Little Red Corvette

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008, 1:22 pm

I’m in the market for a new car and while I’d LIKE to buy a little red Corvette, that isn’t on the list. Come to think of it, Corvettes really aren’t little, are they? The ones I saw at the car show were long, undulating beasts. No, I’m looking for something a bit more practical, something that’s reliable and fuel efficient. The car I’ve targeted is the Nissan Altima, which looks pretty sharp, isn’t too pricey, gets good mileage, and is well-reviewed on Consumer Reports. I was headed out to test drive some today but it started pouring and looks like it might rain again, so tomorrow might be the day I kick some tires.

I’ve asked you dear, dear people for your advice in the past, so why not ask again? Any advice on buying a new car? Any opinion on the Altima? Or any other vehicles in that class? Thought about the Honda Accord hybrid as well (not a Prius fan) but I don’t think I drive enough to justify the higher price. I drove a Mazda 3 and a Mazda 6 while in Vegas and I liked the 6 quite a bit. Of course, in comparison to my Chevy Cavalier with 112,000 miles on it and no A/C and no radio (it hasn’t worked since I got home) a pair of roller skates would probably be an improvement. I kinda dig the Altima coupe, but the sedan would be more practical, I think. And I’m nothing if not practical. That’s why I get all the chicks, heh heh heh…

Heh.

I want/need a new car. What I don’t want to do is deal with buying the damn thing. I’m not a haggler. I’m not one for arm-twisting. I’m not going to buy something I don’t want and I’m not going to pay thousands more than I’m budgeting because of a slick sales pitch, but that doesn’t mean I’m not dreading the experience. I try to focus on that happy day when I drive off the lot in my new car. I’m trying not to think about dealing with the folks at the dealership. Oh well. I resisted the sales pitches of at least three hookers and one stripper in Vegas. Of course, I was less successful negotiating at the Rhino…but that’s a tale for another day.

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11 Responses to “Little Red Corvette”

  1. Falstaff Says:

    Bought the Nissan Versa for the wife at the beginning of the year, and we both love it. 35 MPG and plenty of zip for city driving. And a surprising amount of room inside. I’m a big dude and am perfectly comfortable both driving and riding in the Versa.

  2. maf212 Says:

    hey gene,
    If it’s just fuel economy and price that concerns you the most, I’d steer you towards a Honda Civic. They’ve got a good amount of different trim levels that would let you get the features you want, and the price on them is not that bad. If you get a 4 cyl. and don’t drive it too hard, you should be able to run it in the high 30s (mpg).
    Personally, I prefer to buy my vehicles slightly used. Around 3-10k miles on them. It gets you past that instant depreciation when they roll off the lot new, but still gets you a few years of dealer warranty, and shouldn’t give you any troubles for a while.

  3. Poker cats Says:

    I love my 2006 ‘6…

  4. bastin Says:

    Gene,

    Can’t go wrong with the Honda Civic. For that matter, any Honda. Nothing like a car that’s worry-free forever and ever.

    BTW, I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now. A nice contrast to some of the other popular ones about booze, strippers and poker, in no particular order. I like the other ones…it’s just that yours adds a different voice.

  5. Div Says:

    re: haggling

    In the UK we have online brokers (e.g. http://www.drivethedeal.com), who act as an introducer and pre-arrange reduced prices for their clients.

    I’m presuming in the US there are similar services.

    Identify your shortlist
    Take each car for a test drive at your local dealer
    Go to the broker site and search for your choice
    Get the price
    Call your local dealer and tell them you can get it for $xxxxxx from the broker
    If the dealer won’t match the price then you can go to the broker

    I did this when I bought my new Toyota and paid roughly $8,000 less than the list price, and $2,000 less than the very best offer from my local dealer. Not bad for a very minimal amount of effort.

  6. AgSweep Says:

    Bought two cars in the class last year. One Ford Focus (for Drew, July 2007) and a Chevy Cobalt for my daughter (May 2007). I would have bought Drew a Cobalt but after two hours the Chevy dealer in Vegas could tell me my monthly payment but not the price of the car or the interest rate. I had a melt down and marched next door and bought the Focus.

    My daughter (who is paying for hers) did meticulous research and we spent 8 hours test driving cars in this class. The favorites far and away were the Toyota Corolla and the Mazda3 for driving with the Cobalt running third.

    She had a list of things she needed to have which included side airbags and anti lock brakes.

    The Toyota did not make the cut because it was due for an interior update in 2008 making the 2007 model less desirable. (No I-pod jack etc on old model). I can’t remember what the problem was with the Mazda, it might have been price after she added what she wanted. I was a little concerned about the Mazda because of thier wierd Overdrive thing.

    The cobalt won because it had everything she wanted standard for the most part so it made it less expensive than the others.

    I am sure that she still has her notes, I could scan them and send them if you are interested. When I say she is organized I mean really organized.

  7. AgSweep Says:

    We drove

    Toyota Corolla
    Ford Focus
    Cheverolet Aveo
    Cheverolet Cobalt
    Honda Civic
    Mazda3
    Nissan Versa

  8. DuggleBogey Says:

    Do me and yourself a favor and test drive the new Chevy Malibu. There’s a guy here that parks his next to me. It’s black and has blacked out windows and it looks SHARP. The Saturn Aura is the same vehicle and gets incredible JD Power reviews. I rented one for a drive to Ohio and really liked how it drove.

    I think it’s about the price range you are looking for and I think it’s a pretty nice ride.

  9. Pokerwolf Says:

    Talk to Maudie about how she haggled for her current car. She used email or faxes and did the whole shebang without ever entering a dealership besides the original test drive to verify that she liked the type of car.

  10. Ben Says:

    Got rid of my 2000 Cavalier (180,000 miles) about 6 months ago for a used 2006 Nissan Altima from West Hills Nissan and I love it. I get about 28 mpg and drive mostly on back roads. But I agree with the others, pick out 3-4 that look good online and test drive them all.

    Ben

  11. Diana Says:

    Gene,
    I agree with another post – buy your car used with a few miles on it. You’ll know when you see a good one. Don’t hesitate to check out Foreign Traffic up the street.
    Diana D.

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