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Time for a New Car!


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#1 OnlyPantherFaninMaine

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:22 AM

This weekend I'll be going car shopping out in Southern California. My budget is around $23,000 and I kind of have my heart set on a few different options but would love some other ideas from those on the Huddle. I'll be paying for the vehicle up front and in full so not sure I need to worry too much about financing.

As a graduate student, right now I am looking for a car I can use out here in CA for the next couple years and then 4-6 more years after I am done with school and employed full-time. That being said, I'm hoping I can find a good deal on an Infiniti G37s coupe from 07'-09'. Aside from the G37, I've looked into BMW's 335i and because of my budget, would need to get possibly an 06-07 with around 50,000 -60,000 miles on it. These cars are similar in performance and value when new; and I was wondering if anyone could recommend any other makes and models of similar grade and cost. Anything that is 4-5 years old with around 40,000 miles and around my budget is preferable and I like coupes more than 4 doors.

Also, should I stay away from salvaged titles? I know I could get a nice vehicle much cheaper but is it really worth it in the long run? This is my first experience buying a vehicle on my own. I'd like to think that I am a good negotiator and do you think it would be possible as a 22 year old to get a used car salesmen to come down a couple grand on his asking price? I'm hoping paying up front and in full will make it easier to get a salesmen to come down a few grand.

Thanks for the read and any information/opinions are welcome! I'll be sure to let you know how I make out and will post a picture as soon as I get the chance. Oh, almost forgot, if any of you CA Panther fans on the Huddle happen to work at a car dealership and could help me out in any way it would be appreciated.

#2 Anybodyhome

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:53 AM

My wife bought an Infiniti G new in 2006 after an accident destroyed her 2000 Lexus GS300. I'll keep it simple- the G looks good and will flat out haul balls, but in no way, shape or form does it compare to the Lexus she replaced or any one of several other autos we test drove.

The car is over 6 years old and has 40k miles on it, so it gets driven nowhere. All factory scheduled maintenance done on time. The leather interior is shot, a rear side window gasket has been replaced under warranty 4 times, the windshield gasket once. The brushed steel appearance finish is flaking off the interior surfaces. In short, the car looks great on the outside and a friggin' mess on the inside. And I baby my cars, forever cleaning them, making sure there's a good coat of wax on the outside and leather cleaner and conditioner inside.

The reason her car has so few miles? I'm 6'6" and it is the most uncomfortable car I've ever sat in, so we travel nowhere in it. The width of the leg space kills me. My right leg is forever against the console, perfectly hitting the side of my knee. I also wear a 14 shoe and there have been several occasions where my foot is on both the gas and brake pedal simultaneously. The seats don't have enough travel to adjust them comfortably and the heated seats take 20 minutes to get going. Sound system is average. I own a 2009 Tahoe LTZ loaded with every option offered by Chevy. Not great on gas, but at my size there aren't a lot of choices when it comes to comfort. My knees are shot, so this is a major consideration also.

The car simply has not aged well at all. You can tell it's a high-priced Nissan. As a matter of fact, I'd rather spend the money on a loaded Altima before I bought another Infiniti.

It is my wife's car so I let her decide which she wanted. But we test drove these cars along the way: Audi A6, Volvo S60, Mercedes 300 series, BMW 335ci. After driving the Audi A6, I drove (not her) the S6 which is just a bad ass automobile- love it. The Volvo was a very nice ride, but when you're my age, reading glasses just to see the dash climate control and sound system buttons isn't good- they were tiny. The BMW was a convertible and also a sweet ride, but I wasn't impressed with the suspension for a cruiser, it was pretty stiff. Mind you, this was a few years back, so models I'm sure have changed.

The fact you're paying full cash is worth 10-15% off immediately. You just can't tell them that up front. You find a car you like, say they're asking 22k. Everything goes well and you're interested- remember, he who speaks first loses. Simply ask what his bottom line is and go lower. Say he tells you $20,500 is his lowest. You offer 18k and he says, "No way." Tell him to take it to the boss and as he's walking out the door to go see the sales manager call him back and tell him it's all cash, right here, right now. Under no circumstances do you tell them you're making an all cash offer before you know their bottom line. Take your bottom line lower and start from there.

Good luck!

#3 KSpan

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:33 AM

Unless you're buying directly from a private party, do not mention that you're paying cash until the price is satisfactory - dealers make a lot of money off of the financing and will be more pliable if they think there will be profit there too.

#4 Panthro

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:34 AM

Forget the dealers...cars.com

#5 cookinwithgas

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

You want a used car that is going to last you 8 years for 23000? A bit of a tall order.

Instead of a used luxury model get a new Accord, Altima, Jetta, etc. that does not have all the options that will need repair or replacement. You get a new car warranty to make sure it's solid and probably a better margin for paying cash, although that's just a guess.

If you get used I'd keep the same route, but a very low mileage car like described above but with more of the luxury options you seem to want - think low mileage lease return.

Paying for a brand name does not sound like where you are right now.

#6 Hawk

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

I love me my Acuras...just saying!


cars.com for sure! Listen to the Panthro, he is wise beyond his years

#7 D34Williams

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:13 AM

kudos on paying cash for a car. i'm 23 years old and have always paid cash for me and my wifes cars. i'm going to die without ever having a car payment. nice accomplishment. not many people can save money. i'm proud of you.

#8 MadHatter

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:25 PM

kudos on paying cash for a car. i'm 23 years old and have always paid cash for me and my wifes cars. i'm going to die without ever having a car payment. nice accomplishment. not many people can save money. i'm proud of you.


That depends on the interest rate that you can get on your car loan.

My current car loans have a 0.9% interest rate. If you paid cash instead of financing for 0.9% then you are crazy.

You can invest the money and earn significantly more than 0.9% interest in the market.

But, as a general note it is better to pay cash.

Rule of thumb.....

Pay cash for depreciable assets (cars, furniture, etc).....finance appreciable assets (homes).

#9 Mother Grabber

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:18 PM

You can get a nice, used Boxster in the low to mid 20s. You didn't mention the need for a back seat, and a convertible is a beautiful thing in SoCal. Plus, it's very likely one of the best cars ever made.

#10 googoodan

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:26 PM

At this time of year, you could get a brand new (2012) Jetta (or similar) that a dealer wants to get off his lot as the '13s are rolling in. I'm sure you could get something fully loaded in your budget.

#11 mr beauxjangles

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:42 PM

I would reach across the internet and slap you if you chose an Infiniti G37 over a BMW 335i.

#12 Mother Grabber

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:02 PM

You want a used car that is going to last you 8 years for 23000? A bit of a tall order.

Instead of a used luxury model get a new Accord, Altima, Jetta, etc. that does not have all the options that will need repair or replacement. You get a new car warranty to make sure it's solid and probably a better margin for paying cash, although that's just a guess.

If you get used I'd keep the same route, but a very low mileage car like described above but with more of the luxury options you seem to want - think low mileage lease return.

Paying for a brand name does not sound like where you are right now.


I have a 2005 Subaru WRX. After 7 years and 150K, it's still running like new. It will last well beyond 8 years, and was less than $23K when I bought it new. I totally love the car, and recommend one to anyone. 4WD ass kicker with a bulletproof engine.

#13 MadHatter

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:16 PM

I have a 2005 Subaru WRX. After 7 years and 150K, it's still running like new. It will last well beyond 8 years, and was less than $23K when I bought it new. I totally love the car, and recommend one to anyone. 4WD ass kicker with a bulletproof engine.


But the OP was talking about used BMW's, Infiniti's, etc.

A used one if these fit less than 23k will likely have sug mileage already on it.


#14 mmmbeans

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

and they're largely shop queens.


subaru... not so much.

#15 Jase

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:55 PM

Can't go wrong with a TSX.


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