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ocnblu

Giving Car Buying Advice

30 posts in this topic

Wow, it seems only yesterday a cousin of mine was asking me advice on what trim level she should get in a Mazda Protege. Her 323 hatchback had racked up a lot of miles, and she was ready to get something "more mature". She was set on another Mazda (which she bought after her much-liked '82 Cavalier Type 10 hatchback got totalled in a rearend collision), so I told her she should go for the hotrod, the ES. She listened to me and got herself what has been a Great Little Car for her. We went to the Ren Faire in it today... 174k miles and still mechanically in good condition, she's never put a clutch in it, for example. It's a rattletrap, some of the interior parts show a good amount of wear, but I have to say I was impressed to read the odometer.

She is interested in another compact, or subcompact car... gas mileage is very important to her. When it came right down to brass tacks, I had to recommend the Honda Fit as the best in the tiny car class. She likes the Fit, but is frustrated at a lack of color choices, especially in the interior. As we know, the Fit is black only on the Sport model, which she would want. I told her the Japanese makers are more restrictive than the domestics in their color choices, and she agreed.

Other cars on her list were the Matrix (snore), the xD (ew), the Versa (nice interior but ungainly exterior, also less-than-expected mileage ratings). I mentioned the PT Cruiser (also low mileage ratings) and the Civic sedan. She hates the Yaris' central instrument cluster.

Shoot, what else is there? The new Mini is cool and gets good mileage ratings, but she feels it is too expensive. The Aveo is really not as sporty and nice as the Fit. She wants a hatchback this time, so the Cobalt was out. Which left us the Honda Fit Sport. I don't feel guilty. In the tiny car class, the Fit seems the most fun, and the sportiest looking. Plus with Honda's experience with lawn mower engines, it should be a pretty good car for her. I'll see what she decides in the next several months leading up to this new-car purchase.

Edited by ocnblu
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The fit is gross... looks like a dustmite. Those headlights are so bulbous and the whole nose is awkward.

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not looking into a mazda3?

Just as well... The Wave of Mazda3 Break ins that hit Japan and Canada is now hitting Europe and the USA... Prepare for her insurance to got through the roof... I saw three Mazda3s today @ Chinook Center that had dented driver's side doors from breakins...

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The Focus has pretty decent fuel economy (27/37, highest for a domestic), and there might be some hatches leftover. It's nowhere as nice or safe as the Fit or Versa, but back in the day, they were great cars.

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not looking into a mazda3?

i got nothing to add otherwise, unless she could be swaid into an astra

The 3 has a big engine and guzzles... 26/33.

The Versa, btw, isn't that bad if she does a lot of city driving... 30/34. All things considered, though, I'd still take the Fit (33/38).

Edited by empowah
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Had lunch with a friend of mine looking her replace her Mariner today. She wants something with better mileage. I steered her into the direction of the nearest Saturn dealer to check out an Astra. She wont be ready to buy for about a month. She says her Mariner gets 15 mpg and is falling apart. She mentioned the HomeLink and gear shift surround cracking and falling down/off. She said she could wait a month to check out the Astra. I also mentioned the Cobalt, HHR and Vibe as well.

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Compared to the Fit, the Versa is just horribly chintzy both in looks and actual quality. Take a look at the wheelcovers that don't even look properly-seated.

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Oh I forgot to mention in my OP, she really likes the 3, but finds the mileage ratings too low and the MSRP too high. I am honestly not sure about the Astra. The 3 door will be too expensive for what she wants to spend, but maybe a 5 door, judiciously equipped, would work. But the preliminary mileage ratings aren't stellar either. She also mentioned the Focus, but when I mentioned they've done away with the hatches in the reskin, she kind of backed off. We saw a pea green 3 door Focus in the parking lot and she lit up, she likes unusual colors. She likes the Fit in orange, but wishes it came with any color interior except black.
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Too bad she doesn't like the center cluster on the Yaris.

Honestly, as much as I wanted the Fit to be the better of the two cars recently when recommending new cars to a friend, in the end I agreed with her that the Yaris was the better of the two. Lower MSRP, slightly better mileage, and lower weight.

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Too bad she doesn't live in Canada............

post-436-1190029723_thumb.jpg

30 mpg (verified with my first two tanks of gas), leather steering wheel, sunroof, 8 speakers, 120 fierce ponies under the hood, but best of all: 320/mo. and its NOT a lease!

And it is a hatchback...that was a requirement for us so the dog can jump in the back!

Edited by CARBIZ
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The car that CARBIZ posted (Optra5) is available in the states I believe as a Suzuki

The Suzuki Reno to be correct.

The Optra Sedan and Wagon are available as the Suzuki Forenza.

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The car that CARBIZ posted (Optra5) is available in the states I believe as a Suzuki

The Suzuki Reno to be correct.

The Optra Sedan and Wagon are available as the Suzuki Forenza.

The Reno five-speed gets 23/30.

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Too bad she doesn't like the center cluster on the Yaris.

Honestly, as much as I wanted the Fit to be the better of the two cars recently when recommending new cars to a friend, in the end I agreed with her that the Yaris was the better of the two. Lower MSRP, slightly better mileage, and lower weight.

Yes but t has compariably poor performance, weak handling, cheap interior, and unrefined engine (and that's straight from edmunds, the guys who normally love Toyota products).

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Ocn, has she considered the Suzuki SX4? I gotta admit, I think they're a cool looking little car. I don't know much about Suzuki though, and not sure it will last as long as her current ride.

For roughly the same money as a Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit or Nissan Versa, the Suzuki SX4 provides a larger, more powerful wagon — “crossover” with AWD, distinctive styling and hoonery. If Suzuki creates more driver friendly vehicles like the SX4, they’ll finally be building a brand worth remembering.

Posted Image

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The Reno five-speed gets 23/30.

Same engine and Tranny as Carbiz' Optra, so it would be similar I guess.

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Ocn, has she considered the Suzuki SX4? I gotta admit, I think they're a cool looking little car. I don't know much about Suzuki though, and not sure it will last as long as her current ride.

Posted Image

That has the fuel economy of a midsize V-6 sedan.

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Spectra is a POS but considering that the SX4 os the cheapest (most affordable)

AWD car in the USA & is available in a 5-speed manual I think it's a very good

deal. Suzuki really is a decent product for the money... in most cases.

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