Buy a new car or not?

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daggerboard
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Buy a new car or not?

Post by daggerboard » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm

My car has been acting up. Should I keep it or drop it?

Its a 2012 Golf R - the performance version of the Golf.

I bought it used w low mileage, and it was not evident or disclosed to me that the car was significantly modified by the prior owner to Stage 2+: fuel pump, chip set, down pipe, clutch, etc etc. I found this out the hard way after a year or so.

4 years later I am still really enjoying the car as my daily commuter, with still relatively low mileage of ~30k for the age of the vehicle. Its a riot to drive, yet unassuming from the outside. It fits in my small-ish city garage and fits by 6'8" frame.

However, the car has been experiencing fairly expensive issues: new clutch, new high and low pressure fuel pumps, cam shaft etc.

I have dropped +$7k in repairs into the car in the past few months with significant disruption to commuting etc. The car is worth about $16-19k per KBB.

Its hard to tell if this is just the beginning of a trend or a blip. But it worries me.

If I were to buy a new car, I would be very limited in options, primarily driven by my off the charts height, smaller garage and the unreasonable desire that my kids should be able to sit behind me in the 2nd row. I also am often in client situations and want to avoid a clown-car scenario where I unfold myself from some bizarre contraption (reactions to me fitting in a Golf were bad enough). Also, for client reasons the car shouldn't signal poverty or that I have more money than sense. The newer versions of the Golf R do not provide the internal room for my height and room for my kids that I need.

Current contender for a replacement would be a BMW 3 series GT (amazingly roomy) for somewhere in the $48-55k range if I buy new. I usually buy 1 or 2 year old used cars, but my wife is upset about my experience w Golf and is suggesting buying new.

I would pay cash for something new after trading in the Golf. Unless I get some <2% financing deal.

We can afford the new car easily - less than 10% of annual income.

Whats your vote? Keep the potential money pit or buy something new that is gonna depreciate for sure?

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fortfun
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by fortfun » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:18 pm

I'd try to sell it and then buy a used Toyota Camry or its Lexus equivalent. I don't think you'll experience the sort of problems that you describe with your current car. I will only drive Toyota now due to problems with previous vehicles.

workingovertime
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by workingovertime » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:24 pm

I know this wasn't the exact question asked but personally, I would never buy used cars that are 1-2 yrs old. I haven't ran any calculation so it's only an assumption.... but used cars seemed to have been much better deals years and years ago but not anymore. I feel like it would be much more worth it financially to buy new (especially if you can afford paying it). The price difference between brand new and 1-2 yrs old is too insignificant. Include the "unknown" factors of any used cars, it just doesn't do it for me.

Compound
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Compound » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:27 pm

I previously owned a problematic VW. Finally got fed up and ditched the thing. Like you, my height is substantial. Unlike you, the bimmer you are considering is well over 10% of my income; I bought a Honda Accord sport. I love this car in this trim. Power driver seat, telescoping steering wheel, and NO sunroof! Substantially cheaper than the bimmer and, perhaps more importantly for you, should have very good reliability.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm

Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

multiham
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by multiham » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:40 pm

Have you thought about re-programming it back to factory settings? That will take a lot of pressure off the key components of the car.

Sounds like you want a new car, so I would just get it. Sounds like you can easily afford it, so get what you like.

One word of caution is that you may have difficulty with the sale of the R as the carfax may show all the repairs and no matter what you do, people will know the car was modified. The exhaust sound will give it away. I own a 2016 R with no mods and I can hear a Stage 2 mod coming from a long way away!

multiham
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by multiham » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:46 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm
Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
Dealer will hook the computer up to the diagnostics and I'm willing to bet it throws a nice error code back at them that tells them everything about the tune. I know that is the case for more recent cars, maybe due to the age of this car, it won't. VW can always read how many times you have reprogrammed the car.

emoore
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by emoore » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:10 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm
Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
+1 on the GTI. I’ve got a 2011 GTI and it’s been the best and most reliable car I’ve owned.

harrington
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by harrington » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:19 am

I owned the same car for a few years and it was a blast to drive. I think the mods are probably the reason you are having so many issues. Dump it...

daggerboard
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by daggerboard » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:50 am

Tx all. So how do you then sell a modified car? Private party only?

squirm
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by squirm » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:09 am

Did you buy it from some kid?
A friend bought a car from some 25 year old kid, turned out the dude did all sorts of crap to it. At first my friend tried to pretend he was ok with it, but then realized he should have been more careful when buying a used car.

bh7785
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by bh7785 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:36 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm
Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
Where the heck are you seeing a brand new GTI for <$20k? I will buy it today...

stoptothink
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:20 am

ermcgrat wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:36 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm
Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
Where the heck are you seeing a brand new GTI for <$20k? I will buy it today...
https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchres ... 0&zc=84062 For some reason they seem to be cheapest in Virginia and Maryland. VWs are still a bargain, I bought a brand new jetta for $<14k OTD a year ago (in Utah).

bh7785
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by bh7785 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:29 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:20 am
ermcgrat wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:36 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:29 pm
Trade it at a dealer for a brand new, leftover 17 GTi. Not a lot of them left but they're out there and I still see them for under $20k.

Yah....Golf R, GT-R, STi, WRX.....if you buy one used that hasn't been modified, you're quite lucky. I know in the Subaru community, owners are expert at "returning to stock" after modifying within an inch of the car's life and beating the life out of it for a few years.
Where the heck are you seeing a brand new GTI for <$20k? I will buy it today...
https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchres ... 0&zc=84062 For some reason they seem to be cheapest in Virginia and Maryland. VWs are still a bargain, I bought a brand new jetta for $<14k OTD a year ago (in Utah).
That is interesting. I change the zip code to my neck of the woods, and the cheapest gti is $26k. Bummer :(

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Toons
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Toons » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:31 am

Buy another vehicle
:happy
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daggerboard
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by daggerboard » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:04 am

I bought it from a (reputable - ha) used-car dealer.

I was looking for a very specific model (I cant fit into a GTI anywhere near as comfortably) and could only find two cars on the market - one at said dealer who specialized in used near-new performance-type cars (lots of cars costing >50-100k Porsches, AMG Mercs etc.), and one someone where 300 miles away at a dealer.

Given that I needed a new car for a new job within a week, I had to move fast.

#learnthehardway

tacster
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by tacster » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:27 pm

daggerboard wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm
...

Current contender for a replacement would be a BMW 3 series GT (amazingly roomy) for somewhere in the $48-55k range if I buy new. I usually buy 1 or 2 year old used cars, but my wife is upset about my experience w Golf and is suggesting buying new.

I would pay cash for something new after trading in the Golf. Unless I get some <2% financing deal.

We can afford the new car easily - less than 10% of annual income.

...
If $48-55k is less than 10% of your annual income, IMO you can buy whatever you want. In your shoes I'd be looking at a Panamera, but hey that's just me. Although I do own a 3-series and like it a lot.
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE

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eye.surgeon
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by eye.surgeon » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:14 pm

+1 2017 GTI, they're a bargain right now with the Mk7.5s hitting the lots. If you can fit into it. They're cheap to run.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

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Watty
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:29 pm

daggerboard wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm
It fits in my small-ish city garage and fits by 6'8" frame.
.....
We can afford the new car easily - less than 10% of annual income.
Any chance you could expand the garage to give you a better choice of cars?

daggerboard
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by daggerboard » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:00 am

Watty wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:29 pm
daggerboard wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm
It fits in my small-ish city garage and fits by 6'8" frame.
.....
We can afford the new car easily - less than 10% of annual income.
Any chance you could expand the garage to give you a better choice of cars?
Believe me, I have been thinking hard about this. No way to expand the dimensions of the garage itself, but I am considering removing even more stuff (2nd fridge, bikes etc) to maximize parking vs. clutter space.

The 3er GT comes in at 200 inches length vs. the max length currently of 204 inches. If I remove the fridge I gain another 30 inches but there is a ledge or step so not all it is gained.

The biggest issue is width. Need to think that through. Luckily 3er is only 1-2 inches wider than Golf.

But parking requires backing in reverse and I am already designing a camera system in my mind so I can avoid issues.

Re Panamera - 60k is probably at the very top of my comfort zone. You dont get rich by spending money, but rather by not spending it, as they say. :)

JBTX
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by JBTX » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:42 am

My experience is Japanese cars like Honda Accord and Toyotas probably max out around 6 ft 4 inches for drivers. American car seats tend to sit lower and maybe give you another 1-2 inches. YMMV.

THY4373
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:18 am

fortfun wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:18 pm
I'd try to sell it and then buy a used Toyota Camry or its Lexus equivalent. I don't think you'll experience the sort of problems that you describe with your current car. I will only drive Toyota now due to problems with previous vehicles.
I have bought used cars my entire life. Honestly most newer major label Japanese cars don't make particularly good used car buys in my opinion. Their initial depreciation curves are pretty shallow and at least for me I am not saving enough over new to make it worth the risk of used. Personally I use various reliability ratings and anecdotal evidence form car forums and cherry pick some above average card that isn't from a major Japanese manufacturer but has above average reliability but a steep depreciation curve.

Rifampin
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Rifampin » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:55 am

How about an Audi S3? Same motor and chassis used in the Golf R.

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Alexa9
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 am

German cars are fun to drive, but generally not reliable or low maintenance.
You sound like a perfect fit for a Toyonda. Most people are.
If you want a more fun car, I'd look at a Lexus IS or an Accord Sport.

emoore
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by emoore » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:33 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 am
German cars are fun to drive, but generally not reliable or low maintenance.
You sound like a perfect fit for a Toyonda. Most people are.
If you want a more fun car, I'd look at a Lexus IS or an Accord Sport.
How does the OP sounds like a perfect fit for a Toyota or Honda? Obviously the OP likes to drive and therefore bought a Golf R. I think the OP would be miserable with a Honda or Toyota, I know I would. I'd suggest the OP go for another fun to drive car that hasn't been modded.

oaks
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by oaks » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:55 am

Going from a $17k car to a $55k car is quite the jump. Is there no middle ground?

I realize you are a bit sour about your experience with the Golf, being modified and all, but you also paid a lot less money than the seller paid + add ons. Certainly you realize that you should have asked for modifications, crashes, maintenance history, etc and then verify by looking or taking to mechanic, carfax, requesting receipts. Since this didn't take place, you got burned, a little, by buying a car that was modified and it is possible the modifications caused some of the money pit issues you are experiencing.

There are plenty of small fast vehicles below a $55k brand new BMW 3 GT. Maybe a 2 to 4 year old BMW 3 GT which is probably $30k? Ask questions while looking at it, verify the answers from the seller, and there is a good chance you won't be buying another money pit. Or you might be, that is the risk. However, there is also a risk in buying new and you pay a big big premium to buy new so I would rather take the risk and buy used.

ayk1987
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by ayk1987 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:08 pm

Some sporty rides that are not too expensive:
Mazda 6 - Light and agile for a family sedan. Limited on torque & power. Manual or Auto available.
Lexus IS 350 (Used) - You get a 300 HP V6 in a RWD 4 door sedan. AWD is available. Automatic only.
Kia Stinger - This car is just being released but it is a 3 series competitor that undercuts it on price. Automatic only.
GTI - Same car but brand new is recommended. Leave it stock and it should have no problems. Manual or dual clutch auto.
Civic Si Hatch - A bit slower and less refined than the GTI. Great MPG. Manual only. The non SI trims can be had with an auto but it is a CVT...
Last edited by ayk1987 on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexa9
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:19 pm

emoore wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:33 am

How does the OP sounds like a perfect fit for a Toyota or Honda? Obviously the OP likes to drive and therefore bought a Golf R. I think the OP would be miserable with a Honda or Toyota, I know I would. I'd suggest the OP go for another fun to drive car that hasn't been modded.
It's not a fun car when it's in the shop half the time. To each his own. You know what they say about opinions. :)

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whodidntante
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:29 pm

I drive a Mustang GT that has so far been trouble free. But it is still a performance car and I drive it like one, so I expect it to have higher maintenance costs and to break more often than a miserable to drive Toyota. It's part of the deal. Violent acceleration, hard braking, and hard cornering is hard on components.

I would repair the car if you like it and you seem to. If you're fed up, buy the BMW.

alfaspider
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:45 pm

Not sure how you missed that the car had an extra 100+ hp when you bought it :shock:

I wouldn't worry quite so much. Early clutch demise is to be expected when you significantly increase torque, but the motors and rest of the drivetrain are stout enough to handle stage 2 without too much problem. Only other thing I would budget for is turbo replacement (extra heat it's generating will likely lead to early failure), but replacement turbos shouldn't be too bad.

That said, a new GTI wouldn't be a terrible deal. It will be down on power without a tune (and FWD), but they are still fun little cars. VW now has longer warranties, which will give you long-term peace of mind. I do have to chuckle at the Camry recommendation. That would be quite the penalty box compared to a tuned Golf R.

finite_difference
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by finite_difference » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:03 pm

With your ~$500k income, you can do whatever you want. It’s not a financial decision.

If you like the GTI you can afford to keep repairing it, and it will likely take some time before you get $50k in repair bills. If you want a BMW 3 GT, trade in for that.

Costs aside, the BMW 3 GT is definitely better than a GTI in my opinion :)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

daggerboard
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by daggerboard » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:27 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:45 pm
Not sure how you missed that the car had an extra 100+ hp when you bought it :shock:

I wouldn't worry quite so much. Early clutch demise is to be expected when you significantly increase torque, but the motors and rest of the drivetrain are stout enough to handle stage 2 without too much problem. Only other thing I would budget for is turbo replacement (extra heat it's generating will likely lead to early failure), but replacement turbos shouldn't be too bad.

That said, a new GTI wouldn't be a terrible deal. It will be down on power without a tune (and FWD), but they are still fun little cars. VW now has longer warranties, which will give you long-term peace of mind. I do have to chuckle at the Camry recommendation. That would be quite the penalty box compared to a tuned Golf R.
:)

Given my height and lack of funds in my younger years, I have not had the luxury of driving fun cars until I got the R. In the past I have driven a mix of VW, Honda, Toyota, Renault, but in each case the lowest powered engine available (hey, Im cheap). So when I got into the R i was just so blown away, and I honestly couldnt tell the difference between 250 and 350 HP. It was just @#$%% fast! That said, driving on US roads, you rarely get to really feel the engine at peak performance unless you take it to track which I dont.

Im going to go pick up my R from the shop now, I hope it works :) Then I need to have a think on this. Likely I will need to do some convincing of the wife and then maybe go "try on" a couple more cars. Want to see Mercedes C/E and couple others. I looked at the Tesla X and LOVED it, but those gull wings are never going to work in my city garage; also pricey.

offtheback
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by offtheback » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:20 pm

My step son is a shade over 6'6" and has a long torso - he has trouble fitting in most of the Lexus, Toyota, and Honda/Acura sedans. We looked for quite a while...and test drove a number of different years and models of all of those brands. The seats and headroom just didn't do it for him.

Now he was in a significantly lower end price range than the OP is currently mentioning, but it does apply somewhat considering being especially tall does rule out many of the cars - it is amazing how many cars are built on the same chassis and have the same leg room and headroom even if they are the fancier models.

His last 2 cars have been a Nissan Altima, and a Mazda6 (both without sunroofs)...he just fit in them - so still a compromise.

I would suggest the original poster find a couple of cars he really fits in well first, and then look at price/longevity and compare the used/new prices after that...

Driving in a car that is comfortable would be my first choice, second would be reliability, third would be price, forth would be the wow factor or sportiness...which always makes it fun to drive! Good luck! :sharebeer

Lonestarz
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by Lonestarz » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:12 pm

I might consider a Subaru Forester or Honda CRV - fits your dimensions, 30-35k, responsible but not ‘target me’ price tag. Plus should have room for some kiddos.

I enjoy driving my car as well but that’s not a priority. You will have height issues in even the mid size SUVs.. lean the seat back and NO sunroofs!

smackboy1
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Re: Buy a new car or not?

Post by smackboy1 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:40 pm

emoore wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:33 am
How does the OP sounds like a perfect fit for a Toyota or Honda? Obviously the OP likes to drive and therefore bought a Golf R.
Honda Civic Type R

https://automobiles.honda.com/civic-type-r

Toyota 86 GT

https://www.toyota.com/86/

:sharebeer
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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