$25k car for 23-year old

Son just got a new fulltime job. Probation is 6 months and lookng for a replacement of his old clunker.

Budget is $25k and I'm overwhelmed with choice. First decision is whether new or used. Being a god OzB, I'm inclined towards used.

I guess the lad wants something with character, but I want reliability.

Please flood me with suggestions!

Many thanks!

Comments

  • +123 votes

    Does he work for westpac?

  • +4 votes

    Used golf gti

    • +1 vote

      What do you think of European cars? We have mixed views of them.

      • +2 votes

        Cant beat them for driving character the kids after. However they attract higher insurance, maintenance costs and fuel costs(RON 95).

        • +25 votes

          Not to mention poor reliability compared to the Japanese cars.

        • +2 votes

          @elektron: unsure why you're being negg'd out. I kinda agree!

        •  

          You can run 91 in a 95 car, the computer will/can adjust the timing belt/chain to synchronize the engine.

        •  

          @thedude23: You can, but I wouldn't recommend it. All it takes is one shitty tank of 91 and you end up with detonation and all the issues associated with that. If you didn't want to pay for 95 the next best option is E10, as it is 94 octane.

        •  

          @thedude23: you risk voiding the manufacturer warranty as well.

        •  

          @apple2016: Fair enough. I was basing it off of this. The guy basically says modern cars will adjust the combustion timing according to the fuel it gets.

      • +4 votes

        I had w204 model Merc C280 . Sold it for 16K with 92000kms. Loved it. A bit heavy due to its V6. Bought recently 2011 the same model W204 C250 twin turbo diesel for 25K. Awesome car. Has all the features and AMG pack. Beside Merc I was also considering A4 Audi Quattro 2.0, from 2012 + for around the same money. Those cars are German built. The manufacturers fixed lots of quality issues since early 2000s for those models.

        • +3 votes

          @Well Wasted: username checks out?

        •  

          Hey we have the same car! Well 2012, coupe?

      • +7 votes

        Don't get a used golf, goes against what you asked for.

      • -1 vote

        I like them but if you're not comfortable go a used focus ST.

        • +1 vote

          Focus ST? yeah (okay). Fiesta ST? Oh Yeah! Fiesta St is one of the most underrated cars, it's snappy and has a great chassis. More like a FWD mx5.

    • +2 votes

      A fan of the GTI, not a fan of the used GTI.

      Buying a used one from an oldie would likely mean glazed bores, and suboptimal power output as a result of their typical driving style.

      Buying a used one from a youngun would likely mean slumpy gearbox from excessive traffic light warrioring.

      Buying a used one from a track sport enthusiast would mean it has been to hell, and then some, and then back. It would have been modded beyond recognition and then mods reversed for sale.

      Stay away from potetial hoon/track cars if you're not looking at one for yourself.

      • +10 votes

        Your advice technically applies to all cars. Not sure why you only singled out the Golf.

        • +3 votes

          You are not wrong.

          Not all cars attract the same drivers and engine capabilities makes a difference. Besides, a driver of a Corolla wouldn't give two carps about glazed bores, whereas the owner of the GTI would be fairly upset to find out the car isn't performing on par.

          Also, not singling out the Golf. If anything, I may be singling out the GTI but I did add that this is true for any performance vehicle.

      •  

        Glazed bores are more prone to diesel engines and only happen if the car is left idling for prolonged times during the first 100 or so hours of operation.

        • -2 votes

          It happens to engines left at a constant RPM which is usually the case when it is idling.

          It also happens when the TCU keeps changing gears when the driver is fairly sedate and/or using the cruise control excessively. The GTI has sufficient torque to hold the RPM at a steady 2.5k when the throttle is babied. Not good for bores.

      •  
        •  

          That's a poor reference. It is a diesel mechanic on a forum. One example.

          Glazed bores aren't a myth. It's physics and it happens to every vehicle. Usually, it has no significant, much less noticeable difference to the average user.

          On a performance car, the increase in friction will decrease power output when measured on a dyno. When doing an engine out repair, you will notice markings/scoring. Sometimes, it is inevitable due to engine assembly. In these cases, you can even see the difference between one cylinder bore to the next within the same engine.

          It is far from a myth but it isn't an issue for the average vehicle used in the average manner.

      • +2 votes

        I would stay away from the DSG models in a used car. One of those dies out of warranty and it will cost a fortune to fix.

      • +1 vote

        I've owned a GTI since 2002 and have been on VW forums/boards since the 90s.

        I've never seen a glazed bore, "suboptimal power" or a "slumpy gearbox".

        I'd suggest jumping on Carsales, narrowing down your search to a few models and then doing research on those specific cars on dedicated forums.

        • +2 votes

          Internet forums give the Golf a bad name. I spent more $$$ fixing Holdens over the years I could have bought a fleet of damn golfs.

        •  

          I'm in those forums too.

          There's hardly any technical discussions there. It's an exchange of mods, experience and problems. A great resource overall but it is limited.

          You're not going to hear of anyone with glazed bores if they do not open up the engine.

        • +1 vote

          @tshow:

          Or more likely: you don't hear about it because it doesn't happen.

        •  

          @GearUp: Holdens are a bad example, any Jap car an most korean cars are light years ahead in reliability than Holdens and still ahead of German cars in reliability and definitely maintenance and repair costs. Realistically the OP should be able to find a Jap or Korean car that ticks all his boxes pretty easily.

    •  

      Golf GTi= FWD and Passat R36= AWD. Better grip and performance.

      •  

        R32. It is a golf and it is AWD.

    •  

      Or any Golf with good service record and low mileage. Up to $15K you'll get a superb hatch. Worth a drive anyway

      •  

        I bought a 2015 highline 40k on the clock for 20 grand. 2 years back he paid 41k!

  • +7 votes

    A bit more info would be good

    Does he want a small, medium or large car (what will he do with it, carrying passengers, loads?) car or SUV (or ute)
    What sort of weekly mileage (kilometerage?)?
    Is he into looks or performance or reliability and doesn't mind owning a grandpa's car?
    Auto or manual?

    Cheers

    At the outset would recommend a late model Toyota corolla or camry, at that sort of dollars you could go for a higher spec model than the standard. Reliable, cheap(ish) to run, easy access to parts…..did I mention reliable?

    • +3 votes

      I didnt want to write too much fear of TL DR…
      He's just a normal 23-year old, typical usage to shopping, work, sports. Not a hoon, not a nerd either.
      Looking for something with character and yet reliable. Budget is upto $25k.
      Just trying to see what cars are out there. Please just suggest any that comes to mind, can be three or five cars, or more.

      • +5 votes

        Choose reliability or character! Most reliable cars are a bit bland because there are lots of them. The more unusual ones are less common, quite often because people don't buy the because they have a perception of being less reliable/expensive to run.

      • +18 votes

        Toyota 86?

        • +1 vote

          Agree, reliability and character. Also perfect for a single young dude.

        • +1 vote

          Definitely agree! Very reliable, cute and relatively cheap to maintain. Also it looks pretty cool (and I have one)

        • +1 vote

          I had an 86 for about 3 years as a 25 year old, and I absolutely loved it. Great looking and performing, and a pleasure to drive.

        • +3 votes

          lol and no speeding fines. Because too slow. If 86, why not mx5?

        • +3 votes

          @TurkishDelight:
          I guess mx5 ok if OP's son is a hairdresser.

        • +5 votes

          @stumo: Get over this lame jokes, it's a fantastic car to enjoy. I would not care about what people say/call. Great Great Car.

        •  

          86 has pretty good reviews, and boy does love it.
          I am still trying to get over his desire to pay $25k.
          Also, not having a manual licence means he will need to get an auto.
          This would somewhat defeats the purpose of having this type of car.

        •  

          @stumo:
          LOL - hairdresser car - the diss by people that don't know shit about cars…

          The 86 is also a hairdresser car. This is coming from someone that owns an original 86 trueno - the real 86 that the buyers of the current 86 don't even know the heritage of.

          The mx-5 is hands down considered one of the best cars of all time, car enthusiasts that like the 4 cylinder turbos or a classic 273 V8 show the mx-5 love - and I'd take one over a new 86 anyday.

        •  

          @jenkemjunkie:
          Some of us are old enough to remember when the mx5 first came out. It was definitely a hairdressers car. And its an image that has stuck unfortunately, regardless of how good they are.

          I for one am still disappointed that they never offered a 13B model, would have changed that bad image instantly.

        • +1 vote

          @stumo:

          As am I…no way should they have put a rotor in that, why would they - it'd wreck its reliability. It'd spend more time off the road for a majority of people. If they wanted that, get an FD

        •  

          @jenkemjunkie:
          Because it would bring together the best of both worlds. MX5 is already a lightweight car even with the crappy I4. With a lightweight 13B in it it would be even lighter and lower center of gravity. and thats before even taking into account the power you can wring from a ro-tang.

          It was simply retarded not to do it. They were both in production at the same time. Even if it was just a limited edition or JDM.

        •  

          @stumo:

          The mx-5 is already well balanced and reliable, it wouldnt have got all the accolades if a 13b was jammed in it. Nobody - but a rotary enthusiast would want to put one in an mx-5…shit reliability, shit fuel efficiency and not many people know their way around a rotor. If you wanted a rotor you would get the rx series. But this is besides the point. The point is the irony that you display calling an mx-5 a hairdressers car when an 86 is considered to be one also.

          And I'm saying this as someone that owns an original trueno (so you should know I'm not young like you think) and done a turbo '5efte' conversion on another hairdresser car…a paseo lol.

          Sure I can't change your opinion that's cool. I guess that I'll have to say I do agree with the hairdresser sentiment anyway haha but an 86 is most def a hairdresser car. If I was to change the new 86, wider tires aye.

          Now I kind of wanna do a rotor mod on a Miata but I don't have the space.

        •  

          @jenkemjunkie:

          I had a factory turbo MX-5 and a normal NB3, they are very slow to get going but great in the corners! Currently have a 86, they are a better daily driver but nothing to write home about.

        •  

          @TurkishDelight: Why not mx-5? I agree, although people might think he was a hair dresser.

          Edit: having replied before reading the entire thread, a Paseo is a haridresser's car, and MX-5 has the reputation of being one, while an 86 is more seen as a boy racer's car. Regardless of whether it's warranted, that's just what the majority of (possibly ill informed) people think, it's not a point to argue except to say that the kid really shouldn't give a crap about what people think and just get what is good/he wants

  • +20 votes

    Isn't $25k too much?!

    Anyway I will recommend Camry or RAV4

    • +15 votes

      Budget is upto $25k, can be $10k.
      Dont think he'd think Camry has character haha.

      • +3 votes

        Well said!

      • +20 votes

        Camry has the character of a wet vegetable.

        • -1 vote

          Yes scratch Camry off the list immediately.

        • +8 votes

          I'm just gonna put it out there that I love my Camry.

        • +3 votes

          @Nuggets: me too, I have multiple cars and the Camry is the one that just works and doesn't have something costing me a crap ton of money all the time. Plus you can fit more in it than a supposed "large" car (friends and gear for road trips etc)! As a guy I'd much rather a big car then a little buzz box like the Corolla, little Hyandai and other such cars.

        •  

          @Nuggets: Me three! Always have multiple cars coming and going but the one car that stays is our Camry Azura! Leather, sunroof and Factory touch screen sat nav from 2002! still drives like brand new 15 years on. But the best feature is that it blends in like a chameleon and we never have to worry about scratches and vandalism unlike our other euro cars!

      •  

        Go for any second hand Jap or Korean car for 10-15k. 25k is really too much for someone who's barely an adult, and really should be setting themselves up before spending unnecessarily on a car. This of course if he doesn't have some large inheritance around the corner, or if he's exceptionally intelligent and hard working and you can bank on him being rich.

        Having said that, if you don't like Camry you can always go for a second hand Lexus, but again this would be overkill IMO

    •  

      Camry…lol really?

    •  

      Perhaps 25k to OP is proportionately less to his budget than 10k is to yours? Could be that spending 25k does not hurt him as much as spending 10k hurts us.

  • +10 votes

    If you are looking value for money Toyota Corolla, VW Polo, kia cerato or Hyundai i30 - they are all within budget probably could get a good price for 2nd hand or ex-demo. -

    Personally not a huge fan of new cars simply because of the $$$ but unless you can get a 2nd hand with low KM i wouldnt go on car sales these days too much crap on there i know people that have had a number of issues from private 2nd hand sales so stick to ex-demo or government car auctions - that might limit what you have access too but you will usually grab a bargain if you are not to picky about what you end up with

    • +3 votes

      I personally like Hyundai i30 altho I never had Korean car.

      New cars/ex-demo is good only if he'd keep it for a long time. I have always bought 1-2-year old cars but nowadays prices of cars are quite cheap, esp with 5-year warranty. It's quite overwhelming to look at.

      •  

        Yea that's fair

        My only advice is cars are personally to come level especially for males maybe let him pick what he wants within reason

      • +7 votes

        The i30's are good cars. We just bought the 2017 new and the base comes with so many extras that there's little point paying for an upgraded model (comes with satnav, bluetooth, reversing camera+sensors, alloy wheels, etc). The only things we did wer paid to get leather put in, and got the windows tinted.

        That said, for a 23yo I still wouldn't buy a 25k car. I would get a second hand car for 5k, or maybe 10k at most.

        • +1 vote

          Why would a 23yo not buy a $25k car though?

          At that age they could have had there first car for 5 years, and now buying something nice.

        • +7 votes

          @smpantsonfire: Because new cars are almost always a waste of money, and at 23 they'd be better off having a 10k car and paying 15k off a house, HECS debt, or just investing it for when they actually need it.

        • +2 votes

          @macrocephalic: Yep, agreed. The nice car can wait until later in life.. good reliable car for around 5k in your 20's is a smart decision. Buying outright and being able to save money is a great thing.

  • -2 votes

    Golf GTI

    •  

      What do you think of European cars? We have mixed views of them.

      •  

        I drive VW Touareg and cannot complain, but it's good idea to bring it to European Car specialist for inspection especially if you decide to go to used card

      •  

        Euro cars are okay, ecspecially the ones that come out of their main manufacturing plant.

        Not all VWs are made in Germany. Many are made in Spain, Mexico, etc.

        The ones that you see as non-reliable are usually the base model. These models use sub-optimal parts (the infamous dry clutch DSG) to meet a price point. They are not an option in home country. These are the ones you hear about having reliability issues.

      • +1 vote

        Lots of people recommend new until warranty runs out. After that, repairs are super expensive.
        I'd personally never get a VW.
        We have a fleet of them at work (I've been driving them for the past 6 or 7 years), it is amazing how many reliability issues we've had.
        The secondary problem is that when you do need a part, you're stuck without a car for weeks at a time while they wait for them to arrive from overseas.

        I agree with other peoples suggestions of a used Toyota 86..

  • +3 votes

    how tall is he?

    serious question - if he is 2m then a suzuki swift or similar car is out of the question.

    does he have 23K cash or is he getting a loan?

    •  

      Good luck finding a comfortable car, if he's 2m tall … even a landcuiser would be pretty uncomfortable at that height.

      • +2 votes

        if 2m tall, play pro basketball.

        • +1 vote

          They'd struggle against this fella

          EDIT: In saying that, if OP was in Melbourne, that fella could've sold them a car.

      • +2 votes

        Leave the sunroof open and drive head out?

      • +1 vote

        I'm 195cm, even an 80 series cruiser is a tight fit.
        Legroom is the main issue.

    • +2 votes

      He's 175.
      Has some cash and will get a interest-free loan (guess, who from?)

      •  

        Other option for interest free loan is the Camry.

        http://www.toyota.com.au/special-offers-and-great-value/offe...

        A bit more than the top of the range, but hey, it's a Camry.

        • +3 votes

          Haha I'll see if he thinks Camry has character.
          BTW Dad has a top of the range Aurion, couldnt be happier!

        •  

          @Pumpkin_rrr:

          Camry's are boring to most youngens. I'm 37 and still find them boring. I had the option of a Camry as a company car in my last job or Corolla. The camry would have taken a larger bite out of my pay, the Corolla was a fantastic little car. Being a manual driver most of my life, their 7 speed autos are really responsive. Overall still a small enough footprint. I don't see him being interested in the Camry but what do I know? :)

      • +5 votes

        interest-free loan

        for a car?

        I've never heard of that…….wait…..is this the joy ahead of me when my kids start driving……

        $25K for a car for a 23year old seems excessive (this is ozbargain and at 23 I was driving a 20 year old toyota).

        a 5 year year old card with low km's e.g. honda civic, hyundai i30, toyota corolla, VW golf, mazda 3

        reliably engineered cars.

        • +6 votes

          Ya welcome to the Millennials…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennials

          Budget is upto $25k, can be $10k…..
          He wants $25k, I want $10k. He wants character, I want reliability… "Facepalm"

        • +20 votes

          @Pumpkin_rrr: hmmm, he can have character when he's paying 100% of the cost. :)

        • +3 votes

          @Pumpkin_rrr:
          Its your money. Just get him the camry. If not he'll be asking for more loans to maintain the car.

        • +1 vote

          @Pumpkin_rrr: I've got ten years on him, and the most expensive vehicle I've every bought for myself was $4800 (my wife's car notwithstanding).

        • +2 votes

          @Pumpkin_rrr:
          if he wants….he can input the 15k difference =)