Author Topic: Mustachian second car opinion  (Read 1078 times)

merlin7676

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Mustachian second car opinion
« on: September 10, 2018, 09:46:18 AM »
Currently DH and myself, along with his best friend who is our roommate, currently live in a 2 bedroom condo in the city, downtown area.

We're in the process of selling and moving out of the city (although still in the city limits) to a "suburb-like" area and L(er)COL.
We are buying a townhouse which will be almost twice as big (all 3 of us will be living in it to save money like we are now in the condo) but significantly less expensive. So reduced COL, reduced taxes, reduced HOA dues, and therefore save more and hopefully retire a little earlier than our current time frame.

One downside is the commute.
Currently DH takes public transportation since he works in the city. I work in an east suburb 20.5 miles away so I drive.

When we move, there aren't any viable public transportation options. So we'd both have to drive.
His commute would be 7.1 miles and my commute would increase from 20.5 to 24.7 miles.

So I'd probably be using the second car. We'd want something cheap but reliable, great gas mileage since I'm driving further and includes freeway driving for the majority of it.

What do you suggest for a mustachain car in terms of make/model, mileage, and prices?  I don't care or need anything shiney, fancy-pants, and don't care what people think of what I drive.

I only care that it's reliable and as cheap to drive as possible.

thanks
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 09:48:03 AM by merlin7676 »

shelbyautumn

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 10:20:02 AM »
Toyota Corolla.

Mine is an 09, has about 130k miles on it, and runs like a dream. We recently added roof racks and a hitch so my husband could haul kayaks and mountain bikes. He made a 5 hour road trip last weekend with all that stuff and still averaged 30 mpg. We get closer to 34 with everything off of it. When I lived in California and did all freeway driving I averaged around 36-40 mpg.

They're cheap, easy to maintain, and so reliable.

nereo

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 10:31:19 AM »
Used Corolla, Honda Civic or Toyota Camry would all fit your needs and you can find used versions for <$5k that will last another decade in a salt-free environment.  Sometimes you can find a used Prius (which will get even better MPG) for a few $k more; if fuel is $3.50/gallon and you drive 15,000 miles/year a Prius will save you about $300/year in fuel costs over those other models.. probably worth spending $1k/extra but not $3k (in terms of ROI)

Look for models that are at least 10 years old but have ≤100,000 miles (they exist!).  The resale of cars goes way down after a decade even when the mileage is reasonable. 
Dents and other cosmetic damage are your friend.
G'luck.

Ecky

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 04:13:48 PM »
Cars on my short list include Toyota Corollas (especially manuals), Honda Fit, Toyota Prius, if you can snag a good deal the Chevy Volt, and if you can make the range work, one of the less expensive electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV. All of these vehicles are well above average reliability and have very low running costs. The Prius may deliver the lowest overall cost of ownership but there's always a chance of needing a $1500 battery replacement sometime during the vehicle's life.

One of the big selling points of a Prius for me is its drivetrain reliability. Automatic transmission failure is usually what takes cars off the road (if you don't live in the rust belt) and Prius transmissions don't have the same moving parts as conventional automatics, and very rarely fail. EVs generally don't have transmissions at all, and their batteries usually fail in a very gradual way that you'll see coming years in advance. Basically zero maintenance on an EV exept for the battery.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 09:21:11 AM »
Are you sure your move, considering the cost of another vehicle, is cost effective?

libbyonthelabel

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 08:10:59 AM »
Those are all great choices, but kind of extra costly because they're popular. I got a four year old Nissan Versa Note - close to 40 mpg, and total cost for the car was under $7,000. From what I saw it would have cost a few thousand more for a comparable Toyota. Manual transmission on the Note though - fairly important for that model. Point is, other cars are about as reliable but cost less because they're not as well known or popular.

nereo

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 11:00:09 AM »
Those are all great choices, but kind of extra costly because they're popular. I got a four year old Nissan Versa Note - close to 40 mpg, and total cost for the car was under $7,000. From what I saw it would have cost a few thousand more for a comparable Toyota. Manual transmission on the Note though - fairly important for that model. Point is, other cars are about as reliable but cost less because they're not as well known or popular.
A good point.  Id also add that, with rare exceptions, every car model sold in the US in the last decade can be considered 'very reliable'. We've become so accustomed to the car just starting anytime you turn the key (or push the button) that it's a shock when it doesn't.  Sure, some cars cost considerably more to repair and for upkeep, but how often does a car with < 100k miles actually not get you to where you want to go?  Once or twice per year (out of several hundred trips?)

my bottom line:  as long as there are no lemon warnings, the title is good and my mechanic gives me the greasy thumbs up I consider any modern car to be reliable.  So I decide based on base price, mpg and repair cost estimates (available from sites like CR).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 03:08:02 AM »
Why are you moving further away from both jobs? Why are you choosing to move to an area with zero public transportation?

Surely you could move in between the two. If you luck out, it'll be in biking distance of at least one (7.1 miles is a bikeable distance also) :)

25 miles each way commute...is that Mustachian? :)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 03:26:38 AM by alsoknownasDean »

Ecky

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 05:00:47 AM »
good point.  Id also add that, with rare exceptions, every car model sold in the US in the last decade can be considered 'very reliable'. We've become so accustomed to the car just starting anytime you turn the key (or push the button) that it's a shock when it doesn't.  Sure, some cars cost considerably more to repair and for upkeep, but how often does a car with < 100k miles actually not get you to where you want to go?  Once or twice per year (out of several hundred trips?)

my bottom line:  as long as there are no lemon warnings, the title is good and my mechanic gives me the greasy thumbs up I consider any modern car to be reliable. So I decide based on base price, mpg and repair cost estimates (available from sites like CR).

In the case of my Honda, zero times so far in 240k miles / 18 years. I fixed a few things which were physically damaged when my ex had a bad accident, but otherwise it has needed only regular maintenance (brakes, oil changes, tires).

I agree there can be value in going with one of the less known-to-be-reliable brands, and sometimes public perception doesn't match up with actual reliability. But as for the Nissan Versa, Dashboard-Light's real-world data gave it a reliability score of "zero" out of 100:

http://www.dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Nissan_Versa.html

http://www.dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Toyota_Yaris.html

Maybe most of them never break down in the first 100k, but statistically you're around 4x more likely to be left on the side of the road in a Versa than a Corolla, Yaris or Fit. I'd personally be furious if I'd have been left stranded ~36 times over the life (so far) of my vehicle at just "once or twice per year" when a car that was only marginally more expensive might have saved me 24 of those tows and days of late or missed work.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 05:09:50 AM by Ecky »

Frznrth

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 07:47:10 AM »
I read a blog recently of a Tesla owner that tracked his expenses for the first 100,000 miles - they were ridiculously low.  A few thousand with the biggest expense being tires.  He did though get to charge for free at his work - nice perk.  It would be interesting to know what power would have cost him.  Even so I am definitely going to consider some sort of electric car for my next.  I'm hearing that so little goes wrong and nothing except the battery (and tires) wears out. 

libbyonthelabel

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2018, 08:24:46 AM »
That's why I said manual transmission is important for that model - there are definitely problems with the automatic transmissions.  But again, because of known issues with that model and the automatic transmission, the manual was devalued too by "public opinion", so I paid less for a car that statistically should be reasonably problem-free.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 08:29:40 AM by libbyonthelabel »

FLBiker

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2018, 11:38:35 AM »
We have both an 09 Corolla and a 10 Hyundai Accent and I MUCH prefer the Accent.  Personally, I don't think I'd get a Toyota again.  It's not that it's a bad car (my wife would probably disagree, she quite dislikes it), but it's no more trouble-free than any other car I've had (last car was a 99 Ford Explorer Sport).  It has had numerous issues over the last 6 or so years that we've owned it.  Perhaps it's just a bad one, but my (admittedly non-car-expert) opinion is that while Toyota's may have been worth a premium (because of their reliability) over something like a Hyundai, I don't think that's necessarily still true.  Perhaps for Honda it still is, though.

To be honest, we're likely going to replace the Corolla sooner than later (either when we move or if we decide not to move) as it has some issue with the fuel pump that we've been unable to resolve.  I'm not sure what we'll get, but we'll certainly look at Hyundais.  When we were last looking (about 1.5 years ago) we also liked Ford Focuses, but we couldn't find one at the price we wanted to pay.

BDWW

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Re: Mustachian second car opinion
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 12:13:28 PM »
That's why I said manual transmission is important for that model - there are definitely problems with the automatic transmissions.  But again, because of known issues with that model and the automatic transmission, the manual was devalued too by "public opinion", so I paid less for a car that statistically should be reasonably problem-free.

Same thing applies to the Focus and Fiesta, virtually all the issues they have are related to the terrible powershift transmission.