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Did you buy a new car recently? Help me choose!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I drive a wonderful little old Acura Integra that I bought used when it was a couple of years old. I don't NEED to buy a new car, but, I'm beginning to feel the "itch" to do so. Also, my dear Mom really, really is pushing me to buy something -- to the extent that she's bribing me about it!!

Have you recently bought a new car? Did you find a car you really liked, that was sporty but also luxurious, AND that didn't have leather as the only seating surface option? I'm going NUTS trying to find something that fits these criteria this time around. Maybe I just need to wait this leather craze out. . .

It is PARTLY that I don't want to buy a lot of leather on humane grounds -- it seems so heartless to me to sit on seats upholstered with dead animal skins and run around saving cats! But also, I've never much liked the way leather is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and how slidey it is when you corner or stop or start up. I know lots of the new cars have heated seat options with leather, but c'mon, you don't NEED that if you just use a nice luxurious VELOUR fabric! (My Dad drove a Cadillac years ago that had the LOVELIEST thick wine colored velour seats! Now, that's luxury, to me!)

I've looked at the Acura RSX, the Honda Accord LX, the Chrysler 300M, the Acura TL, even the Mazda 6s. I've always driven Hondas and Acuras, but it looks like I'm gonna have to jump ship, the Mazda's got cloth seating options.

Any other cars I should look at?
post #2 of 9
Mazdas are FUN to drive, we have a 2002 Protege ES and it is so much fun to drive. I really like the new ones also, the Mazda 6 and the RX8 are really nice.
post #3 of 9
If cost is a factor and your current car is good, wait until the end of the year. Dealers will be desperate to get the 2004s off of their lots and will be offering DEEP discounts. In addition, there are the factory rebates, which will bring the cost of the car WAY down. I work for an automobile financing company and by combining the end-of-year sale prices, rebates and my employee discount, I'll be getting a new car, for around $8000.00 (MSRP is 21,000).

Check the Kelly Blue Book, before trading your car. Yahoo Autos is a good place to go. This will give you trade-in value as opposed to private sale value. If the difference is big - SELL your old car. Definitely use the factory rebate, for your down payment. This will significantly reduce the price of the car and lower your payments.

DO NOT go for "no down, no payments for six months". This will come back and bite you, at the end of the contract.

If you need to schedule your payments, around paydays and other bills, you have a 45-day "window" from the date that you sign the contract. TELL the dealer which date of the month, that you want your payments to fall due and make sure that is in the contract, BEFORE you sign. Don't let them tell you that you can "always change it, after your first payment". You can but, there is a fee, based upon your interest.

A car salesman will TELL you anything that you want to hear. READ the contract, before signing it. If it isn't written up, the way that you want it - DON'T sign it. Don't let them rush you.

If possible, arrange financing through your own bank or credit union. The rates will probably be lower than the manufacturer's finance company. If you have a high interest rate, DO purchase gap insurance. If the car is totalled, insurance only pays book value. Most people are "upside down" - owing more than the car is worth. Gap insurance pays all or most of the difference.

Chrysler/Dodge has several models, with cloth seating: Sebring, Stratus, SRT-4 (I'm buying this). I'm told that the new 300C is a heckuva car. I don't blame you for shunning leather seats. I live in AZ and have had MY buns burned, more than once. Go online, to chrysler.com or dodge.com and check out our various models. Click the "rebates and incentives" tab, to see what's being offered.
post #4 of 9
Don't know what your price range is, but a friend recently bought a Nissan Maxima that was nice when I got a ride in it. I'm with you all the way on leather. I hate it. A friend of mine had a hard time selling a car that didn't have leather interior, but here in Florida, no matter how in it is to have it, it just doesn't make sense to me. On a summer day it is upwards of 120 degrees when you get in your car.
post #5 of 9
Yeah I love car threads
Mazdas are great cars (my probe is mazda powered). Check out the Mazdaspeed Protege, its the turbo version. Very nice car, and comes in a variety of awesome colors. One of my buds just got a mazda 6 awhile ago, and I love it. Great car.
Now since you said youve looked at the RSX, Im going to give my vote to that. The RSX Type S.... oh my god... that six speed is to die for, although some people have toasted engines accidently down shifting since the gears are so close together.
Ok Ive thought of another... 93+ RX7... twin turbo rotarty, excellent styling, handles real nice, and so fast. Oh and people notice it too. Only setback is price. They go for quite a bit.
Ok im rambling now,

post #6 of 9
Just a little thought here...

Beef is a big food industry...Leather is usually made from cow hide.

To some extent Leather is a side effect/product of the beef industry. So leather seating and such isn't so much killing a cow just for it's skin, but it's giving the Beef industry a secondary product to sell, it's also a recycling program so to speak.

Basically what I'm trying to say here, is that just because the seat may be leather, doesn't mean that they manufacturer necessarily went out of their way to kill a cow for seating purposes only.

Even simpler, it may not be as bad as it seems.

Regarding a new car...it's usually a waste of money to buy a brand new car. My suggestion would be to look for a well maintained used car that is 2-3 years old. New enough to not make a huge difference, but old enough to have it's value significantly lowered.

post #7 of 9
I love the new Mazda 3 Sport!!!
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone!

Thanks for ALL of your ideas and suggestions. I gained from *every single one*!

Price isn't a huge issue (my mother is practically insisting she wants to buy me a FANCY car -- I guess she doesn't like my Integra enough, huh??), but I hate to waste money. Spotz, I was thrilled as a first generation used-car purchaser in my family, at the deal that my Integra has been. So, yeah, I'm definitely interested in considering non-new-but-close. I dig what you say about beef market -> leather, too, although, TRULY, I don't like to slide all over the place and I don't like to get scorched by leather, either. Someone mentioned "leatherette" in some foreign makes, over on Edmunds . . . . but I think that might be just as bad in terms of hot and cold.

Last night, I was through once I "built" a car - I think this was a Lincoln, can't remember now even! -- for $62K. Sorry but NO WAY can I imagine spending that on a car, even if it were NOT ANY of my own money!

I've only test driven the RSX, so far. So I have a lot of looking to do, still. I'm not in a particular hurry, so if I find the best deal is a model-year-end new car, okay, and if not, okay, too.

You all have really good taste in cars!!
post #9 of 9
My current car is a 2003 Stratus. I bought it used, as a rental return and got it for $2000 below Blue Book. Now that I get the employee goodies, I can just as easily go new. Look into rental returns. They're usually low-mileage and well-maintained. If the dealer doesn't offer you the Carfax - ASK to see it.
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