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Beginner Car Suggestions? Around 3 million in November 2023


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Dear Members of the AutoLanka Community,

I'm looking to buy my FIRST car for daily driving. My budget is 3.0 million. 
My purchasing timeline is November - December, 2023.

Here's my expectation;

(i) Fuel: Petrol
(ii) Transmission: Automatic
(iii) Engine Capacity: 1500 - 1800 cc
(iv) Acceptable fuel consumption in city traffic
(v) Moderate maintenance costs and spare parts availability
(vi) Love youthful/sporty looks but I'm not a fan of speed.

I'm looking at Mitsubishi and Honda as manufacturers.

Category 1 -> Mitsubishi Lancer CK2 vs. Honda Civic EK3

Category 2 -> Toyota Carina vs. Mazda Familia

Category 3 -> Honda Accord vs. Mitsubishi Galant

These are very popular topics in AL, so if you come across an informative thread(s); please be kind enough to past the link(s) here.

Thank you in advance for your time and your effort in keeping this community and forums alive. Your comments and genuine opinions are highly appreciated.

Edited by Lasindu90
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  • Lasindu90 changed the title to Beginner Car Suggestions? Around 3 million in November 2023

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on stepping into the car buying process.

FYI...you technically have only two categories there. The Mazda Familia is in the same segment as the Lancer and Civic. The Carina (kind of) falls into the same segment as the Accord and the Galant.

Right off the bat I can tell you that finding a good Civic and Carina is going to be tough. Most have been either poorly used or used by ricer boys and are in bad shape. The good ones hardly change hands.

Category 1

Civic and the Familia would be the more refined in terms of interior features and finish compared to the Lancer (Mitsubishi plastics feel someone thin and cheapish even if they aren't but the sheet metal is much better). All 3 cars are actually pretty nice to drive so it will be a matter of preference. The Honda feels more direct and planted. The Mazda has an engine that makes you want to rev the hell out of it, the Lancer has a puppy dog feel to it that is hard to explain. All cars have pretty good handling. Ride is not as soft as a Sunny or even a Corolla but is nice firm the right amount so it is not like riding on rocks. Again...being quite old car all this depends on how the car has been maintained.

Category 2: I would say the Carina is the best all rounder. Pretty decent to drive (although steering is a bit too light and feeling less on stock wheels and suspension on non GT grades...easily rectified with slightly wider wheels and even suspension mods). The Accord is the most refined and probably the more better equipped car. The Galant....again.just like the Lancer....but feels less plasticy...feels lighter and nimble that it looks...actually a pretty hoot to drive. The other two feel somewhat grown up and trying to make you feel lazy and comfy.

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12 hours ago, Lasindu90 said:

Category 1 -> Mitsubishi Lancer CK2 vs. Honda Civic EK3

Category 2 -> Toyota Carina vs. Mazda Familia

Category 3 -> Honda Accord vs. Mitsubishi Galant

There are basically 2 categories here 1 and 2 can be considered together. The carina is a bit of something in between. 

As much as the EK3 is a great car - many of them have now been modified (poorly) and abused by wannabe racers. It's rather difficult to source a clean unit. The CK2 again very nice car and  you might stand a better chance of sourcing a clean version. Still a lot of them have been abused  . You're more likely to find abused specimens with these models. This then brings us to the slightly more grown up options the Carina and the Familia - I'm a big fan of the Familia it's an underrated all-round car that get's the job done and not too boring. The Carina is  a bit overpriced but if you find a good clean car then you've hit the jackpot. It ticks your boxes. 

Then the Galant and the Accord - two firm favorites but i'd place the accord above the galant. the thing with the accords re they're not everybody's cup of tea hence usually (note i said usually) they're used by enthusiasts and people who actually love their cars. 

IF this were my choice to make I'd go 


Edited by matroska
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16 hours ago, matroska said:

The carina is a bit of something in between. 

See that is the thing...depending on which you put the Carina in to it either becomes the better choice or the mid/least desirable choice.

Out of the Civic, Familiar and Lancer the Carina stands out as the better choice. But against the Accord and Galant, the Carina sort of sits in the middle or becomes the better (all-round) choice but not the most refined.

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Dear @iRage and @matroska - Thank you very much for your time and valued opinions.

Given that all the cars in this list is on average 25 years old, I think I should keep at least 300K for immediate repairs and replacements. That combined with your comments and my inexperience with cars in general, I'm going to drop Galant and Accord.

As Carina sits in between, I'm not going to drop it just now. Trying my luck in finding a decent specimen.

From Lancer, Civic and Familia; I'm focusing on Familia as the argument on most Lancers and Civics either poorly used or modified very badly or used by wanna be racers is very hard to exclude. I don't want to start hating the thought of owning a car simply because of that.

On final thoughts, putting more effort on Familia and keeping my eyes open for a Carina too.

Thanks again for you two and everyone else on AL for running something like this forum. Cheers!

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