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I've narrowed it down to a new Jetta, Altima, or Camry.

Looking to do a 5 year finance at no more than 325 a month and no more than 2500 down.

First car I'm buying so past experiences are welcome.

Thanks


Edit - Also thinking about the Civic - possibly a Hybrid so I can ride the HOV (car pool) lane on the L.I.E. by myself...

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The reason that VWs aren't reliable has nothing to do with the fact that Jettas are made in Mexico. It's because the Ge... (more)

MrNovember (Mar. 15, 2009 @ 9:39p) |

Camry.

My 8 year old Camry has cost me exactly $325 out of pocket for repairs (other than routine maintenance).

Obama4Prez (Mar. 17, 2009 @ 4:33p) |

My 8 year old Chrysler has cost me exactly $80 out of pocket for repairs (other than routine maintenance).

and that was w... (more)

Hypersion (Mar. 17, 2009 @ 4:56p) |

At the moment, I am torn. I have pretty much discounted the Jetta even though I think it is the nicest looking car of the four, VW just have so many bad reviews as far as electrical problems and costs to repair. The Civic Hybrid seems like the most bang for the buck but the body itself of the car is just hideous (to me at least). The back and sides of it are fine but when you look at the hood it just drops off and I don't think I can bring myself to spend that much money on something that I don't like the way it looks. This brings me to the Altima and the Camry. I like the bodies on both of them, they cost the same, and they both seem like they will last a long time. I have yet to be inside either of them or test drive but I'm going to have to make my way to the dealers to check them out. I guess I should also check how much my insurance will differ between the 2 as well...
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You have chosen 3 excellent cars, so I'd lean toward considering which dealer offers the best service. Ask around for personal experience advice from friends who have dealt with the Veedub dealer, the Nissan dealer or Yoda dealerships in your area. Example, in my area, the VW dealer is the best from everything I've heard - I'd be enjoying the Jetta just for that reason.

Jettas are built in Mexico and the quality is poor. I heard the Germans recently went down there and "restructured" the plants. If you can import one from Germany you would be golden. Nissans make great cars but their resale value can't touch Yota or Honda. I would go with the Camry.

Zuke76 said: I would go with the Camry.Remember to add the cost of energy shots, because a Camry will put you to sleep.

VW = out of warranty repairs aren't cheap
Nissan = probably the best value
Toyota = boring and they nickle and dime you on options (or force you to take a bloated package) that are standard on many comparable cars.

P.S. OP, have you considered a Subaru Legacy? You can get a well equipped SE model for a decent price. Note that Subaru's are AWD and they have character.

I'm confused why the Accord is not in the mix?

I.m not...it is a noisy boat.

camry is a great vehicle. great resale value & a smooth ride. with the new aggressive body style, i like it even better. it has a more sporty appearance.

Camry will be better in the long-run reliability-wise with better resale value. Nissan's quality has gone downhill from years past (although supposedly turning its way back up) but still way better than a Jetta.

If gas mileage matters to you, Altima's isn't great imo.

The new Altima looks great too.
They even make a 2-door version - very nice.

vw and nissa = built in mexico on a friday


the toyota's ....well plain and simple, you can't break em. i've had three yoda trucks and all have been phenomenal vehicles. also have had a camry. LOVED it. had a couple nissans and a vw.....the vw's are notorious for electrical problems and the nissans are just clunky. i would buy a camry in a heartbeat. they drive great, feel great and are VERY comfortable

I'm not a fan of jetta's in terms of build quality and reliability, but if you're not going to hold onto it long, it should be fine. I've read a lot about tranmission issues with VW's 2.0L engines.... so maybe stick to the 2.5L.

Camry is a fine car... not as fun to drive as the Altima's D-Platform. The Camry' 4Cyl is quieter than Altima's, making it a better family car in my opinion.

I don't know why everyone says Altima is made in Mexico. Everything I've read says the new D Platform based Altimas(sedan and coupe) are all made in the USA. I know the Altima Hybrid is made in TN.... not sure where the otheres are made.


If you want a sporty, yet reliable car and don't mind spending a little more.... take a look at the Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan. Based on my calculation, it will take 2-5 years to cover the difference in cost in gas savings... but you also get traction control and vehicle stability control as standard with the hybrid.... and I like safety features. Unfortunately if you're not on the East coast or in CA.... there's a good chance it's not avail in your state.

It's worth considering because:

- Hybrid Tax Incentive still exists for Nissan (2350 if you qualify)
- Due to current gas prices, there's no markup to deal with
- Nissan Altima Hybrid is built in Nissan's TN plant and is QC is currently controlled by engineers from Japan, not in Mexico.
- Hybrid technology and components are licenced from Toyota (although the Gasoline Engine is the proven Nissan 2.5 Liter)
- Consumer Reports rates it as very reliable (even more so than the regular altimas and regular camry... not as high as camry hybrid or ppius though)
- 198HP w/ high electric motor torque at low RPM makes it more peppy than the 4 cylinder camry and altima.

I've had 3 toyotas, 3 nissans, my sister has a 07 Passat.

First Toyota (Celica): Lost to accident.
Second Toyota (Camry): Traded it in at 140k... but it was strong and suspect it would have gone another 50-60k easily
Third Toyota (Avalon): Had reliability issues, got rid of prematurely.

First Nissan (300z): Lasted to just under 100k, and started to have issues with it. Probably could have kept it if I put money into it, but it was 12 years old.
Second Nissan (Altima): Still have and is going strong at 182k
Third Nissan (Altima Hybrid): 2008 Altima Hybrid, cannot comment on reliability yet.

I have no personal experience with VW.

I like certain VWs (I hear they're a blast to drive) but unless you're trading it in a few years from now, I'd pass. The Altima seems nice, seems like they corrected the oil consumption issue in the 2.5L, but I don't have any personal experience with it.

It seems most people are recommending the Camry - and I agree with them. IF you test drive all three cars and like them equally, I'd pick the Camry. Don't buy something based on what other people say, if you don't like it. I own a Camry myself, with the 2.4L four-cylinder (the "2AZ-FE" which is relatively unchanged in the current 2009 model) and it's been great. Fuel economy is nowhere near the Corolla but I can drive for hours at a time without getting tired. I hear the Camry may be getting a more powerful and fuel efficient 2.5L or 2.7L four-cylinder in 2010, but the current 2.4L is a proven motor. The 3.5L V6 is amazing but unless you're looking for that extra gusto and are willing to pay a bit more for labor on repairs/maintenance, you can't go wrong with the I4.

That said, you may want to look into the new 2009 Corolla. I had one as a loaner and it's a lot nicer than the last generation - and roomier. If I had to buy a car today, the Corolla would be high on my list. I averaged 28.5 MPG 50/50 city/highway. I averaged 38.5 MPG on my last 2008 Corolla loaner, 20/80 city/highway. The Corolla gets amazing fuel economy.

Yes. The Camry and Corolla are boring. That's actually a good thing IMO, I just want something reliable that does its job and does its job well

EDIT: If you change your own oil [my current choice is Valvoline 5W-30 SynPower synthetic], air filter, ATF, light bulbs, etc.. Your Camry will never see the dealer. My Camry was in for one unexpected repair ($450 OOW repair, which I still feel Toyota should have covered, but I'm willing to let it slide because the car has been exceptional) and a fuel system cleaning. I decided for $180 I'd rather just have someone do the cleaning right, since it doesn't need to be done often.

You have not disclosed your demographics.... if you are in a snowy place, i would add WRX on the list too. I have recently bought my first car (went with Civic SI), and the way I see it is, if you are buying a brand new car (NOT LEASING), it probably means you are planning to keep the car for a few years. That being said, look into safety and relative fun/enjoying owning a brand new car for the time you own it. In 5+ years, as long as you have a foreign car you will still have more equity left than an domestic or korean car.

hasni said: You have not disclosed your demographics.... if you are in a snowy place, i would add WRX on the list too. I have recently bought my first car (went with Civic SI), and the way I see it is, if you are buying a brand new car (NOT LEASING), it probably means you are planning to keep the car for a few years. That being said, look into safety and relative fun/enjoying owning a brand new car for the time you own it. In 5+ years, as long as you have a foreign car you will still have more equity left than an domestic or korean car.

Long Island, NY

Spac3d said: I'm confused why the Accord is not in the mix?

Because it's more expensive (at least thats what I thought when posting, maybe I'm wrong?). I'd have no problem with a Civic though...maybe even get the Hybrid since I can then rie the HOV lane on the LIE by myself...

Zuke76 said: Jettas are built in Mexico and the quality is poor. I heard the Germans recently went down there and "restructured" the plants. If you can import one from Germany you would be golden. Nissans make great cars but their resale value can't touch Yota or Honda. I would go with the Camry.


I thought all Jetta's came from Germany. They have plants in Mexico?

NoMoneyInMyWallet said: Zuke76 said: I would go with the Camry.Remember to add the cost of energy shots, because a Camry will put you to sleep.

VW = out of warranty repairs aren't cheap
Nissan = probably the best value
Toyota = boring and they nickle and dime you on options (or force you to take a bloated package) that are standard on many comparable cars.

P.S. OP, have you considered a Subaru Legacy? You can get a well equipped SE model for a decent price. Note that Subaru's are AWD and they have character.


I didnt give Subaru a thought before you said anything. I did a quick google search on the legacy and it kind of looks like an '02 Maxima from what I can gather. I don't know anyone who has ever had a Subaru. I put them in the class of KIA and Mitsubishi...cars I wouldn't buy, but maybe I'm wrong...

TheMouse said: I'm not a fan of jetta's in terms of build quality and reliability, but if you're not going to hold onto it long, it should be fine. I've read a lot about tranmission issues with VW's 2.0L engines.... so maybe stick to the 2.5L.

Camry is a fine car... not as fun to drive as the Altima's D-Platform. The Camry' 4Cyl is quieter than Altima's, making it a better family car in my opinion.

I don't know why everyone says Altima is made in Mexico. Everything I've read says the new D Platform based Altimas(sedan and coupe) are all made in the USA. I know the Altima Hybrid is made in TN.... not sure where the otheres are made.


If you want a sporty, yet reliable car and don't mind spending a little more.... take a look at the Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan. Based on my calculation, it will take 2-5 years to cover the difference in cost in gas savings... but you also get traction control and vehicle stability control as standard with the hybrid.... and I like safety features. Unfortunately if you're not on the East coast or in CA.... there's a good chance it's not avail in your state.

It's worth considering because:

- Hybrid Tax Incentive still exists for Nissan (2350 if you qualify)
- Due to current gas prices, there's no markup to deal with
- Nissan Altima Hybrid is built in Nissan's TN plant and is QC is currently controlled by engineers from Japan, not in Mexico.
- Hybrid technology and components are licenced from Toyota (although the Gasoline Engine is the proven Nissan 2.5 Liter)
- Consumer Reports rates it as very reliable (even more so than the regular altimas and regular camry... not as high as camry hybrid or ppius though)
- 198HP w/ high electric motor torque at low RPM makes it more peppy than the 4 cylinder camry and altima.

I've had 3 toyotas, 3 nissans, my sister has a 07 Passat.

First Toyota (Celica): Lost to accident.
Second Toyota (Camry): Traded it in at 140k... but it was strong and suspect it would have gone another 50-60k easily
Third Toyota (Avalon): Had reliability issues, got rid of prematurely.

First Nissan (300z): Lasted to just under 100k, and started to have issues with it. Probably could have kept it if I put money into it, but it was 12 years old.
Second Nissan (Altima): Still have and is going strong at 182k
Third Nissan (Altima Hybrid): 2008 Altima Hybrid, cannot comment on reliability yet.

I have no personal experience with VW.


This is interesting. I didnt take tax credit's into my thought process before you mentioned it. If I was going to get a Hybrid I would probably go with the Civic because I know I can then drive in the car pool lane by myself. I don't think the Altima is approved for lone car pool driving, but with the money I would save on gas, the possible tax credit, and the perk of driving alone in the carpool lane, I'm now thinking about the Civic Hybrid. Does anyone have one? Am I going to have to spend all that saved money on a replacement expensive special Hybrid battery?

How about the Sonata ?

I have driven one and the ride was very comparable to a Camry and I have read that reliability is fairly good. The value is also unbeatable, lots of options are included as standard and it has a 100k warranty. However, I think the resale value does not hold as well as Toyota.

newsbinreporter said: How about the Sonata ?

I have driven one and the ride was very comparable to a Camry and I have read that reliability is fairly good. The value is also unbeatable, lots of options are included as standard and it has a 100k warranty. However, I think the resale value does not hold as well as Toyota.


I'm not going to buy a Hyundai.

nyyws2k said: Zuke76 said: Jettas are built in Mexico and the quality is poor. I heard the Germans recently went down there and "restructured" the plants. If you can import one from Germany you would be golden. Nissans make great cars but their resale value can't touch Yota or Honda. I would go with the Camry.


I thought all Jetta's came from Germany. They have plants in Mexico?


All of the USA versions of VW cars are made in Mexico. The Nissan Sentra and Versa are also made in Mexico. Look at the VIN numbers of a car. If it begins with a "3" then it was assembled/made in mexico. Most Toyotas and Honda are made in USA or Canada.

1 = USA
K = Korea
2 = Canada
S = England
3 = Mexico
W = Germany
4 = USA
5 = USA
Z = Italy
J = Japan

Go for a Honda Civic Hybrid if space (if you have 3-4 ppl sitting in your car routinely) does not really matter to you. Thats the best investment I think you can make. Not just tolls across the LIE. If you ever drive in neighbouring states you can use their HOV lanes as well.

Changing my vote to the Civic Hybrid as well. If the Jetta TDI was made in Germany it would be my first choice, but its not.

get used car from one of those and save lots of money. I would insist to get a warranty an extended one for about 700 dollars from your dealer. I have a camry and it had few problems that were covered by warranty which would have been expensive if I didn't purchase one.


nyyws2k said: I've narrowed it down to a new Jetta, Altima, or Camry.

Looking to do a 5 year finance at no more than 325 a month and no more than 2500 down.

First car I'm buying so past experiences are welcome.

Thanks


Edit - Also thinking about the Civic - possibly a Hybrid so I can ride the HOV (car pool) lane on the L.I.E. by myself...

I have an 2005 Altima and I hate it. It has been in the shop too many times already. It does have very good Gas Mileage though (which is documented online). If you get an Altima, go for the bigger engine. I have a 4 cyl. and it drives like a go-cart.

Zuke76 said: All of the USA versions of VW cars are made in Mexico...The Eos is produced in Volkswagen's Autoeuropa factory in Palmela, Portugal.
The Passat CC final assembly is in Emden, Germany
The Rabbit assembly takes place in Wolfsburg, Germany & Uitenhage, South Africa (will probably move to the new US plant in 2010)
The Golf GLI/GTI/R32 are also built in Wolfsburg, Germany & Uitenhage, South Africa
The Tiquan assembly is in Wolfsburg and Kaluga, Russia
The Touareg is built in Bratislava, Slovakia (along with it's cousins, the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7).
The Routan is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

BTW, the tax incentive is available for the new VW Diesels now.

I had Jetta for 5 years, lots of problems and high maintenance. I wont buy VW again.
I have the new Honda Civic, very happy. No problems so far. 3 years and counting. If you are getting a HOV lane advantage, then its perfect.
Camry only if u need more space, as has more room. Good Luck.

I'f you're looking at Camry's, also look at the Scion xB. Scions are made by Toyota and the xB has the same engine as the Camry. You get a lot of bang for the buck. Take a look at Camry vs xB specs and see for yourself. It's a hatchback.. but a very good one

I bought a xD (which has Corolla engine) a month ago and have been very happy with the decision. Just came back yesterday after a 300 mile trip and car gave me 33 mpg. Take into consideration that the engine is still in break-in period and has only 800 miles on it right now. MPG will increase for sure after break-in period.

KayK said: I'f you're looking at Camry's, also look at the Scion xB. Scions are made by Toyota and the xB has the same engine as the Camry. You get a lot of bang for the buck. Take a look at Camry vs xB specs and see for yourself. It's a hatchback.. but a very good one

I bought a xD (which has Corolla engine) a month ago and have been very happy with the decision. Just came back yesterday after a 300 mile trip and car gave me 33 mpg. Take into consideration that the engine is still in break-in period and has only 800 miles on it right now. MPG will increase for sure after break-in period.


How much did it cost you?

nyyws2k said: KayK said: I'f you're looking at Camry's, also look at the Scion xB. Scions are made by Toyota and the xB has the same engine as the Camry. You get a lot of bang for the buck. Take a look at Camry vs xB specs and see for yourself. It's a hatchback.. but a very good one

I bought a xD (which has Corolla engine) a month ago and have been very happy with the decision. Just came back yesterday after a 300 mile trip and car gave me 33 mpg. Take into consideration that the engine is still in break-in period and has only 800 miles on it right now. MPG will increase for sure after break-in period.


How much did it cost you?
$16120 for the xD + $130 for floormats so total was $16250. For that price, I would have gotten a semi-barebones Corolla. The xB is something like $17800 i think.
They have "fixed pricing" so you already know when you walk in the dealership what the final price is going to be.

I have been big Toyota fan after driving Honda for a long time. I have Toyota Camry 2001 which I bought it new. I liked the Toyota so much that I bought my wife another Toyota in 2005. We do have both cars and love it. I don't think I am going back to any other brand after driving Toyoya for about eight years now. I maintain the Camry pretty good and it has been giving me 29,30 miles per gallon.

Camry. I am Al Bundy, Married with Children, image is nothing. Camry is a better car to me, and I have two of them.

nyyws2k said: TheMouse said: ...
If you want a sporty, yet reliable car and don't mind spending a little more.... take a look at the Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan. Based on my calculation, it will take 2-5 years to cover the difference in cost in gas savings... but you also get traction control and vehicle stability control as standard with the hybrid.... and I like safety features. Unfortunately if you're not on the East coast or in CA.... there's a good chance it's not avail in your state.

It's worth considering because:

- Hybrid Tax Incentive still exists for Nissan (2350 if you qualify)
- Due to current gas prices, there's no markup to deal with
- Nissan Altima Hybrid is built in Nissan's TN plant and is QC is currently controlled by engineers from Japan, not in Mexico.
- Hybrid technology and components are licenced from Toyota (although the Gasoline Engine is the proven Nissan 2.5 Liter)
- Consumer Reports rates it as very reliable (even more so than the regular altimas and regular camry... not as high as camry hybrid or ppius though)
- 198HP w/ high electric motor torque at low RPM makes it more peppy than the 4 cylinder camry and altima.
...


This is interesting. I didnt take tax credit's into my thought process before you mentioned it. If I was going to get a Hybrid I would probably go with the Civic because I know I can then drive in the car pool lane by myself. I don't think the Altima is approved for lone car pool driving, but with the money I would save on gas, the possible tax credit, and the perk of driving alone in the carpool lane, I'm now thinking about the Civic Hybrid. Does anyone have one? Am I going to have to spend all that saved money on a replacement expensive special Hybrid battery?


Just keep in mind, Honda civic hybrid tax credit is only at 425, compared to the 2350 of Altima. This is what makes the Altima Hybrid attractive right now. I'm in NJ, and all hybrids can drive in the carpool lane here.... but I believe in NY, it needs a certain MPG requirement...not sure.

As for the battery replacement in hybrids.... it's pricy, but prices are steadily dropping. There is not any conclusive data on when and how often hybrid batteries need to be replaced. There are 1000's of prius owners that have more than 150k, 7 + years that have no issues with their original battery.

This is a post I made from the Toyota thread it might help you.

I have a 96 Tercel my check engine light came on alot,I guess Toyota check engine light comes on for scheduled maintenance that's what I heard,then it goes back out again.You can take it to most any decent shop,Auto Zone or Shucks and they'll diagnose it for free with there computer that they hook up to there car,if there is any question to why it's on,most of the time mine came on it was for good reasons,like it was misfiring because I ran the spark plugs over by 75,000 and one of them stopped working lol,then I found out If you buy plugs at Schucks they will help you replace them,they help you with alot of stuff or at least supply the tools and walk you through it.That has been my only problem in 127,000 miles,besides changing out timing belts which I over ran by 60,000 miles but it has a non interference engine,I'm thinking about putting a Cadillac emblem on the hood.
Honestly I'd look into a Prizm(which is a generic Corolla and exactly the same for WAY WAY less or an Echo which is what the Tercel evolved into.Cars depreciate so quickly your better off getting one a couple years old anyways because then if something was going to break it probably already would of.
Heres Prizm Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo_Prizm
It has evolved into the Pontiac Vibe same as Corolla E series with Matrix body
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Vibe

I used to work for Honda and I found out that if you find out the history of a car and if the blue prints were purchased on a whim from another company then ultimately you have the same car just with another logo.Alot of companies do this to save money when different models come in and out of style and some,such as the Prizm end up with identical parts too.A word for the wise.

I drove my friend's I-4 Altima and I was not impressed. Cheap interior, drove ok, needs more power.

And I'm comparing it to my 7 year old Chrysler.

Get the Camry.

Robbie2883 said: vw and nissa = built in mexico on a friday


the toyota's ....well plain and simple, you can't break em. i've had three yoda trucks and all have been phenomenal vehicles. also have had a camry. LOVED it. had a couple nissans and a vw.....the vw's are notorious for electrical problems and the nissans are just clunky. i would buy a camry in a heartbeat. they drive great, feel great and are VERY comfortable


If you dont have a clue of what you are talking about, please dont post it. My 2009 nissan Rogue is made in Japan. My 2005 Nissan Altima is also made in USA. You cant generalize it. . I also have 94 Nissan Altima (with >300k), (made in USA as well), wonderful cars.

Before buying my rogue, I checked Camry and it was a very boring car without any character(personal opinion). Definetly drive all the options out there before deciding. good luck and keep us posted

turkey79 said: Robbie2883 said: vw and nissa = built in mexico on a friday


the toyota's ....well plain and simple, you can't break em. i've had three yoda trucks and all have been phenomenal vehicles. also have had a camry. LOVED it. had a couple nissans and a vw.....the vw's are notorious for electrical problems and the nissans are just clunky. i would buy a camry in a heartbeat. they drive great, feel great and are VERY comfortable


If you dont have a clue of what you are talking about, please dont post it. My 2009 nissan Rogue is made in Japan. My 2005 Nissan Altima is also made in USA. You cant generalize it. . I also have 94 Nissan Altima (with >300k), (made in USA as well), wonderful cars.

Before buying my rogue, I checked Camry and it was a very boring car without any character(personal opinion). Definetly drive all the options out there before deciding. good luck and keep us posted


At the moment, I am torn. I have pretty much discounted the Jetta even though I think it is the nicest looking car of the four, VW just have so many bad reviews as far as electrical problems and costs to repair. The Civic Hybrid seems like the most bang for the buck but the body itself of the car is just hideous (to me at least). The back and sides of it are fine but when you look at the hood it just drops off and I don't think I can bring myself to spend that much money on something that I don't like the way it looks. This brings me to the Altima and the Camry. I like the bodies on both of them, they cost the same, and they both seem like they will last a long time. I have yet to be inside either of them or test drive but I'm going to have to make my way to the dealers to check them out. I guess I should also check how much my insurance will differ between the 2 as well...

smartladka said: I had Jetta for 5 years, lots of problems and high maintenance. I wont buy VW again...Not if you buy a Diesel with standard tranny -- I've had two TDI VW's for 5-7 years now with no real problems to speak of (coulple of items fixed under warranty and routine scheduled stuff), maintenance is pretty simple with Diesels (no plugs/ignition wiring/throttle/etc.), just change the oil every 7K-10K, turn the key and drive.

Skipping 27 Messages...
Obama4Prez said: Camry.

My 8 year old Camry has cost me exactly $325 out of pocket for repairs (other than routine maintenance).


My 8 year old Chrysler has cost me exactly $80 out of pocket for repairs (other than routine maintenance).

and that was when I blew out the front two speaker listen to M&N too loud.



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