Ok people, let’s start talking about something that matters. The biggest misconception for the average buyer (even those who think they are well informed) is that the newest vehicle, with the least amount of miles for a specific price range is the most important thing when it comes to getting the best car for their money. That’s the stupidest, biggest bull %&!@ thing I have ever heard and to all those out there who don’t care about the time they wasted at their careers to earn their hard earned income only to be spent on garbage, ignore this post all together and send me hate mail. (seems rhetorical, I think most people care about the time and effort they spent to make money).
To those who actually care, please read on and simply hear me out. Or to make things easier go and read my “You paid 50000$ for your Ford?!?! Should have bought that Porsche” post. Sure I use “50000$” and “Porsche” which may scare people, but that’s far from the point I am trying to make. The point is that cars are the biggest depreciating assets out there and people should be taking advantage of this by getting themselves the best of the best for whatever they have to spend, and for most buyers 10000$ is very reasonable, easy to finance, and also a great dollar figure to work with period.
The main thing to educate people on is that you don’t need to worry so much about buying “certain” vehicles outside of warranty. Warranties are not all that special, and their primary purpose isn’t to protect the small inexpensive things from breaking like basic electrical issues, sensors, etc. They are there to provide peace of mind for those very costly parts like engine failure, transmission failure, and so on. But you do realize that manufacturers know very well these serious issues will more than likely not fail until after the warranty of CPO warranty has elapsed, therefore what is the point of your warranty anyway?? Think about it, do these manufacturers put these warranties in place to protect your bottom line and so they can lose money? Do you think they are more than a marketing ploy for them to use as a tool to sell you the vehicle?? Do you go to work to lose money and risk bankruptcy? Sure they are peace of mind for the buyer, but if you calculate the depreciation of your new vehicle (and interest lost of car payments if financed) I am sure you will have more than enough money to handle any repair that needs to be done and maybe even take a trip or 2 to Jamaica on the side.
I think warranties are great in many ways for many car brands, but there are other brands where warranties really have little to no use, the brands that are proven solid, reliable cars. Some food for thought. I say the warranty is important for cars like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, where several small electrical issues on their used cars can and will go wrong frequently, and can cost thousands in repairs, yet we won’t be talking about any of these cars anyway. Basically all I am trying to say is don’t buy brand new, but used in some way shape or form to save some money and still be under warranty for “peace of mind”. But for this particular post, I am saying don’t worry about warranty if you do your homework right. Simply do your research online and take a look at forums and actual owner experience and use their experiences to determine whether or not the vehicle is a good buy or a bad buy. Don’t just make the mistake everyone does and buy the “newest and lowest mileage” car for your price range, because I can guarantee you I can name 90% of those cars you will be buying (here is a hint, go to any rent a car website and look at what they are renting out)
Clearly I am biased towards the Japanese brands when it comes to reliability and my reasons are very simple. They just are more reliable! One of the main reasons (not always!) that these vehicles are so reliable has to do with place of Origin, in this case most Japanese vehicles. I’m not saying that North American products are no good and are of less quality, I just think that in the past, The Japanese manufacturers put a bit more effort and pride into their work knowing it represented their actual country, they soul, they passion and their pride. I will say confidently that the Domestic brands of the 90’s and pre recessionary times were for the most part terribly built and the proof is kinda obvious (do a google search, or type Detroit population trends). Ever see the products that originate from Canada and/or United states that are proudly badged as “made in Canada or Made proudly in the United States” ?? Now add in the Japanese techniques and passions. I think it’s rather obvious that the “pride” factor spreads to their worksmanship and quality to say the least. Go ahead and tell me if I’m wrong, but for the most part this is so so true. Most of these vehicles are assembled in Japan, Alabama and Ontario all…..Not China, or Mexico or anywhere else
Ok Let’s get back on track. I am going to divide this up into 4 categories, and again these suggestions of mine are based solely on maximizing your value for basic transportation needs but at the same time make your driving experience a bit more exciting. If a cloth couch and the leather couch cost the same price and the leather couch was a couple years old but would last wayyyy longer would you not want your buns sitting on that cow hide over the cloth? Anyway here are the categories I will use:
1)SUV/Minivan: 3rd GEN Honda Odyssey; 1st Gen Honda Pilot; 3rd GEN Honda CRV;
2)Sub Compact Car: 8th GEN Honda Civic; 2nd GEN Mazda 3;
3)Family Sedan: 7th GEN Honda Accord; 1st GEN (pre 2007) Infiniti G35/G35X; 2004 Acura TL
4)Pick up truck: 1st GEN Toyota Tacoma;
Also there is no real need to put statistics associated with these vehicles since the buyers of these shouldn’t care about numbers other than fuel economy and cost of ownership (total cost including resale, maintenance, initial cost of purchase).
Let’s begin with the SUV/Minivan Category.
1) 2003-2006 Honda Pilot EX-L
I love the pilot, I really do. For a few reasons, primarily for it’s solid all around capability. It can serve as the one all around family vehicle on a budget. It’s unbelievably reliable, seats 8 people (3 kids in the third row or midgets mind you), well appointed luxurious cabin (Buy the EX-L people when it comes to used and don’t be foolish and buy the LX or EX), has decent fuel economy on regular octane fuel, all weather/offroad capability, and most importantly from my experience it’s safe.
When I say safe here is another story of mine, honest to God truth about what happened. Almost 6 months after the date of my first accident with my beloved NSX :
I had become victim to another automotive scare, and once again life threatening accident. My friend and I were were travelling to Toronto for a wonderful little getaway and we always travel in the middle of the night to avoid all traffic.To make a long story short, I was sleeping in the passenger seat when suddenly I felt the SUV swerve hard to the left as my friend has over corrected the steering by complete accident. Within seconds we had contacted a large boulder in between the dividers for the highway which cause the Honda Pilot to go into a complete Roll Over , literally flipping over twice in a row under highway speeds (over 100KPH) and finally ending up on a ditch in the space between the highway. The Pilot completely protected my friend and I with only a few scratches and bruises as the injuries. Twice in 6 months, in real world serious accidents, the Honda products saved my life. These are accidents that Honda clearly cannot test as they were far more serious than anything that can be done in a controlled testing facility. Needless to say this vehicle is a life saver, a true passenger protector in every way shape and form. I am a firm believer in the Honda product line for the ultimate A-B transportation, especially when it comes to safety and reliability. What more do you want people for under 10000$?? Do not avoid checking out this vehicle as an option.
This is a great Segue to a couple other Honda Passenger carriers that I believe would be great buys for under 10000$. The 3rd Generation Honda Odyssey and the 3rd Generation Honda CRV. Ultimately I am a fan of the Honda Pilot and I think out of all these choices that is the one to buy. Here are a few buyer reasons that would suggest looking at the CR-V over the Pilot:
-More car like driver feel
-Better Fuel economy
-Prefer it’s looks over the Pilot
-Don’t require as much cargo space
And here are reasons I would choose the Odyssey over the Pilot:
-Better Fuel economy
-Increased passenger space and comfort
-More car like Driver Feel
-Prefer the looks over the Pilot (there’s no damn way haha!)
-Do not live in a 4 season Climate
If you don’t fall into any of these reasons then I think the choice is clear. The crazy thing is I think Honda has been on a downward spiral during recent years and the competition has caught up. That being sad the Honda’s on the 90′ and early 2000’s were spectacular and I truly were the best years for all their products. Great job Honda!
Sub Compact Car: