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Posted: 8/21/2005 2:09:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 2:32:46 AM EDT by Greywolf2112]
Here is my dilemna:

I drive 35 miles one way to work. Mostly 4-lane highway (going one way) with numerous stoplights and lane-changes for 15 miles, and then a 20 mile 2-lane highway (going one-way) across a bridge and into the city.

So, 70 miles round trip five days a week, 350 miles a week.

I would like a car that has some good "get up and go", especially for passing once I'm at speed (40-60 miles per hour) and good performace as far as turning and braking. I would also like it be fairly quiet and comfortable for the occasional long trip.

Gas mileage is also a factor.

I realize it is often very hard to find all of the above, and you usually have to sacrifice one for the other.

UPDATE = OK, looks like I'm down between an Accord and a Camry (unless I find a killer deal on a Lexus or Acura that doesn't require Premium gasoline).

I really love manual trannys (K.I.S.S.) but if the Honda/Toyota automatic trannies are reliable, then I suppose I can handle one.

Now my dilemna is deciding which one to get. Seem VERY similar, but what would you all think?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:12:27 PM EDT
VW? Don't forget the rainbow sticker in the window.



Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:12:48 PM EDT
Honda Accord. It fits all of your requirements, and as long as you do regular maintenence, it'll last forever.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:13:32 PM EDT
Toyota Prius - fits your description exactly.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:17:40 PM EDT
Buy a GM or Ford pickup or big SUV. Yes you will use more gas. On the other hand, you will be around to type "thanks" after some nitwit drills you at a stoplight.

Mass wins.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:18:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:
Toyota Prius - fits your description exactly.



I'd really like to avoid the hybrids. Too many ?????s regarding longevity and replacement costs of batteries, and the cost is pretty up there.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:21:13 PM EDT
I'd suggest the Toyota Camry. My wife had one we used to call "Old Fatihful." We got rid of it when she wanted a mini-van. I miss that car.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:23:57 PM EDT

+1

Either an Accord or a Camry. If they make a V6 with a stick, it should be plenty responsive (but the mileage will drop a little, obviously). The Camry looks better, IMO.

Maybe a Nissan Altima might be worth considering as well?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:27:07 PM EDT
The jetta TDI is incredibly slow. I think it's engine generates only 80HP or something like that.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:27:20 PM EDT
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:28:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.



Wow - $20k? 6-speed manual? Doesn't it take Premium gas, though, only?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:28:55 PM EDT
Where are you commuting to/fro?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:34:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zardoz:
Honda Accord. It fits all of your requirements, and as long as you do regular maintenence, it'll last forever.



+1. You cannot beat an Accord, just as long as you change the timing belt when it's due.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:36:37 PM EDT
My 2005 v6 mustang get good mileage, and with 210 hp, it has some get up and go
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:38:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2005 2:43:29 PM EDT by cmm]
Ditto on Accord and Camry. Get the V6. If you're safety conscious, you get them with all the balloons. I got my mother a Camry V6 XLE with the works and wished it was mine. If you're after more performance the Accord V6 has a slight edge. I'd be happy with either. As far as getting drilled at a stop light, just don't go through intersections blindly. What's that thing called? Defensive driving??

ETA My 90 Accord had 275k miles on it before someone rear-ended me. It wasn't worth fixing but I would bet it would have given me another 100k miles easy. No other regular maintenance other than oil changes and timing belt changes every 90k miles and changing tires every 45k miles. Original AC (never had to recharge it) Needless to say I'm a loyal Honda owner.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:55:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.



Wow - $20k? 6-speed manual? Doesn't it take Premium gas, though, only?



yes $20k all fees included. it's a 5 speed manual (6 speed is the type S which is about 4k more) and NO it does not require premium fuel.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:09:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:
Toyota Prius - fits your description exactly.



Yup. 295 ft-lbs for torque. Doesn't go very fast from a stop, but it will sit up and go from a roll. I rented one for about a week. 45 mpg.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:11:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:
Toyota Prius - fits your description exactly.



I'd really like to avoid the hybrids. Too many ?????s regarding longevity and replacement costs of batteries, and the cost is pretty up there.



My battery is warrantied for 10 years, anything past that, I have no problem replacing the battery if need be. The way I see it, by then my Prius will have pretty much paid for itself with gas savings.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:13:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.



Wow - $20k? 6-speed manual? Doesn't it take Premium gas, though, only?



yes $20k all fees included. it's a 5 speed manual (6 speed is the type S which is about 4k more) and NO it does not require premium fuel.



They handle like a cheetah for a car under $30k too. It's got a good engine and transmission so don't be afraid to downshift to pass. I wouldn't say the same about a VW. I've seen many with blown tranny's under 60k miles.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:21:22 PM EDT
I'd avoid the VW's, the past few years consumer reports has ranked them pretty low b/c of the maintenance costs in the first few years of ownership.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:43:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Daytona955i:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.



Wow - $20k? 6-speed manual? Doesn't it take Premium gas, though, only?



yes $20k all fees included. it's a 5 speed manual (6 speed is the type S which is about 4k more) and NO it does not require premium fuel.



They handle like a cheetah for a car under $30k too. It's got a good engine and transmission so don't be afraid to downshift to pass. I wouldn't say the same about a VW. I've seen many with blown tranny's under 60k miles.



Interesting. I love my Civic, and it is a 5-speed. The Acura RSX reminds of the size and overall look of the Civic, though nicer.

How is it on long trips? The one thing I hate about my Civic is the damn road noise.

But at $20k, with more HP, just as good MPG, and lots of handling/get up and go, I may be interested. Same thing with the Accord and Camry. Although I don't care for automatic trannies, the safety, MPG, reliability, etc. are nice.

Though I looked at a nice Scion SC today (hatchaback) that was damn nice and very well priced, though the MPG was a lot less than the Acura and Camry.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:07:12 PM EDT
My wife got po'd about the gas prices and she believes that the plan is to get gas to $3.00 a gallon and keep it there. Consequently we were just where you are now.

Short story - on Friday, we traded our '04 Mercury Marauder in on an '05 Honda Accord EX-L with the 2.4L 4cyl and auto trans. It's quite a change, but I'm not unhappy about it. The Accord is a damn nice car and the first Honda we've ever owned. Most of our driving is highway where the power of the Marauder was rarely used and the Accord does just fine. Plus, 28 city, 34 hwy. isn't bad - the only cars better in mileage are the TDIs and the hybrids (which I'm not ready for). Plus when the V-TEC kicks in - Yo!

We looked at the VW 1.8T and the 1.9TDI, but the VWs just didn't do it for us. The 1.8T has a lot of lag until the boost comes on. The TDI felt okay (it was an '06 Jetta), but it was great for a diesel - just not quite what we wanted.

Of note was the fact that we were at the small car (economical) dealer along with a lot of others who had never been here as well. And I don't think we are at the leading edge of the curve of folks trading for more economy. I don't think we've hit the apex of the curve, but check out the trade-ins at any lot you pass and see what's there.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:18:24 PM EDT
I think I may end up getting a Toyota Corolla. Great MPG, very low price, very reliable, and some pretty good pickup and handling.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:40:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

My battery is warrantied for 10 years, anything past that, I have no problem replacing the battery if need be. The way I see it, by then my Prius will have pretty much paid for itself with gas savings.



If you drive 20,000 miles per year and average 45 mpg in the Prius, but would average 30 mpg in something else (4cyl Camry?), you would burn about 450 gallons in the Prius and 675 gallons in the Camry, a difference of about 225 gallons or $675 at $3/gallon.

Over ten years, you would save $6,750 driving the Prius over the Camry. Prius costs $20,000+. You'll have to drive it for about 30 years for it to have paid for itself...

Jim
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:44:12 PM EDT
I can't believe anyone would compare the TDI with a hybrid. My daughter has had her TDI Golf to 100 mph in the California traffic.

With one daughter stationed near LA, and another in Las Vegas, I've been able to put my wife's TDI Jetta to the test. Likewise the daughter's TDI Golf. It's a whole different animal than the original VW diesel. (I had one of those too. )

There are benefits to these little cars that you won't appreciate until you drive one for awhile. You can cruise the parking lots dead slow with your foot off the gas, and the car won't stall or buck -- in first, OR second gear! It's incredibly precise throttle control makes it a dream in the winter -- As good as a Front wheel drive can get, IMO. The newer models have chips to control the torque to the wheels, and are said to be even better.

You can cruise at 90 mph across the high desert of Nevada, over mountain passes @ 5, 6, or 7,000 ft. -- w/ NO black exhaust smoke, and still get over 50 mpg. That's with air conditioning blasting away -- to fend off the desert heat.

The variable vane turbo kicks in at much lower rpm than usual, and the power band is smooth and wide. There are chips available if you need to boost the performance, but that, for me, would simply waste the rubber on the front axle.

I was approached by a couple in the Costco lot on Saturday, who had been shopping for the VW, and wanted a closer look at my wife's Jetta wagon. They said that the dealers are hard up for TDI's now and that didn't surprise me. In Germany last summer, I couldn't help but notice that the TDI's were VERY popular, and I'm guessing they get a good share of the output.

I'm six feet tall, and the interior is very comfortable for me. It seems to be as roomy as a typical single-engine airplane, say a Cessna 172 or 182. The VW seats - though not as good as my old '80 Rabbit seats - are still good for those long hauls. I've been in cars costing twice the money which made my asscheeks cramp after an hour or so, which is something I won't tolerate in a car. You never know when you might want to hop in the car and drive for twenty or thirty hours!

I wish VW still made a compact diesel pickup!
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:46:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:46:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
VW? Don't forget the rainbow sticker in the window.






+1. VW is teh ghey. Have you seen their ads?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:50:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By lu380:
The jetta TDI is incredibly slow. I think it's engine generates only 80HP or something like that.



Should drive one before you spout off. It is a turbo and is pretty doggone fast actually I have 2 VW diesels. One is a Jetta wagon. I love them and I laugh every time I fill up. I get 45 per gallon and I go 80 to 85 all the time on the freeways. It rides very smooth like its on rails. Drive one.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 6:05:48 PM EDT

VW is teh ghey. Have you seen their ads?



I will agree that I can't understand the 'Euro-marketing'. But I don't watch TV, and I don't care if the high school kids think I have a 'Cool' car.

I will give a giant thumbs-up to VW for reliability. I do my own maintenance, and got to know my old Rabbit pretty well before the junk man hauled it off.

With the new soot additives in full synthetic oil, The TDI will go 10,000 miles between oil changes, and those cost me about twenty bucks, and half an hour.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:32:52 AM EDT

UPDATE = OK, looks like I'm down between an Accord and a Camry (unless I find a killer deal on a Lexus or Acura that doesn't require Premium gasoline).

I really love manual trannys (K.I.S.S.) but if the Honda/Toyota automatic trannies are reliable, then I suppose I can handle one.

Now my dilemna is deciding which one to get. Seem VERY similar, but what would you all think?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:36:23 AM EDT
Camry
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:57:04 AM EDT
personally, most camrys i've driven are soooo smooth driving, even the corollas of late. the solara convertible i drove felt more like a luxury car (cadillac, perhaps) than a mid-market car. my family has had a lot of toyotas, and generally the body will give out well before the mechanics. look at the tacomas, even used they command very high prices.

hondas tend to drive "stiffer"... steering, suspension, etc. a little noiser sometimes too. sometimes it's fun for more spirited driving, but daily commutes and road trips probably wouldn't be as pleasant.

but, either car would last forever with a moderate amount of care.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:18:50 AM EDT
You can pretty much toss a coin as either will be a fine choice. The past seven cars in our family have been Toyota's: 1984 Corolla (retired at 184,000 miles), 1991 Camry (retired at 210,000 miles), 1995 Corolla (retired at 160,000 miles after being in an accident) and currently we are driving a 1997 Corolla, 2001, Corolla, 2004 Sienna and 2005 Corolla. All have been trouble free except for the '91 Camry which seemed to go through a few alternators, although that may have been caused by my amateur aftermarket stereo installs...

For my next car I will probably go with a Honda just to change things up a bit.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:38:46 AM EDT
Greywolf,
I own an 04 accord and have driven the Camry while on vacation. They're pretty close in most respsects , I made my choice though based on the fact that Camry in my neck of the woods is an old folks car. Plus as noted the Accord is a bit sportier. I don't think you can go wrong either way though, see which make can give you the better deal and decide that way or test drive em and see which one cries out to you the loudest. Asking here is fine but you have to like it. As mentioned the Altima isn't a bad choice either you should include that in your evaluation process my friends who them love them. Plus I believe they're a tad bit quicker.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:40:42 AM EDT
Wouldn't buy either one...Camry's made here in Ky..yuck. Took a tour of the plant, they had some nice cars in the showroom to give you an idea of what they produced. Then I called one of the Toyota people over and showed them how the hood on their car was out of whack with the body...OOPS....fire the quality control. They weren't happy but maybe thats just the picky engineer in me seeing imperfections in mass produced vehicles that tout quality throughout the tour. And they pay way too much for manual labor. You will want the TOYOTA employee discount though, its pretty sweet.

Anyway, I will be looking into KIA and HYUNDAI for the future. They have some good vehicles, warranties, etc. I know people who have had some good luck with them. Not a STATUS or POPULARITY symbol I know but I don't really care about that. I want a car that will drive 200K without major problems and fit my other needs.

Essayons

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:53:51 AM EDT
The Toyota Camry is the platform used for the Lexux ES300. I think the Toyota is the better commute vehicle, either way, both cars are virtually bullit proof!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:53:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:56:11 AM EDT by deej86]
Greywolf,
are you looking at the Accord/Camry sedan or the coupe as well?

IIRC the Accord V6 coupe can be had with the 6 speed manual tranny.

The Camry Solara IIRC can only be had in automatic.

All of the above will last forever.

ETA-the base 4 cyl. Camry Solara coupe can be had with the manual tranny, but the V6 can only be had in automatic.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:07:46 AM EDT
Toss up. Do you want two 5.00's or a 10.00!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:16:25 AM EDT
Take half a dozen of one or six of the other. Best thing to do at this point is to test drive it. It's all a matter of personal preference at this point.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:19:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Get a Toyota Camry with the V6. All questions answered very well.

CJ



+1

Get one 3 years old.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:30:27 AM EDT
For the same money either way, get the Camry. They ride better than an Accord in my experience.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:03:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:58:21 AM EDT
I had the exact same debate as you about two months ago. The Camry is going to be slightly cheaper because Toyota does a lot more sales than Honda does. That being said, some aggressive negotiation should be able to get the price difference to within, say, $500 or so.

The Camry was equal to or slightly superior to the Accord in every respect, so on paper, I should have gotten the Camry. I ended up getting the Accord, though, because, as many posters have said before, the Camry is an old folks car, and since I'm only 21, I wanted something just a LITTLE more interesting.

If I have any complaints about my Accord... the headlights are weak. There is a bit more road noise than the Camry but definitely not as much as most cars on the road. Other than that I can't think of anything. The Accord looks a lot better inside and out.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:01:05 AM EDT
Toyota Camry is wider and has a full sized spare tire.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:06:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By Daytona955i:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
Acura RSX. Just bought a brand new 05 for $20,000 cash out the door. Gets 35mpg and fits your description well.

Avoid the VW due to poor reliability.



Wow - $20k? 6-speed manual? Doesn't it take Premium gas, though, only?



yes $20k all fees included. it's a 5 speed manual (6 speed is the type S which is about 4k more) and NO it does not require premium fuel.



They handle like a cheetah for a car under $30k too. It's got a good engine and transmission so don't be afraid to downshift to pass. I wouldn't say the same about a VW. I've seen many with blown tranny's under 60k miles.



Interesting. I love my Civic, and it is a 5-speed. The Acura RSX reminds of the size and overall look of the Civic...



It should since Acura is Hondas "premium" line.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:13:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zardoz:
Honda Accord. It fits all of your requirements, and as long as you do regular maintenence, it'll last forever.



+1
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:16:11 AM EDT
I would prefer the Accord in that comparo.

I find the Camry "sterile".

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:20:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:
Buy a GM or Ford pickup or big SUV. Yes you will use more gas. On the other hand, you will be around to type "thanks" after some nitwit drills you at a stoplight.

Mass wins.



I think he wants a car that lasts more than 2-years & wont spontaniously catch on fire.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 7:40:19 AM EDT
If I had to choose from your list Camry

If I could pick my own list it would be a VW TDI

I've had a VW TDI Jetta over a year now its got +20k mile on it , 50mpg with a 120hp. I have not had a single problem.

My background
Master Toyota, Honda, hyundai, VW, BMW, Porsche tech.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:08:03 AM EDT
Both very good cars.

Corolla is another great car (you said you were considering it as well), which I own, but I sometimes wish I had an Accord or Camry. Would be nice to have a larger vehicle.

vmax84
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:28:16 PM EDT
So, I'm wondering what I can get a 2003 V6 Camry for? Is there a noticeable difference between the Made in Japan Camrys (when did they stop making them there) and the made in America Camry's?
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