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In the Market for a New Car
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Posted On: 9/14/2011 4:11PM
jbrinkcivic

I'm a recent college grad and I was lucky to get a good job with a good salary and benefits straight out of college. Being a car fan it is natural that, after food and housing, the next big expenditure I'm looking to make will be a new car. I really want something like a C300 4MATIC, IS350 AWD or a BMW 3-Series xDrive, but payments on those are pretty obscene for someone just starting out. Their lease rates (especially Lexus) seemed to be reasonable enough that I called a big-name insurance company to find out what it would cost for a 22 year old to insure a 2012 IS350 AWD... ready for this? $450 a month for full coverage, or $5,400 annually. Seems a little crazy to me. 

In light of that new knowledge, I scaled my sights down to more reasonable, reliable, and practical cars which would be cheaper to pay for and to insure, and also are less egotistical... probably good for someone starting out.

Continue reading aftert the jump!

I still think I'm going to lease, because a few years down the road I'm likely going to want to get something new, maybe one of the above-named cars, and I'll be in a better position to do so. I'm also planning on keeping my current car, a 2002 Honda Civic EX coupe 5-speed, as perpetually reliable, economical, and relatively fun transport and for use in inclement weather. 

Through all of this I've been doing research on what to get, and I've narrowed it down to four top choices. I would get any of them in black, probably with a black interior. They span a range of prices, but from what I can tell the lease terms are similar. I also haven't compared insurance rates exactly, I'll do that closer to when I buy, but I think they're in a different vehicle class than the Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW.

I have tentatively narrowed it down to:

VW Passat 2.5L SE with sunroof

VW Jetta SEL with sport package and a sunroof

Hyundai Genesis 4.6 (rear-wheel drive is a significant downside - I live in CT)

Chevrolet Malibu LTZ with a V6

Do any of you have any advice on this? Are these cars good to live with on a daily basis? Are any of these brands better or worse from a leasing perspective? Any advice would be appreciated!

Comments (15)
Avatar By: 66Mope
9/14/2011 4:27 PM

If you're single and already have a reliable car that works in the snow and has four seats, why not get something more fun? Miata, Mustang, whatever.

 
Avatar By: GTwildfire
9/14/2011 5:00 PM

Why buy new and take the big 3-year depreciation hit? Get a car with low mileage a couple years old and save thousands. If you want to get a car that would have been a little out of your price range, this would make that possible.

 
Avatar By: Blackcompany
9/14/2011 5:46 PM

Wildfire is on the right track. Trust me when I say this... Take the money you would be spending on a new car and insurance and put it into a savings account. Wait 3 years till you turn 25 because then your rates will drop. Go buy whatever car you want because you now have roughly $36k saved up. Also, keep your record clean.

 
Avatar By: 1lowscort
9/14/2011 6:54 PM

What these three said... Also, I would buy none of those.

 
Avatar By: gold94corolla
9/14/2011 7:23 PM

Definitely don't get a new car. And you really need full coverage? I've got minimum allowed and I'm 25 and I pay $25 a month on my Lexus IS300.

 
Avatar By: ivansterr
9/14/2011 8:53 PM

the only reason to buy a new car is if you get 0% financing, or 1.9% tops.. and out of those 4 i would def choose a VW!

 
Avatar By: cason234
9/14/2011 10:40 PM

This won't sound like very exciting advice, but why not discipline yourself to save as much of your money as you can each month, and wait until you can pay cash for your next car? Then, you'll be in the habit of saving a good amount each month, AND, you won't have to pay interest! Also, buy a car that's a few years old (so someone else can take the depreciation hit). Also, if you've established the pattern of putting a lot of $ away each month, it'll make it that much easier to save to buy a house (which you really should buy FIRST, before you treat yourself to a fancy car! 10 years from now, you'll be glad you did! There are PLENTY of nice cars available for not too much money. This next statement will make me sound like an old man, a veritable killjoy, but I'll say it anyways: I've seen lots of kids graduate from college, get a pretty decent job with good salary and benefits, and then, thinking that they've "made it", they get a nice apartment, a new car, and a sharp new wardrobe. Almost immediately, every nickle of their new salary is spoken for each month, and that young person thwarts their own chance to "get ahead", because they don't save a nickle. Everything goes to paying for the new lifestyle they think they deserve.... Believe me, you can have a ton of fun with inexpensive cars, and if you get into the habit of living below your means, you'll be glad for the rest of your life! Hope you make it, and 10 years from now, we read about a C300 (or whatever it is at that time) that you bought cash, sitting in the garage of your own house!

 
Avatar By: speedoholic
9/14/2011 10:40 PM

Its funny because I am almost in the same position. I also own an '02 civic coupe that is my current college car. When I graduate from college, I plan on keeping my civic since it still gets around 35 mpg. But I also plan on buying a 1996 white corvette, manual transmission with a black interior. You worked hard for how ever long you were in college. This is the time to enjoy yourself, because once you get married and have kids, your fun-car buying days are done! But thats just me. If you do decide to buy a new car, get a coupe. They just look cooler than 4 doors!

 
Avatar By: Mbeezy3405
9/15/2011 5:34 AM

Save your money, buy a 3 year old car. You can get any of those models of the 3 luxury cars you mentioned used and save a ton. Dont buy black unless you park in a garage. Dont live outside your means, and dont buy any of those other 4 cars. Leasing is also a terrible terrible terrible money move. Its like renting, your just throwing money away.

 
Avatar By: helloSIRjeremy
9/15/2011 12:09 PM

you guys didn't read the post, did you? he wants to lease a new car to have something nice, and keep his civic as a use and abuse car. you are in a great position for leasing a car. I, personally, would not include the V8 genesis, the V6 is lower priced and you can get the same equipment in it as the V8. The Passat is a great car from what i've heard. Haven't heard anything about the new redesigned Malibu, unless you are looking at the outgoing model. And the Jetta is a bit cramped compared to the others. I say, just drive the vehicles to determine which one suits your comforts and needs.

 
Avatar By: boatdude13
9/15/2011 12:25 PM

wow. I was under the impression that car guys went here. The kind that like performance.

 
Avatar By: quickzcav
9/15/2011 12:27 PM

Get the Kia Optima. Its arelly good car with both power and great gas mpg. The Optima has all the features you would expect in a lower end luxury model and looks great driving down the street.

 
Avatar By: TDWPgtp
9/15/2011 4:01 PM

hmmm me thinks he works for kia...^ anyway, not that you included it on your list, but have you considered a subaru legacy? im currently leasing one... you can get a pretty well equipped one for a $23k sticker...and if its anything like our dealer, they will come down alot. i anticipate this next Cleveland winter with my all wheel drive=)

 
Avatar By: RockShox
9/15/2011 4:53 PM

I agree with everyone about not buying brand new cars. The only time when I got a brand new car is that when my company provided it for free. About the 4 choices above? They don't say a thing. Lease for something nice? How do you define nice?

 
Avatar By: iroczguy15
9/15/2011 8:41 PM

the hyundai and malibu are great cars if u are looking for luxury i work at a cadillac dealership and we got both vehicles in recently and i have driven both many times im more of a gm guy but i love the style and feel of the hyundai it has many luxurious options in it the malibu is in more of the cheaper luxury category but it drives awesome and is quite reliable as for the v-dubs i dont know a lot about them

 

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