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I used to work for Mercedes-Benz, and I am a car nut, so I'll tell you what I think, and be as objective as possible.

If you are in the market for an affordable car that will last forever ($20-30,000), the best bet is Honda or Toyota. Specifically, Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Some say the styling is a little boring, and I do have to agree, but these are solid cars, very well built, safe, last forever (if you treat it nice) and will not be as expensive to repair.

If you are looking for a car that is a little more expensive, you have a lot of choices--Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Cadillac, Audi, to name a few. Mercedes, from speaking with engineers there, are some of the best cars ever built. But so are BMWs. These are high quality cars that give you a beautiful ride and have the most updated safety features (for 2000 anyway). And these manufacturers spend millions making sure they make great cars. But repairs will definitely be more expensive on these German cars.

Cadillac, and all of GM for that matter, is unproven, having only recently turned a corner and made some better cars.

Also, check out Consumer Reports...every Spring (April, I believe) they release their annual report on cars. It's unbiased information, short term and long term, for every make and model.

Don't buy into the latest fad, buy a car that is functional, nice to drive, roomy, and will last forever.

That is truly Foolish.
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