My husband and I hope to get a new (to us) car by the end of summer. We're going to be buying used, but not "search craigslist for a car" used but from a dealer.
We want something small with at least decent gas mileage, but want to move up from a compact to something with a little cargo space. We've just got a lot of projects we're into now that require actually hauling some things around.
Anyone have any opinions on Subaru, and specifically the Outback?
Or other little crossovers like that, that are those things that are not an suv, not a wagon, not quite a car types?
Of course I am always going to recommend a BMW but I am if I equally impressed with Subaru. It has cargo space, looks decent and is all wheel drive...which, would be good for your region. Good gas mileage too. My mother has a Hyundai Highlander cross over type vehicle...she loves it. Might be a another manufacture to look into.
We've gotten real good service from a (2002) Ford Escape. Gas milage runs between 22 and 25 mpg. Plenty of leg room in back seat and the seat lays down and doubles your cargo space. Easy on tires, our last set had 85K on them.
Subaru's are nice but I have known several people who have had major (expensive) engine troubles with them so I would be wary.
I wish I could recommend something made here but the quality is so hit and miss. I am a GM fan, currently have a 2002 Montana minivan (I'm OK with it) and a 1991 GMC 3/4 ton that is in great shape except the motor is getting tired. I love it (not the fuel mileage though ) I will probably look for something more efficient after I win the lottery.
I know a lot of folks that have toyotas (corrola, matrix, yaris) and have not heard one of them complain, even after the recall stuff. Honda's good but not as popular up here.
A diesel VW (Jetta TDI) will get 40+ MPG and will run for 200K plus miles (w/ a manual transmission) if well maintained.
I had 289,000 miles on my 2001 Jetta TDI and was still going strong, starting every time I turned the key (after the glow-plug light cycled) and was still getting 45+mpg when I screwed up and killed it (truely my fault it died!). The body on all VWs have a 12-year unlimited mileage, transferrable no rust through guarantee. My '01 only had a bit of surface rust in a few corners!
I currently drive a 2012 Jetta TDI and absolutely love it (Tornado red, 6 speed manual transmission). New off the showroom floor, I paid a bit over $22K (OUT THE DOOR) for it with a 6-year, 0.9% finance offer. I couldn't come close to this with a decent used car price/payment combination.
The only weak point in these cars (CR engine) is the new high pressure fuel pump mostly noted in the 2006 through 2010 model years. Unfortunately, the failure mode for this can only be described as "catastrophic". It is something that routine maintenance and checking for signs of imminent failure CANNOT BE OVERLOOKED!
There was a significant redesign of this pump during the 2011 model year. My fingers are crossed that the changes were 100% effective. It was worth the risk for the fuel economy and potential longevity, even if I need to replace the pump (~ $1500) at 100K miles! By that time I'll likely be my own mechanic on this car anyway (I enjoy working on cars!)
As an engineer, I am fascinated by the design elegance of the Subaru boxer engine but had heard word of the head-gasket and other issues with the gasoline versions. There is a Subaru Boxer diesel in europe... ...if this ever comes to the states, I may have to give it a look despite the reported issues with the gasoline versions (...faster burn rate = higher detonation force = higher failure rates!).
Paul E. Turley
"...floats like a Lepidoptera, stings like a Hymenoptera".
David Hyde Pierce in "Fraser" (Season 3, Episode 17).
My son has a Toyota tacoma, 2001. He has bought oil changes, tires, and battery only. I have a Toyota tacoma, 2004, same thing. Mine has over a hundred, his nearly 200. I don't think I'm rough on them. I think it's the way some junk is made.
I have a 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 with 176,000 hard miles; on & off road. Change the oil every 3,500 miles and replace tires is all I have done, average about 18 - 20 mpg. Wife drives a 2006 Toyota Sequoia 99,000 miles and same oil/tires.
2005 Harley Davidson Road King with 32,000 miles @ 51.4 mpg and sounds good doing it!
My teenage car was a '69 VW Beetle that had been half-chopped dune buggy style and cost us $300.
The fenders were left rough and unfinished, they could slice through a leg.
No seatbelts, no glovebox (it was the old cardboard kind and was long gone), heat was either ON REALLY HIGH or off, air conditioning...bwahahahaha.
For most of my time owning it the ignition didn't work correctly, so I'd have to lift the backseat and unhook the battery to get it to turn off and try not to ground the wire on the frame while doing so.
Line from the gas pedal to the engine kept snapping, finally got it replaced with a long piece of bailing wire (like for those big round hay bales) and it lasted forever.
Seat sliders stopped working and I had to drive for a few months with 2 phonebooks and a pillow behind me to reach the clutch.
Transmission timing was all out of whack for a while and I had to three-foot it every time I stopped at a sign or light.
No speedometer for a couple years, but I knew I was going over 55mph when the little triangle window wouldn't stay open in the wind anymore.