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Unread 04-13-2015, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default 24 y.o, current '96 Volvo comparison to cheap but modern car

I'm 24 with a lot of student loans, not too high of an income yet, but will more than likely get 6 figures after residency. I'm currently driving the car I first bought in high school: 1996 Volvo 850. It's pretty beat up... odometer doesn't work, no air conditioning, brakes squeak, rattles over road bumps, at least 120,000 miles, etc. The main reason I want to buy a new car is because, well, my Volvo is just plain embarrassing at this point, and I don't really want to put more money into it. (with no AC in Florida... that's bad). And, I really suspect that it's going to break on my way to work somehow and I've already put a decent amount of money into it over the past few years for repairs. Frankly, I'm getting sick of it.

I don't really want to buy anything for more than about $10,000. I see the 2015 Nissan Versa S being sold in my area for ~$9,000, even though MSRP is about $13,000, with no miles. I know the Nissan Versa is a piece of **** compared to other new models, but I am wondering how the driving experience would compare to what I'm currently experiencing in my 1996 Volvo. I think to myself, "isn't this more of a comparison of 1996 technology to 2015 technology?" I know the Versa is more fuel efficient than my Volvo (which is a great plus for my debt riddled ass), but I'm sure it's not as fun when I put the pedal to the metal.

Has anybody here upgraded from a 90's vehicle to a 2010's vehicle? I know my Volvo was probably great back in '96, but do you think my driving experience would improve by much if I bought a 2015 Versa? Or would I buy it and just end up realizing that my Volvo was better??

Thoughts?

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Unread 04-13-2015, 09:05 PM   #2
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And yes, I realize I can take cars for a test drive. I'm just here at home on Autotrader and thought I'd ask... It's more of a general question anyway; '96 tech to '15 tech...

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Unread 04-14-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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Are you paying cash or taking out a loan? Just saying that if you are worried about pinching pennies right now, and are already in a bunch of debt from student loans maybe you should just roll down your windows lol.

I am a very cheap person and don't care what people think about my car. It gets me from a to b like it is suppose to. Have you ever heard of Dave ramsey? Look up his views on buying a new car.
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Unread 04-14-2015, 08:42 AM   #4
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I guess what I'm saying is to wait until you are making six figures and have all your debt paid off before you buy new. And make sure to pay cash! You will avoid interest, pay less, and no car payments!
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Unread 04-14-2015, 10:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by M_Metzger1114 View Post
I guess what I'm saying is to wait until you are making six figures and have all your debt paid off before you buy new. And make sure to pay cash! You will avoid interest, pay less, and no car payments!
That's a bit excessive and not very practical advice.

Your Volvo shouldn't be anywhere close to conking out, 120k is nothing for one of those. All cars rattle, brake pads squeak when they get shot (so replace them, they're cheap and easy...). So your real reason is it doesn't have AC, and it's not cool enough.

To answer your question, a 2015 Versa is the cheapest car you can buy. For a reason. It's one of the worst cars you can buy. I'd take your Volvo over it in a heartbeat.

That said, if you want something nearly new (which you don't seem to need), you could get a 2-3 year old Cruze or Sonic for around $10k with the 1.4T engine (the 1.8 is junk), or a Focus. I'd take either one over the Versa 11 out of 10 days. I still wouldn't probably buy one, but for someone who doesn't care about anything other than new and point-a to point-b, they work.

That said, they're still econoboxes and they're still not "cool"
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Unread 04-14-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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That's a bit excessive and not very practical advice.

Your Volvo shouldn't be anywhere close to conking out, 120k is nothing for one of those. All cars rattle, brake pads squeak when they get shot (so replace them, they're cheap and easy...). So your real reason is it doesn't have AC, and it's not cool enough.

To answer your question, a 2015 Versa is the cheapest car you can buy. For a reason. It's one of the worst cars you can buy. I'd take your Volvo over it in a heartbeat.

That said, if you want something nearly new (which you don't seem to need), you could get a 2-3 year old Cruze or Sonic for around $10k with the 1.4T engine (the 1.8 is junk), or a Focus. I'd take either one over the Versa 11 out of 10 days. I still wouldn't probably buy one, but for someone who doesn't care about anything other than new and point-a to point-b, they work.

That said, they're still econoboxes and they're still not "cool"
Totally agree. I mean the Versa is okay if you REALLY just need the most basic, cheapest, reliable car money can buy. That's what it's there for. This isn't going to solve your "cool factor" problem though.

OP, if you wanted to expand your search a little bit to include some older cars you could find some SERIOUS bang for your buck. There's loads of really cool cars out there that are totally within your budget and won't break the bank.
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Unread 04-14-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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Totally agree. I mean the Versa is okay if you REALLY just need the most basic, cheapest, reliable car money can buy. That's what it's there for. This isn't going to solve your "cool factor" problem though.

OP, if you wanted to expand your search a little bit to include some older cars you could find some SERIOUS bang for your buck. There's loads of really cool cars out there that are totally within your budget and won't break the bank.
- Can you give some examples? I'm not much of a car enthusiast so I'm not too aware of what's out there, but I'd prefer a car that looks good and has some power.

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Unread 04-14-2015, 02:30 PM   #8
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That's a bit excessive and not very practical advice.

Your Volvo shouldn't be anywhere close to conking out, 120k is nothing for one of those. All cars rattle, brake pads squeak when they get shot (so replace them, they're cheap and easy...). So your real reason is it doesn't have AC, and it's not cool enough.

To answer your question, a 2015 Versa is the cheapest car you can buy. For a reason. It's one of the worst cars you can buy. I'd take your Volvo over it in a heartbeat.

That said, if you want something nearly new (which you don't seem to need), you could get a 2-3 year old Cruze or Sonic for around $10k with the 1.4T engine (the 1.8 is junk), or a Focus. I'd take either one over the Versa 11 out of 10 days. I still wouldn't probably buy one, but for someone who doesn't care about anything other than new and point-a to point-b, they work.

That said, they're still econoboxes and they're still not "cool"
- The Volvo's engine is probably fine... there's just been so many problems with it in the past. Most recently, AC compressor locked up, had to get it towed, replaced the compressor. A while back the alternator wouldn't charge the battery adequately, had to get a new alternator. And the squeaky brakes isn't from the brake pads, I've replaced the pads with new ones and it still squeaks. One time, driving home from college (250 miles), I arrive home and the muffler or something was dragging underneath my car. I hit a deer a few years back and there's still some damage under the hood from that accident, and the hood itself was replaced and painted with an off color. Tail lights don't work.

One reason I'm still keeping it, though, is so I can get rear ended again. I got rear ended about 4 months ago, very minimal damage, not noticeable at a glance... and got a $880 check. Put it straight in the bank.

Thanks for the comments.

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Unread 04-14-2015, 02:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by M_Metzger1114 View Post
Are you paying cash or taking out a loan? Just saying that if you are worried about pinching pennies right now, and are already in a bunch of debt from student loans maybe you should just roll down your windows lol.

I am a very cheap person and don't care what people think about my car. It gets me from a to b like it is suppose to. Have you ever heard of Dave ramsey? Look up his views on buying a new car.
- Depends on the cost of the car. I can put several thousand down without crippling my bank account. And yea, I know cars depreciate the most in the first few years. I was just thinking that if the Versa was a major upgrade from my Volvo, and it had no miles, and it was relatively cheap... then why not? But it sounds like it's an even bigger piece of **** than my Volvo.

six figure income won't be for at least another year. Debt won't be gone for at least 10 years.

thanks for the comments.

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Unread 04-14-2015, 03:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by xcrunner2414 View Post
- The Volvo's engine is probably fine... there's just been so many problems with it in the past. Most recently, AC compressor locked up, had to get it towed, replaced the compressor. A while back the alternator wouldn't charge the battery adequately, had to get a new alternator. And the squeaky brakes isn't from the brake pads, I've replaced the pads with new ones and it still squeaks. One time, driving home from college (250 miles), I arrive home and the muffler or something was dragging underneath my car. I hit a deer a few years back and there's still some damage under the hood from that accident, and the hood itself was replaced and painted with an off color. Tail lights don't work.

One reason I'm still keeping it, though, is so I can get rear ended again. I got rear ended about 4 months ago, very minimal damage, not noticeable at a glance... and got a $880 check. Put it straight in the bank.

Thanks for the comments.
You're talking about pretty small failures. Stuff like that can happen with a new or slightly used car too... Squeaky brakes have to be the pads, nothing else could make that noise.
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