Author Topic: What car do you suggest?  (Read 11663 times)

Trusty Mutsi

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What car do you suggest?
« on: September 29, 2008, 08:17:04 PM »
My Saturn gets 34 mpg and it has around 258,000 miles on it. I'm going to drive this car into the ground before I have to spend any more money.

That being said, any suggestions on a good car to buy when I finally HAVE to? I'd LIKE to outright buy something used (as opposed to being in debt for something new). Under $10,000 being ideal, but I'd like to hear about other cars that are reliable. might be worth not buying something too old and have it be more reliable.

Offline spartan

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 08:28:11 PM »
My choices for a basic car:

Honda Civic
Honda Accord
Toyota Corolla

If you want all wheel drive and a wagon format to carry more stuff I would go with Subaru Outback with a 4cyl turbo charged engine.  The H6 is nice and I was able to squeeze 27mpg out of it, but fuel economy does suffer a bit. 

With the smaller displacement turbo 4cyl cars you can get astounding fuel economy just watch how you accelerate. I had a 2.0L MR2 Turbo that would get dismal gas mileage light to light in the city (12mpg) but would get great mileage on the highway (40mpg).

If you want an SUV that gets reasonable gas mileage (16/20) I would recommend a Jeep Cherokee, 4.0L, with Auto Trans.  Mine is beat up and I have put 70k miles on it in less than 2 years, still running strong.  Cheap, parts are available, plenty of folks know how to work on them.

Offline archer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 10:04:27 AM »
I'd suggest a Diesel VW Jetta. Jack gets good gas mileage (40+ from what he says on his podcasts) and they have a tendency to last longer than gas engines. Do your own research. I have a 1984 Diesel Jetta that is a project car (at this moment, it's more of a project than a car). It has 209k miles on it and runs pretty well.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 10:23:34 AM »
I can not say how pleased I am with my Jetta.  They are an exceptional car and Detroit should get off their butts and make something like it.  Diesel costs more but the millage more then makes it up and if you had too, if it ain't cold out you can honestly run one on simple corn oil, as in Wesson. 

That said your plan to pay cash is really smart and if I did not put on over 100 miles a day it is what I would have done.  Spartan mentioned the

Honda Civic
Honda Accord
Toyota Corolla

And those are all very good bets.  Again the US makers need to get on the ball and catch up.  Look for some real exciting stuff from Chrysler down the road with electrics, hybrids and fuel cells.  If you ever plan to buy a Pick Up truck though, now is the time.  Talk about a fire sale!  I would not advise one as a day to day driver (gas is going to go back up) but for hauling, pulling and utility they can't be beat.  If you have the cash and the place to park one now or perhaps this winter you can pick up real steals.

Trusty Mutsi

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 10:30:46 AM »
Thanks guys!

Hmmmm... maybe I should consider a truck when our other car goes. That one's also a Saturn on it's last legs.

Did any of you guys see the movie "Who killed the Electric Car"?

Offline BigDanInTX

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 08:20:57 PM »
I'm actually giving some serious thought to this Compressed Natural Gas I keep hearing about.  You can refill at home and don't have to go out of your way to a CNG station if you have a Natural Gas Line to your home, but you do need to install a unit that will compress/refill your tanks.  I just need to find out how much the conversion is.  I figure if I can get a tank in the back somewhere, I can use CNG for my commute and weekend chores.  Only need actual gasoline for when we go on trips.

I have a 99 Expedition.  It's not the most fuel efficient, but it's almost paid off and the engine was rebuilt from scratch about 10k miles ago.  I am going to drive it until it can't be driven anymore.  When the engine was rebuilt, it's like getting a brand new truck.  It's paid off next November (sooner, if I can snowball it before then).  If I can get enough mileage using CNG to cover my round trip commute, it's like gold.

Trusty Mutsi

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2008, 11:08:10 AM »
Thanks guys!

Hmmmm... maybe I should consider a truck when our other car goes. That one's also a Saturn on it's last legs.

Did any of you guys see the movie "Who killed the Electric Car"?


I'm thinking even more about a truck. What's a good one I could get used and affordable, but will still be reliable, even if it's got some miles on it?

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2008, 11:12:51 AM »
On trucks to me the US still leads the way.  The Fords, Chevy and Dodge models both new and old are are solid and dependable. 

jeremya

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2008, 11:52:41 AM »
When my car finally kicks the bucket I think I am going to get a used Subaru Outback.
For me it seems like the best compromise.

-- Jeremy

Offline archer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2008, 03:42:19 PM »

Did any of you guys see the movie "Who killed the Electric Car"?

Yes, I watched it. A good bit of tech killed off by the auto companies themselves and the Gov.

Offline Stein

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2008, 04:10:58 PM »
Right now, there are bargains to be had while gas prices are still high.  I picked up a 1996 Cadillac Seville for $3,250 and it is in absolute mint condition: leather, CD, heated seats, full electronics, everything and 25 mpg on the highway for a heavy, fast, safe 4-door sedan.  Those cars can be expected to go 200k miles without much problem.

I have 185k on our Suburban and it is still going strong on the original engine and transmission even after pulling quite a bit of stuff during it's long life.  $300 or less a year in maintenance so far.  People are practically giving suburbans away right now.

If you don't put a bunch of miles on the car, look for vehicles out of favor, "grandpa" types or things that are perceived to be gas hogs but really aren't too bad.

Andyman

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 06:02:29 PM »
For a family a Suburban is definitely the way to go!  I've had 2 vans that went to heck on me at less than 150,000 miles, my Suburban has about 175,000 and drives great, is easy to work on, 4 wheel drive, and my family is a lot safer in it than other cars. 

If gas was $10 a gallon, I'd still keep it.

Allerion

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 07:35:29 PM »
For mileage:  The 1993 Geo Metro XFI gets 53 city/58 highway (manual transmission).  I had one for eleven years and it never broke down.  Zero power, max weight capacity 450 lbs, completely not cool, but it does get unbelievable mileage and parts are dirt cheap.  When you see those teaser advertisements for 4 tires mounted and balanced for $100...those are the tires that fit this car.  (Don't you hate when they tell you all sizes over like 12 inches are $125/tire? :) )  Handles great in snow despite its light weight because of the tiny tire footprint.  Later models had a reinforced frame, airbags, and a bunch of other government mandated junk (safety modifications)that brought the mileage down to 40 mpg.

For fun and...emergencies:  Jeep Wrangler with a minor lift kit, soft top, roll bar, and a winch.  This vehicle is great in the heat with the top and/or doors off and is just as well suited to the snow with four wheel drive.  The winch makes it impossible to get stuck regardless of how bad your judgement is, and comes in handy for pulling others out of ditches.  Definitely the vehicle of choice for wide variety weather patterns in places like Seattle and Denver where you can ski in the mountains in the morning and then go to the beach in the valleys in the afternoon.  This vehicle has the widest variety of aftermarket addons available for survival-minded folks.  I prefer the diesel for much longer engine life though you may have problems in madman cold conditions without anti-gel treatment.

Offline Beetle

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 08:31:16 PM »
I would be afraid of to little of car. Geo's don't fair to well in collisions's.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 03:40:58 AM »
I'm actually giving some serious thought to this Compressed Natural Gas I keep hearing about.  You can refill at home and don't have to go out of your way to a CNG station if you have a Natural Gas Line to your home, but you do need to install a unit that will compress/refill your tanks.  I just need to find out how much the conversion is.  I figure if I can get a tank in the back somewhere, I can use CNG for my commute and weekend chores.  Only need actual gasoline for when we go on trips.



It never occured to me that it would be that easy for CNG to come online.  Up here in NW PA, folks have gas wells on their property.  Are there cars on the market now or is this a years down the raod. thing. 

I guess I should get to googling.

Offline BigDanInTX

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2008, 08:32:44 AM »
Well, the commercials just started airing.  Here's the site I saw from the ad:
http://www.cngnow.com

Evidently, it's just getting going here in the US.  It's a bit better world wide and I think they're trying to get the American public more aware of it.  It was mentioned in passing last night in the debate.  The fact that you can get one of these PHIL units installed in your home to refuel is HUGE IMO.  Not only is it eco-friendly, but the fact that you don't have to go out of your way to do it?  I like it!  Now, just get the costs down (perhaps have a gov't program to help with the costs to get the economy of scale working).  Then, I'd strongly consider it.

After more research, I think this is a thing that's a couple years out.

Offline Dan

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2008, 05:11:01 PM »
I'm thinking even more about a truck. What's a good one I could get used and affordable, but will still be reliable, even if it's got some miles on it?

If you would prefer to buy new watch for “lost leaders” or “add cars” I have had a couple of them in the past. They tend to be as stripped down as the dealer can get them from the manufacturer allowing the dealer to advertise a good price to get people in the door, the dealer will then attempt to up sell the customer on another vehicle with more bells and whistles. If you don’t succumb to the temptation of cruise control and CD changers you can get a reasonable deal on a new vehicle.

My first “lost leader” was a new 94 Nissan 2wd pickup for $7788 it had nothing on it not even a radio antenna or passenger side rear view mirror. I later traded it in on another “lost leader” this time a 96 Nissan 4wd pickup for $9988 again it had nothing on it, these were stripped to the bone versions of the vehicle. When I traded the 94 in on the 96 I got $1400 less for it as a trade in than I paid for it two years, 16,000 miles and a bent front fender later (that was a big possum). I think I did pretty good on that deal considering the depreciation usually incurred when  dealing with a trade in on a new car/truck.

Now, over 14 years later there are still deals like this to be had, which brings me to my point. fact is I was looking at an 09 Ford Ranger 2wd Super cab a few days ago that was advertised for $13,998. This time though it wasn’t the stripped version, in fact it had everything on it except cruise control, multi disc CD changer and the rear jump seats. It was even available with 0% interest out to 60 months if you qualify, it’s hard to beat deal like that.

Offline Nate

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2008, 10:45:32 PM »
I have a 96 passat diesel with 169K on it.  It has been awesome!  40 has been my lowest MPG with 47 my highest.  The passat is a little larger than the jetta and, I believe, has a larger fuel tank at 18 gallons.  For bug out purposes there is quite a bit of range.  The trunk space is good enough for me.  I keep a few basics back there and still have room to spare.  The back seats fold flat which has been a great asset when hauling lots of camping gear or long items that don't quite fit in the trunk.

I got it on ebay back in 2005 when diesel was going for 2.50 or so.  My 94 interpid was approaching 200K and I saw gas prices rising.  I paid 8k and only needed to do a loan for 4K.  My credit union gave me 4% interest!  Overall, I think I did OK.  It has never let me down, and it is fun to see the looks truckers give me when I filll up next to them at the truck stop!

Offline archer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2008, 03:23:29 PM »
Sounds like you got a good deal. I just sold my 1996 gas Jetta (it had 160k on it and having small problems) and bought a 1984 Diesel Jetta as a BioDiesel project car. Have you tried BioDiesel in your Passat?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 03:25:47 PM by Archer »

Offline Nate

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2008, 05:12:29 PM »
I haven't tried biodiesel yet for several reasons.  There is not a station close to me.  The closest one is 20 miles and it not on my way to anywhere I regularly go.  The second reason is around here biodiesel costs MORE than regular diesel!!!  I have thought of converting it to WVO but I do not drive enough to justify the cost.  Why go into debt?  I get on site housing at my job so my commute is nothing.  I mainly drive to the store and on weekends.

Lately, I have been topping off my tank when ever I see "cheap" diesel.  Who knows when it will be that cheap again?  I just put 4 gallons in tonite for 3.29/gal.  For Michigan that is good!!  After I filled up, I passed several other stations.  Price was 3.49 up to 3.79 all in a span of 15 miles!!!

Offline archer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2008, 11:51:58 AM »
My local Biodiesel costs about $1.50 more than normal diesel. Normal diesel is about $3.30. I've not been using the diesel much due to that. I've been taking the bus/bike/light rail to work. And taking bus/rail/bike means more exercise..

Offline KiloEchoWhiskey

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2010, 05:53:04 PM »
i own a subaru outback and it has been the best compromise between economy, cargo room, ruggedness, and all around great in the snows of Northeast Ohio.  Excellent day to day driver and perfect for long trips with a ton of gear.

Offline survivininct

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2010, 07:35:08 PM »
Although it is not the best in the fuel efficiency department, pound for pound, you can not beat a Crown Victoria.  Powered by Ford's tried and true 4.6 V8, it has plenty of power and is very reliable.  Rated to tow 2000 lbs, and I have towed 5000 cross country no problem.  Full frame - front to back, rear wheel drive, simple to work on.  Parts are available and inexpensive.   More power than you need - extremely comfy ride. 

Used cop cars are a dime a dozen and used civilian CV's and Mercury Grand Marquee are very affordable as not many people like them - Lincoln Town Cars are also the same vehicle with, as my friend used to say, more goop in the doors.  All three are very comfortable cars to drive and handle reasonably well for what they are.

Cops beat the crap out of them for 100K or so, then taxi cab companies buy them and beat the crap that is still left in them out of them again for another 100K plus.   Many taxis in New York City have way over 200 on them and that is, well, the definition of city driving (at its worst!)..

Best of all, it has a mafia compliant trunk.. IE, as many bodies as you can kill, it can take!!!  Bug out bags, first response bags, tools, whatever you want - it will fit with room to spare. 

Look for the LX Handling and Performance package if you can find one - gives you true dual exhaust and air ride suspension in the rear.  This is a nice feature as you can load the trunk up with all kinds of stuff and no one will tell from the outside - looks like its empty.. Good in a bug out situation. 

Fuel economy is a solid 20+, I can peak around 25 on the highway.  Unless you drive like a cop (in the gas), they are better than any pickup and can tow a trailer - something most cars can not do today.  Some complain about the rear wheel drive in winter conditions.  All I can say is I drove one for years in Northern Vermont and never got stuck (was on fire department, so I went out often in storms).  The key is good aggressive snow tires and a couple bags of tube sand in the trunk.  The traction control helps a lot. Without the right tires and weight though, you are done for!

Ford no longer sells new Crown Vics to the general public, just to fleets such as cops and taxis.  However, used ones are available with like 20K or less often, and yes, they were often driven by a little old lady or man to church on Sunday and the store on Tuesday..  An '06 with 20 K will run you 10-12K depending on condition, private sale.  So, they are quite affordable for a car with only 20K.

Just my $.02 worth!  ;)

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2010, 08:28:00 PM »
Resale value is way down on Toyota's.
It's like a sale on the ones waiting for recall. ???

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2010, 08:42:12 PM »
Well, the commercials just started airing.  Here's the site I saw from the ad:
http://www.cngnow.com

Evidently, it's just getting going here in the US.  It's a bit better world wide and I think they're trying to get the American public more aware of it.  It was mentioned in passing last night in the debate.  The fact that you can get one of these PHIL units installed in your home to refuel is HUGE IMO.  Not only is it eco-friendly, but the fact that you don't have to go out of your way to do it?  I like it!  Now, just get the costs down (perhaps have a gov't program to help with the costs to get the economy of scale working).  Then, I'd strongly consider it.

After more research, I think this is a thing that's a couple years out.

I received an RFQ and talked to a company locally that will be making parts for a "vehicle" with a NG option.  It really surprised me.  I had to ask four times if I heard correctly. 

J

Offline nellyhunter

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2010, 09:17:02 PM »
I have a 05 Toyota Corolla I bought last year 50000 miles. Great price. better quality than most gm/fords  (I'm a Chevy car(fullsize), and a Ford Truck guy) For mid-size and compact classes Its between a corolla or a Jetta if your looking for something long-term.  That gets great fuel economy. A couple things you may consider before buying.

Chevy (in general)
Cheaper to buy (lower resale value)
Cheaper parts
Easier to work on
Quality not as high as ford

Ford
Higher front end cost (More resale value)
Parts are more expensive
Need specialized tools more often to fix
Does not need to be fixed as often because quality is better.

Toyota
Medium front end cost (Resale value is not good)
Parts cost in general is more than Chevy less than Ford
A little harder to work on than Chevy but not by much.
Quality is a little better than both Ford and Chevy (average lifetime miles cars anyway not sure about trucks)

I guess that's the long and short of what I have seen working on Ford, Chevy, Toyota
I think All 3 produce great cars and trucks its just what your looking to get out of the car/truck is the more important factor.
If your looking to fix your own car and don't know a whole lot about cars but are mechanically inclined I may go with the Chevy
If you have more tools and know how to fix a u-joint or a wheel bearing in a Ford I may buy the ford.
If your looking to run the car/truck till the wheels fall off I would consider a Toyota

Saying that I own a Ford 3/4 ton diesel, Chevy Malibu, and a Toyota Corolla so I don't believe I'm biased Towards one Car company or another.
The biggest thing to think about is what your looking to get out of your car/truck

Offline joeinwv

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2010, 09:43:46 PM »
Although it is not the best in the fuel efficiency department, pound for pound, you can not beat a Crown Victoria.  Powered by Ford's tried and true 4.6 V8, it has plenty of power and is very reliable.  Rated to tow 2000 lbs, and I have towed 5000 cross country no problem.  Full frame - front to back, rear wheel drive, simple to work on.  Parts are available and inexpensive.   More power than you need - extremely comfy ride.  ...

Hey - keep it on the 'down low' buddy. I have a 2006 Vic and I would like to find more low mileage, low cost grandpa creampuffs without the whole podcast driving up the demand.

+1 on the Panther platform vehicle. I am on my second one. Most recent was a 2006 bought last year with 16k miles, leather, etc for under $15k. I get about 23 mpg and drive about 30k miles a year. My 95 GM had the non PI (performance improved) heads - made about 30 less horsepower, but averaged 26mpg.

Another thought - the non-HPP models have standard shocks (cheaper to replace), single exhaust and 2.73 rear end ratio. HPP's have 3.27 rears and most police models have 3.55

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2010, 08:17:34 AM »

Offline javabrewer

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2010, 07:00:29 AM »
2010 Subaru Forester 2.0 Diesel
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/112_0809_2010_subaru_forester_diesel/index.html

Cool, I've never heard of this Subaru diesel before and didn't realize they had intentions of making one.  But it's still not available in the U.S.

I would recommend the Jetta Sportwagen TDI as an alternative diesel wagon.  As some previous posts said you can get one used (or a slightly more costly Passat wagon).  Note the 2009+ models aren't recommended to run more than 5% biodiesel, but if you don't believe in global warming or own your own waste vegetable oil generating business this probably doesn't matter. 

I have a Sportwagen TDI and absolutely love it for my 70 mile round trip daily commute and I've been getting a combined 43+ MPG, even with the stop-and-go trips on the weekends.  Tons of space for a small car and there are numerous options for roof racks and storage units.


Offline survivininct

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Re: What car do you suggest?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2010, 07:15:42 PM »
Hey - keep it on the 'down low' buddy. I have a 2006 Vic and I would like to find more low mileage, low cost grandpa creampuffs without the whole podcast driving up the demand.

+1 on the Panther platform vehicle. I am on my second one. Most recent was a 2006 bought last year with 16k miles, leather, etc for under $15k. I get about 23 mpg and drive about 30k miles a year. My 95 GM had the non PI (performance improved) heads - made about 30 less horsepower, but averaged 26mpg.

Another thought - the non-HPP models have standard shocks (cheaper to replace), single exhaust and 2.73 rear end ratio. HPP's have 3.27 rears and most police models have 3.55

I trailered a Percheron horse with my HP once.  Funny as hell when we did it.  We hooked on the trailer and the air ride brought the trailer up level.  Then the fully grown horse stepped in and the trailer hitch hit the ground!  Air ride again leveled the load and we brought the horse home - up several good hills.  When the horse left the trailer, the back of the car lifted like 3 feet in the air (bags were seriously pumped up!) till the air was let out.   Would have been a really funny video (especially if I blew the bags!).   BTW, the horse weighed in around 2000 LBS and the 4 space trailer close to a thousand!

BTW, I love the diesel subie, if that comes to reality in the US, I may have to buy one!