I’ve pestered Oppo’s best & brightest for weeks now. McParland even suggested I finally bow at your altar.

Here’s my situation.

So I’m considering a plan that would see me selling my ‘08 CR-V LX, which I really dislike but that’s another story - glacier blue, dealer installed leather, tint, Alpine Bluetooth headunit, Weathertech mats, and most interestingly a welded-to-the-frame flat-tow package for motor homes (about $1,000 according to my mother in law, who we bought the car from 2 years ago), only 52,000 miles - and replacing it with something I actually like of equal or lesser value.

Based on some nibbles on RV aficionado forums, getting $13,500-14k for the CR-V isn’t out of the question. In fact it seems pretty realistic.

So I’m looking at, in order:

  1. ‘07-’08 Acura TL (avoiding transmission woes of previous years)
  2. ‘09 Acura TSX (avoiding Black Death AC compressors of previous years)
  3. ‘04-’09 Lexus IS (most 300’s seem to have cosmetic issues, which the wife is not really OK with, or are riced out, while the new 250 and 350 sort of strike me as a bit ooh la la, wood trim makes my life complete for my tastes)
  4. ‘05-’09 Subaru Legacy GT (impossible to find)
  5. ‘08-’10 Pontiac G8 (also impossible to find, or are bro’ed out)

All clean Carfax and clear titles, 100k miles or so (fewer preferable of course), automatic transmission (requirement of the wife), preferably 1-2 owners, extensive maintenance records, and within easy driving distance of Austin, TX. No, I can’t buy sight unseen. I flirted with the idea but just got too nervous, even for The Perfect Car.

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There’s an ‘08 TL base at a local used lot, 95k miles but single owner with ALL service performed by the local Acura dealer. I drove it yesterday and it’s in pretty fantastic shape, aside from a slight tear in the driver’s seat. It will need timing belt and water pump soon, which is at least $800. I do weirdly trust this dealer, as he’s the former service manager for the big Honda dealership here and really knows his stuff, when he says it’s mechanically solid with no lurking issues.

http://www.valetmotorcars.com/web/used/Acura…

I just don’t know though. I’m naturally apprehensive of buying from a used lot, especially a car with 100k miles on the clock for the price they’re asking. I was thinking I could offer $12k provided they had the timing belt and water pump job done. That still seems too much though. They’ve already done a full fluid flush (per Honda recommended procedure) and replaced the power steering pump, as well as some minor stuff like complete detail, wiper blades and AC recharge.

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What do you think?

The TSX is attractive as it’s smaller and more efficient, but still pretty well appointed. But if I get that, why not just find a clean Accord with leather and the tech package? I just don’t want an accord because both my parents AND my father in law drive Accords. I mean, come on. Hence, TSX.

I do like the IS300, but I’m 40 and spend 90% of my time behind the wheel in gridlock. The TL is a much nicer place to spend that time - the stereo is wicked and the seats are awesome. The IS is a fun little drive, but they also all seem to need about $500 in additional restoration. Curb rash, melty dash, dead electrics like seat heaters and such. Still, substantially less expensive than the Acuras.

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The maintenance issues with the Legacy GT concern me. Lots of talk about oil starvation and banjo bolt screens getting clogged. I had an ‘05 Saab 92X Aero and loved it, but I have some fear the automatic would just kill that car’s potential even with additional displacement and raw HP. And like I said, I can’t even find one within 1,000 miles of Texas. I could wait ages... although I’m not on any timeline.

The G8 is a very nice car, but is it nice with the V6? I’ve only driven the GT. The interior is surprisingly a fine place to sit and it handles well, which is why it’s on the list. I just don’t know how well it holds up, as the one I drove was new. Also hard to find.

Also looking at a G35 sedan, but those cars just don’t seem to be built to last, at least not to the same degree as the Honda or Toyota products. Both Acuras and the Lexus are still tight and direct. No slop. The G35 I drove, which was an ‘08 with 80k miles, felt... loose. Sort of like a 90’s GM, if that makes sense. I worry about ongoing maintenance.

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Anyway, sorry to inundate you with thoughts and questions, and I totally understand if this is out of the realm of free advice. You do have a business to run! I just can’t really find anything wrong with the ‘08 TL aside from the mileage and the price. I’m also just considering keeping the CR-V another 4 or 5 years until we can afford to just buy me a new (or CPO) in the $30k range.

Thanks for listening!