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Old 11-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need two new (used) cars.... help on direction lol

In a work meeting right now so need to be brief lol...

I have a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium with 105K on it. Want to trade it in soon.
My wife has a 2003 Kia Sedona with 100k ish on it that is basically dead. It runs but it needs brakes, a little welding, new tires all round (including spare) axle, has an emission code that would cause it to fail state test (unknown cost to fix, maybe free (corrosion, maybe new charcoal canister or sensors).

I want to replace both cars starting with the Kia.

Ideally I want to stay below $150 for each car with a loan. My current loan for the Focus is 144.

I am looking at Chevy Sonic 2016 with the 1.4 turbo engine as one vehicle. The other one needs to be a bit bigger for family vacations etc.

I know this post is REALLY vague. Am I going mad spending like 9000 on a Sonic being such a small car? What other car should I get?


Things to consider: I have a dog, so we need at least one for transporting him. (hatchback/SUV). I also drive Uber until I can get a better job so I need a vehicle for that (Currently using the Focus). As mentioned, we also go to Poconos etc for holiday's and want to take the dog, so also need a bigger vehicle for our stuff and the dog, but still want it to be reasonably economic.


Tl;R: I need two cars with loans that total no more than 300 for both cars (150 + 150 for example, but prefer less!).
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What is it about the Sonic you find appealing?
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What is it about the Sonic you find appealing?
It has 4 doors. Looks a little bit better than the Mitsu Mirage lol. The Fiesta has the AWFUL DCT gearbox that I have already had to fork out $5k for on my Focus... so I won't be touching a fiesta unless it is manual. Looks quite nice in the LTZ form, economy is good. Hoping that reliability is decent (parts should be cheap as it is a chevy). I admit the interior is er... basic.

Is it nuts to spend almost 10k on a small car?

My problem is... loans favor newer cars in loan length.

-----

My minivan is not inspected so I need a replacement pretty quick, been risking it far too long. I have maybe $1000 I could use for sales tax, so having to get a car on a loan is my only real option rather than cash buy. I just bought a house, hence my deposit capacity is not much.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Buying a "new" car is a fools game.

My thought process would be to save up some money and buy a well reputed used car, cash. With the money (outgoing) issue payment seems the only way. Keep the Focus, it runs and if you trade in you will only be adding what you owe on top of a new loan, and even deeper under.

Kia are noted for bad brakes and require the whole system pads, rotors to be replaced. Totally not worth it. IMO, take a look at a newer Dodge Caravan or the like if you need something that size. Make sure with the recent floods that you get a good car fax and would suggest having an independent mechanic that you (somewhat) trust to look it over for signs of being in water. There are a LOT if bad used cars out there for good prices due to that.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Buying a "new" car is a fools game.

My thought process would be to save up some money and buy a well reputed used car, cash. With the money (outgoing) issue payment seems the only way. Keep the Focus, it runs and if you trade in you will only be adding what you owe on top of a new loan, and even deeper under.

Kia are noted for bad brakes and require the whole system pads, rotors to be replaced. Totally not worth it. IMO, take a look at a newer Dodge Caravan or the like if you need something that size. Make sure with the recent floods that you get a good car fax and would suggest having an independent mechanic that you (somewhat) trust to look it over for signs of being in water. There are a LOT if bad used cars out there for good prices due to that.
My problem is that I don't trust the ford one bit. It is already shuddering again even after I paid $5k for a new gearbox. I don't trust ford to warrant it again, so I want to get rid.

Loan from my banks are:
2014+ @ 72-84 months (roughly 10K max for payment under $150)
2012-2013 @ 66 months (roughly 8k max for payment under $150)
2009-2001 @ 48 months (roughly 6k max for payment under $150)

I wasn't able to get a car before, because I consolidated some stuff and bought a house which ruined my credit a few months ago. My credit has no recovered at almost 700 finally, but I have been having to run the minivan until this point.

I COULD spend the money on fixing the van instead of course, but that seems like throwing money away? (No guarantee I can get it passed inspected, and I estimate $1000 to $1500 in work/parts needed)
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First things first, if you're going to buy a car, never ever ever tell the salesmen you want to keep the payment below $X. They will hose you from the get go and use creative financing to make it happen usually in a bad way. Go in with a price point based on your estimated amount of years you're willing to finance.

Also in regards to the Sonic, it will depreciate extremely quickly. Most cheaper cars do, but it seems the compacts are the worse at it. After my Malibu being a constant headache, I have sworn off buying any newer model Chevy's until they prove their quality is what it once was, and every car i have owned up until now has been GM. Have looked into Subarus? They hold their values well and you can get 2013/14 models for a good price. I love our crosstek and it fits your needs well.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds like you want a new car and don't want maintenance costs. If you have a set routine (know your yearly mileage) you may want to look into leasing.

A car, especially a new car, is a depreciating asset. And once it's out of warranty it's not really new anymore, it's the same maintenance liability you have experienced.

My wifes car we bought new, paid off quickly and own it outright. She drives very little miles and isn't dependent on it so it makes sense. I lease my car because I depend on it for work and drive a lot of miles. I also get paid mileage, so that helps too.

I know people always claim "I want to own my car, so I don't want to lease". Well, unless you pay cash or pay it off way before you trade it in/drive it into the ground you never really own it anyway, and you get stuck with the worst part of a cars life cycle, the expensive end.

If your interested I can tell you how to properly shop around between brands and negotiate a lease, it's more difficult then getting an invoice, but you can walk into a dealership with an exact number. Dealerships rape people on leases because most people don't know how to figure them out.

Oh, also the best part of a lease is the better a car holds its value the less you actually pay. So you can get a nicer car for less money.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My problem is that I don't trust the ford one bit. It is already shuddering again even after I paid $5k for a new gearbox. I don't trust ford to warrant it again, so I want to get rid.


I COULD spend the money on fixing the van instead of course, but that seems like throwing money away? (No guarantee I can get it passed inspected, and I estimate $1000 to $1500 in work/parts needed)
I am quite surprised at the issue with the Focus. In spite of being a cheap car I know a few people that have and continue to own them trouble free. If this has been an ongoing issue with the dealership I would certainly follow up every lead there to see what they will do for you...might even discuss with that dealership a trade in/up situation to "keep you happy". Worth a try. As a side note, if this is a manual...it could be the clutch/throw out bearing causing the shudder which is a minor issue overall.

The Kia...well...they have gotten MUCH better, but those early ones were dogs. My dad, whom was very mechanically inclined, had much the same brake issues you describe and rather than even chase the problems he got rid of it.

In the meantime...if you have a couple of grand perhaps you can look at an older model to buy outright that will pass your inspection tests. Look at highly rated top tier model like Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, etc. Look for visual issues that run price down, mechanically sound.

Last edited by punkncat; 11-06-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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They increased the warranty to 100K and 150k because of all the problems with the transmission on the focus. However, mine was running fine, then decided to break first gear.... (ALLEDGELY.. that was their guess when 'computer said no'. I.e. 5k black box also known as a transmission). It is the reason I am part of a law suit against Ford. I would recommend the manual version, not the DCT.

Anyway... I have no issue with maintenance, I don't want a lease.
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Didn't read many of them Comments but I have a 14 sonic ltz. It has the 1.4 turbo in it. Creeping up on 56k miles and no issues. Oil changes every 5k miles just put new rubber on it. I've had it for 2 years and like it. We haul 2 dogs with the seats folded, 1 a 70lb lab and 1 40lb aussie. I got it for $13k OTD with 23k miles on it.

If you're wanting no frills I've seen Nissan versa's go for cheap brand new. Also used prius's around here. Almost went with a prius C.

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