Crash boom bang

Well, no, not really. But when I thought about my car being dead, that was the music that came to mind.

That, and rattle and hum.

My car, it is no more, it has ceased to be, it has expired and gone to meet it’s maker.

Well, not literally. If we took that literally, well, I dunno where they were making Chevy Malibus in 2000, but I’m certainly not hauling the dodgy thing back there.

Wouldn’t that be fun, though.

‘Where you off to, John?”

“My car is dead. I’m taking it back to meet it’s maker.”

At the dealership; “It’s alive! ALIVE!”

“Just a plugged fuel line. That’ll be $500, bub.”

My car is dead, and we are quickly looking at options for a replacement.

My criteria; Not new, but no older than 2009. Fuel efficient. Low mileage, average about 15k miles per year max. Fuel efficient. Cheapest we can find in nice shape. Able to fit a big bear butt in the driver seat.

So far, just browsing the internet, we’re fidning reasonable deals on Kia Rios and what is looking like my personal favorite at the moment, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra GLS.

We’re going to look at an Elantra tomorrow, but I was curious what suggestions or thoughts any of you folks might have.

Anyone doing any car hunting on a budget lately?

17 thoughts on “Crash boom bang

  1. Late to the party, but I have a 03 Chevy Impala LS, with a bit over 65k miles. I abused the heck out of that thing in the first two years I owned it, and it’s tapered off greatly since then. The car itself is a very smooth ride, with a great deal of get up and go.

    I’m only getting 20mph at the moment, but I can (and will) attribute that to a sizable hole in my exhaust that I don’t have the budget to fix.

    From my time working in the Insurance Industry, I can tell you that “American” cars are generally – generally – cheaper to insure because its usually easier to get the parts for them. That’s not always 100% the case, but just another nugget to keep in mind.


  2. Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. Especially for the Kia Rio thoughts, we decided to scrap them right off our list.

    Since so many thought highly of the Elanta and Sonata, we went ahead and bought one tonight.

    well, we applied for financing. We’ll find out tomorrow if we got it.


  3. I had to replace my car last week and got a Chevrolet Impala. Not bad gas milage, and I drive about 48 miles one way through the Chicago area so comfort was of utmost importance. Especially for my big Shaman butt (6’2″ 400 lbs). Mine was a program car so it is a 2011. You could get a 2010 or 2009 for similar price or lower than the imports that are being mentioned. Just a thought.


  4. I do like Subaru’s; the All-Wheel Drive offers a nice boost in handling. With that said, you definitely lose in fuel efficiency (as with every all-wheel drive vehicle.)

    Hyundai is definitely a decent option now. Both the Honda Civic and Ford Focus are also good options. Scion might not be a bad option as well. While I haven’t heard much about their reliabilty, they are owned by Toyota.


  5. We’ve been very pleased so far with our 2010 Hyundai Sonata…When we were looking, Elantras were also rated quite well from a reliability standpoint. For us that was important since we were moving from a Toyota Corolla that was 14 yrs old and we had only ever put about $500 in non-maintainance type of repairs into.


  6. I recently bought an 06 Mini.. 28mpg and ridiculously fun to drive. Roomier than you’d think too; I’m 6ft 210lb and have plenty of room.


  7. Please don’t buy a Kia. Remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for”. I had a friend that bought one and it was nothing but trouble for her.

    I’ve heard the Hyundai is pretty good, so I say go for that. 🙂 My personal faves right now (altho I don’t need a car atm) are Toyotas or Nissans. However, I’d love to have a Honda, but could never afford one.


  8. I run a 95 Carolla … LOL … okay so it’s a one owner car yup … with just over 250 000 km so that’s pretty close on Gilgalen’s milage and I’d have to agree … she still runs well, doesn’t cost me a fortune to maintain. Also have a much younger one which is shaping up as just as reliable.


  9. Oh, forgot to mention:
    *My car, it is no more, it has ceased to be, it has expired and gone to meet it’s maker.*
    reminded me of the Monty Python *Ex-parrot* skit



  10. My first *new* car was a Hyundai Excel 5 door (hatch) soon after they were introduced into Aus. It lasted for a decade. Then we bought a Toyota Camry which lasted 13 years. Both of which are, as stated above, safe/reliable/allofthoseboringthingsthatmatternowthatI’molder.
    We had both cars serviced every 10,000Km as per manufacturers recommendation, and that is a big factor in their longevity.

    Having said that, given you only do 15k Miles/year, you *may* want to look at a cheaper, larger vehicle, and work out the price per mile over 5 years.


  11. I wouldn’t touch another Kia ever. The warranty was great, but we were constantly having the thing fixed. We weren’t the only ones I’m sure, otherwise the Kia ‘franchise’ or whatever they call it in car sales land would move from one dealership to another every one to two years.

    I would love to tell you to buy American, but I haven’t in a while. We’ve got two Toyotas. Corollas are (or at least have been) pretty economical and I abuse mine pretty good. 150K miles so far and still going.


  12. You probably already know this, but I’ll share anyway.

    1) If you can’t pay for it, you can’t afford it. Leases are a plain bad idea on something that’s always losing value.
    2) I can’t recommend buying a kia. Exceptionally bad experiences there (yes, plural). One involved a pure lemon (it took 6 months of battling and phone calls to get it returned and our money back. The second one had been in a flood and was rotting beneath the floor boards (different dealership). Long story short on the second car – we sued the dealership and won, eventually.
    3) Don’t trust carfax. Dealer repairs are not generally reported (flood damage, air bad deployment, or worse). It only shows reported history – which can be misleading. See # 2 above.
    4) Don’t buy an extended warranty.

    Hondas are very reasonable in the small engine market, and one of the most reliable engines out there. An accord would be a good option.

    Elantras are pretty decent as well, but try and find one with some warranty left.


  13. John, I’m assuming you can see my registered email… I have a paid subscription to Consumer Reports and would be quite happy to look up ratings on anything you’re pursuing. Just drop me an email.


  14. I just got a 2004 Buick LeSabre for 7k… pretty good milage and I’m getting about 28 miles to the gallon, and it’s a nice smooth ride for my own big bear butt.

    They are apparently damn good cars that’ll last easily… and I’m driving from Waite Park to Ramsey every day in it.

    Best of luck, BBB.


  15. Shockingly, the Elantra is a pretty decent car. It’s not particularly fun or sporty, but it’s safe/reliable/allofthoseboringthingsthatmatternowthatI’molder. Possibly wiser. We have two: a 2006 and a 2012, which is leased. They seem to hold their value well, and are the 2nd cheapest car to get repaired (this was news recently but I can’t remember from where.)

    If the leasing details had worked out better for the Veloster, that would be a pretty decent car which is fun. And sporty. Probably also reliable.


  16. I did some similar shopping lately, though I bought new. Looked at the new Civic and the Elantra and the Focus. While I bought the Civic (mostly cause I love the HUD), the Elantra looks like a best in market buy right now.


  17. we don’t own a car, but we rent one when needed (believe it or not – cheaper that way), and the latest we rented was Toyota Yaris sedan. that thing, I swear, the most fuel efficient car I’ve ever driven. we drove all over the place most of the day and it used up maybe 2 gallons? seemed to be roomy enough. as far as I know they are considered to be economy cars, even newest ones seemed to be relatively inexpensive.


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