Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 56

Thread: Need a new car

  1. #1
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mahomet Il
    Posts
    1,309

    Need a new car

    Sadly, yesterday a teen driver pulled out from a side road yesterday and now my car I just paid off two weeks ago is in bits and pieces. Luckily it went down fighting and protected me. I am bruised and sore, but am here(backboards are horribly uncomfortable for a ride in an ambulance).

    Anyway, I need a new car, and since I was not looking at all because I was happy with my car I really have no idea what to get.

    So suggestions on what have been good reliable cars. I don't like big cars, mine was a little sports car, but I think I may want to go into a 4 door sedan as our SUV is getting older and we need something we can all go in. Driving wise I live 12 miles from the town I work,swim and shop at, so more than 50% highway miles. Was not sure if a hybrid is worth the cost with so much highway driving.

    So, what is reliable, decent fuel economy, is not huge, handles well, looks nice, and is under 25k?

  2. #2
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    12

    Re: Need a new car

    You might want to check out the new Chevy Malibu. There is a new mild hybrid model too. It turns the engine off when the car is stopped and starts it again when you hit the gas, not too saving in the highway mileage though. I must admit though that I am biased since I work for General Motors. Regardless though, if you are interested in any GM product then hit me up with a PM as I might be able to help you a bit with a purchase. I would love to assist a fellow swimmer.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,955
    Blog Entries
    565

    Re: Need a new car

    Honda Civic or if you absolutely insist on something bigger Honda Accord.

    I have a Toyota RAV4 and I like it. It's great if you're looking for a smallish SUV. I do mostly highway driving and get between 25-30 mpg. People seem to really like the Prius, too, if you're looking for a hybrid. It's under $25K and has plenty of room. Expect to get about 45-50 mpg.

  4. #4
    Very Fetching Rump SwimStud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Out East...in the pool
    Posts
    5,309
    Blog Entries
    429

    Re: Need a new car

    Dorothy... I reccomend you check out Subaru. Impreza's are not too big and they handle well with their full-time AWD. I was impressed with the one I leased for how much is on the car as standard. It's obviously going to be your choice, but I had a 95 that was still going strong when I traded it in with well over 160k miles for the new one. The kids loved the old it as it had crank handle window rollers...it was something unusual for them to see.
    Last edited by SwimStud; May 31st, 2008 at 04:08 PM.



    .

  5. #5
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,955
    Blog Entries
    565

    Re: Need a new car

    Subarus are wildly popular in the western U.S. They are typically pretty reliable, but you are going to pay a little more for the AWD and you'll also take a slight hit in the fuel economy, so it really depends on whether you think AWD is something you need. I know when I lived in the midwest I didn't feel the need for 4WD or AWD much. Yes, you get snow, but it's also very flat.

    I remember Consumer Reports also really liked the Nissan Altima, so that's another one to check out.

    You can see I have a preference for Japanese cars. I think growing up in Michigan where there were so many American cars really soured me on them. It seemed like after about five years all the American cars looked like they were ready for the scrap heap. There's no question they've improved since that time. Definitely check out the Malibu that merritr suggested. It's a nice looking car and has gotten some really good reviews. It looks 100% better than the boring old Malibu.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mahomet Il
    Posts
    1,309

    Re: Need a new car

    Malibu is on my list to try. I am finding the dealers around here are giving 6 month order time on hybrids, they are in demand and apparently hard to get. Today I drove Saturn Astro(did not like), Pontiac Vibe, liked quite well, Toyota Matrix(comparison for the Vibe, Vibe drove better), and the Toyota Corolla. I liked the Corolla best, which I was surprised at. Loaded up it is a nice vehicle and not too pricey, good mileage 27/31, probably one of the better non-hybrid.

    So next week I will try to get over to Chevrolet and drive a Malibu and see what their hybrid situation is. I might try a Camry, but the wait on the hybrid is long.

    I have a friend with a Suburu wagon and they love it, so that bears checking into. Once the adjustors total my car, I have to move fairly fast because the rental will not be allowed for long.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member aquaFeisty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Naperville, IL
    Posts
    627

    Re: Need a new car

    Dorothy,

    That sucks!!! And just after you'd paid it off too! Blech.

    We love our Honda Civic (our 2nd). I got a brand new 2-door Civic straight out of college in 1997. I learned to drive stick shift on it, and racked up over 160k miles in over 10 years. The only things I ever had fixed on it in that entire time, other than the scheduled service stuff, were the driver's side window, the muffler (twice - the salt around here is deadly), and the fuel injectors got plugged a couple times. It still had the original clutch in it when we sold it.

    We replaced that Civic with a new one last fall. The new one is a 4 door, spacious enough that we can put a car seat in the back with no problems. In fact we drive it from IL to SC just for the gas mileage and the three of us fit easily, even with all the toddler crap (though a toddler certainly requires less than a baby.) Awesome car.

    Our other car is a Honda CRV. Not sure if you need 4-wheel drive, but it has it. Does not get the fuel mileage of the Civic, but it is built on the same platform as the Civic, so it handles like a small car rather than as an SUV.

    Toyota Corolla is a great car too. Incredibly reliable... my husband had one that he got rid of after over 180k miles. No engine problems at all. My sister and brother-in-law have a Nissan Altima that they recommend too.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mahomet Il
    Posts
    1,309

    Re: Need a new car

    Carrie, my Dad suggested looking at the Civic last night, he recommended them. I don't want to get an SUV, we have a Hyundai Sante Fe already, and our kids are older 20 and 15, so are not traveling with us as much. Something I am happy about because I was by myself Friday.

    The paramedic in the ambulance thought swimming would be a great idea to loosen up the sore body. I have not been able to get in town to swim(one car, bah, no rental probably until Tuesday), so I settled for yoga and dreamed about the pool. Amazing how many sore places and bruises keep popping up, but those air bags do indeed work as well as the seat belt.

    Interesting article. One frustration in looking for good fuel economy is that outside the hybrids, everything else seems to be much worse than it used to be. Is this because cars are heavier than they used to be, we demanded bigger engines? Also,the cars known for reliability are cars like Toyoto, Honda, not Chevrolet. Still we have a 94 Lumina that my son drives. I was sure it would die by now, but it keeps on going.

    Another interesting thing we have learned is about insurance. The girl has insurance, in fact I know the family, they are good people. They carried 100K liability which is actually more than the law says(I think the law says 40K?). If I had been seriously hurt(if you saw my car, you would be amazed I got out and walked away), that 100K would have not lasted long, and then we would have the nasty business of trying to sue for more. This family have 6 or 7 kids, the driver is in the middle, they most certainly would not have the money.

    We carried 500K, but for 51 dollars extra a year, we can get 1 million, and for a couple extra dollars more a year we can get an umbrella policy that covers everyone, something our insurance person said was a good deal, so we added it. A girl from our town caused an accident with a tanker truck last Christmas. The driver sacrificed himself and the truck to save her. He was in the hospital for months, and is still not ever going to be healthy. The truck tipped and spilled a full tank which is an environmental nightmare, and the girl and her parents will be liable for it. So this could potentially ruin them depending on their insurance. This girl is a good kid, her parents are good people(in fact she was a swimmer!), but accidents happen, and sometimes they are your fault.
    Last edited by dorothyrde; June 1st, 2008 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Add a note

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mulino,OR
    Posts
    4,349

    Re: Need a new car

    You may not be able to wait,but we LOVE our Prius.We are getting 45 mpg both city and freeway.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  10. #10
    Very Active Member LindsayNB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Posts
    1,555

    Re: Need a new car

    On the radio last week they had an automotive expert on and someone asked about the Prius hybrid if one did mostly highway driving, he said it was still a good choice because it was designed from the bottom up to be efficient and gets exceptional mileage even if the hybrid aspect is never used.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,955
    Blog Entries
    565

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by dorothyrde View Post
    Interesting article. One frustration in looking for good fuel economy is that outside the hybrids, everything else seems to be much worse than it used to be. Is this because cars are heavier than they used to be, we demanded bigger engines?
    Cars today come with more standard features. Every feature adds weight. Also, probably the biggest factor is added safety features, such as airbags, ABS, additional steel to improve crash test scores, etc.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mahomet Il
    Posts
    1,309

    Re: Need a new car

    Well those airbags along with the seatbelt allowed me to walk away from a very significant crash, so I am all for the extra weight for safety. My sis has a Prius, which she waited 6 months for. She got it the same year I got mine, 4 years ago. It gets 49 MPG and she loves it. It also has retained it value very well. However, I cannot wait around the length of time. I don't have a rental yet, and already we are trying to figure out how to get our daughter where she needs to be tomorrow, and us to work. Living out of town does not give us the option of mass transit. Luckily my son is not working tomorrow, so can help out, and maybe by Tuesday I will have the rental. I kind of hope I can rent something that I might be interested in so I can test it out and see if I like it.

    I am going to try and get to the Honda and Nissan dealer early this week and see what they have. Going to Vegas on the 10th, maybe I can win a car!

  13. #13
    Very Active Member ALM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    2,410

    Re: Need a new car

    One 1993 Subaru Impreza, only 203,000 miles.

    Will part with it for the low, low sum of $24K....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	subaru_monarch_384x256.jpg 
Views:	102 
Size:	55.1 KB 
ID:	995  

  14. #14
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mahomet Il
    Posts
    1,309

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
    One 1993 Subaru Impreza, only 203,000 miles.

    Will part with it for the low, low sum of $24K....



    Guess I could sell you a Tiburon that has great tires and rims, if you disregard the entire front end and left back panel being a mess. Probably a bit of engine issues as well.

  15. #15
    Very Fetching Rump SwimStud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Out East...in the pool
    Posts
    5,309
    Blog Entries
    429

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
    One 1993 Subaru Impreza, only 203,000 miles.

    Will part with it for the low, low sum of $24K....

    Those old Imprezas look odd, make funny noises but the just keep on going! I wish I had taken a photo of our old one, she served us well here! Great in the snow too!



    .

  16. #16
    Very Active Member blainesapprentice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Albany/Pine Bush, NY
    Posts
    566
    Blog Entries
    8

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by dorothyrde View Post
    I liked the Corolla best, which I was surprised at. Loaded up it is a nice vehicle and not too pricey, good mileage 27/31, probably one of the better non-hybrid.
    I have a 2002 Corolla that was originally my dad who commuted with it 5 days a week to Westchester (1.5 hour commute each way). It now has 191,000 miles on it and I still get almost 450miles on a full tank (13 gallons)...that makes it around 34 miles per gallon...which I am not gonna complain about! The car has held up really well for me and my dad as well...for being as used as it is and doing as much commuting (I commuted 1x a week between Albany and Home most of the school year (120miles) and now I commute to work everyday for the summer months (and last summer) which is a 90mile round trip at least 5 days a week...it really has been a very reliable car.
    Nothing to it but to do it

  17. #17
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    4,153
    Blog Entries
    1217

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    You may not be able to wait,but we LOVE our Prius.We are getting 45 mpg both city and freeway.
    I have a Civic Hybrid, at 4+ years old it easily gets 45-50 mpg on highway, a little less in the city. The fuel economy is also pretty temperature-sensitive (ie, maybe 3-5 mpg worse in the winter months). The Prius has a 6-month waiting list while the Civic Hybrid was available on the spot (my old car was dead so that sealed the deal).

    I'm happy with the car but honestly I don't know that the fuel economy is all that much better than the non-hybrid Civic, at least with the old models (keep in mind that a new model has come out since then).

    The Prius is a little bigger than the Civic and it can be converted to a plug-in hybrid, which is nice.

  18. #18
    Very Active Member smontanaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,821
    Blog Entries
    4

    Re: Need a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    The Prius is a little bigger than the Civic and it can be converted to a plug-in hybrid, which is nice.
    It can be, but not too many have been so far. A123/Hymotion is taking deposits for their $10k conversion which is presumably going to be available starting in July.

    Skip

  19. #19
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    1,047

    Re: Need a new car

    The EPA mileage ratings are lower beginning with 2008. The old EPA standard was very poor and needed significant revision. So the new ratings are more realistic and lower. An example of what was wrong with the old rating - the "highway" test was done < 50 MPH.

    The Chevy Lumina was possibly the worst sedan I have driven in 20 years. The least comfortable seats, poor handling, no power, etc. Avis frequently gave me this car years ago. Next worst was the Pontiac Grand Am.

    The Saturn Astra (no Astro) is a Belgian built car and I predict it will be a failure for GM. The good looks is not matched by an interior that Americans like.

    The Saturn equivalent to the Malibu is the Aura. Very good reviews of the car but I have not driven one.


    My two cents on some other cars:

    2008 Accord - very roomy, nice driver's car. The 4 cylinder is more than adequate for many. The V6 is very powerful but mileage suffers a bit.

    2008 Altima - very nice too. Consumer Reports rates this their highest mid-size sedan. Drive the 2.5L 4 cylinder.

    2008 Malibu/Aura - GM's new mid-size sedans greatly improved from the prior ones.

    Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan - very nice, based on Mazda 6 chassis. Roomy, high quality so far, and very nice driver's car.

    Camry hybrid - I do not like Camrys in general not because they aren't good cars but because they represent the ultimate bland comfort-mobile. So I would never drive one EXCEPT for the hybrid.

    Civic - more compact, more sporty, and the hybrid is very good and underappreciated. The Prius gets more attention but the Civic is a better handling car.

    Honda Fit - if you are interested in a subcompact this is the one. Very nice to drive, surprisingly roomy inside.

    The Hyundai Sonata is worth a look. Nicely equipped and a good value.

    The Mazda 6 is a very good driver's car but a bit smaller than the Accord. It is being replaced soon with a 2009 model and you can get a good deal on them now.

    The Mazda 3 is a very good compact sedan. More fun to drive than its competitors and has a comfortable interior.

    Do not waste your time with a Chrysler product. They do not make any good sedans below the 300C/Charger size.
    From the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper" - "What a drag it is getting old....."

  20. #20
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,955
    Blog Entries
    565

    Re: Need a new car

    Dorothy, I just got the July issue of Consumer Reports and the cover story is about "Gas saving cars." They rate several small sedans. Their top rated cars in the category are the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic EX, Toyota Prius, Mazda3i and Subaru Impreza.

    Interestingly it looks like many of these cars get better fuel economy wih manual transmissions. I thought nowadays this didn't really make much difference, but apparently it still does. My current car is an automatic, but I usually prefer manuals, they just aren't that readily available now. I know lots of people don't like them. I guess it's too hard to hold onto that latte and shift gears at the same time!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •