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City car and weekend trips

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


My wife and I live in New York City. We had a car but we sold it last summer. Well, we miss having a car. We like to get out of the city and go on weekend trips and long road trips in the summer. Beyond that, I see us putting on 75 miles per month as I'll only use it to go to the grocery store and maybe go see a friend in another borough.

We're focused on used cars and leasing. Neither of us thinks buying a new car is a good value (neither is leasing, really, but it's a poor value in ways that we accept). The most important things to us are reliability, solidity, and fuel economy. By "solidity," I mean that the car feels solid and settled on the road and doors close with deep, satisfying thunks and the like. To be straight, we each grew up driving German cars and associate quality with the German car feel. We also each have owned VWs and, well, I don't see us buying one from a dealer as the diesel scandal left us both very disappointed (I'd buy a used one, though: I just don't want to give VW money).

Fuel economy is important to us as well, but I'd prefer to get my fuel economy via a well-engineered engine or diesel (I love diesels) than a hybrid: we also have concerns about the long-term environmental impact of all those batteries.

Finally, NYC conditions dictate two things about a car: first, not too big, so we can park it. Second, our roads are awful, so something that can handle the bumps.


Priorities: Materials & workmanship / Reliability & durability / Fuel economy

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 12000

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Response from DarronS

4:24 pm May 9, 2017

If you're going to use a car that infrequently consider renting one when you go on road trips. You'll save on mantenance, insurance, and have no parking hassles. You can also rent a nicer car for occasional use than anything you can buy for slightly more money.


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Response from laerm

4:44 pm May 9, 2017

Renting a car in NYC costs 3x as much as it does pretty much everywhere else in the country, plus there's the time commitment and inconvenience of getting to and from the airports (because renting in the city is 4x as everywhere else).


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Response from DarronS

5:08 pm May 9, 2017

Wow. I didn't know renting in NYC was so expensive. Could I possilby interest you in a nice, used Honda Accord? I've owned a few over the years. They are fairly comfortable on trips, get more than 30 mpg on the highway, ride and handle beter than most of their Japanese competitors and are very reliable. If that is too big the Mazda 3 is a nice little car, but a bit noisier and less comfortable than the Accord.


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Response from NormT

8:18 am July 8, 2017

The brand new Buick Encore can be had for $16,000 or so on the internet. This is a step up from the HR-V, Juke, or CX-3, but priced right. Has higher seating position for better visibility and Buick Active Noise cancelation.


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Buick Encore
Chevrolet Trax
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