Need a new car...suggestions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need a new car...suggestions?

    Ok, so it's time to get a new vehicle but I don't really know what I want. There is no particular one I really like so I'm looking at a broad range. Things I'm concerned with are gas mileage, storage capacity, aesthetics (I don't want a boring or ugly car), and driving comfort. I also like manual trans, but that is hard to find in most cars these days.

    Anyway, my list so far:
    VW Jetta
    Saab 9-5 wagon
    Jeep Liberty
    Volvo V70


    Any other suggestions? It will be a daily driver, some road trips and weekend travel, as well as my bike hauler to get me to the trailhead. I currently have a Explorer which I love because it's big enough to hold my mtn bike in the back without taking off the wheel or anything (w/ seats folded down of course) so I store it in there since my apartment is small...would be nice to still be able to do this, but not 100% necessary. Bike rack is always an option.

    Just looking for suggestions of things I maybe haven't thought of yet. Price range is about 12K for a used car, preferably under 100k miles....the lower the better.

  2. #2
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    If youre looking for pure fuel economy, I'd say a Toyota Matrix. Can't go wrong with any Toyota.
    If gas mileage isn't too important, I'd go with a Jeep Cherokee. Ya can't kill em.

  3. #3
    Aquaman
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    Passat Diesel wagon $$$ but nice
    Focus wagon my ford has 175000 miles with nothing other than gas and oil
    Volvo wagon 2002 or newer. pre that is not very good
    2004 or newer saturn Vue. They have Honda motors
    Honda Oddysse is what I have. Tones of room

  4. #4
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    None you listed

    If you were trying to make a list of problem cars, you did a good job. Of the one's you listed, only the Jetta gets respectable mileage but repairs will eat up any savings. I was a 25-year VW owner and believe me, dependable and high mileage VW's should never be used in the same sentence.

    The Diesel idea loses a lot of merit when you consider diesel costs over .50 a gallon more than gas. Much more in some locations.

    You want used, go Japanese. A 4-cylinder Camrey may be boring as sh!t (well, maybe
    sh!t is not boring so forget that analogy) but it will get you very good mileage and be quite dependable. Same thing for most any Honda. High mileage 4-cylinder Subarus seem to do well. I have an Outback with only 24K so I can't address them over the long term yet. My son put 70K on his STi before trading it for a 350Z and had no real problems. Mpg is ok but I would not buy one for that reason.

    We also own a Mini and use that for our longer trips. 42 mpg highway, 35 mpg combined. That is a pretty specialized car good for two people and lots of gear but really not very good for any more than that so I will refrain from recommending it.

    With gas heading to $5 a gallon, you really need to be more interesed in a high mpg car these days. That sure as hell leaves the Jeep out.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Sorry, but I'm not buying a damn Camry!!! I hate those things.

    I like the idea of a Subaru, there just aren't too many good used ones around here in my price range. I may hold out for once to come up though because they sound like the best combination of decent gas mileage, storage, and reliability.

  6. #6
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    Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix, I think would be good choices for being versatile and good on gas mileage.

    My wife has the Vibe, and there are some things it can haul that my Subaru Outback cant.

    I'll touch on each of your points:

    Things I'm concerned with are gas mileage
    Matrix/Vibe 29-36 MPG

    storage capacity
    Huge. The front passenger seat even folds flat for long stuff. Also the rear hatch and rear window open seperately. So you can have long stuff sticking out the back window. They also have rails mounted into the back of the rear seat and trunk which can be used with adjustable tie downs, or use to mount homemade bike racks.

    Aesthetics (I don't want a boring or ugly car)
    Vibe's look good IMHO

    driving comfort.
    The car seats are super comfortable. You sit more upright kind of like an SUV.

    I also like manual trans, but that is hard to find in most cars these days.
    Vibe and Matrix both available in Manual. We have the base Vibe in a manual. There are also the sport models which came with a manual

    Price range is about 12K for a used car
    You should have no problems finding one of these for that.

  7. #7
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    I agree with your Camry comment

    Enough said but they are very good cars. Your comment reminds me of a time a few months ago when my wife and I were driving past an apartment complex. We wondered if it was new senior housing until we saw all the Camrys in the parking lot at which time all doubt was removed.

  8. #8
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    I second the Subaru idea....nice ground clearance for a car.

  9. #9
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Mazda 3 has treated us well.

    Would really consider any japanese car with decent milage at this point.

  10. #10
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    Vibe has made in onto the list...mpg looks decent, storage looks good....I plan to go drive one tomorrow to see what I think. Thanks for the info.

    That and a Subaru are my two top choices at the moment.

  11. #11
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    Suburban!

    Great for road trips and you can keep you bikes locked up inside instead
    of outside where it/they can be stolen.
    Nobody cares...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide13
    Vibe has made in onto the list...mpg looks decent, storage looks good....I plan to go drive one tomorrow to see what I think. Thanks for the info.

    That and a Subaru are my two top choices at the moment.
    Just so you know, the Vibe and Matrix are basically the same, same powertrains, just look a little different. Great car from what I've heard.

  13. #13
    Aquaman
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    Yes the vibe is on my short list for a second car for my family. That or a focus wagon, I am just waiting for the rite one to come up. Hopefully before my current second car dies. Its a Escort with 178,000 mils on it. It still gets 30-32 mpg

  14. #14
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    Well, good suggestion on the Vibe. Went shopping today and found a '03 Vibe GT with a 6 speed manual trans, 77k miles, and great overall shape. Got it for about $9500 out the door. Good storage, decent gas mileage, and a lot of fun to drive with the 6 speed manual. I couldn't be happier with it.

  15. #15
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    I was looking for a vibe/matrix last year, but apparently the market in pittsburgh for them is pretty hot. They were pretty high up there on the used market. Much higher than 12k.

    I ended up with a Honda Fit. You won't find a used one of these anywhere, but a new sport model cost me about 17k out the door. New base model versions go for about 13k. I'd put it somewhere between a mini and a vibe/matrix. It's still big enough with the back seats down to toss your bike in. It can hold 4 adults plus a kid in the middle seat. If you have a child seat, it reduces seating room. Lots of folding options for the seats, so the interior is very flexible.

    I've hit 38mpg highway and I average about 32-33mpg in suburban driving. I get about 35mpg highway with bikes or a canoe on the roof.

    For the record, my other vehicle is an 02 Liberty Limited. It's a nice vehicle. Fuel economy barely hits 20mpg highway. Averages about 13-14 suburban driving. Bikes do fit inside with fork blocks, too, but I have to remove the seatposts (strangely it does not have a lot of headroom...the Honda has more).

  16. #16
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    I did look at the Fit, and there actually was a used sport model in the area for $13,500, but it was just a bit smaller then what I was looking for.

    there weren't many Vibes in the area, only this one and a single Toyota Matrix. Luckily this was pretty much exactly what I wanted. The GT w/ six speed is a fun car to drive!!!

  17. #17
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    vibe is just a slightly redesigned toyota matrix, luckily not the other way around so you should be good for a while. enjoi.

  18. #18
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    If you have the cash for it. Anything from Subaru. I've been driving a Subaru Legacy GT wagon and found it amazing. The all wheel drive system is fantatic for those gravel roads to trail heads and if you live in snow country like me it will definatly turn you a bit imature when you start doing rally 4 wheel slides for fun.

    I've just bought the replacemnt for the Subaru and its another to look at especially if you are looking at Volvos. Audi Allroad is basically an A6 wagon with lots more toys including height adjustable suspension. You can raise and lower the ground clearance about 4 inchs by the push of the button. Awww and the car looks hot.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide13
    Well, good suggestion on the Vibe. Went shopping today and found a '03 Vibe GT with a 6 speed manual trans, 77k miles, and great overall shape. Got it for about $9500 out the door. Good storage, decent gas mileage, and a lot of fun to drive with the 6 speed manual. I couldn't be happier with it.
    Congrats on the Vibe purchase. Checkout the forums on http://www.genvibe.com for tips and info about the car.

  20. #20
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    Thanks! Actually found that forum the night I bought it and have already signed up Thanks for the tip though. Loving the car so far!!!

  21. #21
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    how about the kia Rondo? it is rated to be very reliable if you don't mind its dorky looks.

  22. #22
    blinded by the light
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    what about a honda ridgeline?
    car like ride and handling but are offroad capable, with a cool ice chest thing in the back. and it has honda reliability
    dont get a kia.
    please dont get a kia

  23. #23
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    ... and gets a whooping 20 mpg hwy.

    Plus, 15 mpg city.

    That certainly does not sound like a wise move these days....

  24. #24
    Steeeeeeve PERRY!
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    I'd go with a VW

  25. #25
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    Look at post #14. The guy already bought a car. So no point in making more suggestions.

  26. #26
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    Yeah....I already bought a Pontiac Vibe GT so the decision has been made and the money has been spent. I'm quite happy with my decision, it's a fun car to drive, gets good mpg, and will hold my bike no problem. Pretty solid combo IMO. I will miss my SUV at times...like any day it's snowing out and those few times where a trail head is at the end of a rough dirt road...but I just couldn't justify the horrible gas mileage of them for those few instances. I came close to getting a Jeep Liberty, but at 17mpg it just doesn't make sense. Besides, I think the bike will fit better in the Vibe!

  27. #27
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide13
    Yeah....I already bought a Pontiac Vibe GT so the decision has been made and the money has been spent. I'm quite happy with my decision, it's a fun car to drive, gets good mpg, and will hold my bike no problem. Pretty solid combo IMO. I will miss my SUV at times...like any day it's snowing out and those few times where a trail head is at the end of a rough dirt road...but I just couldn't justify the horrible gas mileage of them for those few instances. I came close to getting a Jeep Liberty, but at 17mpg it just doesn't make sense. Besides, I think the bike will fit better in the Vibe!
    My Honda Fit holds bikes better than the Liberty (on the inside, at least), so no doubt the Vibe will, too.

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