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orbitz
09-24-2011, 12:31 AM
Honda Fit:

- Relatively cheap at around 16-17k
- good cargo room for a small car
- always graded highly in Consumer Report
- Honda reputation for reliability

danceronice
09-24-2011, 12:52 AM
Focus. The four-door is HUGE for its size (I had a hatchback in Boston but with the dogs it just isn't practical), the new features are great.

OR...the Ford Fiesta, now it's finally here in the US. (For why it's awesome, go to YouTube and look up Top Gear's...uh...road test of it. If you're not familiar with Top Gear, it involved outrunning a Corvette in a chase through a shopping mall, but between the goofy bits there is a good review of the car.) Fun, zippy small car--too small for me where I live, but if I were still driving in the city all the time I'd have gotten one of those instead of a larger Focus. (I assume since you're considering a Mini Cooper, which I wouldn't bother with and avoid their attempt at a four-door like the plague, they sucked, size is not an issue.)

Obviously, for gas mileage alone, get a diesel, either of the VWs. (I mean, yes, a Jaguar diesel would blow them out of the water, but that costs substantially more than a Civic.) Unfortunately US car makers are still leery of diesel small cars because the last time they tried them seriously, they could not give them away. I asked Dad (who was on the Escort at Fords at the time) why they didn't offer the Focus or Fiesta in diesel and he said when they did the diesel Escort, at first it cost more than the gas and didn't sell (they're more expensive to produce so they cost more), they lowered price, it still didn't move, they finally had it less than the gas version and nobody wanted it. But of the non-Fords you list the only ones I'd consider are the German diesels. They do those well.

Vash01
09-24-2011, 01:42 AM
My first new car after I got my first job was a Ford Taurus. It ran great for about 3 years. Then it started having major problems, costing me major $. I told the dealer that I would never buy a Ford again. His response: Many people have told us that.

However, I enjoyed using the Ford Focus Hybrid at work. Since it was not my car, I did not have to spend on repairs, and it was pretty new when I drove it.:lol:

Rex
09-24-2011, 02:41 AM
If you are happy with the Civic, stick with it.
I lurve Hyundai's cars as of late; they have gotten so sexy.
The captain has a Fusion Hybrid as her official gov't car; I love it. She has let me drive it twice to run errands for her. Very nice and it has a 6-disc CD player.

smurfy
09-24-2011, 05:26 AM
Honda Fit:

- Relatively cheap at around 16-17k
- good cargo room for a small car
- always graded highly in Consumer Report
- Honda reputation for reliability

How is the fit in snow/ice?

WindSpirit
09-24-2011, 02:52 PM
My first new car after I got my first job was a Ford Taurus. It ran great for about 3 years. Then it started having major problems, costing me major $. I told the dealer that I would never buy a Ford again. His response: Many people have told us that. My experience as well.

I drive a '99 Toyota Corolla. The only two minor problems I've had with it during those 12 years: a check engine light came on, it turned out to be some gasket. It only cost me $143 to replace it, including labor (replacing a gasket in Ford Taurus cost over $900; while the gasket itself was cheap they had to take the engine out to get to it). And the screw holding the exhaust pipe rusted over and broke away. That's it. I would love to buy a car as dependable as that again.


My vote is for the Ford Focus. A colleague's father has a dealership that sells both Hondas and Fords, and he said the 2012 Focus is an amazing car, as reliable as any of the Hondas. With all due respect, it's a new car. We'll know in 10-15 years if it's as reliable as a Honda.


I would recommend the Hyundai Elantra if only they didn't make the asinine move of eliminating the spare tire. They wanted to get a gas mileage rating above 40, and apparently eliminating the spare tire was one way to do that. :rolleyes: Wow, I didn't know that. Great piece of information. Is there an option to get a spare tire anyway if you want to? I mean, from the dealer, not on your own.

As for Honda Fit, it has a very small (1.5l engine). Like my father says, "too small for America." ;)

Anita18
09-24-2011, 03:39 PM
Honda Fit:

- Relatively cheap at around 16-17k
- good cargo room for a small car
- always graded highly in Consumer Report
- Honda reputation for reliability
I managed to get a great price for the Civic, after deciding between a Civic and a Fit - my discount put the Civic as the same invoice price as the Fit so I went with the Civic. People I know who have Fits tell me I made the right choice. The Civic is apparently more powerful and better for longer drives.

But oh, all the cupholders in the Fits! Glorious, glorious cupholders! :lol:

The Civic has a HUUUUGE windshield but that's countered with very thick A bars. I have to remember to look AROUND them when watching for pedestrians, and even other cars. I've had it for two years and I still have to remember to do this. :lol:

My boss drives a MiniCooper. I don't recommend it if you want to carry passengers comfortably. I was sitting in the back and had to ask the person in front to move their seat up, because I could not put my feet down. I'm of average height and I have small feet. :lol:

If you like visibility, DO NOT get the Prius. My sister drove one as a Zipcar and the black part of the window blocks a lot of the view. She's vowed never to drive one ever again.

timing
09-24-2011, 04:50 PM
I have a 2006 Prius which I plan to keep for many more years. I find the backup camera to be really helpful for backing up and parking.

Meredith
09-24-2011, 05:06 PM
I'm driving a 2006 Honda Civic EX coupe. It's my third Honda. My previous 2006 was rear-ended and totaled. I was not hurt but the amazing thing about the crash was the way the car responded after I was struck. I replaced it was the used 2006 I am now driving. My first Civic was a 1993 hatchback that I retired after 12 years with 320,000 miles on the odometer.

What I love best about my Civic is the engineering. It handles very well. It has speed when I need speed, but best of all, I have never lost control of a Civic. With front wheel drive I negotiate snow and ice on the roads with no problem. The manual transmission certainly helps. I drive between 90-100 miles a day, round trip and net 38 MPG. If I drive the speed limit I can achieve better than 40 MPG. Reliable? You'd better believe it!

I love the way the car looks and behaves and would buy another just like it on a minute.

PDilemma
09-24-2011, 06:04 PM
What I love best about my Civic is the engineering. It handles very well. It has speed when I need speed, but best of all, I have never lost control of a Civic. With front wheel drive I negotiate snow and ice on the roads with no problem. .

The best car I ever drove on ice and snow was a 1989 Ford Tempo.

So I'm not real sure that that is an advertising point for any vehicle being reliable otherwise.

Also I have never lost control of a car. Without ever having driven a Civic.

I got a used 2003 Chevy Cavalier two years ago this month. It has been in the shop once for a fuel pump-- and that was a month after we bought it and the dealer felt horrible about the problem and covered 2/3 of the repair. We haven't had a single problem with it otherwise. My husband put new brake pads on last month. But I assume even Toyota and Honda don't make brake pads that last forever.

Sarah
09-24-2011, 06:44 PM
This, this, this! I had my 99 Corolla for 11 years. The only things I ever needed to fix were cosmetic or wear-and-tear: brakes, shocks, mounts, tires, etc. I had some rust issues but on a door panel that was not original to the car. It was around $17K back in 99. When I totaled it, I got an obscene amount of money from my insurance company for an old car with 105K miles, so the value stays. Interior is smartly designed, great visibility, zippy little car.



Completely agree. My first Corolla was a 1996 that I bought used in 2002 with 80,000 miles. I sold in a couple years at 210,000 miles. My mechanic bought it for his daughter. She's still driving it around. They love that car. Honestly, other than routine maintenance/wear-and-tear, this car had no issues (I started driving my mom's Camry after and in a year spend more $$ on repairs than in all my time with the Corolla).

I have a 2010 Corolla now and I adore this car. Great milage (lots of highways and I usually average 40+mpg) -- I drive a lot and fill up around 400miles and rarely put more than 10 gallpns in the car. The Corolla is great though. Its a sound little car. It may not have all the bells and whistles that some of the other Toyotas have, but because of that, it has fewer issues and runs forever. My mechanic is currently watching my current Corolla and has offered to buy it as an upgrade for his daughter when I'm ready. He thinks he can easily get another 5-10 years out of the 96 until I'm ready to sell.

vesperholly
09-24-2011, 07:39 PM
The Civic has a HUUUUGE windshield but that's countered with very thick A bars. I have to remember to look AROUND them when watching for pedestrians, and even other cars. I've had it for two years and I still have to remember to do this. :lol:

I almost got into an accident one time because of thick A bars in my Mazda3. I must have been going the same speed as the other car, because I was paying attention and it was like the damn thing apparated into my lane. I'm not a nervous driver, but that was scary.

Karina1974
09-24-2011, 09:28 PM
but best of all, I have never lost control of a Civic.

Some of us non-Civic drivers can boast that as well. More often than not it comes down to the prudence of the person behind the wheel, more than the car itself.

LilJen
09-24-2011, 09:39 PM
Count me in as another Corolla lover. Very reliable car.

When we needed a new car a few years back we ended up deciding on a Honda Fit. The versatility (with the back seats) was a big selling point for us. Has been a great car. We have the traction control and it does fine in snow, no different from any other small sedan-type car. (Of course you have to KNOW how to drive in the snow--you can't pretend the snow isn't there!)

WRT power: it is a helluva lot more powerful than our 91 Corolla was. One reason we dumped the Corolla was its lack of ability to get to highway speed quickly (it really lacked power in comparison with newer cars). The Fit isn't exactly a muscle car, but it's adequate and maneuverable. If you want something zippy, this is probably not your car.

Meredith
09-24-2011, 10:26 PM
Before I bought my first 2006 Civic I attempted to test drive a Corolla because of the model's reputation. There were none on the lot with a manual transmission, so they ordered one. Two months later, the Corolla still had not arrived, so I ordered the Civic.


Some of us non-Civic drivers can boast that as well. More often than not it comes down to the prudence of the person behind the wheel, more than the car itself.

It's good to hear that maneuverability has improved. I would tend to give a lot of credit to front wheel as opposed to rear wheel drive for the improvement.