Friday, April 07, 2006


Maybe, just maybe I can be persuaded to buy a used Mustang convertible? I don't know. I've been looking at new cars and had set myself some guidelines. I wanted something that would be practical and economical, but would have some comfort and be fairly well optioned. I had several must have features; manual transmission, leather interior, multi disc CD player, power windows/locks and moonroof, all for under $20k. And I didn't want something so boring that even if it was new I would beat myself up for the next 5 years.

I test drove Fusion, Sonata, shopped for Cobalt, Caliber, Scion Tc and several others. Many passed the $20k mark and others weren't available with all of the options. For example, a Mustang Coupe does not have an optional moonroof and the Scion Tc can't be had with leather interior.

So I was just goofing around on the computer today, and found the car pictured above. A Mustang convertible, obviously no moonroof, but since the top goes down that's understandable. But it also lacks some of the other key features I was looking for. No manual transmission, no leather interior and no multi disc CD player ( only single disc.) But it is well below the $20k ceiling for price and it's a MUSTANG.

It's a "program" car, that means returned rental car to you and I. It's got just over 14,000 miles and the asking price is just over $18,500 . New enough to feel new, with the remainder of the factory warranty, but not all of the options I want and the dreaded automatic transmission.

So I have more food for thought in my search for wheels. It's not as if I need a new car, I have my truck with very low miles, that is paid for and even though the warranty is up, is trouble free. It's more that I want something new. I had originally thought of buying a new Mustang Premium V6 coupe with the Pony package.

I have some comments that may reveal how I'm leaning on this;

The cloth interior that is available on Mustangs is among the cheapest feeling crap I've felt in years.

The selling price relfects just how resale values on Mustangs have tanked, I mean it's only 1 year old with 14,000 miles and it's so cheap? That's over $7000 less than new.

The flood of "Program" cars onto dealer's lots is going to be good for customers who want a V6 automatic, but bad for dealers who are trying to sell new ones right on the same lot.

For even less money than this I found the same dealer selling "Program" Crown Victorias with leather, nicely equipped.

I'm not sure where I'm going to end up buying, but Ford's chances of getting my money are slim and that's a frigging shame, cause I love Ford. I love a bargain, but is it a bargain if it's not what you really want or need?


Anonymous said...

I like the Mazda6 manual, myself. Union built in Flat Rock, MI, right next to the Mustang. You can get it in sedan, wagon, or hatch, manual or auto, I4 or V6.

I like the Fusion, but you can only get the I4 with a manual. Not bad, but not nearly quick.

I'd buy used, I have had good luck with used cars, and you save lots of money that way.

Cars! Cars! Cars! said...

Wait until you find what you want. Otherwise, you'll beat yourself up.

Me? I'd get the V-8. Why? It's a friggin' Mustang! Do it!

_Jon said...

I figure if it is your "second car", then you should get what you want and then some. It should be a reward to drive it - make you feel special when you roll it out. Hence, I agree with the V8.

Igor said...

1) buy used if you can

2) skip the V6 stang... while it is RWD. a stock Focus can beat it in straight line and definitely in curves.

3) like Cars!x3 said wait till you find what you are looking for

4) DO NOT BUY PROGRAM CARS.. cars from rental fleets are the worst thing you can buy... have you never seen the "food tray" video with a rental Focus.... rental cars are abused.. I would never buy one.

5) As I said before... go for Mazda... it does not have Ford styling, but especially Mazda3 definitely handles like a Ford.. and it is a darn nice car.


Big Ford Fan said...

Anonymous, just try and get that Mazda6 with a manual trans in anything but 4 cyl. The V6 is not availalbe with manual. I'm staying away from used, this was only because of ragtop.

Bob, thanks for the input, but I've had my V8 Mustang, V6 would have done fine. I'm not sure I know what I want, but it's not a rental fleet veteran.

Jon, welcome new commentor, see answer above. Not in a V8 world here.

Igor, always look forward to your comments. I won't buy used, this was just an impulse that's gone away. I've bought used in the past and regretted it. As for V6 or V8, like I said above, been there done that, besides my racing days are long gone. This V6 Mustang has as much power as my old V8 Mustang. The Mazda3 is in the running, but honestly so are the Dodge Caliber and Chevy Cobalt. So it comes down to value and price.