Any advice? Right now I have enough cash saved to buy a midsized sedan either new or used. My biggest problem has been finding time to actually go car shopping! This is the time of year when there are cash incentives to buy new. On the other hand, I'm not really addicted to new car smell, and would be quite happy with something 2-5 years old if there were good deals available. I'd prefer something under 50 000 km though. I plan to drive it into the ground (eg 10 yrs +). I'd like something that is comfortable even for back seat passengers and has a decent sized trunk. Right now I'm thinking maybe Honda Accord.
So my questions are:
New or used and why
Are private sales a good or bad thing?
Advice for getting the best deal (I hate haggling and have never done the dealership thing. I've heard it's best to get several bids faxed in after deciding what make and model you want and communicate directly with the sales manager over the phone rather than going in person.)
Any particular opinions on make/model. I think I would like something that could comfortably accommodate four passengers and their stuff on a longer trip. I also have a lot of instruments that I frequently am hauling around, so it's nice to have some space. I don't feel like I really need an SUV and can't really justify the extra fuel consumption etc. I'm not against the idea of a hatchback, as it would make it easier to haul a keyboard, but don't want something too teeny tiny, or stick shift. I like the idea of a CVT, but it's only available on the 2013 Accords (and has much better reviews than the Altima's CVT). If I were to go second hand, I think I could get a nicer trim, heated seats etc as opposed to going new but may have to budge on the mileage if I do that. I've heard good things about Sonatas, but have also heard from several people that their paint jobs don't last so well, even if they are spacious and have a lot of nice features. I liked the Altima I rented one summer, but some have complained they use a lot more gas than a Honda or Camry. I used to think I wanted a Camry but I don't like the way they redesigned them and the reviews all suggest they are overpriced for what they are right now. They also don't have very good incentives for them when I checked it out online.