Home » When Was The Last Time Someone Actually Took Your Car-Buying Advice? Autopian Asks

When Was The Last Time Someone Actually Took Your Car-Buying Advice? Autopian Asks

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Being a car person comes with a distinct set of responsibilities, one of which is that everyone in your life will come to you for car buying advice. This would normally be fine, if the end result wasn’t that your advice gets routinely ignored. Now, if you’re just trying to convince your friends to buy heavily-depreciated German luxury cars, being ignored isn’t such a bad thing, but when you’re a small voice of reason who just wants people to not get screwed, it’s aggravating to see someone who should be driving a reliable Corolla driving something that very much isn’t a reliable Corolla.

For instance, I have three different family members who each paid money for a Nissan Versa Note with the infamous JATCO CVT. Now, I love these people, but a Versa Note with the CVT isn’t the greatest car in the world from a performance, longevity, NVH, build quality, reliability, or ease of maintenance perspective. It’s exceptionally cheap and astonishingly roomy, but so is an IKEA bag, and I’d rather not drive around in one of those.

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Conversely, the last time someone in my life took my car buying advice, I was just convincing a car friend to do something stupid, so that doesn’t really count. However, I have a weird track record, in that I’ve been able to successfully recommend a Genesis G90 and a Lexus LC 500 to people. Needless to say, they absolutely love them.

So, when was the last time someone in your life actually took your car buying advice, and how did it go? On the flip side, when was the last time someone completely disregarded your car buying advice, and what happened?

(Photo credit: Lexus)

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Afikid2006
Afikid2006
3 months ago

My in-laws. Both are still driving cars I researched and recommended. Father in law drives a 2017 Miata after he totaled his beloved first gen TT. Mother in law drives a 2018 Telluride for grandma duty. Two for two in two years!

Holly Birge
Holly Birge
3 months ago

In 2012, my mom’s car died rather suddenly. She was looking at a 2 year old, high mileage Hyundai. I told her that for the same price she could have a brand new Honda Fit. She bought the Fit, and 11 years later it is still going strong.

Myk El
Myk El
3 months ago

People usually don’t ask me “what car should I buy?” but rather they present me with “I’m thinking about these 2-3 models, what do you think?” and I present them with what I know about expected reliability reviews and so forth and let them make the ultimate decision. If they ask me which I’d take I usually answer “none of the above” because my tastes far more often than not lie elsewhere. If pushed, I’d say if the only three kinds of cars in the world were the three they were looking at, X is the one I’d take.

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli
3 months ago

ACCEPTED: Both my siblings bought Telluride/Palisades for their families of 4 and have seemingly enjoyed them with no significant issues.
DENIED: My buddy bought a 996 turbo with a bunch of red flags. It became disabled on his way home an needed a tow. Upon initial inspection, it was found that the shift cables had snapped. Upon further inspection, it was found that a turbo was completely seized. Now, he bought it right enough that he might still be cash positive on it and he’s enjoying the shit out of it. From my one drive in it, I enjoyed it, too. I don’t regret that he bought it one bit 😉

MP0W3RD
MP0W3RD
3 months ago

#NORAGRETS

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
3 months ago

I helped my cousin purchase a CPO last generation C Class.
She’s been happy with it ever since.

Mike B
Mike B
3 months ago

My mom bought a new Pontiac Vibe in 2002, it was one of the first ones in the area. She was looking for a small hatchback-y car after driving a minivan for years while us kids were young. She had looked at a PT Cruiser, and I told her she should check out the new car that Pontiac just came out with. The local dealer had one, and she brought it home the next day.

From there she went to a 2010 Cadillac SRX, which I did NOT advise her to get. I will be happy if she never gets another GM car, that thing is such a pile. I’m trying to steer her into a Rav4 hybrid for her next vehicle, but for some reason she thinks she needs a 3rd row. Ok, so get a Highlander then.

She was set on the VW bus thing that is supposedly someday coming out, I’ve been gently trying to dissuade her from that one every time she mentions it.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
3 months ago

I actually got to help a friend spec their Cayenne! Neat.

Sometimes I hear from people who’ve bought 944s, too. There was also a Lemons team who brought my Panorama article on hooptie racing to Lemons Tech just to cite my advice of “buy a beater Porsche and send it.” That was cool.

Ron Bitter
Ron Bitter
3 months ago

My father has taken my car buying advice a number of times. He bought a used Range Rover a few years ago and loved it but hated his local dealership and difficulty with service/parts availability. When it was totaled due to a flood I told him to check out the Lincoln Aviator. He bought one and loves it too.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
3 months ago

Convinced my roomate to replace his Prius V with a Prius Prime. Have been using his success with that car to sell other folks on PHEVs since 🙂

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh Jones

I’m kinda stuck on what I’ll get when my Prius v dies. I don’t know that I want to downgrade to a smaller Prius, but if that’s the next best thing, I guess I’d still look for a gen 4 Prius. PHEV wouldn’t work for me as a work-from-home apartment dweller whose geographically closest friends and family are also apartment dwellers.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

If you’re not interested in PHEV, I’d probably actually suggest going outside of the Prius line personally. I actually like the look of the current gen, but I don’t really think the non-EV version makes much sense compared to a normal ICE vehicle right now.

That said, it’s getting easier and easier to find charging infrastructure available, even for folks in the middle of nowhere like me, and (other than the relatively tiny tank) the prime is pretty decent even when you can’t find a place to charge 🙂

Your name suggests you might be happier with a Van, though 😉 follow your dreams, get a van!

Alex Gornicki
Alex Gornicki
3 months ago

My wife’s mother now drives a Lexus thanks to my car (an IS), and also thanks to her old car (a Jaguar X-Type). My sister in law drives a RAV4 thanks to my car, as well. Her old car was a BMW X5 that her husband insisted was the best car to reliably transport her and my niece… that thing did not like to run properly. The transmission broke while it was being moved onto a train to ship when they moved across the country.

My wife now drives a Tundra instead of a Ford F150, also thanks to my Lexus.

Last edited 3 months ago by Alex Gornicki
Headfullofair
Headfullofair
3 months ago

In the mid-2000s my grandparents asked me about what car they should get. I told them to check out the Scion xB, because it was so easy to get in and out of, had tons of headroom for my two-meter-tall grandfather, and was fairly cheap.

The sales associate didn’t want to show them the vehicle and was obviously mad to have two elderly folks teetering around the “youth brand.” My grandmother, who did all the driving, loved it.

My grandfather praised the design and was impressed by the practicality, but clearly was having issues with being seen in a weird-looking foreign car. He ended up borrowing money from my great aunt to buy a Ford Tourus sedan. He’d groan getting in and out of it and curse when he hit his head on the door frame.

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago
Reply to  Headfullofair

I know corporate Toyota wanted to market Scion as the youth brand, but did that attitude really trickle to the dealerships too? I’d assume they’d just be happy they sell.

Headfullofair
Headfullofair
3 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

You’d think so, but I believe the sales opener was, “really, are you sure? Do you do a lot of highway driving? Because I think you’d prefer the comfort of a Camry or Avalon.”

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
3 months ago

Ha! Never. Ever. People gonna buy whatever they want and my advice isn’t going to to a damn thing, they’re looking for confirmation of their (usually poor) decisions. A co-worker who was looking to buy his first nice car several years back asked what I thought he should buy. I steered him toward the then-new Genesis G70, which was getting amazing reviews at the time. He proceeded to completely ignore this advice “because it’s a Hyundai” before buying an Infiniti Q50. Sigh.

I also collect watches… nothing especially extravagant but I’m reasonably discerning and have a properly snobbish attitude toward “fashion watches”. A friend asked me what she should buy for her husband who isn’t really a “watch guy”. I recommended a Tissot PRX quartz- attractive, well-made and from a proper watch manufacturer. The price is even reasonable for a fully Swiss-made watch. She, of course, runs out to Dillard’s and comes back with some Chinese-made Michael Kors piece of crap.

Never recommend anything to anybody and you’ll never get your heart broken by the bad choices of others.

AceRimmer
AceRimmer
3 months ago
Reply to  DialMforMiata

Oh, gawd. Working at watch stores for years (including Tourneau in Vegas), I can’t tell you the amount of hearts broken when people would bring in their Kors or Hilfiger or similar to find out they’re crap. Even more sad- and hilarious, would be the Fauxlex and Fauxmega crowd. “Yeah, my uncle game me this!”
“Sorry, it’s fake.”
“That bastard!”

Nico
Nico
3 months ago

I have my own preferences of vehicles but as an automotive accountant, I value being independent and non-biased when giving car buying advice. I first ask the friend or family member, what do they want out of the car. I beg them to be honest because sometimes people don’t want to say they want a car that gives them a certain image. Once they give me their requirements, 80% of the time they need a simple car to carry people or commute to work so I always recommend Toyota/Lexus. However, if they want more spice in their commuter, I tend to push to Mazda.

For the other 20% that want something sporty, safe, or image-focused, I tend to recommend Porsche, Volvo, or Mercedes. I almost never recommend American brands unless the person wants a V8 truck or a muscle car. But generally, almost everyone takes my advice except for people with a very low budget (less than $10K) because they usually go for a cheaper option than a Toyota/Honda and each time it’s backfired on them because the car needed extensive repairs or left them stranded.

Best advice that I give is make a short list of vehicles and test drive every one before making a decision because they need to love the vehicle since they will be driving it every day for the foreseeable future.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nico
Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
3 months ago

I don’t want to try to talk somebody into buying a car just because I like it, I want them to like it. That’s usually my advice, buy something you like, something that excites you. Don’t go and spend a mountain of money on something you’re lukewarm about just because it meets certain logical criteria or because someone else likes it. People like cars for differing reasons and you should enjoy one of the most expensive things you’ll ever buy instead of spending 10’s of thousands of dollars to be bored to death.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
3 months ago

Sister in law bought a vibe and loved it, then wrecked it and bought a matrix from the same dealer. I count that as a win.

My grandma, a little 80 year old lady is rolling around in a bright blue RAV4 on my recommendation and man she loves that thing haha. That’s about it though. People don’t like good suggestions.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
3 months ago

I’ve gotten two friends each into a Rav4 hybrid and another into a burgundy grandma-spec Avalon that avoided the Toyota tax. I’m not even a Toyota guy, but sometimes your friends tell you why kind of car they want and a Toyota is at the top of the recommendation list just based on features.

My greatest victory is talking all three into holding out for a real color. The Rav-4s are blue and purple.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
3 months ago

Almost every time someone in my life buys a car. And they’ve always been German (except one Toyota, and recently anything BUT the Toyota), and usually heavily depreciated. Not a single complaint yet. They’re all firmly brand loyal now, to boot. So, I think it’s going well!

One of them has a gen 2 EA888 in it, though.

Pray for me, fellas.

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
3 months ago

I worked with a guy who was fairly cheap. Like, did the math on the price difference between buying a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and a plain sausage biscuit and scrambling his own egg at work and adding cheese himself cheap.
So this cheap guy was looking for a reliable, safe, and most of all cheap used car for his teenage daughter. We all know that Hondas and Toyotas tend to command a premium price model for model on the used market. He wisely didn’t want to buy a total crapcan that would just need repairs later. He wasn’t much of a car guy(ask him about carbon fiber racing bikes though!) and didn’t know where to look for hidden gems on the used market. So I pointed him to the Pontiac Vibe. Pontiac was quite dead at this point so the name didn’t mean much to non-car people. But car nerds know that at its end of days, Pontiac put out a few decent rides. The Vibe is one of those.
I explained to him that it was essentially a Toyota wearing Pontiac skin. It had a Toyota engine, transmission, and most of the other vital parts as well. It was exported as a Toyota in right-hand drive for international markets. And guess what else? It was cheap. Much cheaper than a Civic, Corolla, Matrix et.al of similar year and mileage just because of the name. He looked around our local market, found a clean example, and snapped it up. When I moved away 8 years later his teenage daughter was off to college and he was using it as his daily.

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