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The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


young business professional looking for first "real car". decent looking, great reliability and low maintenance with a nice drive. looking for a used luxury-ish, thinking is250 or 335i.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Depreciation / Ride smoothness

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 120000
Maximum age: 10 years

Maximum price: US $ 15000

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Response from Dnslater

7:28 am October 31, 2016

I'm a little surprised that you suggested the 335i as an option after saying you wanted a low maintenance reliable car. Maintaining a turbocharged BMW with high miles may be more involvement than you want. If you really want to go BMW, perhaps find a 328i, as the regular straight six (non turbo) is actually fairly reliable, although maintenance can still be very pricy, especially if you go through a dealership.

If you really must have a luxury nameplate, I would suggest getting something used from Acura, Lexus or Infiniti. An Acura TSX would be a great choice, as they are known to be fairly bulletproof and you might be able to find one with well under 100,000 miles in your price range and they should be good for 200,000 with proper maintenance. IS250 that you suggested is also a great choice, and they are rear wheel drive, unlike the Acura.

If you remember one thing, it is that you must be cautious when buying high mile luxury cars, as many of the higher end models with lots of gadgets have more that can go wrong. The Acura is a good bet because they were relatively simple.


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Acura TSX
Lexus IS
Infiniti G

Response from Member5198

10:33 am October 31, 2016

Based on your desire to have an affordable low maintenence car, and willing to go with something up to 10 years old, I would probably lean away from European cars and towards Japanese cars. Toyota and Honda are cars that have a reputatuon for reliability. Honda more of a sporty bias, less so with Toyota. The exception to that would have to be the Lexus IS, which can be had with rear or all wheel drive, and can also be found with a manual transmission. Acura's have to be included in the near luxury arena, and can also be found with manual transmissions, as can Hondas. To me these would include the Acura TL, TSX, and RSX, Honda Civic and Accord. The Honda's have 2 and 4 door options. Infinity G35 and G37 or M series may also be an option for you.

You may get arguments on reliability for this suggestion, but I have owned a 2004 Mazda RX8 since it was new and have not had a single repair issue with it. Not one! They are known to have engine issues, however, and a number of them have needed replacement of their engines after 30,000 miles. Anyway, they are a pleasure to drive, quiet, smooth, and have an interior that appears well above what other cars of that price range offer.

Good luck with your search! There are a lot of options out there.


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Acura TL
Honda Accord
Mazda RX-8

Response from mkaresh

11:15 pm November 2, 2016

I agree with others here that it's probably smart to avoid German cars when spending under $15,000--unless you're willing and able to perform many repairs yourself. Then older German cars can be smart buys.

Among Japanese options, the G37 can hit a price/performance/reliability sweet spot.

A Lexus IS might have even lower odds of needing work, but it'll also cost more to buy. I'd avoid the IS 250 unless acceleration is a low priority. The IS 350 is much quicker, and is the lexus I'd buy.

The Acura TSX is also a good option if agile handling and cost of ownership matter more than rear-wheel-drive power and dynamics. Or maybe the TL if the TSX doesn't seem quick enough.


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Infiniti G
Lexus IS
Acura TSX

Response from NormT

7:41 am July 18, 2017

Both the Cadillac ATS, Buick Regal, and Buick Verano come with manual transmissions and can be had for about $15,000 or so.


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Buick Regal
Buick Verano
Cadillac ATS
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