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Help me pick out a new car?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by skateycat, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    I know I said I was intrigued by the idea of never buying a new car until I was a millionaire, but I tipped over to the advantages of buying new.

    We have finalists:

    Honda Civic
    Toyota Corolla
    Nissan Sentra
    Kia Forte
    Hyundai Elantra

    All of them except the Nissan would keep us having the same dealership that we bought our last car from and that do maintenance on both our cars. We have been satisfied with them and the last salesperson we worked with was actually enjoyable to do business with.
  2. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    I have had Civics my entire adult life and am glad. My current Civic is over ten years old. The only thing I don't like about it is the front bumper, which dents easily. I've never had to fix anything else on it. Just changed the battery, changed oil, rotated tires, etc. Basic maintenance. It also gets good gas mileage. However, I have heard that the recent Civics are not quite as good, so you might want to look into that.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  3. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    I have had a Honda Accord and Acura Integra/RSX and Honda makes great cars. But I have read that the recent Civics are not as highly rated as previously. Friends with Toyotas are happy. Don't know as much about the others, but Hyundai has risen in the ranks.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  4. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

    I vote for Toyota Corolla.

    Or Honda Civic (2012 was not the best year, though)

    I was thinking about Elantra, too, but not sure how long it'd last. Don't they use lots of plastic? Plus, in my country Hyundai is still considered a crappy car. Not so in the US, so hopefully they make them better for this market. Visually Elenatra is quite nice, and it gets more features for the money than Corolla and Civic.

    BTW, my Corolla has been almost problem free (only 2 that I remember and they were cheap to fix) for 12 years. Oh wait, it's 13. Damn, that's a long time! :lol: We've had a Civic, too. Similar story, although we didn't have it for so long (bought it used and sold it a few years later).
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    I have a 2009 Civic and no complaints. It gets great gas mileage. Even when I'm sometimes stuck in LA traffic (granted, not all the time...) I consistently get 30mpg and higher.

    AC and cruise control didn't come standard though on the cheapest model, I had to get the LX. Luckily, the dealership I bought it from quoted me a GREAT price online (close to the Fit's invoice price), and I marched right there with the email and got one that day for that price. :lol:
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  6. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    I LOVED my 99 Corolla and I miss it daily. It had fabulous mileage, super reliable and never any weird issues, only maintenance. Also kept its value like crazy - when I totalled it in 2010, my insurance paid me $5,000 for a 11-year-old car with 110K miles. :eek:

    I never knew how nicely the Toyota interior layout and design was until I got into a car (Mazda3) that was just kind of awkward. The cupholders are in a weird place, doors don't open as wide, not enough nooks and crannies for stuff, etc.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    I've heard good things from people who have Civics, but I've never owned one. I'm a Corolla driver. My latest is the "S" - sports corolla which looks a bit snazzier. I have no complaints. I tend to drive my cars until they die, so any car that I can reliably drive for 10+ years is essential.
  8. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Of the ones on your list, I'd go with the Toyota or the Hyundai. I forget where you're located, but if you could use AWD, check out the Subaru Impreza. It's in the same price class and the 2012 re-design has gotten great reviews.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Sarah

    Sarah Well-Known Member

    Love my corolla!

    I'm on my second--a 2010. I love it! Great mileage, reliable, easy to drive, etc. When I was looking, I also tried the Elantra and while I liked it a lot, I keep my cars forever. My old Corolla (a 1996) was bought used at 86,000 miles and sold to my mechanic (for his daughter) at 210,000. It's still going strong. I drive a lot (my 2010 has 50,000 miles on it already) and don't know how long the Elantra would last. Besides, I'm a Corolla person.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Sk8Kate

    Sk8Kate New Member

    I LOVE my Civic! It's 14 years old and is by far the most reliable car I've ever owned. Mine has over 105K miles but it stills runs like a dream and I've never had to do much more than basic maintenance on it. Not sure if the newer ones are built the same way my '98 is, but everyone I know who a Honda loves their Honda.

    I remember growing up that Hyundais and Kias were not very good, but I think they're very highly rated now and both come with a fantastic warranty, so they must have changed their processes and seem to be doing something right!
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  11. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    My parents have a 2009 Elantra and I have a 2008 Accent and we've both been super impressed with Hyundai's quality. Mine just hit the 100,000 km mark and is doing really well. We also had a 1999 Accent that in five years we put 300,000 km's on and we didn't maintain well (and survived two teenagers driving it) that only ever needed a new alternator until it was finally given away.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  12. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I'm partial to Toyotas. I have a 2002 Echo, my mom has a 2007 Yaris and my dad has a 2011 Venza and they're all fantastic. Knock on wood, but my car is 10 years old with 175,000kms on it and outside of regular maintainence I've never had a repair on it.
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  13. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

    i loved my Toyota Corolla.. since then I have had a hyndai and currently a Kia (sportage).. if I was going to get another sedan car I would for sure go back to a corolla..
  14. Alexa5

    Alexa5 Member

    I have a 2001 Honda Civic with 165K on it, and it is still doing great. Someone at the shop said it could potentially make it to 400K, which shocked me, as I am aiming for 200K, but I will keep it as long as it is running well/doesn't need anything major replaced. All I have really done is regular maintenance, replacing things that normally need replaced, etc.
  15. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    First choice: Corolla Second choice: Impreza

    Both are reliable and retain their value for resale.

    Family & friends swear by Corollas and keep them a long time with only regular maintenance, barring accidents.

    We've had several Imprezas over the years and they're great cars, albeit a little noisy. Can't beat the AWD in bad weather.
  16. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    My mother and I both had Honda Accords in the 80s. My mother's was a 1986 automatic and it lived until 2005. My 1984 was manual and about the size of today's Civic. I had to get the clutch changed quite a bit, but I lived in NYC traffic, and technology has evolved. Rust killed mine with about 125,000 miles on it. My mother's got about 185,000.

    My 1994 Corolla saved my husband's life when he fell asleep at the wheel, went airborne off a highway going about 70 mph, bounced off a hill, and landed half way up a tree. He had some minor cuts and bruises and walked away (after climbing down from the tree).
    We got my mother a 2005 Corolla after that and it gets about 35 mpg. Her's has a few style features like the fake wood strips inside. Never anything wrong with them other than usual maintenance (other than my husband's crashes).

    My husband's partner swears by his Hyundai's. He says the quality now rivals the Honda/Toyota for less $$$$.
  17. Peaches LaTour

    Peaches LaTour Well-Known Member

    I had a Toyota Corolla for several years - it was a piece of junk even though I always take very good car of my cars. I also felt that that male employees in the service department at Toyota talked down to me because I was a woman.

    I've have my Honda Civic now for ten years and it is by far and away the best car I have ever had. However, the 2012 Honda Civics are so bad that Consumer Reports would not give it a rating, at all. :eek: So, if you are interested in the Civic, I would check out the Consumer Reports for the 2013 Civic.
  18. Andora

    Andora Skating season ends as baseball season begins

    I have a 2010 Elantra and love it. The warranty beat Honda and Toyota's, and as a first-time car owner, that was important to me. I think the gas mileage is good, but lately I've done mostly highway driving and at not-always-gas-friendly speeds, so... :p

    We've taken it on various trips and camping and it seems to hold a LOT for a compact car. The only thing I don't love about it is the lack of pick-up, but I think that's pretty standard for compact cars-- at least with the ones I've rented (Civic, Corolla, etc.). It handles better than anything domestic at all speeds.
  19. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    I had a 1991 Corolla for, what, 17 years? Great car. Only reason we didn't replace it with another Corolla is that we really, really wanted the fold-down-flat seats, and Corollas at the time did not feature that, and a hatchback, for better doggie toting.
  20. Kaffeine

    Kaffeine Well-Known Member

    I don't have any of those cars but I do own a Toyota, a 2008 Scion xB which is nowadays a toyota camry with a different shell ;). Only issue I had with mine was the water pump (which was fixed for free and a new warranty issued)
  21. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    Does the Elantra still not have a spare tire included? If so, that would be a deal breaker for me.

    Have you taken them all for a test drive? Sometimes that will help make the decision. Be sure to check out this site to see if there are deals.
  22. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    If you do not already have the Consumer Reports annual auto issue, try to get it.

    I urge you to also test drive the Honda Fit. That's what I got for my new car 13 months ago and I absolutely love it. You would not believe the interior room in this little car. Consumer Reports has indicated that the Civic is no longer as good a car as before. They recommend the Accord and the Fit instead. Since you are considering the Civic, the Fit would probably be to your liking too.
  23. Ice Queen

    Ice Queen Member

    I had a Corolla, and it was an excellent car! I traded it in for a Toyota Rav which I loved, but was in an accident and lost it. Few years ago, I bought a Camry, and I really love it. I can't say enough good things about Toyotas. They are very well made vehicles, that get excellent gas mileage. Other family members and friends own Toyotas, and are very pleased as well.

    Good luck with your decision.
  24. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

    AFAIK it doesn't. That's why it gets a better mileage than other cars in that category. I wasn't happy about it, either, when I was considering it, but then again I remembered how many times I had to change a tire in my life? Zero. Although a tire blew up on my cousin's car when we were driving together and it needed to be changed. If one doesn't mind taking chances or/and towing their car, lack of a spare tire shouldn't be a problem.

    BTW, I don't know if skateycat is still looking to add to her list, so I'm not really sure how helpful are the suggestions about cars that are not on the list.
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I test drove a new 2012 Civic, a new 2011 Civic, and a used 2008 Civic in my most recent car buying adventure. I didn't like the 2012 - too much flashy BS going on re: the dashboard. I preferred the 2011, and I *really* prefer the used 2008 I ended up buying.

    I've heard they are completely redoing the Civic for 2013, to address some of the issues people had with the 2012. I look forward to seeing what they do, because I do love Civics.

    Though the issues with the 2012 Civic are not mechanical. Consumer Reports, for instance, still really likes its reliability. It's in things like fit and finish that the car has fallen down a bit for this model, and what I might call - were I channeling Dick Button - the "zippiness" of the engine.

    snoopysnake mentioned the Honda Fit. I like the Fit, but I needed a car with better gas mileage - nothing less than 35 mpg - thus the Civic.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  26. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I've told this story here before, but my first Civic went over 350,000 miles. I'm not sure how much over, because the odometer stopped working. :lol:

    My second Civic was at over 187,000 when someone rear-ended me in a massive SUV, and killed it. But that thing kept me completely safe during that accident.

    I test drove quite a few cars to replace that poor Civic, and ended up in... yes, another Civic. :lol:
  27. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    My first car was a 77 Corolla. I loved it, and I am very glad that my dad talked me out of my desire for a Karmann Ghia. I was such a restless 17 year old that I would never have survived the constant maintenance! (Neither would he, but he was such a good sport about taking me to look at a few).
  28. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    Mr skateycat drives a Honda Fit - we agree that it is a roomy little rollerskate car. But he's a big guy with some back troubles, and the Fit is not so comfortable for long drives.

    I might add the Accord to the list.

    Gas mileage, front seat roominess, safety and reliability are musts.
  29. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    I've considered RAV4s, and Subarus and the other all-wheel drives. I even wanted a Nissan XTerra for a while. And I live somewhere and work for clients where I might have to deal with snow once or twice a year. But we skateycats have come to the conclusion that on daily fuel economy vs. the annual snowfall debate, we pick fuel economy.

    But what is this no spare tire business on the Elantra? This skateycat not only requires a spare tire, but I prefer to travel with my own mechanic! Thank goodness my last trip over the river and through the woods my traveling partner was a mechanic in his last career. I ran over a rock and shredded the tire two hours from the nearest tire shop! I could have changed the tire in an hour by myself, but my mechanic friend had it changed in five minutes flat.

    Oh wow, it's real, no spare tire says the LA Times and the Hyundai Forums.

    But I can buy an after market kit for $300.

    Hmmph. Does not inspire me with confidence.
  30. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

    Elantra doesn't have a spare tire to safe space but most of all, improve the mileage. Less weight = better mileage. They boast about the mileage but they don't boast about not having a spare tire. I found that out only after I did some research. I'm glad you know it now, too, since it does seem important to you. I guess it was a factor in why I finally decided against Elantra.

    Elantra does have a better interior and additional features (heated seats, for example), but generally I don't trust Hyundai as much as I trust Toyota or Honda. They might get there, but right now, for me, they are not on that level yet.