Last post on Jul 16, 2009 at 5:31 PM
You are in the Sedans
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Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Fit, Mazda MAZDA3, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Sentra, Sedan
May 13, 2008 (1:28 pm)
I've had my 2007 Rabbit for almost a year. I've gone to the dealership for all of my work, and the service has always been good. It's actually improved since I purcahsed my car, and the dealer and Volkswagen corporate always contact me after service to ask me if I was satisfied or not.
One thing I do is stick strictly to the maintenance guide provided in my manual, instead of the dealers recommendations.
This means only bringing my car in every 10,000 miles after the 5,000 and 10,000 mile checkup. The dealer recommends every 5,000 miles, but with synthetic oil, it's only necessary to change out ever 10,000 or six months.
My 5,000 and 10,000 mile service were both around $100-$120. I skipped the 15,000 mile service, and brought it in at 20,000 miles for about $330 including an upgraded carwash, and some mat work (my floormat clips were not compatible with myincluded floormats). I was only charged for the clips and not labor for that work, and they were pretty friendly about it, but did not tell me I was going to be charged for the clips up front.
I just check my fluid levels every now and then to make sure I'm not low on anything. I figure they only want my car in more often to get more $$$, and I'm pretty confident that the included owners manual recommendations are just fine, and saving me a few hundred dollars a year.
The '09 warranty still isn't "all inclusive" for the work and it's actually a shorter warranty than the '07 and '08 models which have a 50,000 mile 5 year warranty.
This might be a good thing, it might not. We'll see I guess.
Overall I'm extremely happy with this car. It looks great, it drives great (too smooth for some with the electromechanical steering) It's comfortable, solid and has plenty of room for all my storage with seats that go nearly flat (including the front passanger seat!) there are very few cons in owning this vehicle. One is the fuel economy (compared to Honda Fit, 2006 and earlier Scion XB, and Scion XD) But the '08 has 170hp compared to my 150hp and equivalent MPG. And VW MKV is a huge improvement in fuel economy over MKIV and earlier regular gas VW engines. Expect to get about 24mpg. One other "problem" is the air vents in the car You can't have air going through the top and btotom (foot) vents at the same time. The vents are a bit high, and it takes a while to get the best seat/vent position for driving with the air conditiong on hot summer days. Last but not least, the adjustment knob for the passenter seat is a little bit of a pain you have to rotate a knob to recline, raise the seat. These are all pretty nit-picky complaints in my book, and I hardly feel as if I made a compromise in purchasing this car. As fuel prices go up, I may feel differently, but so far; no regrets, and I feel that it was hardly a trade off. (The only other 3 cars I considered were 2006 Scion XBs which were no longer available new, Honda fit which had an engine that was tooooo small and loud at higher speeds to feel appropriate for such a space efficient car, and the Mazda 3 five door which didn't have great maintenance reputation, and was more expensive out the door for similar features) Besides, a lot of what I see on the road around me in Southern California are big trucks, and suped up luxury cars: I know I'm not getting hit as hard as some.
Anyway, I hope this info helps.
#928 of 1205 Re: $4.00/gal [sharpedgeshurt]
May 13, 2008 (1:47 pm)
I heard that the VW warranty for 2009 is the same as for 2008, but the 3 years of free maintenance has been added for 2009. Have you heard differently?
It looks like the Rabbit is expensive to service (e.g. $100 for a 5k service, vs. the $25 or so I am used to paying for other cars) so I guess the 3 years of free service is a pretty good deal after all.
May 13, 2008 (3:22 pm)
Seems that we'll be in the market for 2 small cars come the fall. So far on the list are: the Elantra (the current fav), Versa, Sentra, Civic, 3, Spectra, Focus, Corolla and the Accent. Am having the wife take the girls to test drive these over the next few months to decide. Am pushing for them to get the same cars, as we might be able to get a little better deal by buying both at the same time. Both will be cash deals unless the financing rates will be ridiculously low. Luckily, we've got the time to do the research and be able to get them a car that fits.
If they had their way, they'd be getting small BMW's or the IS250. Funny how they both have expensive tastes in cars and the wife and I have driven small econoboxes since they were small. Guess our frugalness and desire for excellent mileage has not been passed on. But hey, they are 23 & 21 now and like the finer things in life. But once they have to pay all their expenses for these new "toys", I think they'll be happy with our insistence for smaller econoboxs.
#930 of 1205 Re: 2 Small Cars [sandman46]
May 13, 2008 (4:49 pm)
Since these are for your girls to drive, may I suggest steering clear of the Accent? It has poor crash test scores--only Acceptable on the IIHS frontal test, and Poor on the IIHS side test. I think (?) all the other cars you are looking at got a Good on the frontal test, and some got Good on the side test also--Civic and Versa for sure; several haven't had the IIHS side test yet. The 3 was tested only w/o side bags (Poor), so it would likely do better with side bags. Also the Accent is smaller than the other cars--interior-wise it's about the same as the Civic, but the Civic is a larger and more refined car (as you know).
How about the Lancer and Rabbit? Also if you wait until fall, the larger-for-2009 Fit will be out. Maybe your girls will think it's cute.
May 13, 2008 (5:56 pm)
The girls think the Fit is a "cute ute" actually and will be on the list. Talking with them at dinner earlier, the Accent was voted out and since Mom has the 3 already, that's a low choice on the totem pole already. I'm pushing for the Versa or the Elantra myself. The Rabbit is off the list for personal reasons and I still don't trust VW's reliability.
Still, plenty of good candidates to choose from. Luckily, they both have about $16k put away after their college funds for their purchase. Mom, being a CPA, has wisely invested their college funds knowing that this day would come and they'd both need cars for their 1st jobs. We still have a 20 year old son who will be a junior this fall that we'll have to do the same thing with right about the time I retire. Kids!
But it will be fun for me to try out their final picks, as I don't want to influence them that much. I did reserve the right to veto any car which I feel isn't a good fit for whatever reason and they are in agreement since they both know virtually nothing about cars.
(P.S. - The Lancer is nice but the mileage figures are nothing to write home about.)
#932 of 1205 Re: Cute Ute's [sandman46]
May 13, 2008 (6:31 pm)
This sounds great but two little words: grad school.
May 13, 2008 (7:22 pm)
The oldest finishes grad school in December, the 2nd graduates college in December and has accepted a 6 month internship at Epcot in Disney World. Then either grad school or if she gets offered employment by Disney...she'd grab it.
So, they both will need cars, as we live in Coral Springs, Florida, outside of Ft. Lauderdale and Epcot is in Orlando.
#934 of 1205 Advice needed - gasoline or hybrid?
May 15, 2008 (3:34 pm)
Don't know if this is the "right" forum to address my question, but I'd appreciate a bit of advice. My '05 Subaru Outback just isn't cutting it at 22 mpg so I'm looking for a more fuel efficient vehicle. I'm "on the list" for an '08 Prius w/pkg 2; however, I'm trying to figure out if I trully NEED it. Since getting on the waiting list for the Prius, I've driven the Yaris (sedan and hatchback) and really liked it. I live only 10 miles from work, don't drive highway often, take about one "road-trip" a year and want reliability, low cost to own and will drive this new car until the wheels fall off. Is the extra money for the Prius really worth it? When I add the options I want on the Yaris, it's about $10,000 difference between it and the Prius. That's a lot of fuel!
I'm second-guessing my decision to be placed on a waiting list even though I think the Prius is an excellent car and as "green" as you can get. I want to leave as little a carbon foot-print as I can, BUT . . . Any advice?
#935 of 1205 Re: Advice needed - gasoline or hybrid? [sharon22]
May 15, 2008 (4:31 pm)
I went through this same analysis four years ago. I ordered a 2004 Prius in November 2003. It was going to replace a Grand Caravan--wow, big gas savings there, right? The lease ran out on the van in May 2004. No problem, said the dealer, the Prius would be in long before then. But then allocations changed and March turned into July. So I had to look at options. I really wanted a small 5-door hatch so I looked at cars like the Malibu Maxx, Mazda6i, Matrix, and Elantra GT. Like you, I don't drive that much--less than 10k miles a year. I found out I could get an Elantra loaded with every option including leather and moonroof for $13,200. The Prius would have been about $9000 more, for a basic model with SABs and mats as the only options (SABs were optional back then). The Elantra is just about the same size as the Prius, with a mid-sized interior and good cargo space in back. I ran the numbers based on an average 25 mpg on the Elantra (conservatively low I've found) and 50 mpg on the Prius (a litte generous perhaps). Based on 10k miles a year and gas at $4.00 a gallon (which I thought was conservatively high 4 years ago!), it would take over 11 years to make up the up-front price difference based on gas savings. And that doesn't account for investing the $9000, which I could probably double in those 11 years. After 11 years, the Elantra wouldn't be worth much but how much would the Prius have depreciated--and would it need a new battery pack by then?
Plugging a Yaris into the math would be different, as the Yaris gets better FE than the Elantra.
Anyway, I went with the Elantra and have been happy with that decision. But I am keeping my eyes on the 2011 Prius when we get rid of the van in 3 years.
#936 of 1205 Go For The Yaris
May 15, 2008 (6:05 pm)
I'd also check out the Versa and possibly the Aveo also depending on how much $ you're looking to spend. Only drive about 7.5k miles here and am very happy with my '06 Civic LX...perfect choice for my driving tastes. Thought about the prius or the Civic Hybrid for like 2 minutes but decided with the amount of miles I drive per year, the extra upfront cost didn't justify the car.
So many feul efficient econocars out there now to choose from. These manufacture's are making a killing with high petrol prices.
Let us know what you decide.