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Posted: 12/24/2003 9:42:59 AM EDT
Trying to decide which car to get.  Here are my criteria/driving habits:

I like smaller, compact/subcompact cars.  I've had a 1996 Honda Civic DX (no frills, no power anything) since 1995 - currently has 205,000 miles on it and still has the original clutch.  But it may give up the ghost someday soon and I want to be ready to go when it does.

I like a car that gets good MPG (about 30+), has 4 doors, is a 5-speed, and is relatively comfortable on extended trips.  My biggest concern is RELIABILITY!  I want to drive this sucker into the ground and get many, many years out of it.  Plus I want it to be as inexpensive as possible - I can't justify spending more than $16000 on a car.

My list so far looks like this:

Toyota Echo

Toyota Corolla

Honda Civic

Honda Accord (bare bones)

Suzuki Forenza (made by Daewoo)

Suzuki Verona (made by Dawoo)


My wife has a Suzuki Aerio and loves it, but it isn't comfortable for me.  The Verona and Forenza are much more comfortable.  The advantage of the Suzuki is a 100,000 warranty and 0% financing.  Plus the cost-for-features is amazing compared to the others.  However my concern is long-term reliability.

Any thoughts, ideas, opinions, impressions, etc. would help.  Thanks, guys!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:49:41 AM EDT
Have you looked at the Honda Element? I know technecally it's an SUV but it should get ok gas mileage and would have more room then a car. Also, they look nice, kind of like a baby hummer. I think there 4WD as well, which may come in handy. Just a thought. Other then that I'd go Civic or Corolla. JMHO.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:50:38 AM EDT
Saturns are pretty barebones, no-frills cars.  They dont even have power steering.  But they're reliable and cheap.  Basic, utilitarian car. The ony 2 things I dont like about it is 1. Wide turn radius (front wheel drive) and 2. really crappy visibility out the windshield, because of the steep angle of the windshield.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:52:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 9:54:35 AM EDT by 2whiskeyP]
I just bought a 2004 Civic EX 2 weeks ago.  Great little car. Good gas mileage (about 36 on the first tank).  It was a little more than 16k but you can pick up the DX or LX models a little cheaper.  I have(still have) a 1992 Civic DX that has gone nearly 250k with no problems.  Very reliable!

(BTW, 1992 Civic for sale in the Seattle area if anyone is interested!)[:d]
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:01:25 AM EDT
get the toyota corolla, it gets near 40mpg on trips and as far as reliability goes, well it's a toyota. My wife has an '03 and it already has done over 35,000 trouble free miles. Oh, and it shouldn't be a problem getting it for $16k or less.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:05:03 AM EDT
I'm going to have to test drive them all, but so far it looks like the best reviews (professional as well as from normal drivers) are on the Echo and Corolla.  The Echo is very inexpensive, but I may cough up the extra for a really decked out Corolla.  I love leather interiors, and the Corolla is pretty much a Lexus ES300 with the Toyota symbol on it :)
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:07:52 AM EDT
I would check out the Nissan Altima.  I just got an 03 Altima S, great car.  Edmund's rated it the top mid-sized car under $30k... beating out Camry, Accord, Passat and Galant
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:21:19 AM EDT
Trust me on this....[:D]
Get either the Toyota or the Honda.
If Toyota forget the echo and go for the corrolla they are the best ones Toyota has made in several years.
Either Honda would be great.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:26:54 AM EDT
If you're looking for something different, you might consider locating someone who is selling their '03 or earlier Toyota Prius (hybrid-electric).  The '04 model is a major overhaul, and some earlier owners are ditching theirs to get the latest and greatest.  I'm not sure what they're going for used, though.  It's similar to the Echo, but it gets insane gas mileage.  Only thing is it's not available in a manual transmission.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:05:26 AM EDT
Do NOT waste your time or money on the Korean cars.  The Honda or Toyota will serve you very well. I'd lean toward the Corolla.  I'd also take Admiral crunch's advice and find a clean, decent milage 03 or 02 model, and save some $$ on the initial depreciation.  Don't know much about the prius except they do get insane milage... something like 70 mpg.  Also, at the end of the month AND end of the year you can get some screamin deals at the dealerships.  They NEED to reduce inventory.  Have fun shopping.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:12:57 AM EDT
Forget everything else... Toyota Corolla is the way to go.  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:19:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 11:34:40 AM EDT
I vote for the Corolla.  I think the Honda would be as reliable, but around here ricers like to steal them for parts.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:34:17 PM EDT
Mejames brings up a very good point I'd forgotten about - the cost of insuring a Honda will be higher than the Toyota due to more Hondas being stolen than Toyotas.  Good point.

Looks like the Corolla is winning out on everything else.  Of course, my current Civic will probably last a few hundred thousand more miles - LOL!  Do you know that little sucker still has the original clutch and alternator?  After 205,000 miles?  Insane.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:40:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 1:40:49 PM EDT by CavVet]
The Japanese ban all our beef today, and I only see one mention of an American car...

[V]


And this from the [i]patriots[/i], little wonder what the left would say.....




Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:44:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 1:45:25 PM EDT by Greywolf2112]
After my experience with American cars ($25,000 Oldsmobile POS) I will never buy another one.  Sorry, but with all the taxes that our .gov takes from my measly paycheck, I'm going to spend my money on a vehicle that will last me a good long time.  I'm not willing to spend more of my money on welfare to companies that can't make a decent product.  Plus I'm getting tired of subsidizing liberal unions.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:49:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
After my experience with American cars ($25,000 Oldsmobile POS) I will never buy another one.  Sorry, but with all the taxes that our .gov takes from my measly paycheck, I'm going to spend my money on a vehicle that will last me a good long time.  I'm not willing to spend more of my money on welfare to companies that can't make a decent product.  Plus I'm getting tired of subsidizing liberal unions.
View Quote


Not to mention many of these cars are built here in US factroies by US workers... its a global economy!

You own any foreign guns?  AK, HK, Sig, Walther, Glock, Daewoo, FAL, Cetme, Beretta, Benelli, Rossi...  Getting the idea?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:52:33 PM EDT
Yeah, I don't fall for the "Buy American only" argument anymore.  I support my country, but shit on a shingle, guys, if the choice is POS American car or reliable Jap car, I'm not a dumbass.  I don't invest in shitty stocks, and I'm going to waste my money on shitty cars.  Sorry.

And yes, I DO own some nice imported pieces of steel :)
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:14:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:15:13 PM EDT
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Not the S-10!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:20:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet:
The Japanese ban all our beef today, and I only see one mention of an American car...
And this from the [i]patriots[/i], little wonder what the left would say.....
View Quote


Forget it, I already gave at the office.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:55:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 2:58:11 PM EDT by raven]
Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
After my experience with American cars ($25,000 Oldsmobile POS) I will never buy another one.  
View Quote


Testify!  I am saddled with a POS Oldsmobile, and I curse the day I signed the title.  I flip that car off when I see it, I hate it so much. I tried like hell to buy a Subaru 4x4 but because the POS Olds cant pass emissions, I can't sell it [pissed]

Anyway, dont confuse patriotism towards America with allegiance to multinational corporations' products.  Especially if they produce the complete garbage typical of Detroit.  Their only allegiance is to their shareholders, not the US.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:26:39 PM EDT
Raven (weird, that's my wife's nickname, and she was the one who bought the Olds!) I can testify, brother!

After owning very inexpensive rattletraps for years, we finally were making some decent money and decided to treat ourselves to a nice expensive (for us) car.  I had $2000 in GM Card rebate $$ from a Mastercard and went to the dealership after we had rented an Intrigue and enjoyed it on a trip.  We got a loaded, leather interior Intrigue for about $25,000.  During the first 40,000 miles all went well other than some electrical issues with the windows.  After the warranty died, at 52,000 miles the Torque Converter died.  $1400 later we're back on the road - the very next day the torque converter dies again and takes the whole tranny with it!  Then, at 62,000 miles the alternator dies!  We traded it in for my wife's Suzuki.  What a fucking waste of my hard earned money.  Never again.
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