11 January 2006

GM, Chrysler, Ford, Citroen?

Regular readers know the story of our last new car purchase.
It was a Chrysler LHS, and it has served us pretty well.........193,000 miles now.

Several planets will come into alignment at the end of the year:
Big Bubba will get his degree, so college costs go away.
I will start drawing my Army Reserve Retirement.
I'll be eligible, if I want, to start withdrawing
I.R.A./403b/401k funds without penalty.

I have no idea how my life will change at the end of the year......
Things at my EMS job are in a state of flux.
I'm getting old and grumpy and I'm not adjusting as quickly as I once did.
I'm seriously taking a look at retirement, or at least semi-retirement.

But back to the subject of this post.
We are gonna need new rolling stock within the year, and I enjoy researching a new car purchase for a while.
The question on the table is this:

What's the best way to go?

Sis bought a Kia Optima two years ago.
For the price, it's a sursprisingly nice car.......looks good,
gets great gas mileage, and comes with that 100,000 mile warranty!
She also gets free tires for the life of the car.
Kia/Hyundai are owned by the same Korean parent company,
and are making huge improvements in quality.
Both make a nice looking, comfortable, mid-size sedan that would fit our needs.

I'm glad Sis bought her Kia.
It gave me the chance to watch her experience from afar.
So far, the little Optima has performed well.
Sis has had no real difficulties with it.

The only fly in the ointment with the Kia/Hyundai is the resale value.
It goes in the pooper the minute you drive it off the dealer's lot.
This means nothing, of course, if you actually drive it for the 100K miles....
By then it's more than paid for itself.

I really like the new Cadillac STS.
From reports I read,
Cadillac has done a real turn-around and is building fine cars again.
The STS is nice looking. Seats four comfortably and five in a pinch.
And with that Northstar engine, it goes like STINK!

Buying one would mean needing to trade within a few years, 'cause the Caddy doesn't come with the monster warranty like the Kia.
But the Cadillac maintains a pretty good resale value.

So, what're your thoughts? Upscale or down? Buy the warranty and drive the wheels off the thing, or buy the fantasy and trade before the warranty runs out?

Maybe you have a totally different idea?

I've got a year or so to make up my mind.


Mommanurse said...

Go for the luxury, Bro. While my little Kia has been and still is a really good little car, I miss the luxuries that even the Taurus had over this one. You would probably go for the Amanti if you went Kia, but weigh the luxuries between the two cars. Test drive. In the words of my little 90 plus lady "We're gonna be dead a long time!"

oleprairiedog said...

I agree with Mommanurse. At our age, it's time for the good stuff. I won't have a car without cruise control, abs, multi-air bags, automatic seats, power everydamthing and a CD tape deck speaker whatsit that produces fine fine sounds as I merrily moter down the road. Think about it.

Aviatrix said...

I see you (although I've never seen you) as more of the Cadillac guy myself. But if a Cadillac isn't going to last 100,000 km then I would seriously consider another brand of car.

Jason said...

You only live once - I say go for the luxury/performance. Mmmmmmmmm, performance.

Purple Tabby said...

Well, I suppose it depends on what you want to use it for besides driving to work.

I have to haul things often – boxes of education materials, stuff from the hardware store and sometimes people. Although most of my frequented places are within five miles of home, occasionally we go on long trips and comfort is a consideration.

When the wheels fell off one of our cars (the only reason to buy another according to CINC House) I looked at mini vans. Some of my friends kid me about buying a Soccer Mom car but it doesn’t bother me in the least. It does everything I want it to do,,, and more.

I can fold all the back seats down to get a ton of stuff in there, the side and rear doors open by remote control, it has a good CD player for audio books, and the front seats warm up in cold weather. I can open the garage door with a button on the dash! The back seats ( two singles and a bench) are comfortable if my quilt sisters go with me someplace. It’s comfortable for long trips and lets you sit high enough to get a better view of the countryside. You can get a GPS thingy too but of course, that would be wrong according to the CINC!

It’s a Town and Country Chrysler mini van and I love it. We didn’t know it when we bought it but you can play DVDs in the rear of the car! A totally useless and unhealthy item but it’s there anyway.

The gas mileage is so-so but I rarely travel far enough for that to matter. I have no idea what the trade in value would be but I don’t worry about that either; when the wheels fall off, it won’t bring much anyway


Not once have I bought a new car. With the quality of cars today, it makes no sense buying something that loses its value by 30% after you pull off the lot. Used cars, or pre-owned, are great vehicles and often come with fantastic warrenties, to boot. I drive Cadilacs and I am most impressed with their quality. Nothing like cruisin' down the freeway in one. Can you say "Northstar?" Come on, you know you want one.

the golden horse said...

I can sure understand your problem here on finding the perfect car. Good Luck.
If gas gets any higher here, I am seriously thinking of going to Europe and checking out the Mercedes Nuova Class A, They start in the mid teens and get 60 plus mpg.
Cool looking little car and it is still a Mercedes.
For the life of me, I can't really understand the need for a huge SUV here. It's not like it ever snows here and the parking lots have small spaces. But here there are in huge numbers guzzling our precious gas. I have had my Honda Coupe for over 3 years and have just put 8,000 on it.
Heck, we even have a huge hummer limo here that can barely navigate thru traffic and small areas. Go figure.
So, dear friend, I say get whatever car lights your fire. If it feels good and just right when you sit in it, then do it. If you even look good sitting in it, then nuf said.

Aviatrix said...

What's with the myth that you need an SUV to drive in snow? There are cute little economy cars doing just fine in Yellowknife.

oleprairiedog said...

Hey, Purpletabby, Me, Too. The town & country is Flame's car du jour and she hardly lets me drive it. Of course, she can't go to the store without a suitcase and two purses. The back has been fitted with a golf rack to hold our clubs, shoes, hats etc. (You know the essential stuff)., but I do like the comfort of the Chrysler.

Mike said...

Honda Accord V6 Hybrid

Made in America by Americans.

255 hp and 40+mpg.