Last post on Dec 05, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are in the Sedans
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Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#2405 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [podunk1]
Sep 24, 2011 (9:04 pm)
As an insurance agent, I get this sort of question all the time. Customers will ask my opinion on what vehicle they should get for their teenage kids. I keep a list of cars to recommend based (in order of importance) on safety, reliability, performance (as in "lack of") and fuel economy.
It amazes me how many parents gravitate toward SUVs (especially mid/full-sized ones) thinking they're the best choice of vehcile for their kid!?!? They have a high center-of-gravity, which makes them more prone to rollover and gives them the handling prowess of a parade float. Not to mention the liability risk created by putting a brand new driver behind the wheel of anything weighing close to 3-tons!
Here are the vehicles I recommend given your price range and fuel economy preference. All are rated 4/5-stars in frontal impact crash tests and rollover rating.
2004-2006 Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable - 20/27mpg with base V6, plenty on the market with under 100,000 miles for under $6k.
2003-2006 Toyota Corolla - 25/34mpg
2005-2007 Ford Focus - 23/31mpg
2003-2004 Honda Accord 4-cylinder - 21/31mpg - will have well over 100,000 miles in your price range, but not a concern if it has had proper maintenance.
2002-2005 Honda Civic (Coupe or Sedan) - 26/35mpg - also will have high miles, same as the Accord.
#2406 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [plekto]
Sep 25, 2011 (2:38 pm)
That 2.5 4-cyl has a major issue of concern though. The precat disintegrates and shoots back into the head resulting in car fatality. I ruled them out of my searches for this reason.
#2407 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [igozoomzoom]
Sep 25, 2011 (3:41 pm)
Good luck finding a 2003-6 Corolla without very high miles for under $6k. Within 100 miles of me, there's two 2003 Corollas under $6k--barely under. One has 169k, the other 198k miles.
A 2005-6 Focus is more attainable under $6k, with relatively low miles (for this price range). For example, there's 3 of those within 100 miles of me, with between 110k and 135k miles.
No 2003-4 Accords under $6k within 100 miles.
4 2002-5 Civics under $6k, with miles ranging from 153k to 253k.
But 11 2004-6 Taurii, including 4 SEs and 1 SEL under 100k miles... one with only 88k miles for only $3995.
#2408 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [plekto]
Sep 26, 2011 (4:36 am)
Hmm... never thought of the Buick option, thanks for the tip! Lots of good info in your post.
Kind of a secondary question, anyone know anything about 2006 and newer years of Saab? Reliability?
#2409 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mattsk42]
Sep 26, 2011 (6:02 am)
I second the Buick option. Either a Century or used LeSabre. Even small towns will have mechanics who can work on them and parts are cheap. They have been very reliable. I have a son who currently has a '98 LeSabre, still going strong. Used Buicks are generally much cheaper than used Toyotas or Hondas and there are many out there.
There is a general shortage of used cars right now because people are keeping their cars longer. So a good route is to look for cars that are not that popular but are still reliable and good choices.
Saabs, I think repairs could be pricy.
#2410 of 3637 and one more thing
Sep 26, 2011 (6:06 am)
Many of the Buicks tend to have lower mileage on them, because they haven't been driven all that much if owned by older drivers.
#2411 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mattsk42]
Sep 26, 2011 (6:21 am)
Run away from Saabs. Not reliable, very expensive to fix, hard to find qualified mechanics. And oh yes, the company is on the verge of becoming extinct. It's a shame, because at one point Saabs were noteworthy for their safety, performance and quirkiness. Now they are a poor choice when so many other car companies have figured out how to combine safety, performance and reliability.
#2412 of 3637 Re: Recommend a car in the mid $20k range for a techie [backy]
Sep 26, 2011 (7:14 am)
Thanks for the heads up on the 2012 model. I like the concept of an internet connected vehicle. I'm okay with it using my cell's data plan as I have sprint with unlimited data.
#2413 of 3637 Re: Car expert opinions needed! :) [mr_gone]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Sep 26, 2011 (7:58 am)
I've got to agree on the no-go Saab option. When they run, they're fantastic, but when they start having problems, they can be an endless money pit. Many moons ago, this was not the case. I had a mid-80's Saab 900 that ran forever and needed no real work (and the work it did need was easy enough to do yourself).
Later, I had a Saab 9000. It hadn't hit 100K miles, and it was costing about $800/month in repairs, mostly repeat visits for transmission issues. You can lease just about any luxury car you desire for $800/month!!
#2414 of 3637 Re: $ budget auto for teen driving LOTS of miles [podunk1]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Sep 26, 2011 (8:00 am)
I'm giving another nod for the Protege. One of the best cars I ever owned. I beat the tar out of of that vehicle mileage-wise, had it for 4 years and put 82K-ish on it (bought it used with 17K on the clock), only had to replace the alternator. Best features: fuel economy, zippy manual transmission.