Researching Large Sedans

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Researching Large Sedans

Postby guitarguy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:12 pm

I'm still loving my ole' reliable 2001 Grand Prix and hoping to get a couple more years out of it before upgrading.

However I'm just starting to look around and do some research on what my options will be when the time comes. I think I'd like to stick with something in the realm of the Grand Prix...a large-ish sedan with a V6 and nice trunk space (need it for hauling band equipment). I'm looking for something around MY 2011 as my wife's Civic is a 2006 (paid cash) and we're trying to get on the "5 years apart" track with our 2 vehicles. It's not a hard budget but I would really like to stay under $15k (under $10k would be great) and try to pay cash. We're saving as much as we can to try to make this happen.

So far I've found:

Chevy Impala - OK, not much for looks but economical and good size. Seems like my best option at this point...
Ford Taurus - Really like it overall, huge trunk, but pricey
Accord/Sonota - Like these too but would they be too small?
Chrysler 300 - meh

We also like the idea of a CRV, but I'm not sure I want a 4 cyl (I have to merge onto the express way daily) and it's also pricey.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby NHRATA01 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:58 pm

There is a new Impala due out shortly. That can mean one of 2 things for you:

1. The new version is much more stylish then the ancient outgoing model, as well as improved economy, better features, etc

2. There are some incredible deals (7,000 off or so) to be had on the outgoing model, and with the 300hp 3.6 and a 6 speed auto actually has a darned impressive powertrain. Unfortunately will be hard to distinguish on the road vs. the many fleet rentals out there.

Other potentials in the category:
Taurus
Buick Lacrosse - very nice car for the money
Sonata - much smaller in size, closer in size to a Malibu/Fusion
Passat is getting a lot of favorable reviews as far as becoming more "American" than the older model, ie bigger, softer, more plain
Accord - I believe it's a hair smaller than the outgoing model, which had gotten somewhat large
Avalon - Toyota's buick

Could wait a few months more and see what the story is for the new Chevy SS that is being released. Will be a close cousin to the old Pontiac G8.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby DualIncomeNoDebt » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:40 pm

If you can up the budget a bit, look into a used Hyundai Genesis. Four-door sedans with a feature set and price that is hard to beat, and I think the Genesis is just as nice as any Lexus or Benz. Genesis has won lots of awards, especially for value.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby ram » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:47 pm

I have been very happy with my 2006 Toyota Avalon. Running fine at 127000 miles.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby livesoft » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:06 pm

I suggest a Dodge Monaco like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Phurqwcgw4
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby johnep » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:24 am

ram wrote:I have been very happy with my 2006 Toyota Avalon. Running fine at 127000 miles.


We have a 2007 Toyota Avalon Limited. It is a great car with lots of features and comforts. We love it and will buy another when the time comes (probably not for many more years). Unlike many Toyotas, the Avalon depreciates substantially the first few years of use even though it is very reliable car. We bought it 3 years old at about 55% of new car price and it was a Toyota certified car with 12,000 bumper to bumper warranty.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby guitarguy » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!! Some of them would be great, but I just don't want to increase the budget as high as some of them would require. I really don't want another car payment if possible, and at $15k we'll be pushing our limits of paying with cash.

The good news is, after looking into some more models, I think a midsize might fit the bill after all. My Grand Prix has 16 cf of trunk space, which is perfectly sized for fitting my gear.

Some of what I found (researching 2011s) are the Hyundai Sonata (16.4 cf trunk space) and the Mazda 6 (16.6 cf trunk space). 2011s right now are priced around $15-17k.

My only concern with the Sonata is it was totally redesigned in 2011...should I be concerned with that? I've always heard the best "time" to buy a car is the year after a redesign...after they work out the bugs.

This is a helpful list too...

http://www.iseecars.com/cars/top-10-mid ... runk-space

I also like that the Sonata has a timing chain rather than a belt. Google didn't seem to want to give me a concise answer on the 6 (whether it has a belt or chain).
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby Dave76 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:17 pm

guitarguy wrote:
My only concern with the Sonata is it was totally redesigned in 2011...should I be concerned with that? I've always heard the best "time" to buy a car is the year after a redesign...after they work out the bugs.



It's been two years now, so it may be okay. My Elantra Touring has been in production for a number of years and I'd have a few problems with it I just think the Sonata is an ugly car; it's not half as nice as the model it replaced. The Kia Optima might be worth a look.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby cyfan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:31 pm

For the price range and full size used car with a V6 you want, in my opinion it would be difficult to beat an Impala. There are certainly nicer cars out there but for the money, it is as good value as you will find because they depreciate rapidly. I happen to have a 2001 Impala LS with 189K miles on it and commute 60 miles round trip per day. I will likely get something a bit smaller when I replace it as I prefer to have a fuel sipping 4 cylinder for running up and down the highway but if I needed a full size, I would likely go with another one. As someone else mentioned, I also avoid vehicles that use a timing belt as I do not want the $700 to $1000 automatic repair bill to replace them every 100K miles. A timing chain works just as well and lasts virtually forever. Good luck in your search.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby btenny » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:50 pm

I would suggest you also look closely at the Lincoln MKZ MY 2010 and older. The Lincoln is now the number 3 reliable car in the US due to this car and it siblings. Right behind Porsche and Lexus and way ahead of Chevy and Hyundai. I have a MY 2006 MKZ (called a Zephr) that is a great car. V6, 28MPG on the road and 24ish in town. Good acceleration and nice handling. Very good road car. Huge trunk (16.5cft) and fold down rear seats if you want more cargo space. Super nice interior and quiet comfortable ride. Big nice back seat for those times when you want to take four real adults for a ride. According to Edmunds you can get a nice used one for $14K to $17K. If you want to go older I am sure you can find a very nice 2007-9 model for ever less money with say 50K miles. These cars are good for at least 150K miles or more with no issues. They are near the top in realiability according to Consumer Reports...

The Ford cousin of this car is the Ford Fusion. I suspect it is almost as nice in the better trim levels and close in performance and ride. I am sure it is cheaper as well. I would also suggest you look at that car.

Both cars are also available as hybrid models in the MY 2011 and later at a slightly higher price point. Those get 36-40 MPG and people love them.

Good Luck
Bill
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby interplanetjanet » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:17 pm

guitarguy wrote:Some of what I found (researching 2011s) are the Hyundai Sonata (16.4 cf trunk space) and the Mazda 6 (16.6 cf trunk space). 2011s right now are priced around $15-17k.

I'm sure you know this but...check out the vehicles thoroughly in person, ideally with a mockup of the largest items you might need to load. Trunk access can vary wildly for the same amount of cargo room, and the last thing you want is to have a really hard time wiggling things around the edges of the trunk opening.

One of my old cars didn't have that big of a trunk (for the time), but you opened the lid and it was just...right there, all there. Much easier to load and unload than one of my other vehicles with a bigger but less accessable trunk. The extreme example was my old convertible, it's unbelievable how much you can pack into one if you don't have passengers or a roof to get in the way. I fit a dining room table and four massive chairs and was still able to close the roof. :)
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby Atilla » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:06 pm

I've driven Chevy Impala rental cars a couple times. Once on a nice long 800 mile road trip.

It's fine for what it is. Decent comfort and room. Very good highway mileage for the size of the car.

Being such a common rental/fleet car, there are bound to be tons of them available on the used market when the time comes. It it was the type of vehicle I was looking for I'd give it strong consideration.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby denismurf » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:48 am

I love the ride and space of my 2006 Buick LaCrosse that I bought for $15K with 7K miles on it back in early 2006. Now has 78K miles.

The biggest reason I hang onto it is the bench seat. The buckets all hurt my back.

Troubles:
Serpentine belt gave out at about 60K, and some mini-computer that works the tranny starting giving out at 70K.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby nhdean » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:18 am

I think you are wasting your time. You are a few years out. What if your needs change?

Cars and their options change rapidly. safety equipment gets upgraded all the time. Also market value changes. Today's prices mean absolutely nothing in a few years. All this work would be for nothing. Also, remember that dealership employees are payed by commission. By going to them you are just wasting THEIR time, and possibly their income (they could be helping an actual buyer).

When you get closer then start looking.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby tibbitts » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:37 am

You're way too far off to think about this. By then maybe you'll need an all-electric car because gas will cost $15/gal, or a truck that can carry 4,000 pounds, or something else completely different than what you have now. I've generally changed vehicles because of mostly unexpected/unplanned lifestyle changes, not because of some arbitrary schedule, or because the old vehicles have worn out.

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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby guitarguy » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:11 pm

I don't think doing some research is wasting time. I HOPE my current car lasts another 2 years. If it blows up next week, I'll be glad I did a little research beforehand so I'm not starting from scratch.

Thanks to everyone who offered good advice.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby ohiost90 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:31 pm

guitarguy wrote:I'm still loving my ole' reliable 2001 Grand Prix and hoping to get a couple more years out of it before upgrading.

However I'm just starting to look around and do some research on what my options will be when the time comes. I think I'd like to stick with something in the realm of the Grand Prix...a large-ish sedan with a V6 and nice trunk space (need it for hauling band equipment). I'm looking for something around MY 2011 as my wife's Civic is a 2006 (paid cash) and we're trying to get on the "5 years apart" track with our 2 vehicles. It's not a hard budget but I would really like to stay under $15k (under $10k would be great) and try to pay cash. We're saving as much as we can to try to make this happen.

So far I've found:

Chevy Impala - OK, not much for looks but economical and good size. Seems like my best option at this point...
Ford Taurus - Really like it overall, huge trunk, but pricey
Accord/Sonota - Like these too but would they be too small?
Chrysler 300 - meh

We also like the idea of a CRV, but I'm not sure I want a 4 cyl (I have to merge onto the express way daily) and it's also pricey.

Any thoughts?

Have you thought any wagons or hatches? Something like a volvo v50 or volvo v70, vw jetta or passant wagons, or hatches such as mazda 3 would mostly fit the band equipment dept.
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Re: Researching Large Sedans

Postby Riverstwo » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:48 pm

Toyota Avalon is my very favorite car. Got a 2002 Picked it up used for $8,000 and it looks and feels brand new with 90,000 miles on it. Absolutely great car, like a lexus, more room but both sporty and classy. Runs beautiful with a large trunk that I can fit my fishing rods all the way through the back seat.
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