What kind of car should I get?

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Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum. But that's not what's important here. I'm looking to buy a new car in June. I'll have a budget of about $25,000...possibly able to push it closer to $30,000 with my down payment. Here are the features that are important to me.

-Something that looks nice. I don't necessarily NEED a "chick magnet" car, but I definitely want something that turns heads.
-Something fairly powerful. A V8 would be nice, but if something else is a better value in my price range, I will definitely consider it.
-Automatic is a much. I'm a fairly new driver (about 2-3 years), and I think an automatic transmission would be best for me.
-I love music. So something that comes with a nice sound system would be a big plus.
-Fuel Economy is nice, but not huge. I'd love something that gets good mileage, but I would be willing to look at something more powerful and sacrifice some of the miles.

I've thought about getting perhaps a new Civic, Fusion, or Mustang. I've also thought about buying used, perhaps a Celica, a 350Z, or Pontiac G6, among other things...

Any comments? Suggestions? Thanks in advance, and it's good to be joining the board!

posted by  B to tha ILLY21

Fusion? Not if you want performace. I think the G8 is around 30K, I'd wait a bit though, I doubt you'll be able to get one at sticker for a few months.

A Mustang GT seems like a pretty solid car as well. Probably more of a "chick magnet" than the G8 if you do indeed want that, and cheaper. Not as fast though, and I see a million of them every time I go to the mall.

Used Evos and STi's are in your price range as well, worth looking at.

I think the new Cobalt SS's will be turboed and quite fast, might want to look into that.

If you want a "chick magnet" I'd stay away from the Civic. Stock it looks like a grocery getter, modded it looks like you saw Fast and Furious a few too many times. Plus FWD.

Speaking of which, I'dd say you should make a choice between FWD, AWD, and RWD. Your field is wide right now, try to narrow it down.

I'd imagine the new Camaros will be in your price range if you don't mind waiting. Older Camaros and Trans Ams are good values right now. I bet you could buy and 02 Firehawk with real low miles and an "aftermarket" GM warranty for 25K. Or you could just buy a regular-milaged one, drive it for a few years, and you won't take much of a depreciation hit when you resell. Great looking cars, as fast/faster than anything on the list, and surprisingly good gas MPG. That's my vote, but I'm addmittedly biased towards LS1 engines.

posted by  giant016

Having just gone though the process of buying a new car, let me share some questions you will need to answer.

What are you going to use the car for? Long distance trips, in town driving, etc.?
Will you need to have people ride in the back seat often (need rear seat leg room)?
Will the car be used occasionally for other uses (haul some junk, ...)
How much money are you willing to spend?
Once you buy the car, can you afford to fuel it, maintain it, buy tires, and pay your insurance preminums?

A good example from my experience - I was looking at HHR's with some venturing into a Cobalt myself. When I climbed into the rear seat and could not get my short stocky frame into the car, it became obvious I need to look at other cars - I occasionally have adult passengers in the rear seat. I would have looked at an Equinox, Saturn Aurora or an Impala but the cost of those cars was kind of pricey

Fuel mileage was an important issue - I needed to find something with intowm mileage in the low - mid 20's and highway mileage in the upper 20's- low 30's - -- Fuel around here is over $3.20/gal and is doing nothing but increasing

I ended up stumbling into a gold 5 passenger 2007 Kia Rondo which was tucked away into a less traveled part of our local Kia dealer's showroom. When the dealer and I were discussing price, I decided the Rondo was probably what I needed - I have less money tied up in the Rondo then I would have had in a Cobalt or HHR. Depreciation may be an issue fo9r first couple of years but I usually keep a car for 150,000 - 200,000 miles (exact figure is when the cost of repairs/maintenance exceeds the car's wholesale value) before disposing of the car and replacing it - an 8 to 10 yr old car with 150,000 - 200,000

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Thanks for all the input guys! Here are some more specifications on what I want.

-2 or 4-door isn't really an issue. As long as there is SOME leg room for additional passengers, I'll be fine. None of my friends are really extremely large, so an average amount of room in the back will suffice. And I don't plan on hauling a lot of junk, a lot of my neighbors and friends have trucks, so I could always be the typical American and bother them for it :P
-I can easily afford anything under $25,000. I could afford more, the only problem I have is my credit isn't really established yet, and I don't have a cosigner, so whatever dealership I choose is going to probably want to stick me with a monthly payment of under $300. But yeah, I have NO other bills besides gas and insurance of course, and I work full time, so my budget is fairly high.
-AWD, FWD, or RWD isn't a huge issue for me. I do live in Colorado, so AWD would be nice, but FWD isn't a big deal to me. I'd prefer to stay away from RWD, but if it turns out that I fall in love with something with RWD, I'll manage.
-Gas mileage really isn't a factor. I currently have a 2000 Cavalier that is currently getting roughly 17 MPG, and I still put only around 50 bucks of gas in it a month. I'm sure I would drive more if I had a better car, but I can still afford the gas.

posted by  B to tha ILLY21

I second tbaxleyjr's answer. When buying a car it's very important to look at your personality and lifestyle, that'll help you narrow down your car search. Just think who you are, what type of person you are, what your main activities and needs are... etc. :wink2:

posted by  macal

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