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Posted: 5/1/2009 11:09:39 AM EDT
I'm looking for something as an around-town runabout that has 4 doors, gets decent mileage and won't cost me $100 anytime the oil needs changing (like my current VW)

2003-2006, so someone has already taken a depreciation hit (and preferably low miles so that repair costs won't be too high)
4 doors
highway mileage of 25+
Honda, Chevy, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan.  Maybe a Ford.  Mazda 3 or Protege?
good interior room and lots of driver leg room (6'4")
good acceleration and handling
something that feels "grounded" and not like a rental car

Suggestions?


Link Posted: 5/1/2009 3:10:42 PM EDT
What is wrong with the VW?

Most new cars are going to cost a bit for an oil change.

Nissan's for their v6's switched to some ester oil synthetic oil, that you can only get from them. You don't have to use it, but they claim your engine will be damaged if you don't. Not sure if I want to be the test case, but others have, and show no problems for the moment.

I switched to a VW TDI due to the mileage. It gets 10mpg more than the equivilant sized nissan that I was looking at, an altima.

Honda's I didn't like so much, the civic didn't sit right with me.

I just hate toyota's don't know why.
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 4:01:02 PM EDT
GRAN PRIX.

They take an even bigger hit because the Gran Prix turned into a fleet car, so they're a dime a dozen. The 3800/4AT combo is bombproof and will get you 30 on the highway (actual) and around 19-20 in city traffic. Despite being FWD, I think it's a pretty bad ass car for the money.
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 4:56:16 PM EDT
Grand Prix or Impala.  Or maybe a Hyundai Sonata?
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 4:57:39 PM EDT
I am unable to recommend a car to fit all of your criteria.
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 5:13:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Andrewh:
What is wrong with the VW?

Most new cars are going to cost a bit for an oil change.

Nissan's for their v6's switched to some ester oil synthetic oil, that you can only get from them. You don't have to use it, but they claim your engine will be damaged if you don't. Not sure if I want to be the test case, but others have, and show no problems for the moment.

I switched to a VW TDI due to the mileage. It gets 10mpg more than the equivilant sized nissan that I was looking at, an altima.

Honda's I didn't like so much, the civic didn't sit right with me.

I just hate toyota's don't know why.


Here's what's wrong with the VW (Touareg), besides getting 14mpg.....

Mileage Description Cost
36,328 Front brakes $1,111.06
36,328 Oil change $74.90
36,328 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 Oil change $59.95
29,547 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 brake flush $138.40
29,547 power steering flush $171.99
24,389 oil change $77.27
22,975 mount tires $164.50
22,975 alignment $99.95
22,975 tires $633.16
wiper blades $50.84
17,676 oil change $114.65
9,990 10k service $229.83
4,993 5k service  $148.43
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 5:23:11 PM EDT
Subaru Impreza?
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 5:26:23 PM EDT



Originally Posted By FrankSL:



Here's what's wrong with the VW (Touareg), besides getting 14mpg.....



Mileage Description Cost

36,328 Front brakes $1,111.06

36,328 Oil change $74.90

36,328 tire rotation $39.95

29,547 Oil change $59.95

29,547 tire rotation $39.95

29,547 brake flush $138.40

29,547 power steering flush $171.99

24,389 oil change $77.27

22,975 mount tires $164.50

22,975 alignment $99.95

22,975 tires $633.16

wiper blades $50.84

17,676 oil change $114.65

9,990 10k service $229.83

4,993 5k service  $148.43



Why are those prices so high?!?!  
  I'm assuming this is what a dealer charged you?  
 
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 5:27:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 2:40:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By -spooky-:

Originally Posted By FrankSL:

Here's what's wrong with the VW (Touareg), besides getting 14mpg.....

Mileage Description Cost
36,328 Front brakes $1,111.06
36,328 Oil change $74.90
36,328 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 Oil change $59.95
29,547 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 brake flush $138.40
29,547 power steering flush $171.99
24,389 oil change $77.27
22,975 mount tires $164.50
22,975 alignment $99.95
22,975 tires $633.16
wiper blades $50.84
17,676 oil change $114.65
9,990 10k service $229.83
4,993 5k service  $148.43

Why are those prices so high?!?!     I'm assuming this is what a dealer charged you?  


 


Why are those prices so low?  Shit I expected to see something more. I see you started with having the "Service" performed, then switched to just doing oil changes.  This makes no sense to me, as the vehicle gets older and accumulates mileage, you begin to neglect its needs even more.  

Does the manufacturer require a power steering flush or did you throw away $170 on a sales pitch?

Otherwise I do not see anything at all wrong with those prices.  They seem to be in line even with a much less expensive vehicle.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 2:45:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2009 2:46:14 AM EDT by FrankSL]
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Originally Posted By -spooky-:

Originally Posted By FrankSL:

Here's what's wrong with the VW (Touareg), besides getting 14mpg.....

Mileage Description Cost
36,328 Front brakes $1,111.06
36,328 Oil change $74.90
36,328 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 Oil change $59.95
29,547 tire rotation $39.95
29,547 brake flush $138.40
29,547 power steering flush $171.99
24,389 oil change $77.27
22,975 mount tires $164.50
22,975 alignment $99.95
22,975 tires $633.16
wiper blades $50.84
17,676 oil change $114.65
9,990 10k service $229.83
4,993 5k service  $148.43

Why are those prices so high?!?!     I'm assuming this is what a dealer charged you?  


 


Why are those prices so low?  Shit I expected to see something more. I see you started with having the "Service" performed, then switched to just doing oil changes.  This makes no sense to me, as the vehicle gets older and accumulates mileage, you begin to neglect its needs even more.  

Does the manufacturer require a power steering flush or did you throw away $170 on a sales pitch?

Otherwise I do not see anything at all wrong with those prices.  They seem to be in line even with a much less expensive vehicle.


"Service" was nothing more than an oil change.  I switched from one dealer to another and the costs went down.  VW recommends a power steering fluid change at 30k.  The front brakes (which requires new rotors, insists VW) were the most shocking.

This nets out to about 8.6 cents per mile for service.....not sure how that compares to other imported vehicles.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 3:37:50 AM EDT
If your "Service" was nothing more than an oil change, then it wasn't being done properly.  Our costs are $275-450 I think for most vehicles.  A V-12 would be more, and also it would cost more based on what other maintenance is required at that visit, along with wear items or broken stuff.  Depending on the car, $2K for a four wheel brake job is not unheard of.  So seeing as how its a german car I don't feel your costs for maintenance are out of line at all.  

The easiest way to reduce your maintenance cost is to do the work yourself, however this would likely end up costing you even more money in the end if you had to buy the tools and equipment to do any of it.  

The best way to reduce your chances of having an unscheduled repair is to have the maintenance performed properly.  They can catch problems early and take care of them before things go awry.  This of course doesn't always work, as you can't really predict a voltage regulator failure or other such problems, but it will keep your vehicle performing in top notch condition.  As many car guys will tell you, "defferred maintenance" is not tolerated well.  What you saved upfront will cost you tenfold in the end.

Link Posted: 5/2/2009 4:11:08 AM EDT
Try a newer Honda Civic.

40mpg hwy

Solid feel and good handling for what it is.

Drive one.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 6:00:07 AM EDT
Grand Prix GT or GTP...

Link Posted: 5/2/2009 8:47:20 AM EDT
I just bought an 03 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally. Really good on gas, fun to drive, handles great.



I absolutly love it. Next car: 06/07 Lancer Evolution!

Link Posted: 5/2/2009 10:48:12 AM EDT
hmm, I bought the jetta tdi and although the oil changes are a bit on the high side compared to the gasser, it gets 35 to 36 mpg combined driving and lead footing it around town. I have heard of others getting into the 40's and 50's, but never seen higher than 38 myself.

Still not a big deal, 10mpg better than the sentra I used to own, and a bigger car. My biggest expense was new tires. It has been in for warranty work 3 times, but you already know about vw service.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 8:16:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2009 8:19:19 PM EDT by -spooky-]







Originally Posted By saturnstyl:




Depending on the car, $2K for a four wheel brake job is not unheard of.




How much of that is labor?  And are we talking slotted and cross-drilled discs and ceramic pads?



 





 

 
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 8:26:06 PM EDT
I still vote 02 and 03 Lancers...
Link Posted: 5/3/2009 2:49:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By -spooky-:

Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Depending on the car, $2K for a four wheel brake job is not unheard of.

How much of that is labor?  And are we talking slotted and cross-drilled discs and ceramic pads?
 
   


About $400 for labor.  We are talking factory parts.  On the car I'm thinking of, the rotors are punched (the correct way to "cross drill") on the front.  Our rotors are made of softer metal than what you would find on say an american truck.  They wear more quickly.  They also do not leave very much material for the minimum specification.  So we don't even have a brake lathe, if it needs rotors, we put rotors on.  On many of them, it means rotors on each brake job.  These are pretty good brakes usually, they do pretty well stopping these really heavy sedans in rather short distances.  A set of brakes will last an average person 30K miles.
Link Posted: 5/3/2009 6:18:31 AM EDT
Nissan Altima SE-R. Meets most of your requirments.




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