Best selection is a "program" car

Your best bet is a low mileage used car, particularly a so-called program car.
Make your selection and take it for a short road test, as the dealer
expects any prospect to do. If you like the car, then proceed:
Since its a used car, the dealer will not object to your taking it for an extended road test. Offer to pay the gas in all fairness and tell him you want to drive it a couple of HOURS or even a DAY. You need to put on about 100 miles to really know the car enough to lay down your cash and buy it.
The advantage of a long test run is to really check out the car. You will learn if it consumes oil, overheats, loses coolant, has any vibrations at high speed & check its handling, braking, steering, shifting when warm, behavior on hills, etc., etc.
Think back. You don't know what you have until you've owned it a while. An extended drive will wring out any problems that you will otherwise unpleasantly find out if you don't. The dealer should not object, since what's a hundred miles more on a car that already has maybe 15,000 miles? If you offer to pay gas and he refuses you, go somewhere else where the dealer has nothing to fear from potential defects being revealed.
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Good points. I also suggest at least a one day trial for a new car. My preference is a rental of several days. It's amazing how many new cars don't drive as well as my 12 yr old Chrysler LH car.
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I agree. I had an Intrepid (10 years old) and I never had a more comfy ride. That is, of course, until I stumbled upon the 19 year old Grand Marquis I drive daily now. I don't know what I'm gonna do after this. I've been spoiled by the smooth ride and an engine compartment big enough for even my fat fingers.
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I was referring mainly to handling, but as you say ride and I'd like to add quietness. The newer Al engines just aren't as quiet as the cast iron ones.
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If you go on a diet and get some more exercise, the enginer compartment of your next car will be big enough. ;-)
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:

I would be offended by that and probably sue you for defamation or something, but my 12 step program has brought me past the "denial" stage. "My name is DJ, and I'm a Twinkaholic."
Here's an image for you... A 260 pound 6 foot plus man lying upside down on the drivers seat of a '96 Neon wiring up a remote starter under the dash. I had steering wheel marks resembling a C-Section for a week!! :)
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My mother-in-law owns a Florida 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis with 24K miles that she only drives a few months a year. Send email if you want to make her an offer! :)
My parents also owned a 1993 Marquis that they finally sold last year and I agree that this was a smooth and quiet ride...
Bob

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You can say that again! New cars are getting worse gas mileage as well, if that sticker on the window means anything.
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Be careful of "program" cars! Many dealers have a tendency to call ALL of the vehicles they buy at Ford dealer auctions, "program" cars, they are NOT.
"Program" cars are vehicles that were previously owned by Ford Motor Company. The are vehicles that were use by executives, reps and other employs of Ford Motor Company and maintain by Ford Motor Company. Cars that were owed by Ford Motor Company were never titled and displayed "manufacturers" license plates when in use. True "program" vehicles will display a label that says among other things, "The only owner of this vehicle was Ford Motor Company."
Off lease vehicles, rental and other 'buy backs,' repossessed vehicles and other vehicles, that are also sold at Ford dealer auctions, were owned by Ford Motor Credit, not Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor Credit vehicles are vehicles that were titled and thus used cars, like any you find on a dealers used car lot. They will NOT display the label that says, "The only owner of this vehicle was Ford Motor Company."
mike

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Not sure about the "program car" stuff.... What I do know.... don't test drive a car that is on the lot and then order one because "that" is the car you want.... Mass production can yield two identical cars that can be worlds apart... The only sure way is to drive the car you are going to buy and base your decision on that expereince and only that experience....
If "that" particular car is not to your liking... and I am talking "feel" - not appointments/colours/what-have-you.... If this car does not have the "feel", don't buy it....
I don't know if I am different from other folks, if I am I don't know how..... but if I drive a car, I get this "feeling" that this one is a good one - and I'm never disappointed.... I get feelings that... well, I can't say that "this is a bad one", but the feeling is that this is not the car for me....
Like the Indian in one of the Poltergeist movies.... "this car is unhappy...."...
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If by "program" you mean a lease return, then I could not agree more!
This is EXACTLY what we did when replacing out totalled 1994 GC.
We actually took the car for a 4 day "test drive". We drove down to the USA, and out the valley. The dealer was cool with it - after all it had been on thier lot for almost 8 momths and had over 90,000 kms on it. We found some issues, ALL of which were promptly addressed. We even low-balled the guy, and he gave us a super price on it!
As a precaution against a Chrysler product with that kind of mileage on it, we purchased the GM "Total Plus" warranty for 24 months / 40,000 kms. Best $2000 we ever spent - especially when they have paid for over $5000 woth of work to be done in the last 7 or so months! :)
And the van drives like a dream! We drove a LOT of these vans, and NONE of them floats along like this one!
On Tue, 3 Apr 2007 22:33:48 +0200 (CEST), George Orwell

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