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Old 10-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #21
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Just to provide a completely different perspective....

I'd suggest trying life without a car for a year or so. If you need one for a date, get a rental using part of the money you have saved on car insurance and maintenance. I can envision you as being very happy without a car. Actually, I have always wondered why you have one, with all the walking that you do each day.

Seems like you live in an ideally walkable location. We have discussed the cost of living in your area before, and what it seems to come down to is that while it costs more than some areas, there are advantages to living there as well. One of the big advantages that I see from your descriptions is that everything is right there, close by, making a walking lifestyle very attractive.

If you plan to spend about half the nights out on dates, I guess renting a car would be impractical. Maybe you could get a bicycle for riding home from GF's house, or small car for taking her to events.
Emotionally I kind of lean this way. It has gotten so that a car is more a bother than an aid, though living without one may turn out to be more expensive. GF has a car. I am good to her, so often if we go an opera or symphony I bus down and she drives, and takes me home. However on "date nights" I have been going to her place. She has been working all week, and when she is finally fully relaxed, I don't want to ask her to get some adrenalin going to take me home. I don't want to stay over, it one of my post marriage rules to spend the night in my own bed.

But cabs aren't bad when I am really beat, it isn't really that far, and anyway I often find the bus kind of entertaining. The bus from her place runs through the University District, and on Friday and Saturday nights is always full of young people in good spirits.

If I go to dances alone, I can often find a ride at least near to my house. I go less than I used to, as a long night dancing tends to get my hip hurting. I am not yet ready to get an artificial hip just so I can dance more.

Ha
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:37 PM   #22
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Save the environment and fit in with the PC folks in your area. Get a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla Model S.

Maintenance of the Model S is supposed to be very low:

"Model S is by design a low-maintenance vehicle. There are no spark plugs, timing belts or oil filters to replace. Model S will never need a smog check or a typical oil change. In fact, the only oil needing to be changed is in the gearbox, which on average needs replacement once every twelve years. Model S has at least a thousand fewer moving parts than a traditional car – no internal combustion engine, no transmission, no mufflers or catalytic converters – thereby lowering the chances of things breaking down or wearing out. Thanks to regenerative braking, even brake pads will last longer on Model S than on other cars. <snip> Tesla Service includes all replacement parts such as wiper blades and brake pads that wear out from day-to-day driving, excluding tires. <snip> install enhancements to your Model S at your convenience from the comfort of your own garage. We are currently working on updates that will include a speed warning that chimes when you’re having too much fun on the highway, additional stereo system settings, and memory seat functionality."
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:15 AM   #23
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After the car/no car decision is made I would offer the following. A new car may be a better choice. Really good used cars are very scarce at this time and the price differential is not that great. I am finding my interest in car repairs waning as the years go by. Buy new, the Subaru's a good one amoung many others, and don't worry about it.
For years I bought nearly new used cars at a discount. Usually it worked out. However about one in four were less than desirable due to some hidden defects. Since I was on the road writing them off I'd roll it over to another one. 8 years ago my DW wanted a new Lexus. No problem if your going to keep it forever. So far the car has been excellent with only minor scheduled maintenance. If you want/need a car but exactly what you want and keep it for a long time.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:01 AM   #24
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Based on your list of cars you have driven, I would look into the new Fiat.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #25
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Ha,

Personally, I would stay away from a used luxury car due to size (especially in a large city) and up keep costs. I've had several Subaru's and wouldn't hesitate to go for another. A new one should last you for a very long time without many headaches.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:26 AM   #26
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I am partial to Toyota and Honda having owned 7 so far. I've considered Subaru's before, they have excellent 4WD and they are (nearly as) reliable (Consumer Reports) but I never bought one because their MPG were significantly inferior and they cost more than Toyota or Honda. However, their newer models have better MPG. Toyota and Honda have several 4WD vehicles (I owned an Element for years), but I suspect the Impreza, Forester and Outback are superior 4WD vehicles, so I can understand why they might be frontrunners.

You mention used luxury, which brings Audi into consideration. We owned an Audi, and the Quattro system may be the most advanced on any car, it was certainly incredible to drive in all four seasons - better handling not only on ice & snow, but dry pavement as well. That said, we've owned several luxury makes (BMW, Mercedes, Audi & Volvo) and we'd probably never buy one again. All of them cost a fortune to maintain when they do have issues, though two of the four we owned were very reliable (and two were not, the Merc E series was appallingly bad, so much so we sold it when the 3 year warranty expired).
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #27
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If I drove rarely and lived where renting is easy, such as having easy access to Zipcars, I probably would go without a car. Only you know if that would work well for you. It could be neat to drive a variety of cars, but getting into an unfamiliar car when it's dark and rainy and you're tired may be less safe than your own car.

I really like the new Impreza. I recently ordered one for my son for his upcoming graduation. A lot of car and very good gas mileage with the new engine, for a reasonable price. If you want something that sits higher, the XV Crosstrek is a raised Impreza, but it seems more suited for off road or lots of snow.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:23 AM   #28
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Subaru Outback. In the area you live, lots of beautiful scenery and mountains to explore. Can't beat the newer Outback (2010 and up), has CVT and AWD, and reliability has been very good. Impreza is nice also, too small for me, but YMMV.........
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:22 PM   #29
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Just bought a new car last night. Our Nissan pickup finally died (rear diff.) and we decided to replace it with a small SUV (the truck was to big since we moved back into the city anyway). There is a dearth of quality used cars on the market right now (at least in our area) and we had to go new. If there was a car rental place across the street though I would have considered going carless for the next 1.5 years we are working here. You still need a car for hauling loads of groceries, going out of town, etc..
Choice came down to the Ford Escape and Toyota Rav4. Bought the Rav4. The new 2013 Ford Escape is very nice but a little carlike (plus you know, Ford. AND, inside it says the electronics are Proudly powered by Microsoft. Talk about your deadly combo. lol) So, 2012 Toyota Rav4/6cyl/Sport/4WD. End of line discount (redesign for 2013) dealer discount and deal on a 5yr extended warranty sealed the deal. Hope to have it for a long time and it being a Toyota, I think there is a pretty good chance of it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #30
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Choice came down to the Ford Escape and Toyota Rav4. Bought the Rav4. The new 2013 Ford Escape is very nice but a little carlike (plus you know, Ford...)
Yep, and we also know Toyota...

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Toyota Motor Co., still in recovery mode after a series of problems that plagued its global operations over the last three years, announced Wednesday it is recalling 2.5 million vehicles sold in the United States due to a potential risk of fire.The recall involves 7.43 million vehicles worldwide...
Toyota to hold world's biggest car recall in 16 years - Bottom Line
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #31
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I know... first headline I saw in the paper this morning. Not even 12 hours later.. well, as they say, bad timing is worse than.. than ... ah damn it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #32
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I love my 2002 Volvo S60. At 160,000 and hope to go at least another 100,000. The newer ones seem really nice, too.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #33
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I know... first headline I saw in the paper this morning. Not even 12 hours later.. well, as they say, bad timing is worse than.. than ... ah damn it.
There is a big difference - Toyota does recalls and fixes stuff before half their customers leave for another brand, I don't think GM has learned that yet!
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #34
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I know... first headline I saw in the paper this morning. Not even 12 hours later.. well, as they say, bad timing is worse than.. than ... ah damn it.
Yea but ford was burning down houses years ago

CNN.com - Ford document: Millions of vehicles have fire risk part - Jun 16, 2005
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