Jump to content
ocnblu

Commuting

Recommended Posts

Hypothetical situation: you travel a good distance 5 days a week by car to and from your job. You are in the market for a new vehicle.

Do you buy an inexpensive, economical vehicle since higher mileage at trade-in tends to affect resale value, and you know you'll take a hit, so why not get into a "throw-away" vehicle with a modicum of comfort and fun for the weekends?

Or do you go with something bigger, nicer and more expensive BECAUSE you spend so much time in your vehicle, and that time should be spent in something with bells and whistles to make the slog more enjoyable and the weekends even more so?

Seeking opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went w/ the 2nd option when I bought my Jeep new in '00. Next time around--which is probably this year--I'm going to go pre-owned late model, low mileage, well equipped.

Living literally in the geographic middle of a major city in a large, sprawling metro area pretty much means any place I work will require some commuting...whether it's 10 miles each way or 40, I want to have something reliable, comfortable, and well equipped. As far as MPG goes, as long as my combined is at least 18 mpg I'm happy.

I like keeping cars 10 years or more, so recent (5 years old or less) and low mileage (< 50k, preferably < 30k) is preferable to start with...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having all the bells and whistles may be nice, I would just make sure it doesn't sacrifice any other qualities that would be important in a commuter car. Namely, gas mileage and cost to upkeep would be on my list. I would also take into account depreciation, since not all vehicles depreciate at the same rate. It's always a smart idea to research the depreciation of any vehicle you're interested in, not to mention reliability and whether they offer free service for a period of your ownership.

All in all, buy a Toyota. :P

Actually, don't. They are boring as nails, even loaded up. I bought mine strictly for the reasons someone would if they didn't care about cars.

Honestly, going for a lovingly CPO vehicle is probably the best bet, as long as its a vehicle that is not only smart, but something you can truly enjoy no matter what you use it for. You'll get the satisfaction of knowing you'll have the coverage you need (CPO vehicles tend to have excellent extended warranties) without taking the depreciation hit of putting endless commuter miles on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to confess a grievous sin to this group that I value, the C&G crew. I test drove a 2013 (new bodystyle) Toyota RAV4 XLE 4WD this afternoon, and it was really nice compared to my "rough and ready" Patriot.

I also like the XV Crosstrek, but haven't driven it yet.

And the Mazda 2 is back on my radar, probably because I see rows of them every day at my new job, and I think they're cheeky little runabouts (although they are not that much cheaper these days than their sister car, the Fiesta, even though the Fiesta offers more bells & whistles).

As far as CPO and whatnot, I am incorrigibly and probably inexplicably anti pre-owned. Reason # 259: I was crossing the street as a girl sat in her Ford 500 waiting to pull out this afternoon. She extracted a boogie from her nose, rolled it between her fingers, and deposited it over her shoulder into the back seat area.

I'm just thinking, and I'm torn, as always. My automotive split personality (truck-type veh v. fun car) is raging in full effect these days.

To make this project worth it, a replacement vehicle would really need to have a huge MPG advantage over my 21.5 MPG average Patriot...

You guys have given me some excellent ideas to chew on, thanks! Anyone else care to chime in?

Edited by ocnblu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the style of the interior of the new RAV4. It is something different than the same-old, same-old prominent center stack that everybody else is using. And the padded center bar with real stitching on the XLE is pretty nice, imo. It is a $26,800 vehicle though.

Crosstrek XV would allow me to have AWD with the least amount of fuel usage... plus butch looks, and it is a few thousand cheaper than the RAV, without the grave Yota stigma.

The Mazda 2 has gained a rep for being the most fun-to-drive in its class, but it is admittedly the most rudimentary vehicle on the list so far.

I know the Ford Fiesta is a fun, tiny package first hand. I have not driven a Sonic or a Spark. I would not have a Sonic unless it had the 1.4t for max fuel mileage and turbo torque. The Spark, I'm afraid, might feel breathless on the 4-lane highway I travel every day at 65-70 mph to keep up with traffic (although there is a brave soul out there with a red one that I see periodically).

The Buick Verano is a fine car, no doubt about that. I tried a 4-door sedan in the Cruze though, and it was a fine little car... but I just cannot find a "fit" in a sedan... a 4/5 door hatch retains some of the utility of my crossover Patriot, which is appealing to me, so I can give a hatch a "pass" with multiple doors.

I wish the Trax were sold here. It has a "younger" demeanor than the Buick Encore, the economical 1.4t engine that I liked in my Cruze, and CUV versatility.

I'M SO CONFUSED.

Edited by ocnblu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of years ago, I was considering a position that would put me on the road for thousands of miles every month. My plan was to get a Prius. I decided not to take the position, but if I were to do something like that now, I would get a Volt because it's eligible for the carpool lane stickers (as is the Prius Plug-In Hybrid). A couple of other vehicles a little higher on the fun meter would be the VW GTI and Chevy Sonic. I'm also not a fan of pre-owned vehicles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy a beater, fix it up well, and have that nice weekend car/2nd car to enjoy.

There's a good chance I might take that route myself. We're going to be in need of a 2nd 4 door car sooner than later. I prefer new, and something i can make "my own". So, we'll see if a Cruze lands in the driveway over the summer.

The Cobalt is still a good runner, so it would just continue it's DD and winter duties.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stay American you will find the cost of repairs and maintenance to be lower than those Asian coffins.

I think you should look at GMC\Buick. Why not the Encore if you are truly going to hold onto it for long term. Otherwise, there are some really nice low mileage Terrains. Or go with a Ford CUV Hybrid.

My perfect auto for you would be the GMC Terrain with a VOLT powertrain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The CX-5s are nice, haven't really looked into them too closely, even though they're in my face. Mr. dfelt is such a funny guy... a Terrain with a Volt powertrain? Has he read any of my posts? ;)

But anyhow... I'm thinking that to make a meaningful difference in my traveling expenses, any next vehicle would need to be significantly more fuel efficient, while retaining some semblance of utility, manliness, and fun. Wherever that may lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, and those are pretty darn frumpy...

XV Crosstrek has some attractive traits... 23/30 MPG mileage ratings with the manual, for two. It also doesn't look girly, unless the girl wears Birkenstocks.

This, v. the 20/23 mileage rating of my Patriot with CVT... I could anticipate at least a 7-MPG jump in my average, with this new commute.

It is Japanese though. I haven't gone there since my '86.5 Hardbody SE-V6 reg cab 4X4 Datsun pickup. It was a very tough truck, it took everything thrown at it except for stones, which destroyed the front of the hood and parts of the lower body over the 3 years I owned it, very brittle paint on that Datsun.

Edited by ocnblu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Element is certainly the most practical and utilitarian in this class, but the Juke has more attitude and style.

Both are failure POS! Let's also not forget the Asian love of 100K mile timing belt replacements. :(

Ocnblu I have seen you negativity on VOLT, but even then a AWD Terrain with a VOLT powertrain would sell well.

I think as much as I hate to send you away from American, if you want manly with high mileage, then look at one of these:

post-12-0-23363900-1358872453_thumb.jpg

I myself would go for the Touereg.

I wish GM would get with the program of either using the VOLT on their CUV's or give us the Duramax 2.9L diesel in a Small and mid size CUV/SUV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm fortunate in that I get to commute via transit...it's a helluva lot more relaxing than dealing with all of the morons that infest our streets around here, and it saves the car from arguably the worst type of driving (stop & go around town). If I did need to commute via car, I'd buy a reasonably decent beater that didn't need much in the way of mechanical work to make it reliable. I'd probably look for a SWB Caravan/Voyager of 1990-2007 vintage, with V6 engine to allow it to keep up with traffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The TDI VW is an awesome vehicle, shirley. The model I'd get would be a 2-door Golf with stickshift... the cheapest available TDI, I think.

I got a link in my email from Datsun today regarding their little Versa Note. Base S with manuel can be had with alloys and other accessories that would make it entirely liveable while costing very little to buy. Rated at 27/36 MPG with stickshift. 10.8 gallon gas tank. That's about 350 miles, give or take, of range, with my mostly highway commute. I'd have to roll up my own windows and use a KEY to open the doors though *gasp* ;)

The Mazda 2 is still a sweet little buggy.

But something came into my mind's eye on the way home tonight: WHAT IF the new Colorado comes out with optional baby Duramax at an affordable price? 2WD/G80 locker reg cab LT Colorado Duramax would be THE BOMB... so mad it's gonna take another forever to find anything out about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When too many things hit me, I just default to the status quo. Maybe the Patriot should be the sacrificial lamb. Even though I'd like to get at least 10 MPG more on average, how much is it costing me? More than a down payment on an inexpensive commuter car? And how long would it take to make that down payment back and really start saving money? Things that make me go "hmmmmm....."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We  Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×