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Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       10-12-2011, 11:11 AM Reply   
Hey everyone,

I bought a lexus is250 like 10 months ago and now am thinking about selling ... from the sale I could pay off what is still owed, pay off my school loans, and have about 10k +/- left for a new car (or a little more to rollover from existing loan if its the right car). This all is coming from the fact I will cutting my 110 mile a day commute to like 5 miles round trip. No need for a nice fancy car for such a short drive.... also it would be nice to be completely debt free.

What I am looking for in a replacement:
used (10k or so price point)
Reliable and/or cheap fixes
Some level of style and/or fun to drive (subjective I know...)
FWD (awd is fine but NOT rwd) - Wisconsin winters are harsh so really sporty cars won't fair to well
... thats about it

Current cars I'm looking at to replace the IS250:
Civic - had one before and it was bullet proof (would like 2000 Si or 5th gen coupe)
04+ Saab 9-3 (updated body style) -- anyone know about the reliability on these?... not familiar with Saab at all
07+ Camry SE -- Toyota seems solid and reliable
05/06 Nissan Altima SE-R -- altimas are pretty solid cars, SE-R seems zippy
... anything else?! that you guys think might fit the bill for what I'm looking for?

Thanks!
Old    Nick A (Therapy10)      Join Date: Oct 2011       10-12-2011, 2:10 PM Reply   
I had a '06 Saab 9-3 Aero which had no issues; there was a coolant issue with these models but was recalled and replaced cost-free (or should have been). I had the car for 40k (sold at 74k) but had to get rid of it so I could get a truck to pull the boat. I LOVED that car and miss it! The turbo isn't off the line fast but passing speeds will through you back hard and handles well.

These cars are notorious for having electrical gremlins (random electrical issues that resolve by themselves with time). Saabcentral.com is a forum biased but can give you feed back on a certain model year and any issues associated.

My Aero was relatively cheap (15k for a three year old luxury car and 35k miles) but maintenance (oil change $100) and service, if needed, will likely be expensive.
Old    Diggs (pdxWAKE) (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       10-12-2011, 3:18 PM Reply   
I think they are nice cars. Re-sale is really hard on them, so make sure you get a good deal. I would not pay book. They are not an easy car to flip later. I don't know much about their reliability.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       10-12-2011, 5:05 PM Reply   
One of the best used car deals out there if you go a few years old. Be pre-warned that if you work on it youself, expect on working on a car that is like taking random parts and designs from a domestic car and a German car - some stuff is easy to work on, other stuff is painfully stupid like German cars tend to be (yes, I realize it isn't German, just giving a reference as to what they are like to work on). Front wheel drive sucks on anything, though.

Also consider:
Early B7 A4 Quattro
330xi
G35x
04+ TL (again, FWD, but if you are considering it)
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-12-2011, 6:57 PM Reply   
No offense, but if your looking for a decent used car at 10k Saab is not the place to look. Saab and "saving money" are hardly synonymous.

Go the Toyota or Honda direction. More importantly though, choose something you wont have to trade in 10 months, haha! Quick vehicle changes can get costly.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       10-12-2011, 7:12 PM Reply   
We just picked up a 2004 one owner Mercedes C320 4matic with 75000 on the clock, basically right at your pricepoint (with the original $42K window sticker in the glove box). AWD is pretty important and I was looking at 4motion passats and subarus of all stripes. The MB is a really nice car (how do they make a mercedes SMELL like a mercedes? I swear this thing smells just like the one my grandma had when I was a kid). Despite it seeming a tad staid, it's pretty fun to drive.

All cars have their failure points and issues.

S2000? RSX? Might even be able to squeeze into an 8th gen civic si, jetta glx, or gti if you find something with higher miles.
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-12-2011, 9:41 PM Reply   
Saab builds many really nice cars. The comfort and quality are high and the performance is good.
They have always had a bad resale value in North America. That means when you look at cars of similar prices the Saab jumps out as a great deal after you've driven it. If not it's overpriced. When you sell it it might take a little longer to find a buyer.
Saabs handle winter very well. Parts may take a little longer to get and not everyone knows how to work on them.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       10-13-2011, 2:54 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattieK27 View Post
No offense, but if your looking for a decent used car at 10k Saab is not the place to look. Saab and "saving money" are hardly synonymous.

Go the Toyota or Honda direction. More importantly though, choose something you wont have to trade in 10 months, haha! Quick vehicle changes can get costly.
Why do you say Saabs are unreliable? A friend of mine has two of them (9-3 and a 9-7...though I know the 7 is just a Trailblazer), but hasn't had any issues with either, and has had them for a while now.

Toyota and Honda make souless cars (excluding the S2K and maybe the CR-Z/Civic Si if you really want to stretch it) - not everyone wants boring A to B transportation.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       10-13-2011, 6:58 AM Reply   
I've pretty much rules out audi/benz/bmw because of maintenance costs.

FWD with snow tires has never been an issue for me... awd is nice but by no means needed... especially if my drive will now by like 3 miles.

Thanks for the inputs, keep um' coming!
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       10-13-2011, 7:13 AM Reply   
for sake of seeing exactly what I am, here are some of the specific cars I'm looking at:
Saab: http://wausau.craigslist.org/cto/2642408315.html
Altima SE-R: http://wausau.craigslist.org/cto/2634349487.html
Camry: http://wausau.craigslist.org/cto/2599405106.html
RSX: http://madison.craigslist.org/ctd/2621056057.html
TSX: http://madison.craigslist.org/ctd/2597251551.html
RL (Awd): http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/2590380115.html (Leaning towards this at the moment)
Old    Tommy G (tommyg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-13-2011, 11:16 AM Reply   
of your list, the Acura RL is by far the best looking deal there. Obviously depends on condition of course.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-13-2011, 12:55 PM Reply   
you'd be making a terrible choice with the Saab if you're looking at that list..

TSX for gas mileage and RL for baller status and comfortable car.. RSX to look like 16 year old asian kid, Camry to look like 75 year old grandma
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-13-2011, 4:54 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
you'd be making a terrible choice with the Saab if you're looking at that list..

TSX for gas mileage and RL for baller status and comfortable car.. RSX to look like 16 year old asian kid, Camry to look like 75 year old grandma
What kind of car do I need to make sure I look like a 26 year old, white american, who wakeboards?
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       10-13-2011, 4:58 PM Reply   
on a serious note... as much fun as a rsx type-s is to drive... a friend on mine had one and it had the same problem it seems like all of the honda 6 speed trans do... falls out of 3rd gear (i think it was 3rd)

** and he wasnt asian
Old    lakeski (lakeski)      Join Date: Dec 2006       10-13-2011, 5:32 PM Reply   
Since GM sold Saab to a Swedish auto maker, it's been in tough shape. This past spring, some of Saab's parts suppliers cut them off for unpaid invoices. Then, over the summer, Saab was repeatedly having trouble making its payroll. They have a financing deal with a Chinese company, but that money hasn't materialized due to delays by the Chinese central government. They filed for bankruptcy last month to try to buy time until the Chinese money comes through.
Old    j. gatsby (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       10-13-2011, 6:56 PM Reply   
I have had three saabs in the last 15 years so I guess I will chime in-- I now have an 04 9-5 Aero--GM slowly took the a lot of the Saabiness out the cars through the years-

My saabs have been very reliable--meaning they never really broke down or wouldn't run--but they have issues that arise from time to time--there seems the be a few weak links-a good saab mechanic can diagnose the problem real quick .

Using Saabnet.com, you can almost always figure out the problem before the shop tells you.

My first saab was new. But then I started getting them a couple of years old. You get a lot of bang for the buck. The aeros are surprisingly quick and comfortable.

Plus people think you are a professor or an architect.

Honda, Acura or Toyota are probably cheaper to own and more reliable--but for the money, a used saab can be a great deal. Make sure you go to Kelly Blue Book or car gurus site to get good view of the prices for used cars in your area.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-13-2011, 7:42 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrousbird View Post
Why do you say Saabs are unreliable? A friend of mine has two of them (9-3 and a 9-7...though I know the 7 is just a Trailblazer), but hasn't had any issues with either, and has had them for a while now.

Toyota and Honda make souless cars (excluding the S2K and maybe the CR-Z/Civic Si if you really want to stretch it) - not everyone wants boring A to B transportation.
Compared to Honda's and Toyota's, they tend to have items that fail or stop working. Enough to be a big issue? No, but many times costly to fix.

Comparing the 9-7 is ridiculous, considering it is a Trailblazer. The original poster was looking for a decent reliable CAR, with the main purpose to save money. It never occurred to me that "soul" was part of the equation, but then again if poor build quality and torque steer is "soul" I'll pass.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       10-14-2011, 6:25 AM Reply   
Quote:
falls out of 3rd gear (i think it was 3rd)
Yup, RSX manual has TONS of problems with this - I would go automatic

Quote:
the Acura RL is by far the best looking deal there. Obviously depends on condition of course
I agree completely but the owner emailed me back once and now I can't get a hold of him - maybe sold it or doesn't want to anymore

Quote:
You get a lot of bang for the buck. The aeros are surprisingly quick and comfortable.
I had a buddy with a 9-3 years ago and he loved it (Deer destroyed it though) and that is what put me on to a 9-3 as an option.


Quote:
choose something you wont have to trade in 10 months, haha! Quick vehicle changes can get costly.
Assuming the guy shows up and the sale goes through this weekend on my car I will make about $3,000 on my buy/sell (including the taxes I had to pay and plate transfer).... might go into the used car business.

Quote:
but for the money, a used saab can be a great deal.
These things from new to 5 years old lose like 75% of their value... I'll gladly be the guy to take advantage of that.
Old    Dustin Diaz (val_cal)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-15-2011, 11:35 PM Reply   
Isn't the Saab the same thing as the WRX wagon?
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       10-16-2011, 2:51 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by val_cal View Post
Isn't the Saab the same thing as the WRX wagon?
That's the Saab 9-2. Was a great deal back when GM was doing 0% financing on Saabs and the employee pricing - you could get the 9-2 for less money than the WRX wagon.
Old    Wotan (wotan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-20-2011, 9:21 AM Reply   
I'm on my 3rd Saab. Drove my 99 base 9-3 to 180,000 miles with only a couple of minor problems. Put about 50k miles on my 01 Viggen and then just upgraded to an 07 Aero SportCombi.

As odd as it seems, every single time I went car shopping was to go out to buy something besides a Saab. After driving everything else, I always ended up with deciding that the Saab was MUCH more car for the money. Maintenance is less than that of the german cars although with the GM bankruptcy certain parts have become almost impossible to find.

I paid less than $13k for my V6 Aero with every option and less than 50k miles. There just wasn't anything else foreign or domestic that would get me those options for that kind of price. Very happy with being a Saab owner, again.
Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       10-21-2011, 7:50 PM Reply   
2 years ago I was driving an '07 F150 SuperCrew and started commuting 55 miles each way. I was spending a ton in gas, so I bought an '03 TL Type S. It had 105k on it and I got it for around $7,500 if I remember correctly. It was in great shape, heated seats, HID lights, all the toys and super cheap. I actually enjoyed driving that car more than the truck after a while. I wasn't super excited about that generations styling and was really more interested in the CL Type S but they were a little pricier. I had a '05 TSX 6 speed, and though I never had the transmission issues, the Type S was more fun to drive even though it had 100k on it and the TSX was brand new. The Type S had a lot of power for the price. It did decent in the snow, and I ended up getting around 28 miles per gallon. In the end I sold the truck and car and got a G35x. Everyone is going to have different opinions, but I think the Acuras are a lot more solid than the Infinitys. I love my Infinity, but the transmission is a little weird and the fit and finish is not fantastic.

My neighbor has a Saab and I personally think they are ugly. The upside is they seemed to have the same body design for about 50 years so you could probably save a ton of cash and get an older one that looked the same as a newer one

If you do go with the Acura, make sure it's got good brakes. Mine would shudder like mad when I had hard stops.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-22-2011, 10:36 AM Reply   
Why are we talking about Saabs in this forum? It's not a boat nor does it tow a boat.

I'm all for car threads, but I usually go to car forums to read them.
Old    j. gatsby (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       10-23-2011, 9:57 AM Reply   
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-23-2011, 12:24 PM Reply   
An exceptionally good response there gatsby.

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