down back seats could fit pretty much anything inside. A quick google search gave me a few options on 2020 models in the 30K miles or less in the general ballpark of your price, I am sure if you shop around you could find something that works for you.

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1 hour ago, Scott Charlton said:

My son just moved out to start his life in VT, so I sold him my wife's car for a song and a dance.  That was over a week ago.  I said "How hard can it be to buy a car today?  Hell, for once in my life i might be able to pay in cash!"

 

I've had open heart surgery.  I've had five pacemakers.  I've had one stroke.  All of them are a piece of freaking cake compared to buying a car today!

 

So, here's my question to the only group of people that I trust:  If you wanted to buy a car, but wanted desperately to pay a total of $27k or less, that's after all the BS they put into it, but you wanted AWD, would you look new or low mileage used?  A few months ago I got a Santa Cruz for myself, it's great, but I'm looking for a car for my wife.  

 

Any suggestions would be very well appreciated, and could earn you some spectacular pollock that I flash froze last month...

This is the new normal. Cash isn’t king like before. Internet buying is even worse, neighbors bought a car from a delivered to your door advertised popular car company. Car was wrong color , and it was 4 Dr sedan , not a hatchback, The company was no “Guru” and has their money and credit tied up , Patience 

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We sold a 2015 Forester (I think, it may have been 2017) that we bought for 28k new, for 14k in 2022. So they have good resale value. It had just under 100,000 miles on it. On our third one now. Gets 30-32 mpg, plenty of pep for a 4 cylinder, never got stuck and runs great in snow and ice. So I agree with AC, Subaru makes a good, solid, reliable car. 

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 CRV, Subaru and Kia has come a long way, buying a car with 25000-30000 and remaining factory warranty and later buying  an extended insurance , Mechanical repairs costs are absurd

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3 hours ago, Good2Go said:

We sold a 2015 Forester (I think, it may have been 2017) that we bought for 28k new, for 14k in 2022. So they have good resale value. It had just under 100,000 miles on it. On our third one now. Gets 30-32 mpg, plenty of pep for a 4 cylinder, never got stuck and runs great in snow and ice. So I agree with AC, Subaru makes a good, solid, reliable car. 

I definitely miss that thing

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14 mins ago, RAW said:

 CRV, Subaru and Kia has come a long way, buying a car with 25000-30000 and remaining factory warranty and later buying  an extended insurance , Mechanical repairs costs are absurd

Absolutely absurd!  The extended warranties today are much more comprehensive than the past, unfortunately after buying one the used car is so close in price to new, you ask yourself if you should just bite the bullet.  I can’t believe how much expensive everything is since COVID…

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Something like this. Will run forever, nice ride, regular gas, Lexus financing, AWD. FYI you will get a better price if you finance through them. Cash is not king anymore. (Pay it off a month after you buy it if you must but take advantage of discounts for financing) 

 

https://www.volvocarsauburn.com/used/Lexus/2020-Lexus-NX-faace32c0a0e0a932cb60c1eba65ed71.htm?store=2649460&campaignid=20594747466&adgroupid=&keyword=&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAn-2tBhDVARIsAGmStVkPitwwk0YhtAqeY9dU6SkrJwK4SBUFJ8XLBsJKIkvJthWTJCZMUoEaAvNiEALw_wcB

 

Edited by Cmansfield67
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17 mins ago, Cmansfield67 said:

Something like this. Will run forever, nice ride, regular gas, Lexus financing, AWD. FYI you will get a better price if you finance through them. Cash is not king anymore. (Pay it off a month after you buy it if you must but take advantage of discounts for financing) 

 

https://www.volvocarsauburn.com/used/Lexus/2020-Lexus-NX-faace32c0a0e0a932cb60c1eba65ed71.htm?store=2649460&campaignid=20594747466&adgroupid=&keyword=&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAn-2tBhDVARIsAGmStVkPitwwk0YhtAqeY9dU6SkrJwK4SBUFJ8XLBsJKIkvJthWTJCZMUoEaAvNiEALw_wcB

 

So very true.  I never even considered a Lexus, as that's always been way out of my price range, but wow that car looks pretty sweet.

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If the question is new versus used, I say new for one reason only, and that's the 3 year-36,000 mile warranty.   It's a great feeling knowing you don't have to worry about repairs for 3 years.   Just my $.02.   Plus, are used cars still outrageous?   

Marty

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For what ever its worth- I prefer looking at certified 3 year old, just came off 3 year lease type cars- CRV/Subarus and currently I am looking at Mazda CX-5. Wife has outback  and loves it and it drives just fine but when I took it into Subaru for the 60000 mile maintaince I could not even pay them to change out the transmission fluid. They said it is just not done or needs to be done. I find it hard to believe as I am very good with changing all fluids, oil at 3000 or if synthetic, 5000, transmission, engine coolant, brake fluid, differential etc in all my other cars. Anyway a quick search for all three brands finds more then enough vehicle types in your price range, at least here in Jersey. Drive a few, see what your wife likes and buy. You may even look at private sales on facebook market place, do a vin check to see if any accidents, maintiance records and go from there. 

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11 hours ago, RAW said:

 CRV, Subaru and Kia has come a long way, buying a car with 25000-30000 and remaining factory warranty and later buying  an extended insurance , Mechanical repairs costs are absurd

In 2012 the car market was also weird after 'cash for clunkers' and it made more sense to buy new, which we'd never done before. We bought a 2013 Soul for like $17k with a 3% loan 3 year loan. Damn thing has run flawlessly except for losing some oil recently, something my mechanic says is not unusual. Never had to use the 10 year warranty. Pretty impressive. It's the Jack Russell of cars, looks small but it's huge inside, 6 footers have no problem in the back seats. But sadly, it's not all wheel. CRV's rock, my son's driving a 97 all over the Rockies and Cascades!

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Buy after a little research.  At your local library see the newest Consumer Digest annual used car issue to find the most reliable make / year /models.  Have your bride pick the make she prefers.  If you buy from a franchise car dealer you will pay 10% more than an identical vehicle from a private seller.  Never a used car dealer unless he is your brother. You will need at least 3 - 8 months to find a private seller having your ideal vehicle using cars.com and other sites.  Always require the private seller to have all service records for your inspection and allow a mechanic that you choose to inspect it for any collision damage repairs and any other potential problems.  When you find THE vehicle, bring a "bank check" with you when making your offer.   Never bring cash. The majority of sellers will accept.  Your politeness when speaking with the seller will make the transaction a pleasure.  Regards,  GE

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