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Brad
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm  Reply with quote
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I've got a 8 year old MiniVan with 130k and a 11 year old escort that is starting to fall apart at the seams. I'm thinking about getting a new car for Cindy and getting rid of the Escort.

I'm debating between a late model Taurus (11-12k), a late model Accord 4 cylinder (17k) and a Prius (23-24k out the door?). With the Taurus, you get large car and maybe the price washes the difference in gas mileage. The Honda gets ok mileage and will run forever. The Prius is the mileage champ, but costs more up front, and is a little smaller. They all can be gotten with the safety stuff, like side air bags.

Cindy drives for work and we get reimbursed mileage- overall we put about 20k miles on a year on her car, very little miles go on whatever I'm driving. We basically keep cars until they are wore out. There's the two of us and two rapidly growing boys (one is a medium man now).

I'm thinking with the Prius that the savings in gas would wash the extra payment and then we'd have it as a hedge against the inevidale increase in gas prices. And as a bonus, it would be good for the environment. But we'd have to order it in advance.

Thoughts?

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Matty
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:29 pm  Reply with quote
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What about the civic hybrid or vw jetta/passat diesel? You really can't go wrong with a used honda or toyota. I don't think the Prius is worth the extra money, it'll take so many years to make back what you save in gas, though it's eco-friendly so that's a plus. I'd go for the accord out of those three.

But if you're losing your van you should look at the Element, those things are cool, but don't get the greastest gas milage.

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Brad
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:32 pm  Reply with quote
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Matty wrote:
What about the civic hybrid or vw jetta/passat diesel? You really can't go wrong with a used honda or toyota. I don't think the Prius is worth the extra money, it'll take so many years to make back what you save in gas, though it's eco-friendly so that's a plus. I'd go for the accord out of those three.

But if you're losing your van you should look at the Element, those things are cool, but don't get the greastest gas milage.


I keep coming back to the Accord/Camry. I think the Accord would be a little more fun to drive. Elements are neat, but they don't help me on the gas mileage side of things. So a car would be better. We'll probably keep a van around, but I'll drive it because I don't really put on many miles.

We looked at Jetta diesels, but they're pricey too. Diesel is more expensive than gas, and I don't know how easy they are to get service for outside of the dealership.

So.. back to the Accords and Camrys for the good middle of the road option. On the upside, if I get one of them, I'd probably be able to pass it onto Brian when he graduates from College.

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LOREMipsum
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:29 pm  Reply with quote
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I would stick to the Honda/Toyota route as well. They last forever and they get great gas mileage.

We will be going after a CR-V (same chasis as the Element) in the next couple of months with the arrival of our first child drawing near. We considered the minivan route but after researching the MPG data on consumerreports.com you are actually far better off with the CR-V/Element or even the RAV-4. The Toyota Matrix was also on the list but I'm a bigger guy with a bad back and crawling into the shorter cars with a child in hand would be a little difficult for me. Personally I prefer the gas mileage of the Scion paddywagon looking thing but the wife refuses to drive it for aesthetic reasons.

As far as the other cars are concerned, I agree with Tom Lindsay's comment from a far earlier thread about the toxicity of the batteries in the hybrid cars. They will have to be disposed of someday and I would assume that the environmental impact is considerable.

VW's while sexy and fun to drive, are a pain. Tons of electrical problems and the construction is a bit shoddy. Seems like the wife has something breaking on her Jetta all the time.
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UriahB
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:54 pm  Reply with quote
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Not only the toxicity but also the eventual cost of replacing those batteries should be considered. Hybrids are an awesome idea but they need to quit trying to charge a premium for them and increase the efficiency.

Right now, that Accord would be a pretty good choice. Good reliability, good mileage and commodity type car = good parts availability.

I thought those elements looked cool so I test drove one and it was a little too sluggish for my tastes. The Scion is a pretty cool ride but you either love em or hate em.
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Jo
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:46 pm  Reply with quote
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I had a Taurus a few years back. Worst. Car. Ever.

There was always something wrong with it. In the 3 years I had it, the power window motor on the driver's side had to be replaced twice. Getting the brakes fixed took 7 (count 'em, 7!) trips to the mechanic. Some major joint-thing snapped (for no apparent reason, and the mechanic said he had never seen anything like it) on the front axle and left the passenger-side tire leaning in at a 45-degree angle and cost $1200 to fix. The tailgate leaked. The sensor in the driver's door went on the blink and wouldn't register that the door was closed, so the dome light stayed on until I took the bulb out. The CD changer quit working less than a year after I bought it. It pissed oil all over the garage floor. The tiniest pothole would throw the whole thing out of alignment. And on and on...

Most of this may seem trivial, but since it was the first "real" car (as in I actually had to take out a loan for it) I'd ever had and I tried hard to take good care of it, all these (mostly) petty annoyances added up. I HATED that car!

When the ABS light came on and stayed on, I decided screw it, I still owe a lot of money but I am getting rid of it NOW.

Also, it was shit for driving in the snow.

(My dad also had a Taurus and hated it... but who listens to their dad, right?) [/i]
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kennylibido
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:57 pm  Reply with quote
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Jo wrote:
Worst. Car. Ever.


Ditto.

My son had a Taurus as his first car and it was nothing but trouble.

Tha Japanese and Germans funneled all their angry mojo at getting their asses handed to them into making rockin' autos. I owned a VW and two BMWs and continue to be stunned by their brilliance. I'd go foreign.
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dmarquis
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:01 pm  Reply with quote
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I would go Japanese, as American cars really don't last as long or with fewer problems. My 2 cents....

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nealaustin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:26 pm  Reply with quote
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Buy American and quality at the same time. I went with the Toyota Corolla because in order to make up for the differance in MPG Iwould have to drive it a whole lot. The Corolla was 16k out the door. Then there are the batteries that have to be exchanged about every 3 years at a few thousand dollars. Why do they put the extra vents on the hybrids? Toxic fumes from the batteries.
Neal

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JMP
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:54 pm  Reply with quote
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Matty wrote:
What about the civic hybrid or vw jetta/passat diesel? You really can't go wrong with a used honda or toyota. I don't think the Prius is worth the extra money, it'll take so many years to make back what you save in gas, though it's eco-friendly so that's a plus. I'd go for the accord out of those three.

But if you're losing your van you should look at the Element, those things are cool, but don't get the greastest gas milage.


Hopefully Honda has fixed their issues with the Civic hybrid since every reputable mag review repeatedly found it not meeting its mpg efficiency claims.

Do not buy a Taurus they are terrible. Everyone who I know has owned one has had their Taurus' transmission fail on them.

The Prius has way too many drawbacks as mentioned by others. Battery toxins, expensive/often battery replacement, stalling between 35 - 45 mph, price tag, etc.

You’re missing out on the Chevy Aveo. Cheap, zippy, best mpg's in it's class and very roomy, my 6'2" ass will fit comfortably. Check it out!
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LOREMipsum
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:06 am  Reply with quote
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JMP wrote:
You’re missing out on the Chevy Aveo. Cheap, zippy, best mpg's in it's class and very roomy, my 6'2" ass will fit comfortably. Check it out!


As compact cars go you'd be better off with a used Toyota Echo, any of the Scions, or wait for the Yaris to arrive. Better MPH, better acceleration and they won't crap out on you in the fourth year of ownership like a Chevy.

I'm just sayin'...
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Brad
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:51 am  Reply with quote
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Wow, I hit a cord. I like the Scion XB, but my wife and son think they're weird looking. They do have loads of room inside and you sit up high enough that you can actually see. Probably pokey with the 1.5, but around town, who cares.

I've thought about the Corolla or the Civic. I think the Civic was just redesigned with more rear passenger room. I might have to take another look at that. I think they are rated 30 mpg in town and 40 mpg on the road.

Aveos are too small. I'm good with driving one, but I just don't feel right about putting a teenage driver in one. An accident will happen with a teenage driver, I'd just prefer a little more metal around when it does. I'll probably make him drive the minivan to start. It's just down to liability insurance now anyhow.

I've had pretty good luck with my last two fords, but to be fair, they had alot of Mazda parts in them (from the 323 and Protege, ford owned a stake in them). Buying american with japanese parts seems to be a good scam, the current example is the Pontiac Vibe. But the back seat is still a little small.

So back to the Camry/Accord. God, I'm middle-aged these days. A four-door sedan makes sense.

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nealaustin
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:51 am  Reply with quote
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Don't overlook the safety of small cars. My wife was rear ended in a Chev Metro by a "mini"van. After being shoved across 4 lanes of highway and smashing into a tree on the other side at about 45 miles an hour she only had a cut on her forehead. I know this has nothing to do with the Yaris and Aveo but they are safe. Otherwise we could all be putting all of our teenagers in Hummers. How about bumper stickers saying "START SEEING COMPACT CARS" Now to get political; If you frown on the arabs "buying" our ports and stuff, you had better make a move to buying vehicles that use less gas. The arab aristocrats can only buy so many toys with all of those greenbacks we send them. Same with China. Every thing you buy at Target is made in China. What do you think they will do once the've "fixed" their country? Buy ours.

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dmarquis
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:55 am  Reply with quote
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Quote:
Buy American and quality at the same time.


Can it be done? Hmm I am thiking not. The problem American car manufactures face is the Japanese people will work like 60 hours a week for the same if not more pay than Americans work in a 40....... Now, America will be in trouble if we don't shape up our act, work harder and long for the same as other people and face the fact that we are going to have to buy the American product wich is going to cost like a lot more than the imported product...........

my little rant.

Dave
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Brad
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:35 pm  Reply with quote
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Humm... safety. I mostly subscribe to the lug-nut rule. The vehicle with the most lug nuts wins (that's never the scooter).

I think that weight matters. I have read the up to 98 percent of the deaths in car-truck accidents are the death of the person in the car that got hit. But trucks can be tough to drive and tend to roll over. There's also that pesky fuel-economy thing. Mini Vans are a little iffy on safety these days also. But I'd still rather be in the mini van in a subcompact vs. the van situation.

I don't subscribe to that whole american or other thing either. The cars are good or they are not. The parts are outsourced from everywhere now. It's a global economy baby!

The chinese, indian and other up and comers are going to be demanding their share of the resources. That's just the way of the world and they have as much right (or maybe more) than we do. Lifting the economic tide for all makes for a safer world IMOH.

OK, back to cars. Volkswagons are considered to be on the top of the safe heap - a plus for them. Actually, Camry's don't look to bad and the new Honda Civics are supposed to be the safest small car, benefits from the latest technology I suppose.

Best combination of cost, size, economy and safety for a family of four. Probably a year-old four cylinder Camry, as long as I find one with the optional side impact airbags. At least that's what I'm thinking today : )

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