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Old 06-07-2008, 05:48 PM   #41
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I'm on the mailing list for the Smart Car. IMO just a neat sweet errand machine.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #42
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We already have a minivan for family hauling duties, so I'd be looking for something smaller and sportier. If only it came with a sunroof, I'd probably buy a Honda Fit. Besides getting great gas mileage and being shockingly roomy inside for its size, I test drove a manual transmission sport model, and it was very fun to drive. There's a newly designed version coming in September (or thereabouts), so I'd wait for that one.

I really do love having a sunroof, though, so I'd probably opt for a Volkswagen GTI with the dual-clutch transmission. Thanks to a short commute, I only drive ~8K miles a year. The GTI gets decent gas mileage (~25mpg combined), but is a blast to drive, and can be had in a useful 5-door hatch configuration. Not as dead-reliable or roomy as some other options, but I put a premium on "fun-to-drive".
If you love the GTI, have you considered a used Audi A3? A used one with 25k miles on it is only going for $20k private or $21.5k dealer.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #43
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For us there is no "if". We just bought our first retirement car. We wanted room (I'm 6'2 and I don't get in and out of cars as easily as I once did), the ability to haul some stuff, and economy both in cost and MPG. We bought a Jeep Patriot. Cost me about 16k out the door and on my third tank of gas I got 27 mpg. With a lifetime powertrain warranty whats not to love?
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:47 PM   #44
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Ford GT for the performance and style.

http://cache.jalopnik.com/cars/asset...04/Ford-GT.jpg
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:09 PM   #45
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Bought a 2007 Hyundai Sonata 4-cyl, 5-speed manual last August. After driving about 19,000 miles, no problems and averaging about 30mpg. Cost was less than $16K, including sales tax. Hard to beat the warranty.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:28 PM   #46
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Right now I have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8T and if I had to buy a new car right now I would investigate the following cars:

Toyota Camry
Mazda 3 sport
Audi A4

Ideally I would like to get the A4. But my current VW car has the same engine as the old Audi A4 and it is very expensive to repair and maintain so I am a bit hesitant to buy another German car. That's why, this time, I am willing to take a serious look at Japanese cars.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:09 PM   #47
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If you love the GTI, have you considered a used Audi A3? A used one with 25k miles on it is only going for $20k private or $21.5k dealer.
The A3 is definitely a nice car. I did look at them, but felt that they skewed a bit more to the "luxury" side of the equation, while the GTI is more "sporty". I also felt the A3 was\a little tighter, space-wise, in the driver seat. I'm 6'3" with a long torso, and head-room is an issue in most cars (and, as I mentioned before, I love sunroofs, which steal some headroom). The GTI is one of the few smaller cars that fit me very well.

I probably would enjoy the dealership experience more with an Audi than with a VW though (more likely to get loaner cars, etc.).
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:18 AM   #48
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The new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (diesel) is hitting the show rooms this month for test drives and display. Apparently they will take orders for delivery in the fall.

It is rated at 40 mpg city/ 50 mpg highway. I heard the price may be a couple thousand for than the equivalent gas version. It apparently it meets emission standards and the engine does not exhibit most of the typical negatives of a diesel engine.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Preview | J.D. Power


Apparently there is a hybrid version that is too costly for the market to bear right now. But it was rated at close to 70 mpg highway.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:30 AM   #49
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Another twist

If you were acquiring a vehicle today (needed a replacement) would you:

  1. Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
  2. Lease for short-term, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
  3. Purchase a lightly used vehicle, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:35 AM   #50
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If you were acquiring a vehicle today (needed a replacement) would you:

  1. Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
  2. Lease for short-term, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
  3. Purchase a lightly used vehicle, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.

I would buy it and drive it for 10 years. As for which car, I would lean towards the Fit. Has plenty of room for my needs and decent mileage. Although I might wait for the hybrid version.

A diesel would be good if it wasn't so expensive. Does anyone know why diesel cost so much more than gas?
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:59 AM   #51
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I would buy it and drive it for 10 years. As for which car, I would lean towards the Fit. Has plenty of room for my needs and decent mileage. Although I might wait for the hybrid version.

A diesel would be good if it wasn't so expensive. Does anyone know why diesel cost so much more than gas?
Not sure... there must be a supply problem.

I saw a comparison for the cost of fuel between the Toyota Prius and a Jetta TDI. The fuel cost per mile was a little more than the Prius. The cost of fuel to operate was on par with the Smart ForTwo car.

If you consider the reliability of a diesel compared to relatively new battery technology... The diesel may be a safer bet at this time.

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Old 06-08-2008, 09:57 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
If you were acquiring a vehicle today (needed a replacement) would you:

  1. Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
  2. Lease for short-term, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
  3. Purchase a lightly used vehicle, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
Another option would be to purchase a heavily used vehicle -- that is, an old one that will only last for a few years (until better options are available).
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:50 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
If you were acquiring a vehicle today (needed a replacement) would you:

  1. Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
  2. Lease for short-term, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
  3. Purchase a lightly used vehicle, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
I would purchase a new car in cash, and drive it for 10 years (like I have with my present car), or until I got tired of it.

Why? Because I love having a brand new, pristine car of my very own. I wouldn't dream of denying myself that experience. I love that new car smell, feel, and shine. I love exploring all the bells and whistles. Maybe a new car is the ultimate toy for grownups.

I don't feel that leasing has any attractions at all for me.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:57 AM   #54
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Buy it used...
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Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
... and keep on going until I've driven it into the ground.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:10 AM   #55
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Purchase a lightly used vehicle and drive it another 10 years? I'm driving a 12 year old vehicle now and since I drive under 5,000 miles per year it may go another 12 years.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:05 PM   #56
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Buy it used...

... and keep on going until I've driven it into the ground.
I bought my previous vehicle new and planned to have it last 10 years, then 15, then it finally wore out last year at 18.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:15 PM   #57
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I bought my previous vehicle new and planned to have it last 10 years, then 15, then it finally wore out last year at 18.
Same here ('89 Olds Ciera). Who says domestic is no good ?

- Ron
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:13 PM   #58
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Quote:
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If you were acquiring a vehicle today (needed a replacement) would you:

  1. Purchase it and drive it for 10 years?
  2. Lease for short-term, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
  3. Purchase a lightly used vehicle, assuming more fuel efficient/reliable options will be available in the next 3 years.
#3. Let someone else take the initial depreciation. Then I would drive it until it drops. Rarely will fuel savings offset the cost difference of a new car. Remember you also have to pay more for insurance and registration on a new vehicle.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:33 PM   #59
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I'll probably buy the smallest highest milesage vehicle that has an average to below average price when I end up buying my next car. If I was buying today, I'd buy something like the Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris or Corolla, the Smart car or Hyundai Accent. I'm hoping that there will be several other cars in the same class as these that have even better mileage when I actually have to purchase a car (in 5+ years). I'm going to look at driving a car as purely transportation and not something that brings me prestige or superior comfort...and make cost/value/fuel economy as the most important decision factor when purchasing a new car.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:57 PM   #60
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We buy either new or lightly used cars and keep them until the wheels come off. My wife's car is 11 years old and is still very reliable for its age (Mazda Miata with less than 100,000 miles), mine is 7 years old. I like my current car a lot and I have no plan to replace it as long as it keeps running reliably. My former VW golf was 15 years old when it finally bit the dust.

When we were students we bought heavily used cars, usually for less than $1000 (paid cash) and use them for 3-4 years. Sometimes we got lucky and sometimes not so lucky. My wife's Ford Tempo (with red interior!) and Ford Probe lasted quite a few years (with very few repairs needed), but my first car (a $500 Ford Taurus) didn't make it past 6 months...
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