View Poll Results: Which Car Shall I Buy?

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  • Honda Civic EX Coupe

    4 8.51%
  • Honda Civic EX 4-Door

    14 29.79%
  • VW Golf TDI (Diesel)

    2 4.26%
  • VW Jetta TDI (Diesel)

    4 8.51%
  • Mini Cooper

    7 14.89%
  • Fiat 500

    0 0%
  • Ford Focus

    8 17.02%
  • Other (I'll tell you what and why, below!)

    12 25.53%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1

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    Which Car Shall I Buy?

    As some of you know, someone in a large SUV rear-ended my car, and it's a total loss. I am fine, but alas, my car is not. So now I'm looking at new and recent-model used cars. Help me pick my next car!

    I've only ever owned two cars, both Honda Civics. I tend to keep my cars for a very long time, and put a lot of miles on them. My commute is far, and mostly highway, although I do drive in the city sometimes. I don't treat cars kindly - I might occasionally change the oil, for example. So keeping all that in mind, I'm looking for cars that are:

    - Extremely reliable
    - Go forever
    - Great on gas mileage (35 mpg or higher)
    - Smallish
    - Have excellent visibility, making it easy to change lanes/back up
    - Cost around what a Civic does, or less
    - Have some pick up, actually respond when you push down on the gas pedal

    I've done a poll of all the cars I've test driven so far. I've also put "other", for those who'd like to suggest other models. Thanks!
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  2. #2
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    Toyota Corrolla
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  3. #3

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    Volkswagens are really reliable and run forever.
    -Brian
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  4. #4
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    Chevy Cruze

  5. #5
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    I have a Hyundai Elentra and it has been very reliable for the last 7 years. The 2012s are a lot more stylish, and they now get up to 40 mpg on the highway. They are less expensive than the Civic, and have the 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (that I don't believe Honda offers either).

    I think the 2012's come pretty well equipped and start at about $19.5k.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  6. #6

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    Toyota Corolla, which is in the same size group. I have had great experiences with Toyota. The Corolla is very fuel efficient and easy to drive.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Toyota Corrolla
    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.

    Are you considering hybrids (I don't recognize one on the poll)? I'm not sure there are many cars, even small ones, that get 35 mpg.

    No Fords. There's a reason they're called Found On Road Dead. Everyone I know who has bought one has had major, weird problems. Two people I know have Focuses and they're awful.

    VWs are nice looking, especially the Mini Coopper, but I've heard parts are astronomically expensive. Plus they tend to cost a lot out of the gate.

  8. #8

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    I have had great luck w Honda/Acura. They make good dependable cars. I know many that have Toyotas and they seem pretty happy.
    I had a 2002 mini. It was really fun, but it was the first yr in the us. I bought it new. It seemed cheap plastic in some areas, and some things broke while under warranty (gas line, windshield wiper motor) and post warranty (spent $1600 on 2 repairs - steering wheel motor and some other part a belt of some kind). Again it was the first yr in the us, but I was really dissappointed w the dealership. There are limited number of dealers, and the second closest one was 80 miles away, so I got rid of car at 4.25 yrs old.

  9. #9

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    Before my current Corolla I had a Toyota Camry. It lasted me 15 years, with only minor repairs toward the end. My brother's Corolla (in the past) lasted him about 13 years; no problems. Toyota service has been great too over the years.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Volkswagens are really reliable and run forever.
    Volkswagens these days are among the least reliable cars. Their quality control has gone down the drain. Minis are unreliable too.

    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. The reviews have been great too. Make sure you get the 2012 model, not the 2011. They did a major engineering overhaul for the 2012. It starts out a bit pricier than the Civic though, and it's been selling very well and outpacing supply, so you probably would have a hard time getting a good deal.

    The 2012 Civic has gotten pretty disappointing reviews compared to previous versions, though it does get better gas mileage than before. The sales have been lackluster, which is why Honda is already offering a great financing deal on the 2012. For other models, they're only offering the deal on the 2011s. If you have credit above 710--maybe it's 720--it's only 1.9% for 60 months!

    I'd also suggest looking at the Toyota Corolla and Honda Fit. The Chevy Cruze has gotten great reviews too, though I'd still be less confident buying a Chevy. 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.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 09-23-2011 at 11:32 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    I have a Hyundai Elentra and it has been very reliable for the last 7 years. The 2012s are a lot more stylish, and they now get up to 40 mpg on the highway. They are less expensive than the Civic, and have the 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (that I don't believe Honda offers either).

    I think the 2012's come pretty well equipped and start at about $19.5k.
    I looked at a 2012 Hyundai or two when I was in the market for the car this summer. Didn't like the design; the roof slopes in a way that made me feel like it was about to cave in on me! Not good if you have any problems with claustrophobia. I ended up with a 2009 Hyundai Sonata, which feels more spacious and has worked out really well.

    Before that I had a Toyota Camry, which ran great for many years until it developed a stalling problem. (I've since learned that some Camrys do have a tendency that way; it wasn't just an isolated case.) It took several trips to the mechanic to get it fixed -- he couldn't find the problem. But I think he finally got it right; I eventually sold the car to my sister after the repairs were all done, and she's reported no problems.
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  12. #12

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    My husband drives a 2006 Toyota Prius and loves it ... it is extremely reliable, and averages around 45 mpg (except when he is only doing very short trips). Don't know what the new ones cost, though.

  13. #13
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    My Subaru Legacy ran for 214000 miles and 13 years, it was still running when i donated it to Goodwill. I've had a Subaru Forrester for 7 years and 85000 miles. I've had VERY few problems with either one. I live in Wisconsin which requires very dependable driving in snow/ice/blizzard conditions. The Legacy had 13 years of hockey trips. I prefer the Forester for the ground clearance(snow depth). Gas mileage was @28-30mpg on hwy.

    My husband has a Prius. He loves it.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    I have a Hyundai Elentra and it has been very reliable for the last 7 years. The 2012s are a lot more stylish, and they now get up to 40 mpg on the highway. They are less expensive than the Civic, and have the 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (that I don't believe Honda offers either).

    I think the 2012's come pretty well equipped and start at about $19.5k.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    I looked at a 2012 Hyundai or two when I was in the market for the car this summer. Didn't like the design; the roof slopes in a way that made me feel like it was about to cave in on me! Not good if you have any problems with claustrophobia. I ended up with a 2009 Hyundai Sonata, which feels more spacious and has worked out really well.

    Before that I had a Toyota Camry, which ran great for many years until it developed a stalling problem. (I've since learned that some Camrys do have a tendency that way; it wasn't just an isolated case.) It took several trips to the mechanic to get it fixed -- he couldn't find the problem. But I think he finally got it right; I eventually sold the car to my sister after the repairs were all done, and she's reported no problems.
    I also recommend the Hyundai Elantra. My mother has a 2010 Elantra and before that a 2005 Elantra. They are very reliable cars. It's one of the reasons why my mother likes it so much. They have really good gas mileage and drive well. It also has good pickup. I drove her car a couple of weeks ago and the gas pedal was very sensitive (at least compared to what I normally drive which is my husband's 1996 Geo Prism). You barely have to push on the gas pedal for it to go.

    Hyundai's bumper to bumper coverage is also really great! It's another feature that my mother loves. It's also less expensive than a Honda.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  15. #15

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    Anything with a Japanese engine. Generally they are most reliable.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  16. #16
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    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

  17. #17
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    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.

  18. #18

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    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.

  19. #19

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    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.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    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?

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