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View Full Version : First car suggestions for my 17 y.o. son


Jerseydave
10-18-2009, 09:38 PM
Actually he won't be 17 until next summer, but I'd like to help steer him toward something sooner so he can drive it on his permit. (plus he's not going to drive my wife's Infiniti or my Denali)

Looking for something reliable and safe, 2 door would be first choice, automatic, good mpg, cost between $5K and $8K.

So far thinking of these:

Acura RSX (up to 2003)
BMW 3-series (late 90's-2001)
Toyota Celica
Nissan Maxima or Altima
Pontiac Grand Prix
???

Any thoughts?

justinglow
10-18-2009, 09:52 PM
Wow a 3' series to start off? My first car was a MGB that I pushed more than I drove. Made me learn how to appreciate and take care of a car though.

My opinion would be like a Honda Civic or something like that. They are pretty much indestructible and will run forever.

vision
10-18-2009, 09:56 PM
I was looking for a used car for my son last year. Ended up buying a 2009 civic coupe 6 speed. Cheaper than most of the used cars I was looking at. He loves it. Sporty yet it gets 35 mpg. New car safety equipment and new car warranty.

DooSPX
10-18-2009, 09:56 PM
I would agree about the honda, great cars... im not an import guy, never owned anything but american except for my old 5 series... I love that car... I miss it to this day...

Jerseydave
10-18-2009, 10:14 PM
I forgot to mention we're searching 2004 and older because:

a. I don't feel a new car for a 17 year old would be a good idea
b. Collision insurance would be sky high for the new driver/new car combination. Just liability and comp insurance.

Initially i wanted to stay around $4K, but that kind of money doesn't buy much car these days. (my first car was $1700.....a 9 year old 1971 Firebird)

Double D
10-18-2009, 11:24 PM
How about a Chevy Cobalt? Good looking semi-sporty car, two doors, could dress up a bit with wheels or stripes. Was thinking for my son or daughter when they are old enough....

ski_king
10-18-2009, 11:43 PM
This may sound strange, but I recommend a 2 door car.

Both of my kids ended up with 2 door cars and as it turns out, their buddies never want to take that car when there is a bunch of them going somewhere as it is too hard to get in and out of the back seat.

One less thing to worry about.

Wake2wake
10-19-2009, 12:31 AM
Well not my first car, but since my first car really did spend more time in the shop than on the road (97 Chrysler sebring). my second car that I bought that I still have, is a 99 Toyota solara for just under 5 grand with no issues other than it was time to replace the timing belt. so far it has been super reliable, I have yet to have a problem other than the bad battery I replaced today. and it is also a super easy car to work on and learn how to do basic maintenance on compared to most of the other cars I have worked on in the past. I also agree with the 2 door car idea. thats my favorite thing about the car. (Im not real big on everyone putting their muddy feet all over my car).
But like everything, just my opinions and I'm sure someone much more knowledgeable that I will chime in.
good luck with your search

CruisinGA
10-19-2009, 01:22 AM
I really enjoyed my '74 Land Cruiser. Was nearly 30 years old when purchased.

I guess your son is not a "car guy"?

CantRepeat
10-19-2009, 08:31 AM
I was thinking a 69 POS skyblue caddie!

http://photos.coker.com/data/507/1968-cadillac-deville-blue.jpg

ttu
10-19-2009, 10:12 AM
my ex and i deceided on a 2000 4runner sr5 sports 4wd for our son's first vehicle.

106,000 miles and all maintance up to date.

robertsmcfarland
10-19-2009, 11:57 AM
Got my son a WRX turbo at 16 ,he is now 21, still has it, now has closed to 85,000 miles, never been in the shop, also has 4 wheel drive so its great for winter and gets great miles per gal.

j2nh
10-19-2009, 12:19 PM
Bought my daughter a new WRX for her 16th as well. 5 years later and other than routine service the car looks like its brand new. Wouldn't necessarily recommend a new one but what about an older Subaru? Great engines and they last for ever (some made in IN).

Skipper
10-19-2009, 02:14 PM
My oldest boy and I started building his truck when he was 14. We began with a 1985 F150 4x4 I bought for $39.00 at the abandoned vehicle lot on post. We spent about a year of tearing it down, pulling parts from the junk yard, and putting it back together. Then we painted it and put on new tires and wheels. He drove it until he was 20 then sold it for $2k.

Similar deal for my youngest boy. We built him a 1997 Toyota 4WD in about a year.

But my daughter did not want to build a car. Diva! Bought her a 1995 Toyota Celica as a first car.

88 PS190
10-19-2009, 03:45 PM
My first car was a 3 series, love it. Still have it.

But as they are getting older, there are alot of things they often need, late 90's is old enough that you need to replace things like suspension bushings, subframe bushings, shocks, brakes and so on. So check in on those sorts of things. The rubber likes to dry out and break down.

ttu
10-19-2009, 03:54 PM
My first car was a 3 series, love it. Still have it.

But as they are getting older, there are alot of things they often need, late 90's is old enough that you need to replace things like suspension bushings, subframe bushings, shocks, brakes and so on. So check in on those sorts of things. The rubber likes to dry out and break down.


i looked at a 99 bmw 3 series that was in great shape for my son. but after i had the service dept send me the repair history, i deceided that was not the way to go. they faxed me over 40 pages of repairs:cry:. mainly a lot of little things, but i really wanted something that would be reliable.

deereman
10-19-2009, 04:42 PM
just got my first vehicle a few weeks ago, a ford f-150 chrome edition. it was a salvage vehicle, but it has a whole new body, cab, and frame. only thing original is the drivetrain. really like it so far. very roomy and rides pretty decent. mileage isn't the worst either.

88 PS190
10-19-2009, 09:04 PM
i looked at a 99 bmw 3 series that was in great shape for my son. but after i had the service dept send me the repair history, i deceided that was not the way to go. they faxed me over 40 pages of repairs:cry:. mainly a lot of little things, but i really wanted something that would be reliable.

Didnt mean unreliable. with any car from 1999, you have to look at the potential for issues.

I've been in older BMW's that needed alot of work, and were driven for years in that condition, not reliability issues, but they just don't feel right.

For instance if your rear shock mounts are out they go *THUNK* over a bump, over time, probably not a good thing. But lots of people live with it and ignore it (the real reason there were 40 pages) I'd be curious to see the 40 pages, just out of interest.

But that is an issue from any car that the owner wasn't serious about upkeeping.

On the plus side, I've taken cars like you mention and done that work at home with out too many problems, and people like working on them, so they are very "forum" supported, just like your MasterCraft.

Not saying go BMW, but just make sure you evaluate other cars the same way.

If your kid is a bit lead footed and you want to keep him from going fast there is always the Mercedes 240D

mtajpa
10-19-2009, 09:38 PM
I have purchased 2 cars for 2 of 4 kids. I first made it clear thus would be the last car I buy them. First kid got a 1997 Honda Accord SE great car. Very few problems paid 9K. Second kid got a 2000 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner paid 10k. Another good car.

My mind set was to get a good car that I would not have to spend all my time fixing and one that they would appreciate. Very easy to spend a couple grand fixing up someone elses mess.

Third kid turns 16 soon. Gets her learners permit Saturday. Maybe!

Best of Luck

ttu
10-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Didnt mean unreliable. with any car from 1999, you have to look at the potential for issues.

I've been in older BMW's that needed alot of work, and were driven for years in that condition, not reliability issues, but they just don't feel right.

For instance if your rear shock mounts are out they go *THUNK* over a bump, over time, probably not a good thing. But lots of people live with it and ignore it (the real reason there were 40 pages) I'd be curious to see the 40 pages, just out of interest.

But that is an issue from any car that the owner wasn't serious about upkeeping.

On the plus side, I've taken cars like you mention and done that work at home with out too many problems, and people like working on them, so they are very "forum" supported, just like your MasterCraft.

Not saying go BMW, but just make sure you evaluate other cars the same way.

If your kid is a bit lead footed and you want to keep him from going fast there is always the Mercedes 240D


i agree bmw makes a good car, just in my opinion require a lot more service than honda or toyota. the one i looked at was at a bmw dealership and a one owner vehicle. most of the problems were electrical and cooling issues.

etduc
10-20-2009, 11:04 AM
This what I drove, in high school. It was new, then! :cool:

whitedog
10-20-2009, 01:36 PM
My 16 year old daughters first car, have had it for a year put about 11000 mile on the clock with no issues.
We are the third owners bought it from the BMW dealer, (they got to sell it 3 times), all updates were done and the price was right. 1994 3 series has 184000 mi on the clock and still runs and looks good.
I agree with the 2 door. Helps keep the group size smaller when she drives.

Finnsdad
10-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Some real nice first cars in this thread. My first car (in '94) was an '84 Audi 5000 that my folks bought for $1500. Good car, but pricey to repair. Ended up crashing it after about a year. Then I had a '78 Impala that cost $200 and had no heat, no radio, and a gas tank that only held 3 gal without leaking. Really made me appreciate the nicer car. My advice is not to spend a bunch of money on a first car, it is just going to end up trashed anyway.

I recommend a cheap single cab truck as a first car, because they will not be driving around a bunch of friends.

Hollywood
10-20-2009, 03:38 PM
If my parents were buying me a car I'd take whatever they gave me!

TahoeKen
10-20-2009, 03:49 PM
Very interesting thread as I have a soon to be 16yr old who will be getting his license in December. I have been looking around but as was stated before it is hard to find anything decent between $4-$6K.

I did find a 2003 Ford Edge Ranger that looks pretty good. It has 82K on it and they are asking $8K. It is a 2wd with automatic and the V6. It is the extra cab. Anyone know if these are good trucks or have any history with them?

Muttley
10-20-2009, 03:50 PM
Just remember, they ARE going to bump it. I'd consider that before getting them a Beamer. Personally, I'd consider a Corolla or Civic. We also bought a Cobalt for the wife and so far it's been a pretty good little car.

bcampbe7
10-20-2009, 04:48 PM
My oldest is only 3 so I got some time, but when it does come time for the kids to drive I will go halves with them. Whatever they can afford, I will put in. I think it helps them appreciate the car a little more when they have to put some money down.

My first car was a 1983 Ford Escort. Served its purpose. My wife's first car was a 1982 BMW 3 series. She said that thing was tough as nails but expensive when something went wrong.

trickskier
10-20-2009, 05:34 PM
Hey Dave - He would look real good in this 52604

52602

52603

captain planet
10-20-2009, 05:39 PM
Very interesting thread as I have a soon to be 16yr old who will be getting his license in December. I have been looking around but as was stated before it is hard to find anything decent between $4-$6K.

I did find a 2003 Ford Edge Ranger that looks pretty good. It has 82K on it and they are asking $8K. It is a 2wd with automatic and the V6. It is the extra cab. Anyone know if these are good trucks or have any history with them?

Regardless of which V6, it should run great. I had a 1996 4WD with the 4.0L. Loved that truck, ran great, no problems. We have a 2001 Ranger 4WD in my company that was my company truck for a while. It has 190K on the 3.0L and it runs great. I drove that truck to CT countless times. I drove those trucks for 10 years combined and had really good experiences with them.

Ski-me
10-20-2009, 05:56 PM
My oldest is only 3 so I got some time, but when it does come time for the kids to drive I will go halves with them. Whatever they can afford, I will put in. I think it helps them appreciate the car a little more when they have to put some money down.

My first car was a 1983 Ford Escort. Served its purpose. My wife's first car was a 1982 BMW 3 series. She said that thing was tough as nails but expensive when something went wrong.

I'm doing this as well. Each kid is saving for their vehicle and we are matching whatever they earn by the time they buy a car.

I also agree on the vehicles suggested in here (very nice).....my first one was a 73' 1/2 ton chevy pickup for $750. It was a piece, with lots of rust but worked well! I just want metal around my girls because they will be hit, one way or another.....just keep them safe.

ski_king
10-20-2009, 07:52 PM
I put in $2000 or about half towards each kids car. However I didnt let them know that until they had enough to buy the car outright. That way they had some money left.
Also I make them pay for the insurance, maintaince and repairs.

trickskier
10-20-2009, 08:08 PM
I put in $2000 or about half towards each kids car. However I didnt let them know that until they had enough to buy the car outright. That way they had some money left.
Also I make them pay for the insurance, maintaince and repairs.

Guess that's where I went wrong...............8p

88 PS190
10-20-2009, 08:14 PM
Just remember, they ARE going to bump it. I'd consider that before getting them a Beamer. Personally, I'd consider a Corolla or Civic. We also bought a Cobalt for the wife and so far it's been a pretty good little car.

Hmm, my car got bumped by other people in parking lots a few times, all I had to replace were these snap on plastic trim peices, smart design, prefinished so no paint needed. about 20 bucks each time its happened.

Wish it was easier to get a new plate though, that's a bit bent in the front from a guy who didn't put his car in park before turning it off at a train crossing. I inched back as far as I could before he hit, the guy in the truck behind me is shaking his head at the guy in front, I just shrugged.

Please state, send me new plates!

I guess the biggest thing I'd require of a kid getting his first car is that they learn how to do their own upkeep, oil changes, tire pressure, keeping it clean, checking its fluids etc. All drivers should know how to do this thing before getting a DL.

Jerseydave
10-20-2009, 08:46 PM
I will be kicking in 1/2 of the cost of the car, whatever car it turns out to be. At the suggestion of my friend (and insurance man) I will title the car in my name but my son will be the primary driver, cheaper rate this way I'm told. In a year or 2 he can switch the title over to his own name after a clean driving record (I hope!)

Muttley
10-21-2009, 01:02 PM
Hmm, my car got bumped by other people in parking lots a few times, all I had to replace were these snap on plastic trim peices, smart design, prefinished so no paint needed. about 20 bucks each time its happened.

I found my daughter a real gem. A perfect little Toyota Corolla I bought (stole?) from a friend. She'd had it THREE MONTHS when rear ended a pick up and totaled it (just barely). She was fine. The car was such a deal I got more from the insurance than I paid for the car! Still, I was heart broken that I'd found her the perfect car and had to find her another one. Her next car was a POS beater I made her drive for another year before I helped her buy something decent.

My bud bought his daughter a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser. It took her a month before she backed into a concrete bollard. She hit it so hard she took out the rear door.

I guess the biggest thing I'd require of a kid getting his first car is that they learn how to do their own upkeep, oil changes, tire pressure, keeping it clean, checking its fluids etc. All drivers should know how to do this thing before getting a DL.

Absolutely! My little princess was pretty pissed when I made her do her first oil change. Although she did make me come change a tire for her even after I'd made her do it in the driveway (tears should be outlawed as a weapon). Now she cons her boyfriend into doing her maintenance.

Willski
10-21-2009, 01:25 PM
This may sound strange, but I recommend a 2 door car.

Both of my kids ended up with 2 door cars and as it turns out, their buddies never want to take that car when there is a bunch of them going somewhere as it is too hard to get in and out of the back seat.

One less thing to worry about.

For the same reason, I was thinking a small pickup truck!

88 PS190
10-21-2009, 03:46 PM
Absolutely! My little princess was pretty pissed when I made her do her first oil change. Although she did make me come change a tire for her even after I'd made her do it in the driveway (tears should be outlawed as a weapon). Now she cons her boyfriend into doing her maintenance.

HAHA, her poor boyfriend.

The lady who taught drivers ed made us all go outside and remove/install a tire in the parking lot as part of the course. And then open the hood and point out various things, and if you couldn't you had to get the manual out and find it in the manual, and then find it on the car.

It should be required, heck i don't care if you don't know where the fuse box is, but if you can't find out by reading the manual that's troubling.

ski_king
10-21-2009, 04:26 PM
I am still working with my daughters to do the routine maintenance they have a ways to go yet.

Oldest daughter came home from college a couple of weeks ago with a blown fuse for the cigarete lighter. She was despriate for me to fix it as she didn't know how she could find her way back to college with out her GPS. Kids these days don't seem to have a sense of direction or know how to read a map......:rolleyes:

Thrall
10-21-2009, 04:50 PM
[QUOTE=88 PS190;640325]HAHA, her poor boyfriend.

QUOTE]

Sounds like my gf just out of high school (now wife of 14yrs!:D). It's amazing what a guy will do just to get a little!:D

Worst part was, she started faking problems with her little pos Nissan 200sx, just so she could take my Monte Carlo SS down to Chicago for work! Found her a Mustang 5.0....problem solved!

Thrall
10-21-2009, 04:52 PM
to the OP:
Get him an old 85 Chevy pickup with a big block. Not baig enough to haul more than 2 friends (in front). Still big enuff for him and the gf ;). Gets bad enough mileage that you know he won't be taking any impromptu road trips with his vehicle.

wakesurfer
10-21-2009, 08:12 PM
I agree with thrall, also a volvo, or vw jetta comes to mind, or old range rover, or landrover they are all pretty safe cars

Jerseydave
10-21-2009, 10:01 PM
to the OP:
Get him an old 85 Chevy pickup with a big block. Not baig enough to haul more than 2 friends (in front). Still big enuff for him and the gf ;). Gets bad enough mileage that you know he won't be taking any impromptu road trips with his vehicle.

Seems like none of the kids around here drive trucks........I had a small p/u when I was in school and it was great!
I'd love to see him in a Monte Carlo or Grand Prix, but he wants something smaller. Originally he wanted a Cobalt, but I talked him out of that one.

(pre-2002) Acura RSX, Lexus IS300, Scion TC or BMW 3-series might be possible. I wish the Camaros and Mustangs were cheaper to insure.

boatinggal
10-21-2009, 10:59 PM
Personally think, a good old solid car, less money unless you son is more mature than my son and daughter. The make and model don't matter that much, the condition and safety would be my concern.

TEAL98
10-21-2009, 11:17 PM
I agree... 2 door, good mpg's, sporty and reliable... sounds like my Y2K Z28 would be just the thing for it:D Seriously though, I do have it up for sale in the Washington D.C. craigslist section. My commute to work is about 45 minutes in the morning (cruise set between 78-79mph), and a little over an hour and a half in the evening (idiots dont know how to drive on 95), stop and go traffic most of the time. With the mixed driving conditions, it still averages 24mpg... strictly highway the LS1 automatics are averaging between 26-28, but my average is done on my tripmeter every time I top off my tank, which I tend to beleive a little better.

I'm not trying to throw you a sales pitch to buy my car, but the 98-02 Z28s and TAs are reliable, economic, and quick on their feet. The only thing that sucks is the insurance and brickhouse ride quality:rolleyes: At 108k, the only thing that's been major is me having to replace the torque arm bushings from hard launches... still duno why it does that:D You can find them right in your price range too, with right at or a little under 100k miles. Anyways, good luck in your search. My truck, boat, and both cars are all GM... wouldn't change a thing

~Jon

88 PS190
10-21-2009, 11:17 PM
One issue I've not had to deal with yet, what if you have two or more kids.

And one is really interested in cars fixing their car, keeping it nice. And the other abuses cars and doesn't pay alot of attention to them.

How would you deal with that situation? Would you get a nicer car for the one who takes care of it, or get them both boring cars so its even.

TEAL98
10-21-2009, 11:23 PM
Another thing that was never marketed was in rear end collisions on these cars, they received a 5 star impact safety rating... forgot where it was that I found it, but it's out there. For my 02 Yukon full coverage and my Y2K Z liability/collision only, its about $862/6mo. The boat and the trailer queen aren't exactly daily drivers:D

H20skeefreek
10-22-2009, 07:58 AM
I'd getting a pair of new Addidas, and drive him to his new job.

H20skeefreek
10-22-2009, 07:58 AM
Get him, not getting.

Hollywood
10-22-2009, 11:28 AM
Would you get a nicer car for the one who takes care of it, or get them both boring cars so its even.

I would get them both no cars. Easy for me to say now, I don't have kids but I believe that is the way to go.

Hollywood
10-22-2009, 11:29 AM
I'd getting a pair of new Addidas, and drive him to his new job.

Adidas ;)...

Ski-me
10-22-2009, 02:56 PM
This may sound strange, but I recommend a 2 door car.

Both of my kids ended up with 2 door cars and as it turns out, their buddies never want to take that car when there is a bunch of them going somewhere as it is too hard to get in and out of the back seat.

One less thing to worry about.

The only problem with this scenario is the experience of the other drivers. If you trust your kid's driving, who knows how the other kids drive. Perhaps worse! Then your kid is traveling at more of a risk than if she was driving her own vehicle.

In High School, I didn't trust anyone driving me around. Too much tailgating and fast driving.... I got my license at 14 and drove before that on a ranch (WY). By the time I was 16 (now in WA), none of my peers had been driving as much.....so the experience level was REAL low. Only trusted maybe 2 friends to drive me anywhere. :o

ski_king
10-22-2009, 05:09 PM
The only problem with this scenario is the experience of the other drivers. If you trust your kid's driving, who knows how the other kids drive. Perhaps worse! Then your kid is traveling at more of a risk than if she was driving her own vehicle.

Good point, I am surprised nobody mentioned this sooner. It is always a worry in the back of your mind. Just last week 4 local high school kids were out riding (speeding) around, now 2 are dead and 2 are seriously injured.

PA has been trying to pass a law limiting the number of under 21 year olds that can be in a car at a time to prevent this. I have mixed feeling about this one.....

I do remember when I was in my late teens, if there were more than 3 of us in a car, we were usually up to no good.

ttu
10-22-2009, 05:18 PM
Good point, I am surprised nobody mentioned this sooner. It is always a worry in the back of your mind. Just last week 4 local high school kids were out riding (speeding) around, now 2 are dead and 2 are seriously injured.

PA has been trying to pass a law limiting the number of under 21 year olds that can be in a car at a time to prevent this. I have mixed feeling about this one.....

I do remember when I was in my late teens, if there were more than 3 of us in a car, we were usually up to no good.

that is a very good point!

in oklahoma they have what is known as a graduated license program. for the 1st 9 months they are allowed only 1 passenger in the vehicle without a parent present.

Finnsdad
10-22-2009, 05:19 PM
In WI there are limitations for the first 9 months after a teen gets their license. They can only have 1 friend (non family member) in the car between 5am and midnight. They can only drive between midnight and 5am if going to/from work/school. In theroy I think it is a good idea, but it does put a lot more cars on the road.

cmw
10-23-2009, 01:48 PM
[QUOTE=Ski-me;640450]The only problem with this scenario is the experience of the other drivers. If you trust your kid's driving, who knows how the other kids drive. Perhaps worse! Then your kid is traveling at more of a risk than if she was driving her own vehicle.

This is a great point! When I was in High School my parents helped me purchase a car. Every dollar I made working went to them for the payment or for gas. It was a two seater. My Mom thought having the burden of payments would keep me broke and out of trouble and two seats meant I hardly drove. It worked (sort of):rolleyes:, but I ran with a rowdy bunch even into college. I was at the mercy of their driving skills or lack of. Find something SAFE and continue to raise them right. It is a far different world than the one I grew up in. I buy American, but when it is my turn to go through this, I will probably look at Toyota or Honda. Most of my friends had way more horsepower than they needed, plus they were old cars we fixed up with hardly any safety features.

Good Luck!

x-swagger
10-23-2009, 02:04 PM
Here's my thoughts, I am still pretty close to 17 (I'm 24) and due to New MExico's driving laws i was able to drive by myself at 15 1/2. Just like most kids my age, I wanted either a cool fast car or a lifted truck with mud terrains, I got what I [I]thought[I] was a "fast" car when my parents bought me a '92 BMW 525i. I loved that car, the 5 series was perfect since there was enought room in the back for all my buddies and the ladies when I was drivin them around. It wasnt too expensive for my parents since it was 8 years old when we bought it. Also, it didn't have a whole lot of problems with proper maintainance.

Bottom line is,
I thought it was so cool, a BMW for a first car was awesome and the 5 speed made me think it was fast even though it wasnt really that quick (8.4 0-60).
The 5-series was awesome since it was still sporty and held 4 friends comfortably.

most importantly for you and your son, IT WAS SAFE!!! I got t-boned and was fine, in face you could see the cross bracings in the door solid as a rock.

IMHO: Get a used 5-series with a 5 speed and the inline-6 engine! If he likes it half as much as I liked mine he will never forget how much he loved his first car!

Ski-me
10-23-2009, 02:46 PM
Here's my thoughts, I am still pretty close to 17 (I'm 24) and due to New MExico's driving laws i was able to drive by myself at 15 1/2. Just like most kids my age, I wanted either a cool fast car or a lifted truck with mud terrains, I got what I [I]thought[I] was a "fast" car when my parents bought me a '92 BMW 525i. I loved that car, the 5 series was perfect since there was enought room in the back for all my buddies and the ladies when I was drivin them around. It wasnt too expensive for my parents since it was 8 years old when we bought it. Also, it didn't have a whole lot of problems with proper maintainance.

Bottom line is,
I thought it was so cool, a BMW for a first car was awesome and the 5 speed made me think it was fast even though it wasnt really that quick (8.4 0-60).
The 5-series was awesome since it was still sporty and held 4 friends comfortably.

most importantly for you and your son, IT WAS SAFE!!! I got t-boned and was fine, in face you could see the cross bracings in the door solid as a rock.

IMHO: Get a used 5-series with a 5 speed and the inline-6 engine! If he likes it half as much as I liked mine he will never forget how much he loved his first car!

That 5 series is a good option and much safer that some of the other choices. My dad had 3 of those 5 series through the years and they were good, solid vehicles. Not to mention a blast to drive! We learned how powerful that 533i was when my brother went around a corner and powerslid the rear end as we went around a corner..........all on our way to high school.:o

Funny, during our FPU class last night a couple indicated they were looking for a vehicle for their daughter. They found a 2wd toyota for around $5k and were a little hesitant on telling us their "other choice" because we were in a Ramsey financial class. I told them briefly on some of the highlights of this thread and my concern more on safety. They then spilled out that they found a mid 90's Mercedes with 80k and a price of around $5k. Even though the Toyota may be "more reliable" I told them the Mercedes would be a great choice.....at least in my eyes. Mercedes, BMW and Volvos are all known to beef up in the safety department. I would definitely say the Mecedes sedan was FAR safer than a 2wd pickup.

They also said the insurance on both vehicles were almost identical.

This also reminds me of an accident I saw in Seattle several years ago. A young girl was driving a POS Volvo sedan....maybe an 80's era or so. She did not see the flat bed tow truck stopped on the freeway in front of her and she ran into it head on (maybe going 45-50 mph.) I was travelling behind her and saw everything. I pulled over and she was able to get out of the car on her own. The car was totalled but she was OK. She used my cell to call her dad. Big testiment right there!

damaged442
10-23-2009, 03:16 PM
For those of you parents that have bought your kids vehicles, or plan on doing it in the future, your kids are fortunate!

When my 17th b'day rolled around, I brought the idea up to my parents about getting me a car. They laughed at me! It was one of those situations that really floors you when you think you know everything! I was at a loss for words on that one! My first reaction was to be pissed and tell them how unfair they were, you know how it goes. About three weeks later, my mom was driving to the grocery store and passes by a light green 1977 Cutlass Supreme Brougham 4 door. She tells me that she found me the perfect car! We go to check it out and once again, I did not know what to say...there were definitely much cooler cars to be rocking back in 1992. I called on it anyway and the car cost exactly how much I had in my checking account. I figured some wheels were better than no wheels, so I bought it. Whopping total of $1658.50! Had to save three more months to have enough for insurance.

Since I paid everything I had for this car, I did everything I could to keep it up. Here it is, seventeen years later. It still sits in my garage. It's been through high school, college, married life, kids and all. Proudly rocking over 145,000 miles! Now that I look back on it, I'm glad my parents didn't give me the handout, I know it would not have appreciated it. I definitely understand that not all kids were like I was. Like I said, your kids are very fortunate!

Oh, and it's been one hell of a first car!

http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/2/4949/2021/24871010005_large.jpg

mbeach
10-23-2009, 05:12 PM
my son's first car was a 88 nissan maxima with 128k in good (not great) shape that i paid
$1.5k for in 2005. had to have 3 of 6 injectors replaced while we owned it at $600 a pop.
son loved car, a 4d, v6 efi built like a rock. we put a $600 alpine stereo system in
with speakers and you could definitely hear him coming many blocks away. would still have
car but was strictly an around town beater and not for commuting to college 200 miles away.
insurance was negligible with good grades and drivers ed. now he drives our old 98 v70 volvo with 71k miles at a considerable increase in ins. bottom line is start with a safe car
that is good local transportation since car will get dinged up in hs parking lot and the tires
and rims will invariably find the curb on turns. also, sold car for $1.2k 3 yrs later.

Justjoe
10-23-2009, 06:43 PM
I was talking to my daughter about first cars the other day (now, keep in mind that she is only nine, so I'm ahead of the curve a bit).

I mentioned how I think that she should think about saving up to buy a used "short bus". It would be super unique, it would give her a chance to drive all her friends who cant drive to school, I would probably be pretty safe (as it's bigger than an 85 escort). Super awesome all the way around.

She didn't agree. Maybe when she gets a little older she will reconsider.

Justjoe
10-23-2009, 06:43 PM
Plus, I bet we could throw a hitch on it and tow the boat!!!!!

Now how awesome would THAT be!

ski_king
10-23-2009, 06:59 PM
My youngest daughter actually picked out her first car when she was 8.

In 1998 the new beetles came out and as soon as she saw one, she said she would have one some day. Well in 2007, she bought her first car, a 1998 New Beetle, with 53K on it.

mlay
10-23-2009, 07:00 PM
Daughter turns 16 next week. I have never had any luck with fords but found a 2002 escape at a decent price. ~140,000 miles and 6 cyl. Any comments on thist type of vehicle? After my explorer I swore off Fords but that was quite a few years ago. Thanks for any input.

ski_king
10-23-2009, 07:01 PM
My other daughter has a 99 Escort ZX2 which now has about 88K. It has been a good trouble free car.... so far.

TEAL98
10-23-2009, 09:26 PM
I started out in 2002 driving a 1978 Chevy K10 long bed at the age of 16. Her name was "The Rustbucket", and it saw more mud than pavement in the 4-5 months I drove it around. Dad knew I was gunna beat on anything I drove (I was a gearhead, raised by a gearhead). The philosophy he had was that if I wanted to learn how to work on cars, start with the basics. "V-style, 8 cylinder, carb'ed chevrolet engine" and work my way up. Since I loved to go digging the back trails, he was sure sh1t was gunna break... and it did. I learned a great deal from that truck and only wrecked it once, sliding into a tree messing around in the mud. Wish I still had it, but it was slow after 30mph or so, very safe, and I learned a great deal about cars from wrenching on that truck. Would highly suggest a chevy C/K series 73-87 truck! Just my 2 cents