All things automotiveNancy T. -- Tuesday, July 23, 2002 -- 09:42:03 PM
Car talk. Vroom, vroom!cars, car, vehicle, automobile
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It's looking like I'll finally have to say goodbye to my '88 Honda Accord, after 7 years and mumblethousand miles. It's served me well, but when repair and maintenance costs approach the car's total value, it's time for an upgrade. I've been eyeing those new Cooper Minis. Not sure that I want to have two car payments, however. I'm also wondering if it's really necessary to have 3 cars in a 2-person household...
Are you looking for used or new?
I don't think there are used Minis out there. They're too new.
But that brings us to the matter of our other car, which is a fun little Acura sports car in great shape, but totally impractical if/when kids come along, and really just too much car for my short city commute. That one I'm hoping to replace with a good used car - a VW Passat is at the top of my list.
However, I know next to nothing about either car's rating and performance, so I suppose I need to pony up for consumerreports.com.
My next car is an Acura, I'm thinking. They boxed up the new model Accords precisely because too many people like me were buying them instead of Acuras, so I may as well perform like a good little consumer.
I don't know why sports cars can't be good for kids. I had a little Toyota Corolla for the first six years of Spawn's life, then a 2-door Accord. Granted, it's just him and me, but I've never seen the need to give up a small bit of coolness for a big clunky "mom car".
Oh, it's really just that I'm lazy and the two-door sports car has a tiny backseat that's hard to maneuver things in and out of. Car seats and wiggly little bodies would be tricky. I'm all about retaining coolness, but my practical side sometimes has a say in things. And the Passat is supposedly a pretty nice ride.
If you want to buy an immaculately maintained '98 Acura GS-R, just lemme know. :) We've been very happy with it.
I would be, actually, but I'm putting off a car purchase for two years until grad school is over. Then Spawn can have my accord, which will have a lot of miles but not too much wear and tear (maybe rebuild the engine) and I'll be set for a new car, assuming I get a shiny new job.
A high-mileage Accord is the perfect teenager car, in my opinion. Reliable, tolerates abuse well, not too expensive to maintain or repair.
It will be 8 years old by then, though, with a lot of miles. But it's been running outstandingly all its life. Still on its first clutch, with nearly 140K miles. Has lots of amenities, and the body looks fine. So figuring it will be close to 200K and need a new engine, I figure spending $5K for that is a good deal. But I'll talk to my mechanics at that time.
My accord got a new clutch right around 140K. I replaced the timing belt and recharged the A/C before I drove it across the country 6 years ago. I had to get new CV joints too, but that was probably due to the harsh New England driving conditions (road salt, etc.) in its former life. Other than that it's been practically repair-free and very reliable. I like that in a car.
My one reservation about the VW is that repairs are supposedly very expensive. Any VW owners out there who can confirm this?
I'm turning into a Toyota fan. A few weeks ago, we were a four Toyota family. Now down to three, because a tree limb fell in a storm and totalled the Camry, with 110K. We won't replace it right away. Toyotas aren't exactly sexy, but I'm more of a "car is for transportation" person. Our Previa is utilitarian, although when we considered it, we also looked at the Dodge caravan. We decided to spring for the extra bucks for the Toyota, and it was one of the best decisions we made. Friends bought the Caravan, and replaced it many years ago. The Previa has 170K, and no major maintenance. (Maybe I'll regret posting that.)
We shopped for a used vehicle for my daughter to drive, but I ended up getting a Prius. She's thrilled, and I'm happy to be contributing to emissions reduction. (The Prius is a SULEV, Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, some 90% below Low Emissions Vehicles.)
Nancy, I went for a test drive (unexpectedly) with my boss in a new Cooper Mini this week.
While it was nice, interior design & layout, the extra sunroof over the back seat, it had no power and for the money (38,000 aussie dollars) I think it is a waste of money. There are many similar cars on the market here, with same features and much better price tag.
Hmm. I don't know exactly how Aussie dollars compare to US, but the basic model Mini starts at about $16K US, with the Mini S (the one with the more powerful engine) starting at I think $18K.
I haven't seen anything quite like Minis here. I'm sure they're not exactly practical, but it's the visual appeal of them that really grabs me. I'd certainly research and test drive them before I made a decision, of course. And it may be that they're just too small/not powerful enough for me to feel comfortable zipping around in.
This is really a moot point for the next year or so, though.
Nancy, I have a 2000 Passat, and I love it! No major problems so far (knock wood) and it's got style and power.
Sure, the Mini is cute, but I can load a ton of stuff in the trunk of the Passat. My dad came to visit with his Ford Expedition, and we found that the Passat could carry more stuff in it than the SUV.
Am I the only person who finds it sad that they aren't going to make the Firebird anymore?
I'm really hoping to get another year out of my 1990 Accord with 152,000 on it. It's running great, though, so I see no reason why I shouldn't (knock wood). I was totally positive that I wanted a Passat wagon. But now I've seen those Mazda Protoge 5's - they're fun looking but also lok very practical and they've gotten rave reviews....anyway, I think the Passat fantasy's been bumped. :) Besides, considering how much I love to drive and how frequently I joy ride, I feel like I should at least get a fuel efficient environmentally friendly ride.
I'd like to complain about the high cost of Nissan repairs. I have a 93 Pathfinder that's great, and reliable so far, but needs the routine timing belt replacement. That's $375. Then, a rock went through one of the headlights last year. It's not a sealed beam. $180 for that, because the whole globe has to be replaced and it's never available used. I'm not even going to bother fixing the speedometer that registers 30 mph too high when the temperature's over 65 degrees.
They always have weird shit go wrong with them.
Well, it's no Prius, but the Passat is no gas-guzzler either (mid-20s city, mid to high 30s highway).
Cal, it's a bummer that they're discontinuing all these historic lines. Of course, most of them have been so homogenized you can't even recognize them anymore...
I've had two Nissans, and they've been good cars. My current Nissan is a 240SX. I don't have to be stuck behind anything I don't want to be stuck behind. And it's a cool looking little car that fits anywhere and handles beautifully.
The only thing is--and since I hear tell they're starting to make 240SXs again, I hope they address this problem--there is no place to put a drink. The edge of the window isn't even configured so that a drink holder fits well. I'm always having coffee mugs leap out of them and spill on my lap on the way to work.