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Old 05-25-2016, 05:08 AM   #1
Ethrax
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What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

Keep in mind I'm from Australia.
Would prefer below $4000 though I'm willing to go up to $7500 if I find a car I really like
Basically want good performance, good aesthetics/look(very important), and good economy/value

Cars that I've jotted down that look neat and are within budget:
Mitsubishi: Lancer,
Mazda: Mazda 6 (sports auto), Mazda 323 Protege, Mazda 3 Neo (2006),
Holden: Holden Cruze (2009), Holden Astra, Holden Commodore,
Ford: Ford Focus (2005?)
BMW: BMW 320i, BMW 320ti, BMW325i (really like but I heard they are expensive parts-wise)
Suzuki: Suzuki Liana,
Honda: Honda Civic, Honda Accord,
Subaru: Subaru Liberty,
Hyundai: Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Sonata,
Toyota: Toyota Camry Sportivo,
Nissan: Nissan Altima, Nissan Pulsar, Nissan Skyline,
Hyundai: Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Sonata,
Toyota: Toyota Camry Sportivo,
Nissan: Nissan Altima, Nissan Pulsar, Nissan Skyline,

Please feel free to either chose a car from the list or suggest an entirely new car.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

I can't give you any opinions on any of those cars, but keep in mind insurance costs can get out of hand on some cars.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

Of the group you list, there are two that I can recommend without reservation:
Honda Civic
Mazda 6

Another one would be the Nissan Sentra.

All 3 of these cars are - in general - reliable, economical (especially the Civic) and the repair parts aren't overly expensive.

After having owned 2 BMWs, I can assure you that parts ARE expensive.

One point I like to make when I'm talking with young drivers is that after about a year of driving, almost every young driver thinks that he/she is experienced enough to handle anything and starts pushing the limits. That's about the time that most people have their first wreck... So, when you get to that point, remember that there's a good reason that insurance companies start giving discounts around age 25!

Best of luck finding a great first car!!

Dave B.
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

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Originally Posted by Dave B. View Post
Of the group you list, there are two that I can recommend without reservation:
Honda Civic
Mazda 6

Another one would be the Nissan Sentra.
I'll narrow it down even further. Mazda 6: you'll get more for your money with one of those.
Don't get me wrong, Honda Civics are legendary for their reliability and they are great in their own way, and it's the same with the Nissan sentra. The Mazda 6 comes with something the other two don't; fun, especially with a manual transmission. Before I bought my current car, I tested and almost bought a Mazda 6. Then the guy decided he didn't want to sell it, and honestly I don't blame him. It was awesome to drive in every way. The steering was fantastic, it handled corners like a dream, and it wasn't insanely powerful, but when you put you foot down, it will definitely get up and go. The other two are kind of dull. Low on power and they don't quite grip the road as well. I wouldn't want you to get bored with your car, boredom leads to bad ideas, especially when a car is involved.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

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Originally Posted by BimmerHQ View Post
You cant afford a BMW at that price. You need to narrow your choices before I could even suggest a thing.

What are you looking for in a car? Performance? Reliability? etc.
It's true... Don't be fooled, because you may be able to find a BMW in your price range. Running, driving, maybe some slight cosmetic defects, but on the surface looking ok.
The truth is on that budget, the BMW you find will be heavily used by multiple owners and parts will need to be replaced, and you won't be able to afford the parts. So you'll be doing this: , while whoever sold it to you has a wad of your money and a Look on their face like this: .
Look for a Mazda 6, you won't regret it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:27 AM   #6
Janna Cordero
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

Hi, we are also thinking of getting a used car but we are still contemplating about it. Otherwise, we will resort to buying a new one. We are confused because we are thinking of the wear and tear of old cars and definitely its depreciation value. However, in your case, if you are really interested among those old cars you've mentioned here, I would suggest you to choose a Toyota or a Lancer Model. We had good experience with those two cars.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

Size, engine, specification, age and even desirability all come into play when choosing your first car, I'd go for the Mazda 6, Toyota Camry and Honda Civic
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

Always think about maintenance costs and Japanese and Korea cars, then American cars then to be cheaper and easier to maintain. I'd stay away from BMWs and those fancy cars, specially if your a first time car owner with limited budget. I'd say a good and reliable japanese car is the way to go.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

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Originally Posted by Black Lotus View Post
I can't give you any opinions on any of those cars, but keep in mind insurance costs can get out of hand on some cars.
I more than agree! Get him/ her a not so expensive one. You can always upgrade when he/ she is good already.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

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Originally Posted by Deemo View Post
I'd have to go for the Mazda 6 as well out of that list. Pretty reliable. Don't forget that at 17 years old on some of these powerful cars insurance is going to be very high.

My advice is to get a basic car for the first few years with cheap insurance and build up some no claims bonuses. Then in a few years time you can get something more powerful with all that money you've saved on insurance over the years.

Good luck.
Sorry to revive such an old topic, but which car did you finally buy? And can you please elaborate why? I've just moved to Australia and need some opinions about the best cars that I can buy within a budget. Is it possible to get a BMW in that budget? And how much did you pay for insurance.

Last edited by Stealthee; 08-28-2018 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:27 PM   #11
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

I would not go below $4k, are you mechanically inclined? if not you want to leave room for repair costs. overhead cam engines have to have timing belts replaced and usually the water pump is in there too...can be expensive. Cars with pushrods do not have this expense. then you don't know when the timing belt or if ever was changed on a car w/ 120k+ miles. Get a car that has passed inspection for your location. look at the dip stick if brown its varnish from never having the oil changed. see if they have maintenance records for the car. see what stations the radio buttons are tuned to, rock , pop music probably no to little maintenance done on the car.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:36 PM   #12
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

I would rather choose Mazda 6
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:43 PM   #13
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

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Originally Posted by la1 View Post
I would not go below $4k, are you mechanically inclined? if not you want to leave room for repair costs. overhead cam engines have to have timing belts replaced and usually the water pump is in there too...can be expensive. Cars with pushrods do not have this expense. then you don't know when the timing belt or if ever was changed on a car w/ 120k+ miles. Get a car that has passed inspection for your location. look at the dip stick if brown its varnish from never having the oil changed. see if they have maintenance records for the car. see what stations the radio buttons are tuned to, rock , pop music probably no to little maintenance done on the car.

That's good practical advice. Never thought that what stations the radio buttons are tuned to also matters.
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Old Today, 07:42 AM   #14
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Re: What to buy? 17 year old first car (used)

stay away from cars with "cvt"transmissions unless it,s a very recent Toyota.
most people I know agree only Toyota,s have good cvt,s.
the rest are junk.
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