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Posted

Hi all,

Having finished my degree in Software Engineering and starting my new job at the end of January, I need a car. I'm looking to spend at most 15000$, but of course less is better. I'm of course only looking at used cars atm.

I don't have many requirements for the car other than it has to be a small automatic hatchback with good mileage. Options I'd like are air conditioning, ABS brakes, Cruise Control, foldable rear seat. So far I was looking at the Nissan Versa, the Volkswagen Golf City and the Mazda 3 GS/GT. Is there any obviously best choice between the three? I can get a newer Versa with a better warranty for the same price as a Mazda 3 or Golf City, so that's something to keep in mind.

Also, what should I be looking for in terms of kilometers? Cars around 8000-10000$ are typically ~2008 with ~75000km, can that still be reliable?

Here are some concrete examples of what I'm currently looking at:

Nissan Versa 2012, 13200$, 16000km, White, still under full warranty until May 15th 2015 or 60000km
[url="http://www.autoaubaine.com/Nissan-Versa-c5448319.html"]http://www.autoaubai...a-c5448319.html[/url]

Volkswagen Golf City 2.0 2008, 10000$, 75000km, silver, "Warranty Volks certified pure" (whatever that means) 2 years or 40000km
[url="http://www.vwprestige.com/fr/voitures-occasion/detail.php?id=15818098"]http://www.vwprestig...php?id=15818098[/url]

Mazda 3 GS Sport 2009, 11600$, 51000km, Dark Grey, Warranty 3 months of 5000km
[url="http://metromazda.ca/fr/usedcars/listing/details.spy?id=4679550"]http://metromazda.ca....spy?id=4679550[/url]

Thanks for the tips.

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Posted

I have a Mazda Prot

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Posted

Pretty sure the Mazda is the largest of them

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Posted

Not sure if you'd be interested or not, but the Kia Soul would also be a hatch worth considering, especially if you're tall like me (6'2"). 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, plus 5 year/60,000 mile 24/7 roadside assistance. I believe the warranty drops down to half if you're buying used, though don't take my word for it.

Between the 3, I would go with the Mazda. The Versa has mediocre safety ratings, which may increase your insurance rate depending on your age. The Golf, like other VWs, have pretty poor reliability (2-2.5 stars/5 from JD Power, depending on the year).

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Posted

Thanks for mentionning Kia, I had completely forgot about them. What about the Rio 5?

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Posted

Out of those choices i'd stay away from the Versa as its the most basic of those cars, it doesn't get many good reviews either. Why not look at a Chevy sonic, I love it it has the most HP out of the gas saver hatch backs.
Here's mine. They come with touch screen radios and usb and aux inputs and bluetooth.

[img]http://i50.tinypic.com/34oputx.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i49.tinypic.com/14e81hg.jpg[/img]

Brand new sonics are like 16 to 18 thousand new.

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Posted

Highly suggest getting as new a vehicle as possible. If you can get new one better for you. I've done the used car thing to death. I finally bought a new car and will not buy a used one unless I have no other choice. Seriously look around for what end of year deals you can get. That's what I did. My Rav4 was 19K OTD. A used one just 3 yrs old was 17K...Hell no, I got the end of the year deal. Been so happy since.

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Posted

[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1356819582' post='595422308']
Having finished my degree in Software Engineering and starting my new job at the end of January
[/quote]

Congratulations!

[quote]
I need a car
[/quote]

Check these out:

The first one isn't a hatch, but she's a beauty: [url="http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Audi/A4/ST-HYACINTHE/Quebec/5_15471551_2004513204753706/?showcpo=ShowCPO"]2006 Audi A4 2.0TFSI Quattro Tiptronic[/url] I'd say she'd give you the most bang for the buck as far as the options go because she's got a 4x4, the electric leather seats, and the moon-roof for starters!

The second option is to find an Audi A3 Sportback. Presently, there's only one listing under 15K on autotrader.ca in Quebec, but [url="http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Audi/A3/LONGUEUIL/Quebec/5_15741895_20090305133329733/?showcpo=ShowCPO"]the car[/url] comes with a manual tranny. So, I've looked for a A3 with an automatic in Ontario and just [url="http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Audi/A3/MARKHAM/Ontario/5_15688786_ON20070903134041065/?showcpo=ShowCPO"]one[/url] showed up! Her sweet price should make up for the travelling costs!

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Posted

@Kingcracker I'm afraid the Chevrolet Sonic is above my budget. The cheapest automatic hatchback I could find was 16500$. It's such a recent model that there aren't many used ones at all.

@Redbull I can't buy new and wouldn't anyway, for financial reasons. I haven't even started working yet and a car is just the first item on the list of expensive things I'll need to buy in the next couple of years.

@Zhivago I actually live in Quebec (Montreal), so while a trip to Ontario isn't unthinkable, I'd rather buy somewhere around where I live. Also, if I was going to spend in the upper range of my budget, I'd get something almost new with its full warranty still largely available. For a 2006 model with significant mileage, I wouldn't spend more than, say, 9000$.

I've pretty much settled on a sub-10000$ Versa, and there are literally hundreds of them selling everywhere, it's hard to pinpoint any particular one. The one I'm eyeing most atm is a [url="http://carrefour-suzuki-de-laval.autoexpert.ca/fr-ca/carrefour-suzuki-de-laval/inventaire/nissan-versa-sl-a-c-cruise-mags?vid=1552454"]9987$ grey SL 2009[/url] with all the options, cruise control, deluxe audio system, abs brakes (rare on older Versas), etc, but there are dozens others.

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Posted

Just wanted to let you know, I was able to get a new 2013 Kia Soul, base model with 6 speed auto, Bluetooth streaming & calling, and cruise control for $14,900 here in Houston, TX.

Not sure what Canadian prices are, but the price I paid is $1300 below MSRP.

[b]PROTIP:[/b]
Many automakers offer military discounts if you're a veteran, or a son/daughter/spouse of a veteran. My father was a vet, so he was able to get me a $500 rebate using his DD-214 papers.
Also, Kia specifically, is currently offering $750 to recent college graduates. You should also find out about any similar offers like this with other automakers!

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Posted

[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1357172365' post='595429244']

@Redbull I can't buy new and wouldn't anyway, for financial reasons. I haven't even started working yet and a car is just the first item on the list of expensive things I'll need to buy in the next couple of years.

I've pretty much settled on a sub-10000$ Versa, and there are literally hundreds of them selling everywhere, it's hard to pinpoint any particular one. The one I'm eyeing most atm is a [url="http://carrefour-suzuki-de-laval.autoexpert.ca/fr-ca/carrefour-suzuki-de-laval/inventaire/nissan-versa-sl-a-c-cruise-mags?vid=1552454"]9987$ grey SL 2009[/url] with all the options, cruise control, deluxe audio system, abs brakes (rare on older Versas), etc, but there are dozens others.
[/quote]

Hey Dr.asik, hope things work out for you. I was just sharing my experience is all. I'm sure the Versa will work just fine.

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Posted

I'll tell you what car NOT to buy: The Versa.

Also, I've driven the Kia Rio5 back in the days. Worst car ever. I'd rather take the bus than to drive that horrible piece of crap. As far as most Korean cars are concerned, 99% of the fanboys will tell you about how amazing their warranty is, how their specs are 10x better than any other brand for the price, etc. but at the end of the day, their cars have terrible engines and transmissions that underperform miserably (In power and in fuel economy) Yes, they are better than they were 10 years ago, but it is nowhere near its Japanese or European competitors. My recommendation is go test drive the cars first hand and ignore the reviews you read in mags and rags. I kept an open mind and test drove many Hyundais and Kias made in the last 5 years (I test drive cars for fun in my free time lol) and I'm still not convinced at all to buy one. I have taken out the Sonata, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Kia Rio, etc etc and none of them are any good imo.

The Golf is an excellent driver's car and so is the Mazda3. The Mazda isn't as good on FE and the Golf isn't perfect in reliability, but if I were to choose, the Mazda3 is an excellent choice.

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Posted

Since everybody seems to be throwing around suggestions, I highly recommend early 2000s at the latest. Newer cars are too dependent on their computers in my opinion. They've gone beyond just putting computerized sensors and fuel injectors and have actually started replacing mechanical parts with computer chips, and it causes problems. The Toyotas that would randomly take off, my own 2006 Ford Explorer that tried to take off by itself because of the computerized gas pedal, it's just not worth chancing it in my opinion. Head out into the boondocks and find some guy (Craigslist might be a good place to look) who has rebuilt his late 90s model car and wants to get rid of it for $1,500-$3,000. It might have over a hundred thousand miles on it, but you won't have to worry as much about your computer going haywire and you won't have to go incredibly deep in debt until you get established in a good paying position.
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Posted

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357186387' post='595429582']
Since everybody seems to be throwing around suggestions, I highly recommend early 2000s at the latest. Newer cars are too dependent on their computers in my opinion. They've gone beyond just putting computerized sensors and fuel injectors and have actually started replacing mechanical parts with computer chips, and it causes problems. The Toyotas that would randomly take off, my own 2006 Ford Explorer that tried to take off by itself because of the computerized gas pedal, it's just not worth chancing it in my opinion. Head out into the boondocks and find some guy (Craigslist might be a good place to look) who has rebuilt his late 90s model car and wants to get rid of it for $1,500-$3,000. It might have over a hundred thousand miles on it, but you won't have to worry as much about your computer going haywire and you won't have to go incredibly deep in debt until you get established in a good paying position.
[/quote]

Computers are more reliable than a mechanical system in that particular case. All drive by wire systems are run by multiple redundant control systems (Usually about four) that will keep each other in check. In the unlikely event that one becomes unstable, the remaining ones will vote the one out of the system and override its signals. And of course these systems are designed to be inherently stable (Ie., BIBO) and is not likely to go nuts unless something is physically shorted. It is much more reliable than having one mechanical cable to the throttle body lol.

There is no evidence that Toyota cars had unintended acceleration problems due to the control systems (including your Ford Explorer) other than misapplication of the gas pedal. If electronic control systems is such a big problem, we will have planes falling out of the sky on a daily basis, and cars running into trees hourly. The fact is, it has not, because electronics are better. This is not your regular cell phone or desktop PC with a single point of failure.

(Btw, I'm an electrical engineer. Control systems is not my specialty but I've studied quite a bit on it.)

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Posted

[quote name='chconline' timestamp='1357185163' post='595429552']
I'll tell you what car NOT to buy: The Versa.

Also, I've driven the Kia Rio5 back in the days. Worst car ever. I'd rather take the bus than to drive that horrible piece of crap. As far as most Korean cars are concerned, 99% of the fanboys will tell you about how amazing their warranty is, how their specs are 10x better than any other brand for the price, etc. but at the end of the day, their cars have terrible engines and transmissions that underperform miserably (In power and in fuel economy) Yes, they are better than they were 10 years ago, but it is nowhere near its Japanese or European competitors. My recommendation is go test drive the cars first hand and ignore the reviews you read in mags and rags. I kept an open mind and test drove many Hyundais and Kias made in the last 5 years (I test drive cars for fun in my free time lol) and I'm still not convinced at all to buy one. I have taken out the Sonata, Elantra, Genesis Coupe, Kia Rio, etc etc and none of them are any good imo.

The Golf is an excellent driver's car and so is the Mazda3. The Mazda isn't as good on FE and the Golf isn't perfect in reliability, but if I were to choose, the Mazda3 is an excellent choice.
[/quote]Going out for test drives is on my to-do list :)

I'm definitely looking at the Mazda 3, which is certainly more fun to drive and looks a lot better than the Versa, however it's not exactly in the same price range. For the price of a 2009 Mazda 3 with 60000km and only the engine warranty left, I can have a 2012 Versa with < 20000km and its full original warranty until 2015. Also I like the Versa for the spacious cabin, especially the leg and head room on the back seat. All the other subcompacts seem quite cramped in comparison; even the Mazda3 which is a compact doesn't match. As I often go out with friends for skiing, hiking etc., a comfortable back seat is a big plus. As for fuel efficiency, the Versa does between decently to extremely well in every test I've seen, and while it's probably not very powerful or fun to drive, that's not my main criterion at the moment. This car will spend most of its time in slow-moving rush hour traffic, so I'm not too concerned about its performance characteristics.

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Posted

[quote name='chconline' timestamp='1357188259' post='595429604']
Computers are more reliable than a mechanical system in that particular case. All drive by wire systems are run by multiple redundant control systems (Usually about four) that will keep each other in check. In the unlikely event that one becomes unstable, the remaining ones will vote the one out of the system and override its signals. And of course these systems are designed to be inherently stable (Ie., BIBO) and is not likely to go nuts unless something is physically shorted. It is much more reliable than having one mechanical cable to the throttle body lol.

There is no evidence that Toyota cars had unintended acceleration problems due to the control systems (including your Ford Explorer) other than misapplication of the gas pedal. If electronic control systems is such a big problem, we will have planes falling out of the sky on a daily basis, and cars running into trees hourly. The fact is, it has not, because electronics are better. This is not your regular cell phone or desktop PC with a single point of failure.

(Btw, I'm an electrical engineer. Control systems is not my specialty but I've studied quite a bit on it.)
[/quote]

On multiple occasions I had to hold the brake pedal while my car attempted to accelerate under its own power while the gas pedal was in the rested position. Replacing the computer that was attached to the throttle body fixed the problem. This happened after the whole thing with Toyota, so after it happened to me I figured that's what had happened to them. Computers fail. If that cable breaks, you stop moving and coast to a stop. The cable is not going to reverse direction and make your car accelerate. Oh and the cost of that little computerized thing about the size of a pack of cigarettes? $400. That steel cable? You could jimmy rig a replacement by gutting the brake cables off an old bicycle. I even called Ford to complain and they told me that starting in 2009 all major manufacturers were going to start implementing steer by wire. So as if accelerating randomly while cruising a parking lot isn't bad enough, what happens if I'm doing 60 down I-5 with cars on either side of me and my steering computer shorts out?

I was an IT Specialist in the Army for 6 years and did everything from dig ditches to run cable, to manage a help desk, to build and configure servers. I appreciate computers and all that they can do for us, but I also believe that if it aint broke, don't fix it, and car manufacturers seem to be doing just that.

I hit a guard rail one time because I was driving tired, drove home, pulled the truck forward into a tree until the steel bumper was pressed against it where the bend was, hooked a tractor onto the end of it and straightened it out, problem solved. About 6 months ago I saw a 2010 Honda Civic get hit at about 20 miles per hour and it looked like a crumpled up taco. They had to rip a door off and haul the girl out on a stretcher.

Cars today with all their plastic, fiberglass and computerized parts are going downhill fast in my opinion. Heck they don't even have grease plugs any more so you can't grease your own joints!!!

Old cars FTW! lol

/rant

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Posted

... I'm not putting any money on a very old car with high mileage, in hopes that it'll be less prone to failure than a recent car with low mileage, because of some anectodal evidence about the reliability of electronics. Electronics and software are at the heart of systems on which the lives of millions of people depend every day, and can be, provably, millions of times more reliable than any mechanical, moving part. Let's just put that discussion aside, okay?

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Posted

[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1357193980' post='595429662']
... I'm not putting any money on a very old car with high mileage, in hopes that it'll be less prone to failure than a recent car with low mileage, because of some theory about the reliability of electronics. Electronics and software are at the heart of systems on which the lives of millions of people depend every day, and can be, provably, millions of times more reliable than any mechanical, moving part. Let's just put that discussion aside, okay?
[/quote]

OK, your preference is your preference, this is your topic, but I don't appreciate having my honesty or competence questioned by you or the other guy either. I'll leave you alone, I just wanted to suggest you save some money and get something that wasn't developed last year and pushed to market this year.

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Posted

What about a ford fiesta? That's what I drive, and I like it a lot. It gets much better pickup than my girlfriends Sonic.

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Posted

Yeah I looked at the Fiesta today. It looks like a very fun drive, very well equipped, superior fuel economy (!), however it has limited rear seat and cargo space, and is somewhat more expensive as well. Nonetheless I'm considering it.

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Posted

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357192879' post='595429642']
I hit a guard rail one time because I was driving tired, drove home, pulled the truck forward into a tree until the steel bumper was pressed against it where the bend was, hooked a tractor onto the end of it and straightened it out, problem solved. About 6 months ago I saw a 2010 Honda Civic get hit at about 20 miles per hour and it looked like a crumpled up taco. They had to rip a door off and haul the girl out on a stretcher.

Cars today with all their plastic, fiberglass and computerized parts are going downhill fast in my opinion. Heck they don't even have grease plugs any more so you can't grease your own joints!!!

Old cars FTW! lol

/rant
[/quote]

How many stories have you heard " the car was completely totaled, but the person survived"? I here a lot every year! That's precisely the points of crumple zones, take the energy (Read:damage it) and dissipate/turn into something that won't hurt you as much. ie. crumpling metal, sounds, heat, etc.
I know I know, it's all a gimmick and it's far more expensive to repair and bla bla bla. But I will tell you this, I'd much rather pay for a $1000 repair, that probably has a bigger chance of keeping me safe, than not.


On topic:
Mazda 3 have terrible reputation of being rattle machines (loose pieces/plastic/whatever) BRAND NEW, so I could imagine this being much worse in a used. ( Mazda 3 owner by the way). So be sure to test drive the mazda 3 on a dirt road or loose gravel or some other road uneven.

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Posted

[quote name='greenwizard88' timestamp='1357194894' post='595429676']
What about a ford fiesta? That's what I drive, and I like it a lot. It gets much better pickup than my girlfriends Sonic.
[/quote] Really? How so, what does she have automatic or manual? If automatic drive in manual mode. My Sonic would smoke a fiesta.

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Posted

Im surprised by the lack of Yaris on this thread ....

Has better/on par MPG rating that those mentioned and even the 2 door looks awesome (IMO) :)

Now if is about reliability, well, .... it IS a toyota :laugh: and fit well within the budged specified

(yes, i had a red one, and they're perky as heck when driving) :)

[img]http://www.stanceiseverything.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ekhatchpic.jpg[/img]

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Posted

how tall/big are you? if you can fit Honda Fit, which is cheap btw, then take a look.

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Posted

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357192879' post='595429642']
On multiple occasions I had to hold the brake pedal while my car attempted to accelerate under its own power while the gas pedal was in the rested position. Replacing the computer that was attached to the throttle body fixed the problem. This happened after the whole thing with Toyota, so after it happened to me I figured that's what had happened to them. Computers fail. If that cable breaks, you stop moving and coast to a stop. The cable is not going to reverse direction and make your car accelerate. Oh and the cost of that little computerized thing about the size of a pack of cigarettes? $400. That steel cable? You could jimmy rig a replacement by gutting the brake cables off an old bicycle. I even called Ford to complain and they told me that starting in 2009 all major manufacturers were going to start implementing steer by wire. So as if accelerating randomly while cruising a parking lot isn't bad enough, what happens if I'm doing 60 down I-5 with cars on either side of me and my steering computer shorts out?
[/quote]

Anecdote evidence as aforementioned. Don't fly in a plane, by the way. I'd just like to let you know that redundant electronic control systems in a fly by wire design is much more reliable than a traditional hydraulic system. There were plenty of cases where severed hydraulic lines caused crashes or near crashes, and asymmetrical thrust became the only remaining system (Along with the skills of the pilots) to land the plane safely. Electronic control systems also prevent people from making mistakes and taking the plane beyond its flying envelope, but this is a completely different discussion.

Just to note, maybe a broken cable will let you coast to a stop, but there is plenty of evidence of people having stuck mechanical components in the past. A mechanical device is a single point of failure, with no redundant protection, and no closed loop feedback system to keep things in check.

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357192879' post='595429642']
I was an IT Specialist in the Army for 6 years and did everything from dig ditches to run cable, to manage a help desk, to build and configure servers. I appreciate computers and all that they can do for us, but I also believe that if it aint broke, don't fix it, and car manufacturers seem to be doing just that.
[/quote]

No offense, but you are an IT specialist, not a control systems engineer. Don't take this personally, but more often than not, I find IT people who can put together a few computers think they are an expert in systems design. I do not decline the fact that many engineers think they are more knowledgeable than they actually are, but in this case I am just presenting very basic control system theory that are based on unquestionable facts.

And yes, it is broken. They are not fixing what is not broken. We are making progress in technology, and improvements are clear in every way. Cars have gone a long way in the last 10 or 20 years thanks to many advancements, including electronics.


[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357192879' post='595429642']
I hit a guard rail one time because I was driving tired, drove home, pulled the truck forward into a tree until the steel bumper was pressed against it where the bend was, hooked a tractor onto the end of it and straightened it out, problem solved. About 6 months ago I saw a 2010 Honda Civic get hit at about 20 miles per hour and it looked like a crumpled up taco. They had to rip a door off and haul the girl out on a stretcher.

Cars today with all their plastic, fiberglass and computerized parts are going downhill fast in my opinion. Heck they don't even have grease plugs any more so you can't grease your own joints!!!

Old cars FTW! lol

/rant
[/quote]

Honda's ACE body design structure is much more advanced than some brute metal strength designed back in the days. The unibody 'frame' evenly distributes the force of the impact throughout the body of the car in order to protect its occupants in the event of a collision. This design not only improves impact safety, but also reduces the size and weight of the car for improved fuel economy. This implementation is proven in repeatable crash tests, and there are plenty of evidence of it translating to the real world. The Honda Civic is one of the safest compacts on the road, and again, you are just pulling anecdote evidence against proven mechanical engineering methods. I'd rather have my car end up in a total loss in a collision than lose my life with $1000 of damage on my car.

Also, modern cars are extremely reliable. Just because it has plastic, fiberglass, and computer parts with no grease plugs does not mean it is not good. Once again, there are plenty of modern vehicles going in exceess of 300,000 kms with no significant problems. The very 8th gen Civic you mentioned is one of them. Actually, there is a guy on 8thcivic with over 600,000 MILES on his 2006 Civic: http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/mechanical-problems-technical-chat/96765-800-000-miles-still-going-strong.html

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1357194125' post='595429666']
OK, your preference is your preference, this is your topic, but I don't appreciate having my honesty or competence questioned by you or the other guy either. I'll leave you alone, I just wanted to suggest you save some money and get something that wasn't developed last year and pushed to market this year.
[/quote]

You are entitled to your own opinion, and I fully respect that. However, you are not entitled to your own facts, and this is what I am questioning. I have not made any personal attacks here, and I apologize if it feels that way. Also, an engineering development cycle especially for car body structures, manufacturing methods, and electronic control systems cannot be "developed last year and pushed to market this year". Any engineer would know it often takes years, if not more than a decade, from first conception to development to tens of thousands of man-hour testing to validate a system for mass deployment. Your 6 years of experience in IT is quite irrelevant in this discussion to validate your credibility.

The fact is, new cars are safer than old cars. Pull up some Youtube crash test videos if you want to see it.

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