Automotive

Recommendation for Family Car - $15K budget.

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 16th, 2015 3:36 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Aug 5, 2009
38 posts
toronto

Recommendation for Family Car - $15K budget.

Hello All

So l am in market for Used Family Car.
Is $15K budget a realistically good figure?

I am looking to have this car for may be 3 or 4 years. Travelling will be Toronto Downtown to Scarborough 2 or 3 days a week.
I am concerned about the insurance as well - so that is one factor to be in mind and gas economy/maintenance etc.
Other than that in weekends just grocery and stuff.

Recommendations please - Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Impala?

I am not looking for economy class like Corolla or Civic.
Appreciate all and any responses.

Thank you
18 replies
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
2060 posts
883 upvotes
ontario
you should have no issue finding something suitable for 15k, 10k would likely be more than enough. out of the cars you listed i would opt for the sonata in terms of bang for buck combined with insurance rates

just as an example, not exactly a family car, more of a commuter, i've been beating on a '02 protege for the last 3 years (130km daily commute) that I bought for 3500. minimal maintenance, decent fuel economy and ins rates. i wouldnt recommend a mazda though because of rust issues.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 18, 2005
18370 posts
1806 upvotes
Niagara Falls
check out the Kia Optima as well. Basically a Hyundai Sonata you can pick up for less cash but will have lower resell value.

Took a quick look and you can find one under $15k with less than 70 000 km's
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
7921 posts
1138 upvotes
Toronto
The Mid size sedans listed so far all seem like good choices.

I personally would lean towards the Japanese or Korean models though I'm not averse to a nicely kept Domestic at a considerably cheaper price, insurancewise as well.
Member
May 2, 2008
290 posts
59 upvotes
Your two first choices are the best: Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord. Also, look at the Toyota Avalon if you don't mind a slightly larger car.

My choice, if you are looking for good fuel economy would be the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 5, 2009
38 posts
toronto
Thanks everyone for your reply.

Yes l forgot to mention - have two kids as well who needs car seats (toddlers) :) So want to make sure we have enough room back in there as well.

And yes Hyundai Sonata l am looking for as well but when l compare to Toyota Camry or Accord - it gives less resale value - and value to buy is almost same ~1K of difference max for same year, kms driven etc.

I haven't checked out Kia Optima yet - thanks for suggestion i will look that one around too.

I am checking cars on Kijiji, Craigslist and Auto Trader - am l missing any other way? also l am also going out coming week to some of the dealership to see pre-owned "certified" cars. Will that be helpful or it is just waste of money to pay for "certified" cars from dealership?

Thank you again
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
7921 posts
1138 upvotes
Toronto
newbieca wrote:
Sep 13th, 2015 11:39 am
Thanks everyone for your reply.

Yes l forgot to mention - have two kids as well who needs car seats (toddlers) :) So want to make sure we have enough room back in there as well.

And yes Hyundai Sonata l am looking for as well but when l compare to Toyota Camry or Accord - it gives less resale value - and value to buy is almost same ~1K of difference max for same year, kms driven etc.

I haven't checked out Kia Optima yet - thanks for suggestion i will look that one around too.

I am checking cars on Kijiji, Craigslist and Auto Trader - am l missing any other way? also l am also going out coming week to some of the dealership to see pre-owned "certified" cars. Will that be helpful or it is just waste of money to pay for "certified" cars from dealership?

Thank you again
To me "certified" on an already reliable and relatively new(3-4 year old) Japanese vehicle means nothing really.

I doubt if the dealer even did any "certification" work granted that the cars are relaible and previous owners took reasonable care.

"certified" on already reliable vehicles seems just a word to cast doubt in your mind and to be able to charge you a premium.

My friend financed a"certified" Camry that soon started to burn oil. He was just told that it was "normal" and they could do nothing at the Toyota dealership.

I would avoid used German high end luxury cars certified or not as that certified means nothing when you actually go in for a problem.

why would I buy a car certified if I would not have bought it not certified or without warranty?

Maybe price, but one has to weight the benefits, reliability etc

If you can get the car cheaper privately, use some of that saved money and bring it up to standard yourself and maintain it yourself.

Maintenance is key with any car and every owner should do the minimum.

Not rely on Japanese reliablility or "Certified" from a dealership which will honour nothing.
Penalty Box
Apr 15, 2011
3645 posts
410 upvotes
Scarborough
if you are okay with the range of an electric, you can find some nissan leafs/chevrolet volt for a little over that much. Even if you spend upwards of $20k on one you will save more than $5k depending on how much you drive. Maintenance is also very cheap on these cars because there aren't much parts to wear down in the first place. Right now is a good time to get a used volt or a leaf; the second generation is right around the corner and people are dumping their old leafs/volts driving down the price.
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
12719 posts
1545 upvotes
Toronto
Hyundai sonata for low insurance, Toyota camry for better resale albeit higher insurance premiums than the sonata. Forget about the domestics. Which ever one you choose, it will cost roughly the same after you factor in the resale and insurance cost for those 4-5 years. Both the camry and the sonata drive the same. Very boring. Choose your best pick!
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2013
1272 posts
258 upvotes
North Vancouver
When you buy "certified" it usually comes with additional warranty. You'll still be paying a premium though. It's just factored into the price.
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2012
720 posts
125 upvotes
If you are considering a camry hybrid, you should also factor in the cost of the 12V battery, not the hybrid battery. I have a 2010 camry hybrid just passed 100000km and I recently had to change the 12V battery after running a battery test at the dealer. The battery is $531+tax+labour. This is an oem Panasonic AGM battery. I asked if I have other options and they said no because this battery is specific to the camry hybrid. I requested a quote from another dealer and the price is slightly higher. So something to consider.

I was told the optima yellow top is comparable to the oem battery. But since I'm not a car guru, I opted for the professional to do it.
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2012
720 posts
125 upvotes
But other than that, the camry hybrid is great. Quiet and smooth ride. I still have 80% left on my original brake pads. Maintenance so far has only been regular oil change, tire rotation etc. Nothing major except for the recent change of 12V battery. Very good on gas.
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
12719 posts
1545 upvotes
Toronto
Shirochan wrote:
Sep 13th, 2015 4:51 pm
If you are considering a camry hybrid, you should also factor in the cost of the 12V battery, not the hybrid battery. I have a 2010 camry hybrid just passed 100000km and I recently had to change the 12V battery after running a battery test at the dealer. The battery is $531+tax+labour. This is an oem Panasonic AGM battery. I asked if I have other options and they said no because this battery is specific to the camry hybrid. I requested a quote from another dealer and the price is slightly higher. So something to consider.

I was told the optima yellow top is comparable to the oem battery. But since I'm not a car guru, I opted for the professional to do it.
looks like they lied to you. Any 12v battery with 36 to 38 AH would have worked for your camry as long as it has the same or higher CCA rating.
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2012
720 posts
125 upvotes
trixstar wrote:
Sep 13th, 2015 5:06 pm
looks like they lied to you. Any 12v battery with 36 to 38 AH would have worked for your camry as long as it has the same or higher CCA rating.
I don't know much about battery so I did my research before going in. This battery has a built in thermostat and since it's located in the trunk, it needs to be vented. The only other battery people recommended is the optima yellow top but the fit is a bit different from the oem one and it doesn't have a thermostat and I wouldn't know how to do a diy anyway. But if one opts to get the oem one, then it's around $531+tax+labour which is very expensive....

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