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Car Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pete Incaviglia, May 19, 2008.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Okay, I've been thinking of getting a new car for a weeks now.

    Here's what we own:
    2004 Cavalier. Low mileage. Very low. Great shape. Paid off in full.

    2000 Chrysler Cirrus. High mileage. Its only worth is the new set of tires and new used transmission. Paid off in full.

    The Cirrus is bigger, four doors and more convenient for hauling Baby Inky around if we have to. The Cavalier is a total pain in the ass for getting Baby Inky into and out of.

    Which do I trade in for either a used or new minivan (yes, I want a minivan — and I haven't decided new or used yet)?

    I'm not sure if I should trade in the Cavalier, knowing it's worth more and would cut the cost of a new or new used minivan way down. But then I'm stuck with a car that may go at any moment. And, I'm keeping the car that's worse on gas.

    If I trade in the Cirrus, I'm stuck with a car that's too small for me (6'7" 315 pounds) — but its better on gas.

    I'm not sure what to do.
  2. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Damned if you do. Damned if you don't, sounds like, to me.

    I'd probably get rid of the Cav.
  3. jps

    jps Active Member

    My vote goes to keeping the Cavalier -- baby's gonna go into the mini anyway, right? So keep the one that gets you solid mileage.

    That is, of course, if you can deal with the small cockpit.
  4. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I must retract my post. I just reread your info, Inc. I originally thought the Cav was better on gas. Naw, man. Fuck that. Drop the Cav on the new van. The money you save by getting rid of it (although it won't be recognized in a true cash flow), you'll be able to use to fix the Cirrus.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Also, I don't know what type of car research you do, but consumer reports has a tremendous car buying guide for like 24 bucks.
  6. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I highly, highly recommend this. The again, I don't buy anything costing more than about $100 without consulting CR. Just bought a new car with the help of a lot of research and feel great about the car and what I paid for it.
  7. OTD

    OTD Active Member


    I worry about the Cirrus. True, the transmissions were a weak spot, but I'd be worried that the rest of it's going belly up soon.

    When you say the Cav is too small, can you not fit in it at all, or is it good enough for a short drive to work? I'd trade the Cirrus if you can make the Cav work for you at all.

    Also, check your PMs.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Drop the weaker car. It will drop any second and the minute you do, you are paying out the nose to Vinnie to get it fixed until the next problem comes up 6 mos. later.

    As for minivans, we got a Sienna in '05 and we cannot be happier (middle of the road version LE, not XLE). It runs beautifully and is solid. Even three years later, nothing has gone, no nagging little niggling problems. Sounds just the same as the day we brought it home.

    Its the only new car I've bought in the past 20 years. I've had great luck with buying used cars 1-3 years old. Do your research and you can still get a great deal; still get a car with the new car smell while saving the premium on a "new" car. Set up the loan with your bank ahead of time and buy from a private party. Good luck.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    As a longtime connoiseur of horseshit Chrysler products, I'd say ditch the Cirrus too. Not seeing any upside if it's high mileage. Find a dealer who will give you a generous price and fire away.
  10. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Really good advice, but anyone in the market should consider that this might be one time to make an exception. It's an amazingly good time to buy a new car, because they are desperate and have overproduced for the model year. I just got a car for almost $10K (!) under sticker, with 2.9 financing. I literally couldn't buy a two-year-old version of the same car that cheap.
  11. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Trade the Cirrus, Pete.

    1) The Cavalier is better on gasoline.
    2) The Cirrus has the rebuilt transmission.
    3) You would come out with two more dependable vehicles than before the transaction.
    4) I would strongly assume that the baby will likely take the majority of rides in the van, where the extra room and convenience for a baby seat will come in handy. To boot, you can use the Cavalier for more long-distance driving that doesn't involve the little one, helping your mileage.

    I would strongly suspect that the difference in headroom and legroom between the Cavalier and Cirrus isn't that significant (easy for me to say, I know ... I'm also not nearly as large as you are). It's not like the Cirrus is incredibly roomy and such.

    As for minivans, I would look at the Honda Odyssey or something from the MoPar line. Those two are far ahead of the minivan pack. Hondas aren't cheap, but they're bulletproof and the Odyssey my parents have handles and does the automotive-type of stuff well for a minivan. MoPar keeps pushing the envelope with the minivan as the innovator of the category and continues to be a strong performer for families.

    Good luck.
  12. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    My wife is on her third Dodge Caravan, and we've never had a serious problem. Leased the first, and traded the second for the third when the former hit 120,000 miles (not because of anything mechanical, but because it had five years of baby-smell and dog-smell and spilled-apple-juice smell).

    Also worth noting that she's had medium-severity accidents in two of them and walked away with nary a scratch.
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