Car search is on… any tips?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
939 posts
Busy bee

@CakeyP:  it sounds like you are well informed! I just bought a 2013 altima after my 2004 cavalier shit the bed, and it is so nice to have a reliable, sturdy car! my cavalier was so lightweight I alwat=ys felt like I was blowing all over the intertate when it was windy! I live in vermont so I needed something that could handle the snow, I know a lot of people around here have cr-v’s and subarus, they are great cars in the snow! something I’ve found really important in car shopping is trusting my gut, if a salesperson is pushy or seems skeezy get out! I was lucky in that my FI is really close with the guy who owns the dealership where I bought my car, so there was zero pressure and we got an amazing deal, the guy who helped me out took a lot of time to show me all of the features on the two models I was looking at ( the altima and the rogue) and really listened to what I wanted and didn’t try to push his opinion on me. Sometimes as a female dealing with anything car related can be a pain in the ass because for some reason it is assumed that women don’t know anything about cars! I would just do my reasearch ( which it seems like you are doing!) and stick to my guns about what I want!

Post # 4
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

If I’m interested in a used car at a dealer, I always go back to this old article on Edmunds for a refresher.  It’s long but provides a very interesting perspective along with tips towards the end.

Confessions of a Car Salesman:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/confessions-of-a-car-salesman.html

Btw, I’m a Subaru fan and am on my second one.

Post # 7
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would enthusiastically recommend both the CR-V and the Impreza. Both are safe, reliable cars that will retain their value and serve you very well. Personally, I drive an Impreza hatchback (2011 Outback Sport model). We went with a Subaru because of the all wheel drive and availability of a manual transmission. Honda’s AWD system works a little differently but for all intents and purposes does the same thing. 

My suggestion would be to use the internet to decide on the features you want, then go to the dealer and say “I want to test this specific car.” For most people, gas mileage is more important than horsepower (I mean, unless you’re racing, once you reach a certain point you have enough). Both cars will have plenty of horsepower. Because they’re both great cars, I think it should come down to price and what you personally feel more comfortable driving. 

Post # 8
Member
3635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Are paying cash?  Going to finance through the dealer?  Have you been pre-approved through your bank?

The biggest thing to focus on is the total price – NOT the monthly payments.  Dealers will try to talk monthly payments with you without telling you the interest rate or term, since so many people just thing “yeah I could afford that.”  Focus on the final cost, then on how you’ll pay for it.  Having your own backup is best (coming with the cash or a pre-approval from your own bank with a decent interest rate. 

Don’t let them bundle financing with the price.  “We can talk about options, but I have the money, let’s just talk about price for now.”  Once you decide on a price, then you can see if they’ll offer you better financing than you can get on your own – a lower interest rate, etc.

Post # 9
Member
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@CakeyP:  KBB doesn’t really hold much value when it comes to car buying/selling. Stick with Edmunds and the car’s True Market Value. Do you know a specific car you are looking at? When I bought my car, I did three months of research first, tracked down the EXACT car I wanted, and paid $250 less than my ‘best case scenario’ price. I went in there all on my own too! They will start by asking you what you want to keep your payments at per month… DO NOT TELL THEM! Just say you will worry about your monthly payments once you agree on a price. I started with an offer that was 3% lower than their asking price and went from there. Don’t feel pressured to agree upon a price if you don’t feel comfortable. Also, set a limit for yourself and do not exceed that amount!

Goodness, I could go on for a while. Let me know if you have any questions. I had a great experience purchasing my car.

Post # 10
Member
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

FI and I have a Subaru Impreza (2012) and we love it!! It’s a great little car and a great value. We needed a car with 4 wheel drive and it was one of the only reasonably-priced options out there. I would definitely recommend it!

Post # 12
Member
939 posts
Busy bee

@CakeyP:  I love it, I’m so so glad that I got it. My fiance really wanted me to get the rougue but it felt like too much of a “mom” car to me, even though I’m a mom! the altima is really spacious, and the trunk is huge! we’re planning on one more and I think it will be a great size. FI has a 3/4 ton dodge diesel truck so we needed a family car. it also gets awesome gas mileage, I average about 35/36 mpg. I also find that nissans have much cooler features compared to other cars in the same price range, mine has a sunroof, backup camera, navigation package with blutooth and sirius xm, plus it has a remote engine starter and external ground lighting!

Post # 13
Member
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

my dh has a subaru impreza.  he loves it.  it’s great in the snow.

my sister has a honda crv.  i thought it would be great but she constantly has problems with it.  maybe it’s just hers.

the difference of those vehicles in the snow, the subaru is awd all of the time and the crv is 2wd and automatically turns to 4wd when it deems necessary.  imo, less control over that vehicle.

Post # 16
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@CakeyP:  Our car is a CHAMP in the snow. We put good snow tires on it and have had no issues driving on unplowed highways (thanks, New Hampshire), parking on snowbanks (oh, Boston), and once I drove it up my parents’ neighbors’ very steep driveway with 8″ of snow. 

We have had it for three years (purchased in September 2010) and have spent nothing but oil changes, snow tires, and an air filter. Growing up in VT, pretty much everyone has at least one Subaru and I’ve seen many go over 200k miles. 

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