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Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-21-2011, 7:40 PM Reply   
Just got a new job and now am faced with this:
2.5 hour drive each direction - 5 hrs round trip twice a week for the next three months
50 min drive to work after that for what I would guess to be at least 2 years

I'll be spending a lot lot lot of time in a newer car so do I spoil myself and get something flashy with creature comforts or go with low maintenance and high MPGs


I want to spend ~15k out of pocket + ~3k from the sale/trade of my current car.... so about 18k total (I've been looking up to about 20k assuming a may get someone to take a 18k offer)

If I go with a lower MPG nicer car I would really like AWD for the Wisco winters and some flash, higher MPGs I'll go FWD and plane jane to save money.... no matter what I would like it to be at least a 2006 and/or newer body style of a certain model - and ~50k miles

My list looks like this:
Lower MPG and AWD:
2006+ Lexus IS 250
Newer 300c AWD
Newer Subaru WRX
Infiniti G35x
...suggestions welcome - I would like to stay away from German cars


High MPG/Cheaper:
08+ Chevy Malibu
Newer Civc/Civic Hybrid
Nissan Altima Hybrid
Newer Mazda 6
Prius or Camery Hybrid
...suggestions welcome too.


My two front runners are:
Lexus IS 250
and
Chevy Malibu
.... will I thank my self for spending an extra 4k for a little older Lexus with EVERYTHING or end up kicking myself for buying a fancy car?!

Thanks for the help!
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-21-2011, 7:53 PM Reply   
Not that it matters but here are the two I'm seriously looking at:

07' Lexus is 250 - awd / heated leather / nav / back cam / loaded -- 55k miles


08' Malibu LTZ - fwd / leather / not much else 50k miles
Old    Harold Hemming (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       02-21-2011, 7:56 PM Reply   
Look at the KIA'S for what you are looking to spend you can get a very well optioned brand new car with a ten year 100,000 mile warranty.We have had zero problems with ours.Our nice ride sets in the garage and the Kia suffers the daily grind
Old    Tyler Smith (smitty1258)      Join Date: Jun 2009       02-21-2011, 8:00 PM Reply   
You want the AWD, plus nothing sucks more than driving long distance and being uncomfortable
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-21-2011, 8:11 PM Reply   
@Harold - the new optomas look great - I agree, I totally forgot about them, and a warranty would be nice

@Smitty - thats what looms in the back of my head.... I'm going to try and test drive them all in the very near future and that should help a lot - usually there is something you just hate hate or love love when you get into a car
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       02-21-2011, 8:16 PM Reply   
I bought a 2004 IS300 two summers ago and couldn't be happier with my purchase. I drive long distances and its great; although I wish the gas mileage was better.

After buying used cars for my last two daily drivers, I doubt I will buy new ever again. If you time it right and make an educated purchase, you lose a lot less money and can end up with a much nicer car for the initial purchase price. Speaking of Kias, I looked at the new Optima Turbo at the Chicago Auto Show and was extremely impressed.
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       02-21-2011, 8:24 PM Reply   
Get that Lexus you posted and call it a day. That thing is so sweet. Plus it is made by Toyota so it will last forever.
Old    Justin Ward (JDubs)      Join Date: Mar 2010       02-21-2011, 8:53 PM Reply   
forget about the lexus. You will be replacing those tires once a month driving that much.
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       02-22-2011, 7:10 AM Reply   
Neither of those cars look like they'll winter WI driving very well. Plenty of 30mpg nice rice burners for around $10k. Get one of them and a winter beater truck for $5k from somewhere down south. A. You'll be the only guy in WI with a 15year old truck that isn't rusted out and B. Beats the hell out of driving a Lexus with dubs in a snowstorm.
Old    Joe B (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-22-2011, 7:17 AM Reply   
I have an 06' Lexus is250 RWD. Commute 152 miles a day. 124k miles on the car and lifetime MPG is 30. I have snow tires on the stock wheels and get 28 mpg, and I have 18" mrr wheels and summer tires that gets 32mpg at 75mph. I get 40k miles on the summer tires and still going on the winter tires, but probably close to 60k. My summer tires are cheap General Exclaim UHP which ride nicer and longer than dunlops or mich, but obviously don't stick as well (but I don't take it to the track so who cares). Oh and no problems at all. Fluids changed only. Car is lowered on eibach springs and had 2nd set of struts put on at 80k miles. Just about to replace brakes/rotors for the first time (pads were changed for free at 60k due to excessive brake dust). Not a rattle in the car still.

Here's a pic
Name:  LexiSide.JPG
Views: 303
Size:  91.2 KB
Old    kvoman (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       02-22-2011, 7:25 AM Reply   
Get a Civic or a Camry, depending on how large a vehicle you need, then put on a set of winter tires and you're as good if not better than having an AWD with all-season tires.

If you want a little performer and great gas mileage, get a Honda Fit and also put on a set of winter tires.
Old    Joe B (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-22-2011, 7:40 AM Reply   
I'd stay away from hybrids. The battery pack can have some issues after 100k (friends Prius with 160k on the clock). Infiniti gets about 22mpg on the highway.

You should look at the new Hyundai cars and the new Scion TC that has the same engine and 6speed tranny as the Lexus IS250 this year. I almost got the Scion TC, but at the time only had a 4speed auto or 5speed mt and the RPMs were too high on the highway to get 30mpg+ (it was getting about 26).

Yes I put a ton of miles on and the car isn't worth much but I still like driving in it everyday and if I hitch a ride to commute with a friend in his 2-door civic or a buddy's sentra, I miss my quiet plush car. I spend a bunch of time in the car and it turned out to be a great purchase because anything to cut down on the stress like road noise is worth it. Don't get a beater truck and an econo car, 2x insurance payments and stuff to break and mostly the stress. Snow tires are a must on any car!
Old    Dave Kiehl (dave27)      Join Date: May 2005       02-22-2011, 10:35 AM Reply   
Why not the AWD Fusion hybrid?
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-22-2011, 12:15 PM Reply   
your spending alot of time in the car......comfort should be up on your list of priorities. Nothin sucks worse than sitting in an uncomfortable care for hours when you just had a bad day at work. IMO...get the lexus.
Old    kvoman (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       02-22-2011, 12:41 PM Reply   
Wow, didn't know you could get an '07 IS250 for $18k!!! If you do get the Lexus, put on a set of winter tires and your winter driving will be a walk in the park.
Old     (volkspower)      Join Date: Feb 2011       02-22-2011, 2:20 PM Reply   
Get an old beater Honda Civic and save your money for boat fuel.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-22-2011, 3:02 PM Reply   
If you don't need 4 doors, I'd add a late model VW R32 to the list.
Old    J Brewer (wakecumberlandky)      Join Date: Feb 2011       02-22-2011, 3:26 PM Reply   
hybrids are a waste if most of your miles will be highway. They get better mpg in the city but not on the highway.

I have to commute over an hour everyday and a Civic is just fine. 40mpg hw.

If i could find a IS 250 for 18k then id jump on it!

The ford fusion is very roomy and is very nice on the inside.... take a look at those
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-22-2011, 5:57 PM Reply   
So after getting in a IS250 today, i really would like one.... it was just nice in every way a car could be nice.

So here is a follow up questions:

Do I go for the first photo I posted above -
55k miles - loaded - rims - 17k .... after i sell mine / trade means I will take a loan from my bank for ~13k @ ~6.5%
or
08 IS 250 with 35k miles (no nav, backup cam, or rims) from lexus dealer - so it is certified and has a warranty for up to 100k or 3 years but is 24k and after trade/my car sells, I'll be financing ~18k @ .9% for 48 mo.


Is the lower % and warranty worth the extra cash while sacrificing nav/options/rims?
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-22-2011, 6:02 PM Reply   
Gotta go with The WRX, could you splurge and get an STi? those are awesome and will handle snow really well
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-22-2011, 6:17 PM Reply   
unless you are a salesman, I think nav is not really necessary. The only times I use it is when I'm in a strange town on vacation. A $99 tom tom or a smart phone will suffice in those instances. I mean c'mon, do I really need nav to get me home from work?
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-22-2011, 6:27 PM Reply   
^ no, I don't neeeeed it, but the big touch screen is nice to have, I have an aftermarket one in my prelude now and I think it spoiled me
Old    Matthew Short (britshorty)      Join Date: Jun 2009       02-22-2011, 6:35 PM Reply   
In my opinion the GPS you can buy seperately will always trump the in car options. The best gps I've used was on a smart phone though, easier updated maps and you get to use your data plan for traffic info etc.

I have an 04 WRX and love it but there is nothing luxurious about the interior. I don't know how much that has improved but I don't think you really get the sense of style you would out of a lexus but its a blast to drive, makes any commute a lot more interesting. Its also all made of plastic so it rattles a ton.

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