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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 01:16 pm
RPS
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Default Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

Our old Camry is showing its age (~12 years) and we have decided to
look for a new car but budget down to "Corolla level". I said "level"
as I am open to competing models from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, etc.

I would appreciate your help in choosing the model, as well as the
"sub-model" (CE, LE, DX etc.).

Most of our driving is city or regional: round trips to places 10-50
miles away. A few times a year we drive 300-500 miles trips.

I would like basic safety features (line anti-lock brakes) and comforts
(4-door, AC). Very high priority running cost (mpg, reliability). I can
live with manual or automatic. I would consider new, or low-mileage
dealer demos etc, but not "really used". (Like everyone else, I thought
about Prius but it looks too expensive.)

A few questions:

1. Which make/model would be the best fit?

2. What is the best site for reading up on these and well as comparison
reviews? (Bought my last car 12 years ago and online resources must
have come along since then.)

3. Would you go to a local dealer or Carmax, Carsdirect etc?

4. At this point would you buy a 2009, or 2008?

5. When is the best time of the year to get good deals on last years
models, dealer demos, loaners and like? (These I'd imagine are only
available from dealers.)

Thanks for all help.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 01:23 pm
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

In article <120520081216367764%rps@null.void>, RPS <rps@null.void>
wrote:

> I would like basic safety features (line anti-lock brakes) and comforts
> (4-door, AC). Very high priority running cost (mpg, reliability). I can
> live with manual or automatic. I would consider new, or low-mileage
> dealer demos etc, but not "really used". (Like everyone else, I thought
> about Prius but it looks too expensive.)


Well, you may be thinking that it's "too expensive to buy". It may or
may not be too expensive to operate.

The up front cost is only one of the many costs. You buy it once, but
you operate it over and over again. You must look at an overall cost,
per mile, to come to any conclusions.

Don't dismiss any car simply because it looks "too expensive" to
purchase up front.

I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius. Just use the base
prius; it has everything you need. Then compare ongoing costs--fuel,
maintenance, and so on--and come up with a per mile cost across 12K,
24K, 50K, 100K miles and so on.

A buddy of mine has a mid 90s Corolla, coming up on 300K miles. Still
looks and runs great.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 02:05 pm
Elle
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Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

"RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote
> 2. What is the best site for reading up on these and well
> as comparison
> reviews? (Bought my last car 12 years ago and online
> resources must
> have come along since then.)


I think the best resource is the April issue of Consumer
Reports. CR has matrices for every year and model of car for
about the last ten years that show the reliability of
different car systems. It jives IMO with what generally
hears: Honda and Toyota are the most reliable. OTOH, certain
Toyota models, like the Tundra, are doing very poorly for
reliability. See
http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/16/auto...lity/index.htm .
Still, you might be fine with a Corolla.


> 3. Would you go to a local dealer or Carmax, Carsdirect
> etc?


I plan to use email to negotiate the price of my next car.
This is based on reading reports here of much success with
this.

> 4. At this point would you buy a 2009, or 2008?


Makes no difference. It's a new vehicle, and that's what
counts.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 02:07 pm
RPS
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Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

Elmo P. Shagnasty <elmop@nastydesigns.com> wrote:

: Well, you may be thinking that it's "too expensive to buy". It may or
: may not be too expensive to operate.
:
: The up front cost is only one of the many costs. You buy it once, but
: you operate it over and over again. You must look at an overall cost,
: per mile, to come to any conclusions.
:
: I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius...

Just using round numbers, the price difference appears to be $6000.

If I drive 12000 miles per year, Corolla (30 mpg) would need 400
gallons of fuel. Prius (40mpg) about 300 gallons. Difference is 100
gallons, let's say $500.

That would mean 10-12 years to merely recover the extra money you pay
upfront. So, I am not saying Prius is not a good car, but it has become
something of a fad/fashion too and I don't see the economy: I give them
$6000, and hope that maybe I'd earn it back by 2020?

So, I am inclined to stay with the best of conventional cars. Trying to
figure out which one!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 03:01 pm
paulgyro@gmail.com
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Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

RPS I've been wondering the same recently and am still researching.
For what's its worth Consumer Reports (CR) has picked the '08 Elantra
SE as it's best small car.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...l/overview.htm

Here is their summery:

"The Elantra is a pleasant small sedan. We found the ride comfortable
and road noise low, but the Elantra still isn't as agile as a Mazda3
or Honda Civic. The engine booms at high revs but returns good fuel
economy. Cabin access is fairly easy, and the roomy interior is put
together nicely. It also has more standard safety equipment than some
competitors, including ABS and curtain air bags. Electronic stability
control is standard on the SE trim and, combined with wider tires and
a tighter suspension, makes the car very secure. IIHS offset-crash
results are good. First-year reliability has been much better than
average. An Elantra Touring hatchback model will arrive for 2009."

Another interesting new feature CR has is under "Price and Costs"
They calcuate the overall cost of owning the car for 1-8 years to be
$0.46 a mile which they rate as "Excellent" which is their highest
rating.

I'm going to check the other car site and see how these cars you've
mentioned fair.

Paul



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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 04:04 pm
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

In article <120520081307140096%rps@null.void>, RPS <rps@null.void>
wrote:

> : I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius...
>
> Just using round numbers, the price difference appears to be $6000.
>
> If I drive 12000 miles per year, Corolla (30 mpg) would need 400
> gallons of fuel. Prius (40mpg) about 300 gallons. Difference is 100
> gallons, let's say $500.


Hmmmm. The Prius will get, over a year's time, no less than 45mpg. And
that's without any freaky driving techniques.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 04:05 pm
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

In article <120520081307140096%rps@null.void>, RPS <rps@null.void>
wrote:

> : I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius...
>
> Just using round numbers, the price difference appears to be $6000.
>
> If I drive 12000 miles per year, Corolla (30 mpg) would need 400
> gallons of fuel. Prius (40mpg) about 300 gallons. Difference is 100
> gallons, let's say $500.
>
> That would mean 10-12 years to merely recover the extra money you pay
> upfront. So, I am not saying Prius is not a good car, but it has become
> something of a fad/fashion too and I don't see the economy: I give them
> $6000, and hope that maybe I'd earn it back by 2020?
>
> So, I am inclined to stay with the best of conventional cars. Trying to
> figure out which one!


Don't forget the size. The Prius is larger than the Corolla; if you
think you'd want something larger that also gets good gas mileage,
that's the Prius. If you think you're stuck with a Corolla-sized car,
you're not. Not necessarily.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 04:43 pm
RPS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

Elmo P. Shagnasty <elmop@nastydesigns.com> wrote:

: Hmmmm. The Prius will get, over a year's time, no less than 45mpg. And
: that's without any freaky driving techniques.

I realize that Prius would do better than 40, Corolla than 30. These
are just the nearest nice numbers I could work with without a
calculator.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 04:52 pm
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

RPS wrote:
> Our old Camry is showing its age (~12 years) and we have decided to
> look for a new car but budget down to "Corolla level". I said "level"
> as I am open to competing models from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, etc.


I'd first narrow things down by safety, reliability, depreciation, and
longevity.

What are the top four compacts in each category.

Safety
------
Subaru Impreza
Honda Civic
Nissan Versa
Toyota Corolla (assuming 2009 model ranks highly in Side & Rear tests)

J.D. Power Long Term Dependability (3 year)
--------------
Only Toyota and Honda rank above the industry average

Longevity (11-20 years) (of companies making small, non-luxury cars)
---------
Saturn
Toyota
Honda
Mazda

Depreciation
------------
Honda Civic
Toyota Corolla
Mazda 3
Nissan Versa

> I would appreciate your help in choosing the model, as well as the
> "sub-model" (CE, LE, DX etc.).


You can buy the base Corolla with a manual transmission very
inexpensively, but most people in the U.S. don't buy manual transmission
vehicles.

> Most of our driving is city or regional: round trips to places 10-50
> miles away. A few times a year we drive 300-500 miles trips.
>
> I would like basic safety features (line anti-lock brakes) and comforts
> (4-door, AC). Very high priority running cost (mpg, reliability). I can
> live with manual or automatic. I would consider new, or low-mileage
> dealer demos etc, but not "really used". (Like everyone else, I thought
> about Prius but it looks too expensive.)


Buying a slightly used Corolla or Civic rarely makes sense because these
models are highly discounted by dealers, yet have very high resale
value. As a result, a good deal on a new one is often less expensive
than a bad deal on a used one.

> A few questions:
>
> 1. Which make/model would be the best fit?


Once you narrow down by tangible factors, that's really up to your
preferences.

> 2. What is the best site for reading up on these and well as comparison
> reviews? (Bought my last car 12 years ago and online resources must
> have come along since then.)


Consumer Reports is a start, though they tend to emphasize reliability
and value, less on handling and performance.

> 3. Would you go to a local dealer or Carmax, Carsdirect etc?


It depends on where you live. Carsdirect can at least give you a
baseline of what to expect, but they tend to be a bit higher in price
than what you can get on your own, or through a non-profit buying service.

> 4. At this point would you buy a 2009, or 2008?


The Corolla is new for 2009, so be careful. I've been burned by the
first year of a new model (though it was a Honda).

> 5. When is the best time of the year to get good deals on last years
> models, dealer demos, loaners and like?


About now, if they have any left.

We're also in the same situation. A 12 year old Camry that while still
reliable has some issues. I don't like the lack of rear headrests, and
most new vehicles seem to have full rear headrests (3 of them). Now that
my kids are bigger I want something more suitable for them, but I'm
thinking of going down to the Corolla instead of another Camry if the
legroom is sufficient, just for the better mileage.

Bottom line is that if you're looking for another vehicle that will last
12 years, and still work well and look decent, get the Corolla.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12 May 2008, 05:23 pm
rigger
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

On May 12, 1:52*pm, SMS <scharf.ste...@geemail.com> wrote:
> RPS wrote:
> > Our old Camry is showing its age (~12 years) and we have decided to
> > look for a new car but budget down to "Corolla level". I said "level"
> > as I am open to competing models from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, etc.

>
> I'd first narrow things down by safety, reliability, depreciation, and
> longevity.
>
> What are the top four compacts in each category.
>
> Safety
> ------
> Subaru Impreza
> Honda Civic
> Nissan Versa
> Toyota Corolla (assuming 2009 model ranks highly in Side & Rear tests)
>
> J.D. Power Long Term Dependability (3 year)
> --------------
> Only Toyota and Honda rank above the industry average
>
> Longevity (11-20 years) (of companies making small, non-luxury cars)
> ---------
> Saturn
> Toyota
> Honda
> Mazda
>
> Depreciation
> ------------
> Honda Civic
> Toyota Corolla
> Mazda 3
> Nissan Versa
>
> > I would appreciate your help in choosing the model, as well as the
> > "sub-model" (CE, LE, DX etc.).

>
> You can buy the base Corolla with a manual transmission very
> inexpensively, but most people in the U.S. don't buy manual transmission
> vehicles.
>
> > Most of our driving is city or regional: round trips to places 10-50
> > miles away. A few times a year we drive 300-500 miles trips.

>
> > I would like basic safety features (line anti-lock brakes) and comforts
> > (4-door, AC). Very high priority running cost (mpg, reliability). I can
> > live with manual or automatic. I would consider new, or low-mileage
> > dealer demos etc, but not "really used". (Like everyone else, I thought
> > about Prius but it looks too expensive.)

>
> Buying a slightly used Corolla or Civic rarely makes sense because these
> models are highly discounted by dealers, yet have very high resale
> value. As a result, a good deal on a new one is often less expensive
> than a bad deal on a used one.
>
> > A few questions:

>
> > 1. Which make/model would be the best fit?

>
> Once you narrow down by tangible factors, that's really up to your
> preferences.
>
> > 2. What is the best site for reading up on these and well as comparison
> > reviews? (Bought my last car 12 years ago and online resources must
> > have come along since then.)

>
> Consumer Reports is a start, though they tend to emphasize reliability
> and value, less on handling and performance.
>
> > 3. Would you go to a local dealer or Carmax, Carsdirect etc?

>
> It depends on where you live. Carsdirect can at least give you a
> baseline of what to expect, but they tend to be a bit higher in price
> than what you can get on your own, or through a non-profit buying service.
>
> > 4. At this point would you buy a 2009, or 2008?

>
> The Corolla is new for 2009, so be careful. I've been burned by the
> first year of a new model (though it was a Honda).
>
> > 5. When is the best time of the year to get good deals on last years
> > models, dealer demos, loaners and like?

>
> About now, if they have any left.
>
> We're also in the same situation. A 12 year old Camry that while still
> reliable has some issues. I don't like the lack of rear headrests, and
> most new vehicles seem to have full rear headrests (3 of them). Now that
> my kids are bigger I want something more suitable for them, but I'm
> thinking of going down to the Corolla instead of another Camry if the
> legroom is sufficient, just for the better mileage.
>
> Bottom line is that if you're looking for another vehicle that will last
> 12 years, and still work well and look decent, get the Corolla.


I'd agree the Corolla is a good choice. I have been enjoying the heck
out of my '09 Matrix S (Corolla with more interior hauling capacity).
It
has the Camry 2.4l engine and moves along pretty quickly. If you go
this route I'd suggest selecting an upgrade on tires as the stock 16"
stock tires don't do anything for performance (as tested in the June
'08
Consumers Reports).

We looked at the Prius and were told the battery had a 10 year/
100,000 mile warranty but no one seemed to know If the terms of
the warranty specified what amount of lost battery capacity would
be considered unacceptable.

The other thought I had was the fact that your resale value would
depend highly upon the cost and availability of a new battery 10
years down the road. No one at the dealership could accuratly
speculate on future battery availability.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

dennis
in nca
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