In about a year I’ll be ready to replace my 1999 Accord coupe, which has about 200K miles and is starting to feel like a rust-bucket, though it’s been a great car that I’ve loved. I intend to get a 4-door sedan. My partner drives a big Ram truck, so we’ve got hauling covered already. What I want is a sedate, boring, somewhat luxurious, large and very comfortable ride.
SUVs are out of the question; I like driving a car not a truck. But it needs to be as large as possible, because I sometimes need to chauffeur at least 3 other people some distances, all of whom are kind of big-and-tall folks, and two of whom at any given time are elderly parents or in-laws in the back seat. When not doing this ferrying, I’ll be doing normal city driving on a daily basis. I’m not a car enthusiast in the least; I’m not an expert or enthusiastic driver and don’t want to impress anybody but myself and my passengers.
I believe in letting someone else take the depreciation hit when you drive a car out of the showroom, so I’m looking for cars with no more than 50,000 miles in the $20-25K range. There’s quite a few choices in that field, but it can’t be anything flashy like a used Benz or Audi; I want to keep maintenance costs way down and not attract attention. Something reliable and boring, but as large and comfy as I can get.
The Accord sedan is very nice, and I think I could pick up a slightly more luxurious Acura TL for a similar price but just a couple years older. Lately my eye has been caught by the Hyundai Genesis, which seems to depreciate rapidly and thus can be picked up in a similar price range. I don’t care about depreciation at all, because I drive cars into the ground and never expect to sell them for anything.
So what else should I be looking at? If I intend to spend up to $25,000 up front, what is the largest, most comfortable, and most reliable land-yacht I can hope to drive for the rest of my life?
The Hyundai you mentioned, Toyota Avalon, Lexus LS models in 2012 range, Cadillac XTS, the big Acuras, Infinity M37.
Avoid all the German brands. Reliability fades and maintenance costs are astronomical. (We’ll probably get some anecdotes about how my Audi/Merc/BMW has been perfect but cost to own data shows that’s not true in general.)
I think the Genesis is an excellent value. Great driving cars. Especially the ones with the V-8 engine. I rented the original model and the one that followed during a couple of extended weekend vacations and was very impressed with them.
Another large sedan I think might work for you is the Ford Taurus.
Top of my list would be a third generation (W211) Mercedes E-class sedan.
I think you may need to question your premise. Modern SUVs drive pretty much like cars and generally have the same level of driving comfort. That’s part of the reason almost no one except some super lux marks are making sedan style land yachts anymore, they are unnecessary.
These are the ones I came here to recommend. They’re both body on frame, and you can be very, very comfortable for a very long time in these. Low miles are hard to find, but maybe consider hitting up estate companies, because, well, despite my enthusiasm for these cars, the target demographic, well, estate sales companies.
A newer Taurus is also an absolutely huge car that’s very comfortable.
If you’re willing to stretch the definition of “large” I would recommend a Mazda6.
Your budget of $25,000 will get you a new Mazda6 easily. The wife and I are very happy with her older model, and a bonus is that it’s one of the largest common sedans available with a manual, if that sort of thing matters to you.
I was able to price out a brandy new Mazda6 with power; door locks, windows, mirrors, seats, plus halogen lighting, alloy wheels and cruise control for $22,360 USD.
It’ll be our next car once the kids are out of their prime messy ages.
I’d also vote for the Crown Vic. They’re comfy and powerful, and even handle quite well. I’m sure you’ll only find high-mileage units, so it’s probably not in the running. But note that those things were built very well.
Eh, who needs air bags when you’re surrounded by 19-plus feet of metal? :eek: And age shouldn’t matter, as you can restore it within your budget. And you’ll get a lot more admiring looks than you would with a new-ish car.