New car shopping [Archive] - Puff Cigar Discussion Forums

: New car shopping


Ams417
07-10-2016, 04:22 PM
So, due to corporate cuts I am new / slightly used car shopping. I was receiving a stipend and fuel paid via company Amex, but no more. They are now paying depreciation and mileage at a standard rate of 23MPG based on a mid-size SUV. I drive a 2014 Ram Crew cab 4x4 getting 19MPG in mixed city highway. I am going to lose my ass driving this truck on the new plan. Their only stipulation is I have to drive a 4 door. Here is my plan to make this work for me financially.

1. Trade the truck in on a mid size 4 door car. I am way positive on equity in the truck so this will reduce my payment, and not affect the amount the company pays me, due to the standard rate they are paying at. Plus if I can get a car that acheives higher than 23mpg (pretty easy) I will be cash ahead every mile.

2. Take some of that savings and bank it for next spring. I need a 4x4 truck to tow my boat 5.5 miles on the weekends. Something cheap will do just fine. Don't need a $50k truck for daily use, but it has been nice the last 5 years.

I am looking at VW Passat, gas and TDI. Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Impala. I do a couple hundred miles a day, 3-4 days a week so I want to be comfortable.

Anyone have any input on these cars? I have done tons of research, but would love to hear an opinion. So far, I like the Passat. Roomy and stylish. Probably will buy a 1 year old car, with 20k miles to avoid the initial depreciation hit.

selpo
07-10-2016, 04:54 PM
For reliability, you cannot go wrong with the Accord or the Camry but driving pleasure, give me a German car any day. Had a Passat from 2001 to 2008, loved the vehicle and looked forward to driving it everyday.
Moved on to Infiniti M35 which is a glorified Nissan Maxima and while more luxurious than the Passat, did not enjoy it as much.
I am back on the German bandwagon at present.

Rondo
07-10-2016, 05:01 PM
Wifey and I have both had VW for 20 years. (2 Jetta, a TDI and a GTI)
We love the way a euro car rides.
Dependable and great on gas. We can't tow a boat, but I've used the class 1 hitch plenty.

curmudgeonista
07-10-2016, 06:04 PM
I'm also a German car fan, though I don't own a VW. My cousin has a Passat though and absolutely loves it. It drives great, gets outstanding MPG (diesel, in his case), and is very comfortable. Legroom in the backseat is limo-like.

My wife has had several Accords, though not the current generation. They were okay; dependable, but never exciting. The only one from your list I wouldn't touch, personally, is the Toyota. I've had a few as rentals. Finally got so tired of the crappy driving dynamics that I now refuse to accept one. If they don't have something else to give me I'll go to another rental company.

Oh, and I'm still kinda' PO'd about the GM bailout. I'd probably look at a Ford Fusion before I'd buy a Chevy. But, that's just based on principle, not the car itself.

SoCal Gunner
07-10-2016, 06:31 PM
Not that there is anything wrong with VWs, but with all the EPA cheating controversy I'd be wary of any thing VW holding it's value. Now, you could turn this to your advantage and test the used market and see what's out there.

Ams417
07-10-2016, 09:48 PM
Not that there is anything wrong with VWs, but with all the EPA cheating controversy I'd be wary of any thing VW holding it's value. Now, you could turn this to your advantage and test the used market and see what's out there.

You can buy a lightly used TDI for less than a gas car if you shop around. I am not above driving 500 or more miles for the right deal. Road trips are fun. So far I am thinking a certified pre owned 2016 Passat 1.8T with leather and moon roof. With diesel fuel being higher than gas, and the future recalls, or EPA penalties against existing cars the TDI loses some sparkle. Besides the 2016 gas cars get 38 highway. I can buy cheap 20 year old truck for boat duties and pay cash. So far the VW is the only car that does anything for me style wise. Especially the R trim package.

ForceofWill
07-10-2016, 10:07 PM
I have a '14 Ram 2500 too woot. Our other car is a '15 Ford Fusion energi. You should really look at Ford, after 2011 they're a different company. I've had a '12 Mustang GT, a '13 Boss 302, an 11 Explorer and then this Fusion. I've owned a lot of cars including an Audi TT and other sporty cars like a Supra, 3x 240sx and I'm kind of a Ford fanboy now. The Fusion is an awesome sedan for the money and all done up are nicer inside than any VW for sure.

Go look at some Fusion hybrids for sure.

Ams417
07-10-2016, 10:35 PM
I have a '14 Ram 2500 too woot. Our other car is a '15 Ford Fusion energi. You should really look at Ford, after 2011 they're a different company. I've had a '12 Mustang GT, a '13 Boss 302, an 11 Explorer and then this Fusion. I've owned a lot of cars including an Audi TT and other sporty cars like a Supra, 3x 240sx and I'm kind of a Ford fanboy now. The Fusion is an awesome sedan for the money and all done up are nicer inside than any VW for sure.

Go look at some Fusion hybrids for sure.

My wife actually looked at one in 2014. I didn't like it. My grandmother has a 2012 Fusion too. Ergonomically I don't fit it. Whatever I buy, I will be doing an extended test drive. I live in my Ram, I will be comfortable or I'll just keep the truck and suffer through it for a while. I'm 6"3 and about 320lbs, I don't fit well in most vehicles. The Passat wasn't bad to my surprise.

ForceofWill
07-10-2016, 11:00 PM
My wife actually looked at one in 2014. I didn't like it. My grandmother has a 2012 Fusion too. Ergonomically I don't fit it. Whatever I buy, I will be doing an extended test drive. I live in my Ram, I will be comfortable or I'll just keep the truck and suffer through it for a while. I'm 6"3 and about 320lbs, I don't fit well in most vehicles. The Passat wasn't bad to my surprise.

Hah yeah, at 6'3 I don't blame you on the Fusion. What about the smaller crossover/suv's? Mazda Cx7, Escape etc.

purepoker
07-10-2016, 11:54 PM
I drive a 2012 Toyota Camry xle that I bought new in December 2012. I have 195,000 miles on it now. Drive a little more than you as I drive 5 days a week. I still average 31 miles a gallon running it hard. Good car, I would recommend it.

Edit: I would not recommend for someone big and tall.

Ams417
07-11-2016, 12:15 AM
Hah yeah, at 6'3 I don't blame you on the Fusion. What about the smaller crossover/suv's? Mazda Cx7, Escape etc.

I'll need more MPG than an SUV will give. Plus cost is a factor. Trying to work the policy limits to make this equal to the previous plan with a lesser vehicle to balance the financial equation. Found a new 2016 Passat I want to look at. Traveling for work makes it nice sometimes. I can take my lunch break and test drive a car 150 miles away from here. I've been with this company nearly 16 years. Just have to adapt to the the changing landscape. My boss recently mentioned to one of my counterparts. "If you don't like changes, you'll like irrelevancy even less."

Tabloid Snapper
07-11-2016, 12:23 PM
When I work for a Fortune 500 Company, I got a Car, the company paid for a weekly wash, all gas, all maintainance, and it was wonderful. All I was expect to do was pay for personal useage gas. I use to full up Friday around noon, then after work go to the beach on Friday night for dinner, the rest of the weekend was short trips, and Monday I use to fill up again. If over the weekend I got low on gas I put in $5.00 to make it to Monday morning.

When I was self employeed a car lasted me 15-18 months, as I drove like 120,000 miles a year. I totally understood the real cost of operating a vehicle. My math said $0.45/mile. That cover cost of vehicle, value at trade -sell- off, gas, oil, tires, oil changes, and all ther other things like a battery, 3 or 4 sets of tires.

IMHO you company is ripping you off with their p**** poor auto allowence.

Ams417
07-11-2016, 12:59 PM
When I work for a Fortune 500 Company, I got a Car, the company paid for a weekly wash, all gas, all maintainance, and it was wonderful. All I was expect to do was pay for personal useage gas. I use to full up Friday around noon, then after work go to the beach on Friday night for dinner, the rest of the weekend was short trips, and Monday I use to fill up again. If over the weekend I got low on gas I put in $5.00 to make it to Monday morning.

When I was self employeed a car lasted me 15-18 months, as I drove like 120,000 miles a year. I totally understood the real cost of operating a vehicle. My math said $0.45/mile. That cover cost of vehicle, value at trade -sell- off, gas, oil, tires, oil changes, and all ther other things like a battery, 3 or 4 sets of tires.

IMHO you company is ripping you off with their p**** poor auto allowence.

Oh, I couldn't agree more. I'm a GM for them running a facility of 32 employees and 3 salaried field sales people. It's a good gig, I had a very similar setup to what you described above until July 1 and it was great. The new system sucks and I have to downgrade my ride to make it work. Heard another good one on a conference call today regarding the new versus the old systems. "Your replacement won't know the difference." Isn't corporate American wonderful.

Chad Vegas
07-11-2016, 01:07 PM
If you want a car that will survive anything, get a Honda Accord. I put mine through hell & it still purrs like a champ. I'm 6 ft tall & somewhat thin, so being comfortable has never been a problem. Depending on your build, I would pick a Honda or Toyota over a VW any day. Everyday you can feel that Japanese ingenuity!

Ams417
07-12-2016, 01:03 AM
If you want a car that will survive anything, get a Honda Accord. I put mine through hell & it still purrs like a champ. I'm 6 ft tall & somewhat thin, so being comfortable has never been a problem. Depending on your build, I would pick a Honda or Toyota over a VW any day. Everyday you can feel that Japanese ingenuity!

Drove a used 2015 Passat TDI and 1.8T gas car today. Meh, comfortable but not exciting. I have a nice truck, lots of technology, lots of bells and whistles. This is going to be a difficult compromise. I am going to look at an Accord tomorrow. Sat in a Fusion and a Malibu today, nope, to small. MPG is a big concern. I also want to look at a Passat R Line.

curmudgeonista
07-12-2016, 01:37 AM
You might want to look at the Mazda6 too. Known for being economical, roomy, and fun to drive.

Drummerguy1584
07-12-2016, 09:08 PM
+1 for the Mazda6. It was between that and a Ford Fusion titanium for the wife... She wanted the Mazda more and liked how it drove better..but she knew the head of finance at our local ford dealership who took over 10K off the fusion titanium and gave her 4.5% interest whereas Mazda offered her 22% interest...


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

Ams417
07-12-2016, 11:02 PM
Drove 282 miles today getting 19.2 mpg and getting reimbursed at 23 mpg :(

Found a Passat R Line comfort in Oklahoma for $8k under msrp. I think that's the direction I'm headed. Fusions too small for sure. Didn't like the Accord really. Still need to look at a Mazda. Might hold off a couple months and see what kind of incentives and discounts come out with the lots filling up with 2017's. Looks like there are some brands discounting already. Dealer I've talked with say new sales are slow this summer.

Drummerguy1584
07-12-2016, 11:16 PM
Personally I say keep the truck, every guy needs one... But I digress


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

Ams417
07-12-2016, 11:35 PM
Personally I say keep the truck, every guy needs one... But I digress


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

If I trade the Ram in on a $20k car, I could buy a cheap truck to tow and haul stuff. Losing money out of pocket every mile I drive is driving me nuts. It's not a lot of money on a daily basis but it'll add up to a good amount in a month, or a year.

Picture of the R Line I like so far.

Drummerguy1584
07-12-2016, 11:39 PM
I hear ya, my Tacoma on 33" mudders, fox coil overs with a 7" lift drinks more gas than Homer Simpson drinks Duff beer... I just can't bring myself to part with having a truck... I drive the wife's car when I don't need the truck. I totally understand the need for a more economical car though.


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

Ams417
07-20-2016, 12:03 AM
Got the VW today. 2016 Passat R Line with all options, $7.5k under msrp, plus $1k over value on my trade in. Not a bad deal, still I am gonna miss that truck. Averaged 32.5mpg on the 5 hour drive home running 85 on the turnpike. Saving money already.

Drummerguy1584
07-20-2016, 12:20 AM
Congrats on the new wheels!


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Plato

curmudgeonista
07-20-2016, 12:38 AM
Congratulations...

And dare I say, pics or it didn't happen! >:)

Ams417
07-20-2016, 06:25 PM
Congratulations...

And dare I say, pics or it didn't happen! >:)

Already put about 600 miles on it. So far I am liking it alright. Took a couple of my sales guys to KC in it today. Just got home. Not a bad car for the money. Time will tell if its reliable.

Ams417
08-03-2016, 01:19 AM
So far I have 2800 miles on the Passat, and I am liking it a lot. Averages about 32 mpg mixed driving, got 40.2 mpg on a 200 miles highway run last week. Reduced my overall debt by $9k and my income per month is up about $500 - $600 moving from a truck to a car. Also picked up a cheap truck to tow the boat on the weekends for $1500 cash, its cheaper to pay tax and insure both the Passat and the old truck than it was to own the Ram. 2001 GMC 4x4, runs and drives good, cold A/C, but some major cosmetic issues. I have a new bed coming for it soon. Pick N Pull has one in the same color for $169 with no rust and a lot less damage. Going to try to get it this week, if I can find the time to pull it. I have mine ready to come off. Just need a couple hours free time. I don't mind getting my hands dirty if it saves me some cash.

curmudgeonista
08-03-2016, 01:34 AM
So far I have 2800 miles on the Passat, and I am liking it a lot. Averages about 32 mpg mixed driving, got 40.2 mpg on a 200 miles highway run last week. Reduced my overall debt by $9k and my income per month is up about $500 - $600 moving from a truck to a car. Also picked up a cheap truck to tow the boat on the weekends for $1500 cash, its cheaper to pay tax and insure both the Passat and the old truck than it was to own the Ram. 2001 GMC 4x4, runs and drives good, cold A/C, but some major cosmetic issues. I have a new bed coming for it soon. Pick N Pull has one in the same color for $169 with no rust and a lot less damage. Going to try to get it this week, if I can find the time to pull it. I have mine ready to come off. Just need a couple hours free time. I don't mind getting my hands dirty if it saves me some cash.
An idea for you. See if they'll let you remove the old bed at the breaker's yard and dump it with them. Then install the new one there and drive it home completed.

Ams417
08-03-2016, 01:43 AM
An idea for you. See if they'll let you remove the old bed at the breaker's yard and dump it with them. Then install the new one there and drive it home completed.

That's the idea. They want my old bed for a "core" anyway. I removed all the bolts already, and hand tightened two back into mine so its going to be easy to remove, but wont fall off on the way over there. Pulled the tailgate and bed liner out so just need to pull 2 bolts and the taillights and its off. Borrowed a 1/2 inch Snap On electric impact from a buddy for the bed at the yard, got a 4 foot cheater bar and sailors vocabulary if I need it. Shouldn't take 30 minutes to swap the beds if I can find a couple strong guys hanging around I can bribe with a $10 bill to help me at the wrecking yard to carry the good bed and set it on the truck. I'm pretty good with a wrench, and I don't like to lose. $169 is a lot cheaper than I thought or I wouldn't fix it. That dent and the rust don't affect the way it runs, but my wife is a little embarrassed to ride in it as is.

Ams417
08-03-2016, 09:40 PM
Well, worked my butt off this afternoon. Here is the result, compared to the above picture, lots better. Total cost, $149 including a car wash.

curmudgeonista
08-03-2016, 11:40 PM
Nice job! That's gotta' be very satisfying.

And I'm guessing the markdown buying the truck was about 10x what you ended up spending to put it right.

Ams417
08-04-2016, 12:42 AM
Nice job! That's gotta' be very satisfying.

And I'm guessing the markdown buying the truck was about 10x what you ended up spending to put it right.

At least, its a decent looking mechanically sound 4x4 now. Hard to find that for $1700.