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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Reader Recommendations => Topic started by: shanaling on March 30, 2021, 09:48:51 AM

Title: Best commuter car
Post by: shanaling on March 30, 2021, 09:48:51 AM
Hi! I have two questions:

My 2011 Mazda3 at $138k miles is worth about $4000 and may need a major transmission repair. At what price would you say the repair is not worth it?

If not worth repair, then Iím in market for another car. This car is primarily used for my 60 miles per day commute in California. I do occasionally take my two kids ages 4 and 1 in  this car, which will most likely last till their teenage years. My budget is ~ $17k total. Suggestions for best car models and best place to purchase? Used or new is fine.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: Dave1442397 on April 06, 2021, 05:48:28 AM
I wouldn't spend the $3-4k on a new transmission for that car.

As for a commuter car, I'd go for a used Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, depending on what you like. The Accord is more of a driver's car, especially the Sport model with the stick shift, but that may not be what you want for commuting.
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: AccidentialMustache on April 06, 2021, 06:55:45 AM
On transmission: what's the state of the rest of the car? All in good repair, or are there signs of other things needing work too? I would probably hesitate at a $2k+ repair to our 2k9 fit -- we've got body rust starting around the wheels (salt belt), cracked driver's door armrest, and a semi-persistent leak on the passenger windshield, plus the dings and dents of almost 12 years of life.

Can you charge at home? At work? There should be plenty of electric options in your price range, including bolts, leafs, and maybe a few others. In CA you'll have some of the early compliance cars, so fit-e, focus-e, etc. I'm not sure if those were lease-only though, so they may have EV1'd them.

If you don't have convenient charging then the usual recommendations apply. Civic, Fit, Camry, etc.
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: ericrugiero on April 06, 2021, 03:05:29 PM
The Mazda 3 should be good for quite a few more miles.  How much will the transmission cost?  Could you find a used transmission?  AccidentalMustache asked a good question.  What is the condition of the rest of the car?  If it's in good shape, spend the money on the transmission.  If not, you might want to get rid of it.   

Regarding a newer car, with that budget you can get a pretty nice Camry, Accord, Civic, Corolla, Leaf, etc. 
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: RWD on April 06, 2021, 03:23:14 PM
I'd probably be willing to spend $2-3k on the transmission if the rest of the car was in good condition.

For replacement options there are lots of good EVs in your price range. Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Ioniq, VW e-Golf, Kia Soul EV, Chevy Bolt, etc.
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: meadow lark on April 07, 2021, 04:10:02 PM
I bought a used Prius.  Not saying itís Ďthe bestí car for your situation, but I like it a lot.
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: JLee on April 07, 2021, 04:27:31 PM
I'd probably be willing to spend $2-3k on the transmission if the rest of the car was in good condition.

For replacement options there are lots of good EVs in your price range. Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Ioniq, VW e-Golf, Kia Soul EV, Chevy Bolt, etc.

Yep, at 60 miles a day the fuel and maintenance savings for an EV would be significant vs another ICE replacement.
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: utaca on April 07, 2021, 04:31:00 PM
I bought a used Prius.  Not saying itís Ďthe bestí car for your situation, but I like it a lot.

I second the used Prius idea. I recently bought a five year old used Prius C (smaller than the regular Prius) and prices ranged from about CAD $10 - 15K depending on mileage, features, etc - so it's well within OP's budget. 
Title: Re: Best commuter car
Post by: Sandi_k on April 07, 2021, 08:51:23 PM
Honda Fit?