Author Topic: Car recommendations  (Read 2904 times)

jgold723

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Car recommendations
« on: March 06, 2023, 06:49:34 PM »
It has come time for me to trade my beloved 2005 Toyota Matrix (purchased on the recommendation of folks here). It won't pass inspection because of significant rust issues.

So, I'm back again for recommendations of something that will at least come close to that car for it's versatility, economy, low maintenance AND ability to haul 8' long 2x4s as well as tow my utility trailer (light loads)

In general I'm thinking Japanese. I'm also looking at AWD, which I know isn't the pinnacle of economy, but I'm tired of changing snow tires here in Maine.

joe189man

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2023, 10:26:26 AM »
i had a mazda 3 hatch back that could fit 8 ft lumber with the seats folded down - they almost rubbed the dash but i did it many times. Alas the older ones were FWD only - i had snow tires i ran on it here in CO. i didnt drive much so left them on year round

GilesMM

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2023, 01:07:45 PM »
How about a Corolla SE hatch?

TreeLeaf

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2023, 01:11:57 PM »
Toyota Yaris

jeninco

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2023, 09:16:10 AM »
Sorry, but 4WD won't save you from needing snow tires. Just get a set of cheap steel rims, get the winter tires mounted, and swap them out twice/year. It's good practice for your teenagers, if you have any -- knowing how to put on a spare is a big life skill.

Signed: someone who just drove over a mountain pass that was closed for avalanche mitigation just before we got there.

On the upside, with proper tires you don't probably need 4WD unless you're going to be driving on really dicey roads. Get a solid FWD and good tires, and you should be good in most conditions!

JLee

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2023, 09:20:05 AM »
Agreed on snow tires still being important. I'd much rather drive a FWD car with epic snow tires than an AWD/4WD vehicle without them.  Some exceptions for certain super aggressive all terrain truck tires, but even then there are only a couple that come close (Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and Kenda Klever KR601 come to mind, with Kenda having a significant edge).


SunnyDays

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2023, 08:42:29 PM »
I live in dread of my 03 Matrix needing to be replaced, but when it does, I plan to look seriously at a Honda HRV.  Apparently the specs are very similar to Matrix, and I agree the carrying capacity and versatility are great.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2023, 10:13:29 PM »
The HRV is just a lifted, bloated, angry Fit. It doesn't gain any substantial space, and you pay more for it (and probably the tires and the gas and...)

I'm not looking forward to when we have to replace the Fit.

SunnyDays

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2023, 04:24:31 PM »
The HRV is just a lifted, bloated, angry Fit. It doesn't gain any substantial space, and you pay more for it (and probably the tires and the gas and...)

I'm not looking forward to when we have to replace the Fit.

I have a knee jerk negative reaction to the Fit because a friend’s son was killed in one on the highway.  I live in an area dominated by big trucks, vans, SUVs and semis and wouldn’t feel safe in anything that small.  My Matrix feels dangerous enough sometimes.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2023, 04:39:10 PM »
The HRV is just a lifted, bloated, angry Fit. It doesn't gain any substantial space, and you pay more for it (and probably the tires and the gas and...)

I'm not looking forward to when we have to replace the Fit.

I have a knee jerk negative reaction to the Fit because a friend’s son was killed in one on the highway.  I live in an area dominated by big trucks, vans, SUVs and semis and wouldn’t feel safe in anything that small.  My Matrix feels dangerous enough sometimes.

I spent ten years driving around everyday in a Chevy metro that weights something like 700 pounds less than a Honda Fit.

The Honda Fit is just a lifted, bloated, angry metro.

ETA: Please note I am not, in any way, recommending a metro. It was incredibly cheap to buy and run but also unreliable and unsafe.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2023, 07:06:10 PM by TreeLeaf »

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2023, 09:39:45 PM »
Fit's a lot closer to the Prism (hatch) than the Metro. A bit shorter, and about equally taller. Only weighs about 150-250 lbs more than the Prism, which with safety features (numerous airbags, abs, traction control, the navigation unit, etc) added since 1990 isn't bad.

Sorry about your friend's loss, but I can't say I've felt particularly unsafe in the Fit on the highways here (midwest university town). When we got the Fit we also looked at the Matrix/Vibe and they aren't really that different in terms of size nor mass.

Edit: On the HRV hate -- Honda added that and then discontinued the Fit in the US. They [HRV] are almost literally why we can't have nice things.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2023, 11:45:45 PM »
Just thinking about vehicle safety some more - I really think this is a personal choice that people will have to choose what level of safety they would like. People will never universally agree on what is 'safe' and 'unsafe'.

When I was driving around in the metro - at the time - the lack of safety did not concern me at all. The car was cheap to buy and had excellent fuel economy, so it seemed like a good trade off at the time. I never once actually felt unsafe driving it. Eventually the car died on its own.

If you look at the Mitsubishi Mirage - this is probably as close to a metro as one can kind find in the modern age. It is still heavier, and has more safety features, than a metro. But these days I would not drive a mirage because it doesn't seem like a good trade off of economy vs risk for me anymore. I already have money, and it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

Similarly I would not ride a motorcycle, because I consider them unsafe. But other people seem to think riding a motorcycle is safe enough, or that the benefits outweigh the risks at least.

This is just one of those personal choices everyone will have to make for themselves. Sort of like what their favorite color is, or favorite flavor of ice cream. There is no universally correct answer.

If we wind up getting into a vehicle safety argument on the forums it will turn into one of those never ending arguments, kind of like if the 4% rule will always be valid in the future. It ultimately just comes down to personal risk tolerance levels.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2023, 09:19:22 AM »
Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid was offered with AWD starting in 2016 I believe.
It would have Prius levels of reliability, with more cargo space, ground clearance, and AWD.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2023, 01:49:07 PM »

In general I'm thinking Japanese. I'm also looking at AWD, which I know isn't the pinnacle of economy, but I'm tired of changing snow tires here in Maine.

We're also in the market to replace a Matrix.  Ours was from 2003.

We've been in the market for six months because I/we have yet to see a used Toyota hatchback I'd call a good deal.  Even semi-reasonable but still borderline-facepunch-priced RAV4s and similar go the same day they're listed.

If my endurance runs out on the used market, we'll probably just suck it up and buy a new base model Toyota Corolla Cross or Subaru Crosstrek.  Both are AWD and $23-24k.

Buying new cars is for suckers, but I think dropping $10k+ on a car with 100k+ miles is an even worse move.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2023, 02:00:42 PM by caleb »

kenner

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2023, 09:03:48 AM »

In general I'm thinking Japanese. I'm also looking at AWD, which I know isn't the pinnacle of economy, but I'm tired of changing snow tires here in Maine.

We're also in the market to replace a Matrix.  Ours was from 2003.

We've been in the market for six months because I/we have yet to see a used Toyota hatchback I'd call a good deal.  Even semi-reasonable but still borderline-facepunch-priced RAV4s and similar go the same day they're listed.

If my endurance runs out on the used market, we'll probably just suck it up and buy a new base model Toyota Corolla Cross or Subaru Crosstrek.  Both are AWD and $23-24k.

Buying new cars is for suckers, but I think dropping $10k+ on a car with 100k+ miles is an even worse move.

In an area where used AWD that aren't run into the ground are barely a thing even in 'normal' markets so I always kind of laugh when people talk about the great deals that are always available on used cars.  My 13-and-change year old Legacy got crunched beyond what they thought was worth repairing (I still disagree, but finding parts and a shop that could fix it in any reasonable timeframe was also an issue) and ended up with a marginally-used Crosstrek from a dealer about a month ago.  Generally very happy with it...I was also looking at the RAV4 but the options were basically 'completely new, highest-end package available' or 'wait 6mo and we'll see' and the Toyota Cross/Subaru Crosstrek were close enough that I picked the one that had what I wanted.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2023, 09:39:15 AM »
In an area where used AWD that aren't run into the ground are barely a thing even in 'normal' markets so I always kind of laugh when people talk about the great deals that are always available on used cars. 

Yesterday morning I spotted a 2014 Honda Insight on Marketplace with 41k miles for $6k. 

Someone had bought it out of an impound auction.

It had been stolen, and there were bullet holes in the rear bumper.

The check engine light was on.

It was posted at 9am, and by 11am it was sold.

The used market is still silly.

EchoStache

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2023, 11:25:18 AM »
Regardless of cost, efficiency, or even crash test rating, I wouldn't feel safe driving a car the size of a Honda Fit or similar.  Fact is, fatalities are higher....in fact, among the highest of any car.  Crash test ratings don't illustrate how much more devastating an accident is when you collide with the average 4-5,000+ lb clown SUV/pickup in the USA in a tiny Econo-box.

In Europe, I'd probably be fine with such a small car, since the average car is much smaller and, other than commercial vehicles, there are almost no enormous SUV's and pickups.  Gas prices and insurance are high enough to penalize owning/driving such stupidly large vehicles.

Until the used market normalizes, I think a new Chevy Bolt or Bolt EUV can't be beaten in terms of TCO, especially if someone keeps a car for ten years.  This should be easy since the car has a 10 year warranty.  I was going to buy a Bolt but I will be doing too much long distance driving for the next 7-10 years, and the slow charging turned me away.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 11:28:01 AM by UltraStache »

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2023, 08:59:46 AM »
Regardless of cost, efficiency, or even crash test rating, I wouldn't feel safe driving a car the size of a Honda Fit or similar.  Fact is, fatalities are higher....in fact, among the highest of any car.  Crash test ratings don't illustrate how much more devastating an accident is when you collide with the average 4-5,000+ lb clown SUV/pickup in the USA in a tiny Econo-box.

Citation needed.

Actually not needed, you're blowing smoke and (should) know it. IIHS's data would indicate the HRV (50 deaths per million registered vehicle years) is actually objectively less safe than the Fit (48). Both of those are higher than fleet average (36). The low is of course zero (unpopular and happens to have no deaths, although that is the VW Golf's score and I see plenty of those on the road) and the high is the fiesta (141 for car but only 65 for hatchback). 2017 data. https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-death-rates-by-make-and-model

Now, that's a very crude metric. It doesn't account for things like young drivers having cheaper cars and having much higher accident rates (see also the cost of adding a teen/twenty-something to your insurance), which are going to skew numbers to make those vehicles look worse than they would if you worked to factor that out of the data. Most 16 year olds aren't rolling in a land rover or lexus very large luxury suv.

Also that you'd feel unsafe in the fit but safe in the bolt is a riot, because the bolt is essentially the same dimensions as the fit. It does weigh slightly more, but only to the tune of about 800 lbs -- so a few extra passengers and luggage vs driving solo.

bluecollarmusician

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2023, 09:09:13 AM »
I stopped in here, just to see what people are considering given the current used car market.

I must say I am amused at those who will absolutely not consider "car x" based on safety reasons, or "feelings"... however if you were really concerned about safety, perhaps the best choice would be to minimize miles driven?  Or stay off the roads full stop?


But of course we COULDN'T do that - it's just not an option. :-)

Not excited about having to replace my Honda Insight Gen 1... though it is still going strong  with 180k miles.  So we'll see.


@TreeLeaf I like your assessment very much, however would add that I think this might be a case where people have some very strong "feelings" about what "safe" is that are not well connected to reality.  A case of things we "know" that just aren't so. 

« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 09:14:54 AM by bluecollarmusician »

JLee

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2023, 09:15:37 AM »
Regardless of cost, efficiency, or even crash test rating, I wouldn't feel safe driving a car the size of a Honda Fit or similar.  Fact is, fatalities are higher....in fact, among the highest of any car.  Crash test ratings don't illustrate how much more devastating an accident is when you collide with the average 4-5,000+ lb clown SUV/pickup in the USA in a tiny Econo-box.

Citation needed.

Actually not needed, you're blowing smoke and (should) know it. IIHS's data would indicate the HRV (50 deaths per million registered vehicle years) is actually objectively less safe than the Fit (48). Both of those are higher than fleet average (36). The low is of course zero (unpopular and happens to have no deaths, although that is the VW Golf's score and I see plenty of those on the road) and the high is the fiesta (141 for car but only 65 for hatchback). 2017 data. https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-death-rates-by-make-and-model

Now, that's a very crude metric. It doesn't account for things like young drivers having cheaper cars and having much higher accident rates (see also the cost of adding a teen/twenty-something to your insurance), which are going to skew numbers to make those vehicles look worse than they would if you worked to factor that out of the data. Most 16 year olds aren't rolling in a land rover or lexus very large luxury suv.

Also that you'd feel unsafe in the fit but safe in the bolt is a riot, because the bolt is essentially the same dimensions as the fit. It does weigh slightly more, but only to the tune of about 800 lbs -- so a few extra passengers and luggage vs driving solo.

FWIW a 2020 Fit is 2568lbs and a 2020 Bolt EV is 3563lbs.  995 lbs / 38.7% heavier.

EchoStache

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2023, 10:31:10 AM »
Regardless of cost, efficiency, or even crash test rating, I wouldn't feel safe driving a car the size of a Honda Fit or similar.  Fact is, fatalities are higher....in fact, among the highest of any car.  Crash test ratings don't illustrate how much more devastating an accident is when you collide with the average 4-5,000+ lb clown SUV/pickup in the USA in a tiny Econo-box.

Citation needed.

Actually not needed, you're blowing smoke and (should) know it. IIHS's data would indicate the HRV (50 deaths per million registered vehicle years) is actually objectively less safe than the Fit (48). Both of those are higher than fleet average (36). The low is of course zero (unpopular and happens to have no deaths, although that is the VW Golf's score and I see plenty of those on the road) and the high is the fiesta (141 for car but only 65 for hatchback). 2017 data. https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-death-rates-by-make-and-model

Now, that's a very crude metric. It doesn't account for things like young drivers having cheaper cars and having much higher accident rates (see also the cost of adding a teen/twenty-something to your insurance), which are going to skew numbers to make those vehicles look worse than they would if you worked to factor that out of the data. Most 16 year olds aren't rolling in a land rover or lexus very large luxury suv.

Also that you'd feel unsafe in the fit but safe in the bolt is a riot, because the bolt is essentially the same dimensions as the fit. It does weigh slightly more, but only to the tune of about 800 lbs -- so a few extra passengers and luggage vs driving solo.



Looks like someone else already corrected you regarding the weight difference.  Also, a 2500lb car colliding with an average 4-6,000 lb vehicle in an accident subjecting occupants to astronomically higher impact forces isn't blowing smoke, it's called physics.  "Feeling safe" doesn't mean you will fare well in a collision with a full size pickup or SUV.

Not sure why you decided to go on an all out offensive regarding my comments, but the common denominator on the list below is, yup, itty bitty cars for the most part, sprinkled with a couple of hot rods that might be affecting things:
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 10:42:27 AM by UltraStache »

catccc

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2023, 11:06:56 AM »
If it's small car thing, I'm surprised I don't see the toyota corolla or honda civic on that list.  I see they both weigh a little more than a Fit, perhaps that is part of it.  The linked article points to lack of active safety features on these small rides as a likely contributor:
"One possible reason for the subcompact segment’s prevalence on the list could be the result of a lack of active safety features. “The Chevrolet Spark and the Honda Fit are the only subcompacts in the model years examined that include active safety features beyond rearview cameras on some trims,” said Ly. “For its 2016 model year, the Spark introduced forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring, while the Fit introduced a passenger side blind spot monitoring system in 2015.”

Also, this discussion made me remember this MMM post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/07/safety-is-an-expensive-illusion/

Anyway, besides the ongoing discussion re: safety, I wanted to chime in that our 2005 Matrix with about 260K miles also needs replacing soon.  It got through inspection this month but it was clear that we need to think about replacing it before the next.  We actually had thought about replacing it after we hit 200K miles in 2018, but decided to hang on longer.  IDK if that was the right call or not, and funny things have happened to the car market in recent years.  I'm inclined to think the additional 5 years was "worth" it, but of course I want to tell myself we chose well.

We do want something a little larger, so we are thinking about a Corolla Cross.  The matrix was basically a corolla wagon, and I think the cross is meant to be the same.  I'd consider an HRV, but my understanding is Hondas are a little costlier to maintain than Toyotas.  Would welcome other recommendations.  I don't look much at domestic makes, but perhaps that is a mistake...

roomtempmayo

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2023, 11:15:04 AM »
I don't look much at domestic makes, but perhaps that is a mistake...

I saw a Chevy Sonic hatchback yesterday, and it looked like it had potential.  I don't know anything else about them, though.

Archipelago

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Re: Car recommendations
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2023, 11:18:08 AM »
I have a resource to add for car searching. It's a really nice search aggregator and is how I found my used car a few years ago.

https://www.autotempest.com/

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!