2010 Ford Fusion -or- 2009 Chevy Malibu

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacFan782040, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan782040

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    #1
    Hey Everyone, hopefully some of you more "car-smart" buyers out there can point me in the right direction. Or offer advice if any of you have these cars!

    Here's my situation. I'm a 22 year old recent college grad who is looking for a better car. I just got a decent job, and I currently have a 2001 Hyundai Elantra with 167,000 miles on it. While I can say it runs fine, I know it's not worth much and don't want to spend any more money on it in the future. I need something more reliable and want something more sophisticated.

    I'm looking at cars in the mid-size category. I've narrowed it down to an '09 Malibu or a 2010 Fusion. (I would go with an '09 Fusion, but I like the new '10 styling). I would like to buy used at all possible, but I realize there are not many used '10 Fusions out there yet.

    I would have it financed, payments of $250-275/month is ideal for me for 60 months. I will probably sell my current Elantra privately in order to get more than I'd get in a trade. I'd also put down about $1,500 cash. I am looking to spend no more than $17,000, (including trade, cash, tax, rebates--everything)...although part of the reason I am posting here is to figure out if it is smart to go with a new 2010 Fusion over a used 09 Malibu, and spend a little more to get a new car.

    I've found a 2009 Malibu LT w/1LT sticker price of $14,995. It has 30,000 miles and in excellent condition.

    I've found a 2010 Fusion SE invoice price of $20,500.

    I basically have 2 things I need to decide. Can I afford the Fusion? The rate the dealer gave me is 4.99% @ 72 mos (~$300/month), vs. my 6.5% used car loan @ 60 mos (~$260/month). And, which make would I choose? I have to say I like the Fusion a little better (more sporty), but is it worth the extra price? I have never bought a new car before. I'd obviously take the depreciation hit, but maybe it would be smarter because it has less miles, better APR, etc.

    Right now the Chevy dealer is searching me for the best equipped Malibu they can find in that price range. I'd love to get a car with (in order or pref): Satellite Radio, Sunroof, alloy wheels, heated seats; while I realize I will have to compromise some of these features due to my price range.

    Sometimes I wonder whether I should be buying anything now at all, and just save my money. My way of looking at it is: I am back to living with my parents (for the next year at least), and so my only bills are phone, insurance, and student loans. If I have extra cash, I'd probably spend it rather than putting it to a car payment. Also, if my current car breaks down, say...next Tuesday... I will have to scramble to find a new car that I want quickly, and may not have time to shop around or find one with all the features I want. And it'll make the value of my Hyundai less. On the flip side, I can maybe get a used '10 Fusion in March/April.

    I am stuck! If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!
     
  2. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #2
    Isn't the Fusion a hybrid? If that's in your top two choices I would recommend that as the amount of money you save on gas over the life of the car is going to be tremendous.

    Plus Ford's doing quite a bit better than GM these days.
     
  3. MacFan782040 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan782040

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    #3
    Well the Fusion does come as an available Hybrid, but that's way over my price range. I do agree that Ford seems in the better place, I just don't know if I can afford that. I can probably get the Malibu down to $14,000 flat, and then minus $2000 for my Elantra, and $1,500 cash down, I'd finance about $10,000.

    For the Fusion, I'd have to finance almost double that..... Does anyone out there have a Malibu?
     
  4. leomac08 macrumors 68020

    leomac08

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    I would mos def get a 2010 Ford Fusion, DOHC 3.5L V-6 263HP, AWD

    does around 0-60MPH in some 6-7 seconds...

    that's if you want a car with good performance...

    the 2009 chevy malibu is a 3.6L V-6 253HP w/ 6 speed automatic

    it can probably go 0-60MPH in some 7-8 seconds.

    the ford fusion gets better traction and balance with AWD.
     
  5. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #5
    I would not buy neither but i guess go with the ford..
     
  6. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #6
    If you have excessive student loans, I would pay off that first. You say you are going to be living at home but have a decent job. So, assuming you buy a car with a payment close to 300/month and have your student loans, if you move out in a year will you be able to afford it or will it tie you down financially? If you are worried about this, maybe save up for a year for a large down payment so when you move out your payments will be lower.
    Consider the increase in insurance rates as well. I'm sure loan rates are different all over the country but you should "shop" around as well. I can get a used car loan for 4.99 apr/60mths at my local credit union.

    If you are set on getting a car, the next question is why Ford or the Chevy? One thing to consider with both of those brands is depreciation value and reliability. Fords and chevys tend to have a dramatic decrease in value compared to the hondas, toyotas etc. I'm not a ford or chevy car fan so take it as you wish.

    My alternative choices:
    Nissan Altima - decent power in the v4 with excellent gas mileage, large, the keyless entry/push button start is an added convenience.
    Honda Accord - reliable, great resell

    Things to consider: Don't mention you want to trade in your car until you have settled on a price. If you trade in your car, remember that it will deduct from the price paid on your new car meaning you pay less taxes. It is also possible sometimes to sell your car on your own and run the paperwork through the dealer. Beware because often fees will offset the savings in taxes on a car of little value. If you buy new, search edmunds "name of car" OTD price and you will find a forum where people publish their prices paid. It will give you a better idea of how good of a deal you are getting. Also, never talk pricing based on payments and always NEGOTIATE. You are the one with the money, let them know there are several other options.
     
  7. BackInTheSaddle macrumors regular

    BackInTheSaddle

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    #7
    Both are excellent choices. Mom currently has the 09 Malibu and it is a great runner, high quality vehicle. It has the 4 cyl engine which has decent power and good acceleration for most situations. It tends to be a little slow going up hills if you've got the car full of people and cargo, otherwise it's a very well-mannered and economical car. Currently getting over 30 MPG on the highway with it, avg about 25 mixed city/hwy.

    I've also driven the Ford Fusion up in Alberta while attending a rodeo. It is a fun car to drive. The fuel economy is not as strong as the Malibu, but the interior seems a bit more comfortable and is easier for entry/exit than the Chevy.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either, but I'd lean towards the Chevy (being a GM guy).
     
  8. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    Two things I would consider:

    First if you do buy used, go through a credit union for financing. Very good terms for the most part. Usually new you can get a lower offer, but it may be worth it to get your own financing as you might be able to get rebates/cash back.

    Second is why buy new? It will take a big hit for depreciation. If you can find a 2 year old car with a warranty or CPO it will probably be cheaper. Or even if the car is out of warranty, repairs aren't too expensive and will be cheaper than buying new for most cases (high end vehicles may be more). Just get an inspection before you purchase.


    Usually every 5,000 you finance is a 100 dollar a month payment for a 5 year term.
     
  9. MacFan782040 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan782040

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    #9
    Thanks everyone for all the replies.

    I wanted to go with a Malibu, because honestly it is the cheapest in the size class, and I like the way it looks better than a boring Accord or Camry. Also, it got some pretty good reviews and won Car of the Year for 2008.

    And Ford, because I think the Fusion is the best looking car in it's class. I would love to have a Fusion sport, with a 262-hp engine and spoiler/sunroof. It's just out of my price range now.

    The Altima...eh...Nice car, agreed. Just something about it I don't like personally.

    -Through my credit union, I can get a new car loan @ 4.99 for 60 mos. Likewise, I can also get a used car loan at the same rate and terms. (So this is the same financing the Ford dealer wanted to give me).

    -The Chevy is a Certified Pre-Owned, so I have an additional 12 months/12,000 miles everything / and original 5 year/100,000 powertrain.

    This is a strong option for the Malibu. Has XM and Sunroof. $14,995.

    . This would be my choice for Fusion Obviously packed with features and a better car overall, but comes to $21,500 (called Dealer this morning. BTW, this is a new car, they have it as "used" so they can add their own photos to listing they said).

    So I could probably get the Malibu for $14,000 flat and the Fusion for $21,000. Is it worth the extra $7,000? I could probably afford it, but might become a little tight at times. (Again, I don't mean not having money for food, clothes, shelter, utilities) I mean like not having money to take a trip or go out to eat as often. But yes, I do need to consider when I move out will I be able to still afford these monthly payments. I do plan on paying off my loan sooner than the 60 months, as whenever I have extra money I'd throw it into the loan.
     
  10. jo0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    must admit the fusion is looking pretty sessy
     
  11. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #11
    The Ford Fusion is a great car. If I was shopping in your price range, I would get one. The Malibu is not a bad car, though.
     
  12. jbro1999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #12

    agreed. Although Ford has the SYNC. I just got a F150 and LOVE the SYNC. Works great with my iPhone
     
  13. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    Fusion looks better, but not $7000 better.

    I would get the malibu. My brother has one as a work car and says its nice. Nothing special, but he likes it.
     
  14. MacFan782040 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan782040

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    #14
    Hey guys,

    Just an update...I ended up getting the Malibu!! Just picked it up today, and so far everything is great. It's a really nice car and I'm glad I chose it.

    For the record, I was able to get it for $13,995 + tax, tags, title. I did not trade in my Elantra, as I will sell it privately for more money.

    Is a 2008, has 34,000 miles, sunroof :D, XM, OnStar, GM Certified (bumper-to-bumper) for 12 months/12,000 miles (and rest of 5 year/100,000 powertrain warranty) and a good tread on the tires. I'd say that was as close to a steal as you can get.

    Here's a photo. Thanks again for all the replies!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #15
    The Malibu can do 0-60 in 5.9 seconds with the V6.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/updates/2007-saturn-aura-xr

    Yeah, it is for the Aura XR, but it is the same car. :p

    And congrats on the Malibu. I have a 2007 Saturn Aura XR which as stated earlier is pretty much the same car.
     
  16. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #16
    Good decision. Buying slightly used, high depreciation cars always made sense to me. The Malibu is often overlooked, because the previous models were mediocre. The new models are surprisingly good cars. XM is a must, but the Onstar subscription is not necessary.
     
  17. iMJustAGuy macrumors 68020

    iMJustAGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Beach, FL
    #17
    The newer (08 and newer) Camry's are/look AMAZING! Even the its only got 4 cylinders that puppy will GET IT. A lot of the new cars are starting to look really good. Hell, even the new focus's don't look half bad.
     
  18. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #18
    I know looks are subjective, but you're joking right? It went from bland to ugly IMHO. If it didn't have that lip over the grill, it may be ok looking, but seriously? Toyota's exciting designs died back when they killed all the sporty models like the Supra, MR2, etc.
     
  19. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #19
    I love the current Malibu. The only thing is I wish there was an AWD option. My sister has a 2002 Malibu and has had no mechanical problems (other than a wheel bearing going bad), even after wrecking/being hit 3 times.
     
  20. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #20
    Epsilon I is not capable of AWD( hell Epsilon I is not capable of a lot of things.... Hell, there are three versions of Epsilon I). Epsilon II( which the LaCrosse, Regal, future Malibu, future Impala, and future XTS rides on) pretty much fixes those issues though. So I wouldn't be surprised if the 2012 Malibu gets AWD.
     
  21. iMJustAGuy macrumors 68020

    iMJustAGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Beach, FL
    #21
    Really? I LOVE it. It's beefy and almost sporty IMO. (It's obv not a Camero, but you know what I'm saying)
     
  22. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
  23. iMJustAGuy macrumors 68020

    iMJustAGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Beach, FL
    #23
    I went online the other day to find a giant apple logo sticker to pretty much fill or at least half way fill my back window but was unsuccessful. :( No such stickers seem to exist.
     
  24. oogieboogiex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    #24
    congrats! sounds like a damn fine deal, and it's def a nice lookin ride... haven't been a fan of GM's styling for a while, and I especially was not a fan of the malibu since it came back, but the newest version is changing my mind
     
  25. MacFan782040 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacFan782040

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    #25
    Agreed. I would have never bought a Malibu before the mid-2008 redesign. Oooo so the first time I drove it at night I discovered the cool blue ambient lighting that shines from the ceiling and behind the door handles. Very very cool!!!!! :D

    Ps- yeah it's only a 4-cylinder (didn't get V6) but this thing is still pretty peppy! MPG's are around 28 or so on the highway (that's driving 75).

    Maybe it's because I went from my 01 Elantra, but the headlights are VERY good. Low beam is better than my Elantra's high beam, and they are just so bright and light up everything in the distance.

    I'd say I'm very satisfied with it so far.
     

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