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Dear All,

I’m new to Sri Lankan roads. In my thinking best means reliability, dependability, comfort and performance. Looking to buy a such ride for me around 4M. I know I can’t go for a new one matching these criteria with my budget. So I’m fine with an old car. Following are my concerns.

- I have 3kids in the family so the car has to be bigger or it has to be a SUV

- I don't have much time to hang in the workshops, So I expect a vehicle not fragile with less frequent repairs.

- Parts must be available; it doesn't have to be in every shop here and there. but at-least in couple of shops in the country (doesn’t has to be so cheap, but available)

-Availability of reliable workshops; I can’t afford IWS or D*MO; but it doesn't has to be cheaper like a normal garage

- Having a fuel efficiency of at-least 6km per liter

- I don't care about the registered number

-having some resale capability (at-least within 4 months)

What I understand from studying a bit, different models of the same car have huge gaps in reliability and market price in Sri Lankan roads. As an example W211 E200 Komp has more market value that E240. Highly appreciate if you can guild me and suggest few options/models. Country of manufacturer doesn't matter.

 

Edited by Douglas Dragonfly
missing criteria

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Posted (edited)

I would go for nissan skyline v36 or mark x as well. Only issue is that both are rear wheel drive and have a centre hump which makes them more a 4 seater so 3 kids in the back won't be that comfortable - unless they are smaller. And finding cars that have not been molested are the issue for these two models. Not sure if a 2005-2007 Forestor would fit your budget. If so would be ideal. 

Edited by RWD
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Posted (edited)

BMW E36 320i.. Can never go wrong.

Fits your criteria well! 

Reliable, easy to work on, cheap parts, good resale, comfy and a looker. Should do some preventive maintenance (upgrading plastic water pump into a metal propeller one, suspension parts, seals) with a specialist shop like Milroy or Ultimate Motor Works. 

Or a Toyota Mark X is a good choice too. In fact it's faster than the E36. 

Edited by AVANTE
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It would be a lot easier to find a 3 or 5 series BMW than to find a good Mark X or even Skyline. Been helping some people look for Mark Xs the last few months....there are only a few around and most of them are junk and requires significant work. Good ones nearly hit the 5mil mark. As for the rear hump..it is not that much different than that of a 3 or 5 series..but yes...the person sitting in the rear middle will have to be small...but then you cannot fix a child/boost seat in the middle.

I too do believe that RWD hit the mark (pun intended) with the Forester suggestion :) 

There are a few CL series Accords around...pretty nice to drive and doesn't have the hump problem. There are Teanas as well, whilst being luxurious, they are as exciting as eating an unsalted frozen cucumber. If you don't mind going for something older....there are some Chasers, Mark IIs and Crestas around. Although RWD the body shape gives it a lot more interior space than the Mark X. Most have been converted to Tourer V or IR-V spec. Some are good and legal conversions whilst some are dodgy. 

 

 

 

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Sedans : Honda Accord 2010ish ; Similar vintage Toyota Camry; Early 2000's Merc (Kompressor would be in budget) 

SUV's : Suzuki Escudo/Vitara (~2008)  Similar vintage CRV 

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18 hours ago, RWD said:

I would go for nissan skyline v36 or mark x as well. Only issue is that both are rear wheel drive and have a centre hump which makes them more a 4 seater so 3 kids in the back won't be that comfortable - unless they are smaller. And finding cars that have not been molested are the issue for these two models. Not sure if a 2005-2007 Forestor would fit your budget. If so would be ideal. 

Ditto that @RWD if safety & performance as well as space are all criteria of note then my vote goes for the Forester as well

Don't believe what those who've never owned a Subaru say about parts or maintenance costs - i think i've written about this at length somewhere or another on the forum!

The SG series Foresters (2002-2007 post 2005 facelift) i've found to be a little more rugged than the SH (2008-2013) which sell from 4.5-6.5 Mn

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20 hours ago, iRage said:

It would be a lot easier to find a 3 or 5 series BMW than to find a good Mark X or even Skyline. Been helping some people look for Mark Xs the last few months....there are only a few around and most of them are junk and requires significant work. Good ones nearly hit the 5mil mark.

 

 

 

Just out of curiosity have you come across any GRX 130's in your hunt. Any idea what the asking price is on those? Very few around and its a newer car so less chance of abuse. I wouldn't mind getting one down the line as a second car when finances improve. 

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22 hours ago, iRage said:

It would be a lot easier to find a 3 or 5 series BMW than to find a good Mark X or even Skyline. Been helping some people look for Mark Xs the last few months....there are only a few around and most of them are junk and requires significant work. Good ones nearly hit the 5mil mark. As for the rear hump..it is not that much different than that of a 3 or 5 series..but yes...the person sitting in the rear middle will have to be small...but then you cannot fix a child/boost seat in the middle.

The white one you found recently for that guy was a minter no? Got it for a good price too. Surely then there are good Mark Xs out there with a bit of searching? 

Also, what do you say about the Gloria/Cedric? 

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2 hours ago, RWD said:

Just out of curiosity have you come across any GRX 130's in your hunt. Any idea what the asking price is on those? Very few around and its a newer car so less chance of abuse. I wouldn't mind getting one down the line as a second car when finances improve. 

There are only a very few 130s around. Sadly because of the tax structure most people did not go for it. Also....considering that the 130 is pretty much the same as the 120 mechanically....it was a bit of a turn off as well. There was one for sale earlier this year and asking price was 8mil..then went down to the lower 7s. The Final edition and last YoM Mark Xs are holding value pretty well over here. 

21 minutes ago, AVANTE said:

The white one you found recently for that guy was a minter no? Got it for a good price too. Surely then there are good Mark Xs out there with a bit of searching? 

Yes it was pretty good. Only a few niggles here and there. However to find that he had to go through quite a lot of junk for normal prices...and then for the good ones the prices were quite high that he had to do a lot of negotiating (and still pay a premium).

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On 7/29/2020 at 11:59 AM, AVANTE said:

The white one you found recently for that guy was a minter no? Got it for a good price too. Surely then there are good Mark Xs out there with a bit of searching? 

Also, what do you say about the Gloria/Cedric? 

Don't forget the couple of CIMA's & FUGA's we have here @AVANTE with the 4.5L V8 as well I believe ;)

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1 hour ago, Devinda_Z said:

Don't forget the couple of CIMA's & FUGA's we have here @AVANTE with the 4.5L V8 as well I believe ;)

Oh yes yes. The president, fuga.. And even the baba Teana. Lots of options. Depends on owners taste and pocket depth. 

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7 hours ago, Devinda_Z said:

Don't forget the couple of CIMA's & FUGA's we have here @AVANTE with the 4.5L V8 as well I believe ;)

Which generation of Nissan Cima is it?

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3 hours ago, Magnum said:

Which generation of Nissan Cima is it?

@Magnum we have a couple of F50 generation CIMA's & at least 1 Y51Fuga

 

One of the Cima's was used by a senior MP

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Fuga!!! Man I love the way the name just rolls of the tongue. The way they say it in those Japanese Commercials is so cool.

Must be like driving a barge but looks so comfy.

 

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10 minutes ago, RWD said:

Fuga!!! Man I love the way the name just rolls of the tongue. The way they say it in those Japanese Commercials is so cool.

Must be like driving a barge but looks so comfy.

 

It is more like driving a dingy boat on a sea of jello :) But it does move nice and smooth and soft in a straight line :) 

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Guys, I am also interested for a vehicle in 4-5 mil range. Here are my priorities,

- Should have a large boot

- Comfortable 

- Smooth performance (2L engine?)

- Reliable (i don't want to spend time on workshops) and parts availability

- Nice interior (so no to allion and similar)

- Don't mind much about fuel, my current one only does 8-9 within city, so even 7-8 is ok.

- Liquidity - I don't mind selling its a few hunded thousand less after 1-2 years use, but should be sellable within a month max.

Currently the only ones that interested me was a Kia Optima 2014 and a Teana 2010 J32 2.5 XV.

Optima was quite modern with lots of bells and whistles, but had a few issues so backed out of it and I think its gone now anyway.

Teana does not have all the bells and whistles of the Optima but still respectable. Any experience on its CVT box and anything I should look for especially?

Any expert help on this is much appreciated.

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Accord / CRV/ Camry

Optima and Teana will be hard to sell but you will be able to buy a newer car

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Wbt a 2008ish Cefiro? Ticks all your boxes. Can be had close to 3 million. 

Fully loaded comes with stuff like sunroof/cruise. 

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Thanks for the suggestions. 

Hmm.. I didn't like the camry's interior. Felt a bit cheap. 

The CRV that fits in the range is the 2007, which is quite basic actually. 

I am looking to switch from a 2011 elantra, which has a really nice interior. Since I spend most of the time looking at it, interior anesthetics are a priority for me. 

I couldn't find any accords for sale. Will definitely take a look if one becomes available. 

6 hours ago, fiat fan said:

Wbt a 2008ish Cefiro? Ticks all your boxes. Can be had close to 3 million. 

Fully loaded comes with stuff like sunroof/cruise. 

The cefiro you are referring to is the j31 right? The j32 is looked at is also quite good. 2 things I am contemplating is its resale hassle and the stories I heard about the cvt in general. Is the cvt troublesome in the j32? 

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11 hours ago, lkRaven said:

Guys, I am also interested for a vehicle in 4-5 mil range. Here are my priorities,

- Should have a large boot

- Comfortable 

- Smooth performance (2L engine?)

- Reliable (i don't want to spend time on workshops) and parts availability

- Nice interior (so no to allion and similar)

- Don't mind much about fuel, my current one only does 8-9 within city, so even 7-8 is ok.

- Liquidity - I don't mind selling its a few hunded thousand less after 1-2 years use, but should be sellable within a month max.

Currently the only ones that interested me was a Kia Optima 2014 and a Teana 2010 J32 2.5 XV.

Optima was quite modern with lots of bells and whistles, but had a few issues so backed out of it and I think its gone now anyway.

Teana does not have all the bells and whistles of the Optima but still respectable. Any experience on its CVT box and anything I should look for especially?

Any expert help on this is much appreciated.

well as a person who timely switches cars i can tell u that its no easy task to sell or exchange any car within a month unless you are willing to sell it at a ridiculously low price to a car sale or a reseller as there are not a lot of people who have 4 million lying around to do drop purchases. Most people looking for cars beyond 3 mil are very careful and take their time to get the best possible deal for their hard earned money so not sure where the magical car you are looking for fits well. 

As for your choices the optima and teana both are good cars for use but you would have a hard time trying to sell them secondhand even at low prices as the buyer base in sri lanka has some inconsistent buyers who keep hunting for "branded", "japanese", "beige interior", "Pearl white", etc bullshit cars. from experience toyotas do go faster in the secondhand market but for a family use car other brands are pretty good too. specially Hondas and Mitsubishis.

My recommendations would be Toyota Sai or Mark X (if you can find it), it has a large boot, averagely good fuel economy(sai), a premium looking interior and a good second hand market value. The engine capacity fits ur requirement and would offer you some good performance in both city and outstation. these cars came with sunroof, heated seats and stuff so might tick most of the boxes for you. 

Other options may include lexus RX350,400, They come with premium plush interior, good engine, sunroof, electric tailgate and whatnot, also included a hybrid version in 2008(might be a little more expensive). 

 

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29 minutes ago, HaeylM said:

My recommendations would be Toyota Sai or Mark X (if you can find it), it has a large boot, averagely good fuel economy(sai),

Dont we have like only one or two Sai in the country ? Finding one would be quite difficult...but on top of that there is the whole issue of the Hybrid system being completely knackered by previous owners.

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I actually looked at a few Lexus', but all had been abused. Its very hard to find a good one. One thing I noticed is that, most of the reasonably priced vehicles are cooped up by resellers within days or hours after advertising and they keep a 3 - 4 lakh margin when reselling in this price range, maybe even more. 

Actually all the cars discussed here are hard to find. So I will have to keep looking :). My heart is 60% with the teana at the moment, but I am afraid of its reselling potential (especially If I have to keep it for 3 - 4 months to sell). Also due to the import ban, I think there is a sudden demand for registered vehicles now.

Edited by lkRaven

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2 hours ago, iRage said:

Dont we have like only one or two Sai in the country ? Finding one would be quite difficult...but on top of that there is the whole issue of the Hybrid system being completely knackered by previous owners.

There were quite a few brought down back then due to the revised tax structure. I had a friend who got one down and ran it for a while before switching. But yes the car would have gone through some rough use depending on how badly the owners used it. But given its rarity there could possibly be well looked after ones.  Most of the other cars within his budget are either with smaller engines and less luxury features. 7mil would have been a good starting point to get a Crown or newer Accord. 4Mil would mostly include abused mid range luxury cars. The cheapest ideal newer and less abused sedans in his budget(clearly not a luxury car but just a normal sedan would be either Allion, Civic Fd, Lancer Ex or Axio, prius etc.. ) 

 

Or of course you can do the whole buy a toyota and put in lexus badges or buy a honda and put in Gold or RS badges. Maybe thow in some V*P stickers and strobe lights for extra HP. 

😂😂

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20 hours ago, lkRaven said:

 

Currently the only ones that interested me was a Kia Optima 2014 and a Teana 2010 J32 2.5 XV.

Teana does not have all the bells and whistles of the Optima but still respectable. Any experience on its CVT box and anything I should look for especially?

Any expert help on this is much appreciated.

I used a Teana of this gen for many years with little problems.

The only issue I had was with hard shifts on the CVT: It was caused by a loose power connection to the solenoid switch inside the transmission which is a common (known) issue and was an easy fix: It just required the transmission pan to be dropped, and as far as I know (wasn't there to watch) it was soldered in place while the car was on the lift. Pan was cleaned, fluid replaced, and that was that. 

No other issues other than worn out lower suspension arms which were easy to replace (but that's common with all cars and I just see that as normal wear and tear).

Its, a great commuter car with lots of room. Worked out well for me and I enjoyed owning it. The family liked it too, as the rear seats are exceptionally comfortable with lots of rear leg room (It has more rear leg room than most cars in its class). It was decent on fuel for a car of that size, and it was exceptional in traffic and was decent enough the rest of the time: A great all round car I feel. 

Its not under powered by any means: But it is however, a commuter car and not a driver's car.

The Optima however is very visually striking though. Its a very clean sleek looking car. And most of the reviews on it are complimentary. You should definately test drive that along with the Teana before making your final decision. As far as reliablity and comfort is concered though: I would say the Teana might win out on that front. 

Edited by Kavvz
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@lkRaven nice killzone profile pic! 

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5 hours ago, lkRaven said:

My heart is 60% with the teana at the moment, 

I doubt you'll find it unsatisfactory: I sold mine and replaced it with a different (cheaper) commuter car only to hate it after being used to the Teana. I ended up finding another slightly newer Teana listed at a good price and bought that one.

No harm done: I made a small profit by flipping the cars and ended up with a newer Teana... so all was well :D  

Edited by Kavvz

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