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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a car for my daughter - she has a son and my priorities are safety, reliability and value.

A very close friend has offered me his father's 1999 RL 3.5 for $10,000 - which is at least $500 - $1000 below wholesale. The car has 51,000 miles on it and appears to be in excellent condition. Recently had new brakes, master cylinder and tires.

If I didn't purchase this car, the alternatives for her would be something like:

- 2004 Malibu LS 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$12000
- 2003 Impala 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$13000
- 2004 LeSabre 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$14500

It seems clear to me that the Acura is a better value, is a better car (tho 4 - 5 years older) and would hold the value better.

My question is whether the age of the car would outweigh those benefits in terms of more maintenance and higher costs of maintenance??

My friend is happy for me to take the car and drive it for a day or two and have my mechanic look over it.

Your opinions would be appreciated! I also own a Mazda RX8 and have benefited from a similar forum at the rx8club.com

Thanks!
 

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No more Acura for me going to LEXUS!!!!!!!!

hey The RLs are nice car they run forever But i tell you it is better to buy one with warranty . 99 rl for 10k go for it .I got one it has been in service for 2 weeks now and still in service cause they tell me that they don't know what's wrong with it and it has 55k miles on it Iam really pissed off right now.I am going to lexus right now i am tired of acura no more Acuras for me .And the thing is that i work for acura and drive them everyday.Make sure u get a warranty before u buy it.wish you good luck
 

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Buy it.

If I were you I would buy the car, it sounds like a good deal, especially since your buying it from a friend. RL's run forever, your daughter would get well over 150,000 miles out of a 99 RL. I would go with it over any GM car, especially a Malibu as I have heard they are P.O.S. after a few years. Check out Consumer Reports to get some reliability ratings on the cars your looking into, by the way they recommend all RL's as used cars.
 

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There is no debate, the RL is by far the superior vehicle. The only scheduled maintenance that will be fairly big $$$ is the 80K for timing belt, but that's 2-4+ years away, depending on annual driving. Do not even think about domesitic iron, check the reports posted by BigDecker and use this link too....

1999 RL Info from Auto Consumer Guide

1999 Acura RL: Acura claimed "more than 400 modifications" for 1999. None substantially changed the V6/automatic powertrain, but side airbags arrived as a new standard feature, along with brighter high-intensity-discharge headlamps; suspension retuning claimed to provide sportier handling, and larger brakes. There were also minor cosmetic alterations inside and out.

If you must, you can use the link to check on those "other" vehicles too!
 

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TJLack said:
I am in the market for a car for my daughter - she has a son and my priorities are safety, reliability and value.

A very close friend has offered me his father's 1999 RL 3.5 for $10,000 - which is at least $500 - $1000 below wholesale. The car has 51,000 miles on it and appears to be in excellent condition. Recently had new brakes, master cylinder and tires.

If I didn't purchase this car, the alternatives for her would be something like:

- 2004 Malibu LS 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$12000
- 2003 Impala 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$13000
- 2004 LeSabre 6 cyl 30k miles - ~$14500

It seems clear to me that the Acura is a better value, is a better car (tho 4 - 5 years older) and would hold the value better.

My question is whether the age of the car would outweigh those benefits in terms of more maintenance and higher costs of maintenance??

My friend is happy for me to take the car and drive it for a day or two and have my mechanic look over it.

Your opinions would be appreciated! I also own a Mazda RX8 and have benefited from a similar forum at the rx8club.com

Thanks!
The RL would be perfect for her. The only thing I would check is the insurance cost and for sure the maintenance cost are just a little higher than most others. The car will never give her problems at all and it is very safe with the side airbags. I used to sell them 97-2000 and there were 2 of my customers that wrecked them pretty badly but they were not injured at all. If I were you I would not even consider the domestic cars because they will for sure have issues. The RL has a bullet proof powertrain that is know for its reliablity as all acuras are. Can't say the same about the others you listed.

You may want to look at some Mazdas as well though. The Mazda6 is a great car that I actually intend on getting. I am going to get the wagon here in the next few months. Great cars with factory warranties for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
gooniac1 said:
The RL would be perfect for her. The only thing I would check is the insurance cost and for sure the maintenance cost are just a little higher than most others. The car will never give her problems at all and it is very safe with the side airbags. I used to sell them 97-2000 and there were 2 of my customers that wrecked them pretty badly but they were not injured at all. If I were you I would not even consider the domestic cars because they will for sure have issues. The RL has a bullet proof powertrain that is know for its reliablity as all acuras are. Can't say the same about the others you listed.

You may want to look at some Mazdas as well though. The Mazda6 is a great car that I actually intend on getting. I am going to get the wagon here in the next few months. Great cars with factory warranties for cheap.
Thanks.

Turns out the Acura would be about $10 - $20 more for insurance than the GM's. I think I'll go with the Acura as long as the mechanic says all ok.

Appreciate all the input.
 

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I've had mine for 3 years...and it has been very reliable. I bought it with 48,000 miles and now it has 74,000. I've had to replace the battery. The only other problems I've had were computer glitches.

The Radio has a code. I found this out when I had the battery replaced. If you don't have the code you have to take the radio's serial number along with your registration to the local dealer. The number is on the bottom of the radio, but many times can be found on a sticker inside the glove box. The number in the glove box does not tell you what it is for. My dealer tried to charge me $70 to reset my radio code. I wasn't to happy when I found out how easy it was to do. Never trust those guys.

One problem was the SRS light on the dash. Apparently the seat belt sensor can give a false code when exposed to signals from cell phones, Siruis radios, or even mp3 players. The local dealer wanted $650 to replace the sensor. I just reset it and didn't worry about it. The procedure is a little tricky to do yourself, but I did it using a paperclip.

Another problem is the check engine light. Always be sure to put the gas cap on tight or it will give you a "check engine" light (using the wrong grade of gas can cause this also). It resets itself after a few trips, or you can reset it by removing the backup radio fuse for about 10 seconds. You will have to re-enter the radio code if you do this.
 
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