BUYING A CAR IN 2015

BUYING A CAR IN 2017

(WITHOUT HAVING HEADACHES IN 2018)


SPECIFIC VEHICLE RECOMMENDATIONS - Small All Purpose Cars:

This type of car is recommended for starters, around town cars, and singles or young families. Carries four average size people around town, but is a little crowded for trips. Carrying large people in these cars will be uncomfortable. All are front wheel drive and 4 cyl engines. Regular gas except for very high performance versions.

Toyota Corolla - This larger version has more space than most others in this category, but resale value is not quite as good as competing Honda Civic. Corolla sits more upright with easier entry and exit, but less sport feel.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.† Good for non sports car.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Honda Civic - You cannot go wrong here. Style, reliability, gas mileage, interior volume, smooth engine, easy to live with, and great resale value. Very sporty ride. The new Civics are larger inside than early Accords. Hybrid and natural gas versions are available but not recommended unless this car will spend it's life in town.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.† Good for non sports car.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers


Honda Civic Coupe - Two door version of the Civic Sedan. Rear seat headroom is a little limited due to stylish roofline, but the style is incredible and the drive is a blast.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.† Good for non sports car.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers


Toyota Prius - 4 cylinder gas/electric hybrid. Advertized as a midsize car, but it's just not that large. Some owners report 50 mpg, but with a heavy gas pedal foot, 30 mpg is achievable. Gas prices have a huge effect on the price of this car. High gas prices allow dealers to ask several thousand over list price. You must do the math to see if the gas mileage is worth the price for you. Don't forget that the battery is very expensive and has limited life. Toyota is saying that a new battery is on the horizon that allows even better gas mileage.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Honda Insight - 4 cylinder gas/electric hybrid. It's a small car, but only a little smaller than a Civic. Road tests say that 45 mpg is not hard to achieve with a light throttle foot. This car is somewhat smaller than the Toyota Prius, and it gets lower gas mileage, but it's also, cheaper by a couple thousand dollars. Gas prices have a huge effect on the price of this car. High gas prices allow dealers to ask several thousand over list price. You must do the math to see if the gas mileage is worth the price for you. Don't forget that the battery is very expensive and has limited life.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Mazda Mazda3 4 door - Surprising car altogether. Quite stylish. Good size interior and trunk. Get a SkyActiv version instead of the cheaper car. The difference in gas mileage will make up the difference in price. Both higher versions get 4 disc brakes.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.† Good for non sports car.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
4 - Very good vehicle
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers


Subaru Impreza - This is a very reliable vehicle, but only comes in 4 wheel drive. Interior quality is decent but not as high quality as others. Best selected for use in snow areas.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
3 - Takes 120 to 125 ft to stop.† Good for non sports car.
4 - 25 to 29 mpg on regular or 28 to 32 on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
5 - Best there is.† More reliable used than many new cars
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
4 - Performs well in emergency maneuvers


Ford Focus - Cheaper to get than above cars, and resells for less. Reliability is decent if you don't get ""My Ford Touch"". Surprisingly nice, roomy, and good driving car for the money. Better choice for situations where less money is available for purchase, and lower driving miles are anticipated.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
4 - Very good vehicle
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Buick Verano - Buickís cars are significantly better built than their sister cars from Chevy. Reliability is decent, but general refinement and fuel efficiency are lower than Japanese competitors. Value depreciation has been bad like most American cars, but if you wait for the large discounts and rebates, and you donít drive much, it might be a good choice. 4 cyl front wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
3 - Adequate for most situations
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
4 - 25 to 29 mpg on regular or 28 to 32 on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
3 - Decent reliability for long term ownership
3 - Good trunk space
2 - Can tow a small trailer (4X7/motorcycle/jet ski)
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Scion iA - A very small car, but well put together. Room for four and very reliable. Refined ride relative to most microsize cars. Small size is scary in traffic but it does make good first transportation. Hatchback design opens up carge area to decent size. 4 cyl front wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
2 - Can keep up with traffic pretty well
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
4 - Very good vehicle
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Honda Fit - A very small car, but well put together. Room for four and very reliable. Refined ride relative to most microsize cars. Small size is scary in traffic but it does make good first transportation. Hatchback design opens up carge area to decent size. 4 cyl front wheel drive.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
2 - Can keep up with traffic pretty well
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
4 - Very good vehicle
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance


Toyota Yaris 3 Door - Surprising quality for such a small, entry level car. Hatchback design keeps rear seat room decent, and gas mileage, especially in town is fine.

RATINGS:
Acceleration:
Braking:
Fuel Cost:
Seating:
Reliability:
Trunk space:
Towing:
Hauling:
Collision avoidance:
2 - Can keep up with traffic pretty well
2 - Takes 125 to 130 ft to stop.† Average for today's cars.
5 - Over 30 mpg on regular or over 33 mpg on premium fuel
3 - Seats 4, okay for around town, a little crowded for trips
4 - Very good vehicle
2 - Can do a trip for two
1 - Don't do it
1 - Not for hauling
3 - Has a decent chance of avoidance