Avalon 2004 or BMW 2004 3series
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I’ll agree with kenzo. its safer to buy a Japanese car because you have easier access to parts and a long list of mechanics who what they are doing.
as for what to look out for;
Mileage, make sure you test drive it, listen to the engine ( i heard a good engine brings of steam in the mornings), make sure there is no smoke coming from the exhaust. and of course the price 🙂
my 10 cent advice for you:
I will advice you go for the Avalon over the BMW as your first car. you can add the bmw to your fleet later.
Get the chassis number of the vehicle and get a full report of the vehicle to know the history of the car including accident and flooding, maintenance record.
if this comes out good, do a physical check on the vehicle and look for traces of flooding, accidents and any part recently replaced.
Get a good and trusted mechanic to help you ascertain the condition of the vehicle through a physical inspection and test driving.
Congratulations on your achievements. More blessings on you and your family. My 2 cents : the Toyota us much much much much much easier to maintain. Im not talking about the cost of maintenance per se but the EASE! I have a 2000 model benz and not too long ago i know how long i waited in the market for compressor. But in the same shop i was waiting all the Japanese cars had compressors in cartons. Never had a bmw but i think the same problem may exist, especially as the models get older. Avalon is a luxury build. Strong and prestigious. You should enjoy it.
What to look for when buying? I’d suggest going with a mechanic to help you inspect. Can also go with a scan tool to see the car’s faults live. Check for funny sounds when the engine is on. Check for shock absorber efficiency and smoothness of handling during a test drive. Accelerate and check if the car jerks while switching gears. Check the brakes too (please do this before accelerating lol). Check the electronics and lights (functioning switches, lights, trafficators, wipers, ac). I would have said check mileage but that really doesn’t matter if all these other things are cool. Besides dem dey adjust mileage now o. No kidding.
If i think of something else i will let you know. Good luck