7th Jun 2010, 11:25

I've owned two cars that I knew for a fact had been in rather severe accidents (and, incidentally NEITHER showed up on CarFax). Both cars had been repaired perfectly, and the worst one, which had been sandwiched between 2 larger cars in a three-car crash and had major front and rear damage, was driven well beyond 200,000 miles without a hint of a problem, even though it was a front-drive unibody construction and had had everything in the front suspension, steering and engine/transaxle mounts knocked severely out of alignment in the crash.

Cars today CAN be repaired to like-new condition. Shops have very sophisticated equipment for re-aligning even the most severely damaged areas of a car. It is no longer the problem it once was. I've had dozens of friends who have owned cars that were damaged in crashes and none has ever had a single problem.

The one EXCEPTION is a car that has been in a flood. This can cause latent corrosion in electrical circuitry and be a real issue down the road.

7th Jun 2010, 17:19

Carfax does not generalize as it's very specific to the history since purchase of the specific car. It shows campaigns and recall work actually performed, service intervals maintained, accident damage.

Given the choice, I would buy a car not in any accident instead caring less about Carfax and buying one that may have been in 4 or 5 accidents. It's worth every penny in my opinion.

As far as selling privately, it's hard to sell anymore in this economy over 10k in my opinion. People typically need loans, and for whatever reason my thoughts are they go to a dealer and pay more to somehow feel they are protected. Maybe they have a trade or need financing hand holding. I pay cash for my new cars, but when I sold even I ended up trading. My last car only had 12000 miles on it and I was competing against dealers with high mileage ones who likely have the edge. Even using CL Vehix it's tough. And I had a Honda.

15th Jun 2010, 12:04

This weekend I saw a show-quality 2002 Mustang that had been purchased as salvage for $500. It was displayed at the show with the hood open, and there is simply no way it could be distinguished from a never-touched, right-off-the-showroom-floor car. Would I buy it? You bet. Damage can be repaired.

15th Jun 2010, 18:37

I had a unibody Camaro severe rear end damaged repaired and would look pretty at a show. Never drove right after the accident however. I had one cracked rim overlooked that could have failed later as well. I also found having a reconstructed wreck title made my car hard to resell until I nearly gave it away.

20th Jun 2010, 13:32

I'm working with a friend who drives a Honda. This week I picked him up in our 5-year-old Fusion. He was amazed at the quiet, solid feel and great power from the I-4. His Accord feels like a tin can in comparison. He's now looking at trading for a 2010 Fusion.

21st Jun 2010, 07:16

As little as Carfax costs to set up an account, and as much as late model cars cost today, it is so miniscule as to not even bat an eye to obtain.

You can determine if issues are there, even minor as a negotiating chip that will pay for a 3 Carfax account even for the future. If you like cars it's a great thing.

If money is so tight that you can barely afford a Carfax, why even begin to take a chance not getting one? If there is hidden damage or internal issues unseen or heard, can you afford to pay a lot on repairs?

Buying used cars is a gamble. As many as I have bought, and bringing my car savvy car club guys out with me that have done ground up restorations, still things can be missed. We sometimes will take a partial trade on a car to flip, and get burned ourselves at times. If there's good paint and no frame damage, we can fix everything else, but it's time consuming, and expenses mount to where you cannot get your money out.

21st Jun 2010, 12:19

I actually had the opposite experience. I bought the Accord over a brand new Fusion because the Fusion had an annoying vibration in it while on the test drive, and really didn't feel that powerful. It was an SEL V-6. The LX-P Accord had over 40 less hp and felt more peppy than the Fusion did. The Accord also was smooth as silk and really quiet, even though it was a 4 cylinder. I really had high hopes for the Fusion, and was totally disappointed in it after the drive. I can only hope they improved them with the newest version to compete with the feel I experienced with my Honda.

21st Jun 2010, 16:37

You obviously drove a car with some sort of problem. I've driven a number of Fusions, own a 2006, and we also have a 2008 Lincoln MKZ in the family (same as a Fusion, with 10 grand tacked on). All of them are smooth as silk, quiet and very powerful. The I-4 Fusion is on a par with the I-4 Accord as far as performance, and the MKZ is a tire-smoking street terror. The thing that sold me on Fusion is the incredibly solid feel and obvious build quality. Experts agree. The latest initial quality survey ranks Ford as a manufacturer ahead of Honda (and Toyota is WAYYYY down the list), and the Fusion is compared to the Mercedes E-class and Porsche Panamera.

22nd Jun 2010, 11:15

A Fusion with 10 miles on it shouldn't have "some sort of problem" The I-4 Fusion is probably more peppy then the V6 off the line, as it is geared for around town cruising with a looser feeling accelerator. The V6 was stiff, and really didn't feel too powerful. I was amazed at how nice the Honda drove that first time I tested it. It was super quiet and tight.

I do believe that Ford is ahead of Honda, quality wise, these days. They really do put a lot into their cars, and I always thought they were better than GM and especially Chrysler. I was really let down by the one I drove. I would probably look at the 2010 just to see if it was a fluke. The thing that would keep me from buying another Honda actually is the inconvenience of upgrades and service. I always do my own oil changes, but physically could not reach anything on the Honda. The filter and the plug were both mounted on the back of the engine, which was moronic. Also, upgrading simple things like the rear speakers required disassembling the entire back seat. Even to put in a cargo net took specialized tools. It was ridiculous. They really just want you to spend your days at the dealer paying their service department.

I'll give the Fusion another chance on my next purchase. Maybe I'll have to get the Sport to get that peppy V6 feel!

23rd Jun 2010, 05:26

Why buys a new sound system at a dealer anyway? I take my factory ones out and they know tricks for routing wires quickly. Aftermarket guys with kits that plug in without cutting wiring.