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Help us car shop!

Because our schedules suck, we've got about 23 days to do our research, test drive, bargain and close (unless we want to squeeze it into our nonexistent weekends). We have it "narrowed" down to fifteen we want to look into, and about six we're really interested in. We know our basic priorities, but feel like we're still lacking in knowing what we should know in general. And where better to go than here for knowledge?

So, will you answer my poll?

1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)?
2) New or used?
3) Leased or purchased?
4) What do you love about it/them?
5) What do you not love about it/them?
6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping?
7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping?
8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them?
9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees?
10) What else should I know about your car(s)?
Mother's Day, 2011

Re: Help us car shop!

  • 1) 1998 Honda Accord & 2004 Toyota Corolla

    2) Used and new, respectively, both purchased summer 2004

    3) Both purchased

    4) Honda is a great name with cars that last a LONG time.  DH loves his car.  I love my Toyota--love that it sits up much higher than most cars so, to me, it actually feels bigger than it is.  We'll be looking at a Honda Pilot when we look, though, we think, as by that point (God willing) we'll be having to fit car seats into it.

    5) Nothing.... :)

    6) Did lots of research about fuel efficiency, got many personal opinions

    7) Nothing, but we've had a great experience with both of our cars

    8) I got my Toyota at a dealer in Chillicothe and DH bought his Honda from a family friend, so I'm not much help.

    9) *shrug*  don't have anything to compare them to

    10) Nothing :)  Best of luck to you, Krista!

  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? 2001 Jetta, 2000 Chevy S-10, 1981 Corvette
    2) New or used? All used
    3) Leased or purchased? All purchased
    4) What do you love about it/them? Um...I like my Jetta just fine when it's working, but it's a b!tch and a half to get repaired. The electrical system on Jettas is notoriously buggy and insanely expensive to fix. Seriously, when something goes wrong on my car, it's always at least $400 to fix. I like my car because it's a 5-spd and has a V6, but I would NOT get another Jetta, nor recommend them to people. DH likes his truck just fine, and the Corvette doesn't currently have an engine in it, so it doesn't really count. It's pretty, though. :)
    5) What do you not love about it/them? Oh, I already answered that.
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? Um, I didn't ask any. My car was sort of a gift.
    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? I pretty much knew from Internet research that VWs had problems with the electrical systems and that they were expensive to fix. I guess my advice here would be don't be a stupid 22-year-old who just hopes her car will be the exception to the rule.
    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Mine came from a friend of the family's dealership out in Johnstown, so he was really nice to deal with. Denny Dotson is his name. DH got his truck from Byers, I think, and the Corvette came from a friend. I haven't had good luck dealing with Byers Imports, but I don't know what DH's experience was with them. It was before we'd met.
    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? Um, not that bad? I've never registered a car in another state, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I think I pay $60 or so a year to get my plates/stickers renewed.
    10) What else should I know about your car(s)? Don't buy a Jetta. The Chevy's cool, though.
  • 1. 2, an 02 Jeep Grand Cherokee & an 03 Saab

    2. Will never buy any vehicle new; they depreciate so much in the first few years that it doesn't seem worth it to us.

    3.  Purchased; leasing doesn't make sense to us.  We tend to drive quite a bit, and don't want to have to worry about the mileage.

    4.  It's DH's third Jeep, he loves it, and is looking to buy his fourth before year end.  We love the Saab too.  We've only had it for 5 months or so, but it's fully loaded, and gets 30 miles to the gallon!

    5.  N/A

    6.  We wanted vehicles that would hold their value, so we did a bit of research, and talked with the dealer about it as well.

    7.  N/A

    8.  MC Autonet in Powell.  We LOVED working with them!  It's a very small, independently owned dealership, and we got great, no pressure service there!

    9.  I think our renewals are about $100 a year for both vehicles.

  • 1. 2005 Honda Civic and 2005 Mazda 6
    2. New when we bought them
    3. purchased
    4. I love love my Civic.  It runs great, never any issues, and the gas mileage is pretty good.  DH's Mazda has a sporty look to it.  It is great for hauling stuff because of the 5 door on it.
    5. No complaints about the civic.  The Mazada does not get good gas mileage.
    6.  What is the lowest price you can sell it to me for? :)  I got an awesome deal on the civic.
    7. DH's wishes he would of walked away from the negioation table.  I left because I needed to go to an appointment. Since he needed something he did not get a great deal on his car.
    8. I got mine at Immke Honda and Dh bought his at Mazada Direct near Easton.
    9. not really sure
    10. hmm.. not really sure
    7/11 miscarriage @ 6 weeks 2 days
    7/12 DS was stillborn @ 32 weeks.
    2/13 BFP! Hoping for my rainbow baby!
  • 1) 2 cars-a 2005 Honda Civic LX and 2007 Toyota Matrix XR
    2) Both are new
    3) Purchased both of them
    4) Honda-excellent gas mileage, affordable, reliable, long warranty (7 years or 100,000 miles), reputation of Honda overall, lots of add on options; Toyota-excellent gas mileage, lots of storage for a car (wagon style), customer can easily customize, affordable, reliable reputation of Toyota, Toyota does free maintenance (oil change, rotation of tires, etc) for first year
    5) Honestly, so far we have had no troubles or complaints with either
    7) N/A
    8) Got our Honda in Texas, got the Toyota at Germain Toyota-which I highly recommend.  The sales team that worked with us weren't "sales-like" or shady acting.  They were honest and gave us a great price.
    9) Don't remember this one.
    10) I think Hondas & Toyotas are great bets-they are always at the top of consumer reports and have the highest trade in value, not to mention great fuel efficiency (at least for these 2 models).  A lot of bang for your buck!
  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? Me: 2005 Ford Escape XLT; DH: 2001 Volvo S6

    2) New or used? I bought mine new (only had 22 miles on it!) and DH bought his used

    3) Leased or purchased? Purchased--I actually want to own my car after I finish making payments and also I don't want to have to pay for the miles I go over at the end

    4) What do you love about it/them? DH loves his because it is "sporty"; I love mine because it is a smaller SUV and still gets pretty good gas mileage. Also, my back seats fold down and it makes transporting stuff so easy.

    5) What do you not love about it/them? I absolutely love my Escape, so N/A. I know that the only thing Chris doesn't like about his Volvo is that it is really expensive to get things fix or repaired.
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? Fuel efficiency, average cost of repairs/maintenance, difference between the models. I also called my friend who works for Ford in Michigan to get his opinion and insight (however, he was no help more than his friends have Escapes and really like them)

    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? N/A...we did lots of research before purchasing and had ton cost comparisons with other cars and brands we were looking at

    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Chris got his at a dealer on W 5th Avenue in Grandview; I got mine at Germain Ford on Sawmill Road.  Since I'm an OSU employee, I got a great deal as they have a special plan for university employees.  According to my friend who works at Ford, I actually was getting a better deal than what he could have gotten me with his employee plan (he can get something like 6-8 cars a year for friends and family at the base price before dealer markups and stuff).

    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? I think my title was like $15 bucks or something. Registration fee each year is $54.  I don't know how it compares to other states, since when I lived in Maryland my dad paid my car registration and title fee since I was 16. However, in MD, we register our cars every two years which I prefer--if you sell your car or move out of state before the 2 years is up, they will prorate your registration and give you a refund.

    10) What else should I know about your car(s)? N/A
  • 1.  3, 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport, 2000 Toyota Celica and 2002 Lexus IS300.
    2.  All used
    3.  Purchased, we drive too much to ever lease, and owning a brand new car isnt important to me. 
    4.  I love my Celica, I love that its small, the hatchback fits and unbelieveable amount of stuff, its fun to drive and good on gas mileage.  J loves his Lexus, its his dream car, and its been a great car.  We have not had to do any work to either car, and both have well over 100k miles. 
    5.  The Jeep gets horrible has mileage.  Its great for pulling the trailer, but thats about all we use it for. 
    6.  Not so much a question, but I haggled them on price for almost 4 hours until I got what I wanted. 
    7.  What would happen if our salesman wasnt working there a month later.  We were promised the paint work and dents would be taken care of and now that our saleman is no longer there its been a real pain trying to get the work done.  We did get it in writing though which I strongly recommend. 
    8.  Some place in Dayton, I cant remember the name, and Jeff's Motor Cars in Canton, both not close. 
    9.  I cant remember exactly how much tax was, but I think that the title was a flat rate, $35 or something. 
    10.  Dh and I will never buy anything but foreign cars.  Weve just had  really good luck with them. 

  • 1) 2 Cars [1998 Accord, 2000 Altima] and a 2006 Vespa  :)

    2) Used.  I will never buy new!  I learned too much in my HS personal finance class!

    3) Purchased.  I will never lease (same reason)!

    4) DH's Accord is reliable and will probably last forever in its current usage (1/2 time, due to Vespa); My Altima has had various troubles, but nothing horrible.

    5) Nothing

    6) ****Look at the ratings in Consumer Reports****   That's how I chose my last car and already have chosen my next.

    7) Nothing.

    8) I got mine at Nissan North; DH's came from Michigan.  In a couple months I'm going to trade in the Altima for a '06 Subaru (Forrester likely, maybe Outback), so I will go with whichever Subaru dealership has a good used one with the options/mileage I like.

    9) I don't think they're bad.

  • 1. 2004 Civic EX sedan and Dave has a 2007 Nissan Xterra

    2. Both new.

    3. Mine was leased, but I just bought it out in May. Dave's was purchased.

    4. My Civic gets GREAT gas mileage and I've had no problems with it AT ALL. It's cute, it's sporty, and I love zipping around in it. The Xterra is a tank - but in a good way. It doesn't the best mpg around town, but doesn't do bad on long trips. It's great to haul stuff around in and drives really really nice (and I don't like riding in SUVs that much!).

    5. I wish my seats were more comfy - but I'm sure the new bodystyle Civics have better seats! Dave wishes he got better mpg.

    6. Asked about the warranty and about scheduled maintenance (my Civic doesn't need an actual tune-up until 100k miles) and I had questions about leasing. With the Xterra, I think it was the same, minus the leasing.

    7. Hmmm can't think of anything, really.

    8. My Civic came from Honda East - had a good experience there, they're just far from home, so I have all of my maintenance/oil changes, etc. done at Roush Honda, and I can't recommend them more! They are GREAT! My next Honda will be purchased there! Dave bought his at Germain Nissan on Morse Rd. Had a good experience there as well.

    9. Hmmmm not sure - don't have much to compare to!

    10. I'm an import girl - have had 2 Hondas, a Toyota, and Dave has his Nissan, and can't be happier.

  • 1. an 02 Jetta and an 07 Honda Pilot 2. we're the first owners of both 3.purchased 4. Jetta = fun and sporty, good safe commuter car for DH, Pilot= big enough for our dog crate (We have a 60 lb. black lab, the crate takes up half the back end space.) and a weeks worth of luggage, also seat 5 adults cery easily, plus a 3rd row for 3 small adults or kids. Pilot is also a BREEZE to drive, it feels like a car! 5. Jetta is kinda small in the backseat, I wouldn't wanna deal with a carseat in that car. Pilot guzzles gas, but we get gas points from Giant Eagle...I filled the tank last week (from E) for $25!! 6. Warranties and airbags...The pilot has them all the way in the 3rd row...very important to me. 7. We made 4 trips to Honda in 48 hours to meet with the salesman, we covered everything... 8. Jetta came from MD, Honda came from Immke, and Immke gets tons of praise from us, their service dept. is open till midnight!! And the people are ALWAYS very friendly and helpful. 9. Don't have a clue, DH delt with it...I spaced out during this part! 10. We test drove the Xterra, and the Durango...both made me feel like we could roll over by taking a 90 degree turn. The Pilot was my first and only choice! It's also really comfy for those 7 hour rides back to MD!
  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? 2002 Ford Escape & 2005 Ford F-150
    2) New or used? Both were bought used
    3) Leased or purchased? both were purchased
    4) What do you love about it/them? I love my Escape, it's the perfect amount of space, without being hard to drive/park/manuver also it gets great mileage and I have yet to have any problems with it and it's got 75k miles. T loves is F-150 because we constantly have a need to haul stuff.
    5) What do you not love about it/them? The rear wiper on the escape can't be purchased at an auto parts store, I have to go to the dealership, kinda a pain but it's my only complaint! The F-150 has a huge gas tank, which is a pain to fill up, but we knew that buying it. he doesn't drive a ton, so it's no big deal.
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? Where did this car come from (lease trade in, auto auction, retail trade-in)? Ask for a carfax report or the vin # to research yourself.
    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? can't think of any
    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Bought the escape from a wholesale buddy, the F-150 purchased at Kreiger Ford. Kreiger I thought was a bit skeivy, wasn't crazy about the guy we dealt with, and the loan officer seemed a bit put out that we didn't buy the optional extended warranty. I have bought from D!ck Masheter in the past and enjoy dealing with them.
    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? Retarded, watch out for a recording fee (approx $250) I think it's basically the dealerships way of charging you the reps commission.
    10) What else should I know about your car(s)? Research anything you buy on Kelly, know what the trade-in value is versus the dealership price. it should give you an idea of how much they'll be willing to come down.

    Foreign cars have a tendency to be expensive to fix and find mechanics willing to work on them.

  • 1. 2005 Honda Accord Sedan

    2. Bought it used but it had 474 miles on it!

    3. Purchased

    4. I love the heated seats, the leather interiror, the quietness and comfort of the ride, the sun roof

    5. I wish it was a V6!

    6. I asked about purchasing an extended warranty. How many owners did the car have before me.

    7. Nothing...I preshoped so basically I walked in and bought it. Ex-h's friend worked in the financing department so I knew I wasn't going to get taken advantage of.

    8. Roush Honda - I loved them and will continue to shop there.

    9. I don't even know!

    10. It's awesome. :-)

  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? we have 2, 07 Camry, 95 Monte Carlo
    2) New or used? 1 new, 1 used.
    3) Leased or purchased?purchased
    4) What do you love about it/them?I love everything abour my Camry, DH loves his MC, but is ready to get a new car.
    5) What do you not love about it/them? I don't like 2 door cars, so I don't to much enjoy driving the MC.
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? I used this website and it helped alot.
    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? nothing we didn't cover.
    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Deleware Byers, yes, he was very nice and not pushy at all.
    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? I don't have anything to compare them to, this was my first new car.  Dh bought his car used from someone in MI a few years ago.
    10) What else should I know about your car(s)?
  • 1. 2002 Chevy Trailblazer and 2002 Chrysler Sebring
    2. Both bought used. I will never buy a new car again. I bought my TB used in '02 with only 5k miles and I saved about $8,000 on it.
    3. Purchased. I drive too much to lease.
    4. There's not much I don't love about my TB - it's not as big as a Tahoe so doesn't feel so "tank-ish", but yet has tons of space in the back (I once fit a whole bedroom suit back there), it hasn't had any major problems; the Sebring gets good gas mileage and is fun to drive - sporty, sunroof, fully loaded, etc.
    5. I definitely don't love the gas mileage of the TB. At best it gets about 18-20mpg and I drive alot. That's my only complaint though.
    6. It's not necessarily a question, but when shopping at a dealer you have to go in armed with knowledge about what the car is worth and what you are willing to pay, and you have to be fully prepared to walk out of there unless you get your price. I had a number in mind when I bought the TB and even though they basically laughed when I told them my bottom line, I did end up getting my price because I was willing to walk away from it.
    7. Nothing
    8. Got the TB at Capital Chevrolet on the east side - I didn't find them to be entirely professional but I did get my price, so I can't complain too much. The Sebring came from a family member and I don't remember where she bought it.
    9. I don't have anything to compare it to. Tax will depend on purchase price, yearly registration depends on the vehicle and whether you get logo or personalized plates, etc. I pay about $80/year for logo plates.
    10. This isn't about my car specifically, but my best advice is not to buy brand new unless you get 0% financing. I thought I was a genius with my TB since that was the first model year and the prices were jacked way up. I think sticker on my car new was $32k, they were asking $28k for mine and I got it for around $24k because it was technically used. So I still got a new car, but without the crazy price.
    Good luck!!!!! :)

  • 1. 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, 2001 Chrysler Sebring Coupe (but now that baby is coming, DH is looking at leasing a 2007 or 2008 Lincoln MKZ)
    2. Both used (I will never buy new again)
    3. Purchased (but like I mentioned before, we are going to lease a car for the first time)
    4. We both LOVE our cars. I love the 3rd row seating and leather seats and all of the room in the Pacifica, since I bought it used I went ahead and got a fully loaded vehicle. DH loves the DVD player in the Pacifica! Both are very smooth rides.
    5. DH's car is just too dang small! And the doors are HUGE on his car, so it is hard to open the doors and get in and out. I feel like I am sitting on the floor.
    6. We did lots of research online. I knew exactly what I wanted and how much I was willing to pay for it before I went in. I found the Pacifica online so I wasn't running all over the city looking at cars. is a great place to look for used cars.
    7. Nothing
    8. We bought Sebring from DH's Uncle's dealership in Seville, OH. We bought the Pacifica from Dublin Byer's.
    9. Don't know, it has always been included in the deal and all taken care of.
    10. I am in love with my Pacifica, it is great if you don't want a huge SUV, but don't want a minivan. And is a great ride for long trips.

  • This might help you as well:

    1. 2002 Toyota Corolla S
    2005 Toyota Matrix XR I think
    2. new on the corolla, used on the Matrix
    3. purchased both, w/auto loan
    4. Love both a lot, no complaints
    5. See above
    6. I drove them and saw how the shifting felt (I'm a stick-shift driver) I folded seats down, got in the back and checked leg room...and read ALL reviews.
    7. nothing else
    8. Corolla from Toyota Direct, we loved them
    Matrix from Tansky Sawmill, they were OK, we gave them a price and ended up walking out, they did call back and we made the deal.
    9. Not sure
  • 1. (2) 2006 Trailblazer & 2007 Silverado
    2.Both New
    3.leased Trailblazer, paid Cash for Silverado
    4. I don't know if I can really ever love a car, any car
    5. They cost a lot to fill up with gas
    6. WARRANTY!!
    7. ??
    8. Bob Mc Dorman Chevrolet, worked with Dave McDorman and he was great.
    9. Not outrageous but it still sucks to pay them
    10. One is blue and one is sliver??

  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? 2; 2004 Honda Civic and 2006 Pontiac Torrent
    2) New or used? Both were purchased new
    3) Leased or purchased? Purchased
    4) What do you love about it/them? Honda rocks! Torrent is interesting and spacious
    5) What do you not love about it/them? Because the Torrent was new, as in a new model to Pontiac, there have been some bugs. But overall, not bad.
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? We test drove an Accord then a Civic. We test drove a Vibe then the Torrent. We chose what felt best for the best money.
    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? Nothing really
    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Immke Dublin and Dave Gill Pontiac; Sure.
    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? Rolled into the loans so made no difference; tags are always like 75 bucks out of the gate (unless you can transfer ones you have)
    10) What else should I know about your car(s)? We are bery happy with them both. Good cars for the money.
  • Thank you thank you thank you!!  I *so* appreciate this!
    Mother's Day, 2011
  • 1) How many cars do you have and what kind(s) and year(s)? 2000 Honda Civic & 2000 Ford Ranger
    2) New or used? Both were new
    3) Leased or purchased? Purchased
    4) What do you love about it/them? I love the gas mileage that my car gets and the fact that DH's care is a truck
    5) What do you not love about it/them? My car is small and can get uncomfortable on long trips, DH's truck is only a standard cab so there are only two seats
    6) What were the best questions you asked when shopping? We never really shopped for a car, my parents gave us the truck and my dad did all the shopping for the Honda because I was still in college
    7) What do you wish you'd asked when shopping? N/A
    8) Where did you get them, and would you recommend them? Both were purchased at dealerships in Cincinnati
    9) How bad are OH title/tax/fees? Eh, don't really remember that.  The only thing I remember is that is is more expensive to register a truck every year than a car and that makes no sense to me at all
    10) What else should I know about your car(s)? I have rarely had any problems with my Civic.  My family has driven Honda's for over 250,000 miles and we can count on one hand the number of unscheduled maintentance issues we have had.  DH's ranger has also been good to us and between my mom having it and DH it has hauled many a piece of furniture, home improvement projects and trash.  I could not overemphasize how great it is to have a truck at our age.
  • 1.) 2 - A 1998 Hyundai Elantra (mine) and a 2001? Jeep Cherokee Limited (his).

    2.) Mine was purchased new, his was purchased  used.

    3.) Mine was leased originally (now I own it) and his was purchased.

    4.) What I love about my Hyundai - - great warranty, excellent gas mileage, can't beat the price, very good safety ratings - - I put a lot of thought and research into that purchase. 

    The only thing I love about DH's jeep is that it has heated seats.

    5.)  I've had some engine problems with my Hyundai, but it was all easily covered by the warranty.  It's almost 10 years old and it's starting to get some rust on it.  :(

    There is always something wrong with the Jeep.  It's a huge money pit.

    6.) I didn't really ask any questions of the dealership because I don't trust them, but I did tons of research online and with Consumer Reports.

    7.) I only wish that I hadn't let them talk me into a lease at that time, but it's all good now.

    8.) I bought my Hyundai at Dennis on Morse Rd.  If I decide to by another Hyundai (which it's looking like I might) I will go back to them.  They weren't fabulous, but they weren't horrible either.

    DH bought his Jeep in Bowling Green.  I don't know the details.

    9.) I don't remember. 

    10.)  n/a

  • 1. I have a 2006 Chevy Impala SS, and DH has 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT.

    2. Both were new.

    3. Both purchased. We would like to lease because we enjoy new cars every so often, but we put too many miles on them. (30K/yr for both of us)

    4. We love how they both drive. So far, so good on both for maintenance.

    5. Mine is a V8 gas hog. His takes premium gas in a v6 engine, so still expensive to operate.

    6. Ask for incentives to purchase TODAY! DH got oil changes for as long as he owns it for free. That's kinda handy. Ask about warranties. Some companies will now cover up to 100K miles. That's awesome!

    7. Ask what kind of gas the manual recommends. We didn't know about the premium gas until it was purchased.

    8. I bought back in my hometown. He bought at Roby in Dublin. He would recommend them. He has bought two there.

    9. Don't know. I don't think bad enough to remember.

    10. If we could buy something instead, we'd buy a Honda. I really do like mine though.

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