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Ok guys. This forum has helped me out with a million things, but now its time for the most expensive one! As some of you may or may not know, I do not currently have my own car. I was going to get one, then I found out I can't keep a car on campus my freshman year, so there wouldn't really be much of a point to buy a car my senior year in high school, then let it collect dust in my driveway for a year.

It wasn't really a problem because my dad works at home, so whenever I needed to drive somewhere I could drive his. But, as soon as I get out in the spring, I'm going to buy a car. I know thats quite a ways off, but another thing you people may have noticed about me, is I like to make up my mind about something long before I actually do it.

During my christmas break I plan on test driving all of my top choices, but I would like some third party input, I would love to hear from people that have some experience with this vehicles.

I've always had a love for sports cars, but if I'm living in Vermont, that's not very practical. I wouldn't have 4 wheel drive (which isn't really a necesity, but it would be nice) and, more importantly, I wouldn't have any trunk space for going back and forth from home to school, and the mountain. So I decided to compromise with myself and get a relatively small SUV. My parents used to (we just sold it for a Toyota Highlander) have a Ford Explorer, which totally sucked. I hated the way it rode like a truck and it felt like I was gonna flip it every time I turned. So I need something that rides nicely.

Ok here's what I'm looking at right now, in no particular order:
Toyota RAV4
Honda CR-V
Mazda 3 hatchback
Mazda Tribute
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Tuscon

I'm looking for something used. My budget is topped out at $14,000 absolute max. Oh, and I picked all foreign cars for a good reason. I've had awful experience with American made cars (including Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, and Chevy). Any suggestions or comments is greatly appreciated guys. I just want to make sure I get the right vehicle. Big Grin
I would scratch both Hyundai from the list if it were me, not reliable in the long run IMO. You can't go wrong with a Toyota or a Honda. My brother has a Mazda 3 (the station-wagon like version) and it's a great car too but it's quite different than the small SUV's... Take note that Mazda is owned by Ford... so a Mazda Tribute is the same thing as a Ford Escape but with a slightly different outside... I would go Toyota or Honda... and maybe consider a Subaru Impreza. Both the Rav4 and CR-V were among the ugliest vehicules available I think but the new Rav4 is quite nice and Honda will be releasing a completely new CR-V soon.

I'm looking for my first car too but I cannot bring myself to spend such a large amount of money on a pile of steel, on something that will only last a few years, too crappy investment. I could afford it I guess but I prefer to spend more money on travel or something. I'm going used too but I'm trying to find a cheaper, smaller, fuel-efficient, reliable car. Toyota Echo, Honda Civic or something... I don't need a big car as I wont put the boards inside, I will have a roof rack (an absolute must for mountain biking in the summer so I might as well use it in the winter too). And yeah, I wouldn't get an american car either, they belong in demolition derbies! Big Grin

Good luck to us! Confusedhiny:
I like trucks and have a Tacoma (not 4x4 but that's a different story). If I didn't like my truck as much I'd get a Subaru. Sporty and has 4wd, or rather AWD. Should be able to get a decent one used for under 14g's. The CRV's are small and the Rav4's are smaller but the newer ones are similar size to the Suzuki XL7. My Aunt has the Gran Vitara and likes it a lot.

j
Thanks for the help so far guys. I actually don't think the RAV4s or the CR-Vs are ugly at all, they've certainly both grown on me.

Considering my price range, I'd probably be looking at a 2002-2004 range. The car definately needs to be something that can last me 6 years maybe. Enough to get me all the way through college, then a few years after while I try to make money.

I was considering the Impreza as well actually, but I find them much less attractive then the other ones on my list :p Any other suggestions?
03-05 subaru forester
02-03 subaru wrx wagon
If you Snowboard, you gotta have 4WD. I'll stick to my jeep. It is the best vehicle I have ever had, no question. '87 Cherokees will go anywhere.
I'd also say go with the wrx wagon.
A lot of room and very comfortable.
They are fun cars to drive with the awd and turbo.
Handles like a champ in the snow also.
jonluude Wrote:I'd also say go with the wrx wagon.
A lot of room and very comfortable.
They are fun cars to drive with the awd and turbo.
Handles like a champ in the snow also.

Thanks for the info. I'm also considering 4 door cars and just getting a roof rack as well. Lots of decisions will be made in the next few months!
I'm telling ya bro, go with a jeep you wont regret it!
CrazyPineApple Wrote:I'm telling ya bro, go with a jeep you wont regret it!

I have a bad feeling I will. I have a dislike for American made cars, namely Ford, Chevy, Chrystler and Dodge (bad experiences with all of them) and I have a friend with a Cherokee and he doesn't like the way it drives.

Japanese and Germany engineering are the way to go.

So broad list. Here are possibilities:
Honda CV-V
Honda Accord
Toyota Rav-4
Toyota Camry (only if I can get a newer one, because I like the look much better :p)
Mazda Tribute
Mazda 3
Mazda 6
Nissian Altima
Nissian Maxima
Volkswagen Jetta

Thats all I can think of right now, but yeah. I have a lot of test driving to do :p
Try for the Mazda 6S because its got AWD and its got a turbo that saves on gas mileage plus its nice n sporty but also functional. I mean if we can fit 4 boards on a roofrack and all of our gear in a 99 M3 coupe then i think this car will certainly work for you...
I have the Mercury MAriner (same car as the Escape/ Tribute). I personally like the car. Despite being nervous about buying AMerican....I've never had a problem. I already got 30K on it too, and I bought it in December (I do sales).
Eastsideslider7 Wrote:Try for the Mazda 6S because its got AWD and its got a turbo that saves on gas mileage plus its nice n sporty but also functional. I mean if we can fit 4 boards on a roofrack and all of our gear in a 99 M3 coupe then i think this car will certainly work for you...

Thanks for the advice. I like the Mazda 6, I'll definately look into that.

Brodiekiller Wrote:I have the Mercury MAriner (same car as the Escape/ Tribute). I personally like the car. Despite being nervous about buying AMerican....I've never had a problem. I already got 30K on it too, and I bought it in December (I do sales).

Yeah...well I need a loooooot more than 30K on it. I'd like to see my car run like my cousin's. He has an Acura Integra he get when he was 16, used (I forget what year). He's now 26, and drives the same car with 250,000 miles on it :p

Maybe not that extreme, but at least 150,000. I'm not sure a Mecury can last that long.
jjyank Wrote:Thanks for the advice. I like the Mazda 6, I'll definately look into that.



Yeah...well I need a loooooot more than 30K on it. I'd like to see my car run like my cousin's. He has an Acura Integra he get when he was 16, used (I forget what year). He's now 26, and drives the same car with 250,000 miles on it :p

Maybe not that extreme, but at least 150,000. I'm not sure a Mecury can last that long.
Think about it: Mazda is owned by Ford. The Ford Escape is the same thing as a Mercury Mariner which are both the same thing as a Mazda Tribute... My dad used to have a Mazda MPV and when he needed new parts, guess what, Ford parts! So before you throw a Ford out of your list, consider that most Mazda are no better or worst than most Ford... It's getting more and more common in the car industry. Chrysler and Mercedes share some platforms and motors and probably more. Same thing with VW, Audi, Porsche, Lambo... Ford, Mazda, Jaguar, Volvo... A Toyota Matrix is the same as a Pontiac Vibe... Saab and GM and some of Subaru... It's getting hard to tell who builds what nowadays.

But to me, Honda and Toyota are among the most reliable cars available on the market. A Jeep 83 may be good in snow but I wouldn't trust it too much on the long term and it must pollute like 23 modern small cars.
Dan Gerous Wrote:Think about it: Mazda is owned by Ford. The Ford Escape is the same thing as a Mercury Mariner which are both the same thing as a Mazda Tribute... My dad used to have a Mazda MPV and when he needed new parts, guess what, Ford parts! So before you throw a Ford out of your list, consider that most Mazda are no better or worst than most Ford... It's getting more and more common in the car industry. Chrysler and Mercedes share some platforms and motors and probably more. Same thing with VW, Audi, Porsche, Lambo... Ford, Mazda, Jaguar, Volvo... A Toyota Matrix is the same as a Pontiac Vibe... Saab and GM and some of Subaru... It's getting hard to tell who builds what nowadays.

But to me, Honda and Toyota are among the most reliable cars available on the market. A Jeep 83 may be good in snow but I wouldn't trust it too much on the long term and it must pollute like 23 modern small cars.

I suppose you're right. Honda and Toyota are at the top of the list anyway.
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