Author Topic: Choosing a new-to-me car, help!  (Read 1564 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Choosing a new-to-me car, help!
« on: November 14, 2016, 06:21:47 PM »
So I was rear-ended on the way to work this morning (yes I drive rather than biking, but as a substitute teacher who gets called the morning of and doesn't know when or where I am going each day, well, you get the picture). Anyways, my car went crunch in the middle of two others, and given the fact that it was ten years old and the airbag deployed, insurance seems to think it will be totaled and I should start looking for a new one. I am not at all into cars, I really don't care or follow or can really even identify different cars. My main concern in gas mileage, but beyond that I need some help knowing what might be some good makes/models/year to look at.

The car that just got squished was a manual 2007 Honda Accord that my family got for me in college. It had a mere 58k miles on it despite being almost 10 years old because I drive so little. I always assumed I would drive that car til it fell apart (figuring another 10years or so out of it given the low mileage) and by the time I was ready for another car, I figured electric cars would be mainstream. But instead, I find myself looking for something new on a short timeline, eek! I enjoy driving stick-shift, but would consider an automatic if it were something more hybrid/energy efficient. So what are your recommendations for a gas efficient car that can also fit a few hiking buddies and their backpacks for a weekend camping trip, my main use of the car aside from work?

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Choosing a new-to-me car, help!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 06:28:03 PM »
Well, you could just get the same thing again if possible.

If you are interested in smaller hatchbacks, you might find this thread helpful. People gave me all sorts of good advice. I am still shopping, too!$10k-to-spend-on-a-car/msg1296407/#msg1296407


  • Bristles
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Re: Choosing a new-to-me car, help!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 07:34:52 PM »
I would suggest Honda Fit. 

They have a lot of room for the size and are very functional.

Good gas mileage, reliability, as well as inexpensive to maintain. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Choosing a new-to-me car, help!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 11:19:00 PM »
Get yourself an old Volvo--1992 vintage or earlier. Do the usual due diligence you would do with any used car--ask a lot of questions (how many owners? accidents? speedo accurate? rust? repair records etc.). Take it to a good independent mechanic you trust and have him go over everything and give you an estimate for necessary repairs, etc.

Seriously, I have owned a 1991 740 SE since it was new, and it has it has been extremely cheap to own, reliable. It has plenty of power (not a sports sedan by today's standards), is roomy, comfortable, and has a great driving dynamic. The most I have EVER paid for something that failed was for a leaky radiator (600$). The gas mileage is not great, but not terrible either.

I have always kept it in very good condition mechanically, but lately the appearance was starting to really slide. Rather than replace a perfectly good car with many more years left, I opted to have a thorough detail job, and repainted the spoiler, bumper, --roof and hood are next.

Anyway, these cars are virtually indestructible (esp. the "red engine" which mine has), and fairly simple (no "steering column memory module" to fail for $1300). If you like working on it yourself, they are very wrenchable.

If you find one in really good condition, you might pay a few thousand or more. (there is beginning to be a cult following, and I have seen excellent condition 89 wagons for $10K) There are downsides: mileage, a few parts are aftermarket only, and they are not exactly loaded with amenities.

I plan to drive mine until electrics are cheap and have a reliable 300+ mile range. Even then, I would probably still lose money in lease payments, increased insurance, registration, etc.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 11:21:20 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »