T Nation

Big Ol' Caddy

Here’s the deal: I’m up to 157k on my '96 Accord EX and things are starting to go. The CHECK ENGINE light has been on for about 7 months now (briefly extinguished after an expensive visit to the shop-only to relight the next day-must confess I actually missed it). So soon it will be time. I can’t see spending billions on a new car and want something with power this time. For all the hype about the [manual] VTEC engine I have little to say other than it has been reliable without fail. (Previous car was an Acura and I loved that little engine-somehow it had guts). Point being I am tired of this whole 4-cylinder nonsense. I am going for the power thing; not off-the-mark power but Amtrak Northeast Line 6:20pm out of Penn Station power. I was initially thinking of a '96 (don’t like the way the newer ones look) Town Car but I can find none with a CD (!!!). And all the black or dark blue ones are already taken by foreign-national limo drivers. This leaves me with Caddies. And the only one to make sense is a 97, 98, 99 DeVille Concours. 1) Not favored by the limo drivers (smaller trunk-but I can still throw my bike in). 2) Actually does come with factory CD. 3) Northstar which from what I read is pretty much Amtrak-like. 4) Like the Town Car, probably driven by senior citizens at a steady 35 mile-an-hour top speed. So something with under 50k on it would be just about new. My question being: Anyone have experience with this car, and never having purchased ‘used’-best to buy from dealer or take my chances with private sales?

Why do you want to drive an old person’s car? If you want more power, and want more than a four cylinder, why not check out the multitudes of V6’s out there. Audi, BMW, Acura and others make some nice cars with some good power and are still sporty, comfortable and reliable. Under $50K will easily buy you any of those vehicles. Besides, I have little respect or desire for American cars.

There are many new v-6 imports out there, Acura has the rsx and the CL. Nissan just came out with a 245hp Altima which starts at under 20k. Subaru has that little WRX AWD coupe with 227hp. You get a lot of power with the reliability of your old honda, and you won’t be mistaken for an old fart. You also will get good gas mileage.

P.S. Honda and Acura are the same company.

Whoooooooooooops! No, I sadly I don’t have 50k to spend on a car-that figure was in reference to mileage on a used 'mobile. (I want to keep it all under $16,000) And I do roughly agree, NEVER thought I would be considering Motown but time has come for something bigger and fully gizmo-d out. I want a car that does everything by remote-tired of inserting a key to open the doors, trunk, etc. and finally tired (NEVER thought I’d say this) of shifting. I am always on 95 or in the city somewhere and that means bumper-to-bumper. I am always throwing the gymbag and the messenger bag around trying to find something or another and getting either snagged on the stick or caught on the mirror and am just plain tired of the lack of space. You’re right, a Caddy does have that Old Guy Image but there is a certain buck-the-trend retro coolness that goes with that. Actually I kind-a look forward to saying ‘it’s mine’ when people ask if I borrowed my mother’s car. As for your car suggestions-right on-and to that effect I will gladly accept contributions to the ‘Keep Him Out Of The Caddy Fund’. (Actually did look at the new Altima and would REALLY like the 6er and it is almost affordable-if I didn’t have that crazy mortgage hanging over my head).

So my question again-having never purchased a used car: dealer? or chances with a private sale? Thanks guys.

Private sale. But make damn sure you get it checked out by a good mechanic. A dealer still has to make some money on the car where as a private party is looking to unload it.