Author Topic: WWYD: I hate my car  (Read 4622 times)

I'm a red panda

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WWYD: I hate my car
« on: May 31, 2017, 10:46:28 AM »
I had a Civic for 13 years, and after an accident where I broke a bone in my neck, I just couldn't drive it without incredible fear anymore (car was unharmed).
As a result, I replaced it with an Elantra (after shopping for about 6 months to find a car I liked).

Turns out, I hate the Elantra. The four test drives I did were not enough that I noticed the visibility out of the front sides is really obstructed by the side columns. Because the test drive was mostly on busy roads and highways- and the problem is in neighborhoods and parking lots.  I've nearly hit someone at least twice, because I DO NOT see them at all.  I've been startled by seeing people at last minute many times. Thankfully, this usually happens when I'm going 15 mph or less- but I'm still terrified I'm going to seriously hurt someone.  It's just too many close calls.

BUT- I've only had the car for just under 3 years. It hasn't even hit 10,000 miles.   It feels ridiculous to replace it.

Would you keep a car you hate?  Should I just suck up the financial loss and get something else?


Other wrench: I have an infant. Test driving cars right now is going to be really difficult.

dandarc

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 10:51:57 AM »
For me safety is #1.  If you don't think you can operate the vehicle safely, you should get one that you can operate safely, for your and everyone else's sake.

That being said -

Have you tried different seat positions?  The view can be very different with moving yourself just a few inches in the car.

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 10:55:58 AM »

Have you tried different seat positions?  The view can be very different with moving yourself just a few inches in the car.

My seat about one inch less than as far forward as it goes for me to be able to reach the peddles without stretching.  I've tried lifting it higher, or tilting it- but it doesn't really help.

Laura33

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 11:09:16 AM »
I've only had the car for just under 3 years. It hasn't even hit 10,000 miles.   It feels ridiculous to replace it.

Is this the only reason you don't want to replace it?  I.e., would replacing it interfere with your financial goals?

If this is the only reason, get over it, sell it, and get something different.  This isn't just about safety -- it's also about avoiding the horrible emotional and financial downsides of hitting someone.  If your financial ducks are in a row, it is a reasonable choice to replace a vehicle to avoid that kind of risk.

FWIW, I have found some VWs to generally have very good visibility -- my old Rabbit was like driving in a fishbowl, and the Tiguan I test drove some years ago gave me that same feel.  I like the "bubble" cabin better for those purposes than the streamlined/sleek look with the windshield at the low angle, extra-deep dash, and low roofline -- I never feel like I can comfortably see over the hood when the windshield is at that really low angle.  Unfortunately, it seems like so many cars have gone towards the super-sleek/low profile angled front window that it is hard to find one that is more upright -- maybe a used Matrix or Fit or Golf?

daverobev

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 11:17:55 AM »
AFAIK most/many new cars have worse visibility because of larger pillars... due to safety reqs.

I wonder if it's the same Elantra as we have - we got a base model 2016, right before the new model. It does have a small rear window and the rear door windows are narrow/pointed at the back, too. Not much of an issue for us, though I'd certainly prefer something you can see out the back of more easily.

Could you get a backup camera or something fitted?

I'm a red panda

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 11:20:43 AM »

Is this the only reason you don't want to replace it?  I.e., would replacing it interfere with your financial goals?


Because buying it would have been a waste of money.  But we have plenty- I paid cash for it and would likely do so again unless there is incentive to finance. And because finding a car is such a gigantic pain in the ass.  (I liked the Honda Fit and almost got it when I got the Elantra, but decided I didn't feel safe having a baby in the back, since the space between bumper and backseat was so tiny! I really wanted a Prius, but the visibility was terrible. I thought about a Cruz, but it was impossible to get the dealership to tell me a price so I left after 3 hours!)

I can't even just go get another Civic (which IMO was the perfect car!) because it has been redesigned so much.  For safety features, I don't want an older one like I had before. (Um, I also want some luxury features- I like my rear camera and heated seats!)

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 11:22:25 AM »
AFAIK most/many new cars have worse visibility because of larger pillars... due to safety reqs.

I wonder if it's the same Elantra as we have - we got a base model 2016, right before the new model. It does have a small rear window and the rear door windows are narrow/pointed at the back, too. Not much of an issue for us, though I'd certainly prefer something you can see out the back of more easily.

Could you get a backup camera or something fitted?

Rear visibility isn't the problem- not the traditional blindspot.
 It's when I'm going forward, and looking towards the side at like the 45 degree angle.  I have a backup camera, though I don't love it (my husband's Escape the screen is in the rear view mirror, which makes so much more sense, as it allows you to look at the mirror)- but I wouldn't go without a camera anymore.

scantee

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 12:01:22 PM »
I've replaced a newish car simply because it ended up being really uncomfortable, which I only found out after driving it for a few months. No regrets about that decision. Since you have the money I don't see any reason why you shouldn't get a car that you actually feel safe driving.

I'll second the VW Golf recommendation. The Golf I owned had great visibility and is all-around was the best car I ever owned. Kia Souls also have great visibility, high reliability ratings, and you get all of the added niceties (heated seats, rear cam) for an affordable price. 

ketchup

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 12:26:19 PM »
I'd say do a like-for-like "trade" (get another slightly-used car) and take your time to make sure you really do like the replacement.

If you don't feel safe, you shouldn't have an issue with swapping vehicles.  It's not like you don't have the resources to make it happen.

LifeHappens

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 12:28:24 PM »
Because buying it would have been a waste of money.

This is classic sunk cost fallacy thinking.

If you truly know the car is unsafe for you to drive, it's time to shop for a different one. Perhaps you need something that sits up a bit higher.

Frankies Girl

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2017, 12:33:28 PM »
Why not go to a CarMax so you can test a bunch of different cars right there, and they'll take your car as a trade-in and there's no haggling and you know the cars they have were gone over very, very carefully? Sure, you'd pay a bit more and they'll give you a bit less on the trade-in, but it's less trouble/hassle and more peace of mind.

Sure, saving money and being thrifty is great, but sometimes the extra expense is worth it for what it gets you:being happy with your purchase, feeling comfortable and safe driving, no worry over mechanical issues, and no time/hassle trying to sell other car.

jane x

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2017, 12:36:26 PM »
We somehow have this idea that we're supposed to live with with perfect foresight and never, ever, make a mistake.  And we beat up ourselves whenever we're human.  Where did we get this idea from? 

Anyway, I say let this car go and get one that is comfortable and that you feel safe in.  After all, that's what money is for.  To be spent on things that make your life easier and more enjoyable.

If you have access to the Costco program you might find that helpful.  It takes all of the negotiating and haggling out of a car transaction.  When we went to a dealership, we had the Costco customer price within minutes of test driving the car we liked.  And it was a great price according to the truecar website.  Just something to consider.

HipGnosis

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2017, 12:37:39 PM »
Visibility is a safety issue.  Safety trumps all other car decision factors.   Magnified by infinity when infants are involved.

Call a dealer that sells multiple brands and talk with a salesman (person).  Explain your situation, requirements and desires.  I would prefer to communicate via Email because you can review, but that's me.  Ask him when he can have 3 or more suitable cars for you to check out. 
Arrange for a sitter.  Sit in the cars to evaluate their visibility.  Note other features.   
Pick the best two for a test drive and either drive them or schedule another time to do that.

Note that you will have to adjust the value of your car from the 'regular' book value for the low miles.

But...  have you thought of putting blocks on your gas and brake peddle?  I'd start with 1.5".  I know they make them for handicapped people, dunno if they are something you can buy and install.



daverobev

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2017, 01:21:22 PM »
AFAIK most/many new cars have worse visibility because of larger pillars... due to safety reqs.

I wonder if it's the same Elantra as we have - we got a base model 2016, right before the new model. It does have a small rear window and the rear door windows are narrow/pointed at the back, too. Not much of an issue for us, though I'd certainly prefer something you can see out the back of more easily.

Could you get a backup camera or something fitted?

Rear visibility isn't the problem- not the traditional blindspot.
 It's when I'm going forward, and looking towards the side at like the 45 degree angle.  I have a backup camera, though I don't love it (my husband's Escape the screen is in the rear view mirror, which makes so much more sense, as it allows you to look at the mirror)- but I wouldn't go without a camera anymore.

Ah gotcha, the front pillars - the ones on the sides of the windscreen? Yeah they are pretty chunky, and I guess if you're sitting so close to them there's not much you can do. We, also, had a Civic of the same era - a 2004. The pillars are probably 30% thicker.

Yeah, different car. We tried a Vibe and - despite everyone saying how great they are - I didn't like the visibility much on it *at all*. The Elantra I can deal with.. Oh well.

Maybe go up in size a notch. Something with adjustable pedals/steering column. Hey - Buicks are cheap when they are a few years old (like, 3-4). Generally cheap to look after, too.

I'm a red panda

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2017, 01:22:03 PM »
Why not go to a CarMax so you can test a bunch of different cars right there, and they'll take your car as a trade-in and there's no haggling and you know the cars they have were gone over very, very carefully? Sure, you'd pay a bit more and they'll give you a bit less on the trade-in, but it's less trouble/hassle and more peace of mind.

Sure, saving money and being thrifty is great, but sometimes the extra expense is worth it for what it gets you:being happy with your purchase, feeling comfortable and safe driving, no worry over mechanical issues, and no time/hassle trying to sell other car.

The closest one is more than a hundred miles away :(

I'm a red panda

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 01:23:38 PM »
I feel better that the advice seems to be unanimously suck it up and get a new car.

Broadway2019

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2017, 01:28:03 PM »
I was just looking for a new used car and Ford Fusions seem to be cheap and slightly bigger.

Goldielocks

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2017, 04:05:04 PM »
I would definitely get a new car if I did not like the lack of visibility, too. 

lbmustache

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2017, 04:09:11 PM »
I feel better that the advice seems to be unanimously suck it up and get a new car.

I would look for cars that are known to have great visibility (e.g. Subaru) and honestly in your situation... I'd get a car with pedestrian detection, auto-braking, blind spot monitoring, etc. Toyota includes all of that standard on most of their 2017 models (including the Corolla), another great option again, is the Subaru. You may be able to find a slightly used Impreza or Crosstrek with the Eyesight system, or you may be able to score a great deal on a 2017 Crosstrek since a new redesigned model is coming out very soon.

TrMama

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2017, 05:01:44 PM »
I agree you should get a new car. I did.

I foolishly bought a used Mazda 5 a couple years ago when I wanted something slightly bigger than my old Corolla. I regretted the decision for 18 months. The Mazda 5 was a poorly built, poorly designed piece of crap. In December I traded it in for a Subaru that I love.

I also agree with you that the Elantra is an awful car. I had one as a rental for 9 days this winter. My kids and I nicknamed it "The Toaster", because it felt about as safe as driving a toaster would. In fact the scariest drive of my life was the day I tried to drive it to work in the snow.

Take the baby with you and test drive a bunch of different cars. Driving different ones will really help you make a decision. Before committing to any specific car, drive it at night somewhere dark. Even many newer cars have really dim, poorly placed headlights.

BlueMR2

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2017, 05:04:43 PM »
AFAIK most/many new cars have worse visibility because of larger pillars... due to safety reqs.

Yeah, if you want to be able to see, you'll have to buy an older car.  The visibility on the new ones is absolutely horrible with the monstrously thick pillars they fit in order to pass rollover tests at the bloated weights these cars are coming in at now.  I know a number of people that have fitted cameras and it helps.  It's not a cure-all, but maybe it would be good enough?

Or, trade it in on an older car where you'll be able to see, but will be less safe overall...

daverobev

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2017, 05:17:22 PM »
I agree you should get a new car. I did.

I foolishly bought a used Mazda 5 a couple years ago when I wanted something slightly bigger than my old Corolla. I regretted the decision for 18 months. The Mazda 5 was a poorly built, poorly designed piece of crap. In December I traded it in for a Subaru that I love.

I also agree with you that the Elantra is an awful car. I had one as a rental for 9 days this winter. My kids and I nicknamed it "The Toaster", because it felt about as safe as driving a toaster would. In fact the scariest drive of my life was the day I tried to drive it to work in the snow.

Take the baby with you and test drive a bunch of different cars. Driving different ones will really help you make a decision. Before committing to any specific car, drive it at night somewhere dark. Even many newer cars have really dim, poorly placed headlights.

Curious - what gen Elantra was it? I'm honestly surprised - prior to it, in Canada, we had an 04 Civic, and an 03 Accord. The Elantra (with snow tires) is good-great in the snow; the only issue is it has low ground clearance.

It's got.. hmm, must be pushing 30k km on it now, and it's been fine (not that I wouldn't expect a new car to be fine after 30k km!). Base model - literally no options, not even remote locking or heated mirrors, manual transmission. It's perfectly peppy, etc, etc. I mean, I don't *love* it or anything - it is what it is, which is an econobox. For what we paid for it, I have no complaints at all.

I'm a red panda

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2017, 05:58:01 PM »
My Elantra is a 2015. An lx or something like that. I think it handles just fine in the snow/on ice but I can only compare to my old civic. Our roads are typically treated, so never morebthan like 5 inches to get through.

The issue for me is solely the visibility.

TrMama

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Re: WWYD: I hate my car
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2017, 12:47:16 PM »
I agree you should get a new car. I did.

I foolishly bought a used Mazda 5 a couple years ago when I wanted something slightly bigger than my old Corolla. I regretted the decision for 18 months. The Mazda 5 was a poorly built, poorly designed piece of crap. In December I traded it in for a Subaru that I love.

I also agree with you that the Elantra is an awful car. I had one as a rental for 9 days this winter. My kids and I nicknamed it "The Toaster", because it felt about as safe as driving a toaster would. In fact the scariest drive of my life was the day I tried to drive it to work in the snow.

Take the baby with you and test drive a bunch of different cars. Driving different ones will really help you make a decision. Before committing to any specific car, drive it at night somewhere dark. Even many newer cars have really dim, poorly placed headlights.

Curious - what gen Elantra was it? I'm honestly surprised - prior to it, in Canada, we had an 04 Civic, and an 03 Accord. The Elantra (with snow tires) is good-great in the snow; the only issue is it has low ground clearance.

It's got.. hmm, must be pushing 30k km on it now, and it's been fine (not that I wouldn't expect a new car to be fine after 30k km!). Base model - literally no options, not even remote locking or heated mirrors, manual transmission. It's perfectly peppy, etc, etc. I mean, I don't *love* it or anything - it is what it is, which is an econobox. For what we paid for it, I have no complaints at all.

It was a brand new 2017. Not sure what trim level. It had 4 doors, automatic and some of the new safety features (backup camera, side detection) but not all (no forward or rear braking to help avoid crashing into things). Also, no paddle shifters, so so way to slow down other than braking.

I fully admit the biggest problem was that the rental agency refused to put snow tires on it. Without snow tires it just slid down snowy hills like a child's sled. I could feel, and hear, the anti-lock brakes trying to stop the car, but it just kept sliding downhill (towards an intersection with several other cars stopped at the light at the bottom of the hill). The following day it had trouble starting from a stop in 2" of slush. With snow tires and a manual transmission it would've handled much better.

I was extremely angry with the rental agency, because I'd specifically requested a car with winter tires, and they'd promised me it wouldn't be a problem. However, when I showed up to get the car, the agency tried to tell me that all season tires are perfectly fine in snow. It was pretty clear that the staff couldn't even tell the difference between all season and snow tires. I should've walked away right then, but we live in a area that rarely gets snow so I thought it wouldn't really matter. I had serious words for them the day of the epic downhill slide and again when I was finally able to return it.

More on point, it also had the aggressively sloped front windshield that means the side pillars also have to be strongly angled. This makes it harder to see out the front sides because there's now a more horizontal line across your field of view. If you want better visibility, look for a car that has a boxier shape both front and back. The teardrop shape of many of the current sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs  also creates gigantic blind spots at the back.