Buying old vs new car

I asked my mechanic what car I should buy, as I was considering retiring my 2002 Golf. he said none. He said with new cars these days “it’s like getting a young wife. First month or even first year it’s all happy, but then it hits you and you start asking yourself why did I do this to myself”. He says the cars nowadays have an even shorter lifespan planned into them than they had in 2000. They just break down and it’s a pain to repair the complex systems they come with nowadays. You just have to replace whole systems. He said he often thinks about what he would recommend and just comes back with a head scratch. I’ve started investing in my current car and thinking of giving it a second life in the form of a complete exterior restoration, as the motor just runs.

4 Likes

Buy a Subaru, they’re just as unreliable as they’ve always been, so no negative changes there.

Disclaimer, I own a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, currently on recalls 3 & 4

2 Likes

What’s wrong with a Subaru. Sure recalls happen. I had them on my Honda also and they fixed it for free. It’s a 2005 so i can’t beat that. I am looking at a Subaru Crosstrek so what’s the problem with them?

Not sure about Subarus, but I have a used 2002 Toyota Corolla because I couldn’t afford something expensive and it’s running flawlessly to this day (I didn’t buy it in 2002, but in 2018… :wink: ). Just need to remember to do maintanence every couple months.

1 Like

My 2011 Subaru Legacy is still going strong (and strongly!) - oil changes and winter tire switches (and lube the sunroof) is all so far beyond a minor recall (airbags… hardly alone in that Takata mess!). I would get another if they still made them like mine (manual, turbo)…

Mostly nothing, just joking around because of Nate’s thing about newer vehicles are worse. That said, it depends on the model, our Crosstrek’s recalls have been minor (infotainment unit problem), major (PCV that if failed would destroy the engine). The two latest are an engine stall problem that sounds suspiciously like could lead to a car fire, and rear suspension might fall off (https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/subaru-recalls-nearly-900-000-vehicles-engine-suspension-problems-n1264789 )

I’m interested in the Crosstrek Outdoor and possibly the Outback Convienience or WRX base. All similarily priced but different.

Yep, I’ve got a 2000 Corolla that just keeps going. Last time I took it in the mechanic said I should start thinking about replacing the drive-train due to some plastic parts that tend to disintegrate around the 20-yr mark, but only if I really want to get several more years out of it. It’s on the list for next year’s planned expenses.

2 Likes

I had a 2000 Golf VR6. Great car, except for anything electrical. And I had a fuel injector go out, and I had to remove the entire front grill, headlights, bumper, etc to get to the damn service position. VW is out for me from now on. That was nuts.

Then I had a 2000 Toyota Camry V6 5speed I had until a couple of years ago. Tank. That thing had 203k miles on it when I sold it, and it ran as good as when it had 100k.

Upgraded to a 2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport - great car until I hit 115k miles. No problems at all. AC died at 113k - and I was going fix it in spring since I was quoted $700, and I can’t fix AC stuff (I can’t recharge the system, it needs special tools), and my catalytic converted died. Dealer only part since it’s attached to the exhaust manifold. $2600 for the part ONLY. $3500 installed. I told the dealer I’d rather set the car on fire and walk home and collect insurance on it.

I just bought a 2017 Mazda 3 GT hatchback. And, I absolutely LOVE it. Mazda is currently #1 in reliability, and just passed out Subaru.

IMO as a car guy - if you want lower cost of ownership, and better reliability. In my 18 cars I’ve owned. Japanese cars tend to be the most reliable, and relatively affordable parts. American cars tend to be fairly unreliable, but slightly cheaper parts. Anything German is a fortune, parts and repair, BUT, generally don’t need a lot of parts or repair since they tend to be very well engineered. Korean cars are very cheap to get a hold of, but very expensive to maintain.

Avoid Hybrid cars ideally - 1. they are HORRENDOUS for the environment comparatively. 2. Because you have effectively two different drivetrains - one petrol, one electrical, there’s a lot of very expensive/complex components to make things work together - IE the transmission, which can be extremely expensive for repairs if required. If you insist on something battery powered - 100% electric is better for reliability. If you insist on a Hybrid - (I hate saying this since I flat out hate them) but the Toyota Prius is the most bulletproof of them. They should easily get you to the 200k mile mark.

But for me, Mazda is currently the best value to me in terms of comfort/reliability/pricing/fun to drive. IMO.

My top 5 picks:
Mazda, Toyota, Subaru, Jeep, VW

And Derek’s best car buyers advice. NEVER BUY A CROSSOVER. You get all of the downside of increased fuel consumption, with bigger parts, repair bills, and everything that comes with an SUV, with little, if any more room at all. Buy a car, or SUV. All crossovers are complete garbage as they try to capitalize on folks who want to feel like they want a big car, with big car features, but still want a little car. My Mazda3 hatchback is MUCH bigger inside than the Buick Encore I got stuck with as rental recently. Bigger, more comfortable, and I get 7mpg better, and bonus, it’s a car, so it also doesn’t drive like a bag of trash to boot.

I’m always game to talk cars if anyone cares. Do some homework. And at least here Stateside - I would avoid buying a car if possible right now. The same shortages we are seeing with computers, are happening for auto manufacturers too. Cars are more expensive now because of it.

2 Likes

I’ve been driving for quite a while, almost 40 years. And I have to say that I get less and less pleasure from driving every day. The very concept of “pleasure from driving” in relation to Moscow seems very illusory recently…

I use the car only when necessary, for example, to go to Metro and buy food for a few days. And I really appreciate my small KIA - parking problems are much less than those of owners of cars of the middle and higher class.

To the car, in general, I treat quite calmly, only as a means of transportation. All sorts of things for comfort and prestige do not interest me at all. I think my next car will be very small and simple :slight_smile: In Moscow, it is much quieter and more practical to have such a car :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I grew up building cars. I love racing/driving/motorsports.

I now live in Los Angeles, so all I do is sit in traffic, so I can understand some of that sentiments. BUT when I do get into the mountains or out to the desert. It’s really peaceful driving. The metro here is appalling. It doesn’t help hardly at all for anything honestly. I’m hopefully someday going to have myself a house. I just want a little MX-5 to drive on occasion. My Mazda3 is perfect. Big enough for my pup and camping gear and golf clubs.

Photo of latest car purchase. (a couple months ago) '17 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Hatchback.


3 Likes

I was talking about a large chain of Metro stores. We probably just didn’t quite understand each other - the difficulties of translation :slight_smile:

I used to drive this car quite a lot, my employer had it once. But to be completely honest, I liked my Ford Focus more - it was more imposing and calm in feeling.

In fact, we just have different car usage scenarios :slight_smile:

1 Like

OOOHHHH. The “Metro” here is the trains/subway system.

Trust, you’re doing way better than I ever would have. My Russian is. . . well. None (sorry). Although my Spanish is pretty good!

No worries. I’ve driven a couple of the Focus. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad. I looked a focus - the only thing I didn’t like was it was slightly too short of a car for the back seats to fold perfectly flat for my pup when he was riding in the back. Otherwise, great car.

1 Like

I owned a Ford Focus in a station wagon. And I could put my MTB in it completely, just by folding the back seats :slight_smile:

1 Like

The Focus you see may be different depending on the country you see it in! A British Focus is a pretty good car… the North American one, not so much. They ‘tune’ the ride and handling for ‘american’ tastes - they think. Not mine, anyway! Except perhaps the RS…

It is tough to make a list of preferred brands/model for this reason - and mine differs a little depending on location. For instance, VW (family) makes a lot of sense in Europe, but what they send to NA can’t hack the joys of our road system - they seem to expect that the roads will be maintained decently (electrical faults follow) - and things like water pumps are over-engineered and failure prone. Toyota makes good product, but it is hard to find one that you can enjoy driving (Can you believe the Supra STILL doesn’t have a real transmission?) Mazda are pretty good - most can be enjoyed. My problem with them is every time I identify a product of theirs I want - they stop selling it, or never bring it here…

Subaru is another with decent product, but frustrating model choices. I have a 2.5GT Legacy - but they won’t build a replacement. FCA is another that drives me nuts - they have desirable vehicles, but can’t build them correctly (Jeep, Dodge etc).

I guess you just have to figure it out on your own! :grin:

2 Likes

I also had a '98 Legacy 2.5GT. I absolutely LOVED that car. The early 2000’s models with the 2.5Turbo were even better. That’s a fantastic car, if I were you, I’d probably drive that thing until you have to sweep it away in a rust pile.

It’s funny, the Focus, even though built by an American company is almost entirely European designed and built. And I completely agree with your sentiments. Oddly enough, that’s probably why I like the Mazda MX5 so much - even though it’s built by Mazda, it was designed right near me here in California. I really like the older ones.

Anyway, I’m hoping this new Mazda3 is mine for the next 20 years honestly. No stupid hybrid stuff to deal with while keeping more environmentally friendly than all the battery powered nonsense coming out, and I can still maintain my own car! 32mpg, 185hp. There’s nothing overtly special about it - no turbo, or crazy one off parts, so maintenance into the long term future should be good, and easy enough to find parts for. It took quite a while to find exactly what I wanted, and other than it not being red, it’s perfect.

1 Like

My Legacy is a 2011 - so still a turbo and manual. The amount of use I get these days, it will be with me a LOOOONG time! the only problem I can foresee is that eventually some driveline work will be needed, and you have to practically disassemble the car to work on it! Symmetric four wheel drive needs some space to squeeze in, so…
Luckily I’m pretty easy on clutches and brakes, which should help - but sooner or later (!).

My man. I feel like there really is a certain kind of person who uses EOS. We have much in common. I mean, other than the Blue Jays thing. But I guess no one is perfect. . . hahaha

I had admitting this. But on car 17. . . this is my 3rd automatic. LA has finally broke me. I did get the paddle shifters and in sport/manual mode it is still fun to drive. But for the first time in over a decade I have only 2 pedals instead of 3.

I love your car, and may the car Gods bless that thing for many many years to come.

1 Like

Thanks for the sentiment! I hope it continues as long as I need it to - it becomes difficult to find a decent car with a stick these days. They seem to want to computerise the whole experience (and then charge for updates?) and you can’t computerise a stick (some have tried (like BMW) with auto-manuals - but you’re better off removing the auto stuff! And don’t get me started on the autonomous driving initiatives… I know too much about driving (and computers) to figure that’s going to end well. They’ve been automating airliners for years (which is simpler, believe it or not) - does the Boeing Max tell you anything? :grin: I have a feeling they will devolve to full-fledged traffic control systems (for $billions) - and be completely useless for a country with our population density. I’ve seen lots of locations with traffic densities of less than 1 vehicle per hour (both ways) - the cost per mile to automate THAT makes me shiver. I suspect I’ll have to develop a ‘classic car’ obsession for my next (1984 Supra? - with an engine boost?)

I’ve been thinking the same thing lately; new, used or lease. I’ve own 3 new Honda Civics in the past 45 years. The last one (1997 HX) is approaching 24 years old! Its slowly falling apart(like me).
I’m leaning towards a used vehicle. I was hoping to get an electric, but their still not quite there money wise.

1 Like