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Buying a Car and the Cost of Maintaining It


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After owing over 35 cars in my life I can safely say that Toyota or Honda/Acura will be the best bang for your buck. I love big power both Mustang and Corvette are nearly indestructible. The eternal civic in any year any trim will be unreal on gas and will also depending on the model and engine will give many cars including V8's a run for their money. Toyota's just cannot be killed. The Corolla has the most units still running world wide since it's first production model in 1966. The legendary Toyota pick ups are literally indestructible. Watch all three parts so you can fully understand what i am talking about

As for Gas every car wants premium and for the extra couple of cents it is lunacy not to put it in what ever car you own. Higher octane means cleaner, hotter more efficient burn.

It all really breaks down to your driving style. If your are a spirited driver then parts will wear more quickly. If you drive it like it is stolen and do not know the tolerances of the vehicle it could break in 5 minutes off the lot. If you are an enthusiast like myself and like a specific style or look then you have to make sacrifices. Used from a dealership will give you piece of mind most of the time but there are countless horrors stories to the contrary as well.

Try to sit in and drive as many cars as you can. Look at the ones you might not consider as well. You never know what that ride might offer. Comfort, durability, performance it is all there just for the taking you just need to know which model will suit your specific needs. Really the old Pro's and Con's list is the way to go.

The most durable Canadian winter car I have ever owned was a Focus ZX3 hatchback. A tank in the snow, easy on the wallet and not so bad to look at. I highly suggest A site Called http://www.carsurvey.org/ the largest used car database in the world written by owners for owners.

My list of great efficient durable cars/trucks/suv's for Canada are as follows Civic, Accord, Integra RSX, Acura TL, Corolla, Camry, Tacoma, Matrix, Focus, Fiesta, Escape, Explorer(unreal winter ride) Chevy Cruze is winning awards world wide, BMW 325 any version(if you can afford it) Hyundai has really stepped up its game so has Kia with the Forte'. Subaru and Toyota have been building cars together since 2005 and the collaboration has proven extremely well with their newer line ups. That being said Subaru (which I secretly lust over) has a horrible track record with the WRX/STI models but as with any car if maintained properly many catastrophic failures can be avoided. The check engine light is your friend !

Stay away from Dodge except the Cummings turbo diesel and any jeep model with the 4.0L inline six(another indestructible engine) Dodge is like a disposable camera. You usually regret it after the first shot, like Sunfires , Cobalts and Sentra's which btw are rated the worst Canadian car of all time. Compact cars only exist to average out EPA violations of the bigger V8 cars on the road. So really 3 million Neons on the road is way worse than 45,000 mustang GT's.

....but by far stay away From VW !!! Sorry VW guys I have worked for and owned Volkswagen and have friends who are certified VW/BMW/Audi mechanics and we are all in agreement they are the worst cars ever built. If you live in Germany that is a completely different story though. I cant really comment on Mazda as I have never owned one personally but have never been impressed except for the RX-7 or the B series pick ups.

The best advice I can give you is get any car checked out by a reputable mechanic. So many things can be covered up and after you drop 7000 on a lemon it is too late.

Just some thoughts from a certifiable Autofile with years of automotive background. Take it for what it's worth.I am sure many people will have varying opinions but the numbers never lie.

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People bash on American brands but they cost a fair bit less used than a comparable import. I had a 2000 Taurus from 2003 until 2011 that I never once had to pay a single dime on other than routine maintenance. My sister and her hubby bought a 2000 accord the same year, paid 3x as much as me for it and ended up with thousands in repair bills over the years before selling long before I sold mine. I now have a 2010 Ford Fusion and expect to keep it for a long time as well.

Octane: USE THE GAS THE MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDS. Its not that complicated.

I had a car while in college/Uni in Victoria back in the early 90s. Gas was cheap and Victoria is pretty small so I never had to pay too much for gas. I paid $700 for the car and replacing it was one of the first things I did with my real paychecks after grad but it lasted all 4 years with only a new starter and a few other things I was able to do myself. We bought my brother a $400 Ford LTD and cut the roof off of it for him to drive summers when he was home from college a few years later.That thing lasted 3 summers even with getting soaked inside every so often before the cops took it away after deeming it unsafe and eventually sent it to the crusher.

Do you travel a long way to school every day? is it possible to get there reasonably if your car is out of action for a few days/weeks? If you can hump it without it killing you maybe go for a much cheaper car and toss the extra money you have left over at paying for gas and having a good time. If it absolutely has to get you round all the time pay a few grand more and get something really reliable.

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There's been plenty of great advice in this thread already, so I'll mention something that hasn't been said yet.

Don't be afraid to cheap out and buy some 'POS' old car that is really cheap to maintain.

If you have your $7000 budget its better to spend $1000 on something that runs, and won't cost a lot to maintain. Then 4-5 years down the road, when you're finished with your degree and get a raise/promotion/ new employment, you can actually afford something really nice, and you'll have more money left over to do it.

Most (non-collector) cars depreciate faster than the rate of inflation. That 7 grand will go a lot further in getting you a nice ride in 5 years time than it does now. By then a 90-95' model of a 911, RX-7, would get down to the 10k mark. At that point you're looking at performance vehicles with style.

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