Car purchase questions
I need to choose a car for someone to purchase and this is the story so far:
It needs to be a very safe car, and not too small but nor too large. Also, it should look decent and be reliable as far as the mechanics- that it will not need repairs for many years (it will not be abused or used for long distances too often)
So far, the models that I have found to match this are (all of them are models 2000-2004): Toyota Avalon, Chevy Impala, Nissan Maxima, Ford Taurus, Acura TSX and TL, Toyota Camry (with SAB), Chevy Lumina, Buick LeSabre and Park Avenue, and Honda Civic. I have also noticed that the Lexus ES300 has good ratings and goes for around the same price as the Toyota Avalon. (Which would be a better choice, safety wise and mechanically?)
Of all the above, I am leaning towards the first one- Toyota Avalon (or the Lexus.)
I have never been involved with purchase of a vehicle before and another concern comes up: to buy new or used? And if used, then Certified or not? If not, then from a dealer WITH a warantee of some sort, or at a lower price from a private party or a dealer without a guarantee...
Being that this person wants to finance it and pay monthly, would it make sense to just buy a brand new vehicle? How do the 'Certified' ones stand up to new ones?
If someone can help me out here, I'd appreciate it.
PS- I would surely do a Carfax report before purchasing any vehicle that was not certified.