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Old 03-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

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Originally Posted by Fuel Miser View Post
You've got 588,000 miles on your Civic and you're asking our advice? Seems like you've mastered the recipe for car value. ConsumerReports lists 14 cars in their Best Vehicles Under $20,000 list. Honda's Fit is priced only $30 above the lowest-price Scion xD. The Fit is their Top Pick for Budget Car as well as ranking first in Least Expensive over five years. They rate it as returning 33 mpg in their own mixed driving testing, just one mpg off the top non-hybrid, non-diesel competitor.
From their current April issue:
A low sticker price doesn't mean a car will be a good value in the long run. It could turn out to be a big disappointment and a waste of money because of depreciation, reliability, and other factors.
We think real value is getting a lot for your money. Small, affordable cars are often considered value choices, but again, the numbers don't always add up. At $16,000, the Honda Fit is the top value of more than 200 vehicles in our analysis; the similarly priced Chevrolet Aveo is the worst value in its class, with a low test score and below-average reliability. The difference in owner cost could be $3,000 over five years, the typical period most people keep their cars. Our value scores the Fit, with almost twice the value of the average model.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...view/index.htm
I agree with this assertion. I have 3 family members with Fits, and they've all been outstanding. I have one family member with an Aveo, and that thing has shed parts quickly enough that they parked it and became a one-vehicle family.

Car and Driver magazine recently conducted a comparison test between the Fit, the Ford Fiesta, and the Mazda 2. While the Ford and Mazda both have higher EPA mpg ratings than the Fit, their real-world driving mpg figures were far below their EPA estimates (32 and 33 mpg, respectively). Meanwhile, the Fit achieved 34 mpg, which is actually above its EPA highway rating. This is not a fluke. Check out my (non-hypermiler) wife's gaslog (Fruit Punch Jelly Bean). We average 40 mpg in fair weather, and I have seen 45 mpg on a tank. Winter weather and fuel has dropped our average, though.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

My commute is about 45 miles on Interstate 78 in PA along the Blue Mountains as they are known, hills really but definitely some climbs. The other 35 are mostly stop and go along Rt 309. I guess I'm going to get an automatic so it can be driven by other family members when necessary. The Fit is more my style but I've read that the Civic is more comfortable for a long commute. I have a civic hatch now. Wish they were still available here. How do you rate the Fit's comfort, Fetch? Is it hilly where you are? How does it pull? I looked at the Elantra and it is pretty nice. Being it's a new design concerns me. The nu engine as it's called, has a cast aluminum block, wonder how that will hold up? It also has a timing chain which is good maintenance wise, would save a good bit of money there over the long haul. Does the Fit have cruise control with the automatic, I'll have to check into that. I'm thinking I should get cruise because I have an old bicycling injury that has my butt acting up so maybe an automatic with cruise will help me out there. The Chevy Cruze Eco with cruise control as an option is $20k - too much. My son had a 2000 Focus and it had so many cheap parts it turned me off, but then again I am considering the Elantra and they made some bad cars in the past too. My wife drives a 2009 Elantra and she's somewhat happy with it, the only problem we had was the alignment was out from the gitgo so 2 tires wore a little unevenly. I say she's somewhat happy because she wanted a sports car, Nissan z whatever it is, but we got a good deal with the cash for clunkers program and Hyundai was offering great incentives back then and she doesn't work so Elantra to the rescue. If I do get an Elantra she will want it. Thanks everyone for the input.

I will look more into the Fit but right now I'm leaning Elantra or Civic. It's really disappointing there aren't more affordable alternative choices available yet, but it's coming.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:20 PM   #13
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

The Elantra has 2" more front legroom, 2" more front shoulder room, & 2" more front hip room than the Fit.

We owned a 2003 Focus. Ford made massive improvements in the Focus beginning in the 2003 model year, which have carried over into company philosophy since.

My family has owned 5 Hyundais since 1994, and they've been remarkably reliable. Every manufacturer uses aluminum blocks now. Hyundai's Theta engine used since 2004 in the Sonata was its third aluminum engine design.

I took a look at Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra recalls for 8 year old cars, since someone had claimed that's the age where Honda reliability shines. The data didn't support that. There were 18 recalls for 2003 Civics, 5 for Corollas, and 6 for Hyundais. Similarly, Toyota led with the fewest class-action Corolla lawsuits, followed by Hyundai, and Honda trailed both badly. Civic and Accord automatic transmission problems were common enough to warrant class action lawsuits.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

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Originally Posted by schuylkill View Post
My commute is about 45 miles on Interstate 78 in PA along the Blue Mountains as they are known, hills really but definitely some climbs. The other 35 are mostly stop and go along Rt 309. I guess I'm going to get an automatic so it can be driven by other family members when necessary. The Fit is more my style but I've read that the Civic is more comfortable for a long commute. I have a civic hatch now. Wish they were still available here. How do you rate the Fit's comfort, Fetch? Is it hilly where you are? How does it pull? I looked at the Elantra and it is pretty nice. Being it's a new design concerns me. The nu engine as it's called, has a cast aluminum block, wonder how that will hold up? It also has a timing chain which is good maintenance wise, would save a good bit of money there over the long haul. Does the Fit have cruise control with the automatic, I'll have to check into that. I'm thinking I should get cruise because I have an old bicycling injury that has my butt acting up so maybe an automatic with cruise will help me out there. The Chevy Cruze Eco with cruise control as an option is $20k - too much. My son had a 2000 Focus and it had so many cheap parts it turned me off, but then again I am considering the Elantra and they made some bad cars in the past too. My wife drives a 2009 Elantra and she's somewhat happy with it, the only problem we had was the alignment was out from the gitgo so 2 tires wore a little unevenly. I say she's somewhat happy because she wanted a sports car, Nissan z whatever it is, but we got a good deal with the cash for clunkers program and Hyundai was offering great incentives back then and she doesn't work so Elantra to the rescue. If I do get an Elantra she will want it. Thanks everyone for the input.

I will look more into the Fit but right now I'm leaning Elantra or Civic. It's really disappointing there aren't more affordable alternative choices available yet, but it's coming.
The Fit's front seats are really comfy on the long haul. The manuals have a driver-side armrest. You can get them from the dealer for automatics. The best testament to their comfort is that in October, I drove from Indianapolis to Kissimme, FL straight through. I stopped in Kentucky to fill up, since I did not do so prior to leaving home. I did not stop again until I needed gas again, which was about 8 hours. Overall, the trip was about 15 hours or so, and I still felt great afterwards. After one day in Florida (wedding), I made the return trip in another 15 hours or so. I'm 5'10", and I really like the interior layout. It is rare for me to really like the relationship between the seat, pedals, steering wheel, and shifter. I hated the shifter placement in my 1999 Civic Si; when I could reach the shifter, the pedals were way too close. In the fit, I feel like Honda got it right. But hey, try one out and see how you... ahem... "fit."

The Fit is the quickest car in the subcompact class. It outran the 2 and the Fiesta in the C&D comparison test (0-60 in 8.3 seconds; the 2 was 9.1 and the Fiesta was 10.1.)

The Fit's front seat space is 51 cu ft (2: 51; Fiesta: 50). Rear seat: 40 cu ft (larger than the Civic's, I might add; 2: 36; Fiesta: 33). Cargo volume: 21 cu ft (2: 13; Fiesta: 15). Cargo volume with seats folded: Fit: 57 cu ft. (2: 28; Fiesta: 26). I don't have figures on the Elantra, but is is a mid-sizer, which is a class-and-ahalf up on the Fit.

I don't have a lot of hills in my area, but I drove it through the Smokey Mountains, and it did just fine in 5th gear. I also got mileage in the 38-44 mpg range, too (see my gaslog for October 14-17).

Note that the Fit automatic has the paddle shifters. I drove one of these, and it actually drove really well. The EPA mileage rating is the same as the manual.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:38 PM   #15
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

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Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
The Elantra has 2" more front legroom, 2" more front shoulder room, & 2" more front hip room than the Fit.

We owned a 2003 Focus. Ford made massive improvements in the Focus beginning in the 2003 model year, which have carried over into company philosophy since.

My family has owned 5 Hyundais since 1994, and they've been remarkably reliable. Every manufacturer uses aluminum blocks now. Hyundai's Theta engine used since 2004 in the Sonata was its third aluminum engine design.

I took a look at Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra recalls for 8 year old cars, since someone had claimed that's the age where Honda reliability shines. The data didn't support that. There were 18 recalls for 2003 Civics, 5 for Corollas, and 6 for Hyundais. Similarly, Toyota led with the fewest class-action Corolla lawsuits, followed by Hyundai, and Honda trailed both badly. Civic and Accord automatic transmission problems were common enough to warrant class action lawsuits.
Most of the Civic recalls were for exterior lighting sold as replacement parts. A couple were for issues on the CNG model. The only recalls of note were on the airbags and rear window seals on the coupes (06-07?)
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:35 PM   #16
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

There was an ignition interlock recall in there, but you're right about most of the recalls being aftermarket lighting actually made by other companies. Remove them, and Honda is on par with its competition. I didn't read the details at recallowl.com.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:04 AM   #17
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

If I had $20,000 to spend I would buy a early 2000 model Honda Accord Vtec I4 with a manual transmission.

I have a 2001 model and it gets 33 mpg on the highway plus has the leather seats and sunroof. If you are driving that far every day why not be more comfortable?

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdppri...id=&advanced=y
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:38 AM   #18
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

I think the OP was looking for a new, or late model used car, not an 11 year old model.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:15 AM   #19
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

Yup, right there in the first post:
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Originally Posted by schuylkill View Post
Any how they want me to get a new car (not a used car)
...don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The car is a gift and the giver wants it to be brand new. We should all be so lucky!
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #20
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Re: $20,000 gift for new car

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Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
There was an ignition interlock recall in there, but you're right about most of the recalls being aftermarket lighting actually made by other companies. Remove them, and Honda is on par with its competition. I didn't read the details at recallowl.com.
I only knew because I looked them up a few months ago. I must have forgotten the interlock recall, or it was added after I visited the site.
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