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Thread: Sticker Shock

  1. #1
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    Sticker Shock

    A friend of mine just had major flood damage to her 2003 Passat which totaled the car. I have been helping her shop for new cars. I am absolutely astonished at what automobiles of all kinds are stickering for these days. She is looking at all kinds of cars right now, so the field is wide open.

    I saw a Ford Fusion for 29,000 bucks. A Taurus X sells for around $30k as well, sometimes $35,000. The Edge is similarly priced.

    An Acura TSX with a 4 banger is $29000.

    GM cars are similarly priced as well.

    A base Accord and Camry are now over 20,000.

    I think it's ridiculous. I would NEVER buy a new car.

    Even a Focus sells for $17,000, whis is more than my Saturn L100, a midsize cost a few short years ago.

    I don't know how anyone affords a new car these days. When are tehy going to introduce the 15 year car loan?

  2. #2
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    A $29K Fusion would be a top model and loaded with options. Same for a $30K Taurus.

    How much did she pay for the Passat in 2003? And how well-equipped is it? Did she get a good settlement?

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    A friend of mine just had major flood damage to her 2003 Passat which totaled the car. I have been helping her shop for new cars. I am absolutely astonished at what automobiles of all kinds are stickering for these days. She is looking at all kinds of cars right now, so the field is wide open.

    I saw a Ford Fusion for 29,000 bucks. A Taurus X sells for around $30k as well, sometimes $35,000. The Edge is similarly priced.

    An Acura TSX with a 4 banger is $29000.

    GM cars are similarly priced as well.

    A base Accord and Camry are now over 20,000.

    I think it's ridiculous. I would NEVER buy a new car.

    Even a Focus sells for $17,000, whis is more than my Saturn L100, a midsize cost a few short years ago.

    I don't know how anyone affords a new car these days. When are tehy going to introduce the 15 year car loan?
    I agree - it's sick.

    And I, too, would never buy a new car.

    I'd advise your friend to shop used; there are many great deals to be had. She could find a perfectly nice "everyday car" for under $10k that should last her 10 years, with proper care.


  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    A $29K Fusion would be a top model and loaded with options. Same for a $30K Taurus.

    How much did she pay for the Passat in 2003? And how well-equipped is it? Did she get a good settlement?
    That's true - but don't forget that in many areas, property taxes on a new vehicle are exortionate. (I'm still paying nearly $200 per year on my ten-year-old Nissan pick-up here in Virginia. Imagine what the bill would be if I owned an '08 pick-up....).

    Insurance will typically go up, too - because the "replacement value" of the new car is so much higher.

    These two alone are big ticket - leaving aside what Swamp says (which is true) about the ever-higher price of new cars.

    All the technological stuff (esp. "safety" equipment - but also baubles such as GPS, power windows, high-end stereos, etc. - which are now fairly commonplace on even "basic" cars) really adds to the bottom line, too.

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    Re: Sticker Shock

    There are some cases where it's not worth it to buy used.

    Older Toyota pickups, for example. They hold their value so well, and are in such high demand, that you're probably better off buying new & getting the warranty.

    But for a vehicle like a Chevy Impala or Ford Crown Vic, shop used to save a ton of money.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  6. #6
    mrblanche
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Two things I would not usually buy used: Pickups and sports cars.

    You just never know how they were used.

    One of the best deals I ever got was a used Lumina, from Hertz.

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    Re: Sticker Shock

    swamprat,

    Actually its everything that is going up in price. Seen the value of the dollar lately? It's dropping faster than Ted Kennedy's pants at a brothel. Every year it loses more and more value. A devalued dollar equals less spending power, so prices go up.

    Check out the current value of the US dollar:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=USDEUR=X

    Notice how today it's US $ .68 to 1 Euro - remember a few years ago when it was US $1.30 to 1 Euro.

    All I can say is thank you - Federal Reserve - for my devalued dollar. >

    BTW.. The trend is not stopping, we are slowly being reduced to a third world country as our currency becomes more and more like the Peso. So expect prices to keep going up as our salaries continue to drop.

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Two things I would not usually buy used: Pickups and sports cars.

    You just never know how they were used.

    One of the best deals I ever got was a used Lumina, from Hertz.
    Yes, you should be extra cautious with any specialty-type vehicle. "Bland" cars are generally safer; older Buicks are great used cars, usually...

  9. #9
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    If she's presently driving a 2003 Passat, then most of the suggestions in this thread represent a pretty significant downgrade. Is she willing to be downwardly mobile?

    She could always get another 2003 Passat, if she liked her old one. I'm not sure I'd trust a used VW though, they're not nearly as maintenance-free as a used Honda or Toyota.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Two things I would not usually buy used: Pickups and sports cars.

    You just never know how they were used.

    One of the best deals I ever got was a used Lumina, from Hertz.
    One of the best deals I got was a 1987 Celebrity from Hertz. I put 200k miles on it, gave it to my son, and he ran it up to 250k.
    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Mase,

    Those GM front-wheel drive A-cars (Pontiac 6000, Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera) were as reliable as sunshine. I knew many people who rolled them over 200,000 without ever having to rebuild the engine or tranny. There was a guy I knew who had an '85 Pontiac 6000 STE since it was new - he sold it with about 280,000 miles on it - the engine and transmission ran great - both had never been rebuilt.


  12. #12
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Mase,

    Those GM front-wheel drive A-cars (Pontiac 6000, Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera) were as reliable as sunshine. I knew many people who rolled them over 200,000 without ever having to rebuild the engine or tranny. There was a guy I knew who had an '85 Pontiac 6000 STE since it was new - he sold it with about 280,000 miles on it - the engine and transmission ran great - both had never been rebuilt.

    That's odd, since they were nothing more than an extended-wheelbase version of the Chevy Citation, which had a rather poor reliability reputation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Mase,

    Those GM front-wheel drive A-cars (Pontiac 6000, Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera) were as reliable as sunshine. I knew many people who rolled them over 200,000 without ever having to rebuild the engine or tranny. There was a guy I knew who had an '85 Pontiac 6000 STE since it was new - he sold it with about 280,000 miles on it - the engine and transmission ran great - both had never been rebuilt.


    The engine and tranny were fine. I went thru the usual - tires, batteries, alternators, brakes....and had to have the steering rack rebuilt. Mine (I had two) had the 4-cyl. I've heard the 6 wasn't as good.
    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

  14. #14
    mrblanche
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    And I had a Pontiac Phoenix that was one of my all-time favorite cars. Got good mileage, had 4 doors AND a hatchback, and with the back seat folded down, there was enough room to sleep in the back. I had the four-cylinder and the manual transmission, which I believed dodged two of the the three common problems with the car.

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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    There was a guy I knew who had an '85 Pontiac 6000 STE since it was new - he sold it with about 280,000 miles on it - the engine and transmission ran great - both had never been rebuilt.
    I bet he couldn't say anything nice about the brakes on that car.

    That was about the time that the EPA outlawed asbestos, and the carmakers were changing over to organic or semi-metallic brake materials. GM, in it's usual way, did not increase the rotor size to account for the reduced stopping power of the new materials. So owners of those cars tended to go through front rotors & pads like they were candy.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  16. #16
    mrblanche
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    GM even messed with the composition of the brake pads on the X-cars, because they hadn't prepared for the difference in brake balance with FWD. I didn't have a problem with it, but my car was an '82, and by that time, they'd sorted out a lot of the problems.

  17. #17
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    A friend of mine just had major flood damage to her 2003 Passat which totaled the car. I have been helping her shop for new cars. I am absolutely astonished at what automobiles of all kinds are stickering for these days. She is looking at all kinds of cars right now, so the field is wide open.

    I saw a Ford Fusion for 29,000 bucks. A Taurus X sells for around $30k as well, sometimes $35,000. The Edge is similarly priced.

    An Acura TSX with a 4 banger is $29000.

    GM cars are similarly priced as well.

    A base Accord and Camry are now over 20,000.

    I think it's ridiculous. I would NEVER buy a new car.

    Even a Focus sells for $17,000, whis is more than my Saturn L100, a midsize cost a few short years ago.

    I don't know how anyone affords a new car these days. When are tehy going to introduce the 15 year car loan?
    I agree - it's sick.

    And I, too, would never buy a new car.

    I'd advise your friend to shop used; there are many great deals to be had. She could find a perfectly nice "everyday car" for under $10k that should last her 10 years, with proper care.

    She's a very picky car buyer. She calls normal cars "cheap."

    She's pretty bent on a 2 year old MDX. I told her that gas would be about $4.00-4.50 next year if oil prices don't retreat, but no matter....

    This gas price thing is keeping me away from actually buying a newer car. I believe that I can still afford to drive my car even if gas goes to 5 bucks. It will be a lot harder, though. My discretionary trips will go to zero.

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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    That was about the time that the EPA outlawed asbestos, and the carmakers were changing over to organic or semi-metallic brake materials. GM, in it's usual way, did not increase the rotor size to account for the reduced stopping power of the new materials. So owners of those cars tended to go through front rotors & pads like they were candy.
    The problem wasn't with 'stopping power' - non-asbestos friction materials were able to match the coefficient of friction of asbestos. The problem was that early non-asbestos formulations were much more 'aggressive' than the materials they were replacing, resulting in much higher disc (& drum) wear rates. The early non-asbestos materials also wore much faster than the asbestos materials they were replacing. Not just a problem for the end user - in the industry, we were seeing drastic increases in wear rates on production plant.

    Even now, friction materials are more aggressive than their asbestos-based predecessors - disc replacements are much more frequently required than they used to be.

    Just a point on terminology - 'organic' refers to the resins used to bind the fibres together, not the fibres themselves, many of which are inorganic.

  19. #19
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    My mom had a Pontiac 6000 STE with those brakes/pads, and stopping power was a problem -- she had to really hit the brakes in order to stop in a reasonable distance, which caused more heat/wear to the discs, as well as fade.

    Ultimately, she sold the car because she didn't feel she could trust it in a panic stop situation.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  20. #20
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    Re: Sticker Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    My mom had a Pontiac 6000 STE with those brakes/pads, and stopping power was a problem -- she had to really hit the brakes in order to stop in a reasonable distance, which caused more heat/wear to the discs, as well as fade.
    Maybe a typical case of cars being designed by accountants rather than engineers?

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