Car shopping
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Thread: Car shopping

  1. #1


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS
    MB: VM Jazz
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Car shopping

    Here's where we're at:

    0) budget $20,000 all in
    1) 2010 Toyota Matrix MT, base w/ touring pkg (alloys/fog lights/spoiler/light tint
    2) 305500km as of today - add 450km tomorrow when I go to the next band practice.
    3) Paid off as of December
    4) Engine light on (quoted $1200 repair), big windshield crack (around $500), probably some other stuff.
    5) Replacement transmission (60k on trans) + new clutch January 2017 - transmission probably around 100k km now.

    The matrix has been a learning experience (never drove manual til I got it). There's a ton of options for my budget, and compound that with being within a comfortable distance of Toronto for deals. I'm willing to drive to save a few thousand bucks (and already do it losing a few hundred ).

    The main list:
    - 2017+ Hyundai Elantra GL (potentially 2018)
    - 2015+ Toyota Corolla LE
    - 2014+ Honda Civic
    - 2016+ Nissan Sentra SV

    I initially came in guns blazing for the elantra due to features, price and opportunity to buy a low-mileage vehicle. Reliability is pretty high on the list, after having had to replace the transmission in my car. I have yet to factually dive into the expected maintenance costs of the cars on my list. I know that Honda and Toyota are still tops for reliability, and it seems the Toyotas come in for a little bit less for equivalent cars.

    The immediate future is still doing roughly 1000km a week until winter 2020, except for touring (3-4 months 2019/2020). I'm expecting to put between 60k and 80k on my next vehicle within the first two years, then 25k/yr after that. Lower mileage is preferred for that reason, especially on CPO's that still have some warranty left. Honda has 7yr/160k warranty which means even a 2015 civic will have some coverage after touring life is done.

    After touring, I suspect we will be starting a family 3-5 years. My initial plan is to have my next vehicle going into that phase of my life, and I feel that the cars on my list fit that requirement. I don't know yet if I want to drive it into the ground or not.

    Subaru and VW have been left off the list mostly due to cost to repair - I won't have a lot of $$ to throw at that until tour retirement and want a few years hassle free (who doesn't).

    Is there a clear winner here or am I correct in that my options are pretty even across the board?

    I'll be digging into Consumer Reports at the library for longevity info.
    ________________________________________
    Needs Sleep

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: MA/NH Border
    ME: Epi G400 LP Custom
    MB: EDB600/605

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    When I was looking at new cars, I've heard the newer Nissan's have had drivetrain issues - specifically the transmission if I recall correctly, and after going through issues with my '14 Focus's transmission module, I never want to deal with another transmission problem again. My 2014 Civic was solid as a daily driver, didn't have any flash to the interior, so after going to my Ford, looking back I was kind of surprised at how minimal it was. Nothing bad, just don't expect to be wowed. I imagine the Corollas are a lateral move as well, same simple engine and transmission under the hood, just different shell.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS
    MB: VM Jazz
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    My interior is pretty sparse . Since I drive 10 hours a week, comfortable front seats are pretty important. I was happy with first impressions of the elantra, haven't managed to try the rest. Took a 2014 acura ILX out, it was pretty underwhelming.

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    ME: 1990-91 Ibanezes
    MA: Seagull S6
    MB: Ibanez SR500
    Rig: Laney IRT Studio

    iTrader: 0

    I've heard someone refer to the RG550 as the Toyota Corolla of guitars - so perhaps the Toyota Corolla is the RG550 of cars
    "How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more."
    -Yngwie J. Malmsteen

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Kitchen/Laundry Room
    ME: Ironing Board
    MA: Laundry Mangle
    MB: Cascade Dish Detergent
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    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Not much to contribute other than my experience being that, of your list, Toyota and Honda retain their value the most historically.

    I had some bad experiences with Hyundai years back but I got a 'can't miss' price on a used Sonata (2010) from a friend of mine as just something to drive to work and I was surprised at how much they'd improved. I got the car with ~200,000 miles and I've put another ~70,000 miles on it since, having to do nothing more than oil changes, tires and brakes like normal.
    Argbadh - RHLC©

  8. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2011
    Location: The Swamp
    ME: Wolfgang
    MA: Grandpas guitarz
    MB: lol
    Rig: EVH

    iTrader: 0

    If the Honda is manual with relativly low miles it is the winner of that group as far as reliability etc, Nissan and Toyota have had issues with those models, and I know they all have, but Honda is a known better quality car...one of the reasons they dont discount as much at dealers when new. JMHO
    Vag Jackson, Man Of Action

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    MB: EBMM Stingray 5
    Rig: Axe-Fx 3 / Kemper / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Check out a used XV Crosstrek too. Great little car, fantastic MPG, great in the snow, plenty of room and they were only ~25kish loaded w/leather, nav, camera, heated seats, etc.

    Leaving Subaru off the list because of cost of repair, but putting a Hyundai at the top of the list is a head scratcher. Subaru makes good cars.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Forshage, EBMM
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner
    Rig: Soldano HR25, Mark V:25

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I've heard someone refer to the RG550 as the Toyota Corolla of guitars - so perhaps the Toyota Corolla is the RG550 of cars
    They're doing a Corolla hatchback too

    My Camry wasn't particularly fast or pretty, but it got me from point A to point B, had decent gas mileage, held a ton of stuff, and was pretty low maintenance (until a lifetime of Vermont road salt and sitting mostly unused for 2 years destroyed the undercarriage and wheels). Granted, it was a 2002 (it's been 17 years since it rolled off the line) but Toyota seems to have a pretty good lock on making a decent bang for the buck car.

    Granted, I'm probably the last person you want telling you about cars, as I don't even own one anymore
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

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