Buying 1st Year New Model Vehicle: Mistake?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Shane Martin, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    When a new vehicle comes out you are told not to buy the first year of that due to bugs that need to be worked out. Now I would say that is most often true with everyone but Japanese cars, is that true?

    I'm thinking of buying an newly redesigned 05' Toyota Tacoma. I don't think I should worry but I'm asking in case..
     
  2. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    I bought the first-year '99 Camry Solara ... best car I ever owned - I got over 150,000 miles out of it with no under-the-hood replacements (not even the original timing belt) and it was still running perfectly fine when I got rid of it earlier this year.

    Sometimes good car manufacturers overengineer stuff to compensate for the unknowns. But then there are those very unknowns that haven't had the trial-and-error experience to weed out defects introduced from new technology.

    Like my new '04 Solara, for example. They added a tire-pressure sensor somewhere between '99 and '04. And the darned thing goes off very frequently, even though the pressure is fine - this can lead me into a false sense of security, then when there really IS a tire problem, I won't know it because I can't trust the thing. I'm sure it's a tech problem because another Solara owner at work (who has one of the more expensive SLE versions) reports the same problem.

    Anyway, perhaps it's a good idea to check out Consumer Reports or an online car review website before making a big decision like that.
     
  3. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    I say go for it. I bought a '99 Acura TL it was the first year of the allnew redesign, best car I have ever had. In fact in '00 model they added a 5 speed auto transmission that has had frequent failures. My 4 speed has been perfect. Toyota's have an excellent quality reputation Id say not much to worry about, they also are good about standing behind their vehicles.

    If you are really worried by an extended warranty, would likely be less than $1000 and is good for peace of mind.

    P.S. the new tacoma's look to be a very nice truck!
     
  4. RichardK

    RichardK Second Unit

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    the only time i dont buy in this case is if it is
    a new, never before released model line from the manufacturer...
    ie the G6 from pontiac.
    ie the honda crv when it was new,
    ie the toyota sequioa when it was new
    the 6 series bmw could potentially fall in to this category since it is being brought back..., etc, etc.

    to me, the tacoma doesnt fall in to this category even though it is redesigned etc, etc... if it was that different it would be a whole new model, along with the tacoma discontinued and this as the 'replacement'

    ymmv and good luck
     
  5. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Shane -
    I just checked out a few sites on it, and it looks like a great truck...I'm especially envious of the 6-speed manual tranny, that sounds awesome.

    As a previous Tacoma owner, i would have no qualms recommending them even as a new model. I would be careful and wait until some basic crash test info came out on low-speed impacts and costs to fix; that was my one major gripe about my 98 Tacoma; even the slowest impacts cost big bucks to fix.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Matt,
    I'm leaning towards that or the new Nissan Frontier but the Toyota is definitely the one I prefer. The only thing I don't care for is the integrated dash for where the radio sits. It is going to be tough to replace that radio [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    My current car is a 2000 Ford Focus, the first year it was released. There were a couple of minor recall repairs, but no problems other than that.
     
  8. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I don't think it's as much of a problem as it used to be perceived to be. I think that most companies are wary of expensive recalls nowadays and they know that common problem rumors spread on the internet car forums like wildfire.

    I would be more worries about the company adding or changing something on the car to make it more attractive after I bought it.

    Take the SSR from Chevy and the GTO from Pontiac. After one year, they are both getting the new LS2 engine from the Corvette. That's a significant increase in power for both of them. Those early owners have gotta be pissed, especially the SSR owners.
     
  9. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    Agreed.



    Being a former Tacoma Owner I say go for it. What an awesome truck. A huge upgrade to the one I had
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Usually you can find out ratings on 1st year cars.

    I bought a '96 Dodge Avenger (a never before released model) because of the good ratings it got, the only thing they didn't have specs on was the longevity and resell value, but what the hell, what car is guranteed to be a great car???
     
  11. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Just bought a 2004 nissan quest first redesigned year. But then again so was the frestar, seinna and the 2005 honda odessy. With the warrany and such as long as the dealer is reputable I can't see any problems that may arise wouldn't be fixed anyway. I say if you like it buy it.
     
  12. JasonMC

    JasonMC Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a a new, never before released model line from Honda in 2003, the Pilot. It was based off of the Honda Odyssey and the Acura MDX. I haven't had any problems with it. It's a great SUV.
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    As a general rule it's safe to buy most Japanese makes in the first year of production. Some glitches may show up in the first couple of months but nothing major and service bulletins are usually issued even before the customers start having any problems.
    Toyota is aware of this, tech assistance is having us measure the circumference of all 4 tires to see how much variance there is, one customer with this problem had one tire that was about half an inch greater in circumference than the others so she got a new set of tires. They're also telling us that new tires sometimes vary from one another in sidewall stiffness which will also cause the problem, even if all 4 have the same circumference when measured with the car on the rack.

    I'm personally of the opinion that they made the system too sensitive. Siennas had the same system (uses abs wheel speed sensors to detect differences in wheel speed due to low tire pressure) starting in '98 and never had so many "false alarms".

    4-Runners use actual tire pressure sensors in the valve stems that are tiny transmitters! They're battery powered and are turned off at the factory to conserve the batteries, ya gotta lower pressure by 15 psi and raise it back up again to turn 'em on during pdi. The new Mazda 3 has the same system as an option.
     
  14. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Ha, I just learned something about my new car! I got a Mazda 3 Sport GT earlier this summer, and I'd totally forgotten about the tire pressure monitoring system. Thanks Steve!

    '04 is the first year for this model, but I'm confident in Mazda's engineering that it will be as trouble-free as can be expected. (Let's face it, *&^$ happens.)

    I sold my 93 Mazda MX-3 V6 to make way for the new 3, that was a great little car, too! (93 was the 2nd year of that model)
     
  15. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    While Toyota usually makes reliable cars, apparently the V6 2003 4runner was not so hot during its first year. In contrast, the V8 version was fine.

    I know someone who bought a 2002 Ford Explorer (this was a redesign year and it was within the first six months it had been out) and it had quite a few problems at first. Ford finally flashed the cpu with the latest software and it improved so dramatically that it even got slightly better fuel mileage. Another friend bought a 2004 Explorer and has not had one problem during the year they had it.

    IMO it's best to at least wait 6 months just in case there are issues.
     
  16. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Supporting Actor

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    I've had my '04 Mazda RX-8 for just over a year now. It's a completely new design -- body and engine (unless you consider the engine a re-design of the RX-7's latest engine). I originally had worries about buying a first-model-year, but that's why I got the warranty. I didn't want to wait for the '05.

    In your case, being a re-design, I don't think it would be much of a factor.
     
  17. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    There was a recall on the V6 for a potentially faulty fuel pressure regulator. From my experience at the shop we haven't had any particular problems with the V6 otherwise, but recalls scare people and it wouldn't surprise me if this was the sole reason for the low rating.
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I bought a Mazda 3 S model sedan on July 31, probably the US model equivalent to yours--2.3 engine and manual trans, with 17" wheels/tires. I didn't get the tire pressure system, nav., or xenon lights on mine. They're in short supply here and of the total of six Mazda 3s my dealer had only the one I bought had a manual trans. It's Velocity Red, has leather and moonroof/6cd pack along with the sport pack. I love this little car, have had zero problems in the 6 weeks I've owned it. I think these little Mazda 3s are as close to a BMW as you can get for under 20k, certainly a notch or two above the usual Civic, Corolla, Sentra. Mine has a 6/04 production date, about 9 months into the production run, I think. Some early buyers over at the Edmunds forums site have reported AC deficiencys but mine handles the 104 degree Fresno summer just fine.
     
  19. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    My $.02: I bought the 1st year 3rd generation Altima (current model) and had several problems with it, none of them were major but still it was in for something or other every 4-6 months. If you dont mind this occuring, then go for it. But it will happen, it always does.
     
  20. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds nice, Steve. Do you have a spoiler? I think the red sedans look pretty sharp with it!

    Mine's a Winning Blue Mica 5dr (I guess the term hatchback is no longer). We got everything except leather & auto, plus window tint. Splurged on the factory MP3 player, too - it's great to have a ton of tunes on one disc & have the track info on that big ol' display. AC was good this summer.
     

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