Sunday, June 22, 2014

Need your input

When you're not in a hurry to buy a car, every decision is like the debate on what to do to save Iraq and Syria. I go back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth. So here is the car I checked out this afternoon. Tell me what you think.

It's a 2007 V50. 2.4 liter normally aspirated engine. Front wheel drive. Automatic. I've given up on finding a manual. And having driven a manual V50 and a manual C30, I don't care much for the feel of the light clutch anyway.

This one has 64,000 miles. Low. And it's for sale by a private owner. Only about two private owner cars show up on Craigslist locally every month. And the price is great. Blue Book is $8,900. This one is listed for $7,800.

It started life as a European delivery car. Its first home was in Washington, DC. And there are plenty of scratches on the bumpers to prove that it had been parallel parked a lot. That's one concern, as I would want the plastic bumpers either repaired/repainted or replaced.

The first owners also failed to fix these two large-ish dents on the passenger side. The current owners, a nice couple in their 40s, who bought the car three years ago, never fixed them either. That's a bit odd, because the car is otherwise well taken care of and comes with full service records. Can these dents just be popped out?

The car is now used by the couple's nanny. They are replacing it with a new car.

I really like the barents blue exterior and the light interior. I don't know what the seating surface material is, but it's breathable and looks easy to clean. I also like the wooden center console (most V50s have a metal center console). The interior is in excellent shape. It is missing a little plastic piece that sits on the base of the rear driver's side door's lock tab.

Another slight concern is that the owners hesitated about letting me take the car to an independent shop for an inspection. They offered to let me look through the service records and encouraged me to call their mechanic, who just installed new brakes a month ago. The mechanic is very highly rated on Yelp.

So should I buy it? My wife likes the car and trusts the current owners. The Carfax report came back clean.


mtc said...

What is their concern regarding independent inspection? Perhaps you can try to allay that concern, whatever it happens to be.

Those dents will come out. Talk to the mechanic. If nothing raises flags, then I'd take a flyer.

Christopher Diamond said...

Don't like the wood 'trim' inside, but the dents and dings don't much bother me. Especially if it runs well.

The beauty of a slightly dinged car is that you don't have to worry someone putting the first chip in your bumper. Which, at least, helps *my* sanity

Maxichamp said...

@mtc: I think it's a combination of 1) they need the car for their nanny all week this week and 2) they're generally skittish about strangers taking their cars.

Ed Kim said...

Yeah I wouldn't worry about the dents. A good paintless dent removal guy should be able to take care of that for no more than $150. And paintless dent removal is the way to keep the original paint!

One thing to mention (since I was once shopping for V50s too before I ended up with the Jetta Wagon)...if you use your phone or other portable device for your music, you may have some challenges here as the V50 didn't get an auxiliary input until the 2009 model year. Here's one guy's fix for that problem:

If the car checks out otherwise, go for it. I really like these cars. The price is certainly right.