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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member Michi's Avatar
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    need 2nd vehicle recs.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice 'commuter car' for my DH?
    He is currently using our older Plymouth van and, aside from the bad gas mileage, it is starting to 'nickle and dime' us to death.

    He will be dropping off my daughter at school (she's in a Turbo booster,) so I want something safe, but we really don't need to worry about installed seats.
    We can't afford a brand new car ( unless it is like a stripped-down base model Kia - or something like that.)
    Would it be better to go that way...or can anyone recommend any other safe, inexpensive little cars?

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  3. #2
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Why not a Hyundai? from 2000-on the Sonatas have had 5 l/s belts, and they're pretty inexpensive.
    I had an Excel that I *adored*, and that thing practically ran on fumes.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  4. #3
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    The stripped down base Honda Fit is around $13000 I think...is that more than the Kia? It has side curtain airbags. I imagine the gas mileage is better than the Civic (which is great) and Hondas usually have great longevity and resale value.

    A used Civic or Accord would be good too. However, I don't think Honda added side curtain airbags in the Civic & Accord till this past year.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/fit/index.aspx

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member Michi's Avatar
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    I know that the base Kia is under $10,000.
    DH was wondering about older Saturns and VW Jettas, too.
    I like Hondas, but I haven't seen many around here in our price range.

  6. #5
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    I just noticed you are in Wisconsin. Yea, I think in the midatlantic states it is easier to pick up the Hondas for less as there are more people/states within a drive. We had a Jetta, it broke down a lot within a year (1997/1998). Ditched it for a Civic. However, I have heard people rave about them, it just unfortunately was not our experience. If your dh is handy and can do minor fixes, he might be okay with a jetta though, I know my brother in law tinkered on his. I'd check out consumer reports or one of the online reviews for older vehicles (and the new Kia) and see what the maintenance, repair, safety, and other records are for the ones you are seeing in your area in your price range. If you don't you may think you are getting a "deal" but then find out in the next year or two with repairs you could've gone for something slighlty more (or slightly older, but reliable name) and come out ahead.

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablomichi
    DH was wondering about older Saturns and VW Jettas, too.
    My DH had an '01 Saturn SL2. It was an absolutely trouble-free car for the 3.5 years we had it and it got awesome gas milage. Crash-test wise it wasn't the greatest, but not horrible, and it was an all around really good car.

    We have a VW Passat. I do think the reliability of VW's is sometimes spotty, but we've had no major issues at all with ours and I know BIL has an older Jetta that has done well for him.

    GL!

  8. #7
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Maybe you could check out the auctions? Toyotas & Hondas (Lexus & Acurra, too) usually have less need for major repairs as soon as other manufacturers.... I read somewhere that the Honda Element has the best gas mileage, even better than the Hybrid Civic and/or Prius.
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

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