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Inexpensive car for a daily 20 minute commute and regular errands within same distance.

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I have been doing some basic research today and notice a regular trend toward recommending Toyota's, Honda's and Nissan's. I am just curious if anyone is aware of other cars are great used buys and what mileage levels should be considered as reasonable.

My Honda Accord 2003 had 174K miles and it's engine has just decided that it would like to die or be replaced. I see several of the exact same car as available for purchase, however Consumer Reports has listed this particular year/model as unreliable and I have the bills to prove it.

The car will generally be used in Metro Atlanta area.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Fuel economy / Price or payments

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars

Maximum price: US $ 4000

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Response from vkd280

6:28 pm January 14, 2017

I'm a Honda guy so I would steer you towards another Accord. The '07 model may be your best bet, as they went to a new model in 08 and usually the first year of any car has issues. Many of the issues with the transmission were sorted out by then.

The alternative may be a Ford Fusion. It's the most reliable of the domestic sedans IMO.


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Honda Accord
Ford Fusion

Response from colin42

11:04 pm January 15, 2017

First off thank you for providing insight on your driving habits and car needs. Many of the recent info requests have been more like "I need a car what is best?" To which my answer is a Mercedes S Class Maybach.

It a heuristic to state that Toyota, Honda and a lesser extent Nissan offer the most reliable brand. Although this is true at a macro level there are some models that buck this trend. The answer to you question is to dig into the data to see which models you can trust and which statistically have issue. That what the reliability data on True Delta allow you to gain insight on which models to look at.

The problem is for you budget the previous owner(s) has at least equal impact on the quality as the brand or model.

If you budget was just a little higher I.e. $6-8k I'd say investigate if a Nissan Leaf would work for you. At $4k look for a 2nd gen Toyota Prius for overall lowest risk of issues

Alternatively because you are in Atlanta. I would look up Steve Lang. He is a used car dealer based around Altanta who is honest and helpful (and from what I can tell friends with Michael Karesh). He writes articles on how to buy used cars and he runs another car reliably site called Dashboard Lights that give info on older car reliability. He also has a Facebook page where he sells cars he buys at Auction for $500 over his cost. ("Search48 hours and a used car" on Facebook)


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Nissan LEAF
Toyota Prius

Response from NormT

1:57 pm July 13, 2017

At $6,000 a used Chevy Volt would cover your 20 mile commute. After almost 40 miles on electric the engine takea over for the battery and almost 40 mpg. There are more than a fee of these in the 300,00p mile range with one that I know of in the 400,000's. Just need to plug it in and change the oil once a year for maintence


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Chevrolet Volt
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