hangarrat
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I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:37 pm

I've just started a job that has me commuting around 500 miles a week. My current car is a '98 Acura 2.5 TL, and while it's in decent condition, I forsee a need for some repairs that might be beyond the threshold of economic reason.

I was commuting by train for the last four years and drove the car less than 5,000 miles a year. For that reason, I didn't have to get an emissions test, and the catalytic converters are likely shot, as is at least one of the O2 sensors. Combine those with brakes and tires that likely won't pass inspection and I think it might be time to trade it in on something newer and more fuel efficient later this year.

I've had my eye on the Honda Fit. It looks good, has a reputation for being somewhat sporty and gets 35 mpg. Has anyone had experience with this car? I'd also consider a Ford Focus or a Chevy Aveo if the price is right. I'd really like to get something with a clean diesel, but as far as I know the only makers here in the US that offer Diesel in a small car are VW and Mercedes Benz.
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andz
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:58 pm

Do you get the Polo TDI there? That would be my choice.
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RNOcommctr
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:04 pm

Avoid the Aveo. Cheap purchase price but expensive to own in the long run due to poor reliability and high depreciation. Look at the Honda Fit and the Hyundai Elantra. The Elantra is Consumer Reports' highest rated small car.
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waterpolodan
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:10 pm

My brother is making the same choice at the moment, except he is considering the fit, the civic, and the Mazda 3. Of those, I'd get the 3 as I think it's the most fun to drive of the lot, but he's leaning towards the civic as apparently it's actually cheaper than the fit and IMO looks much better.
 
ajd1992
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:25 pm

If you can, buy a diesel. Might be more expensive per gallon/litre, but you'll get a lot more bang for your buck with diesel.

My recommendation would be a used Golf diesel something similar. VWs don't break down and are solid cars.
 
ACDC8
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:51 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 1):

Do you get the Polo TDI there? That would be my choice.

North America doesn't even get the gasoline Polo  

If you want diesel, VWs Jetta and Golf (if you have the TDi available yet) are pretty well your only choices for a diesel thats not incredibly expensive if you're going the new car route. Do keep in mind though, that diesels do require extra maintanence which may offset any savings through fuel economy.

The Honda Fit is a nice little car, overpriced IMHO though (as is the Yaris). The Hyundai Accent or Elantra Touring are other cars you may want to look at, not incredibly expensive, very reliable and get decent mileage.
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Ken777
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:55 pm

I'd have no problem recommending the Mazda - we still have my wife's 193 MX-3. Needs new rear struts right now, but my son's driving it so he can pick up that tab.

The Corolla's we have had over the years, until the late 90's cost cutting program. Bad news for us after that and I wouldn't recommend it.

The cars that are catching my eye these days are from Korea. 10 Year, 100K mile drive train warranty, with matching bumper to bumper available. I really like the idea of not having to pay for repairs for the next 10 years.

I also believe that Korean cars have replaced the cars from Japan in the 70s and 80s in terms of value for the dollar. This is where the fat & lazy companies need to look in order to match the competition.

As for European cars, there are some great ones, but the costs of ownership can be scary if you have a limited budget. Parts costs would be at the top of my list, but the maintenance on my '68 BMW 2002 was higher than college tuition at a private university. Never again for me.
 
flanker
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:13 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
I've had my eye on the Honda Fit. It looks good, has a reputation for being somewhat sporty and gets 35 mpg. Has anyone had experience with this car? I'd also consider a Ford Focus or a Chevy Aveo if the price is right. I'd really like to get something with a clean diesel, but as far as I know the only makers here in the US that offer Diesel in a small car are VW and Mercedes Benz.

My friend dont torture yourself with a ecobox.

Audi just came out with the 2010 A3 TDI 6spd in the states. I think that you will find it to be much better (on all fronts) than some electric POS with no soul.

"hose without access or desire to emulate the brisk pace we had on back roads will likely find their numbers much closer to 40 mpg in all-around driving. During last fall's Audi Mileage Marathon, the A3 TDIs averaged over 50 mpg crossing the country."

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/05/21/r...esel-with-a-healthy-dash-of-sport/

http://www.mpgomatic.com/2010/02/13/2010-audi-a3-tdi-review/

These are just some quick reviews, I am sure you can find more and better ones. The video in the second link is really nice.

oh and.. 2010 Green car of the year best commercal ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq58zS4_jvM

[Edited 2010-04-18 12:15:11]
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ACDC8
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:27 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 7):
Audi just came out with the 2010 A3 TDI 6spd in the states.

If you want to spend $30,000 + I'd agree with you.
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signol
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:09 pm

I asked a very similar question last year:
Thoughts About The Honda Jazz (by Signol Mar 23 2009 in Non Aviation)

In the end, we bought the Jazz (Fit in the USA) and have been very pleased with it. MPG figures are around 25-30 for urban driving, 45+ long distence cruising (UK gallons obviously!)
Handles very well, can get loads of stuff in it, the back seats fold in all sorts of ways.
The Honda dealership sent us a letter saying that it needed to be checked under the latest recall, but turned out not to be one of the affected cars, so all was ok there.

Only downside is the lack of a centre console arm rest, like our other car, a Toyota Corolla, has.

So overall, I'd recommend the Fit.

signol

[Edited 2010-04-18 13:11:47]
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Ken777
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:07 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 7):
Audi just came out with the 2010 A3 TDI 6spd in the states

That's gonna cost about the same as 2 Kia's. Or one Kia and one very nice international vacation with a very nice young lady.

Actually, when I think about it, the base A3 costs more than my first house, the furniture and my first 3 cars combined.
 
hangarrat
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:11 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 7):
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 8):

As ACDC8 suggests, cost is something of a concern.

I have been thinking about Hyundais too, and the warranty makes it an attractive car, even if the styling or handling aren't.
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Ken777
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:31 am

Quoting HangarRat (Reply 11):
I have been thinking about Hyundais too,

Dig through the owners comments on edmunds.com - might look at the Kia also.

For a really cheap ride the Soul looks OK. Well, not that great looking for a 65 year old guy, but I'd go for it for the price, relative comfort and cost per mile on a heavy use situation. There is 100+ owners commenting on this one on edmunds.com
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:55 am

Might want to look at a Kia Forte EX sedan for approximately $15,000 USD. A friend had one as a rental vehicle for 2 weeks and find it quite appealing - enough power, good handling, good ride, and huge inside - lots of trunk space.
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EddieDude
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:12 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5):
North America doesn't even get the gasoline Polo

Soon it will. Volkswagen is going to start production of the new-generation Polo in the Puebla assembly plant, for sale in the Americas (perhaps production has already started). It will be built alongside the Bora/Jetta, the Golf (Jetta) station wagon, and the Beetle.

If you can, wait for it... VW's are great cars. Or wait for the Ford Fiesta (soon to be on sale in the U.S.) or for the next-generation Ford Focus.
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aerobalance
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:19 am

Get the Honda. I'd have problems with buying a Korean vehicle after watching my friends 1987 Hyundai Excel go up in flames due to a fuel leak in 1988. Hyundai didn't claim responsibility. We still drink to that inferno-car to this day!  
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Pyrex
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:19 am

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
I've had my eye on the Honda Fit. It looks good, has a reputation for being somewhat sporty and gets 35 mpg. Has anyone had experience with this car?

I have one (previous generation) and it is a great little car - really quiet, very good space inside for the size, fairly economical (unless you push it a bit harder) and easy to manouver in an urban environment. The new generation Fit looks even better, if I drove enough I might consider one of those. Oh, and it takes a side ramming at 30 mph like a champ. I know this is really more dealer related than manufacturer related, though, but I am really happy we the service I have had as well.
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Brick
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:22 am

Bought my wife a 3 door Toyota Yaris HB last year. It got higher driver satisifaction that the Fit and Soul according to various websites (Edmunds comes to mind). My wife loves driving her Yaris! She gets approximately 40 MPG on the highway. The maintenance is almost non-existant until 120,000 miles according the owner's manual (just an oil change every 5,000mi / 6 mos).
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Fly2HMO
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:02 am

Well I'd say get my car, but it's not even sold in the states...   

And I would NOT go Asian.   

So pretty much your only option is to go German.

Or somewhat British if you consider the new Ford Fiesta.

Quoting RNOcommctr (Reply 2):
Avoid the Aveo.

              

That car is THE worst steaming pile of poorly digested feces I have EVER driven   . I had the misfortune of smearing myself in it as a rental for 10 days when my other car's transmission exploded. I wanted to cut my wrists. It is HORRID in EVERY aspect. But I've ranted enough about that turd already in previous threads, so I'll give it a rest-ish.

I don't know WTF GM was thinking about putting a Chevy badge on a freaking Daewoo. I avoid GM products like the plague as it is, and then I felt like hurling when I saw the "Made in Korea by Daewoo" plaque in the car. But that surely explained everything....  
 
Kent350787
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:13 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 18):
I don't know WTF GM was thinking about putting a Chevy badge on a freaking Daewoo.

Holden does the same thing in Austrlaia, but calls the Aveo a Holden Barina. It didn't go down all that well that in 2007 they were following two generations of rebadged Opel Corsas with a slightly warmed over 2002 Daewoo Koleos. Even the then head of Holden admitted that the cars wouldn't meet the standards of its predecessors until the next generation, which is still to arrive.

Anyway, I'd go the Fit - my folks have the previous generation (Jazz here too) and haven't had a problem in over 60k miles.
 
MD-90
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:32 am

Commuting 500 miles a week I'd put fuel efficiency and comfort at the top of my list. I'd a fuel efficient car that was quiet, rode well, and had comfortable seats.

As much as it pains me to say it, the rental Toyota Corolla I had earlier this year fit the bill, although the electric steering feels unnatural. The Fit would be a good choice too but I'd want to make sure it was quiet--might be noisy inside. Perhaps the Hyundai Elantra would be a good fit as well, but I'm not sure about its fuel economy. If it wasn't out of your price range a diesel Jetta might be a nice option as well.

As much as I like my Mazda 3 I'd stay away from it as the fuel mileage isn't that great for a 4-cylinder car but I love how it drives so I don't care.
 
andz
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RE: I Need To Buy An Econobox -- Suggestions

Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:36 am

I had a new Golf 2.0 TDI on rent in the UK last week and I was very impressed with it. It has all the gadgets that my BMW has and is spacious and fun to drive with lots of oomph. I would say that it would give my Beemer a hiding in a drag from the lights!
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