Right now I have a MINI Cooper, and although I love driving it, we have spent almost as much on repairs as I did on the car itself and I've had the car for a little over a year and a half. And.. the service light is on again! So what kind of car should get next? I really like the Mercedes C Class, Audi A4, and the Lexus IS. I also like the BMW 3 series, but my luck w/ my MINI has made me a little wary. So any thoughts on these? Any other options I'm not thinking of? Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Covergirl15; May. 29, 2013 at 01:20 PM.
Reason: rewording :)
How old is the Mini and what exactly has been wrong with it? Surely it's not just "maintenance" that is costing you so much? They tend to be fairly reliable, as long as you stay away from 02-03. (And I say this as a 2005/140k owner.)
'Cause if it really is maintenance, then none of the other luxury brands are going to be any cheaper to maintain. Actually, that goes for general repairs, too.
As for which you should go with....they are going to drive very differently. I suggest test driving, which will rule out several immediately, most likely.
It is an '07 w/ around 50,000 miles on it--sorry, I shouldn't have said maintenance, but instead repairs--it was great until last nov and then several things began to break--blower fan on the ac, spark plugs, something else that was a couple thousand to repair, and several other things that have needed replaced.
I can't say anything about your alternatives - they are all way above my price range, But that is a lot of things to break on a car with 50K miles on it. I wouldn't expect that all stuff until at least 100K. It isn't by chance, bright yellow?
My husband has a car addiction... so I have a little experience with what you are looking at.
The Mini's don't have the best maintenance record. The repairs don't surprise me because if you are off warranty and going to the dealer, they make a ton of money. My friend has one and she is just getting nickled and dimed to death with all kinds of maintenance issues.
I have a 2009 BMW 335i coupe. I bought it used with 12,000 miles. I now have 36K. I just bought the extended warranty as I do not drive enough to get the extended maintenance. This is my 4th BMW and I would never, ever, ever, have one without the extended warranty - but I love them and always want to have one. The 3 series are great cars, they can go forever, but the cars are made with a ton of sensors that dictate all of the maintenance. In my 2007 (when it was still under warranty), I had a radiator sensor go out that required the entire radiator to be replaced... it was easier and attached to it. I could not have afforded that $7500 repair had it not been under the warranty period. BMW's are great - but expensive through the dealer. I know that I will have $1,000 in regular maintenance next year, just based on the schedule. So if you are buying used and off the complete care for a new car, you need to budget that out. You should look for CPO, because the car comes with maintenance and extended warranty and as it is used, you lose the depreciation.
The Mercedes C class is the low end of Mercedes. They do cut corners. It is like the X1's for the BMW. I am not sure what Consumer Reports says these days, but they used to not be the most reliable.. you want to check into that. My hubby in CA just bought a Mercedes CLS 550 with 30K miles for $32K. Why? It was used and could not be CPO'd because the warranty expired. We got it for a song and got an after market warranty for $3000. Problem solved. Maintenance is not that much. If you are comfortable buying low mileage used, then there are some great deals in the higher levels of Mercedes, vs. the lower entry level price point.
Audi A4 - the are owned by Volkswagon. They have come a long way in terms of reliability, but since VW, Audi and some Porche cars share many parts, there can be recall issues across the platforms. I once had a lemon VW Passat W8 and I can tell you the Audi lawyer was very nice when I got my money back... That said, Audi has made some body and spec modifications the last two years, so there are good used deals if you are not looking for the latest and greatest. I am not sure what their warranty and maintenance plan is on the CPO's or the new ones, for that matter, I think BMW's were still better.
Lexus... I have no idea. We tend to favor German cars and America trucks.
I used to be the girl that always had to have new, but my husband has found the best deals on these fabulous, low mileage Certified Pre Owned, or at least still under warranty cars. I just don't think I can go back to totally new. Our credit union gives us great rates on used - 2.9% - and I just don't have to worry so much, can afford to extend the warranty and get to drive what I want.
I had a BMW 328i bright red convertible....beautiful car. I got the extended warranty from BMW. At 51,000 miles a piece of the suspension needed to be replaced and, of course, it was a wear item and not covered at 50,001 miles. $900 later (really pissed the suspension was needing to be replaced so soon). I decided I didn't want to put up with killer repairs and traded the car in on a Chevy Volt. There was some pain while they removed the tags off my Beemer to stick them on a Chevy. I've had the car for a year and 19,000 miles (averaging 91 MPG gas/electric). I'll admit, I like pulling up to the pump and putting in 6 gallons/week and I do a lot of driving.
Of course, I love hearing my wife's BMW Z4 Turbo rumble in the morning when she starts it up....the Volt is dead quiet.
I had a 2008 Lexus IS250. Great car to drive. Crap car to own.
Turns out that year (anything up until 2010, actually) had a defect in the direct injection system that caused the car to stall or refuse to start. It would be worse if there was recent wet weather.
I had it for less than a year before I sold it, in that time it was at the dealer 4 times and had a top clean done twice to clean the carbon buildup.
For what it's worth I now drive a 2012 Focus and am currently considering something like an Altima. The Lexus was my 4th luxury make and it is not.worth.it in terms of increased cost to purchase, maintain, fuel, and repair a luxury car. Get a loaded non-luxury model and enjoy the savings.
That said of the cars you listed the Audi would be the least offensive to me, but that being said I still would not buy one.
My Dad had a BMW that was nothing but a nightmare. The AC went out repeatedly, he had issues with the electrical (cd player, sunroof), it went through several alternators, etc. Of course he had to fight with BMW about the warranty. Whatever they didn't cover was obscenely expensive and customer service both at the dealership and on the phone was appalling. My mom referred to it as "a pretentious piece of crap". He ditched it for a fully loaded Toyota which he LOVES.
I've always been a huge Volvo fan and if I could afford it I'd buy one in a heartbeat. They're reliable and safe. Maybe not as glitzy as some of the other luxury brands but man they're good cars. My late mother's 97 is still going with over 300,000 miles on it. Nothing major has ever been replaced or fixed.
FWIW I believe the car was an 01 or 02. I'm not sure if things have changed since then or not.
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