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I'll turn 40 in this car

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I have an '04 Saab 9-5 Aero (my second), and I am over the nagging electrical issues and parts unavailability. I feel like I am one major problem away from having a worthless car! My next car doesn't need to be as quick, and I would love a plusher ride. I am a bit of a nonconformist and like having something uncommon. I've driven a '12 Volvo S60, '12 Subaru Legacy, a new '15 Legacy, new '14 Mazda 6 and 3, and a '11 BMW 328i. This last car is easily my overall favorite, but I am concerned about maintenance and repairs in the long haul, and I would prefer better gas mileage. The used Legacy has too much road noise for me, and I liked the new Legacy a lot. However, I have a natural preference towards used cars, as I hate the idea of buying new and the lost money of depreciation. The Mazdas were fun, but I did not like the leatherette, and would have to spend $30k + to get leather. I liked the Volvo, but am not sure it is worth the price premium or on par with the BMW, and there's the maintenance and repair fears--are they going to go the way of Saab? My wife liked the new Legacy a lot, particularly the secuirty of all wheel drive, but she is concerned about buying the first year of a redesign. The Buick Regal caught my eye, but I am having trouble getting past the old, stodgy Buick image.

Advice? New vs. used? Personal experiences with the 3 series? Any new Legacy owners out there? What other makes and models should I consider?

must haves:
leather (a really top quality synthetic might be ok)
heated seats
advanced safety features
better than 20 mpg city
styling on the conservative side
less than $30k


Car Needs: Family transporter / Errands about town

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 40000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 25000

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Response from jasonmreece

4:53 pm September 24, 2014

If you liked either Mazda, you actually can get either model with 'real' leather for less than $28k. The 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4-door is selling for less than $25k and the 2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring can be had for $28k. Both models have real leather instead of the pleather/leatherette found in lower trim levels. I'm a Mazda fan (currently own two) but I hate that they're putting "leatherette" into so many models now! I'd much rather have high quality fabric if real leather was out my price range.

With current incentives and discounts, you can buy a NEW 2014 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV w/ Premium Pkg for about $29k. That's more than $9k off sticker price! For that price, you get HID Xenon headlights, Dual-Panel Moonroof, Power rear-window sunshade, Premium Leather interior, Heated front seats AND cooled driver's seat, Heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, power tilt/telescope steering column, 9-spkr Bose audio, Keyless Ignition/Entry and Memory driver's seat. It's also a lot of fun to drive, IMO.

Among used cars, I don't think you could go wrong with a 2013-2014 (or even 2012) Acura TSX. A CPO 2013 TSX with under 10k miles can be had for $25k or less. Every TSX has leather, Xenon headlights, moonroof, decent audio system, power everything, great handling and rock solid build quality! It's rated at 22/31mpg and still has more than enough power (more than a Legacy, for sure).

Even though the Volvo S60 isn't likely to be as reliable as an Acura or Mazda, I still think it would be your best bet for longevity from a European brand....definitely moreso than BMW. The Volvo CPO program extends the warranty to 7yrs/100k miles from original in-service date and you can find the 2013 S60 T5 (CPO) for as little as $26k.


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Acura TSX
Mazda Mazda3
Volvo S60

Response from Member1547

12:42 pm September 29, 2014

I also had a used 9-5 Aero for several years and really enjoyed the handling and performance. With over 100K miles on the odo I decided in 2007 to move to a new 9-3 SportCombi. What an improvement. The SportCombi is a stylish station wagon that is quite uncommon, which is something that I like.

The hard ride and noisy tires were replaced with a smooth and quiet ride. My 9-3 has a 6 speed manual transmission and the performance is very good, especially when the turbo kicks in. Mileage is also good with 24-26 mpg around town and 31-33 mpg on trips. The trunk is spacious and the rear seats fold to provide plenty of extra cargo room. It cruises very comfortably in the 80's and 90's (when I'm in Mexico on the toll roads)

Most importantly it has been very reliable over the current 64K and it is a pleasure to drive with no quirks. The engine has used zero oil between changes (Mobil 1 0W30).

While the 9-3 is no longer in production parts and service are readily available. Also you should be able to find a good used one at a very reasoable price and well below your $25K budget


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Saab 9-3

Response from Member4775

2:02 pm September 29, 2014

I'm a Volvo fan and have had great service out the seven I've owned starting back in 1980. Considering the new 60 series sportwagen for my wife ans dogs, so i spent some time on the internet doing research and checking pricing. I noticed several S-60 sedans that were advertised to be factory-rep demos with under 5,000 miles and a nice set of options for under-$27k, or about $10k under MSRP and all were represetented to buuntitled.This might be a solution.


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Volvo S60

Response from mkaresh

2:22 pm October 7, 2014

Some very good suggestions here.

The Acura TSX could be a good fit.

With the BMW, the 2012 3-Series would give you improved fuel economy and reliability, but depending on how long you'll keep it the latter might still not be good enough. It's too soon to say how well these will hold up when they're 6+ years old.

Same with the Volvo S60. The 2015 with the new four-cylinder engine gets much better fuel economy, but is too new to fit within your budget. And even the 2012s are too new to tell how they'll fare when over six. So-so ride but great seats.

The Buick Regal's reliability has been iffy even when fairly new. I wish I could recommend it more strongly.

Subaru's rep for reliability is heavily based on the first 100k miles, and even the first three years. After 100k they can get expensive to maintain.

Mazdas are fun, but aren't as smooth or as quiet as others.

One more possibility to toss out: I hear Infiniti G37s are selling for very attractive prices. Avoid one with a sport suspension if you want a smooth ride. Fuel economy isn't great. But they're fun and the price could be right.


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Acura TSX
BMW 3-Series
Infiniti G
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