Hey all, I have a choice between these two cars and could use any advice or experience you have.
Here's the skinny. The Mercury will cost me (taxes, fees, license, etc) ~$3500 and the Grand Prix will cost me ~$2400. In terms of my own finances, I can buy the Grand Prix outright, but the Mercury I'll have to make payments for about 3 months after the down payment.
The Mercury has 150k miles on it, the Grand Prix has 170k on it.
I checked both their Carfax reports and both cars have had 3 owners. The Mercury started as a rental car and then had two owners who "drove it less than the industry average". As I mentioned, the Prix also had 3 owners. Neither car has had any significant work done.
The Mercury is right on mark with the Kelly Blue Book (KBB) price. The Prix, however, is about $1-2K short of the KBB price. I asked the dealer why, and he said one back door was dented in and could not be opened. Would that alone count for the ~$1-2k difference on the retail price?
So I think that's some of the background of the cars. I need a car that will do mostly highway driving with good gas mileage. It seems both cars have similar MPG, is that true? I drive twice a week but on those days I drive a bit over a hundred miles and it's all highway driving.
Besides test driving both these cars, I don't know what else to look for or watch out for, so this is where I ask your help. The Prix seems like a good deal, but that's what has me worried. The Mercury seems to be priced accordingly which makes me feel a bit better. What should I watch for in these two cars while test driving? Or what should I ask the dealer?
If you can, please limit your help to choosing between these two cars. I'm at the point right now that I'm just going to test drive and see which feels better. Is there anything I should listen or watch out for in the steering or transmission? The brakes? Any known defects in these models?