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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

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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