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I'm deciding between two cars...what do you think?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by imjustagirl, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    My 2000 Nissan Sentra is about to give up the ghost, so I'm buying my first car all by myself. Sorry, Rick Stain, but I gotta finance.

    Each of these two has its pros and cons. Which side do you come down on?

    Option 1: 2003 Impala. It has 50K miles. It's obviously the more affordable option (I can finance for three years) but also the higher risk (It's out of warranty). Has all the basics, just a nice, normal, basic Impala. Monthly cost around $250.

    Option 2: 2009 Nissan Versa. Brand new, so warranty. Very very very base model (no power locks or windows, no radio (which I can add aftermarket, so no concerns) and no cruise control). I'd have to finance it for 60 months. Cost every four weeks of about $300.

    My goal going in was to get a stopgap car, something that would get me around while I get my credit up and can get something I WANT next time around. But the opportunity to get something that would be covered the entire time I'm paying on it is intriguing.

  2. bagelchick

    bagelchick Active Member

    IJAG...I just leased a 2010 Nissan Rogue. $269 a month/$300 down.

    It's the S model (I will miss having a sunroof, but I was going for lowest payment possible). I love it.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    i'd go with the new car.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Very fair points, buck. Plus, in three years I can sell the Impala and get something new, or worse case, just trade it in. In three years, I'm barely halfway through paying for a very base, very small car.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    There are two issues you have to consider if those are your only two choices:

    1) Are the benefits of 50k fewer miles and a warranty worth $9,000, the difference between the two payment plans you've described.

    2) Are you in a position where $50/month in extra payments are not significant?

    On the first question, I'd say almost certainly the Impala is the better choice. 50k miles is not a lot for a Chevy Impala, which should reach 200k easily with proper maintenance. The only question is the details of the warranty. Unless it includes gold-plated sparkplug replacements every few months, I can't see any way the expected repair costs would outweigh the cost savings of the Impala.

    On the second question, from what I recall you posting in the past about the state of your personal savings, you definitely aren't in a position where you can afford an extra $50/month that could be going to emergency savings.

    Impala wins in a second-round knockout.
  6. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    How much do you drive? If you don't put a lot of miles on a car, I'd go with the Impala. It will probably last at least 130,000 miles total. If you're planning to drive a lot, I'd go with the Versa. One thing you don't want is the Impala to have 150,000 miles on it and have the transmission go when you've still got six months of payments on it.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Well, they offer bi-montly payments, which would get me done six months early on a 66-month plan. And if that's the case, I can do $150 a paycheck a lot easier than I can do $300 out of one (and yes, I know, I could just budget the $150...but you've seen my finances. Let's be honest).

    A friend looked up the Impala on Consumer Reports, and its engine cooling system is apparently rated among the worst, meaning a radiator could be a concern. Also, it apparently eats up brakes and suspensions. Plus the minor unexpected repairs. So, I don't know if it would add up to $9K. But I do know that I can budget for expected monthly car payments much easier than I can come up with $800 lump sum repair payments.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'm 7 miles from work, and only work four days a week. Plus, I don't go much further than New Haven, which is 30 minutes away. In the 14 months I've lived here, I think I've put 7K miles on my car. So mileage isn't an issue.
  9. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Go with the Impala.
  10. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Have you considered which one is easier to drive while texting/IMing?
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Here's the standard warrantee on a Nissan Vessa:

    Basic: 3 yr. / 36,000 mi.
    Drivetrain: 5 yr. / 60,000 mi.
    Roadside: 3 yr. / 36,000 mi.
    Rust: 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.

    I'd be surprised if you got much, if anything, out of the warranty.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Impala - The 60 month financing will make it very difficult to get out off in shorter than 60 months. It does not sound like you would want to be driving same car 5 years from now.

    Take the extra $50 and put it in savings account monthly to cover any car repair costs.
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