• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
I've been wanting a Toyota Echo, and my 1989 Nissan requires an expensive repair, so now looks like the time to buy. I found out this is the last year for the Echo. Next year's replacement is uglier and not out now, anyway.

Is there anything wrong with buying a car in its last year as long as the company is still there?

I'm thinking of paying cash on CarsDirect.com. Any thoughts on that?

Hmmmmm............

I can't help you with the carsdirect.com experience.

But I can offer a couple minor comments about buying last years model.

I am not sure whether you are talking about a used 2002, or a new 2002 model. I assume you mean a new 2002.

Even if the car has no/little miles, be aware that the car has depreciated merely by the fact that it is last years model. Of course, mileage plays a big role in a cars value, you still must factor in that on paper you will own a car that is considered a year or more old. The blue book does not care when you bought, just what year it is (and condition, mileage, etc.)

Also, I am by no means a car expert, but I do remember listening to a car show on the radio several years ago, and someone called in with a problem with a new car they bought, that had been sitting on the dealers lot for 6-9 months. Apparently, a car that sits on the lot, can develop some type of problem (sorry, can't remember what it was). But it had something to do with being on the lot without moving for extended period of time.

If possible, you might want to ask the manufacture date (year/month), this way you will know how old the car really is.

Also, look and see whether you really are getting a deal. After you factor in the depreciation on the car, are they giving you any more off the invoice price? I would doubt it.

Another question to ask, is why is the car still around, could there be something wrong with it?

I dont want to sound negative, but I would just be very cautious. You are taking several risks (as I see it), buying from carsdirect, buying last years model.

Good luck!!!

personally i would get whatever made me happy.

if your not looking to sell your new car right away, then i doubt it makes much difference with it being the last model in production, if anything it would prob add value to a select few maybe.

check out carbuyingtips.com and edmunds.com for some valuable info.

goodluck!

The question doesn't seem to have been about buying last year's model; rather buying a model in its last production year.

Since you mention a '89 Nissan, it doesn't seem that re-sale is a big issue for you (having kept a car that long); and Toyota is in no danger of disappearing - so maintenance/parts won't be a problem. A model late in its production run is sure to have had some of the initial bugs worked out, as well.

I'd say that the only downside would be in short-term resale values - unless the car is a collectible (or a pre-Bangle BMW)...

vjarnot said:

<< The question doesn't seem to have been about buying last year's model; rather buying a model in its last production year.

Since you mention a '89 Nissan, it doesn't seem that re-sale is a big issue for you (having kept a car that long); and Toyota is in no danger of disappearing - so maintenance/parts won't be a problem. A model late in its production run is sure to have had some of the initial bugs worked out, as well.

I'd say that the only downside would be in short-term resale values - unless the car is a collectible (or a pre-Bangle BMW)...
>>

haha exactly what i was trying to say, you spelled it out better tho, gj.

If you plan to keep it 5 years or more, it will work out fine . . .as mentioned above, the blue book does not take when YOU bouth the car into consideration, just the model year and mileage . . . you'll have (approx) one year less milage than other cars of your vintage. If you drive 10,000 miles a year, this will make up for the model year difference in the long run (5+ years from now).

As to buying a discontinued model, I wouldn't give it too much of a thought . . . even non-discontinued models will lose more value when they are at the end of a 'bodystyle' run . . . Take the new Honda Accord, if you bought a brand new one 3 months ago, you would have got 'last years model, now, you'd get the new restyled one . . . 3 years from now, the one you'd buy this month still looks just like the new ones (honda usually restyles their models every 4-5 years), the one from three months ago will look like the 'older' ones (up to 8 years old-looking at that point) . . . it hurts the value a little . . . but not a lot.

Make sure you check out a site like edmunds.com and get all the incentives that should be coming to you on a leftover model like this though!!

The car industry's rule of thumb is that if you are going to keep the car 6+years, then buy last year's model.

Otherwise, if you keep it less than 6 years, you have lost an additional year's depreciation and get screwed since the dealer typically only discounts last year's model by 1 year depreciation. Compare to this year's model where you get automatic 1/2 year price discount or more. Thus you can get 1/2+ year price discount when you buy this year's model while last year's gives you 1 year price discount but a full year extra deprciation loss!

Also be sure that last year's model is NEW, not used!
Maybe run a Carfax report on it to be sure it wasn't a returned lemon!

Thanks for the replies. I guess I didn't state it too clearly--I did mean that this is the last year the Echo will be made, not that it's a 2002. In fact, I'd probably buy a 2002 if I found one, but I haven't. Since I try to keep cars a long time, I'm not much interested in resale value, more in support for the car, including the availability of parts.

I assume they're discontinuing it because it didn't catch on with the public, not anything inherently wrong with it. People on various boards who own them seem to like them.

Just for the record ... you're talking about buying a 2003 Echo, right? And you've heard that they're going to be restyled/discontinued for 2004?

I was in the same situation when I bought my last car (a 1995 Saturn SL1.) I got the old boxy Saturn style, which I happened to like better than the more rounded design that was introduced in late 1995. But as I drove around (and I drove around a LOT - that car went 200K+ miles) I felt that it was more and more dated. When it was close to dying at the end of last year, I faced the same choice (the SL1 was discontinued for 2003, replaced with the butt-ugly Ion) and this time I went with a vehicle that didn't look "old" the minute I drove it off the lot.

I would toss in a few more bits of advice. Even if you know you want that Echo, look around at other comparable models. Car dealers will hear that you 1) need a new car pretty close to right away and 2) that you're sold on a particular model, and your chances of getting a decent deal fly out the window. (I speak from sad personal experience here.) It's much better to walk in saying "I'm trying to decide between an Echo, and a Honda Civic, and a Hyundai Accent, tell me what you can do for me," than "I want an Echo and I need it RIGHT NOW!"

Since you need a new car fairly soon, you're restricted to what's on the lot and in their "storage" lot, or a car that they can get from a nearby dealer. They want you to restrict your choices to the cars you see on the lot, but that's not in your best interests. If you can get them to show you a list of the cars they have on the storage lot, with options, you're much better off - especially if you hit a few different dealerships and know what they have in storage as well.

Finally, they are there to answer your questions. You are not there to answer theirs. They will chit-chat and try to extract bits of info from you that they will then use against you in negotiations - like trying to get you to focus on payments vs. price, which is how they make a LOT of money. If they know you're sold on a particular color, suddenly the only car they have in that color will be the one loaded with expensive options.

Because it's so tricky to get a good deal in person, Carsdirect.com is not a bad option if your vehicle usually sells pretty close to the list price, though you still have to be wary of all the dealer add-ons. That way, you can be sure that you're specifying exactly the options you want. But you really should test-drive the car before you buy it (unless a friend has one you can test?)

I would really recommend going through the tips and advice section of edmunds.com . I found a lot of valuable advice there and ended up with what I think is a pretty good deal.

Thanks for the shopping advice. You're right about sounding too eager, and I didn't think about that.

As for looking dated, I think car design is turning really weird. The 2004 Toyota Scion, the Echo's apparent replacement, is really ugly. I like the look of the Audi TT, but not the price. So I don't think I'll mind driving around in a silly looking Echo.

Sondra said:

<< Thanks for the shopping advice. You're right about sounding too eager, and I didn't think about that.

As for looking dated, I think car design is turning really weird. The 2004 Toyota Scion, the Echo's apparent replacement, is really ugly. I like the look of the Audi TT, but not the price. So I don't think I'll mind driving around in a silly looking Echo.
>>


If you like the TT, have you considered a New Beetle??

So the new Echo will be uglier than the current one ? How is that possible ?

you should get a brand new kia rio

Like Wordgirl, I bought a 1995 Saturn (SL) brand-new in its final year of the original "classic Saturn" body style. The SL series had developed a very good reputation for dependability (mine has clicked 187,000 miles and is still running as my second car) and overall low operating costs. By contrast, the newer Saturn models (the L-series, the Ion and the SUV) haven't quite developed the same reputation for trouble-free operation.

One advantage of buying the current Echo is that it has established a very good reputation for dependability and low operating costs; there is no absolute assurance that the "new" model will meet the same standards for outstanding dependability.

personally i would get whatever made me happy. "

Thats all that needs to be said...

I'm not sure if you're worried about parts availability or not. Toyota will still have a large stockpile of parts for the car even though they wont be producing it anymore.....they make some serious money on these parts. While you might not see many aftermarket parts for it, you should have nothing to worry about in terms of parts availability with this vs a new model toyota

My 99 Mitsubishi Eclipse is the last year, 2000 model looks completely different. However I still like the look of 99. Guess it is just personal preference. In terms of service, I don't think there will be a problem, at least I haven't had any with Mitsubishi.

BTW, nowadays I am somewhat more confident sitting in a bigger car, like CAMRY. With all the SUVs on the road, an ECHO could mean significant disadvantage during collisions.

OT reply for the saturn owners
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/
A nice little forum
(2000 LW1 here)

woowoo2 said:

<< OT reply for the saturn owners
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/
A nice little forum
(2000 LW1 here)
>>




woowoo2, thanks for the link! 98 SL2 and 2000 SL2 (wife's) here.

maybe i'm missing something, but it doesn't seem logical to buy a 2002 model from a dealership.

dealership is a rip off when it comes to litely used cars.

you can get a very same car from a normal person who you will meet and can make educated guess how he drove this car for the time he had it. the 2002 model will still have warranty and everything that dealer can give you except the BS and waste of time.

when buying a brand new year model car with Zero miles you have no other choice but to go to dealer. when you buy a gently used 2002 model - what's the point of going to dealership? you still get all of the perks previous owner had when he got ripped off at the dealer.

The new VW Beetles are the cutest cars on the road (especially the one with a yellow and black exterior AND interior), but they're both overpriced compared to the Echo and a lot smaller--and even more vulnerable against SUVs. I do worry about size, but if you don't have an SUV yourself, what can you do?

As long as I can get parts for the Echo, I think I'll get it. I was thinking of getting the 5 speed, only you can't find one with a rear window defogger. To get that, I'll have to buy an automatic--or a lone new 2002 that's left over. A competing salesperson said, if that's the only 2002 that's still on the lot a year later, you have to ask yourself why. I did think it was kind of strange.

Any thoughts on repairs on automatic v shift cars?

Sondra: Regarding automatic v. stick/manual trannies, my husband says "How many manual transmission shops do you see around.?" ugh, none? I still won't part with my automatic, but he keeps saying its just a matter of time before I'll be shelling out $3000 for a new tranny. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>

oldfatbroad said:

<< Sondra: Regarding automatic v. stick/manual trannies, my husband says "How many manual transmission shops do you see around.?" ugh, none? I still won't part with my automatic, but he keeps saying its just a matter of time before I'll be shelling out $3000 for a new tranny. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> >>


I've done TWO replacement automatics in my day, one on a VERY hard-driven 1990 Honda Prelude (124k miles, and it cost me over $2,000!! and I shopped it around) and one on a slightly more pampered 1993 Mazda Protege (82k miles . . . glad I sprung for that extended warranty!!, cost me $25 deductible).

Automatics are a lot more reasonable to service on larger rear-wheel drive vehicles . . . most front wheel drive cars require removing the transmission for anything more than a fluid change, some even require the motor to be removed for the tranny to come out !$!$!$!$!$!

Yes, maintenance on a manual is cheaper, and repairs are as well (on the extreme end a new clutch on a compact car will run around $300-400, unless you go with performance parts) . . . but resale on a manual is where you pay dearly for your savings . . . but if you're going to keep it for a while and know how to drive stick . . . GO FOR IT!!! Personally, I'd rather a stick shift but SWMBO can't drive one . . . so slushbox it is for me!

did not read every reply so someone might have already said this.

There is a reason cars end up not being produced anymore usualy becouse they don't sell.

So if you plan on keeping the car for ever or at least a few years i see no problem with it.

only think that would be effected would be the resale market for a car that initialy did not sell well.

Parts and service should not be an issue with the car IMO in most cases they still produce replacement parts years after a car is no longer for sale new.

I didn't see anyone mention this, but if I overlooked it, I apologize in advance.

As someone who purchased a '95 VW in '96 from a dealer, the one thing I didn't realize is that none of the "new" car incentives applied. Even though what I was buying was technically a "new" and non-pre-owned car, I couldn't get any new car incentives. (Shucks, I can't even remember what they were at the time...)

Anyone here own a Mitsubishi 3000GT? There hasnt been a new model in 4 years, but I definitely want to purchase an older model, although a nice one is hard to find. Any comments from those who own this car?

(NU2004 My sister said she'd happily drive hers off a cliff if it weren't for the littering laws. I think it's a 98. Multiple problems, sleazy dealership, bad paint job. She may have simply gotten a lemon.

(To all the other Saturn owners: I drove my SL1 until it choked, and I really did like the body style ... but it did feel dated. I didn't abandon ship though; I have a 2003 Vue, financed at 0 percent and just as pretty as a picture!)



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014