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reliable, safe, smooth-riding, minimal maintenance, long-lasting car (sedan or suv) that won't cost an arm and a leg to own throughout the life of the car

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I must have leather seats and a very reliable vehicle. Perhaps an older "luxury" car that has a good reputation would be nice. I have been driving a 1999 Lexus GS300 and loving it. However, the body is starting to rust, althought the engine is still going strong.
I am looking at getting a used Volvo, but I have heard they are really expensive to fix. I am torn between getting a used "luxury" car (Volvo, Lexus, Acura) or getting a nice used Suburu. At least I could get the Suburu, Lexus, or Acura fixed at a reasonable cost

I love the fact that Volvos are solid and don't rust as quickly as the others. The expense scares me a bit, but my uncle (Volvo mechanic) LOVES them and my mother has been driving Volvo for years. So I am inclined to go with Volvo, but which one? I am open to anythig from 2001 onward mostly due to the body and looks. My wife and I have test driven a few Volvo S60 (2006, 2008 models) cars and LOVE how they feel and drive. However, I have heard that certain models are more inclined to issues than others, and that is a bit disheartening.

If the Suburu bodies could handel the hard MN winters, I would be all over them as well as they have such a good reputation and are great in snow. I still like the luxury feel and would need to do more reserach on what Suburu models would fit that "feel".

So, I am stuck as I am looking for a solid car, with leather and a smooth ride, as little maintenance as possible, a turbo (if possible), 4 door sedan or SUV, reliable runner and something that will not cost me a ton to own. I know that is a LOT to ask for, but that is why I am here in this truedelta.com website.

Preferred Bodystyle(s): SUV / Wagon / Hatch / Sedan

Car Needs: Client-facing / Long trips / Errands about town / Daily commuter

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 145000
Maximum age: 15 years

Maximum price: US $ 10000

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Response from mwcten

6:58 pm May 1, 2015

I think the first question is, would your uncle the Volvo mechanic maintain your Volvo at a significant discount to the dealership and private party price for services? If yes, I'd consider getting one since, as you've noted, they're fun cars that just have the drawback of expensive maintenance. If no, you would need to ask yourself if the car is worth another $1k-2k per year to drive over more economical options. Maybe; maybe not.

The Mazda 3 and 6 offer good performance for their cost of ownership. You can get the "speed" version of either in order to get a turbo, but even the non-speed versions are generally a little faster than average. A relatively small percentage have leather, but they can be found.

An Acura TSX or TL would probably be the luxury cars that best fit your criteria. Not turbo, but good engines and better power/weight than your current car. Maybe an Infiniti G35 or G37.

Honestly, though, why not keep the Lexus? If you like the way it drives, rust is just rust. Are you looking for a car that drives well, or for a rust-free car to act as a totem of your success in life? Eventually an expensive repair will come along and kill the car, but until that day comes, it will remain your cheapest option you'd enjoy driving.


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Mazda Mazda3
Acura TSX
Lexus GS

Response from mkaresh

10:58 am May 4, 2015

Volvos tend to require more repairs than the average car, and the earlier the model year the worse they tend to be.

Subarus are reliable for about six years, at which point they tend to take a turn for the worse.

The best cars for long-term durability are almost all Hondas and Toyotas. But I'm not sure how well they resist rust. And their reputation means they hold their value, so you'll have to buy an older one for a given amount of money.

The most luxurious Toyota is the Avalon. The first year of the third generation was the 2005, so I'd try to find one 2006 or newer. There are a few 2006s out there with leather and under 100,000 miles for your price, but not many. So it might be necessary to accept more miles.

Same for the Lexus ES, Acura TL, and Acura RL. The last has all-wheel-drive, so maybe it's the best of the bunch for you.


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Acura RL
Toyota Avalon
Lexus ES
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