Author Topic: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?  (Read 1819 times)

Mississippi Mudstache

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Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« on: November 13, 2023, 08:36:15 AM »
I'm in the process of re-assessing my car needs. Two years ago, I went from a self-employment situation where I required a pickup truck to a remote working position. I didn't consider selling the truck at the time, because I figured I wouldn't be driving much anyway. Fast-forward to now, and it turns out that random errands plus pick-up and dropoff at the kids' schools add up to the point where I want to make a change.

Here is the situation: I need seating for 5 (I have 4 kids, and drop them off at school every morning). The total dropoff loop is 8.6 miles. I also made a 47-mile round-trip to my son's physical therapist once a week. That's the farthest I drive on a regular basis without a charging option, and I need to be able to do it comfortably. For that reason, I am skeptical of older Nissan Leafs, which are inexpensive, but I've heard much about how the range can be 50 miles or less in less than ideal conditions. Rarely would I need to drive farther than 100 miles without re-charging.

I do drive to Atlanta (~85-90 miles) once a month or so, but I have charging options when I get there. I am not looking to buy new. I'd prefer something under $10K. What would you do if you were me? I should add that we have a mini-van that we will be keeping for longer treks, and for when my wife will be coming along. The second car is for local travel only.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 08:37:49 AM by Mississippi Mudstache »

reeshau

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2023, 07:14:12 PM »
It won't be near your price target, but have you considered a hybrid minivan?  Would that get you down to one car?  It might be worth the insurance + maintenance, if you otherwise don't drive either vehicle very much.

I love my Chrysler Pacifica hybrid.  32 miles on electric, but 32 mpg on gas anyway.  Charges overnight on 110V with the included charger.  (the charger does complain in the detached garage on summer days--still charges, but more slowly)  bought new in April 2021.  Not selling!

Just Joe

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2024, 12:23:19 PM »
Leaf =/= Leaf.

The early Leafs did indeed have a small battery. And EVs with small batteries require alot of recharges so if a battery lasts XXXX recharges, you'll be working your way through the battery lifespan quicker than if you had an EV with a larger battery that needed fewer recharges. More cells to get the work done.

The answer is a Leaf Plus.
 
Overall good car, battery doesn't have active temp management so they aren't good fast charging EVs. In fact when the battery gets too hot from a fast charge, the car will throttle the charge rate and you'll be waiting and waiting. However I've used Leafs on 90F+ days and the battery doesn't overheat under normal use or L1/L2 charging despite the hot weather.

I have a penchant for lower cost / unpopular vehicles so the Leaf is a car I've given a careful look at. Our use pattern would be 20 miles per day plus errands. One requirement for us is that it needs to be capable of 120+ miles on short notice in case one of us needs to take care of some emergency at our parents' houses. 

Just Joe

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2024, 12:25:18 PM »
Be sure the Leaf Plus still has a price advantage b/c if a Bolt or Kona or ??? is a similar price, then pick them. The Leaf battery is, according to my experience and that of others on the web, fine if it isn't frequently fast charged. It is well suited to home charging.

cincystache

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2024, 08:16:43 PM »
Keep in mind the used EV tax credit of 4,000 or 30% whichever is smaller on a used EV or PHEV under 25,000 sale price. That should give you a little more room in the budget. Just read the fine print and make sure your purchase qualifies

I drive a leaf and it would be tight with 4 kids especially for the rear middle seat. It has been a great car for around town and we charge at home but fitting 4 kids in the backseat, especially if there are car seats involved is not going to happen easily. If they can squeeze for short trips to school and home though, it might be perfect.

Why not keep the truck and add an older leaf to the fleet for added flexibility? I assume the truck is paid off and in good working condition? Is it still worth a lot or is it mostly depreciated? If it is in good working order and has a lot of life left in it I would lean towards keeping it and try to find a cheap EV or even a hybrid (prius, camry, etc) to complement the truck. You have the room and range if/when you need it but a cheap efficient car when you don't. Just a thought.

lutorm

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2024, 12:12:17 PM »
I love my Chrysler Pacifica hybrid.  32 miles on electric, but 32 mpg on gas anyway.  Charges overnight on 110V with the included charger.  (the charger does complain in the detached garage on summer days--still charges, but more slowly)  bought new in April 2021.  Not selling!
We love ours, too. It's a super practical vehicle with very reasonable running costs considering the size. However, I can't say that I'm confident it will last, mechanically. There's a 10-year transmission warranty extension because a connector inside the transmission has a tendency to short and kill it dead on the highway, and there appears to be a coming avalanche of head gasket failures (mostly on the non-hybrids so far, presumably since the hybrids use the gas engine so much less.) There's no comparable vehicle available, though.

J.P. MoreGains

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2024, 11:56:58 AM »
This most likely isn't what you're looking for but the old cars that are sold when grandparents pass away.

They are unpopular models but are well cared for and very cheap. I really think cars like that are great bargains. They can have really low miles also and no one really wants these cars so the price is low.

I would totally look for old an old Buick Century or old models with bench seats... but totally not what you're looking for.

When my grandfather passed like 6 years ago my family sold his 1985 Crown Vic with 36,000 miles for next to nothing. I really wish I would've held on to that car. I think low mile old cars like that are great finds.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2024, 11:59:02 AM by J.P. MoreGains »

Turtle

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2024, 12:42:40 PM »
Reliable with better gas mileage - Toyota Corolla or Camry, Scion xB would all fit your requirements.  I've heard good things about the Prius, and my friends who have them all love them.

Also check Honda and Mazda brands.  Consumer Reports would be a good source of info as well 

Psychstache

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2024, 05:08:12 PM »
Leaf =/= Leaf.

The early Leafs did indeed have a small battery. And EVs with small batteries require alot of recharges so if a battery lasts XXXX recharges, you'll be working your way through the battery lifespan quicker than if you had an EV with a larger battery that needed fewer recharges. More cells to get the work done.

The answer is a Leaf Plus.
 
Overall good car, battery doesn't have active temp management so they aren't good fast charging EVs. In fact when the battery gets too hot from a fast charge, the car will throttle the charge rate and you'll be waiting and waiting. However I've used Leafs on 90F+ days and the battery doesn't overheat under normal use or L1/L2 charging despite the hot weather.

I have a penchant for lower cost / unpopular vehicles so the Leaf is a car I've given a careful look at. Our use pattern would be 20 miles per day plus errands. One requirement for us is that it needs to be capable of 120+ miles on short notice in case one of us needs to take care of some emergency at our parents' houses.

I love my leaf but depending on the size of the kids, seating for 5 is a bit of a stretch.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2024, 12:07:41 PM »
Here is the situation: I need seating for 5 (I have 4 kids, and drop them off at school every morning). ...I'd prefer something under $10K. What would you do if you were me?

Like @J.P. MoreGains, I like looking for sleepers.  The forgotten ugly ducklings that are perfectly fine, but underpriced for one reason or another.

Most of the used Toyotas and Hondas are, in my opinion, somewhere between overpriced and fair on a good day.  They're rarely a deal on the open market.

So here's a sleeper: a Ford Freestyle with third row seating.  $5k will buy you a nice one with <100,000 miles.  There is nothing remarkable about it, but there's also nothing really wrong with it.  It will get the job done, and the price will be right. 

Just Joe

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Re: Used car recommendations - EV, hybrid, or ...?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2024, 02:56:07 PM »
We bought a grandma's car once many years ago. Drove it for years, then the kids drove it, and then we sold it for $200 less than we paid for it. Was a good domestic sedan nobody would call "cool". In fact I had fun teasing our kids about being seen in it to hopefully desensitize them a little about the teasing. Was in many ways just the perfect car b/c it was cheap and reliable. Not because it will ever be in the stylish cars of history book.


Just Joe

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