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Artap99
2010-07-02, 12:28
I am in the market to buy a car. Right now I have a Pontiac Vibe that is everything that I need, but has quite a few miles on it. I have these cars that I am going to look at:

- Mazda3
- Subaru Impreza
- Honda Fit
- Honda Element
- Nissan Versa
- VW Golf

Do any of you have any suggestions that would be in line with what I am looking for (smaller hatchback with space and reliability)? Or any opinions on the ones listed?
I am only on day two of car shopping, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :D

Maciej
2010-07-02, 12:40
Golf TDi. Your search is over.

torifile
2010-07-02, 14:04
Golf TDi. Your search is over.

Except that they're really hard to find. But, yes, a Golf TDI would be my recommendation, too. I love mine.

Luca
2010-07-02, 14:04
I've heard the Mazda 3 is good. It's basically the same as the Ford Focus, which is also a good car. Definitely worth considering. If you can afford it, the Mazdaspeed 3 is crazy fast with nearly 300 hp, but remember it also takes premium fuel.

Don't know much about Subarus. In the past they've had good reliability rankings in Consumer Reports. Haven't looked lately though.

I have a 2008 Honda Fit. It's certainly a versatile car, and so far it's been reliable (about 30k miles without any major issues). It's very basic, though. The 1.5L engine won't get you anywhere quick, and the mileage actually isn't as good as you'd probably expect from a small car (I get roughly 30 mpg overall). Probably because it's revving too high at highway speeds. The Fit is definitely a city car. It's uncomfortable and loud on long road trips.

I'd never even consider an Element. It's just too ugly.

Probably wouldn't get a Versa either. CR gave it very low marks for reliability.

Same with VWs. They're good driver's cars but they're unreliable. Expect it to break down regularly and require expensive parts to be flown in from Der Faderland to fix it. Fine if you have plenty of extra money and a spare car.

Xaqtly
2010-07-02, 14:19
I'd recommend the Subaru, the WRX version if possible. I don't know what your budget is like, or if you're only looking at new or used cars, or both.

Is MPG a priority? The Golf TDi would be the best choice if it is. If it's not, my vote is for the WRX.

Can you tell us more about your criteria? Body style, feature priority (MPG, AWD, comfort, ride, power, price etc)? Used or new? Like I can tell you the WRX hatch matches the things you listed, but don't know if that's really what you want.

torifile
2010-07-02, 14:30
The TDIs have very good reliability. Easy to maintain and fun to drive. Plus they hold their resale value very well.

Robo
2010-07-02, 16:50
Are you looking for a new car or a used car? What's your budget?

I'd avoid the Element (ancient) and the Fit (good car, but the second-gen is underpowered and the first-gen has high resale; not good if you're buying it used). I'd avoid the Versa, too, unless you *really* wanted a new car and could only afford to spend $10,000. Even then, I'd try to change your mind.

I'd go with the Golf TDI if you can find one and the Subaru if you can't. The Mazda3 is "fun," but I think the new ones are still apt to be overpriced and used ones are apt to be overvalued; that's the way it seems to be out here anyways.

But more information on your budget, &c. would help us make a more informed recommendation.

Artap99
2010-07-04, 18:08
Sorry about the delayed response. I have been out looking at the cars I listed.

You guys seem to like the TDi. I will have to look into that. I didn't like the way that the Golf drove, though. I am not sure how different that will be from a Golf TDi.

I have started looking into a Prius. They seem to have a lot of space and have great fuel efficiency. I am not sure if I want to get another sedan, though.

I am looking to balance storage and MPG. I am not completely against SUVs, I just don't know any that are fuel efficient.

My budget is around $20,000. I don't have a preference for new or used as long as I like the car.

hflomberg
2010-07-04, 18:19
How many miles do you have on the Vibe?

Kickaha
2010-07-04, 19:31
How many miles do you have on the Vibe?

My, that's a personal question.

hflomberg
2010-07-05, 04:16
Actually I'm looking for a decent used vehicle

kieran
2010-07-05, 07:01
Boooo. All I see here are sensible choices. It's never fun to be sensible.

Buy something like this, which I just picked up last month.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4081/4754601463_e33f0a2005_z.jpg

thegeriatric
2010-07-05, 07:30
My, that's a personal question.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :D :)

Majost
2010-07-05, 07:30
Actually I'm looking for a decent used vehicle

Wooooosh :)

torifile
2010-07-05, 07:38
The TDI drives much better than the gassers. The low end torque makes a relatively weak engine very zippy.

addison
2010-07-08, 16:02
You guys seem to like the TDi. I will have to look into that. I didn't like the way that the Golf drove, though. I am not sure how different that will be from a Golf TDi.

I'm pretty sure VW now charges a $4500 premium for the TDI engine in the new Golf. That makes it hard to justify the gains in fuel economy unless you plan on keeping it forever.

torifile
2010-07-08, 16:13
I'm pretty sure VW now charges a $4500 premium for the TDI engine in the new Golf. That makes it hard to justify the gains in fuel economy unless you plan on keeping it forever.
I don't think it's quite that much but there's also the environmental impact of driving a car that can run on biodiesel. Think of it this way, in a few years when we have alternate sources of fuel, a diesel engine will likely be better suited to running on a renewable resource than a gas engine would be.

There's also the matter of resale value. When I go to sell my car, I bet I make every penny of the price difference back and more. It's one of the ways being a Mac user pays off, too. (Ordinarily a car analogy is used to talk about computers. This time it's the other way around. :))

Robo
2010-07-08, 16:24
That, and there's this:

The TDI drives much better than the gassers. The low end torque makes a relatively weak engine very zippy.

Economic/environmental benefits aside, the TDI is just the better car.

Maciej
2010-07-08, 16:28
Does TDI no longer apply for the government's $4500 alternative fuel credit?

torifile
2010-07-08, 20:09
Does TDI no longer apply for the government's $4500 alternative fuel credit?
The tax credit gets progressively smaller as more of a particular model is sold. I think the Jetta TDI may qualify for a $1300 credit (but I'm not sure). The Golf TDI probably qualifies for a full amount - again, I'm not sure. But there hasn't been a $4500 credit on the TDIs ever, to my knowledge.

addison
2010-07-08, 20:15
I don't think it's quite that much but there's also the environmental impact of driving a car that can run on biodiesel. Think of it this way, in a few years when we have alternate sources of fuel, a diesel engine will likely be better suited to running on a renewable resource than a gas engine would be.

There's also the matter of resale value. When I go to sell my car, I bet I make every penny of the price difference back and more. It's one of the ways being a Mac user pays off, too. (Ordinarily a car analogy is used to talk about computers. This time it's the other way around. :))

Personally, I wasn't happy with the performance of my TDI when I ran bio in it. The fuel economy was noticeably lower and I'm worried about the long term effects. I see your point but I don't really see it taking off. Diesel is unfortunately losing out to hybrid/electric power at this point. The costs for them to meet strict emission rules are high.

I agree about the resale though a lot of it comes from VW being the only affordable diesel on the market. I was lucky enough to get mine for only $250 more than the 2.0. Gas was really cheap at the time and they couldn't wait to get rid of it.

Edit: I only heard of a $1300 credit too. I think the highest it went was $3000 but I don't know if either one is still around.

Maciej
2010-07-08, 21:52
Sorry, I may have gotten my figures a bit off.