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I NEED A MORE DEPENDABLE CAR! I am a single mom living paycheck to paycheck. I have a 2016 Sonata SE 2.4L that I absolutely love minus the oil consumption and FREQUENT spark plug changes, see my discussions for details. Would love another Sonata, but scared of having same issues. I have $ for a down payment & would prefer to stick to certified used cars w/low mileage. A lot of you guys know about cars & I would love your opinion on what to look at. My list in order of what I'm looking for: SAFETY is a given.
  1. Low cost (trying to keep it under 20-22K) and low mileage. I'm upside down on my Sonata, have 7K for down payment.
  2. Reliability/low maintenance cost for up keep.
  3. Luxury - quality of interior materials. After my Sonata, I don't know if I want a car that feels like its cheaply made.
  4. Convenience-All the usual things that would come standard on a Sonata. I don't really need all the newer stuff, like alerts for drifting, passing cars, etc. But power windows and locks, intermittent wipers, backup camera, a decent sound system (just decent is fine) - all the usual.
  5. Engine power- I had a rental after a fender bender a couple years ago and it felt like it wouldn't "go" after being used to my car. I don't need a Sport model of anything - I imagine the insurance is higher, single mom remember?
I have been looking online, but most info is from dealerships, professional car raters, etc. I would love opinions from regular people who have actually had the cars they recommend or maybe know someone who has, whether or not you know anything about cars. Thanks in advance!
 

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Power, luxury, reliability, and convenience don't come cheap.

I'd look for an off-lease Toyota if I were in your situation. Older Toyotas with 200,000 + miles aren't uncommon, but they aren't the cheapest used cars either. I had a 2005 Toyota truck that I gave to my brother in 2009, and it's still running with close to 400,000 miles on it. All we ever did was regular maintenance.
 

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I have been looking online, but most info is from dealerships, professional car raters, etc.
Take a subscription to "Consumer Reports" and look at their car ratings.

If you want a really reliable car (for a time) buy new with a long warranty. If used buy from someone like Carmax with an included warranty.
 

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I NEED A MORE DEPENDABLE CAR! I am a single mom living paycheck to paycheck. I have a 2016 Sonata SE 2.4L that I absolutely love minus the oil consumption and FREQUENT spark plug changes, see my discussions for details. Would love another Sonata, but scared of having same issues. I have $ for a down payment & would prefer to stick to certified used cars w/low mileage. A lot of you guys know about cars & I would love your opinion on what to look at. My list in order of what I'm looking for: SAFETY is a given.
  1. Low cost (trying to keep it under 20-22K) and low mileage. I'm upside down on my Sonata, have 7K for down payment.
  2. Reliability/low maintenance cost for up keep.
  3. Luxury - quality of interior materials. After my Sonata, I don't know if I want a car that feels like its cheaply made.
  4. Convenience-All the usual things that would come standard on a Sonata. I don't really need all the newer stuff, like alerts for drifting, passing cars, etc. But power windows and locks, intermittent wipers, backup camera, a decent sound system (just decent is fine) - all the usual.
  5. Engine power- I had a rental after a fender bender a couple years ago and it felt like it wouldn't "go" after being used to my car. I don't need a Sport model of anything - I imagine the insurance is higher, single mom remember?
I have been looking online, but most info is from dealerships, professional car raters, etc. I would love opinions from regular people who have actually had the cars they recommend or maybe know someone who has, whether or not you know anything about cars. Thanks in advance!

Toyota hands down in my opinion.I would look at a Camry with what you have said.Seven grand is a nice chunk of change to put down on a good used car.The auto industry is getting destroyed,so,do not be afraid to haggle,read that as low balling the cra* out of a potential seller.

If you find a car,feel free to pm me and I will tell you what to look for and how to maintain it once you make a purchase.I have a weak spot for single woman/moms and how they are taken advantage of in the automotive market.Good luck in your search.
 

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SheilaM, if you found a Sonata 2017 with low mileage and well equipped I bet you would be happy. Sell yours old car and add a lot less than 7K , should put you in a better seat, cheaply.
 

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My buddy is selling a Toyota Camry at his dealership right now actually. 2019 Camry XSE with 4k miles, lease return through Toyota Financial. Basically fully loaded minus a sunroof. I believe he's asking ~$27k.

With your down payment you'd be in your price range, depending on how much you're upside down. I'd suggest looking for Camry's similar to this if you can. It's a really great car, I've been in it quite a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Toyota hands down in my opinion.I would look at a Camry with what you have said.Seven grand is a nice chunk of change to put down on a good used car.The auto industry is getting destroyed,so,do not be afraid to haggle,read that as low balling the cra* out of a potential seller.

If you find a car,feel free to pm me and I will tell you what to look for and how to maintain it once you make a purchase.I have a weak spot for single woman/moms and how they are taken advantage of in the automotive market.Good luck in your search.
Thank you very much! I have learned how to do quite a few things in the past year. I can change my spark plugs (in less than 15 mins - from detaching the battery to reattaching), change a tire, my oil and my brakes. I also learned how to do a GDI engine cleaning (using CRC Intake Valve &Turbo).
As far as haggling, no problem. I live in Baton Rouge and lost almost everything in the 1000-year flood in 2016. That's what they called it anyway. I had a Sonata as a rental and fell in love with it. I got mine used - it had been a rental actually. I told them what I could afford as a monthly payment. I went in with the "money guy" and he quoted me a payment $25 higher than what I told the sales guy. I told money man sorry and got up and left. Got a phone call from the salesman 10 mins later. He couldn't believe I had left. I told him that I gave him what I could afford and they didn't hit it. Told him to go crunch some more numbers and get back to me.😂
Camry is one I have been researching. Reviews say it has loud cabin noise. Not exactly sure what that really means - I figure I can always test drive one. I really appreciate your offer for help/advice. I don't have a lot extra $ (taking an early withdrawl from my 401k while penalties are waved and before my engine gives out), so I've been trying to do whatever possible myself. But I really don't trust mechanics. They have a history of taking advantage of people - especially women- who don't know much about cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Look for a good used Toyota Camry or Corolla. After my lease is up in 24 months I am finished with Hyundai, the quality is poor and the dealership treatment SUCKS!!!!!
I agree. I love the car - minus all the parts that make it run, lol. The engine SUCKS and also dealership (and higher up) treatment as you said.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My buddy is selling a Toyota Camry at his dealership right now actually. 2019 Camry XSE with 4k miles, lease return through Toyota Financial. Basically fully loaded minus a sunroof. I believe he's asking ~$27k.

With your down payment you'd be in your price range, depending on how much you're upside down. I'd suggest looking for Camry's similar to this if you can. It's a really great car, I've been in it quite a few times.
I was researching cars today, 2019 Camry among them. I saw that "cabin noise" was a con on a couple different reviews. What does that mean exactly, and do you think it is an issue from your experience in them?
 

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I agree. I love the car - minus all the parts that make it run, lol. The engine SUCKS and also dealership (and higher up) treatment as you said.
I actually like my Sonata a lot and it drives great, however the quality control and dealership experience are sadly lacking. I still enjoy the car a lot, but would not get another one. Another strange thing I really dislike about the Hyundai dealers is they always seem to be aggressively pushing oil additives and fuel cleaners on their customers and I don't like it. Thinking back to all of the many different vehicle makes my family and I have owned, both foreign and domestic, we never had all this snake oil peddled to us by any other manufacturer.
 

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I was researching cars today, 2019 Camry among them. I saw that "cabin noise" was a con on a couple different reviews. What does that mean exactly, and do you think it is an issue from your experience in them?
I'm guessing it just means that there's a lot of road noise that comes into the interior. But I mean that's really any car in this class really. The Camry XSE I mentioned has some pretty large wheels and thin tire sidewalls. Those transfer a lot of road noise. Also depends on the type of tire. I absolutely despise the Kumho Kinergy tire Hyundai puts on the Sonata. Super noisy and a harsh ride even on my 16" wheels. But yeah I can't say my 2019 Sonata's interior is quiet on the road either. It won't be at this price point.

My buddies Camry rode really smooth though, and had a very comfortable interior, and I'm not a fan of leather either.
 

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I deliberately got a 2019 Sonata, because I dislike the styling of the redesigned 2020 model and I thought that all of the bugs would have been worked out already. Boy was I WRONG.
 

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Check out the Scotty Kilmer channel on YouTube. It is all about fixing cars, and the guy gives excellent advice on how to properly maintain and fix your car yourself. He also gives great advice on which makes and models are good and which ones to avoid. He is very personable and entertaining too!!!
 

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I have been reading all over the place that the Sonatas really go through the spark plugs fast for some reason. On a positive note the spark plugs and ignition wires are covered under the Hyundai 5 Year/60,000 mile federal emissions warranty.
 

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My YF has the original plugs.
👍Never heard about a plug problem on the 2.4, but some early 2.0T did have a "minor" problem.

Oil consumption is annoying but far less expensive to add oil when compared to another car purchase. If oil consumption gets to a qt. in the 400/500 mile range, a new engine might be in the works, coutesy of Hyundai.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Check out the Scotty Kilmer channel on YouTube. It is all about fixing cars, and the guy gives excellent advice on how to properly maintain and fix your car yourself. He also gives great advice on which makes and models are good and which ones to avoid. He is very personable and entertaining too!!!
Thank you!
 
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