• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Smaller cars.

condor888000

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
I've been put in the nice position of having the means to afford a new car when I turn 18. I'm all set with regards to insurance, gas and such, but my big thing is reliability. I've been out testdriving and have found a couple cars that I like, but I don't trust a lot of the online resources out there and haven't been able to find the lemon book, so I figured some one on here may have some experience with what I'm looking at.

First off is the Mazda 3. I have a couple family members with the hatch version of this but none with the sedan, anyone have any experience with it, pro or con? I've heard that the older ones have some minor gremlins, anyone know if they have been resolved?

Second is the Dodge SX 2.0. The new neon. Which is now discontinued, you can only get 2005's that are left on the lots. I've heard VERY bad things about the neon, but nothing about the SX, though the fact its discontinued and a similar car makes me wary. Once again anyone with any experience pro/con?

Third is the Toyota Corolla. Has anyone heard of any issues with it? I have no experience with Toyota's, my family buying either Dodge, Honda or recently Mazda. Any thing that I should be wary of? Any major advantages?

Finally, the new Civic. I know that Honda are normally very good cars, but I'm not especially fond of buying the first year of a redesign. Does anyone have any experience with the new Civics? It seems that a lot has been changed and I'd just like to know if any of you know of any problems with them.

Thats my list, if any one has any points or such, please post. I'd really appreciate the help.

Mods if this has been done, I apologize, I searched and found similar threads but I thought this seemed like it could be its own thread.

EDIT: And finally, please do not weigh in with advice to buy a used or slightly used car. I've been looking into this for a while, and have decided that I would rather buy new than used. Mostly because the last used car we had was a GM that was a year old with 17000KM that we had to sell in a year because of major problems. I believe it ended up in a scrap yard a month after it was sold. So I'd rather go new.
 

c_canuk

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
there is not much difference between the hatchback and sedan version of a vehicle other than the body pannels, especially a unibody... I wouldn't worry as 99% of the mechanical parts are identical.

The Dodge SX 2.0 is a neon with a 2.0L engine from what I understand, I don't have any experiance with neons, but I imagine with any small car if it's been looked after it will last a long time... I think a lot of people with Neon's drive them like they think they are the SRT-4s which is the supped up neon with a 2.0L + Turbo charger and beefed up drive componets...

Toyota makes a nice car, but they are way overpriced, plus they charge an arm and a leg for parts, though I've heard lots of good things about the echo's but they are dicontinued and are being replaced by the Yaris... (the ads put me off the yaris) I know of 3 seperate instances where one person bought an echo and within a year everyone in their family now owns echos... it's creepy but they seem a well put together car for a good price.

I find honda is really overpriced especially Civics... they are not a bad car but all the rice boys who think they are unbeatable drag machines have driven up the market price for them to well beyond what they are worth... keep in mind that the fast and the furious was a movie made by someone who has no idea about cars... the civic is an econobox not a racer... so drive it properly and you won't destroy it, if you think a civic is a 10 not a 20 second car off the lot don't get one, you'll ruin it fast The engine blocks are so thin that they can't even take a rehoning, once they start burning oil, they are done... the SI-Rs are sporty, and fun to drive, but the rest of the engine lines are crap and won't take a beating... all the ricers out there that have not sunk a large amount of money in upgrading their entire drive line will have their cars in the junk yard within a year, either because they wrap it around a telephone pole, or blow their engine/tranny.

Have you looked at any northamerican cars? Hyundai?


Used cars... the reason that your 170 000km car ended up in the junk yard is because thats where a car with 170 000 km on it belongs... at 150 000 km with a gas engine expect the car to need a new engine and tranny unless it was babied the entire time, which is not cost effective on a small car. look for a nice used car that has not been abused with around 40 000-80 000 km on it, it will be much cheaper than a new car, probably still have some warranty on it, you can most likely get extended or third party warranty on it for $1000-$2000, and will be up to 50% less than a show room car that still has to be broken in and will have bugs still in it, 40 - 80 k is just broken in... IF it has been treated right, and not driven like it was on the set for the fast and the furious, too many young in's ( I'm guilty too) buy a car because it looks fast or seen a car that was similar at the strip besides the $12000 spent upgrading it and thought cool I can do that. There are 10 second dodge Aries out there, but have crews that change the engine after ever 4th run or less.

when picking a used car make sure you get the oil analysed after putting over 100km on the engine test driving it... that will tell you most of what you need to know about the car, get a safety inspection done on it and bring up any deficiencies with the dealer. They will replace the parts in question and may even give you a discount.

Regardless of the car, don't tell the dealer what your price range is

Don't pay the sticker price

Ask to look at cars by size and function, then when you see one you want, make an offer, don't take the I can't deal crap from them

they will not sell you the car for the price you ask the same visit unless they are still making a killing on it, if they hum and haw over your offer or counter offer with something insulting like 500 less than the sticker price of 20 000, say, ok I guess you don't want to make a sale, give them your phone number and walk out, do not look back... they will call you back within the week.

 

c.jacob

Member
Inactive
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Dodge and Chrysler aren't too bad I've found.  The most common problem seems to be electrical stuff which can be a real pain to find the problem.  But overall I've had good experiences with it.
 

Thompson_JM

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
My Advice, is that if it is a NEW new car, you cant go wrong with a Toyta Corolla or Honda Civic. nothing in north america can match reliability and lifespan.

Corolla and Civic are pretty similar all in all. to my knowege the only advantage Toyota may give you might be lower insurance then a civic.

my advice is do your research. but if you can afford japanese, do it. Toyota and Honda are two of the best Car manufacturers on the planet. just look at what is still on the road today... its not uncommon to find a 1992 honda or toyota still driving with 300,000kms under the hood. sure the body is gone and the interior is junked but after that much road time what do you expect!

I drive a 1997 Saturn SL1. and its a nice car. cheap, reliable. good on gas. but  if i had the money to buy a another car id definatly go japanese.

anyways, hope that helped a little
 

condor888000

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Thanks all for the replies. C_Canuck, don't worry about the fast and furious bit, I'd rather keep this car for a while. Hopefully at least 8 or 9 years, preferably more. I'd be too worried about hitting something or wrecking it to drive it really hard. And it wasn't 170 000Km, it was 17 000Km. Which was WAY too few for us to have the problems we had with it. Because of that, I've lost pretty much all faith in GM, I didn't even bother looking at the Pursuit, Ion, or Cobalt in the flesh, checked them out on line and didn't like what I saw, so I'm steering clear. Same deal with Ford and the Focus. Hyundai I have no experience with and I don't like the Accent much. And I ignored Kia. So that pretty much leaves the Japanese cars, and Dodge. Which is what I was looking at.

Jacob, thanks thats what we've seen too, but I was wondering if anyone else had any problems with the engine and transmission. Thanks though.

Thompson, good points, thanks a whole bunch. Thats about what I figured when I was looking at them, good thing to see I'm not totally out to lunch!

Insurance surprised me though, pretty much ANY car under $30 000 will run me to about $4000 a year in insurance just cause of my age, gender and lack of driving experience. Which is a royal kick in the teeth....


Once again, thanks and if anyone has more to add, I'd really appreciate it.

 

scaddie

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
I love my Civic. Corollas are great too, especially if you're taller, they've got more room than a Civic. You're just going to have to go with what you try out, and like the best. But for reliability, Toyota and Honda top the list. Don't go new, go used.
 

Sig_Des

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
I loved driving the Corola, really reliable, didn't have any problems.

Neons are crap. plus the undercarriage has a tendency to rust a lot.

Have you looked into Kia's? Reliable, well driven, the only problem I've found is that since a lot of parts aren't made in NA, you need to order them, and they tend to cost a lot.
 

Michael Dorosh

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Civics are the most stolen cars in the city of Calgary, that may be a point against them.  I drove one for a couple years (my mom's - a few years ago now) and liked it.
 

Pea

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
First car I bought was a Civic. It was a 1995, and in amazing condition. I understand you're not looking to purchase used, but this is just an example of how my 10 year old car was still in great shape. The interior/exterior were both in great shape, and it ran like a dream. I didn't have any problems with this car for the year and a half I owned it. I found it was very comfortable, and great to drive.

The next vehicle I buy has a 95% chance that it will be another Civic. I loved mine, and would definitely like to own another.
 

Sf2

Sr. Member
Reaction score
18
Points
180
SX 2.0 is a Neon - they just changed the name in the Canadian market.  And what you heard about them is true - complete and utter crap car.

My advice, coming from somone who has owned an 02 Civic, a 98 Prelude, and an 03 S2000 - You cannot go wrong with Honda.  Civics have gone up in price, but you get what you pay for.  Amazing build quality, good warranties, great technology.  The SiR is very nice, but by NO means are the lower models crappy as someone else implied.  They may not be rockets, but they are awsome for a first car.

You can't go wrong with Toyota either.  I've never had one, but their quality of product matches that of honda.
 

Scarf Face

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
60
Mazda3 is built on a Ford platform, so it would be far from a Corolla in terms of reliability. It is good because it's ridiculously popular right now, so parts  and stuff should be reasonably cheap and available should anything happen. At the same time, you might not like seeing 5,000 other people driving the same car as you every day; just something that is personal preference.

Toyota and Honda should be at the top of your list for reliability. I don't know how many stories I've heard about Corollas and Civics running for 10-15 years without a single major breakdown. The Yaris is pretty interesting too, check it out if a sub-compact is your thing.

Nissan just redesigned the Sentra, showing it off at the Detroit Auto Show. I'm guessing the new model will come to Canada in about a year, so if you can wait that long, you might want to check it out.

I myself went for the underdog and got a Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart 2 years ago. Feels and performs at a much higher level than anything in its price range; plus it's original, which I like. Built in Japan, and although Mitsubishi had some problems with their warranty handling a few years back, it seems fine now, and neither me nor 500+ people on online forums have had any problems with it. It also comes with a 10-year powertrain warranty, and you'll be able to bargain at least a grand or two off the sticker price at the dealer.

I'm gonna have to agree with the other guys and advise you to get a 1-2 year old car as opposed to a new one; it'll save you quite a large chunk of money, and 2 year old cars aren't in that bad of a shape, at least the Japanese ones. And you still have warranty for a few years anyway.

At this point, just write down a list of all the cars you are somewhat interested in, then go and test-drive each one. You might find that the best-looking-on-paper prospect is boring and uninspired, whereas the one nobody talked about may turn out to be perfect for you. This should narrow down your list; then, check out online forums for those cars, and see what the owners are saying.

Is there any chance of registering the car to one of your parents or older siblings, and having you as a secondary driver? Might make the insurance more manageable.

In any case, good luck with the quest. Just remember that no car is going to be perfect; it's all about compromises and what qualities you value the most.
 

condor888000

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Ok, thanks all. Final, along with a few other things I don't like about it, the SX its pretty much off the list. It was pretty fun to drive though......

Sub compact is definitely not my thing. I'm not a huge guy, matter of fact I'm a little bugger, but I have long legs, up to the point where Civic/Corolla driver seats are as far back as they go when I'm in them. I sat in the Yaris, and was just too small. Too bad, kinda neat car.

I wasn't aware the Sentra had been redesigned, but a year is a bit too long, I'm looking at finalizing the deal in the next month or so ideally.

And that is the narrowed down list. I went out and drove about 7 or 8 cars. Those four, the Matrix, Golf, Vibe, and as well as several more. Those were my four top choices. They all drove well and I liked them, so I was wondering if anyone had had any problems with them.

Unfortunately no. My mum has a CRV registered to her that would cost me more than a car, we checked. Step-dad has an 05 Accord coupe, with the 260ish hp and 6 speed manual so thats a definite no go. Two sisters already have a car, third is looking and point is moot cause all three are in Mississauga anyway! So its me. And I'm gonna be paying an arm, a leg and both hands for insurance.


The used car thing. I understand that it is a viable option. However, myself and my parents started discussing the entire new vs used at the start of December. We decided that used might be an ok idea, but that since I have the means, new would likely be a better choice. I'll clarify a bit, I've inherited a chunk of change that will more than cover a new car. The car will be bought free and clear. We decided new would work better for me, hence why thats what we're looking at. I understand the mentality that used is better, but myself and my parents decided that this would be a new car for me.

 

Scarf Face

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
60
In that case, sure, go for it; for better or worse, I know from experience how nice it feels to see '000003' on the odometer when you drive it off the lot. :D

VWs are well-designed, but I keep hearing that they have little things go south on you, electrical and so on, that end up costing quite a bit. Plus German cars are more expensive to maintain in general.

One site that made it easier for me when I was researching was www.edmunds.com . It is American, so price advice won't be of use, but they have fairly objective reviews as well as user ratings, so this should help you learn things (both good and bad) that the salesman won't tell you.
 

condor888000

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Thanks and yeah, the golf was a blast to drive, but it doesn't even have a CD player until you spend top dollar for it. Which works out to nearly $25,000. And its really tiny too. But once again, fun car to drive....then again, I liked driving all the cars!

And thanks for the link, seems to be a good site.
 

PViddy

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Don't discount Hyudai.

They are relatively cheap, their quality has gained leaps and bounds in tthe last 7 years, and if you buy new they one of the best warranties out there.  Parts are not too bad as well,  that or if you have the cash...Volvo! i have friend that has 475 000 on his and still going strong.

cheers

PV
 

blacktriangle

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
255
Points
880
My family is loving our new subaru impreza.

If you don't care about AWD, look at hyundai..good thingys.  :D
 

c_canuk

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
The SiR is very nice, but by NO means are the lower models crappy as someone else implied

What I meant was that if the engines are abused, they cannot be rebuilt, and the SI-R has the only engine in the line up with enough power to be driven sporty though not TFATF, the others are just point A-B Vehicles... Honda has an unprecidented reliablity, however they have things against them such as if the timing belt goes every single valve will be bent, and cost more than a new engine to fix because it's an interference engine...

I think steering a very young driver to a vehicle with a more robust drivetrain is a good idea, because we all know how we drove the first few years.

Condor, if the car only had 17 000 km on it was it under warranty? if not did you get it from a dealer? did you have another shop check it out to see if the odometer was rolled back? a 17000km car that's not under warranty is very very suspicious. I would assume it either was abused, in an accident, or something shady was going on.

As for NA vehicles not lasting as long, it's not really a quality issue, it's preventative maint issue, with a car that costs 10 grand more and has repiar costs 3-4 times more than a domestic veichle, it's more likely the owner will take better care of it and be more vigilant in preventative maint.

My father drives every vehicle he has until it dies, his last vehicle was a 77 Dodge D100 half ton, he rebuilt the engine and installed it into a hot rod, he's driving a 95 Dodge intreped as his daily driver with 360 000km on the original engine and plans on keeping it another 5 years at least.


He has not had a single NA vehicle last less than 10 years or 250 000km, as he does his maint religiously, and he never buys new either.

If you keep a car clean, do all the recommended maint, don't abuse it, and check and repair underbody rust once a year (wire brush it off, spray on rust inhibitor), your vehicle will last a long long time no matter what brand.
 

condor888000

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Oh yeah that car was bought from a dealer and still had warrenty left. It had been checked and it was good to go. As soon as the first thing went, it was the air conditioning, we went to the dealer who told us tough luck. 3 months later they finally decide to honour the warrenty. Then the radio goes. Same deal as the a/c. The we lose the windows/locks. Same deal. So we were just jerked around and don't want to go through that again. And as a result my family really hates GM.....
 

Sf2

Sr. Member
Reaction score
18
Points
180
well, from the sounds of it, he's not going to "rice out" his car, so I think any model Civic would best suit him, although, if I had the choice, and money, I'd get the SiR (I think its just the Si now) in a second.
 

c_canuk

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
short final...

I'll agree to disagree... I think the Civic Engines are reliable, but they can't stand any abuse, such as jack rabbit starts and goosing the accelerator constantly... or basicly the sort of driving almost every 16-20 year old will commit due to first hand knowledge of the internal workings of the engine.


Condor... you should have complained to the head office or took them to court, a car from the dealer with so few KMs and them not honouring the warranty is grounds for a law suit. GMs head office is very good for sorting out jack offs at local dealers, though I personally thing GM is coasting on their muscle car rep... their compact cars are still not using independant rear suspension, every other car company except maybe Lada has been since the early 90s.

 
Top