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  1. #1
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    best car VALUE

    I've been living overseas for the last four years and am moving back to the States. I need a car. What do you think is the best car value to get me to the trail head in Moab, Colorado, etc.? Small, economical. I'm really not into driving fast. I was weened on a 69 Saab 95 wagon, V4. I am looking at Suburu Imprezza 2.5 wagon and Toyota Matrix. What do you think?

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    I think it's fine. Both good reliable autos.

  3. #3
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    I've been looking for something in the same class as well and currently I'm leaning toward the Mazda 3 hatchback. I haven't test driven one yet but it seems like a lot of car for the money and people who own them seem to really like it. If you are looking for AWD, keep in mind that Toyota dropped that as an option in the 2007 Matrix model year. If you want to buy new it may be difficult to find anything but a used AWD version.

    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/mostw...0/article.html
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    scion wb

    scion xb

  5. #5
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    As a former Subie owner . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by thebreeze
    I've been living overseas for the last four years and am moving back to the States. I need a car. What do you think is the best car value to get me to the trail head in Moab, Colorado, etc.? Small, economical. I'm really not into driving fast. I was weened on a 69 Saab 95 wagon, V4. I am looking at Suburu Imprezza 2.5 wagon and Toyota Matrix. What do you think?
    As a former subie owner, I can tell you that the base Impreza and Outback do not get great gas mileage. I never was able to get more than 22 mpg combined, and I live in CA. Good cars otherwise. The Matrix does a bit better in the gas mileage department, but I don't think it is as fun to drive as the Subie.

  6. #6
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Mazda3 seemed like a better bang for the buck as I was shopping around a little while ago.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Drivel
    As a former subie owner, I can tell you that the base Impreza and Outback do not get great gas mileage. I never was able to get more than 22 mpg combined, and I live in CA. Good cars otherwise. The Matrix does a bit better in the gas mileage department, but I don't think it is as fun to drive as the Subie.
    I just went from central AZ (up in the mountains) to San Diego and then back. It took almost exactly one tank of gas to get to SD, there was a lot of downhill here at high altitude, but after crunching the numbers it was at least 27mpg, with highway speeds from 73-83mph (ca speed limit vs arizona). I was pretty impressed, that is only 1mpg shy of what my car is supposed to get as the top mpg, and there were definitely a lot of hills and to overcome and the fact that I wasn't going 55mph or anything. My car is a WRX wagon, same body as the impreza. On the way back I got about 23mpg, although that's an overall figure, the big mountains that I had to climb took a toll. On the highway the WRX evidently does pretty good, I wasn't disappointed. In the city though you can easily go through lots of fuel fast if you keep going into the turbo range. This means that I have no idea what a stock impreza will be like in the city.

    As far as value, sure the subaru impreza gives you a LOT of value, because it has AWD and good safety features. There are a lot of cars that are good values, but that doesn't mean they are the cheapest cars. If you will drive in snow or adverse conditions, AWD will easily outperform any other system such as traction control, part-time AWD/4WD. on-demand AWD, etc. The 2.5 liter engine makes like 173hp now, which is decent given that it's a small car with AWD. Still, you can probably find a good many cars that are cheaper than the subaru, because they lack AWD or because the maker is trying to undercut other manufacturers (which seems like what mazda may be doing right now).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
    tl1
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    Check out a Ford Fusion

    You can lease the 4 cylinder ones for less than $200/mo or buy them for around 18k with standard airbags all around and a few choice options like ABS. Plenty of room, big trunk, nice styling etc.

    http://www.jalopnik.com/cars/jalopni...t-1-216089.php

    http://www.fordvehicles.com/features...vent/index.asp

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebreeze
    I've been living overseas for the last four years and am moving back to the States. I need a car. What do you think is the best car value to get me to the trail head in Moab, Colorado, etc.? Small, economical. I'm really not into driving fast. I was weened on a 69 Saab 95 wagon, V4. I am looking at Suburu Imprezza 2.5 wagon and Toyota Matrix. What do you think?

    I didn't know that Saab made the 9-5 in 69.

    Regardless, my 02 Saab 9-5 hauls and still gets 33mpg (Hwy), I average about 28 in the city... not bad considering its got twice the room as the Subaru or Matrix.

    Fun car in mtns..

  10. #10
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    If you look down the page , you will see Saab made 9.407 95 models in 1969.
    http://saab-club.com/the-saab-way/story/story.htm
    Also other links.
    http://www.saabmuseum.com/95/index.html
    http://www.saabmuseum.com/96v4/index.html

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tl1
    You can lease the 4 cylinder ones for less than $200/mo or buy them for around 18k with standard airbags all around and a few choice options like ABS. Plenty of room, big trunk, nice styling etc.
    Too bad it's made by Ford.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Wow, a tear comes to my eye looking at the pictures of the red 95. I took mine up Hyalite canyon in Montana on an ice climbing trip one winter where every other vehicle up there was a high lift American made 4x4 pick-up. Mine would only do 65mph max, but I didn't care. Most fun vehicle I've ever driven.

  13. #13
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    Subies have good milage up to 60 MPH, once you get above that, man alive they can be all over the show. Have owned 5 Subaru's. Great vehicles, safe too....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  14. #14
    tl1
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    Regardless of who makes it...

    ...the J.D. Power ratings are good and it's a very nice car for the money that gets great MPG w/ the 4 cylinder for its amount of interior room and size. Cue the Calvin peeing on a Ford emblem just for Jayem?

    https://www.jdpower.com/autos/ford/fusion/2006

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Too bad it's made by Ford.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Subies have good milage up to 60 MPH, once you get above that, man alive they can be all over the show. Have owned 5 Subaru's. Great vehicles, safe too....
    With the turbo, my subie is pretty much reverse of that. I see no reason why your observation couldn't be true for some cars, but not going through lots of gas while driving in the city is difficult with the turbo, whereas it's a lot easier to get good mph at highway speeds...at least with the turbo.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
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    Seeing the same thing with my Legacy GT (also a turbo). Decent mileage driving on the freeway, but pretty lousy driving around the city. Great car though... ^^

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    Just picked up a Subaru Impreza Wagon (2.5i) a couple weeks ago and am loving it so far. Got close to 30mpg (highway) on a 600 mile roundtrip this past weekend, averaging about 72mph.

    Settled on the Subaru for a nunber of reasons...there's really not that many comparable cars in its class (I demand manual transmission and a hatch/wagon style). Scion XB seemed a little underpowered, liked the Matrix ok enough, ditto with the Mazda3, but the Subaru was simply more fun than both. The new Golf (Rabbit) is in the same class, but I have a 2000 Golf that I'm not that impressed with in regards to how many niggling little problems I've had with it, and I'm not giving VW any more cash until they show a long trend of good quality. I paid that off in 3 years and plan to only use it locally until I end up driving it into the ground and/or leave the country.

    Additionally, we leased it, and Subarus hold their value well, so after negotiating the purchase price down as far as possible, what I'm paying over 36months is quite cheap. Yes, it would be expensive to buy at the end of the lease but we're planning on moving to London around that time, so it's not an issue- we'll go carless then.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    I just went from central AZ (up in the mountains) to San Diego and then back. It took almost exactly one tank of gas to get to SD, there was a lot of downhill here at high altitude, but after crunching the numbers it was at least 27mpg, with highway speeds from 73-83mph (ca speed limit vs arizona). I was pretty impressed, that is only 1mpg shy of what my car is supposed to get as the top mpg, and there were definitely a lot of hills and to overcome and the fact that I wasn't going 55mph or anything. My car is a WRX wagon, same body as the impreza. On the way back I got about 23mpg, although that's an overall figure, the big mountains that I had to climb took a toll. On the highway the WRX evidently does pretty good, I wasn't disappointed. In the city though you can easily go through lots of fuel fast if you keep going into the turbo range. This means that I have no idea what a stock impreza will be like in the city.
    wow, that is great mileage. I was never able to get over 23.5 average with the outback, even when making long highway trips. I have several friends with Outbacks that echo my experience. I think Turbo's overall get better mileage--my GTI returns 32 on the freeway when I don't floor it

    The WRX is a GREAT car, BTW.

    All wheel drive is safer in the snow, no questions asked--as long as you have traction. Once you start sliding it helps not one bit.

  19. #19
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    +1 for Impreza 2.5i wagon, I just got one too. As was said, not the cheapest but you get a lot for the money.

    In that vein, leftover '06 SAAB 9-2x's may be selling with substantial rebates right now (I think at the end of '06 they were at $6k), so that might be a way to get even more value for the buck for an Impreza.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Too bad it's made by Ford.
    No its not. Ford only owns 25% of Mazda. Ford uses Mazda platforms on some of its cars, but Mazdas are not built by Ford.

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    I recently had a loaner 07 Jetta......I was impressed. Base model car, base engine.....170 horse 5 cyl with 6 speed trans......good car. Starts at 19 or something around there......Only got 25 mpg or so in mixed driving. Good highway cruiser with plenty of room for everyone.

    Or the new Jetta TDI would do the trick with high mileage..Autos are rated for 40 mpg on the highway, sticks pry near 45.

    Dont know much about the soobs......not many around her.e

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATL MTN Biker
    No its not. Ford only owns 25% of Mazda. Ford uses Mazda platforms on some of its cars, but Mazdas are not built by Ford.
    If I wanted a mazda, I'd buy a mazda.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  23. #23
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    The Mazda and The subaru and the Toyota are all very good cars. I owned a Celica which has the same VVTi-L engine and it is a good engine. When it goes into lift past 6000 Rpm it is quite a blast. The biggest drawback however is the fact that you must use premium gas on that high compression engine. The warranty is void if you use anything less than 91 octane. I averaged around 23-26 mpg but considering the extra cost of premium you will do better with the impreza. I now own a Tacoma which gets around 19-22 mpg and my fuel costs are the same. My Celica had a 14 gallon tank and it still cost me 35-40 bucks to fill it up!

    Also when the VVTi-L engine hits lift under hard acceleration it really sucks down gas fast. If you drive the matrix with your foot in it all day your mileage will be much lower than manufacturer stats. If you are looking for an economical car the matrix is not the best choice.

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