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Old 02-05-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
Jamie Z OP
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Help me pick my next car.

For the past couple of months, I've been thinking about getting a different car. I currently have a 2003 Cadillac Seville STS which I bought three years ago for $4500. It currently has 185,000 miles on it, and as long as I've owned it, it really hasn't given me any trouble. I did replace the radiator and had the AC fixed a while back, but mechanically and electrically, it's been very reliable. It does leak just about every fluid though, and with the mileage, I'm afraid of some catastrophic failure in the future. These cars are not known for their reliability and I feel like I've gotten lucky to get this far. Essentially, all I've done to the car is regular maintenance and replacing a few broken or worn items.

I'm tired of driving an automatic. My next car will be a manual. It appears so far that it's going to be incredibly difficult to find a suitable car with a manual transmission. So far it seems that more than 90% of vehicles are automatic.

I prefer a luxury model. I'm kind of a gadget geek, so I like a lot of the bells and whistles like climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, power seats, remote entry, automatic windshield wipers, and I really like the quiet cabin of a well-built car. As I mentioned, one requirement is a manual transmission, but I'm not so interested in a sports car.

Reliability is important to me, as is cost of ownership. I'd strongly prefer something which doesn't require premium fuel. I have a slight preference for rear wheel drive, and a slight preference for four-dour over two-door. Fuel economy is moderately important. I don't put a lot of miles on my car, so whatever I get should get at least 20mpg, any more than that is gravy.

I've never owned a foreign car, and to date, every car I've ever owned has had a V-8 engine. But I'm not stuck on that, though I've noticed that it's significantly harder to find foreign parts in a junk yard or at the parts store. I've been able to fix or replace a number of broken things on my current Cadillac and previous American cars very cheaply by visiting the junk yard or the local Napa.

Two cars I've got on my radar right now:

2003-07 Cadillac CTS
2003-06 Infiniti G35

I'm looking at a budget of about $5000-$8000.

Any others I should add to my short list?

Or because I mostly ride my motorcycle, should I just suck it up and buy an old Honda Civic which gets 40mpg? My practical side says there's no reason to spend $8K on a car that I'm only going to drive back and forth to work.

Jamie
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
Rutabaga
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Seems like a few of the neighborhoods you visited "In the footsteps of an assassin" would have been a good marketplace for the STS. Good luck with the buy.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:57 PM   #3
Buccleuch
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It's getting harder and harder to put together "luxury model" and "manual transmission."

The G35 was nicely equipped though, and a 6-speed manual was offered. And that Nissan V6 had plenty of stomp.

W.A.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
adam_c_eckhardt
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Here's a few cars to consider. Just spitballing...

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...64817139&Log=0

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...53686791&Log=0

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...64322905&Log=0
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Seems like a few of the neighborhoods you visited "In the footsteps of an assassin" would have been a good marketplace for the STS. Good luck with the buy.
You're right. Too bad I almost never take my car out of town. That's always by bike.

Memphis will be a good place to sell it too.

Jamie
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
Bovino
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Question

A few month ago I bought a '08 Caddy STS 3.6 for the my girlfriends uncle. Got to drive it alot lately, love it.
The v6 ain't no rocket but it is happy to shift yer butt and returns mid 20 mpg with a light-ish foot.
It is actually put together quite nice, think ten year old E-class Merc.
Sat-nav with it's slow touchscreen is crap, but then I only like BMW's iDrive from hard drive generation onwards. The Bose sound system is great though...
The keyless go works a treat, sans sensors i.e. walk away and it locks, be within a foot of the car and the doors are unlocked- no need of touching a door handle like on teutonic rigs.

Some v6 of some years seem to have problems with the cam chain. A fix, even here in Europe ain't no huge deal.

Ours has done 10k in three month with no issues, but it has yet to see the 60k km mark.

Chris
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:18 PM   #7
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
Here's a few cars to consider. Just spitballing...
I like that BMW. I might go have a look tomorrow. It's just down the road from me. 156,000 miles gives me a little pause...



Why can't I get the same search results as you?

Jamie
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:24 PM   #8
trailer Rails
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I am surprised no one suggested a TDI yet.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:26 PM   #9
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
I am surprised no one suggested a TDI yet.
...I've looked.

I like the G35, but sometimes they just look like the wheels are too small.



This one on eBay currently.

Jamie
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #10
Maggot12
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I'll say it.... get a civic or corolla and be done. Take the savings from gas and longevity and get more motorcycle stuff.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:11 PM   #11
adam_c_eckhardt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post

Why can't I get the same search results as you?

Jamie
Hi Jamie,

When I went to autotrader I just did a search for used vehicles under $8000 with the Memphis zip code. I clicked on sedans, luxury vehicles, and manual transmission.

Yeah- that particular BMW is a bit high on miles, but since it's right in town it might not hurt to look at. You're an engineer, right? I bet you have a good enough eye to get a good sense for how the car was cared for.

I like your choice of the Infiniti- my brother had one of those and it was really nice until it got stolen and beaten pretty badly. Burned oil and ran like shit after that. He replaced it with a Golf TDI, and just replaced that with an Acura TL. My dad also just got a TL and really likes it.

At the end of the day I really like BMWs- that's why I linked the one above.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:16 PM   #12
RocketJohn
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Try to find an Acura TSX like this.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:17 PM   #13
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketJohn View Post
Try to find an Acura TSX like this.

Broken link? When I click on it the page says it's been removed.

Jamie
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:37 PM   #14
fullmonte
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Here's a minty looking 1998 BMW 540i with 6 speed for $5500.
http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/cto/4286459209.html

Oh, don't forget to budget a few grand for moments like this.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:10 AM   #15
taranaki
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There's something to be said for a modern, efficient, well sorted (and surprisingly capable) invisible car.

To that end I post this link;

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201...-track-tested/


Get in, twist the key, get where you're going to and don't even think about the machine.

(and I don't even like Toyotas)
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