Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Can You Recommend an Economical New Car Make/Model?
Old 03-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 396
Can You Recommend an Economical New Car Make/Model?

I am thinking about buying a new car. I want to test drive a couple of models. What do you think is a good economical new car make/model recommendation?

I would like something that has good fuel efficiency, a decent amount of horsepower for acceleration, good reliability and I think I would like a four door sedan type of vehicle with a trunk.

I plan to maintain the vehicle and keep it for a good length of time (5-10 years) or mileage (ideally over 150,000 miles).

I want to find something that will help to keep my transportation costs in my budget low.

Looking at Edmunds True Cost to Own, the following makes/models seem to be suggested: Ford Fiesta; Nissan Versa; Toyota Yaris; Honda Civic; Smart Car; Nissan Sentra. Anyone have experience with these vehicles?

Thanks for your advice.
__________________

__________________
nico08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-27-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,423
My son has a 2007 Yaris hatchback. It was economical to purchase new and it's been trouble free. I've driven it a few times and it was comfortable and even though the gauges are in the center I got used to that very quickly. I drive a Camry and the Yaris is a lot stiffer. His back seat folds down flat and with the large hatchback opening he can carry a lot more than I can in my Camry.

There is also Yaris sedan version that I may look at next time we need a car. I love small cars and we've been a Toyota family for many years.
__________________

__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,001
Was at the library checking out the Auto issue of Consumer Reports. In this category, they liked the Honda Fit the best overall. Check out the magazine, it's very informative.
__________________
Dimsumkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,146
We have a Civic and have been quite happy with it.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
A friend of mine recently bought a new Ford Focus and he seems to think it's the best car he's ever owned. I've ridden in it and it's a very nice vehicle with a lot of interesting options (voice activated navigation and radio etc). If I remember right he said about 40mpg and about $26,000 for it.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
A friend of mine recently bought a new Ford Focus and he seems to think it's the best car he's ever owned. I've ridden in it and it's a very nice vehicle with a lot of interesting options (voice activated navigation and radio etc). If I remember right he said about 40mpg and about $26,000 for it.
What do you drive up there in 'the north pole'. We get a lot of snow here in Wisconsin(although not as much as you) and I don't even want to think about driving a small car. I used to have an Acura Integra but got stuck several times so traded it for a Subaru. Sure i'd like 30+ MPG but if your stuck in the snow you're getting 0 MPG. I had to(actually, foolishly volunteered to) push 2 small cars out of the parking lot a couple days ago. As long as I still live up here i'll never go back to a small car. Not even if gas is $10/gal.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,190
I have heard great things about the Ford Fusion for an American car. We just sold our 1995 Toyota Camry today and hadn't had a lick of trouble with it for the 7 Yrs we owned it. I inherited my dad's 2000 Mercury Sable, fully loaded, leather etc with only 13,500 miles on it. So I'm driving that now and don't need the Toyota. We've always had good luck with our Mercury and Toyotas over the yrs.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
John Galt III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,285
<< Looking at Edmunds True Cost to Own, the following makes/models seem to be suggested: Ford Fiesta; Nissan Versa; Toyota Yaris; Honda Civic; Smart Car; Nissan Sentra. Anyone have experience with these vehicles? >>

I bought a 2009 Nissan Versa. I get 30 mpg on my work commute, which is 80 percent hiway. Has a hatchback, good for transporting fairly large items. No problems yet, after 32,000 miles. Knock on wood. Acceleration is pretty good, if you floor it. Looks cute, IMO.

Test drove a 2009 Honda Civic. Loved it, except for its low profile. Didn't want to bottom out on snowdrifts.

Test drove a 2009 Toyota Yaris. Liked it enough to go in to the dealer expecting to buy it, but the dealer did a "bait and switch" at the last minute so that ruined my thing with Yaris.

Test drove a 2009 Nissan Sentra. OK, but the handling was too heavy, wobbly, and leany.

Try a Hyundai Elantra. Cheap price and 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. Great handling. I almost bought one, but it didn't come in a hatchback. My gf bought a Hyundai Elantra. It's a good sturdy car. She does not track her mpg, so can't help you there.

Good luck.
__________________
John Galt III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 05:14 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 392
We just bought a Prius - they have come way down in price so made it worth it. We totally love it, super comfortable and can't beat 51mpg. We paid 21K for it, and will drive it until it drops.
__________________
BellBarbara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,190
Oh yes, forgot that the Hyundai Sonata gets good reviews and I know a couple of people who love theirs.
The Prius gas mileage sounds great! Is it comfortable to ride in?
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 05:58 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
+1 on the Consumer Reports recommendation. I would not buy a car without consulting their reviews and especially their reliability ratings. But there are lots of other resources as well.

My criteria has been much the same as yours and I've bought almost nothing but Honda's and Toyota's for the past 20 years. And they have all been bulletproof, no significant issues at all.

However, they may not be quite as popular now (they have both had models flop on them lately) and Toyota has tarnished their image for at least the next few years. The 2011 Ford Fiesta appears to be the best domestic small car to come along in many years and the 2012 Ford Focus is the most intriguing small domestic I can remember, but they're not in dealerships yet, but soon. The Chevy Cruze is getting stellar reviews too. Best of luck...

The only one you mentioned that makes no sense to me is the "Smart" car. It runs on high octance gas (unbelieveable IMO) and does not get very good mileage consider how small it is compared to the others on your list. I guess I just don't get the appeal, esp at the price.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
What do you drive up there in 'the north pole'. We get a lot of snow here in Wisconsin(although not as much as you) and I don't even want to think about driving a small car. I used to have an Acura Integra but got stuck several times so traded it for a Subaru. Sure i'd like 30+ MPG but if your stuck in the snow you're getting 0 MPG. I had to(actually, foolishly volunteered to) push 2 small cars out of the parking lot a couple days ago. As long as I still live up here i'll never go back to a small car. Not even if gas is $10/gal.
We don't normally get more than about 30 inches of snow during the winter, it just doesn't melt until early April. Most people have either 4wd pickups or all wheel drive cars. I have an AWD cross-over. I also get a new car at about 8 years or 100,000 miles. At 30 or 40 below one's life can literally depend on the condition of a car and having an emergency survival kit in it.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,889
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnighter777 View Post
Looking at Edmunds True Cost to Own, the following makes/models seem to be suggested: Ford Fiesta; Nissan Versa; Toyota Yaris; Honda Civic; Smart Car; Nissan Sentra.
We don't, but these are interesting cars. The Nissan Versa, in particular, seems appealing - - economical, attractive, and utilitarian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
I bought a 2009 Nissan Versa. I get 30 mpg on my work commute, which is 80 percent hiway. Has a hatchback, good for transporting fairly large items. No problems yet, after 32,000 miles. Knock on wood. Acceleration is pretty good, if you floor it. Looks cute, IMO.
Sounds great!
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
Tractor guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 105
I just bought 2 new Versa hatchbacks for my two daughters (both have jobs out of state this summer). Nissan has a good incentive going on them until March 31 if you can find the car you want on the lot. $1500 cash back and an additional $500 for recent graduates.

I bought the 1.8S hatchback. I consider it underpowered but the cars my wife and I drive both have 2X the horsepower. I liked everything else about it. Soft ride for this size car, lots of room, and lots of standard features. The only options I spec'd were the "power plus package" (adds power windows, locks, & cruise control) and the "Vehicle Dynamic Control) adds stability control and traction control. Everything else I wanted was included (ABS, 6 disc CD player, etc.)

I owned a Nissan in Japan for 5 years. When I sold it, it had about 60000 miles on it and was 8 years old. In the 5 years, I changed the oil, bought new tires, a battery, and an alternator. Driving was mainly stop and go with some highway miles (maybe 1/2). I'm hoping the Versas will be as good for my daughters. Will let you know in 8 years.

Lorne
__________________
Tractor guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 07:04 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 221
Honda Civic

Toyota Corolla(close outs on 2010 now) I own a 2008

Ford Focus(new model out so not cheep)I own a 2005
__________________
Dave J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,250
My son has a Honda Fit, getting about 35-40mpg out of it (better than the EPA rating). I've had a Civic and loved it. When we leave Japan for the USA, we are most likely to get one of the above. The Civic's EPA mileage rating is better than the Fit's, and it seems more of an adults' car. The Fit, on the other hand, can carry a lot of stuff home from Costco.

My parents have a Toyota Corolla, which they just love, and which usually gets them about 38-40mpg on the highway (remember, they are much further advanced into geezerhood than I am, so their driving is much more slow and cautious).

I recently drove a Nissan Altima rental while on vacation. It was getting about 30+mpg puttering around Oahu. Good pickup, lots of trunk room. I've also driven Toyota Camry rentals. They are also pretty good.

Overall I usually like the Honda's the best out of the bunch, and so does DW. If they introduce the Honda Stream in the US, we'll go with that. We have one in Japan, with a 2000cc engine (upgrade from standard 1700cc) that puts out 170 horses if I remember right. It is a very, very small minivan, that with the small though powerful engine gives great gas mileage AND plenty of room for Costco runs and picking up the kids at the airport (with all their luggage).

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 08:36 PM   #17
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,352
MIL has a Toyota Corolla. It's amazing. Dependable with great gas mileage. Sits outside her apt in northern il. Sat for about 3 weeks this past winter covered in snow with temps to -15. I dug it out and it started right up. DW and I have each had Toyotas for more than 10 years and 130k mikes.
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 09:35 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post

Try a Hyundai Elantra. Cheap price and 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. Great handling. I almost bought one, but it didn't come in a hatchback. My gf bought a Hyundai Elantra. It's a good sturdy car. She does not track her mpg, so can't help you there.

Good luck.
Isn't there an Elantra Touring, which is a hatchback/wagon? If I was in the market for that style car I'd definitely take a look at this. But I have not driven one.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 10:01 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Isn't there an Elantra Touring, which is a hatchback/wagon? If I was in the market for that style car I'd definitely take a look at this. But I have not driven one.
We just took a test drive in an Elantra Touring today, yes it's a hatchback (DON"T say "wagon" or my DW will reject it immediately!). It's a nice car, it feels solid and has better back-seat leg room than other cars of its size. Fuel economy is okay (23/30 with an automatic transmission), and they offer a very long standard warranty. It has a lot of cool doo-dads standard (heated mirrors, remote opening, etc). It's not a speedster, and the floor covering (flocked thermoplastic?) was low end, but we're considering buying one, I'm guessing we could get it for less than $18K. Other contenders: Subaru Impreza wagon 5-door and Subaru Forester (both of those cars will cost about $3-6K more than the Elantra Touring with comparable equipment--but they are Subarus.)

From the OP: I would cross the Smart Car off your list if you drive on the highway or if you want to carry anything larger than a lunchpail. A Honda Fit is less expensive, rides much better, gets better mileage, and is more practical in every way except, maybe, ability to park in a sub-tiny spot.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,718
The Hyundai Elantra touring is last years base model, while the Elantra sedan is updated. Differences include the 40 mpg highway on the Elantra Sedan, a 6 speed versus 4 speed auto transmission etc. Its probably 2 years till the touring gets the update.
__________________

__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CAN SLIM model ferco Stock Picking and Market Strategy 3 02-22-2010 01:36 PM
Model T Rustic23 Other topics 2 02-05-2009 12:22 PM
New Car? Closeout or Current Model Year chinaco FIRE and Money 66 08-15-2008 11:04 AM
Model Portfolios ats5g FIRE and Money 7 08-24-2004 10:03 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.