Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Car Brand/Model recommendations

Back in Feb 2012, I wrote about wanting or planning to purchase a vehicle. Back then, all I had eyes for was the Hyundai Accent, ~2008 in light blue. I still have mostly eyes for that car, but I've "upgraded" it to a Hyundai Elantra. Now that I really need to start considering brands and models more seriously, I think I want to have at least a top 3 of cars I'd like to buy this year, and go for one.

My req's aren't too extravagant. What I want is:
- 4-door sedan
- Cruise control
- automatic windows/locks
- less than 60k miles
- something small, short and close to the ground (not a fan of large SUVs and tall trucks)
- not a fan of hatchbacks, but not against it
- safe and reliable
good great on gas
- A/C would be a first, and much appreciated.

Bear with me on this one... but after having a 197" long car, I much prefer shorter car. Yes, trust me, this bugs me a lot.

Price will vary a lot, but I have $4k to put down, and I'm not looking at anything used above $10k (or a $6k loan). I may look at new cars, but I shouldn't. I really, really want to. But that could intervene with my overall bigger plans, so I will set it aside. For now...

So let's hear it! What are your recommendations? What are some things I must be looking at, besides mileage, year and price?


  1. Oh, don't get me started on cars.....LOLZ
    Stay away from the Ford F*ckus.....right Sonya Ann? bwaaahhh

    When doing your comparison stuff, look at cost to repair/replace things(since if you are buying used, you'll probably need to do this some).
    Not to warn you off of Elantra but Hubs bought a used one in July and it's a POS.....the fix would be more than we paid for the car and that's just for starters.
    We've had good luck with Toyotas and Buicks here.

  2. I cannot say enough good stuff about Honda Civics. We have owned several of these through the years, and DH still has a 1994 EX coupe that is going strong after this much time and just over 300,000 miles, DS has a 2005 civic SI hatchback (upgraded from a 1999 EX), and SIL has the 1999 EX that belonged to us, then to DS, and now to her. DD has had 3 Civics - her 1995 LX got too unreliable for my comfort after 360,000 miles yet is still in service with a friend's high school son, her 1998 EX second one got stolen, recovered, and sold after repairs and maintenance (DD really wanted to go back to a manual transmission after that experience, and her 2000 EX was flooded in a freak water main break at her apartment complex and then totaled by the insurance company. She dallied with a Mazda protoge after that, then sold it and pruchased a 2013 Honda Fit, which is also a wonderful little car.

  3. Elantra is awesome! I love mine, it is a 2013 LIMITED the only complain is the engine is a little loud (can't tell with radio on), other that I totally recommend it.

    Next for me is a BMW 3, can't wait!


  4. My only recommendation is DON'T BUY NEW! A one year old car will still have really low mileage and will cost SO MUCH LESS!

  5. Honda Civics, Toyota Camrys, Hyundai Elantras, all good cars.

    I agree with Jane, DON'T BUY NEW! A car loses 50% of its value the instant it rolls of the lot, so a 1-3 year old car (maybe an off-lease car) is MUCH cheaper for a car in good condition.

    Peace <3

  6. Don't have a car at the moment and haven't really ever had to make an informed decision about buying one (first car (Nissan Sunny) was a hand-me-down from my sister and when that was stolen I bought a 2-door VW Golf from a manager where I worked who just happened to be selling and it was the fastest, cheapeast option for me). But yesterday I was clicking on random articles on Mr. Money Mustache, a new-to-me blog and there was one about choosing cars so that might be interesting for you:

    1. WOW, that's a lot of info! Thanks so much for sharing that. I'll make sure to read and review it carefully!

  7. We own 2 Nissan Versas. I have the hatchback (which I love for parking in small tight spots when I visit family is NY) and hubby has the sedan. Both are great on gas and have many options available. We got mine new, fully loaded for 18k but for hubby we went Used by 1 year also fully loaded, sticker was 16k I negotiated down to 13k. If you go a little older and private party (we did a dealership) you can definitely be in the 8-10k range.

    1. Wow, great negotiation to drop 3k on the price! I think I need to test drive hatchbacks. It does make the cars smaller and shorter (which I like), but I've heard that they make back visibility tough.

  8. I am so not of help when it comes to 'car' recommendations. My first two cars were paid for by my parents, a 1992 Mercury Sable and a 2001 Ford Escort ZX2. I was INCREDIBLY grateful for both, but eventually their reliability gave out. I bought my first car this past July, a 2010 Ford Escape. I opted for an SUV because I feel safer in a larger car and lots of traveling/toting around photography equipment. My Dad helped shave $1k off the asking price, and I received a 3% interest rate. I was pleased with both.

    When are you thinking of buying? I can't wait to hear what you choose!

    1. I am thinking of buying between February and July, unless I can talk myself out of it and wait for the late-year sales events. Not sure when the best time to get a deal is, but I have MLK in Jan, President's day sale in Feb, Easter in Mar/Apr, Memorial day in May and July 4th coming up... not sure I want to try timing it, but we'll see how it plays out. I'm not in any hurry, which doesn't help.

  9. I drive a scion xB (and have for six years) and love it. The gas mileage is good, the size is good (very small but looks , and it is quite comfortable. And snow just slides off it. Very important in winter if you have to park outside (which I do at work). Oh, and the price was great.

    1. Scions are great. Also Honda, Toyota, Acura, Lexus, Subaru. I personally would advise against any American cars, or Kia cars. And I would definitely advise against getting a Hyundai or Nissan.

      My first car was a Mazda Protege that broke down after one year and four months, so I wouldn't go for Mazdas either.

    2. I'm curious, what's wrong with Hyundai?